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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

May 2024

 

ADEQUACY: Eighty percent of woman and 73% of men don’t believe they’re good enough or adequate.  Scripture reminds us that our sufficiency comes from God alone because only He can make our insufficiency sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Worthy, Jamie Lima, 2024, p.v
 
ADVERSITY: UCLA’s legendary basketball coach, John Wooden, said, “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself.” Wall Street Journal, 3/16/24, p.C12
 
CHRISTIANITY: In 2006, Richard Dawkins belittled Christianity in The God Delusion, and his book is still highly touted on secular college campuses.  But before Easter of 2024, the infamous atheist found himself in an ironic dilemma.  He lives outside of London in Oxford and was troubled by the mayor’s edict to illuminate 30,000 lights for Ramadan, which overlapped Easter.  He said, “I must say I’m slightly horrified to hear Ramadan is being promoted instead (of Easter).  I feel we are a Christian country.”  He noted that statistics show Christianity is declining numerically in England “and I’m happy with that.”  Yet he stated, “I count myself a cultural Christian.  I think it would matter if we substituted any alternative religion, that would be truly dreadful.”  He explained his concern this way to the London Broadcasting Company, “It (Christianity) seems to me to be a fundamentally decent religion in a way that I think Islam is not.”  He then continued, “I find that I like to live in a culturally Christian country, although I do not believe a single word of the Christian faith.”  The salt & light of Christianity speak volumes while atheism doesn’t. FoxNews.com, 4/2/24
 
EMOTIONS: An insightful article about emotions exhorts parents to quit asking their kids how they feel.  Abigail Shrier noted this approach communicates “your happiness is the ultimate goal.”  Research consistently shows “the more adults value happiness, the less happy they tend to be.”  Even when happy, people often “wish I could be happier.”  Focusing on action rather than feelings is what leads to success and greater happiness.  That’s why the author wisely stated, “No winning coach asks his players to dwell on their feelings at halftime.” Wall Street Journal, 3/9/24, p.C1
 
FAITH: In an episode of Face the Nation that aired on Easter 2024, the archbishop of Washington, D.C. used the term “cafeteria Catholic.”  Cardinal Wilton Gregory respectfully addressed the issue of President Biden’s faith and noted that he attends Mass “regularly and with great devotion” but “picks and chooses dimensions of the faith to highlight while ignoring or even contradicting other parts.”  Just as David more easily saw the sins of another man in Nathan’s parable, we can readily point to the inconsistencies of others.  That’s why we need to remember that in addition to Cafeteria Catholics there are also Potluck Protestants. Wall Street Journal, 4/12/24, p.A13
 
GRADUATION: Francis Collins was the director of the National Institutes of Health under three U.S. presidents from 2009 to 2021.  He directed the National Human Genome Research Institute under two other presidents from 1993 to 2008.  This led to the mapping of the human genome, of which he stated, “It is humbling for me, and awe-inspiring to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.”  Collins describes himself as “a serious Christian” and recalled the counsel given by the speaker at his high school graduation.  He said the “commencement concluded by asking us whether we would explore and develop the spiritual part of our identity throughout our lives or wait for illness or advancing age to force a crash course.  Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that this is the most important question of all.”  Dr. Collins has studied scientific concepts few of us can truly comprehend, yet he believes the question about Jesus is the most important research of all. Reader’s Digest, December 2018, p.23
 
JOY: Author David Brooks states, “Joy often involves self-forgetting.”  Jesus’ call for us to deny ourselves is not punitive but prescriptive for joy. The Second Mountain, David Brooks, 2019, p.xxiv
 
LOVE: The witty & profound Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) would tell her kids, “I love you enough to let you hate me.”  True parental love occasionally has to do just that. DenisonForum.org, 1/20/22
 
MOTHERHOOD: In our world of ever-evolving technology it’s hard to imagine how different things might be without the contributions of a man who died nearly a century ago.  Thomas Edison was the most prolific inventor in American history and that stems from his mom.  He noted that had it not been for her influence in his life at a very critical time, “I should never likely have become an inventor.  I was always a careless boy, and with a mother of different mental caliber, I should have turned out badly.”  He wrote, “My mother was the making of me.”  Edison said she was the one who kept him on “the right path.”  The next time you turn on the lights, watch a movie, or listen to recorded music, be thankful for moms. 1001 Great Stories, Kent Hughes, 1998, p.290
 
MOTHERHOOD: The average mom starts her day at 6:23 am and her work doesn’t end until 8:31 pm.  A typical day involves just 1 hour and 7 minutes to herself. TheBriefing.net, 4/29/24
 
MOTHERHOOD: In conclusion of his 2006 novel, Mitch Albom wrote “there’s a story behind everything.  How a picture got on a wall.  How a scar got on your face.  Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking.  But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.” For One More Day, Mitch Albom, 2006
 
SIN: Famed singer James Taylor shared the following during an interview about addictions in his family of origin.  His dad was a brilliant, successful physician yet three of the five children ended up in a psychiatric hospital after their parents divorced.  Taylor explained why he thinks they ran off the rails: “My father was a very functional alcoholic, as was his father, and it always gets to the point where it’s not sustainable anymore.”  He used a visual from the pool table to describe how that plays out.  “In a break shot in billiards, things go from order to chaos in an instant.”  Sin ultimately becomes unsustainable and creates chaos out of order. AARP, May/June 2020, p.18
 
STRESS: Noting that Americans are more anxious now than before the pandemic, a Bloomberg headline stated, “The Great Unifying Force in America Right Now Is Stress.”  Unity across our country is elusive, yet research shows we are united on one thing…stress. Bloomberg.com, 11/2/23
 

EVERYDAY HUMOR

 
FAMILY: In a unique front-page article about loading dishwashers, it was noted that in “every partnership, there is a person who stacks the dishwasher like a Scandinavian architect and a person who stacks the dishwasher like a racoon on meth.” Wall Street Journal, 4/11/24, p.A1
 
MOTHERHOOD: A 4th-grader asked his mom, “What’s a metaphor?”  She replied, “My life’s a trainwreck.”  Her son said, “I know, but what’s a metaphor?” Reader’s Digest, Oct 2019, p.45
 
MOTHER’S DAY: Here are three sentiments shared with moms on their big day.  “Thanks for loving me almost as much as you love the dog.”  “You’re one of my favorite parents.”  “May you forever be mistaken as my sister.” Reader’s Digest, May 2020, p.38
 
PEOPLE: The Clarkston, Michigan Post Office got a “Return to Sender” letter with this message: “Addressee doesn’t live here anymore (THANK GOD).” Reader’s Digest, October 2020, p.36

 

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