Monday, October 5, 2009
One down, four to go.
In finishing this meme from Rosezilla, I will err on the side of brevity.
Sunshine - It’s a scientific fact that light, traveling at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, takes a little over eight minutes to cover the 93,000,000 miles between the sun and the earth. After that fascinating tidbit of astronomical information, I can’t improve on John Denver: “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy; sunshine in my eyes can make me cry; sunshine on the water looks so lovely; sunshine almost always makes me high.” But this morning was foggy, and that was nice too.
Admire - Back to the dictionary. One word never means another exactly, but to admire means to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval; to take pleasure in; to like or desire; to esteem, revere, or venerate. When it comes to celebrities in sports and show business, people don’t admire them so much as envy them, and that’s a whole different emotion. I say don’t admire Derek Jeter or Peyton Manning or Britney Spears or Celine Dion or Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie or Elvis Presley or the latest crop of finalists on American Idol. If you do, you run the risk of degenerating into celebrity worship, which starts with envy and ends in, dare I say it, reverence and veneration. Admire the real heroes instead. Admire people in our armed forces who put their lives on the line every day in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stop international terrorism in its tracks. Admire firemen who go into burning buildings to rescue other people. Admire policemen who stop those who prey on children, the weak, the elderly, the vulnerable. Admire nurses who work long hours at low pay to restore people to health. Admire teachers who pass up opportunities to make a lot more money in the corporate world and choose instead to influence the next generation in a positive way. Sure, there may be bad apples in every barrel, but those are the kinds of people I admire.
Pickles - My dad used to make them in a crock churn using the cucumbers from our garden. My favorites to this day are sweet gherkins, bread-and-butter pickles, and Kosher dills. I also especially like pickled watermelon rind, but perhaps I am getting off the subject. All together now: “My ma gave me a nickel to buy a pickle; I didn’t buy a pickle, I bought some chewin’ gum. Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chewin’ gum, how I love chewin’ gum,....” The first person who knows the rest of the lyrics to this song will receive immunity in next week’s challenge and cannot be eliminated.
Faith - This could be a bunch of platitudes, but I don’t want it to be. The question is, faith in what? The following is not original with me; I read it in a little devotional booklet a couple of days ago:
“As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15 NLT). What is that all about? This: Fiery serpents had bitten many of the people of Israel, and many had died. The survivors pleaded with Moses to ask God for mercy. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent of bronze, and set it on a pole; and...everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live’” (Numbers 21:8 NKJV). The Israelites who had been bitten by snakes found healing by looking at the pole -- and sinners find salvation by looking to Christ. Look and live! The simplicity of it troubles us. We expect a more complicated cure. Moses and his followers might have expected more as well: manufacture an ointment, treat one another, or at least fight back. We say, “God helps those who help themselves.” But Jesus says, “Only believe.” You believe the chair will hold your weight, so you sit on it. You trust the work of the light switch, so you flip it. You regularly trust power you cannot see to do a work you cannot accomplish. Today, God asks you to do the same.” (from The Word For You Today, © 2009)
All of us can think of ways we would have done it differently. The lesson here, in my opinion, is that it is always right to ask God for His mercy, and it is always better to take advantage of the provision He has made than to try to create a way of our own that will not work.
End of sermon. End of meme.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress.