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At Just The Right Time

By Don Loftis | 07.18.18

It was a rainy evening in late 2008, as Josh Marino sat on the cement steps outside of his small apartment on base at Fort Riley, Kansas.  His injuries sustained while deployed near Baghdad had left him isolated, fearful and depressed.  He had a suicide note typed on his computer, a knife placed by his bed, and his last cigarette in his mouth.  This was the last night he intended to battle PTSD.  As he smoked, a scrawny wet kitten emerged from the bushes and curled up next to him.  Josh cried; the kitten purred.  While he fed the starving kitten, a new sense of purpose and hope was born in a deeply scarred soldier.   Most of us have never experienced an “emotional hole” that deep, but most of us have faced discouragement or [...]

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When Minding Our Own Business Isn’t Enough

By Don Loftis | 07.11.18

It was fairly early on a Friday morning, as Simon was making his way toward Jerusalem.  He was minding his own business, likely headed for some special activity associated with the Passover Feast.  Maybe his mind was filled with memories of his distant African home in Cyrene (Libya) or worries about his two sons, Alexander and Rufus.   Whatever his thoughts were, he was just minding his own business, when his day and life were forever changed.  A soldier leading an execution party out of Jerusalem compelled him to carry the cross of a man named Jesus.  Luke’s account says they “seized” him, while Matthew and Mark state he was “pressed into service.”  Apparently Jesus was moving too slowly, and Simon’s assistance was needed.  Unknown at the time, Simon aided the Son of God; he [...]

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I Can’t Live Without It

By Don Loftis | 07.03.18

Jim Faughn recently brought to my attention a new widespread fear known as nomophobia.  Typical symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, and accelerated heart rate.  If not addressed, it can lead to diminished concentration, moodiness, insomnia and relational isolation.   My online dictionary defines nomophobia as “the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power.”  In short, nomophobia is the fear of losing the ability to access instant information and communication.  Few of us would want to dispose of  our cell phones or e-mail, but this new fear is indicative of the addictive qualities many things possess.   I wonder if many people have a fear of [...]

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Don’t Walk Away From The Real Thing

By Don Loftis | 06.20.18

It is always easier to start something than to complete it.  Diets, Bible reading plans, marathons, and college degrees are all examples.  It has been said that anyone can get married, but staying married a lifetime is quite an accomplishment.   After 65 years of marriage an elderly man was asked what the secret was to their successful marriage.  He said, “You know there were some really tough times along the way.  A couple of times the easy thing would have been to quit.  But every time I looked into her eyes, I knew she was the real thing.  She was the one that I loved.”   During Jesus’ ministry there were many who followed Him.  Some among the crowds must have been curiosity seekers and others hoping to witness or experience a miracle.  After [...]

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Changing The World

By Don Loftis | 06.13.18

Sometime ago, I was visiting with a mother whose children were playing in a different area of the house.  As we were talking, I heard this familiar dialog: “Quit,” … “Give it back.” … “I had it first!” … “No, I did!” … “Stop!!!”  Mom, in a very firm tone, said, “Children, play nicely.”  Amazingly, the fuss was over and peace prevailed — for a while.   Kindness in our treatment of others is an essential element in building good relationships at every age.  The Bible speaks clearly: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).  “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col. 3:12).  “Love is patient, love is kind” (I Cor. 13:4).  Yet, having read these (and [...]

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