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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
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).
In September, 1985, the camera-equipped Argo robot submarine of the USA-France expedition photographed and confirmed the wreckage of the luxury liner Titanic resting 13,120 feet down on the Atlantic ocean floor.
In its day, the Titanic was the world’s largest ship, weighing 46,328 tons, 882 1/2 ft long with 3 anchors weighing more than 10 tons each. It employed a crew of 400, a hotel staff of 5l8 and could carry 2,433 passengers. The 159 furnaces burned 650 tons of coal a day. The ship had a complete gymnasium, heated pool, squash court and the first miniature golf course -- all below deck. Its lavish appointments included opulent dining rooms with 24-hour service, orchestra on the promenade deck, palm courts and gilded Turkish baths.
Several millionaires were on the passenger list. But, on April 14, 1912, the "unthinkable" happened to the "unsinkable". Near midnight, the great Titanic struck an iceberg, ripping a 300 ft hole through 5 of its 16 watertight compartments. It sank in 2 1/2 hours killing 1,513 people. Why did so many die? Reasons: the crew disregarding the danger of the weather, there were not enough lifeboats on board, and the radio operator of the nearby California was off duty. (Adapted from USA Today, Sept. 4, 1985)
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.
Evidence for an over inflated opinion of ourselves comes from the College Board that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SAT exam, which millions of high school students take each year. On that test there are a number of other questions besides the ones about math and English which the students are asked to answer. For instance, they are asked to evaluate their leadership ability.
Recently in an exam, seventy percent of the students rated themselves as above average in leadership, and only two percent as below average. Sixty percent rated themselves as above average in athletics while only six percent said below. When they rated themselves as to how easy they were to get along with, 25 percent said they were in the top one percent, sixty percent said they were in the top ten percent, and absolutely no one said he was below average in being easy to get along with.
Obviously high school students have a very high opinion of themselves; they have pride in themselves. Now is this the kind of pride...
Americans are #1 in national pride, according to a survey of 34 countries. (Foster Network 7/10/06)
The magazine “Discipleship Journal” asked its readers to rank the areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them. The results came back in this order: (the top 5 were)
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness and Sexual lust
The respondents also noted that temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81%) and when they were physically tired (57%).”
The readers stated that they had found that the greatest assets in resisting temptation to be “prayer (84%), avoiding compromising situations (76%), Bible study (66%), and being accountable to someone else (52%).
Pride keeps us as Americans from taking a look around this world that we live and realizing that people die every day so that we can enjoy the privileges that we enjoy.
Did you know that Americans consume about 80% of the world's coffee supply? And yet, we aren't told a lot about the coffee business. In order for us to have our coffee at these rock bottom prices, coffee companies pay the coffee farmers in other countries pennies per dollar that we spend. Often the amount that they are paid is not even enough to pay their expenses let alone support their families. And it designed intentionally to keep them in debt and the countries in debt so that we can control the market. Sometimes it is even done so that the companies get the land and then make the farmers work for them while they make the profits.
The same is done with tea. However, there are groups, many of them Christian based, who have determined to change these practices and make sure farmers are paid fairly for their product. This is called Fair Trade coffee. It costs a more -- sometimes a lot more. But to refuse to acknowledge the situation and hide behind some free market capitalism is just a mask of pride.
The same situations exist with clothing manufacturers as well as most of the other items that you might get at Wal-Mart or even the dollar stores.
We need God. The problem is huge. We need God to intervene. We need God to show us what it is that we can do. And this begins with prayer. Earnest prayer. It shows up in repentance. Things are messed up and we are a part of the problem. Pride says, "That really has nothing to do with me."
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them. These are listed in this order. 1. Materialism. 2. Pride. 3. Self-centeredness. 4. Laziness. 5. Tied were: Anger/Bitterness/Sexual lust. 6. Envy. 7. Gluttony. 8. Lying. (3)
There’s little difference in ethical behavior between the churched and the unchurched. Religion, for most people, isn’t really a life changing experience. People cite it as important, for in...
