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The World and Everything in It: August 24, 2022


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: August 24, 2022

On Washington Wednesday, analysis of the U.S. military’s readiness to deter and defend against threats; Pastors Ruiz and Grueben explain how a broken community grieves and heals; and a pastor who shepherds other pastors. Plus: commentary from Joel Belz, and the Wednesday morning news.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The U.S. military’s purpose is to deter and fight war. How ready is it to do that?

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.

Also glimmers of hope in the aftermath of evil. Part two in our conversation with pastors in Uvalde.

Plus, helping ministers who face burnout.

And WORLD founder Joel Belz on an early memory of encountering his own sin.

REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, August 24th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: It’s time now for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Ukraine independence day / $3b more in aid to Ukraine » Today is the six month mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It is also Ukraine’s Independence Day, an occasion Ukrainians will mark even as they’re forced to fight to keep their independence.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nation Richard Mills said Tuesday that only Russia’s leaders can say when the war will end.

MILLS: Only they can explain why Russia thinks it can redraw international borders by force in contravention of the UN charter. Only they can account for the atrocities they have carried out against the Ukrainian people

Officials fear Russia may ramp up attacks today as Ukraine marks its independence.

The United States reinforced that worry with a security alert citing “information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.”

The U.S. government is expected to announce today roughly $3 billion in additional aid to train and equip Ukrainian forces.

UN Security Council Zaporizhzhia meeting » Members of the UN Security Council met Tuesday about the safety crisis at a Russian-occupied nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

DICARLO: Common sense must prevail to avoid any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the plant.

UN Under Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo heard there.

UN nuclear officials continue to warn that the Zaporizhzhia plant in southeastern Ukraine is in dangerously poor condition.

They’re calling on Moscow to allow UN officials to inspect the facility and help prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

But Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslystsya says Russia is holding the Ukrainian crew operating the plant captive and could coerce them into hiding the truth from inspectors.

KYSLYSTSYA: That is why it is really important to conduct the mission in a way that would allow the international community to see the real situation and not a Russian theatrical show.

Ukraine says Russia is using the nuclear plant as a military staging ground.

Trump-FBI » Former President Trump and his legal team officially filed a motion for an independent review of the records that the FBI seized when it raided his Florida home.

His team stated, “we are demanding the appointment of a special master to oversee the handling of the materials taken in the raid.”

Trump’s son in law and advisor, Jared Kushner, said Tuesday…

KUSHER: Unfortunately, we’ve lost a lot of faith in the fairness of the judicial system.

Trump’s lawyers are also demanding an inventory of the property seized and that those items be returned to him. They argue any other review of those records would be unconstitutional.

The FBI responded saying the search and seizure was legal and warranted. 

MI governor kidnapping conviction » A federal jury in Grand Rapids convicted two men Tuesday in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

FBI special agent David Porter said justice was done.

PORTER: If you disagree with you government, you criticize your government, protest, vote your elected officials out of office. What you can not do is plan or commit acts of violence.

This is the second round in court for Adam Fox and Barry Croft after a jury couldn’t reach a verdict in April.

Two other men were acquitted in that case, while two others pleaded guilty.

Defense attorney’s accused the FBI of entrapment.

Fox and Croft could face decades behind bars when they’re sentenced.

Dallas flooding » Floodwaters continue to wash over the streets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

That after more than nine inches of rain fell in 24 hours in some parts of the metro area.

One resident said most everything he owns is now waterlogged.

RICHARDSON: And I guess it’s about over a foot in the house. Everything's just flooded with water.

Emergency crews have had their hands full performing high-water rescues.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says the flooding is the worst Dallas has seen since 1932, but it could have been worse.

ABBOTT: Through this entire storm so far, there’s been only one reported death.

Sudan deaths » But in Sudan, the flooding has been far worse.

At least 89 people have died in floodwaters amid torrential rains.

AUDIO: [Speaking in Arabic]

One villager described the scene as rushing water poured through the streets and into homes.

Some 20,000 families are now homeless after flood waters destroyed their houses.

The United Nations says the floods have affected more than 140,000 people. And Sudan’s rainy season will likely last at least another month.

Twitter » A whistleblower is accusing Twitter of taking shortcuts with its cybersecurity. And Congress is now investigating. WORLD’s Mary Muncy has more.

