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TACT Admiral Heihachio Togo, whose brilliant tactics had destroyed the Russian fleet at the battle of the Sea of Japan in 1905, visited the United States shortly after the Russo-Japanese War. At a state dinner in Admiral Togo\'s honor, William Jennings Bryan was asked to propose a toast. Because Bryan was well known as a strict teetotaler, it was feared that an embarrassing breakdown of protocol was about to occur. But as Bryan stood to propose his toast, he held up his glass and said, \"Admiral Togo has won a great victory on water, and I will therefore toast him in water. When Admiral Togo wins a victory on champagne I will toast him in champagne.\" Today in the Word, September 17, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John Wesley and a preacher-friend of plain habits were once invited to dinner where the host\'s daughter, noted for her beauty, had been profoundly impressed by Wesley\'s preaching. during a pause in the meal, Wesley\'s friend took the young woman\'s hand and called attention to the sparkling rings she wore. \"What do you think of this, sir, for a Methodist hand?\" The girl turned crimson. Wesley likewise was embarrassed, for his aversion to jewelry was only too well known. But with a benevolent smile, he simply said, \"The hand is very beautiful.\" Wesley\'s remark both cooled the too-hot water poured by his friend, and made the foot-washing gentle. The young woman appeared at the evening service without her jewels, and became a strong Christian. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is a story that when Harry Truman was speaking at a Grange convention in Kansas City, Mrs. Truman and a friend were in the audience. Truman in his speech said, \"I grew up on a farm and one thing I know--farming means manure, manure, manure, and more manure.\" At this, Mrs. Truman\'s friend whispered to her, \"Bess, why on earth don\'t you get Harry to say fertilizer?\" \"Good Lord, Helen,\" replied Mrs. Truman, \"You have no idea how many years it has taken me to get him to say manure!\" Bits and Pieces, April, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Putting it nicely, but not quite precisely. Norma Becket, quoted by Mack McGinnis. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When pointing out a mistake by another person, always consider the person\'s feelings. Milton Berle was dining with his wife, Ruth, in a Hollywood restaurant. When a waiter put too much pepper on her salad. Mrs. Berle tasted it and said, \"Hmm. Needs more salad.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his old age, President James Madison suffered from many ailments and took a variety of medicines. It is said that a longtime friend from a nearby county sent him a box of vegetable pills, one of his own home remedies, asking to be informed if they brought relief. In time he received one of those gracious and carefully worded letters for which Madison was noted. It went something like this: \"My dear friend, I thank you very much for the box of pills. I have taken them all; and while I cannot say I am better since taking them, it is quite possible that I might have been worse if I had not taken them.\" Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TALENT Bertoldo de Giovanni is a name even the most enthusiastic lover of art is unlikely to recognize. He was the pupil of Donatello, the greatest sculptor of his time, and he was the teacher of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor of all time. Michelangelo was only 14 years old when he came to Bertoldo, but it was already obvious that he was enormously gifted. Bertoldo was wise enough to realize that gifted people are often tempted to coast rather than to grow, and therefore he kept trying to pressure his young prodigy to work seriously at his art. One day he came into the studio to find Michelangelo toying with a piece of sculpture far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo grabbed a hammer, stomped across the room, and smashed the work into tiny pieces, shouting this unforgettable message, \"Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly!\" Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We have nothing to do with how much ability we\'ve got, or how little, but with what we do with what we have. The man with great talent is apt to be puffed up, and the man with little (talent) to belittle the little. Poor fools! God gives it, much or little. Our part is to be faithful, doing the level best with every bit and scrap. And we will be if Jesus\' spirit controls. S.D. Gordon, The Bent-knee Time. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TARGET Imagine what the game of bowling would be like if you couldn\'t see the pins you were trying to hit. In 1933, Bill Knox did just that -- and bowled a perfect game. In Philadelphia\'s Olney Alleys, Bill had a screen placed just above the fowl line to obscure his view of the lane. His purpose was to demonstrate the technique of spot bowling, which involves throwing the ball at a selected floor mark on the near end of the lane. Like many bowlers, Bill knew that you can do better if you aim at a mark close to you that\'s in line with the pins. He proved his point with a perfect 300 game of 12 strikes in a row. Spot bowling illustrates part of a wise approach to life. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the return of Christ, he reminded them that the ultimate goal of their salvation was to \"be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ\" (5:23). Paul taught them to focus their eyes on near actions that were in line with that goal. He urged them to comfort one another, help the weak, warn the wayward, pray without ceasing, and rejoice always. Then he added that we must do this in the power of Christ who is working in us (vv. 23-24). Lord, help us to see what we can do today that will keep us focused on Your eternal goal for us. M.R.D.II, Daily Bread, August 4, 1992. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAXES A man on vacation was strolling along outside his hotel in Acapulco, enjoying the sunny Mexican weather. Suddenly, he was attracted by the screams of a woman kneeling in front of a child. The man knew enough Spanish to determine that the child had swallowed a coin. Seizing the child by the heels, the man held him up, gave him a few shakes, and an American quarter dropped to the sidewalk. \"Oh, thank you sir!\" cried the woman. \"You seemed to know just how to get it out of him. Are you a doctor?\" \"No, ma\'am,\" replied the man. \"I\'m with the United States Internal Revenue Service.\" Bits & Pieces, March 31, 1994, p. 5. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IRS auditor to taxpayer, as nurse prepares a syringe: \"She is going to numb the area around your wallet.\" David Harbaugh, Medical Examiner. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In a newly created nation in Africa, an elderly native was told that he was going to be taxed to support the government. \"Why?\" he asked. \"To protect you from enemies, to feed you when you are hungry, to care for you when you are sick, and to educate your children,\" he was told. \"I see,\" said the old man. \"It\'s like I have this dog, and the dog is hungry. He comes begging to me for food. So I take my knife, cut off a piece of the poor dog\'s tail and give it to him to eat. That, I believe is what this taxation is.\" Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second. Jim Fiebig, NANA. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEACHING Life is a matter of building. Each of us has the opportunity to build something -- a secure family, a good reputation, a career, a relationship to God. But some of those things can disappear almost overnight due to financial losses, natural disasters and other unforeseen difficulties. What are we to do? Daniel Webster offered excellent advice, saying, \"If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men\'s immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity. Morning Glory, July 3, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William A. Ward has said, \"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. Progress Magazine, December 23, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- An item in \"The Report Card\" told of a study done in Colorado in which 3000 high school seniors were asked about their best teachers. From their responses this composite was drawn. The ideal teacher (1) is genuinely concerned and interested in students as individuals; (2) requires students to work; (3) is impartial in dealing with students; and (4) is obviously enthusiastic about teaching. Today In The Word, Oct, 1989, p. 25. