On My Mind

God Forgives—and Forgets

By Joe Barnett / February 3, 2024 / Comments Off on God Forgives—and Forgets

People thought she was whacko. She claimed that she and God talked one-on-one every night and that he told her about the shenanigans of people who thought their secrets were, well, secret. Someone advised her to validate these alleged conversations by asking her minister if she was really talking with God or hallucinating. Tormented by […]

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News that Doesn’t Make the News

By Joe Barnett / January 6, 2024 / Comments Off on News that Doesn’t Make the News

Day to day, year to year, news remains pretty much the same: A war going on somewhere. Violence on some street in our hometown. People fighting for position, power, a bigger slice of the pie. Hunger, with pictures so appalling we have to look away. Those who have fallen on hard times living in poverty […]

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What Will Matter?

By Joe Barnett / December 9, 2023 / Comments Off on What Will Matter?

Ready or not, one day it will be over. There’ll be no more sunrises, sunsets, or birthdays. Position and possessions will be history. Whether you lived in a castle or a cottage will be irrelevant. All you accumulated, both treasures and trinkets, will pass to someone else. Your proficiency, polish, and pedigree will be meaningless. […]

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All Alone

By Joe Barnett / November 4, 2023 / Comments Off on All Alone

It was a beautifully manicured patch of green where the county buried its unknown dead. As I strolled among the graves, I saw a marker: “Infant Lara.” I wondered who she was and why she died alone. And why did he whose bones were beneath the stone that said “Unknown” die alone? I had been […]

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Jesus’ Last Day in the Temple

By Joe Barnett / October 7, 2023 / Comments Off on Jesus’ Last Day in the Temple

It had been a rough day for Jesus in the Temple. First, the Pharisees tag-teamed with the Herodians to snag him in a trap about paying taxes to Caesar. Then it was the Sadducees, with a cockamamie story about seven brothers dying one after another, each marrying the left-behind widow. “At the resurrection,” they asked […]

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No Room for Gloom

By Joe Barnett / September 2, 2023 / Comments Off on No Room for Gloom

The bigwigs huddled secretly, hatching a plan to arrest and kill Jesus. But they had a problem: pilgrims were pouring into Jerusalem by the tens of thousands to observe Passover, and they were in a frenzy of excitement about Jesus. Jesus had to be eliminated. “But not during the Feast,” the schemers whispered, “or there […]

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When You Are in Christ

By Joe Barnett / September 1, 2023 / Comments Off on When You Are in Christ

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.                             —2 Corinthians 5:17 If you are in Christ: You are a new creation. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things […]

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Dostoyevsky and the Parable of the Prodigal Son

By Joe Barnett / August 5, 2023 / Comments Off on Dostoyevsky and the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was twenty-eight when he was arrested for his vocal opposition of Tsarist Russia. Sentenced to death by firing squad, Dostoyevsky was on the scaffold, soldiers with muskets at shoulders, when the execution was stayed. Tsar Nicolas I had commuted his sentence to ten years of exile, four of them in the […]

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Try Ducks

By Joe Barnett / July 8, 2023 / Comments Off on Try Ducks

F.W. Boreham spun a tale about a family that lived in a comfortable house with a delightful river running nearby. One day the river overflowed, the house’s basement flooded, and the chickens that roosted there drowned. The man of the house stormed off to see the landlord and told him he was giving notice that […]

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When the Stars Come Out

By Joe Barnett / June 3, 2023 / Comments Off on When the Stars Come Out

Mark and Katy were living a happy life in our community and church when they were abruptly uprooted and transferred to a remote, thinly-populated outpost in Alberta, Canada. I stopped by to spend a night with them when a trip took me that way. We talked and laughed late into the night. But out of […]

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