MARY MUNCY, REPORTER: Former Twitter executive Peiter Zatko filed complaints with Congress and other agencies alleging that Twitter misled federal regulators. He said the company falsely claimed that it had put stronger measures in place to protect its users than it actually did.

He also said the platform is not as good at policing bots—or fake accounts—as it claims.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is citing the bot problem as he tries to back out of his $44 billion purchase of the company.

Twitter said it fired Zatko for “ineffective leadership and poor performance.” And it said the “allegations and opportunistic timing” present a “false narrative.” 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Mary Muncy.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: how ready is the U.S. military to deter and defend?

Plus, a pastor who coaches other pastors.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 24th of August, 2022.

You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re glad you’ve joined us today. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up on The World and Everything in It: part 2 of a conversation with Uvalde, Texas, pastors Joe Ruiz and Tony Gruben. 

They’ve ministered to the town in the wake of the elementary school shooting three months ago that left 21 people dead.

Yesterday, they told how an overabundance of charity can sometimes be counterproductive, keeping wounds raw. And how a weeks-long procession of funerals kept the grieving process from moving forward.

REICHARD: But have they seen glimmers of hope in their broken community? WORLD Reporter Bonnie Pritchett brings us the rest of their conversation.

BONNIE PRITCHETT, REPORTER: With the close of the last funeral, Pastor Tony Gruben said mourners could breathe. That part of the grieving process was over.

But growing contention within the community over law enforcement’s handling of the shooting threatened to undermine any fragile gains in the churches’ ministry of grace.

I asked Pastors Ruiz and Gruben to explain. Ruiz went first.

RUIZ: Well, we talked about evil. I look at how it happened, and everything that happened. This was a perfect storm that the enemy wanted to use, to bring division. To bring hatred. To bring everything that he wants to bring upon Uvalde.

GRUBEN: I just tried to tell them in your anger, don't sin. There are all things that make us all angry. But you need to learn to dial it back. And also encouraging those you speak with that sometimes your voice is stronger than anybody else's, you know, and to be a peacemaker.

When someone is grieving, the best thing you could do is just come and sit next to them. Just listen. Just be there.

GRUBEN: At first, you can't say anything, because they can't hear anything. I mean, it's just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And yes, and they hear you but they're not understanding I guess would be better. But now that it'll come as time goes that there will be more opportunity for what I would call a deeper balm of their souls that we can help to apply.

RUIZ: But for us to be able to, we just need to be able to be there for the families. And when everything's said and done, we're hoping that they're the, and they start to respond to what will come next, that they will be able to realize that, you know, we do care.

Some of those opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ have flowed from intentional ministries to the victims’ families. Others, in more God-ordained ways.

RUIZ: There's a gentleman that came in that Thursday, through cooking meals. And we fed all the families. We were able to go in teams and be able to just show the love of God, to be able to just take them a meal, and just say, “How can I pray for you.” It was amazing how we were able to go into all the homes. And then my daughter would cook, and my wife and I would deliver. And that also continued to give us that connection with them to be able to just to be there and say here, we love you.

That love has been extended to the grandparents of the 18-year-old gunman who shot his grandmother before heading to the school. Ruiz spoke with the grandfather who provided an update.

RUIZ: She's doing better. She was in rehab. But I mean, they're still hurting. I mean, they're I mean, a lot of people forget about them. We did extend out and offer some finances to them because they weren't receiving some finances because people look at them as the guilty party. So, but yeah, they're lonely because people are not reaching out to them.

Pastor Gruben has called Uvalde home for almost 20 years. He believes the town will heal as its residents simply live life together and believers graciously and intentionally care for the grieving.

GRUBEN: I joke about I play golf a lot. And, and, and I said at some point I wasn't gonna be healed until I could play golf. So, I went and played four holes, but I felt better. So then on Thursday morning, I said, I'm gonna get up at 7:15 or so I'm gonna go play nine today for me. And so, I went out there and like, there was a couple of saw somebody got in front of me. And I was kind of a little bit perturbed, because they got in front of me, because if I can get in front, I can be the first one and get through quick. And I don't have to wait on anybody. Well, I saw these two old guys out there. And when I drove up, I knew one of them. So I asked to play with them. So we played three holes. And then we saw a golf cart coming towards us…

Gruben’s quick 9 holes was no longer about him. The group became a threesome until a fourth golfer arrived – an older gentleman they knew who had lost a grandchild in the shooting.