The 10 Best 2007 Movies for Families: 1. Ratatouille, 2. Enchanted, 3. Alvin and the Chipmunks, 4. Bella, 5. The Game Plan, 6. In the Shadow of the Moon, 7. Shrek the Third, 8. The Ultimate Gift, 9. Nancy Drew, 10. Bridge to Terabithia.
The 10 Best 2007 Movies for Mature Audiences: 1. Amazing Grace, 2. August Rush, 3. Spider-Man 3, 4. I Am Legend, 5. Strike, 6. The Great Debaters, 7. The Astronaut Farmer, 8. Pride, 9. Transformers, 10. Live Free or Die Hard.
(Source: Christian Film & Television Commission, 2/13/08)
· 35% of married born-again Christians have experienced divorce, the same as non born-again married adults.
· The most frequently cited source of conflict in American church congregations is over money.
· China arrested 1,958 Christians in ’05.
· 60% of British readers of the DaVinci Code believe there is some truth in claim Jesus had children by Mary Magdalene.
· 60% of U.S. Christians believe that government policies affect moral values.
· 81% of Americans say the nation’s moral values are getting worse, according to a 5/06 Gallup Poll.
· Only 16% of U.S. megachurches have attendance of over 5,000. 52% attract 2,000 to 3,000 each week.
· A startling 40% of boys are now being raised without their biological fathers. (Newsweek 1/30/06)
· The National Christian Foundation, formed in ‘82 as a way for Christians to support various ministries, recently distributed the organization’s one billionth grant dollar
· Approximately 2.3 million Americans will get divorced this year.
· Over 4 million babies are born in the U.S. each year, with half of those children going to first-time parents.
· CBA has changed the name of its e-newsletter to Industry Briefs and totally redesigned the publication.
· The New Living Translation, Tyndale House, celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.
· Carpentree, a leading Christian wall décor and gift company, turns 30 this year.
· A recent Nielsen survey finds 27.4 million people age 55 and older bought something online in the last 6 months, up from about 26 million in ’05.
· 63 million Americans now do some of their banking online.
· More than 40,000 people will be added to the national organ transplant waiting list this year.
· Births to mothers of 2 or more children rose 4% between ’96 and ’03, 12% since 1984.
· ’06 will mark the first time the Internet grosses more advertising revenue than magazines, reports Advertising Age.
· 1 in 4 Australian parents regularly “borrow” from their children’s piggy banks to pay for bread to luxury holidays.
· Total traditional U.S. department stores sales dropped 13% from ’00 to ’05, from $96.3 billion to $84.1 billion.
· Online purchases totaled $175 billion in ’05, up 22% from ’04.
· Online advertising rose 29% in ’05, topping $12 billion.
· There are 5 million children living in families in the U.S. in which at least one parent is an unauthorized immigrant.
· 439 million people worldwide buy a daily newspaper, another 25 million receive a free daily newspaper.
· The average American believes that 25 is the ideal age for a woman to get married, while for men it is 27.
· Spending by small businesses in the U.S. is estimated to reach $5.3 trillion in ’08.
· FaithWords is the new name for WarnerFaith due to new ownership by Hachette Book Group USA.
· Global trafficking of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation rakes in $7 billion every year. (CT 7/06)
· Americans are #1 in national pride, according to a survey of 34 countries.
· The Gates Foundation has given Planned Parenthood Federation almost $12.5 million since ’98.
· More than 100 million people worldwide log on every month to play interactive computer games.
· 33% of mainstream 14-34 year-olds have a social networking page.
· 27% of boys and girls ages 13-18 report talking online about sex with someone they have never met in person.
· 5.9 million Jordanians live in an area slightly smaller than Indiana. Just under 6% are Christians.
· In ’03 there were 10 million single-mother families and 2 million single-father families in the U.S.
· 28% of all U.S. children live in single-parent families.
· 34% of American children live apart from their biological fathers.
· 30% of American babies are born to unwed mothers.