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In Other Words...

A Research Service Of Facts & Humor For Christian Leaders

August 2018 ~ Issue 2

BIBLE: 80% of Americans say they believe in God, but only 56% believe in God as described in the Bible.  The Bible doesn't offer us that choice. Charisma, July 2018, p.20

DEATH: In 1997, Into Thin Air became a best-seller.  Author Jon Krakauer chronicled the disastrous 1996 Mt. Everest expedition that resulted in the deaths of eight climbers.  Charlotte Fox was a part of that summit.  She made it to "the top of the world" and survived the harrowing journey down.  On May 24, 2018, Fox fell down the stairs of her home in Telluride, Colorado and died at the age of 61.  The shocking news made a friend say, "it's just so wrong."  How can you survive one of the most dangerous climbs on earth and then die on the stairs in your house?  Death is both uncertain and certain, which warrants our thorough preparedness for its coming. Examiner 6/21/18, p.28B

GOD: Scripture repeatedly reminds us that God goes before His people.  The rescue of a soccer team in Thailand during the summer of 2018 illustrates this beautifully.  Because the rescue required sections of lengthy underwater diving, oxygen tanks had to be placed along the route so nobody would suffer the same fate of the lone fatality.  Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan died on July 6th when he ran out of oxygen while staging oxygen canisters along the rescue route.  When the rescue operation began, the boys, their coach, and each of the divers had plenty of oxygen because someone had gone before them to make sure they had everything they needed.  As we move through the challenges of life, we too can be sure that God has gone before us to provide a way. Editor's Perspective

OFFENSES: For 116 years, Barnum's Animals crackers have come in little boxes that multiple generations easily recognize and fondly remember.  After this week you'll be hard pressed to find that old familiar look.  Playing off its namesake, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, the colorful boxes debuted in 1902 showing animals in boxcars reminiscent of the circus coming to town.  The three rings no longer exist (that ended in 2017), but our easily offended culture looks more and more like a circus every day.  In 2016, the parent company of Nabisco was asked by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to change the iconic box so the animals wouldn't appear to be behind bars.  Mondelez International conceded the offense and now all of their new boxes will depict animals roaming 'cage-free' in the wild.  The new idealistic boxes show a lion flanked by four animals it would gladly eat (zebra, elephant, giraffe, gorilla - although the gorilla could possibly kill the lion).  Is there any concern that consumers are actually eating these animal-shaped cookies?  Being an easily offended culture, or person, is neither healthy nor wise... and quite frankly, very offensive. Houston Chronicle, 8/22/18, p.A2

PASSION: On June 17, 2018, Mexico defeated Germany, the defending World Cup champions, in a stunning 1-0 match.  It was Germany's first opening defeat in the World Cup since 1982.  Back in Mexico City, seismologists recorded a small earthquake on the Richter scale.  These scientists later discovered the earth's movement was not due to a geological shift, but the result of "mass jumping" by enthusiastic fans.  It was a great day in Mexico, and should inspire us to greater spiritual passion. The Week, 6/29/18, p.6

SACRIFICE: For two and half weeks during the summer of 2018, the world was transfixed on a dozen boys and their soccer coach trapped in a Thailand cave.  On June 23rd, 12 boys from the Wild Boars soccer team went exploring the Tham Luang cave with their coach.  Surging rainwater ultimately trapped them deep inside the cave where they remained until their rescue on July 7th-10th.  Thousands of volunteers from around the world converged on the scene to help accomplish the seemingly impossible task of rescuing them.  Expertise came from every corner of the globe, but some of the least noticed help was from the farmers in that region.  To stabilize the cave's floodwaters so those young men could be extricated, huge pumps pulled out more than 400,000 gallons of water per hour.  This resulted in over 125 farmers losing their annual crops.  But these farmers of humble, meager means said, "Let the water flood our farms."  Sabaitip Kunan told the BBC News, "Nobody in the village minds."  Lek Lapdaungpoin explained that he is delighted to help rescue the boys and is proud of his small contribution.  He said, "With the farming, we can make money again.  But 13 lives are not something we can create."  His wife noted, "We don't think about the damage."  The details of that rescue remind us that it appeared to be completely hopeless, yet with selfless sacrifice by so many, it became a testimony of what can happen when people give of themselves to save others. StraitsTimes.com/Asia, 7/5/18; Express.co.uk, 7/7/18; WashingtonPost.com, 7/13/18

SENIOR ADULTS: Before relegating senior adults as inconsequential to a church's future, carefully consider that 40% of all housing wealth in the U.S. resides in the hands of those 60 and older - nearly twice what it was in 2006. The Week, 6/1/18, p.35

VALUES: During the first weekend of August 2018, Chicago experienced a rampage of violence.  In the span of 60 hours at least 72 people were shot and 12 of those died.  A 13th homicide was being investigated at the same time.  In response to this horrific murderous weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "There is a shortage of values about what is right, what is wrong."  Sadly, that's true in every city. USA Today, 8/7/18, p.2A

EVERYDAY HUMOR

 

COMMUNICATION: In Family Circus, Dolly explained to her little brother, Jeffy, "You should always pay attention to me, 'cause I might say something important."  That's wisdom for us all when it comes to communication. Houston Chronicle, 8/22/18, p.D9

DIET: In June of 2018, a 12-year-old boy in Canada called 911 twice to complain about being forced to eat a salad.  Corporal Dal Hutchinson, of the Canadian Mounted Police, exhorted the boy not to use 911 services for non-emergency calls, and then added, "Many of us can relate to the dislike of salad at times." The Week, 6/29/18, p.6

REGRET: In May of 2018, Johanna Giselhall visited her local tattoo artist in Kyrkhult, Sweden and had him intertwine the names of her two children onto her arm.  After the session was over, Johanna realized that "Kevin" had been misspelled "Kelvin" with the permanent marker.  She said, "My heart stopped and I thought I was going to faint."  Paralyzed by the fact that her ink couldn't be easily altered, she decided to change her son's name to match the tattoo.  So at the age of two, Kevin became Kelvin simply because his mom's tattoo had a spelling error. Examiner, 5/31/18, p.20B

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