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Cannonballs, sugar, and Christmas

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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The medieval Mons Meg with its 50 cm cannon balls

A cannonball crashed through a home in California yesterday after a television experiment went wrong.  MythBusters is a Discovery Channel show that tests the validity of urban myths such as whether shooting fish in a barrel is as easy as it sounds.  While they were filming at a sheriff’s department bomb range in Dublin, California, “a cannonball took an unforeseen bounce from a safety berm,” a spokesman explained.

The picture that accompanies the story shows the hole where the cannonball exited the master bedroom.  No one was injured, though a parked car was damaged.  Here’s the scary part: the show claims that “all proper safety protocol was observed” prior to the incident.  In other words, there’s nothing they could have done to prevent the accident.  Now don’t you feel safer?

Continuing our health alert theme, Time reports this morning that some children’s cereals pack more sugar in a single cup than a Twinkie.  Why is this a bad thing?  Studies suggest that children who eat high-sugar breakfasts have more problems at school.  They have less energy, show attention deficits, and make more mistakes in their work.  They eat more, for breakfast and lunch.  And they are more prone to high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.  Other than that, sugar for breakfast is a great idea.

Especially if you’re left-handed.  Today’s Wall Street Journal tells us that left-handedness seems to be associated with a greater number of psychiatric and developmental disorders.  Links to schizophrenia, dyslexia, ADHD, and some mood disorders have been reported in research studies.

The ancient poet Virgil could have been reading the morning news when he observed, “Confidence cannot find a place wherein to rest in safety.”  However, he died 15 years before Christmas.  He didn’t know what we know–that a baby in a manger would be named Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Now I have a choice: I can live with B.C. fear or A.D. hope.  I can pretend Christmas never happened and I’m on my own, or I can rest in the promise of the ever-present God: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).  I can agree with Virgil and adopt the self-reliant posture my culture endorses.  Or I can put every problem I face today in the omnipotent hands of the God who became one of us that we might be one with him.

The Christ of Christmas is interceding for you right now (Romans 8:34).  What do you suppose he is praying for?