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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

August 2022


ADVERSITY: It’s widely purported to be a Chinese curse but there’s no real evidence to support that claim of this popular phrase: “may you live in interesting times.”  The premise is…easy times are not very interesting, but tough times certainly are.  We often long for the path of least resistance but adversity is what usually makes life more interesting. Time, 12/27/21, p.16
COMMUNICATION: It wasn’t until 1856 that postage was paid by the sender.  Prior to that, recipients were expected to pay.  Various forms of communication might improve if we reverted back and only paid for what we choose to receive. Saturday Evening Post, Nov/Dec 2020, p.28
CONTENTMENT: Talk about a recession is prolific and that congers up memories of The Great Recession (2007-2009).  In the depths of that recession during December of 2008, 80% of Americans said they were satisfied with how things were going in their personal life.  Investments and retirement accounts were cut in half as the markets dropped nearly 50%, yet in the throes of financial loss most people found contentment apart from money. AARP, September 2020, p.30
CRITICISM: The Dublin Airport in Ireland received over 18,000 complaints about noise in 2020 and 2021…from one person.  This individual is responsible for more than 90% of all noise complaints the airport receives and that person is on track to average 59 daily complaints in 2022.  Criticism always seems loud, but most complaints come from the same few. World, 5/21/22, p.28
EVANGELISM: Bill Bright (1921-2003) founded Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951 and wrote the widely used Gospel tract, The Four Spiritual Laws, a year later.  Dr. Bright was a zealous evangelist who often challenged Christians to share their faith by asking two consecutive questions: “What is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you?” and then, “Given your answer, what is the greatest thing that you can do for someone else?”  Hopefully, each answer revolves around Christ.  Patrick Morley, founder of the global men’s ministry, Man in the Mirror, says, “Every Christian man knows he should share his faith.  Not many do.”  To help refine the focus of evangelism, which intimidates so many, Morley states, “Evangelism is simply taking someone as far as they want to go toward Jesus at that particular moment.”  We’re not called to convince, but to care enough to effectively share. The Christian Man, Patrick Morley, 2019, p.220
GENEROSITY: When we’re tempted to not be generous, it’s helpful to remember that over 80% of the world lives on less than $10 per day. Mature Living, October 2018, p.43
GRIEF: Journalist Katie Couric has buried both of her parents, her sister, and her first husband.  In describing the process of grief, she noted some helpful counsel given to her along the way.  She said it’s like having a rock in your pocket.  “It’s always there, you just sometimes don’t notice it as much.”  Apologist Jim Denison recalled the experience of suddenly losing his dad ten days before Christmas during his senior year of college.  When he returned to school after the funeral, a friend who had lost her father and older sister gently encouraged him by saying, “Time helps.  It doesn’t heal, but it helps.”  Dr. Denison stated, “I’ll never forget her compassion.”  Grief changes us, but it doesn’t prevent us from healing. Parade, March 2019, p.10;
HELP: Steve Young played 15 seasons in the NFL from 1985 to 1999.  He followed Hall of Famer Joe Montana as the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback and was a Super Bowl champion three times.  Young was the Super Bowl XXIX MVP in 1995, and was selected to Pro Bowl seven times.  Few knew that he suffered from anxiety, which moved far beyond the pre-game jitters.  At the age of 30, he got much needed help and now advocates for others to seek treatment.  He said, “I really do look at it simply as being lost in the woods when a park ranger comes by.  Would you feel ashamed to ask him for directions?  No, you’d be an idiot not to ask him for directions.  I want this same kind of experience for everyone as we make this less shameful.  It would be foolish not to seek help for mental health.”  Asking for help is the first step in getting help. USA Today, 5/13/22, p.C3
JUDGING: Bill Russell died on July 31, 2022.  After his Hall of Fame basketball career with 11 NBA titles, he did commentary for TV.  Following a series between the Lakers and the Knicks, Russell received two letters from irate fans.  One wanted to know why he hated the Knicks, and the other wanted to know why he hated the Lakers.  After some thought, he mailed the Knicks fan the Lakers letter and the Lakers fan the Knicks letter.  It’s a good reminder that when we sit in judgment, we seldom see things clearly. The Samson Syndrome, Mark Atteberry, 2003, p.39
MONEY: When asked where revival begins, we might say on our knees or in the church.  But C.M. Ward (1909-1996) gave a different answer.  Ward was an evangelist, pastor, author, college president, and host of the popular Revivaltime radio program for 25 years (1953-1978).  Dr. Ward said, “Revival begins in the pocketbook” and then explained, “Revival starts when we are totally surrendered to God.  And the last thing we are usually willing to surrender to Him is our money.  That’s the thing we want to control most.” Today’s Christian Living, January 2018, p.12
PROBLEMS: Most people have no idea who Joseph Coyle (1872-1972) was, but his work sits in almost every refrigerator.  Coyle was a Canadian newspaperman in 1911 when he overheard a heated exchange between a farmer and a hotelier.  Both accused the other of broken eggs in the delivery.  He utilized what he had in abundance, newspaper, and devised a more secure solution for transporting eggs.  He later sold his interest in newspapers and devoted his time to the Coyle Egg Safety Carton, which proved to be a wise investment.  Two men argued about a problem while a bystander created a profitable solution. Reader’s Digest, April 2019, p.50
SIN: Oswald Chambers declared, “The root of all sin is the suspicion that God is not good.”  What began in the Garden (Gen. 3) continues to this day. Today’s Christian Living, March 2022, p.21
TRUTH: Fake information spreads on Twitter six times faster than truth.  We are uniquely drawn to that which seems true but is not (Proverbs 14:12). Fast Company, November 2021, p.23


GENEROSITY: Teena Nichols taught children in church and hoped to help them understand the concept of tithing.  She made a stack of 10 pennies for each child and then asked them to set aside one penny for God.  After hearing the assignment, one little boy responded, “You sure are stingy with God!”  He’s right…tithing really isn’t that excessive. Mature Living, November 2018, p.56
MONEY: Joan Rivers (1933-2014): “People say money is not the key to happiness, but I have always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.” The Week, 12/10/21, p.19
PERSPECTIVE: Alan Shepherd (1923-1998) was the first American in space (1961) and the only person to hit a golf ball on the moon (1971).  He always seemed to find humor in life and said of the space industry: “It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” The Week, 12,10,21, p.19
SELF: Comic strip character Garfield sounds a lot like some people we all know: “Jon and I have a lot in common…both of our lives revolve around me.” Beaumont Enterprise, 5/7/22, p.B8




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