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Category: Motivation

Does Religion Cause War?

Publication Information: Encyclopedia of Wars – 3 Volume of Set (Fact on File Library of World History) by Charles Phillips

Publication Source: Click here to view source

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ILLUSTRATION

In the wake of the senseless massacre of human life in Paris, I have heard a familiar refrain. A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that religion is the problem. They tell us that if we just do away with religion, wars would cease. They tout the John Lennon philosophy, made popular in the song “Imagine.”

But what those who hold this opinion have failed to take into account is that the 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of mankind, and that the atrocities of that century were committed by anti-religious movements, led by men like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Lenin, Chiang Kai-shek, Hideki Tojo, and Pol Pot. These men were not religiously motivated, yet they ruthlessly slaughtered millions of people:
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Man Faces Jail For Selling His Dirty Socks

Topic: Guilt                                                                               Printer Friendly
Source: “Fraud plea in dirty socks sold as marijuana” by Dennis Pelham, published online, Michigan Daily Telegram, Aug. 6, 2015
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Author: Illustration Exchange

ILLUSTRATION

When is a crime really a crime? That’s a great question when it comes to this bizarre and convoluted news story.

It all began July 8, 2015 when Michael Suarez of Ypsilanti, Michigan, arranged to sell a pound of marijuana for the sum of $2800. He and a couple of friends were to deliver the drugs in the wee hours of the morning to a couple who were waiting at a local mobile home park.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Suarez and his accomplices didn’t bring marijuana to the drug drop at all—instead, they brought a backpack full of dirty socks! Upon delivery of the backpack, Suarez and friends received payment of $2800 and quickly sped away.

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Billions In Unused Gift Cards Stashed In Drawers

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Topic: Stewardship
Scripture: Philippians 4:19; Colossians 4:5
Source: “Unused gift cards total $44B since 2008: study” By Gregory Bresiger, posted NEW YORK POST, January 26, 2014
Author: Illustration Exchange

Have you ever been given a gift that you’ve simply failed to use? Millions have—every day!

“People are letting cash slip away that they could be using,” says John Kiernan, a senior analyst with CardHub:

Kiernan, citing CardHub numbers, estimates that some $44 billion in unredeemed gift-card value has been accumulating since 2008.

“I’m not surprised by that number at all,” adds Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards. “People get these cards and often put them away in a drawer and then forget about them. And that’s too bad.”

Application:

As God’s children, we have been given many invaluable gifts. God’s love has been deposited in our lives in a salvation that brings us forgiveness and healing. We have also been enriched with spiritual gifts that enable us to share God’s love in specific ways, so that others might also know the power of God’s love and healing.

Yet, every day, we fail to annex these gifts or make full use of their great value. We have the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven at our disposal, and the calling of God to use them to impact our world. But like so many consumers, we put the gifts and callings of God away in a drawer and forget about them.

Pull them out! Redeem them! Experience the riches of your new life in Christ!

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NLT).

“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5, NLT).

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The Observer Effect

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Topic: Motivation
Scripture: Matthew 6:17-18; Psalm 139:11-12
Source: Weizmann Institute Of Science (1998, February 27) “Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality,” ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 5, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm
Author: Mitchell Dillon

Albert Einstein once mused, “I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.”  Welcome to the strange world of quantum physics, where the very act of observing affects the observed reality. This was confirmed in a ground breaking experiment conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1998, and reported in an issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874) as follows:

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of “watching,” the greater the observer’s influence on what actually takes place … In other words, when under observation, electrons are being “forced” to behave like particles (matter) and not like waves (energy). Thus the mere act of observation affects the experimental findings.

So, when someone is looking, electrons behave like particles. When no one is looking, they behave like a wave. As another writer put it, “Consciousness collapses the wave function into actual particles that exist in space and time.” We already knew that the universe was made of energy that only appears to us as matter. What is astounding is to learn of the role the conscious mind plays in that transformation.

This principle holds great promise in the field of computer encryption. One day we will be able to ensure the secrecy of information transfers by employing quantum physics in the way it is encoded. “This,” according to Weizmann Institute Professor Heiblum, “would let the recipient know [if] the message has been intercepted.” They would know because the mere act of observation would alter the information while it was in transit.

