On breaking your TV habit
Want to cut down on your TV watching but find it a battle? Gary North has an idea he put in place more than 40 years ago: “Put a price on your time.” He suggests putting a piggy bank next to your couch and whenever you watch a show you have to put in $1 for a half-hour show, and $2 for an hour show. If someone else is already watching something (and has already paid the price) you can join in for free (TV watching together is a step up from watching by yourself). Then at year’s end you count up all the money and send a check for that amount to your favorite charity.
“In short, put a price on your time. Pay the price. Economics teaches: ‘When the price rises, less is demanded.’ You will cut your TV habit by 50%. If not, make it $3.”
Luther and Aristotle on the need for balance and moderation
I’ve read that in Martin Luther’s first year at Wittenberg he had to regularly lecture on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. And while Luther didn’t seem a fan of the Greek philosopher, one of Luther’s more famous quotes is an echo of sorts to a passage in Ethics. Martin Luther once said:
“Human nature is like a drunk peasant. Lift him into the saddle on one side, over he topples on the other side.”
Long before, Aristotle spoke of the need for balance, and that there are two equal and opposite ways of getting things wrong:
“….the man who flies from and fears everything and does not stand his ground against anything becomes a coward, and the man who fears nothing at all but goes to meet every danger becomes rash; and similarly the man who indulges in every pleasure and abstains from none becomes self- indulgent, while the man who shuns every pleasure, as boors do, becomes in a way insensible; temperance and courage, then, are destroyed by excess and defect, and preserved by the mean.”
Of course, that a Greek philosopher said something doesn’t mean it is biblical. So is the need for balance a biblical idea? It can indeed be, and alcohol is an example. On the one hand God forbids drunkenness, but on the other, doesn’t require us to completely abstain – instead He calls for moderation. Another example might be sexuality and dress. On the one hand, we are called to modesty so lascivious or scandalous dress is forbidden, but we don’t all have to go around wearing burkas. There is a balance point between perverse and prudish.
The key then is to act as God commands us, and not simply react against one way the Devil is trying to lure us.
Reagan on Big Government
“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
– Ronald Reagan as quoted in The Reagan Wit by Bill Adler
Doubters should question their doubts too
“Some believers spend too much time doubting their faith, and not enough time doubting their doubts. Yes, there are some reasonable questions that thoughtful people have always raised about the Christian faith. But there are also some very good questions that faithful people should raise about their spiritual doubts:
- Have I studied what God has to say on this question, or have I been listening mainly to his detractors?
- Am I well aware of how this doubt has been addressed in the history of Christian theology, or has my thinking been relatively superficial?
- Have I been compromising with sin in ways that make it harder for me to hear God’s voice and diminish my desire for the purity of his truth?
- Is this a doubt that I have offered sincerely to God in prayer, or am I waiting to see if God measures up to my standards before I ask for his help?”
– Phil Ryken, in Loving Jesus More
Back in 2013 Vince Rozmiarek got put in charge of his small town’s community center message board, and soon after starting posting puns to the big 6” by 4” outdoor sign. Now the two puns he posts each week are seen by the many driving by, and by the 84,000 folks who have signed up for the Indian Hills Community Sign Facebook page. While his puns tackle all sorts of topics, he can’t “steer” clear of farm jokes.
- Cows have hooves because they lactose.
- If a cow doesn’t produce mill is it a milk dud or an udder failure?
- Ban pre-shredded cheese. Make America grate again.
- Cheerful cowboys make jolly ranchers
- Amish banks have cash cows
- The pregnant cow soon became decalfinated
- Award-winning cow. Outstanding in field.
- I called my horse mayo, and sometimes mayo neighs.
- Man assaults his neighbor with milk and cheese. How dairy?!?
- If pigs could fly, imagine how good their wings would taste.
Only God’s Word makes sense of it all
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen — not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
– C.S. Lewis, in Is Theology Poetry