Archive for the ‘Maxie’s Weekly Word’ Category







The call to trust and not to worry is at the core of Jesus’ teaching. But let’s be clear. Worry is not to be confused with concern. Worry frets about a problem, concern solves the problem. That reminds me of the famous George Bernard Shaw quote “You see things; and you say Why? But I dream things that never were; and say Why not?”

We need to be concerned and worry about the world: Why so much war, and so many hungry children? About our City: Why can’t we have decent homes for the poor? Why can’t we rid our community of pornography which poisons minds and perverts persons? Why can’t we have excellent schools, available to persons no matter where they live?

Our city is a generous and caring city. I would urge you to choose the group with whom you are going to spend your volunteer time, asking the simply question, what are they worrying about? I will turn worry into concern and make life matter.


Maxie’s Weekly Word

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 | By Maxie Dunnam
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President Roosevelt’s word in World War Two was a source of encouragement for the Nation. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

He was right. Naming our fear and facing it does two things. First, it often puts fear in a perspective that causes it to disappear.  I once went for three weeks with a growth on my back that one doctor suspected might be malignant. My wife Jerry was devastated, unable to escape thoughts of my death. Fear became my unwelcome but constant traveling companion and almost immobilized me

When we finally got the diagnosis, the burden of fear was put in perspective. No malignancy, no fear.

The second thing that happens is that in naming our fear we are forced to face it for what it is, and the fear often diminishes to the point that we can be confident that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Say no to fear and life a life that matters.








The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.  Hold that word of Joseph Campbell in your mind for a moment. Anyone who is alive knows the experience of fear for fear crackles like a fire in every life.

Fear of failure that keeps us from risking or even trying. Fear that flows from our doubt about personal ability or even personal worth. Fear about the faithfulness of our marriage mate. Fear of being found out in our moral weakness. Fear of death. Our own death or the loss of a loved one. Fear that our children will not turn out good. Fear of no job when we finish college.  Fear of retirement because of economic insecurity.

The answer to fear is confidence, and the only way to confidence is to name our fear and face it squarely. So the cave you fear to enter may hold the treasure you seek if you are seeking to make life matter.








In my last word in this column, I said, Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.

That’s true, but let’s remember this, Worry can be constructive. It can be positive when we focus on what can be done about a bad situation. If anything is worse than taking life too seriously it is taking life too lightly, that is being completely unconcerned. Don’t worry, be happy is not a workable motto, nor is it a good one.

Yes, it is wasted energy to spend time lamenting what has already happened. Crying over spilled milk leads to emotional and mental disorder, but facing the circumstances and asking what can be done may be the begin of making life matter.


Maxie’s Weekly Word

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 | By Maxie Dunnam
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In a Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy, the hilarious hound, is flat on his back on top of his doghouse.  He is not hilarious today but rather ponderous. “Rats,” he cries. “How can I sleep knowing that any moment a wolf could come by and blow my house down”. He continues, “Life has too many worries. Today its wolves,” and pulling out his tennis racket, he cries, “Yesterday, it was my backhand.”

Most of us have something to worry about: dismal economic conditions, a sick parent, children not doing well in school, a broken relationship…and on it goes. Worry has a major place in most of our lives.

But listen. Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.  Put that with Jesus’ admonition: “Do not worry about your life what you will eat or drink Can you by worrying add a single hour to life.”

Don’t worry, make life matter!



Maxie’s Weekly Word

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 | By Maxie Dunnam
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The change of culture in the United States has dramatically lowered the status of children. This is the conclusion of a study out of Stanford University. Six out of every one hundred kids say they have tried to commit suicide. Homicide is the leading cause of death among blacks between fifteen and nineteen. One out of every ten teenage girls gets pregnant every year, a rate twice as high as in other industrialized nations. Drinking and driving is the number one killer of American adolescents.

Hold your breath. These researchers say that the primary cause for all this is the diminishing of religion.

It’s good to hear such a word when churches and religion are being viewed so negatively and the secular press takes every opportunity to paint the failure so darkly.

Being Christian makes a difference. You make a difference and you can make life matter.








A fellow was talking with me about so many different denominations and he said, “You know, I’m a Bible believing Christian.” Well, I didn’t question him about what he meant by that, but I do question the masses who would make a claim like that without examining what they are claiming. Usually that claim is connected with the notion that we are a Christian nation.

So here is a test.  We serve many gods: materialism, money, wealth, but the Bible says, What does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and lose his own soul.

We worship the god of sex and pleasure, but the Bible says, Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit; glorify God in your body.

We serve the god of power and prestige, but the Bible says, Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.

So my question, Are we really Bible believing?


Maxie’s Weekly Word

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 | By Maxie Dunnam
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The United States recently apologized for the unintentional burning of copies of the Koran. But this failed to quell the protests that killed at least 30 and wounded hundreds.

We would not riot, but we Christians would be upset with someone burning a bible. There is a similarity in the way we think of the Bible and the way Muslims think of the Koran.  But there is a difference. For the Muslim, it is not just the content of the Koran that is holy, it is the book itself. A Muslim would never think of writing in his copy of the Koran, or laying it casually on a bedside table or in the bathroom. The book itself is holy.

For Christians the Bible is more than a book, it is a revelation and an encounter with the living God. It is God’s breathed word. So read it, write in it, have it available wherever you might read it. It will help you make life matter.

Maxie’s Weekly Word

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 | By Maxie Dunnam
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The Commercial Appeal, our Memphis daily newspaper, reported that serious offences by juveniles are down nearly 10% this year in Shelby County.  Even more encouraging is the fact that this past year only four minors were charged with murder. 15 years ago the number was 50.There is hope. We know that most of the time incarceration is not the answer. Jail time too often simply confirms and train young people for a life of crime.  We must find ways for young offenders to pay not by going to jail, but by making restitution and being reconciled to the victims of their crimes. If there are not efforts in your community that seek to intervene and offer alternatives to incarceration, maybe you can begin. Seeking mercy for these young people who may be on the road to a life of crime is a proven path to making life matter

Maxie’s Weekly Word

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 | By Maxie Dunnam
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Elvis Presley defined ambition as a dream with a v-8 engine. Not bad philosophy for a Mississippi country boy who grew up in poverty. Sam Tollison confirms this definition. Sam is 10 years old. As a result of his leadership, on January 8, 2012, Colorado celebrated the state’s inaugural Cinnamon Roll Day. He collected over 100 signatures on a petition to give the snack its own day of appreciation. The governor was so impressed by Tollison’s grassroots campaigning that he agreed to write the day into law. You don’t have to love cinnamon rolls to love this story. It teaches some important lessons. You are more than you think you are. People respond to the passion of another. Ideas are to be put into action. Age and station in life should not inhibit expression of ambition. And Jesus would say, a little child will lead them. Hoorah for Sam. Join him in making life matter.