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Beyond The Brontobyte

I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd is one who lays down His life for his sheep (John 10:11) Fourth Sunday of Easter

You've heard of the "Stone Age" and the "Information Age" and the "Wired Age," but what about the "Petabyte Age?" In case you missed it, a petabyte is just another giant unit of measure for digital information. And most of us are well familiar with megabytes and gigabytes when talking about our personal computers. But the Pedabyte is a different story -- kind of hard to wrap our heads around. To show just how massive a petabyte is, if you were to count all the bits in one petabyte, at the rate of one bit per second, it would take 285 million years to do so. That's big! In fact one Petabyte could hold approximately twenty million four-drawer filing cabinets full of documents -- or 500 billion pages of standard printed text. And it would take about 500 million floppy disks to store the same amount of data. But there's more! Beyond the Petabyte is the Exabyte, the Zettabyte, the Yottabyte -- and finally (at least for now), the Brontobyte. (Sounds like something you'd get if you tangled with a dinosaur, doesn't it?). In numeric terms, to express the number of bytes in big Bronto, you just write the number one -- followed by twenty-seven zeroes!

It is probably correct to assume that there has never been a more stress-ridden society than ours -- and I may have just contributed to that with all this byte talk! Formerly relaxed, extended-family lifestyles have been preempted by hectic nuclear families drifting in all directions -- existing on fast food, shouting matches, strained relationships, too little sleep and too much "screen time." Add to this: financial setbacks, failure at school, SPAM, obesity, loneliness, fear of cancer, fear of epidemics, fear of terrorism, mistrust of politicians, 24-7 news coverage, materialism, alcoholism and other forms of drug addiction, and even death. These are the makings of madness. Stress has become a way of life; it is the rule rather than the exception. -1

The late Psychologist Erich Fromm, in his famous book, "The Art of Loving," said loving relationships are a necessary ingredient of a fulfilled life. [...]

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Love

Love is one phase of the divine law that needs practical interpretation. To be loved by people, a basic desire of everyone, is not a matter of accident but a matter of fulfilling the requirements of loveableness...When we are kind we find that people are drawn to us. When we are tolerant and forgiving we find them letting go of fear attributed to us. When we look for the good in them they express their best and love us for the joy they feel in doing so. Our sensitivity to them and their feelings is rewarded with pleasure and gratitude toward us. –Reyner, C., “The Laws of Living” (adapted).

Christianity

A visitor to Lambarene found the great medical missionary, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, pushing a wheelbarrow as he helped build a new road. The visitor was shocked to find the famous doctor performing such a menial task. “Doctor Schweitzer,” he asked, “why are you doing that? How is it that you push a wheelbarrow?” With a twinkle in his eye, Schweitzer replied, “Oh, that’s very simple. You just pick up a shovel, fill up the wheelbarrow with dirt, then take hold of the handle, and push.” That is the way the Lord’s work gets done. There really isn’t very much glamour in our day-to-day tasks and the day-to-day decisions we make for Christ and His Kingdom. We need to learn that most of the triumphs of the Christian Faith are won in the daily round of loving service. We must never get the notion that being a Christian relives us of work and responsibility and struggle. We must never mistake the Kingdom for Utopia, for there will always be “wheelbarrows to fill.”

Preaching, Children, Stewardship

After the church service a little boy told the pastor, “When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money.” “Well, thank you,” the pastor replied, “but why?” “Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had.”

Spiritual Growth, Change Christianity

“We feel we must be continually thanking God because your faith is growing so wonderfully and the love that you have for Him never stops increasing” (II Thessalonians 1:3). Describing the “Good Life” as he felt it from within, in very picturesque language, C.S. Lewis wrote: “We really do not have the slightest notion of the tremendous thing Jesus Christ means to make of us. Imagine yourself living in a house ... God comes in to re-build that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He’s doing. He’s getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. You knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking down the house in a way that hurts abominably and which doesn’t seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. The command “Be ye perfect,” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He means to make us into creatures who can obey that command ... He is going to make good His words, if we let Him — for we can prevent Him if we choose. He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine ... The process will be long, and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said!

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