For an easy to understand five minute animated tutorial that explains how the famous “Double Slit” experiment worked, go to “Your Thoughts Effect Your Reality” on YouTube.

Application:

Physicists tell us that we can’t observe something in our world without changing it in the process–that observation actually alters reality.

There is an Observer Effect in the spiritual world, as well. That was Jesus’ message when He warned us against performing our good deeds in public view. Of course, it’s always good to do the right thing. However, we can only be sure that our motives are pure when God is the only one Who sees our good deed. By the mere act of being observed, what is done is altered.

“But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in [secret]. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18, NLT).

Additional Application:

The implication of the Observer Effect is quite profound. It tells us that behind the universe is a Supreme Consciousness, a force Who actually monitors all conscious behavior, and that this force reacts by altering reality for the benefit of the observer. Not only that, this Supreme Consciousness is intelligent, having the capacity to detect an observer, as well as the use of monitoring devices. What we have been gifted with here is a glimpse into the perpetual presence and intimate care of our Creator.

“I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night–but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you” (Psalm 139:11-12, NLT).

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Wall Street Ethics

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Topic: Salvation
Scripture: Romans 3:10
Source: WHY BE GOOD?: SEEKING OUR BEST SELVES IN A CHALLENGING WORLD by Byron L. Sherwin, p.30
Author: Illustration Exchange

Byron Sherwin, in his book WHY BE GOOD, sarcastically recalls, “Once I was browsing in a bookstore when I saw a huge volume with an intriguing title: WALL STREET ETHICS. I opened it eagerly only to find that each of its hundreds of pages was blank.”

When we read this at IE, we were skeptical. So we did a little research and it turned out the book is real. It’s entitled THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WALL STREET ETHICS by Jay L. Walker and was published by William Morrow & Co., April 1987.

Writes one reviewer, “If you are not familiar with this book, it is a joke, and a pretty good one. The pages are all blank. … Today, [after so many new Wall Street scandals], it probably needs to be updated with a new edition with more blank pages.”

Application:

How would a book that recorded all of the things that you have done to earn your place in heaven read? The only possible answer is that its pages would all be blank. Not only that, but no matter how hard you tried, all of the updated editions would only add more blank pages. That’s because nothing that we do with the motive of self-justification will ever be acceptable to God. Rather, earning the prize of heaven requires a righteousness that is perfect, not only in every action, but in every motive behind every action. It requires the righteousness of Christ.

“As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous–not even one” (Romans 3:10, NLT).

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A Life Changing Way to Cut Grapes

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Topic: Worship
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11
Source: “Simple kitchen hack earns man title of ‘most genius husband in the universe,’” published 6/26/14 on FoxNews.com
Author: Illustration Exchange

Anyone who has spent time in the kitchen knows the tedium of standing at the kitchen counter cutting grapes or cherry tomatoes in half for a fruit or green salad. You can practically make every other course of the meal combined in the time it takes just to perform this laborious task.

Enter Rob Goodhue. Rob is an executive chef at a country club in Florida. For ten years he’s been watching his wife cut grapes and tomatoes the “normal” way, before finally suggesting that he knew an “easier” way to do it: Just lay them on a plate. Gently press another plate on top. Then simply use a sharp knife to slice between the two. Voila! An entire plate full of halved grapes or tomatoes in mere seconds. Click here to watch a video demonstration.

Rob’s “easier” method has gone viral on the internet, prompting some on Facebook to go as far as to call the discovery a “life changer.”

One blogger called him “the most genius husband in the universe.”

Mrs. Goodhue agrees.

Application:

Perhaps you’ve spent your entire life doing things “the normal way,” totally unaware that there is a simple technique which promises to be an ultimate life changer–not just here and now, but forever–no plates or knives required! All you need is a willing spirit and a change of attitude.

In fact, with a simple shift in heart-attitude, you can transform even the most tedious and mundane of activities into worship, and thus use every opportunity to bring glory God.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

It may be the “most genius” idea in the universe!

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).

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