GRUBEN: I ended up playing the all eighteen. We were all in different carts and they’d drive up beside him and they talk, we kind of talk. I’d give them a hug or a pat around the back. And just talk. And on the 18th hole I had us all get around and we prayed. There is that everydayness, walking alongside people I think is the most powerful healing there is. True sharing of the gospel is living life with somebody and sharing your life with them and sharing the gospel as you go and living and loving. And the ultimate healing here is going to be when we realize that we are in this together, and we can lean on one another to get through. My prayer is that that will happen sooner than later. And that people will start seeing the goodness and the need of God.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: Washington Wednesday.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today, military readiness. As the war in Ukraine enters its seventh month, some are questioning whether the United States is ready for a war of its own, particularly against a rapidly gathering threat from China.

U.S. adversaries are building increasingly advanced weapons, unlike any seen in the wars of generations past.

So, how ready is the US military for its next military conflict and what more must be done to prepare?

Joining us now is Bradley Bowman. He has served as a top national security adviser to members of the U.S. Senate.

REICHARD: Bradley, good morning!

BRADLEY BOWMAN, GUEST: Good morning! How are you? 

REICHARD: Glad to have you. Let’s start with the proxy war we’re already fighting in Ukraine. How prepared is the United States to help Ukraine in the months ahead to actually win this war against Russia?

BOWMAN: It's a great question. And it might be more difficult to answer than one would initially think. Because, for example, winning, right? That's a term that many of us use when we're at our kids baseball game. And we also use it in questions of war and peace. And winning, you have to define, right? But what do we see happening right now in Ukraine? Ukraine we see the largest invasion in Europe since World War II. We see a war of choice by Vladimir Putin, unprovoked, where thousands and thousands of Ukrainians have died, have been injured, and have fled as they confront this invasion of their homes. And so, at the beginning of this latest invasion from Vladimir Putin—not the first as some students of history will remember—the United States confronted some serious policy decisions. Like do we send U.S. troops to fight there? Do we establish a no fly zone that would force the United States to potentially shoot down Russian aircraft and put those two great powers in direct conflict with one another? What do we do with NATO? What do we do on NATO's eastern flank? How do we help Ukrainians? Those were some of the leading policy decisions. And what I recommended and where the Biden administration landed, I think to its credit, is that the United States would provide Ukraine the means to defend their homes, Ukrainians, the means to defend their homes, while unifying NATO, and beefing up NATO's eastern flank, doing all we can to help Ukraine while avoiding direct conflict between United States and Russia. That's more or less the grand strategy, if you will, since February 24th. And I think the Biden administration on balance deserves credit for the speed and the sense of urgency and agility that they brought to that endeavor—with some exceptions—but overall, pretty darn good since February 24th.

Now, how have we done that? Well, how have we armed Ukraine? There have been two primary means by which we've tried to do that. One is taking our own equipment, our own U.S. military equipment and sending that to Ukraine. And the other is putting things on contract, buying it, putting it on contract, developing it and sending it. The first, often called presidential drawdown authority, where we're literally drawing down our own equipment. The advantages of that is that you can send it quickly. In some instances, 2, 3, 4 days after the announcement, it's literally been on the ground in Ukraine. But the downside is that, as I said, we're drawing down our own equipment. And my priority is making sure that our forces have what they need to defend our interests. And so I've supported doing that. But you can actually take that too far and make ourselves more vulnerable than we would want. And so over time, we're going to have less and less of that U.S. equipment to send and we're going to have to rely on developing new capabilities or producing additional capabilities that don't currently exist. And that will take more time. And then that's where you get into challenges and issues related to our American defense industrial base and all the other things we're trying to do in the world.

REICHARD: We’ve already seen Russia deploy a hypersonic missile. China also has them. Sen. Angus King said recently that the United States is lagging behind its top adversaries in hypersonic missile technology.

Bradley let’s get basic here. What are hypersonic missiles? Why are they dangerous, and what needs to happen to secure the United States?

