Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In Jesus’ discussions about the Pharisees, he often pointed out that they were meticulous in obeying law, but they did not practice the purpose or spirit behind it (Mark 2:3–28, 3:1–6; 2 Corinthians 3:6).
A humorous example comes from a recent New York City law that permitted on the subway only those dogs that could fit in a bag. Now that’s the letter of the law. But the spirit of the law was to keep large dogs, and they’re leavings 😉 away from the subways.
However, enjoy below some of the ways that creative New Yorkers obeyed the letter of the law, and not the spirit.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: ￼As an avid surfer, people often ask me if I’m worried about a shark attack. I tell them no, I put my trust in God first. And secondly, even among people who go to the beach the chance of being killed by shark is 1 in 11.5 million. Here are National Geographic’s even more remarkable statistics about some more dangerous household encounters.
by Meg Gleason, National Geograohic, 11/22/11.
…Who knew toilets and air fresheners could be so dangerous? Well, at least statistically speaking it appears sharks seem to pose less of a threat than many things we encounter every day.
In 1996, toilets injured 43,000 Americans. Sharks injured 13…
1n 1996, buckets and pails injured almost 11,000 Americans. Sharks injured 13.
In 1996, room fresheners injured 2,600 Americans. Sharks injured 13.
The U.S. averages 19 shark attacks a year. Lightning kills about 41 people a year in coastal states alone.
Since 1959, Florida has had nine shark attack fatalities. Lightning fatalities = 459…
For every human killed by a shark, humans kill two million sharks.
Anyone who has swum in New Smyrna Beach, Florida (shark capital of the world) has likely been within 10 feet of a shark.
Some sharks can live for a year without eating, surviving on the oil stored in their livers.
by Rachael Thompson, Mashable, 4/1/19, April Fools Day.
Mr Avo Head, suitable for all millennials.
On April 1, 2019, also known as April Fools’ Day, Hasbro announced the termination of our spud-like pal’s contract to make way for his millennial replacement, Mr Avo Head.
“It’s no guaccident that the avocado was chosen to replace the carby potato,” reads Hasbro’s statement. “Hasbro has announced that Mr Potato Head will no longer be a star carb character and will be replaced with his soon to be Insta-famous rival, Mr Avo Head.”
On April 1, 1957, the BBC TV show “Panorama” ran a segment about the Swiss spaghetti harvest enjoying a “bumper year” thanks to mild weather and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil. Many credulous Britons were taken in, and why not? The story was on television — then a relatively new invention — and Auntie Beeb would never lie, would it?
On April 1, 1996 a full page ad appeared in six major American newspapers (The Philadelphia Inquirer,New York Times,Washington Post,Chicago Tribune,Dallas Morning News, andUSA Today) announcing that the fast food chain Taco Bell had purchased the Liberty Bell. The full text of the ad read:
Taco Bell Buys The Liberty Bell
In an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the “Taco Liberty Bell” and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country’s debt.
In a separate press release, Taco Bell explained that the Liberty Bell would divide its time between Philadelphia and the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine. It compared the purchase to the adoption of highways by corporations. Taco Bell argued that it was simply “going one step further by purchasing one of the country’s greatest historic treasures.” The company boasted, “Taco Bell’s heritage and imagery have revolved around the symbolism of the bell. Now we’ve got the crown jewel of bells.”
The Daily Mail had news that Larry the Downing Street cat was getting its own catflap in the famous door to No 10.
Pick of the tech jokes this year is Google Tulip. With an extremely detailed technical spec and glossy promotional video, this development allows you to talk to your tulips, and discover just what it is they are thinking about. Spoiler alert: sunshine, soil and water.
And Cambridgeshire police are introducing the drug sniffer bunny.
Okay, there are going to be people out there who want this to be real. With elaborate dog birthday parties (including requested gifts) already being a thing, there are bound to be disappointed dog event planners who were hoping that Wayfair’s dog wedding registry launch was legit. Dubbed “Groom’d,” the placeholder site suggests that dog couples will love putting together a list of items they want for their new joint lives—including décor—because, of course.
From the press release: “We’re delighted to introduce the next generation wedding registry with a platform created just for dogs looking to take their puppy love to the next level.”
