Rachel Beckwith only lived nine years, but she managed to give more than most of us do in eighty years. She made a powerful impact on a continent she had never visited.
When she was five, she had her hair cut off to give to an organization which makes wigs to help children who lost their hair because of illness. When she was nine, at church she heard about an organization called “Charity Waters” which digs wells for villages in Africa.
One out of ten people in the world live without access to clean water.
Rachel decided to ask people to give to Charity Waters for her birthday instead of giving her a gift. She set up a giving page (https://my.charitywater.org/rachel-beckwith-1/rachels9thbirthday) but was a bit disappointed that she only raised $220 of her $300 goal.
Shortly after that she was killed in an automobile accident.
Friends wanted to honor her and began to give to her project. The story spread like wildfire and at last count she had raised $1,265,823 so that tens of thousands of Africans could have clean water. Continue reading →
(The next couple of weeks Coffee Stains may come at strange times. I’ll try to get consistent again in July)
Once I was in a traffic jam in Luxembourg. I saw a car coming from a parking lot force his way into the traffic, which was moving at the pace of a slow snail.
One of the drivers already in the jam went bananas, honking and carrying on as if the newcomer had just assassinated the Grand Duke.
Sometime after that we had moved forward and I saw the man who had honked so fiercely, push his way through the traffic in order to turn left.
I thought, “Wasn’t this the fellow who went ballistic when someone else did what he is doing?”
It’s different when it’s me, huh?
No, not really.
Jesus speaks to my hot-headed buddy—and to me—in these verses. “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” (The Message, 7:1, 2) Continue reading →
Once I drove towards Schifflange, Luxembourg to put up posters for an evangelistic activity we were sponsoring.
Suddenly I saw a man stagger from the sidewalk into the street.
I thought he was having a medical problem so I stopped to help.
When I got to him, though, I saw that his “medical problem” gurgled from a bottle.
I worried, though, that he would wander back into the street and get run over, so I asked him where he lived, hoping to help him home. He wasn’t very coherent but an old lady happened by and she knew him. She said she could show me.
And show me she tried to—from the sidewalk on the other side of the street she would point the direction. She didn’t want anyone to see her walking through town with a drunk man.
She left that to me.
I told the man I was taking him home, so occasionally he would raise his arm like Teddy Roosevelt leading the charge at San Juan hill and yell, “A la maison!” (to the house!) Continue reading →
When you are a “sneer-er” you gotta sneer at something. So, today I sneer at the junior high math classes where the teacher gives a math problem and everyone whips out his calculator.
They have no idea of the sum of 12 x 12. If their batteries give out they sit there with a dumb look on their face.
If I would be honest, down deep I’m probably mad because of all those multiplication tables I had to memorize. I remember the fear I experienced as I scrunched my forehead pondering during one of those innumerable tests. “Hmmm .. 9 x 13? What was that again?”
I would almost wish that I had studied instead of watching the Beverly Hillbillies on television the night before. Almost. Continue reading →
The other day I was reading about a professional basketball player who had become a free agent and signed with another team. He had been a substitute most of the time so his statistics weren’t wonderful, something in the neighborhood of an average 3 rebounds and 2 points per game.
If memory serves me correctly some suckers–oops strike that–some team paid him three million dollars a year to come play with them.
Which got me to thinking. They ought to hire me. Now, I may not get three rebounds per game but I could stand back out of the way and the law of averages says that at least one ball per game would accidently bounce my way. And I could probably get fouled once a game so if I made one of my free shots I could average one point and one rebound per game.
And here’s the good part. I’d play for this generous team for just one million dollars per year. They would get nearly as much out of me and only have to pay a third of the price. If any pro basketball teams are reading this, just hit, “reply,” send me your proposition, and I’ll be glad to consider it. Continue reading →