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Teaching is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the minds of the ignorant by the means of the incompetent...is the transfer of material from the teacher\'s notes to the student\'s notebook, without it going through either\'s minds. J. Dennis Miller, president of Church Youth Development states that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claims that adults learn in the following pattern: 1) acceptance of absolutes; 2) subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes; 3) application of truth received to life experience. Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning. Youth, Miller contends, learn in a different way: 1) evaluation of life experience; 2) discovery of attitudes and actions which validate their life experiences; 3) identifying truth based on their relevance to life experience; 4) acceptance of truths that prove reliable from life experience. Life experience is the main influence on the learning young mind. Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEAMWORK Exodus 20:16 Psalm 50:20 We have only one person to blame, and that\'s each other. Barry Beck of the New York Rangers, on who started a brawl during the NHL\'s1997 Stanley Cup playoffs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There\'s a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago. He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn\'t mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show\'s director agreed happily. But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes. Finally he took a last bow and left the stage. Backstage someone stopped him and said, \"I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?\" Jimmy answered, \"I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed. You can see for yourself if you\'ll look down on the front row.\" In the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left. Together, they were able to clap, and that\'s exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully. Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 104-105. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bees can show you something about teamwork. On a warm day about half the bees in a hive stay inside beating their wings while the other half go out to gather pollen and nectar. Because of the beating wings, the temperature inside the hive is about 10 degrees cooler than outside. The bees rotate duties and the bees that cool the hive one day are honey gatherers the next. Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992, p. 19-20. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It\'s those stately geese I find especially impressive. Winging their way to a warmer climate, they often cover thousands of miles before reaching their destination. Have you ever studied why they fly as they do? It is fascinating to read what has been discovered about their flight pattern as well as their in-flight habits. Four come to mind. 1. Those in front rotate their leadership. When one lead goose gets tired, it changes places with one in the wing of the V-formation and another flies point. 2. By flying as they do, the members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. One author states that by flying in a V-formation, the whole flock gets 71 percent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own. 3. When one goose gets sick or wounded, two fall out of formation with it and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the struggler until it\'s able to fly again. 4. The geese in the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. I suppose it\'s their way of announcing that they\'re following and that all is well. For sure, the repeated honks encourage those in front to stay at it. As I think about all this, one lesson stands out above all others: it is the natural instinct of geese to work together. Whether it\'s rotating, flapping, helping, or simply honking, the flock is in it together...which enables them to accomplish what they set out to do. Chuck Swindoll, letter, October, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next time a committee is appointed and the committee names several task forces to do its job, think of this story: To highlight its annual picnic one year, a company rented two racing shells and challenged a rival company to a boat race. The rival company accepted. On the day of the picnic, everyone entered into the spirit of the event. Women wore colorful summer dresses and big, floppy hats. Men wore straw skimmers and white pants. Bands played and banners waved. Finally the race began. To the consternation of the host company, the rival team immediately moved to the front and was never headed. It won by 11 lengths. The management of the host company was embarrassed by its showing and promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team\'s chances in a rematch the following year. The committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race. They met for three months and issued a preliminary report. In essence, the report said that the rival crew had been unfair. \"They had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beat,\" the report said. \"We had one person rowing and eight coxswains.\" The chairman of the board thanked the committee and sent it away to study the matter further and make recommendations for the rematch. Four months later the committee came back with a recommendation: \"Our guy has to row faster.\" Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 5-6. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I\'m just a plowhand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they\'ve got one heartbeat together, a team. There\'s just three things I\'d ever say: If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That\'s all it takes to get people to win football games for you. Bear Bryant. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Every year in Alaska, a 1000-mile dogsled race, a run for prize money and prestige, commemorates an original \"race\" run to save lives. Back in January of 1926, six-year-old Richard Stanley showed symptoms of diphtheria, signaling the possibility of an outbreak in the small town of Nome. When the boy passed away a day later, Dr. Curtis Welch began immunizing children and adults with an experimental but effective anti-dipheheria serum. But it wasn\'t long before Dr. Welch\'s supply ran out, and the nearest serum was in Nenana, Alaska--1000 miles of frozen wilderness away. Amazingly, a group of trappers and prospectors volunteered to cover the distance with their dog teams! Operating in relays from trading post to trapping station and beyond, one sled started out from Nome while another, carrying the serum, started from Nenana. Oblivious to frostbite, fatigue, and exhaustion, the teamsters mushed relentlessly until, after 144 hours in minus 50-degree winds, the serum was delivered to Nome. As a result, only one other life was lost to the potential epidemic. Their sacrifice had given an entire town the gift of life. Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEEN AGE \"Teen pregnancy is at the root of nearly every other social problem in the U.S.,\" according to Joycelyn Elders, MD, who was the keynote speaker at a recent American Academy of Pediatrics meeting. Look at the Figures: -90% of Americans who are currently serving time in U.S. prisons were born to teenage mothers. Pregnancy is the leading reason young girls drop out of high school. The public-assistance tab for teen mothers and their children in 1991 was $26 billion. American Medical News. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Teen facts. Since the popular push for contraceptives for teens began, teenage sexual activity and pregnancy have increased 400%. 70% of unwed teen mothers will go on welfare. Of teens who marry because of pregnancy, 60% will be divorced in five years. Josh McDowell, Family Happiness is Homemade, Vol. 14, No. 6, June 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why do teens drink? 66% cited stress and boredom, 25% said they drink to get high, and 31 percent said they drink alone. In 1989 3000 teens between the ages of 15 and 19 died in alcohol-related auto accidents. The favored drink among teenagers is wine coolers, but many choose beer because it is cheaper and easier to get. Students annually consume 35 percent of all wine coolers sold in the U.S. or 31 million gallons. They also consume 1.1 billion cans of beer, or 102 million gallons. Spokesman Review, December 30, 1991, p. B1. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TELEPHONE Mark Twain was once asked to record a Christmas message on an early gramophone. This is what he said, \"It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, and admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage--every man and woman of us all throughout the whole earth--may eventually be gathered in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone.