There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends with the letters “mt”.
Almonds are a member of the peach family
There are only 4 words in the English language that end in “dous”: Tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.
Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” movie.
It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes
“Stewardesses” is the longest word that is typed with the left hand only.
This is not my usual newsletter. I usually take a point of view and try to express it in a way that people might think about a bit. This newsletter is just me complaining. I guess I get to do that every 246th newsletter or so. It’s just that so many of the things I see and hear these days have caused me to shake my head in a kind of unbelief. It’s been said that facts are stubborn things. And as believers, much of the time we think we only deal with things that are not able to be thought of as facts. We think that everything we believe depends on, not just something not seen most of the time, but much of the time something never seen. I’m amused by the secular world’s take on our Faith. I don’t mean that I find it funny; I find it bordering on the ‘silly’. It must be the foolishness talked about in the Gospels. Anyway, here we go. Here is my current ‘this bugs me list’.
Complaint # 1-The creature has the ability to so easily ignore and even despise the Creator. I’m sure you’ve noticed how the secular so wants to dismiss God and passionately ridicule Him? Oh, they will tolerate every other religious belief and even get out of the way for some, but anything associated with Christ is immediately dismissed as nasty stuff. I heard Rosie (you know the one) imply that Christians were somehow to be equated with the violence of the terrorist because of Christianity’s equally violent beliefs. Come on Rosie. I wonder if anyone ever stops to think about that kind of statement let alone check the facts to see if it is historically true. Fact is, how do all the deaths caused with the cry of religion stack up against Hitler’s Gestapo and the killing of 11 million Jews, Mao’s 65 million deaths in China, Stalin’s Gulag numbers of 30 million, Pol Pot’s 3 million slaughtered in Cambodia, 3 million in the Congo and the 3 million Christians killed in the genocide in the Sudan in the 1990’s. Wonder if Rosie just, maybe, forgot about those? None of those regimes had Christian leaders; rather they were for the most part atheist intellectuals, responsible for all those deaths in the name of their power. Truth is more people have been killed by any one of those secular regimes than by all the religious persecutions added together. Yet we get characterized in the same group as the Nazis by many today. Actually, their statements are so far from the ‘facts’ it falls into that silly thinking that’s so common, but the secular falls, and eagerly falls, for it just the same. I’m kind of tired of those kind of charges targeted at us today. Ted Turner has called Christianity ‘a religion for losers’. What mystifies me is that no one seems to defend our Faith against such charges. Oh, we’ll have someone yell and scream, but how ‘bout just being able to express a good ol’ dose of the truth…just the facts! The facts would go further than the yelling and screaming which are easily dismissed by most people. That’s the fact here.
Complaint #2-What we do to our kids: We desensitize them with our language; we stimulate them with our television, movies, the internet and magazines and then act surprised when we help create a world of trouble in their lives. Rather than giving them the most potential to succeed, we load them up with the most potential to fail and then look the other way when the light of day shines on the causes of so much trouble in children’s lives today. Perhaps no one is more aware of this than Dr. James Dobson, who had been targeted for all kinds of ridicule for exposing the effects of pornography on children. In our culture we glorify negative behavior and condemn good with much of our communication systems. We take men that do evil things, show them occasionally doing something good, and ‘trick’ our minds by making heroes out of them in the media. I get ‘bummed’ when I see parents grin about things that hurt the hearts and minds of our kids. Our children have gone from being precious and treasures for our caretaking, to simply being the next consumer group that will buy the next fad, the next eye-candy with no regard for the character of the child. We encourage them in many directions that lead to failure and then blame them for having failed. Have you even heard the word ‘character’ being used when talking about kids in the past 10 years? Fact is we create much of the mess we find our children in today and deny all responsibility for having done so in our intellect. This fact sometimes gets over looked for our convenience I think.
Complaint #3-What we do to our economy: I’m just beginning to get kind of sunburned about this one. As I write this newsletter the US Debt Clock spins at an amazing speed. Take a look at it at usdebtclock.org. It moves so fast that I can’t keep up with it but here comes a snapshot as I write this letter: US Debt $13,179,469,129,916, –Debt per citizen $42,554, –Debt per taxpayer $119,184. If that’s no big deal, you can go ahead and send your check to the U.S. Treasury and get paid up. And, don’t forget to ‘times two’ that taxpayer check if you’re married. Could we successfully run our household with those portions of debt? Do you think we will not see any results from those figures over the next few years? Ready the printing presses please! Burying our heads to these facts will not help us or our children. Here’s what bothers me about this issue: Biblical kingship was characterized by The King taking care of, loving and providing for those subject to The King. He provided for them and looked out for them. Leaders today do as they wish regardless of the consequences to those they have an opportunity to serve. Power wins out over love. We have too many buildings and bridges with politician’s names on them but can’t seem to find a way to mow the weeds along the highway or clean up in front of the post office. Facts are stubborn.
In its attempt at power and control, the world has worn away our resistance to trouble. In the book The Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis wrote: “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without sign posts”. We may have lost the ability to do as Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggested during WWII: “if we see that a madman is driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can’t, as a Christian, simply wait and comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrest the steering wheel out of the hands of the madman.” Bonhoeffer later joined in a plot against Hitler that cost him his life. Instead the secular world has picked up the scripture “Thou shall not judge” and used it to hold hostage any distinction between good and evil. All of a sudden we live in a world where judging evil is far worse than doing evil.
Ok, I’m done complaining… well maybe. Knowing all those facts doesn’t discourage me. I’m big into just doing something, doing even small things, to make a difference. It’s kind of passive- aggressive where the aggressive part is not mean spirited, it’s only confident. The passive part is characterized with being firm and consistent. It’s not too late to choose Life. Can you imagine the world that faced the 12 disciples as they began the journey to spread this message, this Gospel? Twelve! How much was against them? For practical purposes the whole world. They had no internet to spread the Word, no newspapers, no printing presses, television, no email or facebook. They just started doing the little things. They started doing the right things. As a result, because the Gospel is such a powerful message that changes things that seem unchangeable, it has spread throughout the world in spite of the entire world’s opposition.
Steven Curtis Chapman has a line in his song, “Facts are Facts”: ‘These days some say there’s no one way to believe, just keep it loose, you’re free to choose, there’s no absolute, it’s all relative you see. So I’m calling all defenders of the Truth to live a life that spells out God’s worldview…I know there’s a God who knows my name. And, a Son who died to take the blame….cause, promises are promises and facts are facts.’ Facts are our friends! My hope is in the belief that Truth, while always resisted by the creature, will win out somehow! So far the facts since Christ Jesus prove it.