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Sermon Central Staff
WHOSE HANDS ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?
"A Thanksgiving Day editorial in the newspaper told of a school teacher who asked her first graders to draw a picture of something they were thankful for. She thought of how little these children from pour neighborhoods actually had to be thankful for. But she knew that most of them would draw pictures of turkeys on tables with food. The teacher was taken aback with the picture Douglas handed in... a simple childishly drawn hand.
"But whose hand? This class was captivated by the abstract image. 'I think it must be the hand of God that brings us food,' said one child. 'A farmer,' said another, 'because he grows the turkeys.' Finally when the others were back at work the teacher bent over Douglas's desk and asked whose hand it was. 'It's your hand, Teacher,' he mumbled.
"She recalled that frequently at recess she had taken Douglas, a scrubby forlorn child, by the hand. She often did that with the children. But it meant so much to Douglas. 'Perhaps this is everyone's Thanksgiving, not for the material things given to us, but for the chance, in whatever small way, to give to others,' she thought"
(Author Unknown, Stories from the Heart (Multnomah Books: Sisters, Oregon, 1996), 52). From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Helping Hands, 8/12/2010
CAN YOU CREATE THIS?
It is a self-balancing, 28-jointed adapter based bi-ped with the following: Millions of warning signals, railroad and conveyor systems…crushers and cranes (of which the arms are magnificent 23-jointed affairs with self-surfacing and lubricating systems); A universally distributed telephone system needing no service for 70 years if well managed; An electrochemical reduction-plant, integral with segregated stowages of special energy extracts in storage batteries, for subsequent actuation of thousands of hydraulic and pneumatic pumps, with motors attached…62,000 miles of capillaries. And the whole, extraordinarily complex mechanism is guided with exquisite precision from a turret in which are located telescopic and microscopic self-registering and recording range finders, a spectroscope, etc., and the turret control being closely allied with an air conditioning intake-and-exhaust, with a main fuel intake. Within a few cubic inches that house the turret mechanism, there is room, also, for two sound wave and sound-direction-finder recording diaphragms. There is an expertly devised analytical laboratory large enough not only to contain minute records of every last and continual event of up to 70 years experience, or more, but to extend, by computation and abstract fabrication, this experience with relative accuracy into all corners of the observed universe AS WELL AS a forecasting and tactical plotting department for the reduction of future possibilities and probabilities to generally successful specific choice.
SOURCE: Autoillustrator.com, PERSPECTIVE.
Suicide is a real and relevant problem in our culture. According to the 2001 Statistical Abstract of the U.S there were almost 31,000 (30,775) people who took their own lives in our country. Over 4000 (4135) of those were by people between the ages of 15-24, young men and women in the prime of their lives. The Western States have the highest rates of suicide, far above any other region of the country. And in the 90’s our State every year was above the national average in this malady
Believing things ’on authority’ only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there is such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so. The ordinary person believes in the solar system, atoms, and the circulation of the blood on authority--because the scientists say so. Every historical statement is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Spanish Armada. But we believe them simply because people who did see them...
Mclemore in his book Toxic Relationships and How to Change Them notes: “
As Christians, we have a duty to care, sincerely and deeply, about the wellbeing of others. This is the core of the love that we are to have for all persons. It is also the foundation for the fellowship we can enjoy with other persons in the faith. It is our holy duty to preserve the dignity of all human beings, whether saint or sinner, criminal or humanitarian, rich or poor, culturally and ethnically like us or not. All of this is relatively easy to state, and agree with, in the abstract. It is harder actually to do. Think of the people you most detest. You are to respect them. Think of the qualities in others that most upset you. You are nevertheless to be kind to those who have these characteristics. Think of the cultures or subcultures, if any, that make you uncomfortable and the ethnic or political groups, if any, that you find most alien. You are to embrace the people from all of these. Think also of the personalities you find obnoxious. And so on” (9).
Believing things ‘on authority’ only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy.
Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there is such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so. The ordinary person believes in the solar system, atoms, and the circulation of the blood on authority—because the scientists say so.
Every historical statement is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Spanish Armada. But we believe them simply because people who did see them have left writings that tell us about them; in fact, on authority. A person who balked at authority in other things, as some people do in religion, would have to be content to know nothing all his life. - C. S. Lewis
Sermon Central Staff
WHAT WE WATCH AFFECTS OUR BEHAVIOR
Studies are even showing how we are affected by what we watch on television, hear on our radios, or read in books and the paper.
A study recorded in American Psychologist reported that “Psychologists have studied the effect of violent media on aggression for several decades. Hundreds of studies have been conducted on this topic. Scientific evidence from a collection of studies, such as those on media-related aggression, can be integrated and summarized in a narrative (qualitative) review or in a meta-analytic (quantitative) review. Both types of reviews have been conducted on the research literature about media violence and aggression, and all have come to the same conclusion: that viewing violence increases aggression (e.g., Hearold, 1986; Hogben, 1998; Huston et al., 1992; National Institute of Mental Health, 1982; Paik & Comstock, 1994; Surgeon General’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior, 1972; Wood, Wong, & Chachere, 1991).
“On the basis of such findings, in July 2000, six major professional societies-the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association signed a joint statement on the hazards of exposing children to media violence, noting that ‘at this time, well over 1 ,000 studies point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children’” (Brad J. Bushman and Craig A. Anderson, Iowa State University, http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2000-2004/01BA.ap.pdf).
(From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Seeds on the Hard Path, 8/13/2010)
FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE
"Starting next year, high school and college students in Thailand will reportedly be graded not just on academics, but on ’goodness’ as well. Concerned that the competitive education system puts too much emphasis on materialism and not enough on morality, officials told the Associated Press that they have a plan to record students’ community service and emotional ’quotients.’
Critics in Thailand say goodness is too abstract to assess fairly. For the same reason, this kind of proposal wouldn’t get very far here.
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of folks in the US who believe young people are searching for some goodness guideposts.
One of them is Peter Gomes, a longtime professor and minister at Harvard University...
Through his courses on subjects such as the Bible, and also through the way he lives...
Volunteers Americans that performed volunteer work in ’03 did so as follows: 35% at religious organizations, 27% for school or youth services and 12% social or community service. (The 2003 Statistical Abstract)
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something.