\" Bits and Pieces, December 1991, p. 13. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TELEVANGELISM A Gallup Poll reveals that 78 percent of the public believes televangelists are untrustworthy with money, 71 percent say they are dishonest, 67 percent say they are insincere, and 61 percent say they don\'t care about people. Quoted in Moody Monthly, December, 1989, p. 72. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TELEVISION Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you would not have in your home. David Frost. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Television may be responsible for doubling our crime rate in the United States, suggests Brandon Centerwall, psychiatrist at the University of Washington, in a recent study reported in the June 1992 Journal of the American Medical Association. Centerwall analyzed crime statistics both before and after TV was introduced in several communities. Those comparisons cause him to conclude that prolonged exposure to violence on TV has increased the number of murders in the U.S. by 10,000 each year. He sees TV as a \"causal factor\" in about 70,000 rapes and 700,000 injurious assaults annually. Michael Medved, Hollywood vs. America. (Harper Collins/Zondervan, 1992), quoted in Leadership, Summer 1993, p. 76. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \"A Florida State University study reported that a typical prime-time hour (of television) contains an average of 1.6 references to intercourse, 1.2 references to prostitution and rape, 4.7 sexual innuendos, 1.8 kisses, and 1 suggestive gesture. In all, TV characters talk about sex or display sexual behavior 15 times an hour, or once every four minutes.\" Youth Worker Update, quoted in Signs of the Times, June, 1993, p. 6. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Long before the advent of television, long before Johnny Carson and David Letterman, philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote: \"Suppose someone invented an instrument, a convenient little talking tube which, say, could be heard over the whole land...I wonder if the police would not forbid it, fearing that the whole country would become mentally deranged if it were used.\" Charles Colson, Against the Night, p. 41. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hollywood really is different from the rest of the country. A survey of 104 top television writers and executives found that their attitudes toward moral and religious questions aren\'t shared by their audience. Believe adultery is wrong: Hollywood 49%, Everyone else 85%. Have no religious affiliation: Hollywood 45%, Everyone else 4%. Believe homosexual acts are wrong: Hollywood 20%, Everyone else 76%. Believe in a woman\'s right to abortion: Hollywood 97%, Everyone else 59%. The Center for Media and Public Affairs, \"The Elite and How to Avoid It\", Newsweek, July 20. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Percentage of sexual acts depicted or referred to on soap operas that are between married partners: 3% Charis Conn (Ed.), What Counts: The Complete Harper\'s Index. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Percentage of American\'s who watch TV during dinner: 50% Charis Conn (Ed.), What Counts: The Complete Harper\'s Index. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Religion is virtually invisible on network television, a recent study concludes. Scholars from three universities who monitored 100 prime-time TV shows aired by ABC, NBC, CBS, and the Fox Network determined that references to religion rarely appear on the screen, and when they do, religious beliefs or practices are seldom presented in a positive light. The survey found that 95% of all speaking characters on TV programs have no identifiable religious affiliation. Thomas Skill, a University of Dayton researcher who helped compile the report commissioned by the American Family Association, said television\'s treatment of religion \"tends to be best characterized as abuse through neglect.\" Skill said ABC showed the greatest respect toward religious behavior, while Fox most often ridiculed religion or linked it to humor. National & International Religion Report, March, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Only 700 people--writers, producers and actors--produce 75% of all TV programming. According to a Lichter-Rothman survey, 86 percent never or seldom attend a church or synagogue; 84 percent say government should make no laws regarding sex; and 95 percent believe homosexuality is not wrong. Intercessors for America Newsletter, Vol. 15, No. 6, June, 1988. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The A.C. Nielson Co., which measures television audiences and their behavior, revealed that in the average American home the television set is on six hours and fourteen minutes per day. This is 2 hours more per day than the daily average in the 1960\'s which is approximately the same point in time that the Standard Achievement Test scores began to decline. This time frame is significant because the first generation to cut its teeth on TV began taking SATs in the early 1960\'s, which is, of course, when the decline in scores started. Media and Methods reported that while the TV is on in the American home approximately 2100 hours per year, the average American spends only five hours per year reading books. Resources, #2, May/June, 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The average number of hours that a U.S. household with a pay cable hookup spends watching TV each week is only nine minutes less than 60 hours! That works out to nearly two-and-a-half days per week. A household with basic cable spends 54 hours and 35 minutes before the tube, while a household without cable TV spends 47 hours and 17 minutes. Resources, #2, May/June, 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The average young teenage American girl views 1,500 references to sexual acts on TV annually, according to a study at Michigan State University. Boys of that age view an average of nearly 1,300 such and attend 17 R-rated movies annually. According to the teens studied, parents \"never\" or \"not often\" limited their TV viewing. There\'s little indication that parents exercise any control, positive or negative, over TV viewing. Homemade, March, 1989. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Percentage of Americans who say watching TV is their favorite way of spending an evening: 33. Who watch TV during dinner: 50. Who say a TV set is a necessity: 64. 1988 Gallup Report on Book Buying, reported in Zondervan Publishing House press release; Roper Organization -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On the table side by side; The Holy Bible and the TV Guide. One is well worn but cherished with pride, (Not the Bible, but the TV Guide). One is used daily to help folk decide, No! It isn\'t the Bible, it\'s the TV Guide. As pages are turned, what shall we see? Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV. Then confusion reigns, they can\'t all agree On what they shall watch on the old TV. So they open the book in which they confide (No, not the Bible, it\'s the TV Guide). The Word of God is seldom read, Maybe a verse e\'er they fall into bed. Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be, Not from reading the Bible; from watching TV. So, then back to the table, side by side, Is the Holy Bible and the TV Guide. No time for prayer, no time for the Word; The plan of salvation is seldom heard. Forgiveness of sin so full and free Is found in the Bible, not on TV! In the house Of Mr. & Mrs. Spouse He and she Would watch TV, And never a word Between them was spoken Until the day The set was broken, Then, \"How do you do?\" Said He to She. I don\'t believe we\'ve met. Spouse is my name. What\'s yours?\" he asked. \"Why, mine\'s the same!\" Said She to He. \"Do you suppose we could be...?\" But the set came suddenly right about And they never did find out. From a letter to Ann Landers. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Billy Graham recently (2/84) reported the results of a survey that found the viewing habits of Christians and non-Christians show no discernable differences in either time spent in viewing or content viewed. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I will walk with integrity of heart within my house. I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. Psalm 101. