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In Other Words...

A Research Service Of Facts & Humor For Christian Leaders

January 2022   Issue 2


ABORTION: Economists are now struggling with the issue of abortion.  Current projections predict that by 2035 America will have more older people than younger people for the first time in U.S. history.  To counteract this trend, economists are hoping for, “Policies to encourage American families to have more children” to help with the supply chain of future workers.  China is facing the same concern…on steroids.  Fudan University professor Yew-Kwang Ng wrote an article titled “How To Be Happier.”  The one-child policy of China from 1980 to 2016 led to many couples aborting females.  This has resulted in 34 million more males than females and a generation of lonely bachelors known as “bare branches.”  To rectify this female shortfall, Professor Ng is recommending “wife sharing” where women have two or more husbands.  He wrote, “making meals for three husbands won’t take much more time than for two husbands.”  Social media quickly lambasted the academic, and his idea, as insane…with women leading the charge.  The deadly consequences of abortion are far more extensive than advocates are willing to admit. Beaumont Enterprise, 4/7/19, p.A13; USA Today, 1/29/19, p.1A; The Week, 6/26/20, p.14

ABORTION: In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. received the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood.  Views on abortion were quite different back then as Planned Parenthood was still publishing a pamphlet that asked, “Is birth control abortion?”  The piece went on to answer, “Definitely not.  An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun.  It is dangerous to your life and health.”  In his “Letter from a Birmingham City Jail,” Dr. King stated, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  His words are daunting truth for an organization that once thought he was right.

ABORTION: Melissa Ohden was born in 1977 after a failed abortion.  Her biological mom was a 19-year-old college student who was forced to have an abortion by her mother.  Melissa’s grandmother was a prominent nurse in Sioux City, Iowa and assisted with the abortion.  When Melissa was born alive, her grandmother ordered that she be left to die, and told her daughter the baby was dead.  Two attending nurses fought for her medical care and admitted her to the hospital.  Melissa was later adopted and grew up in a loving Christian family.  In her late 20s, Melissa & her husband moved to Sioux City so she could finish her master’s degree in social work.  In God’s providence, Melissa’s second child, Olivia, was born at the same hospital where Melissa had nearly died as a pre-born infant.  During birthing classes, Melissa met one of the nurses who was present the night she was born.  She got a job supervising a team of social workers at the same adoption agency that handled her adoption three decades earlier.  And she has now met her birth mom.  Melissa established the Abortion Survivors Network and has spoken on Capitol Hill in defense of the unborn.  She has also traveled extensively to speak against the horrors of abortion.  Melissa repeatedly says, “When women’s empowerment and women’s health is based on another person’s life ending, there’s something wrong in our world.”  Those words echo the rebuke of Mother Teresa: “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”  Melissa’s faith led her to forgive all of those involved in the failed attempt on her life: “I had to remember that Jesus died for my grandmother, and for that abortionist – just like He died for me.  That’s one of the things I love to talk to people about.” Decision, January 2016, p.26; National Right To Life of SETX, March 2013, p.7

BIBLE: In an article titled, “Americans Are Fond of the Bible, Don’t Actually Read It,” research revealed that more than half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible.  11% percent have read the entire Bible once, and another 9% have read all of it more than once.  Of the reasons for not reading it, 27% said it’s not a priority, 15% feel they don’t have time, 13% say they’ve read the Bible enough, and 9% don’t see how it relates to them.  Church attendance and Bible engagement go hand-in-hand: “The more often Americans attend church, the more likely they are to read the Bible daily.”  Informed decisions about life start with being informed about Life’s Owner’s Manual. 4/25/17

CERTAINTY: In an interview two years before Anthony Bourdain ended his life on June 8, 2018, the celebrity chef talked about one of his tattoos.  He pointed to the ink and stated, “This tattoo says ‘I am certain of nothing’ and that’s how I feel.  I’m pretty sure that cheese and sausage are good.  Other than that, it’s a world of confusion and uncertainty.”  His world seemed glamorous to audiences watching him travel the world exploring all kinds of food while visiting with the people who ate it.  Yet there was an uncertainty that left him despondent enough to commit suicide.  Until we find our certainty in Christ, the world will indeed feel like shifting sand (Matthew 7:26-27). Reader’s Digest, November 2016, p.46

PRAYER: A fundamental practice for disoriented scuba divers is to move in the direction of the bubbles to regain their bearings.  If a diver is unsure about which way is up, the bubbles ascend to the surface and indicate the direction toward safety & survival.  We often find ourselves feeling much like a diver in deep, dark waters.  Prayer rises like bubbles and becomes our guide for reorienting us to the pathway up.

RELATIONSHIPS: Just before Thanksgiving of 2021, Starbucks & Amazon opened a new type of store in New York City.  Customers can order their coffee on Starbucks’ App and then utilize Amazon’s “Just Walk Out Technology,” which doesn’t require a cashier.  The article covering this story talked about the wonder of getting your favorite drink or snack “without ever having to interact with other people.”  Starbucks’ senior vice president Katie Young stated, “We’re really interested to see what role this type of store has to play.”  Technology will continue to impact human contact so we must guard against the idea that progress means never having to interact with others. USA Today, 11/19/21, p.6B


AGING: When Mick Jagger claimed that his wrinkles were just laugh lines, musician George Melly replied, “Surely nothing could be that funny.” Reader’s Digest, 10/16, p.78

EXPECTATIONS: Barbara Murphy wrote about her grandson’s disappointing day in kindergarten.  The little guy returned home in tears so his mother tried to understand his great sadness.  He explained how the teacher told them to eat popcorn in class and then they could read.  He sobbed, “I ate the popcorn and still can’t read.”  He’s not alone in having expectations for unrealistic outcomes. Reader’s Digest, September 2017, p.31

PARENTING: In her haste to upload a picture of the sofa she was jettisoning on Facebook Marketplace, 20-year-old Lucy Battle posted a photo of her 7-month-old son instead.  The caption read, “Need gone today.”  Her faux-paus post went viral just before Christmas 2021 and one parent responded, “Can I swap for a teenager?”  The mom from Burnley, England insists she’s staying with the child…but not the couch. Examiner, 12/16/21, p.21B

IN OTHER WORDS... began in 1991 and is produced by Dr. Raymond McHenry, Senior Pastor of the Westgate Memorial Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas.  Subscribers receive full access to our Web site of over 5,000 illustrations PLUS two email issues per month filled with fascinating facts, quotes, humor, and spiritual illustrations from headline news.  All content is copyrighted.  Visit to start a new subscription or send inquiries to:

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