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In Other Words...

A Research Service Of Facts & Humor For Christian Leaders

January 2018 ~ Issue 1


ADVERSITY: Nobody wants to start a New Year with adversity, but Kris Workman is doing just that.  He was one of the twenty people injured during the mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017.  His legs ache with nerve pain and he'll probably never walk again.  Uniquely, Workman was the last person the gunman shot before fleeing the church.  The point-blank shot to his back could have easily killed him, but he senses his survival has purpose.  That's why Workman was able to say on December 17, 2017, "This will probably be one of the most special Christmases that I've ever had."  Adversity has the power to refine. Houston Chronicle, 12/24/17, p.A1

CONTENTMENT: On October 24, 2017, Albert Einstein's theory of happiness sold for $1.3 million at a Jerusalem auction.  While traveling in Tokyo during 1922, the Nobel-winning scientist scribbled a note to the bellboy when he did not have cash for a tip.  He wrote, "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness."  He explained that due to his fame, the handwritten note "will probably be worth more than a regular tip."  Ninety-five years later it required a millionaire to buy that "tip," and the advice is equally valuable because it reminds us that contentment is central to a satisfying life. Houston Chronicle, 10/25/17, p.A14

FAITH: Twenty-six people were killed on November 5, 2017 at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.  Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose 14-year-old daughter Annabelle was killed that day, responded to the worst mass shooting in Texas history by stating, "You lean into what you don't understand.  You lean into the Lord, and I would just submit that to everyone."  Whether in tragedy or triumph, leaning into the Lord will always serve us well, regardless of how little we understand it. World, 12/30/17, p.70

FINANCIAL GOALS: Marcus Lemonis, who is worth millions, is best known for his TV series The Profit.  In a recent interview the successful businessman noted that the biggest obstacle to financial literacy (i.e., success) is pride.  He said, "Putting your pride aside is probably the biggest key."  Few if any will make important financial progress (getting out of debt, staying on a budget, saving for retirement, etc.,) without laying aside our pride so we can get the help and counsel we need. USA Today, 11/24/17, Insight p.8

HOPE: When responding to a street interviewer for the newspaper's weekly photo opp page, 13-year-old Daniella offered a quote that was popularized several years ago: "My computer screen is brighter than my future."  It makes you smile, then think, and then leaves you wondering how many people actually feel that way. TheCat5, 11/9/17, p.C23

LIFE: April 15, 2017, ushered in a historical milestone.  On a day that most of us can't even recall, Emma Morano died in Italy at the age of 117.  None of us knew her, but she was the last known person born in the 19th century.  Although the 1800s were a long time ago, this quiet passing reminds us that a time comes for each generation when the last remaining person dies.  Life is fleeting so be intentional every day. Time, 12/18/17, p.14

PASSION: From his dorm room in 1984, while still a student at the University of Texas, Michael Dell founded the computer company that bears his name.  In a 2014 interview, Dell said, "I'll care about Dell even after I'm dead."  That's passion! Inc., July 2014, p.84

TECHNOLOGY: If today you gave a smartphone to a Masai tribesman in the bush of Africa who has never seen technology, he would have access to more information than the president of the United States did in 2000. Reader's Digest, November 2014, p.145

VISION: Kevin Plank started Under Armour when he was a football player at the University of Maryland in 1996.  The athletic apparel company pulls in over $2 billion of annual revenue.  It's the third largest sportswear apparel company behind Nike and Addidas, and Plank has his sights set on being Number 1.  The mantra he uses to move his team toward that goal is: "We have not yet invented our defining product for the brand."  Visionary thinking looks beyond current or past success. Inc., July 2014, p.104

WORDS:  During the 2017 Christmas Eve service at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, President Trump heard Reverend James Harlan talk about the power of words.  This pastor of the church where Trump was married in 2005, noted the power of God's words, and the power of our own words.  In his message Harlan quoted Nelson Mandela: "It is never my custom to use words lightly.  If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die."  Harlan stated, "Words matter... Your words and mine can have as much destructive and divisive potential as creative and healing potential."  We'd all do well to remember the power of our words in 2018. Houston Chronicle, 12/26/17, p.A10


EVERYDAY HUMOR


DREAMS: Mike Ganis has a philosophy about dreams.  He says, "Never give up on your dreams - just keep sleeping." Houston Chronicle, 1/1/18, p.D4

EXERCISE: Every time I type "exercise" on my phone, it autocorrects it to "dreadful idea." Reader's Digest, November 2014, p.48

PEER PRESSURE: It's been fifty years since the historic "Ice Bowl" took place on December 31, 1967 at Lambeau Field.  The Green Bay Packers famously beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in that NFL playoff game, which sent them to Super Bowl II.  At kickoff, the temperature was 13 below zero with a wind-chill of nearly 50 below.  The Cowboys were ill-equipped for the cold.  Before the game in their locker room, defensive coach Ernie Stautner told his players that they would not wear gloves.  Bob Lilly, a future Hall of Fame lineman, voiced his affirmation by shouting, "Gloves are for sissies!"  They then went out to warm up and all of the Packers had gloves on.  Looking back, Lilly thinks gloves wouldn't have been such a bad idea after all. Beaumont Enterprise, 12/27/17, p.4C

RESOLUTIONS: Larry hustled over to his next-door neighbor's house just before midnight on New Year's Eve and rang the doorbell.  When Thad answered the door, Larry said, "I've resolved to be a nicer person in 2018 so I needed to pop over real quick before then and say you're a real moron." Houston Chronicle, 12/31/17, p.U2

WEIGHT: Wouldn't it be nice if losing weight were as easy as losing your keys, temper, or phone? Houston Chronicle, 12/30/17, p.D4

 

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