BOWMAN: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll address the technical specific question, and then would love to zoom out if I can. First, the technical question. So hypersonic missile, as distinct from a ballistic missile, a missile that most Americans will be more familiar with that flies at a certain speed and has an arc, a ballistic arc that it takes. A hypersonic missile is a missile that travels at a faster speed, as the name would imply, and a key other element of it, a key second element that the name wouldn't necessarily imply is that it is maneuverable, it maneuvers. So when you combine increased speed with maneuverability, that makes it more difficult for us to intercept. And that's why Americans should be concerned about it. That's why it's concerning that Russia already has these, that China's working on them aggressively. And that, frankly, America, generally speaking, has been behind. Hypersonics are not new. They've been around for a long time. This is something that the American defense technology sector has long understood, but because of finite resources did not make the investments necessary to field them. And now we're playing catch up as we so often do. And so, a few months back, I hosted a discussion with the director of the U.S .Missile Defense Agency, and we talked about hypersonic missiles. And the bottom line is that these hypersonic missiles can be used to threaten our homeland—the continental United States and Hawaii and Alaska. They can also be used to threaten our bases overseas. And they can also be used to threaten particular assets like an aircraft carrier. And again, what makes them difficult is the speed and the maneuverability. And that maneuverability allows them to avoid being detected or sensed and it also allows them to try to outwit our means to shoot them down. And so this just, as anyone who studied physics can understand, that's an incredibly wicked problem that we're actively working on both to develop our own hypersonic defense capabilities, and also to develop hypersonic weapons of our own as a means to deter the use of them by China and Russia in particular.

REICHARD: Sen. King called hypersonic missiles a nightmare weapon for aircraft carriers. One big advantage of the US military is its carrier fleets. Essentially, airbases in the ocean. Do these weapons negate that advantage?

BOWMAN: My short answer would be no. So America is the preeminent naval power in the world. We have roughly 11 or 12 aircraft carriers with a good portion of those in maintenance, refurbishment at any given time. But, you know, China has two to three aircraft carriers that they're building and that they're deploying. They're not as good as ours, their sailors are not nearly as capable as ours or as experienced. But the fact that China is building and deploying aircraft carriers should tell listeners something, right? That China believes they have utility. And I think they are wise in that assessment. Because, yes, aircraft carriers are more vulnerable now than they've ever been. They will become more vulnerable as China continues to focus billions and billions of dollars in developing the means to sink our aircraft carriers. But you got to think about it this way, compared to what? Well, I mean, the purpose of an aircraft carrier is to take aircraft and get it close to the area of operation so that they can operate from there. Basically, it's sovereign American territory that you can move around. Well, compared to what? Well compared to an airbase. So it's much easier for our adversaries to target a stationary air base than an airbase that moves, an aircraft carrier. So yes, aircraft carriers are more vulnerable than ever, but they still make sense because they are harder to predict their location than a fixed air base in Japan or Guam or somewhere else. So the truth is, we need aircraft carriers. They provide value, but they are more vulnerable than ever. And we have to think about how to defend them and what other capabilities we need in our Navy to deter aggression and to defeat that aggression if deterrence fails.

REICHARD: Well, let’s talk about the adversary that poses the biggest threat, and that’s China. How is the US military retooling—or how should it retool to prepare for any possible future war with China, be it over Taiwan or anything else?

BOWMAN: Yeah, if I can start with the biggest threat. People like me use that word a lot and sometimes it's thrown around without a lot of thought behind it. I do believe and have felt for a long time that the Chinese Communist Party is the preeminent threat to the freedom, prosperity, and security of Americans. And I say that for three reasons. One is the Chinese Communist Party has a hostile ideology. We saw that during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Chinese Communist Party is fielding a military that is dramatically and quickly improving, and in some cases is better than our own. And we saw some of that during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. But what's different with China relative to the Soviet Union is the size of their economy. Anyone that studies grand strategy or national security related issues understands we build our defense on an economic foundation. So in some ways, the strength of your defense is only as strong as the economy that it rests on, and that funds its development. And so if you face an adversary that has a hostile ideology, and dramatically proven military and huge economy with which to build that military, that's something new. Arguably the United States in our entire history since 1776, I would argue, has never confronted an adversary that combines those three factors of power in the way the Chinese Communist Party does. And I think Americans need to understand loud and clear that when you hear about possible contingencies in the Taiwan Strait, the United States may win, but it could, and many people believe it would come at the cost of thousands of American lives. Envision sunk aircraft carriers. Envision sunk ships. Envision dozens or hundreds of aircraft being shot down. This is not scare mongering, this is me telling you what I think actually could happen. The reason I'm saying this now is because there are steps that we can be taking now to prevent that aggression in the first place. Steps that we could have taken, arguably, with respect to Ukraine, that either make it not happen or that when it comes, we’ll be more successful and more Americans will come home to their families.

