News That Illustrates: February 25, 2013
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Greeter at the Heart Attack Grill Dies of Heart Attack
At PreachingToday.com we used an illustration about the Heart Attack Grill where people risk their lives to eat a 10,000-calorie burger. The Las Vegas Sun reported that John Alleman, an unofficial spokesman and greeter for the restaurant, died after suffering a heart attack. Alleman, who was only 52, was at a bus stop outside the restaurant when he was stricken. But Heart Attack Grill owner Jon Basso says that Alleman's death won't stop the restaurant from promoting the world's "most calorific burger." Basso said, "The grill is where you can be yourself. We accept people as they are. Alleman's death isn't going to stop us from what we're doing. People have got to live their lives." In other words, we accept people so much that we're willing to kill them. It seems like this place could also dish out a little "tough love."
PREACHING ANGLES: Acceptance; Exhortation
North Korea's Threat of "Final Destruction" Highlights Need for True Peace
After an apparent test of an improved nuclear weapon, North Korea has threatened its southern neighbor with "final destruction" during a recent UN conference. Of course the comment drew sharp criticism from the UN. One interesting dynamic to this ongoing conflict is the fact that the North and the South never signed a peace treaty to end their 1950s conflict. They are technically still in a state of war, with only a truce keeping them from combat. This is an interesting reminder of the nature of true peace. True peace is more than just the absence of fighting—indeed, even though no shots are being fired, the strife and hatred in this divided country are incredible. True peace is deeper than that. True peace is active and proactive. It is not merely passive. It is more than taking your finger off the trigger. True peace and reconciliation can only come through the work of God in our lives. We need that peace. So do nations.
PREACHING ANGLES: Peacemakers; Conflict; Reconciliation
The Most Popular Things to Give Up for Lent
Here's a good way to set up a sermon on Lent or spiritual disciplines. Stephen Smith at OpenBible.info has been tracking Twitter to determine the top things people are giving up for Lent. Here's the top ten list: Being pope, swearing, soda, social networking, alcohol, chips, virginity, marijuana, fast food, and instagram. Twitter and Facebook also made the top 20. Giving up "you" came in 42nd place. Giving up church came in at 53rd place. Other notable items on the list included giving up myself, homework, being negative, busyness, and being ugly.
PREACHING ANGLES: Lent; Spiritual Disciplines
3-D Movie Changes Man's Sight
Bruce Bridgeman thought that Martin Scorsese's 3-D film Hugo would be just another movie. But he was wrong. According to the BBC, Bridgeman had lived his entire 67 years as a "stereoblind" man—he could not see depth. But when he put on his 3-D glasses at the theater and the movie started, for the first time in his life, he saw depth. "It was just literally like a whole new dimension of sight. Exciting," he said. And it didn't stop after the credits ended. The world outside the theater was no longer two dimensional. The effect of the film lasted. The best explanation for Bridgman's experience offered so far is that Hugo triggered something in Bridgman's mind to see something that it had never been able to grasp before. Isn't faith like this? You can be looking at something one day, and it is flat, lifeless, two dimensional. But then something in your sight shifts just a little and you really see it. And you didn't even need funny glasses.