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the U.S. preschool children make up the largest TV audience with a weekly average viewing time of at least 30.4 hours. By the age of 17 the average American child has logged 15,000 hours watching TV, the equivalent of 2 years, day and night. In 1983 the average household (in the US) spent seven hours and two minutes each day in front of the Screen, 14 minutes more than in 1982 and two hours, 32 minutes more than in the 1950s. Guidelines: A. Priorities: TV should not come before personal and family devotions, church responsibilities, schoolwork, or household chores. B. Personal growth: TV should not become a substitute for reading good books nor replace family sharing. C. Principles: TV programs should be rejected if they; 1) present violence as a legitimate way of achieving goals. 2) Approve of adultery, homosexuality, or sex before marriage, either directly or by implication. 3) Reflect a negative attitude toward the sacredness of the family and fidelity in marriage. 4) Minimize the seriousness of such sins as murder, dishonesty, greed, lust, profanity, and immorality. The 39,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics says too much TV watching by your children can turn them violent, aggressive or overweight--and possibly all three. In their first statement in six years on kids and TV, the pediatricians last month advised the nation\'s parents to reduce their children\'s video-viewing by at least half. Data from the A.C. Nielsen Co. reveal that children aged 2 to 5 currently watch about 25 hours of TV a week; those 6 to 11 watch more than 22 hours a week; and those in the 12 to 17 age-bracket watch 23 hours a week. The pediatricians maintain that by the time today\'s child reaches age 70, he or she will have spent approximately seven years in front of the tube. Parade Magazine, May 27, 1990, p. 13. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The TV set is my shepherd. My spiritual growth shall want. It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for his names\'s sake, because it requireth all of my spare time. It keepeth me from doing my duty as a Christian, because it presenteth so many good shows that I must see. It restoreth my knowledge of the things of the world and keepeth me from the study of God\'s Word. It leadeth me in the paths of failing to attend the evening worship services and doing nothing in the kingdom of God. Yea, though I live to be 100 I shall keep on viewing television as long as itwill work, for it is my closest companion. Its sound and its picture, they comfort me. It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family. It fills my head with ideas which differ from those set forth in the word of God. Surely, no good thing will come of my life, because my television offereth me no good time to do the will of God; thus I will dwell crownless in the house of the Lord forever. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Actual or implied sexual intercourse takes place 2.7 times every hour, with 88% of all sex represented as taking place outside of marriage. Youth Leader\'s Source Book, p. 21. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commercials are very interesting. We have been able to calculate that the average kid will see about 750,000 of them between the ages of six and 18, which makes them about the most important source of instruction of our children in America today. They are 30 second teaching modules, and the messages they teach are really quite striking. First, they teach that all problems are resolvable. Second, they teach that all problems are resolvable fast. And third, that all problems are resolvable fast through the means of technology. Television commercials do not stress that problems have origins or roots. Problems just seem to strike, which is, of course, very well suited to TV because TV always communicates a sense of the now, of the immediate. Neil Postman, professor of media ecology at New York Univ., Youthletter, Dec, 1979, p. 92. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEMPER My life is in the hands of any fool who makes me lose my temper. Joseph Hunter. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEMPERAMENT Ed McManus, editor of The Jokesmith newsletter, has put out a booklet of humor about folks in human resources. It\'s called What is a Human Resource? and in it he explains how people get assigned to particular jobs. You leave them in a conference room for four hours. Then, you go back to see what they\'re doing. If they don\'t look up when you enter the room, assign them to the Security Department. If they\'re counting the butts in the ashtray, put them in Finance. If they\'ve taken the table apart, put them in Engineering. If they\'re screaming and waving their arms, send them off to Manufacturing. And if they\'ve left early, put them in Sales. Bits & Pieces, March 4, 1993, p. 10. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEMPLE Several small organizations intent on rebuilding the temple received additional publicity, and perhaps credibility, in October when Israel\'s Religious Affairs Ministry sponsored the first conference of Temple Research. One of the most zealous groups is the Temple Institute, which has reconstructed 38 of the 103 ritual implements required for sacrifices. \"Our task is to advance the cause of the temple and to prepare for its establishment, not just talk about it,\" says director Zev Golan. \"No one can say how, and no one wants to do it by force. But sooner or later, in a week or in a century, it will be done.\" Two Talmudic schools near the Western (Wailing) Wall are teaching students details of temple service. Other scholars are researching genealogies to identify members of the priestly line. Plans call for an organizing convention of priestly descendants next year. One group of Jewish activists, the Temple Mount Faithful, dedicated a three-ton \"cornerstone\" two kilometers from the temple site. Police prevented them from staging the ceremony in the Western Wall Plaza. Moody Monthly, December, 1989, p. 74. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEMPORARY On November 25, 1895, a cornerstone of ice was laid in Leadville, Colorado -- the beginning of the largest ice palace ever built in America. In an effort to bolster the town\'s sagging economy, the citizens staged a winter carnival. On New Year\'s Day of 1896, the town turned out for the grand opening. The immense palace measured 450 x 320 feet. The towers that flanked the entrance were 90 feet high. Inside was a 16,000-square-foot skating rink. But by the end of March the palace was melting away, along with the hopes of Leadville. The thousands of visitors had spent very little. Today in the Word, August 4, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If anything looks like it could withstand time, it\'s Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. But up close, maintenance crews have found something disturbing -- cracks running through the granite faces of Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. The monument isn\'t in immediate danger, but experts say that without a facelift the world\'s largest sculpture could begin crumbling. Water runs into the cracks and freezes in winter, pushing on the rock with a force of 2,000 pounds per square inch. Today in the Word, October 3. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEMPTATION It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances. Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them: 1. Materialism. 2. Pride. 3. Self-centeredness. 4. Laziness. 5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness. 5. (Tie) Sexual lust. 7. Envy. 8. Gluttony. 9. Lying. Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent). Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We can supplement our accountability to others by reading slowly through literature designed to challenge our Christian maturity. Consider, as an example, these questions related to sexual purity that I had to read carefully as I read Kent Hughes\' Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome: 1. Are we being desensitized by the present evil world? Do things that once shocked us now pass us by with little notice? Have our sexual ethics slackened? 2. Where do our minds wander when we have no duties to perform? 3. What are we reading? Are there books or magazines or files in our libraries that we want no one else to see? 4. What are we renting at the local video stores? How many hours do we spend watching TV? How many adulteries did we watch last week? How many murders? How many did we watch with our children? 5. How many chapters of the Bible did we read last week? Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, p. 120-121. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Historian Shelby Foote tells of a soldier who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War and was ordered to go to the rear. The fighting was fierce and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer. \"Captain, give me a gun!\" he shouted. \"This fight ain\'t got any rear!