Clark Offner’s “Daily Word” & “Timely Words”

・ The “Timely Words” messages can be read HERE

・ “Daily Word” was a 90-second telephone message offered daily byDr. Offner for 19 years in Japan before his return to the United States in 1999.  The scripts are now available HERE with his permission.

・ We have changed the style and included former messages in former messages.

Green (93/02/25)

Green, the color of grass and leaves, is a symbol of life, especially young life. Since green is the color of unripe fruit, we may call an immature person "green" and an inexperienced worker a "greenhorn". Greenhouses are glass-enclosed structures where plants are grown under controlled temperature and humidity and a person who has a knack for making plants grow well is said to have a green thumb. It is important for large cities to have areas of greenery where residents may relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Parks, farmland or uncultivated land around communities is sometimes called a green belt. A green light gives permission to proceed ahead and green tea is the traditional beverage in Japan made from leaves that are not fermented before being dried. The term, green-eyed, meaning jealous, comes from the warning of Iago in Shakespeare's drama, "Othello," to beware of jealousy, "green-eyed monster". Finally, we come to "greenback", which denotes American paper money, printed in green ink on the back. During the Civil War, on February 25, 1862, 130 years ago today, the U.S. Congress authorized the issuance of bank notes which were immediately called "greenbacks". In recent years, the value of greenbakcs has been declining in relation to the turquoise-, lilac-, and brown-backed Japanese paper money. --Clark Offner (4230)

An Old Medicine Jar (93/02/26)

On February 26, 1872, 121 years ago today, the following unusual story appeared in the 'Tōkyō Nichi-nichi Shinbun'. A foreigner, walking along a street in Osaka, dropped into a second-hand store. His eyes fell on an old medicine jar. He asked the price and was told "800". He said he wanted to buy it and would send a servant with the money later. The servant came as promised, paid the money and received the jar. But the shopkeeper was astonished to be given 800 'ryō' for the jar when he had expected only 800 'mon'. He expected the foreigner to return to complain, but after a couple of days had passed, he thought he should notify the police to avoid any possible trouble. Before he did so, however, he received a summons to go to the police station. He went there fearfully, thinking he would be charged with overcharging a foreigner. He was surprised to be handed an extra 200 'ryō' and asked to sign a receipt for it. The foreigner had informed the police that the old medicine jar, made of pure gold, was worth much more than he had paid for it and he wanted to treat the shopkeeper fairly. The man who bought this golden jar was simply following the Golden Rule, found in Luke 6:31: "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -- Clark Offner (4231)

The Laundry Room (93/02/27)

Beside the furnace room with a coal bin and a trash bin nearby, the tiny pump room and small fruit cellar, the basement of my parents' home included other important sections. One was a special workplace for my mother and sisters and the other a workplace for my father and his sons. The laundry room contained two large, permanent tubs and a large washing machine on legs with wheels so it could be moved to either of the tubs where the clothes were rinsed. The ringer attached to the washing machine could be swung to a position between the two tubs. Water was rung out of the clothes before they were hung up to dry. In my younger days, there was also a wood-burning stove on which buckets of water were heated, but later a large hot heater was installed and faucets over the tubs and the hose into the washing machine provided either cold or hot water. There was a large laundry box on a stand under the clothes chute. This chute extended up into the first and second floors of the house. In the bathroom on the first floor and in the hallway of the second floor there were small openings in the chute through which dirty clothes were dropped into that laundry box in the basement. The opening in the bathroom had a small door that slid up and down while the little door in the hallway opened out. -- Clark Offner (4232)

Judge (93/02/28)

The word "judge", spelled j-u-d-g-e, may be used as either a noun or a verb. As a noun, it means one who judges, but the verb may have either a neutral or a negative implication. It may simply mean to make a decision after careful thought or to criticize and condemn. In the Gospel of Matthew, at the beginning of chapter 7, Jesus taught that we should not judge others, adding that we will be judged in the same way that we judge other people. Here, "judge" implies a critical, condemnatory spirit. It is very easy for us to make superficial negative judgments about the attitudes or actions of others even when we do not know all the facts of the matter. In fact, no human beings, including the judges in the courtrooms, know all the details of complicated situations. We can only approximate the perfect knowledge required for truly just decisions. Therefore, instead of criticizing others, we should leave judgment to God who not only sees the actions of people but perceives their motives as well. According to 1 Peter 2:23, this was the example that Jesus left for us to follow. When he was insulted, abused and unjustly condemned to death, he did not condemn his enemies but "committed his cause to the One who judges justly." --Clark Offner (4233)