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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

July 11, 2012 - Background Noise

By Scott Harrup

I’m a regular visitor to the lobby of the sports medicine center where my son Connor has physical therapy one day a week. His sessions run the gamut of speech, occupational and physical therapy, all with the goal of battling the effects of cerebral palsy.

The lobby is a good spot to catch up on miscellaneous tasks. Like writing this devotional. But there’s a catch. The TV bolted against one of the pillars is almost always on. Talk shows, court simulation shows, the occasional situation comedy with metronomic bursts of canned laughter — all intrude on the silence I prefer when writing.

When I glance around at the other people waiting, most are trying to read a book or magazine. The TV is the 800-pound gorilla in the room no one talks about. I know they all hear it. Every now and then, someone glances up at it in glazed semi-interest.

I’m tempted to stand and ask if I can turn off the TV. Would anyone miss it? But I don’t. I keep sitting here pecking away at my keyboard, trying to grasp the wisps of an idea threading through my brain while a portion of my mind is hijacked.

So here’s my question: What other “background noise” might compromise the quality of what I want to accomplish in life? How can I fine-tune my day and be more effective?

And what about the things I do and say? Am I creating unnecessary and even destructive background noise for others? What needs to happen in me so I’m contributing to others’ lives rather than slowing them down or tripping them up?

I think that’s where the apostle Paul was focusing his thoughts when he wrote, “Looking at it one way, you could say, "Anything goes. Because of God's immense generosity and grace, we don't have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster." But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well” (1 Corinthians 10:23,24, The Message).

I’ll add my amen to that … but quietly.

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (



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