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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


January 7, 2013 - What's In Your Barbecue?

By Scott Harrup

A few years ago in early spring, I sat with neighbors John and Mary Foss on their back deck. John is an avid bird-watcher and pointed out to me some of our neighborhood’s avian spring rituals.

“See over there,” he said, directing my attention to a house across the rain canal from my backyard. “They’re building a nest in Jim’s barbecue.”

Sure enough, a feathered blur emerged from the large grill parked against Jim’s wall.

John pointed to the barbecue at a home two lots north of mine and said, “There’s another.”

I smiled at the thought of my neighbors’ surprise whenever they decided to grill a few steaks for the first time that year.

My grilling season began the following week. Hamburgers sounded perfect for Thursday night’s supper.

Walking onto my back deck with half a dozen patties, I heard a mad scramble as I pulled the vinyl cover off my grill. I opened my barbecue to release two frantic feathered residents fleeing a motley pile of straw.

I cleaned out the grill, cooked my burgers, and closed it up. The next morning the birds were already trying to rebuild their home. I placed a large, stuffed dog on top of the grill to act as a scarecrow. It met with limited success.

When John identified other cast-iron nests in our neighborhood, I never dreamed I was a fellow victim of tiny squatters. I could chuckle at my neighbors’ dilemma, completely unaware I shared their predicament.

Sin is like that. Others’ offenses appear bigger than life to us, while our own remain conveniently invisible. Jesus pointed out our one-sided view of sin this way:

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Luke 6:42, NIV).

I still am on the lookout for any more intruders in my grill. And I’m a little more focused on anything else my neighbors might observe in my life.

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



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