Scott Gage

PO Box 3425
Fayetteville, AR 72702



January/February Issue 2008 - Volume 27   Number 1

Frogs and Distractions

Born Before 1989? Then You're...OLD!

Every year Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin publishes what it calls "The Mindset List"--fun facts and figures about the incoming crop of freshmen so professors will be able to relate to their new students. Beloit says the list is a reminder that the worldview of today's new college students is significantly different from the intellectual framework of those students who entered only a few years earlier. Put another way, it's a reminder that you are getting on in years.

Most of today's college freshmen were born in 1989 just as the Cold War was ending. For them, a Russia with multiple political parties and a China with multiple business enterprises seem quite normal. They've grown up in a time of triumphant capitalism, where it's common for stadiums to be named after corporations and where product placements have always been yet another clever way for companies to sell their wares. As far as the class of 2011 is concerned, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead.

This list also serves as a reminder to Christian preachers and teachers that not all of the young people we encounter will fully understand some of our experiences. We cannot take for granted that the values with which we grew up are shared by all of the young; therefore, it is important to teach many fundamental values to our young rather than assume that they already know them.

This list was much longer but I have edited it down to just 35 items.

Beloit College's Mindset List for the Class of 2011:

  1. What Berlin wall?
  2. Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
  3. Rush Limbaugh and the "Dittoheads" have always been lambasting liberals.
  4. They never "rolled down" a car window. 
  5. They have grown up with bottled water.
  6. General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
  7. Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
  8. Pete Rose has never played baseball.
  9. Rap music has always been mainstream. 
  10. Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  11. Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.
  12. They were born the year Harvard Law Review Editor Barack Obama announced he might run for office some day.
  13. Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM.
  14. Being "lame" has to do with being dumb or inarticulate, not disabled.
  15. When all else fails, the Prozac defense has always been a possibility.
  16. Multigrain chips have always provided healthful junk food.
  17. Stadiums, rock tours and sporting events have always had corporate names.
  18. American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow.
  19. Commercial product placements have been the norm in films and on TV. 
  20. Fox has always been a major network.


  1. The "Blue Man Group" has always been everywhere.
  2. Women's studies majors have always been offered on campus.
  3. Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.
  4. Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
  5. They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.
  6. Most phone calls have never been private.
  7. High definition television has always been available.
  8. Time has always worked with Warner.
  9. Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.
  10. They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper.
  11. They're always texting 1 n other.
  12. They will encounter roughly equal numbers of female and male professors in the classroom.
  13. They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.
  14. Avatars have nothing to do with Hindu deities.
  15. The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.



Dealing With Stress!

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 8oz. to 20oz.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work/life down. Don't carry it home.

You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.  Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short.  Enjoy it!"

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

1* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

2* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4* Drive carefully.  It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8* Never buy a car you can't push.

9* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10* Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.

11* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12* The second mouse gets the cheese.

13* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14* Birthdays are good for you.  The more you have, the longer you live.

15* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

17* We could learn a lot from crayons.  Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.  Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box. 

18* A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

...Via email 12/4/2007



Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this problem, the authorities posted guards around the factories. At one timber works in Leningrad , the guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich pushing a wheelbarrow and, on the wheelbarrow, a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside.

"All right, Petrovich," said the guard, "what have you got there?" "Oh, just sawdust and shavings," Petrovich replied.

"Come on," the guard said, "I wasn't born yesterday. Tip it out." And out came nothing but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration.

"Petrovich," he said, "I know you. Tell me what you're smuggling out of here, and I'll let you go." "Wheelbarrows, my friend," said Petrovich, "wheelbarrows."

This illustration reminds me of how easily humans can be distracted by the trivial. Petrovich took advantage of this characteristic to conduct his thievery. The guard, understandably, thought the hidden contents were of value, until he learned it was just waste product from the factory. He didn't think for a moment about the wheelbarrow that was doing the hauling! However, had Petrovich tried to haul an empty wheelbarrow away from the factory, he would have been caught immediately, no doubt.

The devil sometimes works in much the same way as this thief did. He distracts us in various ways and consequently blinds us to the truth! For example, any Christian with even an elementary understanding of the Scriptures knows that adultery is wrong. However, when a co-worker starts flirting with you, it seems innocent enough to flirt back. But, one thing can easily lead to another over a period of time and eventually adultery may be committed. A Christian who would never agree to commit sexual immorality if asked outright by a stranger, may nevertheless wind up engaging in this form of wickedness with a co-worker or friend. Why? Because he or she is obviously not thinking properly; the devil has distracted them by slowly moving the relationship to this end. To a God-fearing individual, adultery is an obvious sin (like pushing an empty wheelbarrow out of a factory to one's home is obvious theft). But, flirting seems so innocent, and the final consequence of it is easily disguised (like the deceptive sack of sawdust on the wheelbarrow).