\" Daily Walk, July 10, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Toad baked some cookies. \"These cookies smell very good,\" said Toad. He ate one. \"And they taste even better,\" he said. Toad ran to Frog\'s house. \"Frog, Frog,\" cried Toad, \"taste these cookies that I have made.\" Frog ate one of the cookies, \"These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!\" said Frog. Frog and Toad ate many cookies, one after another. \"You know, Toad,\" said Frog, with his mouth full, \"I think we should stop eating. We will soon be sick.\" \"You are right,\" said Toad. \"Let us eat one last cookie, and then we will stop.\" Frog and Toad ate one last cookie. There were many cookies left in the bowl. \"Frog,\" said Toad, \"let us eat one very last cookie, and then we will stop.\" Frog and Toad ate one very last cookie. \"We must stop eating!\" cried Toad as he ate another. \"Yes,\" said Frog, reaching for a cookie, \"we need willpower.\" \"What is willpower?\" asked Toad. \"Willpower is trying hard not to do something you really want to do,\" said Frog. \"You mean like trying hard not to eat all these cookies?\" asked Toad. \"Right,\" said Frog. Frog put the cookies in a box. \"There,\" he said. \"Now we will not eat any more cookies.\" \"But we can open the box,\" said Toad. \"That is true,\" said Grog. Frog tied some string around the box. \"There,\" he said. \"Now we will not eat any more cookies.\" \"But we can cut the string and open the box.\" said Toad. \"That is true,\" said Frog. Frog got a ladder. He put the box up on a high shelf. \"There,\" said Frog. \"Now we will not eat any more cookies.\" \"But we can climb the ladder and take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box,\" said Toad. \"That is true,\" said Frog. Frog climbed the ladder and took the box down from the shelf. He cut the string and opened the box. Frog took the box outside. He shouted in a loud voice. \"Hey, birds, here are cookies!\" Birds came from everywhere. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away. \"Now we have no more cookies to eat,\" said Toad sadly. \"Not even one.\" \"Yes,\" said Frog, \"but we have lots and lots of willpower.\" \"You may keep it all, Frog,\" said Toad. \"I am going home now to bake a cake.\" Ray & Anne Ortlund, Renewal, Navpress, 1989, p. 73-74. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the \"sundew.\" It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim. Our Daily Bread, December 11, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is temptation? Seduction to evil, solicitation to wrong. It stands distinguished from trial thus: trial tests, seeks to discover the man\'s moral qualities or character; but temptation persuades to evil, deludes, that it may ruin. The one means to undeceive, the other to deceive. The one aims at the man\'s good, making him conscious of his true moral self; but the other at his evil, leading him more or less unconsciously into sin. God tries; Satan tempts. Fairbain, quoted in The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, J.D. Pentecost, p. 99. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While my wife and I were shopping at a mall kiosk, a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. My eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, my wife asked, \"Was it worth the trouble you\'re in?\" Drew Anderson (Tucson, AZ), Reader\'s Digest. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In China\'s later Han era, there lived a politician called Yang Zhen, a man known for his upright character. After Yang Zhen was made a provincial governor, one of his earlier patrons, Wang Mi, paid him an unexpected visit. As they talked over old times, Wang Mi brought out a large gold cup and presented it to Yang Zhen. Yang Zhen refused to accept it, but Wang Mi persisted, saying, \"There\'s no one here tonight but you and me, so no one will know.\" \"You say that no one will know,\" Yang Zhen replied, \"but that is not true. Heaven will know, and you and I will know too.\" Wang Mi was ashamed, and backed down. Subsequently Yang Zhen\'s integrity won increasing recognition, and he rose to a high post in the central government. Human nature is weak, and we tend to yield to temptation when we think nobody can see us. In fact, if there was no police force, many people would not hesitate to steal. This is not to say that when we do something bad, we feel no compunction at all, just that man is weak and prone to yield to temptation. But even if nobody witnesses our sins, and not a soul knows of them, we cannot hide the truth from the eyes of our conscience. In the end, what is important is not that other people know, but that we ourselves know. When Yang Zhen told Wang Mi that \"Heaven will know,\" he meant that the gods would know what he had done: in other words, his own conscience. A person who sins neither in thought nor deed, and is fair and just, gains enormous courage and strength. As a leader, you need courage born of integrity in order to be capable of powerful leadership. To achieve this courage, you must search your heart, and make sure that your conscience is clear and your behavior is beyond reproach. Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Panasonic in his book Velvet Glove, Iron Fist (PHP Institute, Tokyo), Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In June 1989 a 19-year-old German named Mathias Rust created quite a stir when he flew a Cessna 172 airplane more than 400 miles into Soviet airspace. Rust\'s five-hour trip ended when he landed his plane near the Kremlin in Moscow. Soviet officials then scrambled to find out how a teenage could slip past their air defenses. Apparently radar had picked up the craft, but it was presumed to be a Soviet plane and no attempt was made to identify it. Later, air force jets twice flew around the intruding Cessna, but air defense commanders showed \"intolerable unconcern and indecision about cutting short the flight of the violator plane without resorting to combat means,\" the investigation concluded. Today in the Word, June 6, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Margaret Thatcher. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. Mark Twain. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John Piper says that sin (lust for example) \"gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.\" E. Lutzer, Putting Your Past Behind You, Here\'s Life, 1990, p.54. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Children grow up with teddy bears and often figure that since the toys are cuddly, the real things might also be so. In 1990 two boys scaled the fence at the Bronx Zoo in New York City and went into the polar bear compound. The next day they were found dead. Your pet sin can kill! Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A scene from Bunyan\'s Pilgrim\'s Progress portrays Interpreter bringing Christian to a wall where fire is blazing from a grate. A man is trying to douse the fire with water. Then Interpreter shows Christian the other side of the wall, where another man is secretly pouring oil on the fire to keep it ablaze. Interpreter says, \"You saw the man standing behind the wall to maintain the fire, teaching you that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul.\" Satan tries to quench faith, but Christ keeps it alive. Pilgrim\'s Progress. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As the Union Pacific Railroad was being constructed, an elaborate trestle bridge was built across a large canyon in the West. Wanting to test the bridge, the builder loaded a train with enough extra cars and equipment to double its normal payload. The train was then driven to the middle of the bridge, where it stayed an entire day. One worker asked, \"Are you trying to break this bridge?\" \"No,\" the builder replied, \"I\'m trying to prove that the bridge won\'t break.\" In the same way, the temptations Jesus faced weren\'t designed to see if He would sin, but to prove that He couldn\'t. Today in the Word, March 14, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What settings are you in when you fall? Avoid them. What props do you have that support your sin? Eliminate them. What people are you usually with? Avoid them. There are two equally damning lies Satan wants us to believe: 1) Just once won\'t hurt. 2) Now that you have ruined your life, you are beyond God\'s use, and might as well enjoy sinning. \"Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.\" Charles Spurgeon. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On the TV show \"Hee Haw,\" Doc Campbell is confronted by a patient who says he broke his arm in two places. The doc replies, \"Well then, stay out of them places!\" He may have something there. We cannot regularly put ourselves in the face of temptation and not be affected. When faced with the problem of temptation, we need to take the good doctor\'s advice and \"stay out of them places.