On My Mind

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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Lower the Flag to Half-Staff

By Joe Barnett / May 6, 2023 / Comments Off on Lower the Flag to Half-Staff

John Glenn. Everyone knows the name of this American hero who flew fifty-nine combat missions in World War II and twenty-seven in Korea; the first American to orbit the earth and the oldest man in space when, at seventy-seven, he flew with the Space Shuttle Discovery crew; four-term U.S. Senator from Ohio. His history of […]

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Is it Too Early to Have a Party?

By Joe Barnett / March 11, 2023 / Comments Off on Is it Too Early to Have a Party?

Luke 15:11–31 I smiled when I saw the sign in the front yard. It was as big as a bedsheet: WELCOME HOME DAVE! Dave was the son of Jack and Nancy Carter. Fine young man. He had just finished the semester and was coming home to Littleton, Colorado, for the summer. You see it when […]

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Grateful Remembrance

By Joe Barnett / February 4, 2023 / Comments Off on Grateful Remembrance

Jabesh was in the crosshairs of the sadistic King Nahash. Frightfully outgunned, Jabesh’s leaders were considering surrendering. “Here’s how it will go down,” said Nahash: “I’ll mark you as mine by gouging out the right eye of every one of you. You have a week to think about it—In seven days, you can fight me […]

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What Will Matter?

By Joe Barnett / September 10, 2022 / 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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By Joe Barnett / August 6, 2022 / Comments Off on Choices

Dr. Fred Alexander, my college roommate, and lifelong friend, chose a career in higher education. It was a close call, because early on he felt the tug of a different calling. As a young Navy Reservist, Fred blew the top off pilot aptitude tests. The U.S. Navy pulled out all the stops to convince him […]

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Do We Have a Right to Be Christ’s Witnesses?

By Joe Barnett / July 2, 2022 / Comments Off on Do We Have a Right to Be Christ’s Witnesses?

Approval ratings of politicians are at an all-time low. In a Gallup poll, Americans were asked to rank twenty-two professions for honesty and ethical standards. Congress scored next to last. We long for integrity in our elected leaders, but it no longer surprises us when a politician is caught lying, discovered taking bribes, exposed as […]

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An Inside Job

By Joe Barnett / June 4, 2022 / Comments Off on An Inside Job

When they pass out medals for bravery, Sherry Basu deserves one. This four-feet-one-inch twenty-four-year-old was sixty-five pounds of raw courage. I met Sherry a few years ago when she was managing a one-day dry cleaner and laundry in my neighborhood that adjoined the convenience store where I bought my morning paper and coffee. I began […]

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