Giving people are more interesting and engaging than folks who are merely gifted. 

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Fenton Five

5.  “Progressive” and “conservative” labels are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Making progress is of little value if you are not going in the right direction. Clinging to longtime values is not a virtue if the values are not good. Last month I heard a self-proclaimed “progressive” express his delight that a protest had effectively stopped a “conservative” speaker from being allowed to address an religious group on a state university campus. He said, “religious speech needs to be limited to churches and every religious yahoo isn’t promised a right to a microphone.”  That may be considered progressive thought in today’s culture, but it means we are progressing in the wrong direction.  This week in a local convenience store, a fellow who had a “Conservative and Proud” bumper sticker on his automobile told the foreign-born clerk, a kind man with whom I am well-acquainted, that our community would be better off without his kind.  If that is the historic value we are conserving, then we are preserving something which is morally decayed.  Let’s drop the labels and instead examine ourselves through the lens of revealed truth.

4. Last week was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. We will best celebrate it by realizing that both spiritual and religious institutional reformation are repeatable and on-going rather than completed events

3. Often what we describe as “the silence of God” is really our refusal to listen.

2. While I am frustrated by the political posturing of the announcers on ESPN, that is not the reason I am listening and watching less programing of the sports talk genre. I realized I spent far too much time listening to and caring about sports gossip which is the content of most sports talk shows.   I still watch and listen to some games, but I don’t need to know who is suspected of taking drugs, engaging in domestic abuse or angry about not getting enough playing time. There are too many good organizations that are feeding the hungry, educating students, and meeting human need in the name of Jesus that need my interest and time.

1. Generosity is such an underrated virtue. I have spent time the past month with some very generous people with limited resources and found that their approach to life is contagious. They are good for my soul, my mind and for the community at large. Giving people are more interesting and engaging than folks who are merely gifted.

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garyfenton@aol.com

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