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it. Benjamin Franklin -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Satan will seldom come to a Christian with a gross temptation. A green log and a candle may be safely left together, but a few shavings, some small sticks and then larger, and you may bring the green log to ashes. John Newton. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you flee temptation, be sure you don\'t leave a forwarding address. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reports the DENVER POST: \"Like many sheep ranchers in the West, Lexy Fowler has tried just about everything to stop crafty coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and \'scare-coyotes.\' She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs--fifty last year alone. \"Then she discovered the llama--the aggressive, funny-looking, afraid-of-nothing llama...\'Llamas don\'t appear to be afraid of anything,\' she said. \'When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won\'t have anything to do with that... Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.\'\" Apparently llamas know the truth of what James writes: \"Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you\" (4:7). The moment we sense his attack through temptation is the moment we should face it and deal with it for what it is. Barry McGee. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The thing that makes men and rivers crooked is following the line of least resistance. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it\'s simple. They\'ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can\'t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \"Fire tries Iron, and temptation tries a just man.\" Thomas A. Kempis. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Where there is no temptation, there can be little claim to virtue. C. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life, Word, 1990, p. 51. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Great Wall of China is a gigantic structure which cost an immense amount of money and labor. When it was finished, it appeared impregnable. But the enemy breached it. Not by breaking it down or going around it. They did it by bribing the gatekeepers. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some people fall into temptation, but a great many make plans for disaster ahead of time. \"Son,\" ordered a father, \"Don\'t swim in that canal.\" \"OK, Dad,\" he answered. But he came home carrying a wet bathing suit that evening. \"Where have you been?\" demanded the father. \"Swimming in the canal,\" answered the boy. \"Didn\'t I tell you not to swim there?\" asked the father. \"Yes, Sir,\" answered the boy. \"Why did you?\" he asked. \"Well, Dad,\" he explained, \"I had my bathing suit with me and I couldn\'t resist the temptation.\" \"Why did you take your bathing suit with you?\" he questioned. \"So I\'d be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted,\" he replied. Too many of us expect to sin and excite sin. The remedy for such dangerous action is found in Romans 13:14, \"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.\" Whenever we play with temptation, it is easy to drift into great danger. A woman was bathing in the Gulf of Mexico. She was enjoying the comfort of relaxing on an inflated cushion that kept her afloat. When she realized that she had been swept about a half mile out from the beach, she began to scream, but no one heard her. A coast guard craft found her five miles from the place where she first entered the water. She did not see her danger until she was beyond her own strength and ability. C. Swindoll, One Step Forward, p. 85. Ronald Meredith, in his book, Hurryin\' Big for Little Reasons, describes one quiet night in early spring: Suddenly out of the night came the sound of wild geese flying. I ran to the house and breathlessly announced the excitement I felt. What is to compare with wild geese across the moon? It might have ended there except for the sight of our tame mallards on the pond. They heard the wild call they had once known. The honking out of the night sent little arrows of prompting deep into their wild yesterdays. Their wings fluttered a feeble response. The urge to fly--to take their place in the sky for which God made them-- was sounding in their feathered breasts, but they never raised from the water. The matter had been settled long ago. The corn of the barnyard was too tempting! Now their desire to fly only made them uncomfortable. Temptation is always enjoyed at the price of losing the capacity for flight. Jim Moss. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iron Eyes Cody is a native American actor who once did a TV spot for the Keep America Beautiful campaign. He was an Indian drifting alone in a canoe. As he saw how our waters are being polluted, a single tear rolled down his cheek, telling the whole story. This powerful public service commercial still shows up on TV screens after 17 years. In 1988 Cody repeated an old Indian legend in Guideposts magazine. Here it is: Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees, bright with flowers. There he fasted. But on the third day, as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with dazzling snow. I will test myself against that mountain, he thought. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke. \"I am about to die,\" said the snake. \"It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.\" \"No,\" said the youth. \"I am forewarned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me.\" \"Not so,\" said the snake. \"I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you.\" The youth resisted awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and leapt, biting him on the leg. \"But you promised...\" cried the youth. \"You knew what I was when you picked me up.\" said the snake as it slithered away.\" Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, p. 5-7. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Misunderstandings regarding temptation: Temptation itself is sin. We fall into temptation. God is disappointed and displeased when we are tempted. To be strongly tempted means we are as guilty as if we had actually committed sin. We overcome all temptation by separation from it. When I am spiritually mature, I will no longer be harassed by temptation. Charles Stanley, tape AU146, In Touch, June 1988, p. 13. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TENACITY Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper\'s principle: \"The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.\" Eric Sevareid in Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p.19. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TENSION During World War II, Winston Churchill was forced to make a painful choice. The British secret service had broken the Nazi code and informed Churchill that the Germans were going to bomb Coventry. He had two alternatives: (1) evacuate the citizens and save hundreds of lives at the expense of indicating to the Germans that the code was broken; or (2) take no action, which would kill hundreds but keep the information flowing and possibly same many more lives. Churchill had to choose and followed the second course. Klyne Snodgrass, Between Two Truths - Living with Biblical Tensions, Zondervan Publishing House, 1990, p. 179. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of the most famous trials in history was that of Benjamin Francois Courvoisier in London in 1840, who is now immortalized in Madame Tussaud\'s Wax Museum. Courvoisier was a Swiss valet accused of slicing the throat of his elderly employer, Lord William Russell. What made this trial notorious was the argument for the defense. The police had bungled the investigation. The evidence against Courvoisier was entirely circumstantial or had been planted. One of the officers had perjured himself, and the maid\'s testimony brought suspicion on herself. The defense attorney, Charles Phillips, was convinced of the innocence of Courvoisier and cross-examined witnesses aggressively. At the beginning of the second day of the trial, however, Courvoisier confessed privately to his lawyer that he had committed the murder. When asked if he were going to plead guilty, he replied to Charles Phillips, \"No, sir, I expect you to defend me to the utmost.\" Phillips was faced with a dilemma. Should he declare to the court that the man was guilty, or should he defend Courvoisier as best he could? Should he break the confidentiality of the client-lawyer relationship, or should he help a guilty man to possibly go free? Which is more important -- truth or professional duty? Phillips decided to defend the guilty man. But despite Phillips\'s efforts, Courvoisier was convicted. When the dilemma was later made public, Phillips\'s decision to defend a murderer horrified British society and brought him a great deal of criticism. Klyne Snodgrass, Between Two Truths - Living with Biblical Tensions, Zondervan Publishing House, 1990, p. 11-12.