Forget candles—scented wallpaper is the new fragrance trend we wish we could have at home. A “beta tester” used to rub citrus on her walls, but Spoonflower’s Orange Blossom saves her from the “pulpy mess.” We wouldn’t be mad at lining our walls with the Aloe Eucalyptus and Summer Rose scents, either.
Yes, you need some process to keep employees in check. But when you have too much, you kill creativity. This is what ultimately drives the success of any organization. Don’t destroy it. Don’t be afraid to adjust or remove processes to help your team push the envelope. Encouraging progress, not process, is essential for your company’s long term growth…
3. Strong Managers Compete With Themselves; Weak Managers Compete With Others
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This is an exercise about understanding how different cultures worship. My students enjoy it, so I thought I would post it here. Here is how the leadership exercise works:
Watch this video:
It is a humorous video that actually teaches an important cultural lesson too. It is by the Christian band called Glad. They were known for great vocals (and probably also for 80s haircuts 😉
(the video seems to have disappeared, but here is the audio version.)
But aside from their fashion statement, the group makes a good cultural point in this video. Write down a paragraph regarding the point of their video in your mind.
This is an exercise to allow you to dig deeper into cultural patterns and why they differ. So what is the lesson from this video about culture, when we recognize culture is comprised of behaviors, ideas and products (Hiebert, 1997)?
Here is a more recent version of the video to will enjoy also:
And, for a final bit of humor here is a puppet ministry visualizing the song.)
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In communication theory, context must be exegeted carefully to ascertain the original speaker/writer’s environment and intent. Here are two 30-second videos that serve as a great example, courtesy of State Farm® Insurance.
Probably the most important part of Christianity is going to Halloween Festivals at church that don’t use the word “Halloween.” … And listen, nothing is more embarrassing than hitting the Harvest Festival in a bedsheet shepherd costume. Freshen it up, girl. God didn’t give us grace so that we could be embarrassed by the pagans and their fancy costumes. Here are some ideas so that you can turn some heads when you roll up to the Trunk-or-Treat at First Methodist.
What could be more terrifying to your affluent, conservative WASP-nest of a Bible Belt church than if you and your spouse showed up to the Fall Festival as a couple of free trade coffee-swilling, Bernie Sanders-quoting progressive believers? IMPORTANT: you must wear either the “Look How Smart I Am Glasses” or the “I Might Be Homeless Headwear,” but not both. Furthermore, to complete the ensemble, work the following buzzwords into your conversations:
bagels [progressives love bagels; no one knows why]
Terrify your friends by showing up at your church’s Fall Festival as this scowling, grumbling theological warrior. Furrow those brows, let the corners of your mouth sink down into your jowls, and wave your ESV MacArthur Study Bible at lesser believers. Tootsie Rolls? Nope, not biblical. Candy corn? Abomination… Rice cakes and Nutella are good enough for Al Mohler and by golly they’re good enough for me.
The Southern Baptist
Keep those shades on you at all times, baby. If you don’t have flip up lenses then get you a frat boy strap and wear the shades around your neck. Throw a couple of twenties into the offering plate. Feels good, don’t it? Take the harmony on “Joy Unspeakable” and really belt it out. Make them hear you up in the choir row.
The Youth Pastor
Add some accessories. AND THEN ADD SOME MORE. Grow some sweet facial hair and then break out the bleach. Roll up your sleeves. Are belts keeping you from relating to today’s generation? LEAVE YOUR BELT AT HOME AND UNTUCK YOUR SHIRT.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: One of my recent DMin students at Fuller Seminary, Rev. Sharon Koh, shared an amazing “domino effect” video that uses OT metaphors to teach “It is not who you are, but whose you are.” Watch this intriguing video (I guarantee you won’t stop it once it starts).
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Tripp & Tyler are two humorists that utilize short videos to capture their satire. You can find several of the videos I use in my courses to teach students by clicking “humor” in the “Tag Cloud” (right sidebar) in ChurchHealth.wiki. Here is their take on Apple’s comprehension-impaired PA: Siri.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Here is another humorous, but satirically poignant video by Christian humorists Tripp & Tyler. Their short video points out how email can become bloated, cumbersome and inefficient. It brought a smile to my face (as I think it will yours 😉
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “While teaching as a guest professor at Wheaton College, one of students introduced me to the satire of Tripp and Tyler, two Christian guys who help us laugh at some of our leadership and parenting eccentricities. Take a look at this video of what would happen if we had a conference call, face-to-face.”