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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Tuesday, October 16 2001 

The fear factor

Normal human beings respond to love and kindness by being at least a little kinder in return. In fact, in terms of the recurring theme here for a week or so of what makes life meaningful, I'm ready to propose that nothing invests meaning into life more than the conviction that God cares. Cares about me, my problems, my life. I admit that the idea struck me after watching another episode of Touched by An Angel, through which that idea is conveyed almost every time. No matter; it's true. Second only to the belief that God cares would be believing that someone, some other person, really cares.

Perfect love casts out fear. Fear has the power to dehumanize people, returning kindness with hostility and even criminal assault. Fear causes suspicion, which fosters anger and aggressive trespass, invasion.

But a little fear of such criminals and their hostility is also often a curb on aggression and hostility on our part. Right now we have a growing fear of white powders. There have been too many instances of white powders carrying anthrax spores and its disease into people's bodies. But people running on less than a full tank have already been using white powders—innocuous powders that might be confectioner's sugar or corn starch—to put fear in their perceived enemies, people they dislike or hate. White powder scares will be as common for a while now, in all likelihood, as bomb scares were a few years ago. We're afraid of such powders, and we should be.

And we should be a little afraid of the person we thoughtlessly bump into, affront, or treat rudely. That person might know where to get white powders and how to slip them into your working or personal papers. Such fear might make you more polite, more patient, less careless, more willing to help rather than hurt with indifference. Such fear is not based on love, but if it forces you to treat people more humanly, and humanely, it might foster a more loving character. That's a good thing.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

What every true Southerner knows... (series)

To never go snipe hunting twice.

What happens when you swallow tobacco juice.

Never to assume that the other car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

You may wear long sleeves, but you should always roll 'em up past the elbows.

Sent by Sallie Covolo

Measuring success

Man's moral fall has clouded his vision, confused his thinking and rendered him subject to delusion. One evidence of this is his all but incurable proneness to confuse values and put size before quality in his appraisal of things. The Christian faith reverses this order, but even Christians tend to judge things by the old Adamic rule. How big? How much? and How many? are the questions oftenest asked by religious persons when trying to evaluate Christian things....

—A. W. Tozer

Sent by Jim Martin

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