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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

September 2022


BUSYNESS: In his commencement address to the 2015 graduates at Dillard University, Denzel Washington stated, “Hard work works…and in this text/tweet/twerk world, remember: Just because you’re doing a lot more doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done.”  Busyness can give the illusion of productivity so wise discernment is critical. AARP, August/September 2022, p.38
CERTAINTY: We all want a cleaner environment and plenty of leaders assure us life won’t improve until certain changes are made.  But in May of 2022, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration published a paper in the Science Advances journal suggesting cleaner air over the last 40 years has caused more hurricanes.  Hiroyuki Murakami, a scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory and author of the research, said, “We found decreasing aerosols will lead to an increase in tropical cyclones.  That’s something we find very ironic.”  In our world of dogmatic solutions, things aren’t as certain as we might think. Houston Chronicle, 5/15/22, p.A32
COMMITMENT: Americans had fourteen presidents during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.  Each man swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution for four years, and a few did that twice.  The British monarch abided by her commitment for more than seven decades following the vow she made on her 21st birthday.  Four years before ascending the throne, she stated in Cape Town, South Africa, “I declare before you all, that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”  She couldn’t have imagined then what that truly meant, but she held to her word for the 75 remaining years of her life.  Her commitment was reflected by the words she shared in 2008: “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”  That defined her life and her faith, and it offers a template for commitment when so many have lost that understanding. The Week, 9/23/22, p.39
EVANGELISM: On September 1, 2022, Jehovah’s Witnesses did something they hadn’t done since March of 2020…they resumed going door-to-door.  Because of COVID, they took a 2 ½ year hiatus from their familiar practice.  Robert Hendriks is the organization’s national spokesman.  Of the recent return to neighborhoods, he said, “We go to everyone and let them choose whether they want to hear us or not.”  Evangelical theology doesn’t mesh with Kingdom Hall, but Christians can certainly learn from their perspective on sharing. Beaumont Enterprise, 9/4/22, p.D7
GRIEF: The picture of Queen Elizabeth sitting alone at her husband’s funeral is truly a sad scene.  COVID protocols on April 17, 2021 dictated isolation in St. George’s Chapel so the monarch, dressed in black, was all by herself.  It was a fitting time to remember the words she delivered in response to September 11, 2001: “Grief is the price we pay for love.” USA Today, 9/9/22, p.3D
LORDSHIP: On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died and that resulted in far more than Prince Charles becoming king.  Most in the United Kingdom can’t recall life before the Queen, but now they will see an unanticipated change.  It’s to be expected that the anthem will change to “God save the King,” and the flags will be altered to the royal cipher of CIIIR for Charles II Rex.  What few realized is that more than 4.7 billion banknotes featuring the queen’s likeness will be replaced with new currency depicting King Charles.  The process to recall and replace will take about two years and the old money will still be legal tender, but it’s a reminder there is now a new Sovereign.  It’s symbolic of what should happen in the life of every Christian.  When Jesus becomes our Lord, His likeness should replace ours on all we possess. The Week, 9/23/22, p.8
RELATIONSHIPS: Vin Scully’s life (1927-2022) and career as a sport’s broadcaster ran concurrently with Queen Elizabeth’s life (1926-2022) and tenure on the throne.  In 1953, at the age of 25, he became the youngest person to ever call a World Series, which is still a record.  Although he had great milestones in other sports, he is remembered most as the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years.  When he signed off for the final time on October 2, 2016, he told the listening audience, “You and I have been friends for a long time.  But I know in my heart that I’ve always needed you more than you’ve needed me.”  The best kinds of relationships are forged with the humble conviction that we’ve received far more than we gave. Washington Examiner, 8/9/22, p.63
SUCCESS: In the1990s, Chick-fil-A faced their first serious competition from a company called Boston Chicken, which later became Boston Market.  They aspired to become a billion-dollar business by the year 2000 and launched a massive expansion plan.  Tension mounted in Atlanta as they felt the pressure to rapidly grow bigger.  The conversation culminated with a meeting at the Chick-fil-A headquarters where the boardroom was filled with leaders pitching ideas for growth.  Truett Cathy sat quietly at the end of table and didn’t appear to be listening until he uncharacteristically began banging his fist on the table to get everyone’s attention.  When the room fell silent, Cathy said, “Gentlemen, I am sick and tired of hearing you talk about us getting bigger.”  He paused and then stated, “What we need to be talking about is getting better.  If we get better, our customers will demand that we get bigger.”  Success is too often focused on getting bigger when the real conversation needs to be about getting better. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, 8/15/22
TEMPTATION: Cheryl Christopher recently spoke at our church sharing her story of heart-wrenching loss.  She and her husband Gary have buried two sons and a grandson.  From the crucible of grief, she’s written a powerful book that offers healing and hope.  In the throes of pain, we’re tempted to seek relief from things that only add to our hurt.  In those moments she reminds us to implement an acronym often used by those addressing addictions: HALT.  We are most susceptible to temptation when we’re Hungry (physically or emotionally) Angry, Lonely, or Tired.  Embedding that thought in our minds can be a helpful guard against temptation. A Portrait of Grief, Cheryl Christopher, 2022, p.105 – Contact Cheryl at
TERMINOLOGY: In an effort to change the fearful perception of sharks, a government safety website in Queensland, Australia altered their terminology.  Rather than using the words “shark attack” the site now refers to such things as “a negative encounter.”  We can change how we describe something but it doesn’t necessarily change reality. World, 8/14/22, p.15


GUIDANCE: The British may have proven what most of us already know…men don’t like to ask for directions.  The study revealed that men drive an extra 276 miles per year as a result of being lost.  More than 25% of men remain lost for at least 30 minutes before seeking help, and 12% are too stubborn to ask for any guidance.  AAA found a similar correlation: 41% of men pretend they know where they’re going when they’re lost.; Preaching, Summer 2021, p.31
MARRIAGE: Bob Russell, retired pastor of Southeast Christian Church, referred to some research he’d read about concerning marriage.  The report stated, “Wives who carry a little extra weight normally live longer than husbands who mention it.”
MISTAKES: Legendary comedian Groucho Marx (1890-1977) said, “Learn from the mistakes of others.  You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” The Week, 9/23/22, p.17




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