Let me share another example of Satan's distractions, but this case will be more general in application. Materialism is a deceptive scourge upon many today. The devil enslaves many with a materialistic spirit, and they are blind to this sin in their lives. The fundamental purpose of money and any other material blessing the Lord provides is that we use them to accomplish good works, always being "ready to give, willing to share" (I Tim. 6:18). However, Satan labors to distract us to fall into the temptation of desiring to be rich. He tries to squeeze us into thinking like the world does about money (namely, to trust in it instead of the Lord). Some who are worth millions of dollars live miserable lives, never satisfied or content (cf. I Tim. 6:9,10). All they want is more! They've allowed the devil to deceive them. Others, however, who are not afflicted with the love of money or material things, can more easily see the bountiful blessings God has bestowed upon them. They are full of gratitude and good works.

II Corinthians 4:18 reads - "We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Dear friends, those who are wise will focus on that which is spiritual and eternal. Do not allow the devil to distract you from the things that are really important! Be wise enough to see where your actions and attitude will lead you. Don't be fooled or distracted into concentrating on something that is eternally worthless (like money, possessions, or fame) when the devil is laboring to rob you of your soul's salvation!

…By Stephen R. Bradd

Via email: 12/16/2007


Biblical Artifact Proven to Be Real

In 1979, two tiny silver scrolls bearing the same Old Testament verse were found in a tomb near Jerusalem by Dr. Gabriel Barkay, an archaeologist at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Both of the scrolls were inscribed with this verse:
May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace.

The Priestly Benediction, as this scripture from Numbers 6:24-26 is often called, are spoken at the conclusion of both Christian and Jewish liturgies. And now these words have been found on those two miniature strips of silver wound like tiny scrolls, making it the earliest biblical passage ever found on ancient artifacts.

It's taken 25 years, but scientists now date those scrolls from the late seventh or early sixth century B.C.--400 years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls, reports The New York Times.

Because the ancient silver scrolls were cracked and corroded and some of the words were just faintly scratched onto the metal making them virtually unreadable, it was impossible to accurately date the artifacts. Some thought they were from the third or second century B.C. and therefore were of less importance in establishing the antiquity of religious concepts and language that became part of the Hebrew Bible, reports The Times.

High-technology to the rescue. University of Southern California scientists used photographic and computer imaging techniques to more closely examine the inscriptions. For the first time, they could be fully read and analyzed, which confirmed their much-older age. There is no doubt now that the script is from the time just before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and exiled the Israelites to Babylonia.

The researchers wrote in The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research that the scrolls "preserve the earliest known citations of texts also found in the Hebrew Bible and that they provide us with the earliest examples of confessional statements concerning Yahweh." Other scholars agree with this conclusion.

It's now known that each of the scrolls was an amulet intended to provide a blessing and protection to the person who wore it. The Times notes that such early Hebrew inscriptions are rare, and these artifacts offer new understanding about the history of religion in ancient Israel.

...What’s New Compuserve 12/19/2005


If You Woke Up This Morning


If you woke up this morning

with more health than illness,

you are more blessed than the

million who won't survive the week.


If you have never experienced

the danger of battle,

the loneliness of imprisonment,

the agony of torture or

the pangs of starvation,

you are ahead of 20 million people

around the world.


If you attend a church meeting

without fear of harassment,

arrest, torture, or death,

you are more blessed than almost

three billion people in the world.


If you have food in your refrigerator,

clothes on your back, a roof over

your head and a place to sleep,

you are richer than 75% of this world.


If you have money in the bank,

in your wallet, and spare change

in a dish someplace, you are among

the top 8% of the world's wealthy.


If your parents are still married and alive,

you are very rare,

especially in the United States.


If you hold up your head with a smile

on your face and are truly thankful,

you are blessed because the majority can,

but most do not.


If you can hold someone's hand, hug them

or even touch them on the shoulder,

you are blessed because you can

offer God's healing touch.


If you can read this message,

you are more blessed than over

two billion people in the world

that cannot read anything at all.


You are so blessed in ways

you may never even know.


                                                                                                      ...Via email: 12/20/2007


Getting Old Requires a Sense of Humor

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "98," she replied. "Two years older than me." "So you're 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.

I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week".

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.

THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Now, I think you're supposed to share this with 5 or 6, maybe 10 others. Oh, just give it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are!

...Via email: 10/21/2006



Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began!

Honestly, no one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as:

"Oh, WAY too difficult!!"

"They will NEVER make it to the top."


"Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing one by one. Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher.

The crowd continued to yell,  "It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!"

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up.

But ONE continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the

one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out that the winner was DEAF!

The wisdom of this story is:

Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or Pessimistic because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore always be POSITIVE!

And above all: Be DEAF when people tell you that you cannot fulfill your dreams!

Always think: God and I can do this!

If you fall down 10 times, stand up 11.

...Via email: 8/3/2006