TERROR While hunting deer in the Tehema Wildlife Area near Red Bluff in northern California, Jay Rathman climbed to a ledge on the slope of a rocky gorge. As he raised his head to look over the ledge above, he sensed movement to the right of his face. A coiled rattler struck with lightning speed, just missing Rathman\'s right ear. The four-foot snake\'s fangs got snagged in the neck of Rathman\'s wool turtleneck sweater, and the force of the strike caused it to land on his left shoulder. It then coiled around his neck. He grabbed it behind the head with his left hand and could feel the warm venom running down the skin of his neck, the rattles making a furious racket. He fell backward and slid headfirst down the steep slope through brush and lava rocks, his rifle and binoculars bouncing beside him. \"As luck would have it,\" he said in describing the incident to a Department of Fish and Game official, \"I ended up wedged between some rocks with my feet caught uphill from my head. I could barely move.\" He got his right hand on his rifle and used it to disengage the fangs from his sweater, but the snake had enough leverage to strike again. \"He made about eight attempts and managed to hit me with his nose just below my eye about four times. I kept my face turned so he couldn\'t get a good angle with his fangs, but it was very close. This chap and I were eyeball to eyeball and I found out that snakes don\'t blink. He had fangs like darning needles...I had to choke him to death. It was the only way out. I was afraid that with all the blood rushing to my head I might pass out.\" When he tried to toss the dead snake aside, he couldn\'t let go--\"I had to pry my fingers from its neck.\" Rathman, 45, who works for the Defense Department in San Jose, estimates his encounter with the snake lasted 20 minutes. Warden Dave Smith says of meeting Rathman: \"He walked toward me holding this string of rattles and said with a sort of grin on his face, \'I\'d like to register a complaint about your wildlife here.\'\" Swindoll, Quest For Character, p. 17-18. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEST The setting is Ohio State University about six or seven years ago in a huge lecture hall (approximately 1000 students) for a Calculus final. Apparently this particular calculus teacher wasn\'t very well liked. He was one of those guys who would stand at the front of the class and yell out how much time was remaining before the end of a test, a real charmer. Since he was so busy gallivanting around the room making sure that nobody cheated and that everyone was aware of how much time they had left before their failure on the test was complete, he had the students stack the completed tests on the huge podium at the front of the room. This made for quite a mess, remember there were 1000 students in the class. During this particular final, one guy entered the test needing a decent grade to pass the class. His only problem with Calculus was that he did poorly when rushed, and this guy standing in the front of the room barking out how much time was left before the tests had to be handed in didn\'t help him at all. He figured he wanted to assure himself of a good grade, so he hardly flinched when the professor said \"pencils down and submit your scantron sheets and work to piles at the front of the room\". Five minutes turned into ten, ten into twenty, twenty into forty...almost an hour after the test was \"officially over\", our friend finally put down his pencil, gathered up his work, and headed to the front of the hall to submit his final. The whole time, the professor sat at the front of the room, strangely waiting for the student to complete his exam. \"What do you think you\'re doing?\" the professor asked as the student stood in front of him about to put down his exam on one of the neatly stacked piles of exams (the professor had plenty of time to stack the mountain of papers while he waited) It was clear that the professor had waited only to give the student a hard time. \"Turning in my exam,\" retorted the student confidently. \"I\'m afraid I have some bad news for you,\" the professor gloated, \"Your exam is an hour late. You\'ve failed it and, consequently, I\'ll see you next term when you repeat my course.\" The student smiled slyly and asked the professor \"Do you know who I am?\" \"What?\" replied the professor gruffly, annoyed that the student showed no sign of emotion. The student rephrased the question mockingly, \"Do you know what my name is?\" \"No\", snarled the professor. The student looked the professor dead in the eyes and said slowly, \"I didn\'t think so\", as he lifted up one of the stacks half way, shoved his test neatly into the center of the stack, let the stack fall burying his test in the middle, turned around, and walked casually out of the huge lecture hall. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And it came to pass, Early in the morning toward the last day of the semester There arose a great multitude smiting the books and wailing, And there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth For the day of judgment was at hand. And they were sore afraid for they had left undone Those things which they ought to have done. And they had done those things which they ought not to have done And there was no help for it. And there were many abiding in the dorm Who had kept watch over their books by night, But it availed them naught. But some were who rose peacefully, For they had prepared themselves the way And made straight paths of knowledge. And these were known as wise burners of the midnight oil. And to others they were known as \"curve-raisers.\" And the multitude arose and ate a hearty breakfast. And they came unto the appointed place And their hearts were heavy within them. And they had come to pass, but some to pass out. And some of them repented of their riotous living And bemoaned their fate. But they had not a prayer. And at the last hour there came among them One known as the instructor; And they feared exceedingly. He passed papers among them and went his way. And many and varied were the answers that were given, For some of his teachings had fallen among fertile minds, While other had fallen flat. And some they were who wrote for one hour, Others for two; But some turned away sorrowfully, and many of these Offered up a little bull in hope of pacifying the instructor. Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THANKSGIVING Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersby illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him. Our Daily Bread, February 20, 1994. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- An estimated 1.5 million people are living today after bouts with breast cancer. Every time I forget to feel grateful to be among them, I hear the voice of an eight-year-old named Christina, who had cancer of the nervous system. When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she thought long and hard and finally said, \"I don\'t know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I have everything!\" The kid is right. Erma Bombeck, Redbook, October,1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why did only one cleansed leper return to thank Jesus? The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine did not return: One waited to see if the cure was real. One waited to see if it would last. One said he would see Jesus later. One decided that he had never had leprosy. One said he would have gotten well anyway. One gave the glory to the priests. One said, \"O, well, Jesus didn\'t really do anything.\" One said, \"Any rabbi could have done it.\" One said, \"I was already much improved.\" Charles L. Brown, Content The Newsletter, June, 1990, p. 3. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Forgive Me When I Whine Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair; I envied her -- she seemed so gay, and how, I wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; she had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet -- the world is mine. And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm; he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; I said, \"It\'s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find\"; he turned and said, \"Oh, thank you sir.\" And then I saw that he was blind. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes, the world is mine. Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; he stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then I said, \"Why don\'t you join the others, dear?