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Beautiful People

Human Worth Love (Divine) Sacred

Source: Television Series: "All In the Family"

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2017-06-03

Scripture: Matthew 25:40

Author: Charles Krieg
10

ILLUSTRATION

In an episode of the old television series “All in the Family,”  Edith and Archie are attending Edith’s High School class reunion.  Edith encounters an old classmate named Buck who has allowed himself to become extremely obese.  Edith has a delightful conversation with him about old times and the things they did together, but remarkably, Edith doesn’t seem to even notice how extremely heavy her friend has become. 

Later, Edith and Archie are talking.  She says, “Archie, ain’t Buck a beautiful person?”  Archie replies: “Edith, I’ll never figure you out.  You and I can look at the same guy and you see a beautiful person and I see a blimp!”  And Edith replies, simply, “Yeah, Arch, ain’t that too bad!”

APPLICATION

Jesus tells us that when we look at other people, we should see something special in them; we should see them not just as beautiful people but as people for whom He gave His life; we should see them not just as fellow believers but as people in whom He lives.

What do you see when you look at the broken person, the dysfunctional person, the needy person, the sinner?  If you see anything less than one for whom Christ died, "ain't that too bad!"

Jesus said:  "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

The World's Most Expensive Dirt

Sacred Worship Idolatry

Source: "Yanks hitting paydirt" by Paul Tharp, published New York Post, October 19, 2010

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-01-16

Author: Illustration Exchange
10

ILLUSTRATION

Steiner Sports is a premier provider of sports memorabilia of all kinds. In particular, it has held the "exclusive rights" to Yankee Stadium memorabilia since 2004. It's always been a lucrative business, but with the closing of the old Yankee Stadium following the last game in September 2008, Steiner Sports hit paydirt--literally.

They devised a marketing plan to sell everything--even the old seats and the restroom urinals--as a growing number of sports fans worldwide clamored for a literal "piece" of history. But the dirt and sod that clung to the cleats and stained the pants of baseball's giants--that's where the real money was to be found.

“Dirt really is a piece of history, and it is something other fans generally can’t get,” said a Steiner spokesman, who has been selling dirt from Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium and other MLB diamonds for several years. “In some way, Yankee Stadium dirt connects you to Babe Ruth.”

As for the harvesting of the paydirt, the New York Post reports:

The dirt, collected before the old ballpark was demolished, has been used in some 360,000 and counting! collectibles that were sold to Yankee fans willing to dig deep into their pockets for a smidgen of the old Stadium’s sacred soil. …

Less than half an ounce was sealed in each of thousands of transparent plastic disks that were artfully inserted into souvenirs such as posters, plaques and paperweights.

More than three tons of the stuff has been dug out so far — and half of it was used in $10 million worth of products.

And the Yanks and their agent, Steiner Sports Collectibles, will probably score a double play.

The other half of the world’s most expensive dirt is being stored in barrels in New Rochelle, awaiting its transformation into additional keepsakes.

The products sell from as little as $20 for a small keychain with a few grains of dirt, to tens of thousands of dollars for a "star" signed plaque encasing dirt from the area surrounding home plate or sod from the infield. 

But don't be fooled by imitation dirt or sod. Genuine Yankee sod comes with the following Steiner Sports Product Description:

Many considered the field at the original Yankee Stadium to be the most sacred turf in all of sports. The games' greatest and brightest stars have shined while playing on this beloved sod. Now you can own an actual piece of this legendary sod. Removed from the Stadium, your personal piece of pinstriped real estate will be freeze-dried. No care and maintenance is needed, your freeze-dried grass will stay like that forever. Each piece of ... freeze-dried sod comes in a glass display case with an engraved nameplate. A Yankees-Steiner Letter of Authenticity is included. 

APPLICATION

What was merely dirt to those who played the game has become something sacred in the minds and hearts of the throngs of adoring fans who are willing to lay down big bucks for it.

