“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 17&18 – SAD BUT TRUE
I wasn’t surprised, but it still caused me to wince. In a sports column written by Jim Litke of the Associated Press, he wrote, “The thing that has baseball folks riled up about Michael Pineda isn’t that he was trying to cheat. Everybody does that. It was that he wasn’t trying hard enough.”
Now, as a preacher, I might be expected to go into a rant about how bad the world is getting and how the Lord should come quickly with fire and judgement; but I’m not. None of this is new. Read the Bible. Read Grapes of Wrath. Read the editorial columns about high-end white collar crime, where it says such crimes are not conducive for criminal action. That was not a quote, but a paraphrase I read recently.
So why does it cause me to wince? On the black and white level, everybody does it. One mile over the posted speed limit is cheating. And, it is foolish to say cheating is of equal wrong in every situation. I mentioned recently, Randy Harris, who teaches ethics, among other things, at Abilene Christian. His famous “Moby Dick” question is this, “You have one class needed to graduate. It has to be taken to graduate. You already have a job lined up and a wedding in the future. The class is American Literature. Among several shorter works, is Moby Dick. Depending on the book, it’s anywhere from 600 to 1,000 pages. 600 being about the average.
You do not have time for the book, so you watch the movies, read Cliffs Notes and other sources of information. When the final is posted, there is only one question, “Did you read Moby Dick? No other forms of research count, only the book.” At that point, Harris says 90% of his students will cheat. And he says he believes the other 10% are lying. We actually understand that. But, if it was a matter of buying the entrance test with the answers to enter Harvard, we would say “No way!” And, we understand that.
So, what’s my beef? It’s the justification of cheating. It’s the “Everybody does it.” True, perhaps, but all of it should be examined, not advocated.
About the first time I heard that line was when Richard Nixon was caught trying to plug the hole he’d made in the Watergate. A Christian said to me, “Everybody does it, he just got caught.” Is there corruption in politics? Yes. It was the “just” that bothers me. It’s okey “just” don’t get caught.
The newspaper article took me back to a time when I was a Little League coach for one of the first Little League Softball Leagues for girls. We had played this other team and beat them. The coach was the wife of a guy who coached their son in baseball, so he was often at his daughter’s softball game. After we won, and were leaving, my catcher came to me, or one of my daughters and said just before the game started, a girl on the other team asked the husband, “Did you bring it?” He then went back to his car and brought out a bat not in the bag his wife carried. During the game my catcher was able to see the bat had been “drilled” and noticed it was a little heavy when she threw it out of the way. “Drilled” means the end of the aluminum bat had been drilled out and lead, or some other heavy substance had been added to make it heavier.
The game was over, so I told the woman coach who was to play them next, to watch for that bat. She did, and questioned it, and it was removed. She got so much flack for complaining, that she was mad at me (for awhile) for not doing the complaining. The game with me was over, the bat was in his car, but she was seen as the villain.
My reaction to the guy and the bat was not based on the fact that he would cheat. I already knew that. What bothered me was that as instructors, he and his wife were telling young girls of Jr. High age that cheating to win was the thing to do. So, what were they teaching, the game, or the game and cheating to win the game? Who we are is more important than winning.
I think it is up to those of us who raise and teach children, to instill in them a sense that while cheating may have different levels of impact, what is impacted most is the character and trustworthiness of the individual who cheats. When we really believe everybody does it, and the problem is “just” getting caught, turn out the lights and lock the doors.
CONCERNS: Martha Foy asks prayers for SandraAnderson; and her aunt, Sue Huels and Gil Richardson. Mary, a friend of Kim (Hall) who has advanced Parkinson’s disease. Jan overstreet fell and has a blood clot in her leg, remember Gary as well. Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick. Her other brother, Steve had successful gal bladder surgery after a delay for some other concerns. A classmate of Garrett Lee Williams, Hannah, is being treated for leukemia. Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Walker Slusher, Deena McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon, Jennie Cullum, Helen Nicklas , Tim Elder and Mary Smith. A friend of Jim Hunter’s mother, Mrs Matara, Marie Barnett’s mother, as well as Marie and her family. Wayne Flora’s postmaster is on dialysis. A friend of
Milisha Scruggs, Brenda, is under stress due to family issues.
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 5-10
Monday: Psalm 46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday: Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11; 15-17
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 12-17
Monday: Job 1:1-12
Tuesday: Jeremiah 1:4-19
Wednesday: Matthew 11:1-19
Thursday: Romans 2:1-20
Friday: Revelation 18:1-20
Saturday: Psalm 93:1-5
END OF LIFE FILM AND DISCUSSION
After weeks of planning and reviewing the film owned and provided by Carilion Hospital, we have set the date for a community viewing for May 19th. It will take place in the annex and start at 7:00 pm.
After the DVD presentation there will be a break for light refreshments. Afterwards will be time for discussion, questions and answers.
The purpose of the DVD and discussion is to assist families in discussing and planning for declining health.
Both Martha Foy PhD, Alan Beach, PhD, and Del Bolin, MD, among others who can contribute will be on hand to assist in the discussion.
Flyers, along with an invitation have been sent to the area churches. Additional Flyers are available on the table in the foyer for you to place or share with others who are facing such issues.
THE UPSTAIRS RESTROOM
Thanks to the work of Mike Branch in securing bids and checking environmental issues, we are now able to move on starting the work. Mike wants the steering committee to give final approval for the contractor he has chosen. This can be done individually, or in a brief, called meeting, rather than waiting until the scheduled meeting on May 18th.
A work day needs to be planned for some general outside work, as well as some inside. In the communion preparation room downstairs, there has been an issue with moisture seeping through the old cinder blocks on which the building was built. Over the year, most of the outer stucco has dropped off, or was removed. The rest needs to be removed so the wall can be covered with Drylock, and then painted. The women’ restroom as some similar issues on the wall behind and under the settee. Outside will be a matter of trimming the shrubs and ivy. Let’s look at May 26. Also, the area above the handicap parking could be cleaned up as well.