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In Other Words..., A Resource of Facts and Humor for Christian Leaders

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In Other Words...

A Research Service Of Facts & Humor For Christian Leaders

June 2022

 

AFFIRMATION: Claudia Szurkowski’s father died in the Twin Towers on 9/11, eight months before she was born (see October 2021 Issue 1).  Each year on September 11th she posts a tribute to her dad, the man she never got to meet.  Her 2018 Instagram post showed a picture of his name inscribed at the NYC 9/11 memorial, and then wrote, “I miss you more than anyone could ever understand.”  Before the 20th anniversary of that fateful day, Claudia told an interviewer that she looks at her father’s picture regularly and ponders the question in her mind, “Is he proud?”  The role of a father is indispensable, and with that role comes the responsibility to affirm his children because every child, even adult children, need their dad’s affirmation. The Week, 9/24/21, p.41
 
CHARACTER: Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler stated, “Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted.”  May we aspire to be men whose character fosters trust. Character Carved in Stone, Pat Williams, 2019, p.197
 
CHOICES: Zig Ziglar (1926-2012) was a fit man when he graciously agreed to write the foreword for my first two books.  But he had previously been overweight for over two decades.  Of that era he said, “For 24 years of my adult life, by choice, I weighed well over 200 pounds.  I say ‘by choice’ because I have never accidentally eaten anything.  I mean it’s always been deliberate.  And when I choose to eat too much today, I have chosen to weigh too much tomorrow.”  Whether it’s food, finances, family or faith, they’re all driven by choices. Mature Living, October 2018, p.28
 
CHURCH: Summer offers a template of church as we think about time at the pool.  If the Kingdom of God were a pool, where would you be found?  For some, it’d be on a lounger – no plans of going in the water but just like having it close by.  Others sit on the side tangling their feet in the water – it’s nice refreshment but they don’t want anything more.  Many play in the shallow end with no intention of ever venturing into the deep end.  A few love to Cannon Ball off the diving board to make a big splash and get attention.  Plenty sit in the hot tub just wanting to be warm and comfortable.  Those of us who were lifeguards can remember the power of that whistle and some at the pool relish the opportunity to blow their whistle and keep others in line.  And then some will dive for treasures in the deep end.  They know it’s hard to hold your breath long enough to go all the way down and get back up – and it can be a little scary sometimes, plus the pressure has a way of hurting your ears.  But those who keep diving to find something in the deep overcome their fear and do what’s hard & painful because they believe it’s worth it. Editor’s Perspective
 
FATHERHOOD: Scottie Scheffler won the Green Jacket in Augusta on April 10, 2022 – just two weeks after becoming the top-ranked golfer in the world.  But on March 27, 2022, Scheffler experienced something more satisfying than professional success.  After winning the WGC Match Play to claim the Number 1 spot in the PGA Tour, Scheffler’s dad congratulated him with an incredible statement.  Scott senior said, “I love you, Scott.  I’m more proud of who you are than your golf.  You’re a wonderful young man.”  These men, followers of Christ, understand what matters most, and long after the rankings and trophies fade from attention, those loving words of affirmation will remain indelible.  A father’s words are powerful. USA Today, 3/27/22, p.C1
 
GOD: An opinion article in The Dallas Morning News carried this banner: “I’m An Atheist, But Between COVID and Nuclear Weapons, I’m Ready To Give God a Try.”  Josh Selig was the author and he expressed grave concerns about the condition of our world.  Selig noted that he wasn’t raised believing in God but acknowledged his search for meaning as he questioned if “history has entered its terrifying season finale.”  He quoted Theodore Roethke: “I have married my hands to perpetual agitation.”  He then wrote, “Our 6-month-old is not the only one who cries in the night.”  Selig’s article was penned as a letter to God with curiosity about His actual existence, and concludes, “Although I check daily, there are no answers in my newsfeed, in my inbox or on my phone.  So, I’ve come to you.” Regardless of our cultural climate or the world’s condition, the best time to seek the Lord is always right now (Isaiah 55:6). Dallas Morning News, 3/27/22, p.6P
 
INSECURITY: Johnny Carson (1925-2005) had a 30-year-reign as The Tonight Show host from 1962-1992 and was one of the biggest names in show business.  His influence could launch a career and celebrities pined to be on his show.  Famed impersonator, Rich Little, was a frequent guest and filled in for Carson a number of times so he got to know him quite well.  Reflecting back on the Hollywood icon, Little said, “In spite of his stardom, he was always insecure.”  Fame and success are no antidote for insecurity. Saturday Evening Post, November/December 2020, p.29
 
MEN: Kevin Costner has had an illustrious acting career and continues to garner plenty of attention.  His professional accomplishments are significant, yet he realizes life involves far more than work.  In a 2020 interview at the age of 65, he was asked, “What do you wish that you were better at?”  Costner replied, “Getting it right.”  Most men feel the same. AARP, August 2020, p.38
 
PRIORITIES: Kip Taylor died on September 11, 2001.  The 38-year-old Lt. Colonel was an aide to the Army’s chief of staff for personnel and was killed when terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.  Just an hour before the attack, Taylor wrote an email to friends and family celebrating how fatherhood had changed his life.  His wife was pregnant with their second son, both the result of IVF, so they called those boys their miracles.  In that email Taylor stated, “After kids, there are days that just get going when you say, ‘Hi, honey, I’m home.’  My conclusion is that what we do until that moment pales in comparison to what we do after that point in the day.”  This very successful military man with power and influence, saw his primary job as that of being a husband and father.  Work matters, but work at home matters more. The Week, 9/24/21, p.41

EVERYDAY HUMOR

 
BRAVADO: Donnie Dunagan joined the Marines at 18, and then became one of the youngest drill instructors in Marine Corp history.  He did three tours of duty in Vietnam, won a Bronze Star along with three Purple Hearts, and then retired as a major after two decades in the military.  Major Dunagan was a distinguished, seasoned soldier who caused a lot of people to cry…because he was the voice of Disney’s young Bambi when he was 6-years-old. Reader’s Digest, March 2019, p.40
 
FATHERHOOD: Melissa Durr has written about her 5-year-old granddaughter sitting alone on her new teeter-totter.  With a very sad face, Charli said, “I can teeter, but I can’t totter.  No one will play with me.”  Loving dads make the teeter…totter. Mature Living, August 2018, p.56
 
FATHERHOOD: Charles Wadsworth is a classical pianist who has played at the White House for five presidents.  The 93-year-old father of one son said, “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” The Week, 7/2/21, p.17
 
MEN: Men typically try to measure up and prove they’re anything but dull, but at least several thousand men see it differently.  The Dull Men’s Club boasts 5,000 members who are devoted to the mundane.  One of their mottos to live by is, “Celebrating the ordinary.”  Chapters exist in the U.S. and Great Britain, but their meetings aren’t very exciting. Reader’s Digest, March 2017, p.87

 

 

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