\" He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears, the world is mine. With feet to take me where I\'d go; with eyes to see the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know. I am blessed indeed. The world is mine; oh, God, forgive me when I whine. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his autobiography, Breaking Barriers, syndicated columnist Carl Rowan tells about a teacher who greatly influenced his life. Rowan relates: Miss Thompson reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a piece of paper containing a quote attributed to Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. I listened intently as she read: \"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men\'s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans, aim high in hope and work. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.\" More than 30 years later, I gave a speech in which I said that Frances Thompson had given me a desperately needed belief in myself. A newspaper printed the story, and someone mailed the clipping to my beloved teacher. She wrote me: \"You have no idea what that newspaper story meant to me. For years, I endured my brother\'s arguments that I had wasted my life. That I should have married and had a family. When I read that you gave me credit for helping to launch a marvelous career, I put the clipping in front of my brother. After he\'d read it, I said, \'You see, I didn\'t really waste my life, did I?\'\" Carl Rowan, Breaking Barriers. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, \"Do you have a headache?\" Ironside replied, \"No, I don\'t.\" The other man asked, \"Well, is there something wrong with your food?\" Ironside replied, \"No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat.\" The man said, \"Oh, you\'re one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don\'t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!\" Ironside said, \"Yes, you\'re just like my dog. That\'s what he does too!\" Ray Stedman, Folk Psalms of Faith. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is gratitude that prompted an old man to visit an old broken pier on the eastern seacoast of Florida. Every Friday night, until his death in 1973, he would return, walking slowly and slightly stooped with a large bucket of shrimp. The sea gulls would flock to this old man, and he would feed them from his bucket. Many years before, in October, 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life. Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, so the men ditched their plane in the ocean...For nearly a month Captain Eddie and his companions would fight the water, and the weather, and the scorching sun. They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts. The largest raft was nine by five. The biggest shark...ten feet long. But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them. And a miracle occurred. In Captain Eddie\'s own words, \"Cherry,\" that was the B- 17 pilot, Captain William Cherry, \"read the service that afternoon, and we finished with a prayer for deliverance and a hymn of praise. There was some talk, but it tapered off in the oppressive heat. With my hat pulled down over my eyes to keep out some of the glare, I dozed off.\" Now this is still Captian Rickenbacker talking...\"Something landed on my head. I knew that it was a sea gull. I don\'t know how I knew, I just knew. Everyone else knew too. No one said a word, but peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at that gull. The gull meant food...if I could catch it.\" And the rest, as they say, is history. Captain Eddie caught the gull. Its flesh was eaten. Its intestines were used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone sea gull, uncharacteristically hundreds of miles from land, offered itself as a sacrifice. You know that Captain Eddie made it. And now you also know...that he never forgot. Because every Friday evening, about sunset...on a lonely stretch along the eastern Florida seacoast...you could see an old man walking...white-haired, bushy-eyebrowed, slightly bent. His bucket filled with shrimp was to feed the gulls...to remember that one which, on a day long past, gave itself without a struggle...like manna in the wilderness. Paul Aurandt, \"The Old Man and the Gulls\", Paul Harvey\'s The Rest of the Story, 1977, quoted in Heaven Bound Living, Knofel Stanton, Standard, 1989, p. 79-80. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The first American Thanksgiving didn\'t occur in 1621 when a group of Pilgrims shared a feast with a group of friendly Indians. The first recorded thanksgiving took place in Virginia more than 11 years earlier, and it wasn\'t a feast. The winter of 1610 at Jamestown had reduced a group of 409 settlers to 60. The survivors prayed for help, without knowing when or how it might come. When help arrived, in the form of a ship filled with food and supplies from England, a prayer meeting was held to give thanks to God. Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 22. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A 12 year old boy named David was born without an immune system. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in order to correct the deficiency. Up to that point he had spent his entire life in a plastic bubble in order to prevent exposure to common germs, bacteria, and viruses that could kill him. He lived without ever knowing human contact. When asked what he\'d like to do if and when released from his protective bubble, he replied, \"I want to walk barefoot on grass, and touch my mother\'s hand.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To All Ye Pilgrims: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings. William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth Colony. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In a sermon at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, Gary Wilburn said: \"In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years\' War, a German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, and average of fifteen a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children: \'Now thank we all our God / With heart and hands and voices;/ Who wondrous things had done,/ In whom His world rejoices. /Who, from our mother\'s arms,/Hath led us on our way/ With countless gifts of love/ And still is ours today.\'\"Here was a man who knew thanksgiving comes from love of God, not from outward circumstances. Don Maddox. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- First National Thanksgiving Proclamation Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; Whereas, both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me \"to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness!\" Now therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country. George Washington, 1779. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Two 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamations which are said to be by Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln\'s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union. A. Lincoln, October 3, 1863. Abraham Lincoln\'s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord. We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choisest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens. A. Lincoln, October 3, 1863. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, \"Certainly the preacher won\'t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.\" Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, \"We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.\" Daily Bread, August 26, 1989. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, \"Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?\" The rabbi answers, \"Take your goat into the room with you.\" The man in incredulous, but the rabbi insists. \"Do as I say and come back in a week.\" A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. \"We cannot stand it,\" he tells the rabbi. \"The goat is filthy.\" The rabbi then tells him, \"Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.\" A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, \"Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there\'s no goat -- only the nine of us.\" George Mikes, How to be Decadent, Andre Deutsch, London. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn\'t make it. Terrified, the one shouted to the other, \"Put up a prayer, John. We\'re in for it!\" John answered, \"I can\'t. I\'ve never made a public prayer in my life.\" \"But you must!\" implored his companion. \"The bull is catching up to us.\" \"All right,\" panted John, \"I\'ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: \'O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.\'\" Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------