There is one sure way to collect a crowd in a youth group meeting. Just walk slowly through the room with a large, flat, white, square box. That means ... pizza! "Show me a big white pizza box, and I will be your follower. I will come running." Have you ever noticed that most pizza boxes are very plain? You really don't notice anything on the box, because the box does not matter. Who spends time admiring the box? That box is attacked to get what is inside!
When I was unpacking in a hotel room once, I flipped on the television, and it automatically came on to the adult movie channel. I switched immediately, and later when I turned it off, I left it on the news channel I had been watching. I thought, 'Okay, I have this thing figured out. The next time the TV comes on, it will come on to the news channel.' Wrong. That TV was programmed to always come on to the sleazy channel!
Technology is amazing. You can take the same camera and get two totally different views just by using two different lenses. For example, when you put on the wide-angle lens, you can get a picture of an entire football field with that camera. When you change over to what is called a macro lens, which really magnifies things, you can fill that camera's view with one face in the stands. It's amazing to see how that camera can go from the big picture to the smallest details.
You probably have a picture of yourself that you do not like, either on your driver's license, an ID card, or a passport. There is probably a picture of you that you do like. That picture is the one that shows your good side, your hair is just right, there is good lighting, and you're smiling. There was a lady who really appreciated the ministry of a certain speaker. She asked, "Would you mind if I give you a picture of myself?" He said that would be fine. She signed it and put it in a note, and he didn't look at it until he got to lunch. It was an unusual personal photo; it was a picture of her hands.
Safe sex has almost become a national battle cry. We are finally waking up to the fact that sex is out of control in our country, and so we're trying to offer our young people some meaningful guidance, especially in the age of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Many say to them, "Have safe sex." Nowadays, something married couples had a hard time talking about - condoms - is now on the front counter in the drugstore.
A little known episode of American history came to light in the movie Glory. The Academy Award-winning film called attention to some unsung heroes from the Civil War - heroes no matter which side, blue or gray, you might favor. They were the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, under the command of Colonel Robert Shaw. What was unusual about them was this: The entire company of men was black except for Colonel Shaw, and they left behind a tremendous example of courage.