REICHARD: Bradley Bowman is senior director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Bradley, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

BOWMAN: Thank you.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Even with today’s technology, trying to predict the weather is always—let us say, an inexact science.

That’s something two now-unemployed Hungarian weathermen understand all too well.

The government on Saturday had planned what it called “Europe’s biggest fireworks display” last Saturday along the Danube River.

Some 40,000 fireworks were locked and loaded. But the national weather service postponed the event just hours before, warning that extreme weather was on the way.

But then the storm didn’t show up. It ended up missing the capital city completely.

And the government was furious and an official fired the head and deputy head of the country’s weather service.

The government now hopes to hold the fireworks display this Saturday. And the weather service staff that remains, good news: there’s no rain in the forecast.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, August 24th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Who pastors the pastors?

The word “pastor” means shepherd. A pastor is one of Christ’s sheep, but who also leads ministries and encourages others by teaching.

These days, two out of five pastors consider leaving their calling, citing burnout. Today, WORLD reporter Jenny Rough talks with a man who coaches pastors in those hard seasons.

KNUTE LARSON: You get to love people and get paid for it. You get to preach the word and teach people how to live according to God. It’s wonderful.

JENNY ROUGH, REPORTER: Knute Larson loves being a pastor. He served as one for 43 years. And since 2010, he’s been coaching pastors.


Larson is 81. He lives in Sawyer, Michigan, with his wife of 60 years. Every night after dinner, they read the Bible together, and he plays the piano.


As a pastor's coach, he takes his experience, knowledge, and mistakes and helps today’s younger generation shepherd the church.

LARSON: I teach seven major concerns ranging from love to personal schedule to working with a board to public services to things like that.

Larson says being a pastor today is very different than when he started.

LARSON: I think this is the hardest time in my lifetime to pastor because things have changed. I got to pastor from the 1960s, seventies, eighties, nineties, and the first 10 years of this century. Most people who say they follow Christ went to church. Now you have a lot of people who say they believe but don’t go to church.

Larson says the biggest challenges pastors face today boil down to four categories. He calls them the Four Cs: The first: COVID. Tensions over how to handle protocols during the pandemic caused division. And churches still haven’t recovered.

He recalls speaking one Sunday in 2020:

LARSON: Half the people who were there, half the people weren’t there, but of those that were there, half were sitting in the back with their arms folded and masks on and the other half were upfront hugging each other. Just to look at it gave you divided opinions and tension.

Larson says everybody has different approaches to their health. And people have various fears. Some people, for example, drive more cautiously than others.

LARSON: I think a lot of the reactions to COVID come under Romans 14, which is all about liberty. Respect the decisions of others. Have your own conscience. People have various fears where you’ve got to be patient. And be careful that you don’t judge others who differ.

That leads to Larson’s second C: Congress. Meaning, politics. He thinks our society isn’t as good as handling differences today. People on both sides argue as if they are always right, as if there’s no middle ground, and in a way that trashes one another.

When it comes to hot button political issues, Larson counsels pastors to teach from God’s word, not their hobby horse.

LARSON: Hobby horses are when you bring a subject that has nothing to do with your text. Preach the Bible. And if you do that you’re going to preach about racism and you’re going to bring up life and death and even life at the other end of life.

The third biggest challenge Larson helps pastors with today: Communication. The internet has drastically changed the way people interact. When he was growing up, television used to be a little part of life. Now people practically have a phone attached to their bodies.

LARSON: The whole social media. People write things as if God can’t read. They say things as if God can’t hear.

It begs the WWJD question, what would Jesus do? Would Jesus have a Twitter account? Facebook?

