There's a wonderful piece by Tom Smith in Relevantmagazine.com. It begins . . . I love experiments. A few years ago I wore my Jabez T-shirt in Colorado Springs. It said, “I prayed the prayer of Jabez for thirty days and the only thing I got was this lousy shirt.” The reactions I got were truly amazing. Some people were furious while others thanked me. A few weeks ago I embarked on another one of my ventures. The laboratory I chose was the local Christian bookstores in Johannesburg, South Africa. The experiment was really simple; I would browse the store in search of books on helping the poor and fighting AIDS. After I saw a million, ‘Here’s how to use Jesus to make you more successful’ titles, I would then ask the sales clerk or manager if they stock books about helping the hurting and helpless. The first store’s clerk looked confused when I asked the question, and the manager intervened and said, “If you find a book on the subject you should immediately buy it.” Two days later I took my science to a bookstore in another mall. I walked in with one of my seventeen year old friends, who happened to be someone who was on the receiving end of apartheid. I asked the clerk if they had books on poverty or AIDS. Nothing could have prepared me for the answer she gave me. “No sir, this is a religious bookstore. I think you should try the secular bookstore around the corner.” In utter shock I asked her if she didn’t think that helping the poor or sick had anything to do with religion. I only got a blank stare. Now it’s easy to harp on this poor girl but to tell you the truth, if you asked me the same question a few years ago, I probably would have had the same confused look, and I’m a pastor! I often wonder why I never made the link between my relationship with Christ and my responsibility towards people who suffer and are poor. To read more, you can find the full article here. - - - - "The one principle of Hell is -- 'I am my own.'" - George MacDonald - - - - Yes, that's right. I said it in this morning's post: Joe Montana is the greatest QB ever to play the game. A few years from now, I expect that to be edited to Peyton Manning (who stars in some of my favorite commercials on TV).