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Reach Out and Touch Someone

What’s Up on Linda’s Mind

By Linda Benfield

In 1981 the American Communications Corporation, AT&T, came up with the slogan “Reach out and touch someone.” It was designed to promote use of the telephone, and it has worked far beyond what they could have imagined at the time.

People have become so accustomed to depending on the telephone they have actually ceased touching anyone. The telephone has surely surpassed any expectations the telephone company intended. This is all wonderful as far as communication opportunities, but we need to go back to physically touching people in everyday life.

Forty-two years ago, Diana Ross recorded a song with the lyrics: “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can.” This song became a well known theme for the peace movement, but even though society sings along and believes the words that stir their emotions, they keep their hands to themselves. Most have compassion for their fellow man but don’t want to get involved in the drama.

No one spends time in this world without experiencing some kind of heartache and pain. Each person is equipped to handle whatever trial they are given, but it surely helps if there is someone who just tries to understand and let them know, often merely by a touch. Touching someone with compassion works both ways. It makes both parties feel better

Evil has perverted the act of touching to the point it is avoided for fear of being interpreted as wrong intentions. It does not have to be that way. There is a definite difference in the feeling of genuine concern and ulterior motives.

Many are so starved for love and understanding that they take on an attitude of indifference and detach themselves from all involvement. They are more comfortable using the phone. I know some who say they hate to be touched. They do not like to be hugged or touched in any way. If you hug someone and they become rigid and don’t move; this is the sign it makes them uncomfortable. Anytime this is noticed the best thing to do is avoid physical contact but be kind anyway, they will often become more comfortable if they see it is genuine. So the purpose here is not to encourage everyone to go out and touch people, but true compassion will guide you and help you know if it is appropriate.

I have hugged people I met for the first time, but then there are those I have known for years and still do not feel this is comfortable for them so I just hug them with kindness. Both ways work. The point here is to show kindness and compassion. When you run into someone who is hard to handle, picture them getting ready for the day and that they are just like you only something has caused them to be the way they are. We never know the whole story about anyone, so be kind.

HOW MUST I LOVE?

Let’s Talk Bible  Since 1975

Evangelist  W.C. “Dub” Dellinger

Notice in the title, the word “must” is in association with love.  We must be very particular as to what we love.  First, let’s separate friendship and love.  You can be friendly with the world, but not take of it the things that your Lord has condemned.  These things must be put aside to please Him, regardless of whatever sin it is.  You see, there could be a person in the village where you live, and sure you can be friendly with Him.  And, you have a right, even if you do not drink, to say something to them about their drinking.  That pleases your Lord- just be sure to say it with a smile on your face.  It will do much more good that way.  I came upon a man who had some wrong ideas about being forgiven of his sins.  Forgiven of your sins does not pay your owed debts, no sir!  He told me when he was saved that the Lord forgave it all.  I had some time getting him to see that he must go satisfy the man he owed the grocery bill to.  Some other men heard me talking to this man, and I hope they talked to him because they were listening and heard it all there at the counter.  I had rather it had been in private conversation, but when you are a God called person, He wants you to do and say what is right whenever and wherever.  Let me say this if you are one who wants to get saved and have all your debts forgiven: YOU DO NOT BARGAIN WITH A MERCIFUL LOVING GOD THAT WAY.  We have people coming in from all different countries now, and this must be preached from the pulpit, or others will be messed up in what they believe.  I have read about people worshipping in mountains and even worshipping to bats.  All preachers have a bigger job before them now, than ever before.

The Bullet Hole in the Leather Jacket

WHAT’S UP WITH DR. BO

By Dr. Bo Wagner

Pastor of the Cornerstone

Baptist Church in Mooresboro, NC)

On a rainy, foggy night some time back, the family and I were driving down the mountains of Tennessee, and we had to stop for the night due to the bad driving conditions.  We ended up at a hotel in Caryville, and it was well worth the stop.  It was loaded with history- including a glass case in the lobby containing an old leather jacket with a bullet hole through the chest.  That obviously piqued my curiosity, and here is what I learned:

That old jacket once belonged to a man named John Ayers, a moonshine runner in the 1940s.  He was married to a girl named Lassie, and had three kids- Jerlene, Haskel, and R.L.  In early October of 1943, Jerlene called to tell Johnny that the police were there, raiding the barn, and had gotten drunk off the moonshine.  Johnny came back home with a double barreled shotgun, and sent little Haskel, seven years old, into the house.  Moments later, gunfire erupted, and by the time Haskel and his mom got to the barn, John Ayers was dead, shot through the heart.

Just weeks earlier, John had bought a hotel.  Lassie was left to run it with the help of her three small children.  That hotel later became the very one we stopped at.  In the morning, we went to the lobby for breakfast, and encountered a sweet, old gentleman.  He turned out to be none other than Haskel Ayers- now up in his seventies!  We spoke to him about the tragedy of his youth, and found not a trace of bitterness in him.  He had gone on to live a very full, happy, successful life.

Hebrews 12:15 warns of the defiling danger of bitterness.  Very little has greater potential to ruin lives, families, friendships, and churches.  The decision to do as Paul did, and “forget those things which are behind” (Ph. 3:13), will result in a life well lived and fully enjoyed.  Holding onto the hurts, insults, failures, and offenses of the past will drain the joy out of every day, and it will cripple our potential for the future.  I will never forget that lesson so clearly demonstrated by an old leather jacket with a bullet hole through the chest.  I thank God for that foggy Tennessee night!