LARSON: Yeah, I don’t know. I think he would’ve had a good one. And he would’ve been edifying and build people up. I do think his rules about conversation apply to what you write and what you see and send out. The Christian way would be to look you in the face and say it to you. The Facebook way, you hide behind a nickname or a distance, and they would never say that looking a person in the eye.  The very idea that you can unfriend somebody. That’d be like walking up and saying, “I don’t like you anymore.” That’s what we did in fourth grade. But now people do it on their phones and hurt somebody like it doesn’t mean anything, and it does.

When Larson coaches pastors about social media, he acknowledges the risks. Misunderstandings and mistakes. Going viral—in a bad way. And yet:

LARSON: Churches have to post things and get themselves out there, as dangerous as it can be. But, boy, every Christian ought to have a positive influence. I think Jesus’ teaching about salt, you are salt and you are light, apply to social media.

And finally, Larson says the last C stands for Christians.

LARSON: There are many Christians in America who are living their faith and helping their churches and helping their neighbors, but nationally, we’ve lost our values, no question. I think we’ve lost our way. Even to be honest or truthful is so often neglected.

Life today is rushed. More so than ever, he says. Pastors, like everyone, must take care of their personal lives and bodies. Get enough sleep. Be with family. Exercise. But this isn’t an office job. You can’t leave it at the door. He remembers once calling a youth minister at his church.

LARSON: There was a tragedy and he had his phone off. He said he turned his phone off at 5. I said, “Never again.” What should I do if I have a tragedy? Plan it between 9 and 5?

Being a pastor is a vocation.

LARSON: It’s got to be a calling. It’s a calling to love people. You’ve got to want to promote Jesus, not yourself. God has gifted you to be who you are, but God has instructed you to major on who He is.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jenny Rough in Sawyer, Michigan.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, August 24th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. No child likes to get caught red-handed by a parent. For that matter, neither do grown-ups! But sometimes, the experience can teach us more about ourselves–and the value of tough questions.

Here’s WORLD founder Joel Belz.

JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: I was, after all, only four years old. My parents were devout people. But they hadn’t—yet—taught me the details of the Ten Commandments.

Wendell was my best friend. His toys were newer and nicer than mine. I loved to run across the small town of Holland, Iowa to join him in his sandbox. It was bigger and more fun than mine.

Nevermind my mom and dad told me not to make that journey—not even at Wendell’s invitation. I knew Mom would serve lunch at noon, Dad would join us, and I should be there too.

But on that particular day, I ignored those rules. It was a good morning, playing with Wendell. So much fun that I lost track of time. A bit later than was wise, I started the five-minute trek home. I needed to get there before Dad—so he wouldn’t suspect my rebel heart.

But my calculations were off, and Dad was ahead of me.

“Where have you been?” he asked me.

“No where,” I replied evasively.

“So what’s wrong with your shirt?” Dad asked while running his accusing hand down my sandy shirt.

Just that fast, truth made its presence known. But the story gets worse. I delayed leaving Wendell’s home because I decided Wendell wouldn’t miss one of his new aluminum shovels. I clumsily tried to stuff all ten inches of it under my six-inch long shirt.

There’s a great deal I don’t remember about the “court scene” that followed. I do know my dad helped me connect my disobedience with God’s law. And I began to see how the Ten Commandments make one interrelated truth.

The most obvious “lesson” of that experience was my lying to my father. But just as serious was the covetousness that came first, and the theft from my friend that followed. My account might well have included a reference to the dishonor all this had brought to my parents.

My parents did the right thing. Dad apologized to Wendell and his family, and had me return the shovel. I got a serious spanking, and I lost some privileges for a while. I wish I could tell you I never again lied to my father. But that would add yet another lie to my record. Seventy-six years later, sometimes my efforts at truth-telling have been successful. Other times they’ve been embarrassingly feeble.

But I have learned the value of asking hard questions–questions that lead to repentance and growth.

How’ve you been doing as a teacher of truth-telling? Have the children under your care been getting a full dose? Or have you let them off the hook without a clear view of God’s truth?

I’m Joel Belz.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: The so-called Inflation Reduction Act increases the IRS budget by $80-billion. Where is that money going and what concerns might it raise?

And, how one pastor ministered to his grieving community after a very rare mass shooting in Canada.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: “choose this day whom you will serve…. as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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