Indeed, God has given us the freedom to decide what we will choose to hail as truly significant, as sacred. But even though we've been given the freedom to venerate "this" or "that," God alone determines what is genuinely worthy of veneration. In fact, He has always held the "exclusive rights" to our adoration and worship, and He's not sharing them with anyone or anything--not even the New York Yankees!

That means the only sacred turf you'll ever really find is that on which you stand or bow in His presence. And we can choose to do that every moment of every day as we engage in all the details of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous, with an attitude of reverential awe for Who God is and all that He's done for us.  In this way we make all ground "holy."

As God said to an awe-struck Moses, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5).

Suspended Disbelief

Intelligent Design Unbelief Awe

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-08-26

Scripture: Romans 1:20

Author: Mitchell Dillon
5

ILLUSTRATION

The term “suspension of disbelief” was first coined by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817.  Coleridge asked readers to allow a “willing suspension of disbelief,” so they might better engage with his fantastical poems.

Of course, we have all done this when reading a good book or watching a movie.  Often, the difference between a positive or negative review is whether the critic was persuaded to suspend their disbelief.  But even as we are persuaded to do this, no one really thinks that Superman can fly, or that Dr. Frankenstein was able to bring a corpse back to life.  Rather, for the sake of being taken on the journey, we make a conscious decision to suspend critical thinking. 

What we are less conscious of is the fact that we are often called upon to suspend our disbelief when it comes to how we view the real world.   For example, who has ever actually witnessed the spontaneous generation of life from non-living matter?  The fact that this has never been observed begs the question, what’s the difference between this “story” and the tale of Frankenstein’s life-imparting lightning strike?  As far as we have been able to determine, the one is just as improbable as the other.  At least Frankenstein’s effort had an intelligent agent behind it while the story we have been told is totally dependent on a chance occurrence.  Yet, we consider one a fantasy while the other is touted as a fact. 

The greatest minds in the world, combined with all of today’s advances in science and technology, don’t begin to know how to breathe life into non-living material.  It’s not just that it’s difficult to do, it’s that we have discovered it to be beyond the realm of possibility.  By any definition, such an event, however it happened, would be a miracle.  And yet, without blinking an eye, we have suspended our disbelief and have accepted that it was blind, unguided chance that produced life.  Modern science has asked us to allow a “willing suspension of disbelief,” so that we might better engage in their fantastical theories about reality, and we have complied. 

APPLICATION

We don’t typically suspend our critical thinking to no benefit, so why have we been willing to do this? What is the pay-off?  We have turned our critical facilities off and accepted an inadequate explanation for the inexplicable so that we might avoid the implications of the inexplicable.  We have suspended our critical thinking in order to embrace a narrative that leaves God out of the picture.  In the face of the miraculous, instead of awe, we have chosen suspended disbelief.

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God" (Romans 1:20, NLT). 

Do You Feel Plutoed?

Value (True Worth) Self-image Encouragement

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-01-24

Scripture: Galatians 2:20 ; Ephesians 1:7

Author: Neal Pollard
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Feeding on the Word of God

Bible Devotion Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Jane Drew | Date Posted: 2017-10-28

Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:3 ; Ezekiel 3:3

Author: Jane Drew
4

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Eating Daily

Devotion Word of God Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2017-04-12

Scripture: John 6:58 ; Acts 2:46

Author: Thomas Bevers
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We Are Obsessed With Our Phones

Worship Devotion Intimacy with God

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-14

Scripture: James 4:8 ; Revelation 2:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Dramatic Rescue of Lobby Joe

Awe Man Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-21

Scripture: Psalms 8:4 ; Psalms 144:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

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Do You See What You See?

Value (True Worth) Human Worth Lost Opportunity

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2016-07-19

Scripture: Romans 8:32 ; Ephesians 2:10

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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Better Flesh?

Carnality Birthright Value (True Worth)

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2016-04-28

Scripture: Galatians 3:28 ; John 6:63

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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