Ten Facts that Aren’t True

If you pick up a baby bird, its mother won’t have anything to do with him again. It’s dangerous to go swimming within an hour of eating lunch. Penguins mate for life. People only use ten percent of their brain. And the Houston Texans will win the next Super Bowl.

These are all “facts” that we have accepted for years. But guess what? None of these “facts” is actually true. I have compiled a “Top Ten” list of other truisms that aren’t true.

1. The Great Wall of China is the only manmade object that can be seen from space. Actually, there are lots of manmade objects easily viewable from space, and the Great Wall is not one of them. It can only be seen under perfect conditions.

2. Oranges are named after the color. It’s the other way around. The color came from the fruit, not the fruit from the color. Before the late 15th century, the color orange was just lumped in with red.

3. Humans have five senses. Actually, the number is anywhere from nine to 20, depending on which scientist you listen to. Other senses include balance, pain, and temperature.

4. Napoleon was short. At a time when the average height for a man was 5’5″, Napoleon Bonaparte was 5’7″. His nickname, “le Petit Caporal,” meant “The Little Corporal.” But is was used as a term of affection.

5. The Earth revolves around the sun. Actually, it revolves around the solar system’s center of mass. This is called the Barycenter. Usually, it’s contained within the mass of the sun, but not always. When it’s outside the mass of the sun, the Earth is just orbiting around empty space.

6. It takes seven years to digest gum. The truth is, you can’t digest gum at all. It just passes right through your system.

7. George Washington had wooden teeth. The fact is, his dentures were made of gold, ivory, lead, animal teeth, and the teeth from some of his slaves.

8. There was widespread panic with Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds. Thjs 1938 radio broadcast of the Martian invasion did not elicit widespread panic, as has often been reported.

9. Bats are blind. Ever hear the phrase, “blind as a bat”? All bat species have eyes and can see. In fact, some species of bats have excellent night vision.

10. Flies live only for a day. Actually, most houseflies live for about 20 to 30 days.

Paul said that in the last days, men will believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31). There was a day when the world was flat. That was a fact – until the fact changed. That’s what makes God’s word so amazing. It has always been true. And Jesus is true. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). If you want facts that never change, come to God, read his word, and follow his Son. God will never let you down. And that’s a fact.

I Can’t Believe What I Just Saw

I can’t believe what I just saw. Saturday, I was in Texas to conduct a wedding ceremony. After the wedding, Beth and I stopped at a Raceway Station. When I started to pump gas, I saw the lady at the next pump – smoking a cigarette while pumping gas. I walked toward her and warned her of the danger of smoking while pumping gas. She said some rather unpleasant things to me. It was clear she was not going to put her cigarette out. So I got in my car and drove off out of fear of what might happen next.

And then it did happen next. As we began to drive off, Beth saw it in our car’s side mirror – a spark – and then a flame. I turned the car around and saw the lady waving her arm violently. She was on fire.

Within seconds, several customers had run to her with some sort of blanket, throwing it around her arm as fast as they could, to put the fire out. But before they could get to her, the sound of her screams and the sight of her waving arm, completely aflame, were etched in my mind. It was a horrible sight and sound.

We got out of our car. Just then, a police car pulled up. It must have already been close by. The officer got out of his car and walked over to the lady. After making sure the fire was out, he proceeded to do the unexpected. He put her into the backseat of his car.

When the manager of the store left the scene, walking back toward the store, many of us gathered around him. “Why did the officer put her in the car?” I asked him. He said, “The police put her under arrest.”

“Why did they arrest her?” I asked him.

The man replied, “For illegally waving a firearm.”

Okay – so that’s a horrible (but funny) story. But there’s a point. You bought it, didn’t you? I know I did, when I heard that story last week!

Here’s the lesson. Don’t believe everything you hear. Sounding true and being true are two different things. We live in a world in which the media is screaming messages at us every day. I won’t get into the politics of that. But I will say this – again. Be careful what you believe. The Bible says to “test the spirits.” That means to make sure what you buy into is really true.

And avoid illegally waving a firearm.

Political Correctness

Do you know how to never offend anyone with what you say? It’s simple. Never talk about religion, politics, or cats. The one exception is that in most circles is that it is okay to criticize Christianity, but not other religions. Avoid attempts at humor at all cost. It is acceptable to laugh at anything crude, but don’t “force” your morality on anyone else. The phrase for today is “political correctness.” If you are new to the game of PC, let me help.

We don’t “man” an office or position. We “person” it. We don’t allow our children to play Cowboys and Indians. They are to play Cowpersons and Native Americans. As Vice President Al Gore taught us, “My mother always made it clear to my mister and me that men and women were equal, if not more so.”

You have your assignment. May all mankind and womankind strive for equality, if not “more so.” Strive for non-offensive, non-controversial speech in everything you say. But if it is political correctness you want, you may want to avoid the Scriptures. The Scriptures are all about truth, whether it stings or not.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight” (Psalm 19:14).