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In Other Words...

A Research Service Of Facts & Humor For Christian Leaders

June 2018 ~ Issue 2


AMERICA: Noah Webster (1758-1843) was a brilliant American leader who created the standard for dictionaries, and was known as the Father of American Education.  His faith was evident in what he did and what he thought about America: "Every civil government is based upon some religion or philosophy of life.  Education in a nation will propagate the religion of that nation.  In America, the foundational religion was Christianity.  And it was sown in the hearts of Americans through the home and private and public schools for centuries.  Our liberty, growth, and prosperity was the result of a Biblical philosophy of life.  Our continued freedom and success is dependent on our educating the youth of America in the principles of Christianity."

CHANGE: Much has, is, and will change in America.  German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) said, "I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better."  The famed scientist also declared, "Never undertake anything for which you wouldn't have the courage to ask the blessing of heaven."  The enrichment of our culture will require change, and may we never entertain any change that could not be blessed by God. Cultural Preaching, Jim Denison, 6/28/17

FELLOWSHIP: On May 31st, Karthik Nemmani won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word koinonia.  Most champions win with a word few people have ever heard, much less spell.  The runner-up, Naysa Modi, probably felt like she had the harder word when she misspelled bewusstseinslage (a feeling devoid of sensory components).  Scripps' press release defined koinonia as an "intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community."  It may be a word uncommon enough to make for a great spelling bee word, but koinonia should be normative for every follower of Christ., 6/1/18

FREEDOM: The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is located near the Lincoln Memorial.  It's dedicated to the 36,574 Americans who died in the three-year war, the 103,284 who were wounded, and the 5.8 million who served in the armed forces during that time.  Each number represents an individual and the sacrifice they made.  On the granite wall this statement is prominently engraved, "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE."  It's a reminder we all need as we celebrate our freedoms.

GUILT: In 2015, Liz Vaccariello wrote about a letter of guilt in the Editor's Note section of Reader's Digest.  She explained how a reader had accepted payment for a joke many years ago that was not his or hers.  The writer said, "I consider what I did a lie and the money I have taken as stealing.  But I have waited, shamefully, until now to do the right thing."  With the anonymous typewritten note were four $100 bills, the amount received all those years ago.  Apparently that single breach of integrity had cost this person years of unabsolvable guilt.  Hopefully he or she is now sleeping better and can celebrate that others are benefiting from that act of repentance.  The money was forwarded to Comedy Cures, which uses humor to help chronically ill patients, and it's now being used to remind us all about the need for a clear conscience. Reader's Digest, May 2015, p.4

LIBERTY: Judge John Stevens came to national attention as a federal prosecutor who helped prosecute the case of three men who dragged James Byrd to his death in Jasper, Texas on June 7, 1998.  Because of his hard work to bring justice against such a heinous crime, Stevens was awarded the U.S. Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service.  Reflecting on his role in that case twenty years later, Stevens drew from the words of a speech by Wendell Phillips (1811-1884): "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."  Our privilege of liberty carries the responsibility of ongoing vigilance. Examiner 6/7/18, p.4A

SALVATION: While attending a worship service at the North Campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, I heard Dr. Chris Kouba beautifully clarify the reality of salvation with this statement: "Receiving Christ won’t make all of your problems go away, but your greatest problem will be resolved."  John 16:33 teaches us that believers are not immune from problems, but Romans 6:23 tells us Christ resolves our greatest problem.  The Gospel is hope without false hope. Editor's Personal Experience

TRUTH: William Penn (1644-1718) was a Quaker involved in the colonization of what became Pennsylvania.  He said, "Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it." Men of Integrity, January/February 2013, p.2/6

WORLDVIEW: Anthony Bourdain tragically took his life on June 8, 2018.  He uniquely parlayed his expertise as a chef and became a celebrity who traveled the world exploring all kinds of food and the people who ate it.  It seemed like a glamorous life but his worldview may have contributed to his own demise.  He declared, "Your body is not a temple: It's an amusement park.  Enjoy the ride."  1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us that our body is in fact a temple that was created for God to inhabit.  When that doesn't occur, the amusement rides grow stale and eventually make us sick.  Yet when God dwells within us, we are empowered to truly "enjoy the ride" (John 10:10). People 6/25/18, p.50



CONFLICT:Mike Kees bemoaned, "Nothing irks me more than that moment during an argument when I realize I'm wrong." Houston Chronicle, 3/25/18, p.G14

HEALTH FOOD: Comedy writer Megan Amram wrote, "I just spent $30 on apples at Whole Foods and then dropped both of them!" Reader's Digest, February 2015, p.95

TARIFFS: Tariffs seem to be on everyone's minds these days, so here's a true story that might lighten the mood.  Jamie Stinson challenged the children in her church to find something at their house that God made.  A little boy quickly exclaimed, "Everything I own is made in China." Children's Ministry, July/August 2013, p.61

WORRY: Charlie Brown explained, "I've developed a new philosophy: I dread only one day at a time." Reader's Digest, November 2014, p.28

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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