Five for Friday: Boundless Curiosity, Border Assistance, Alexa Goes to Church

CHICAGO, IL (February 22, 2019) – Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Remembering Why Curiosity Should Be Boundless

This article brings to mind the words of Jewish scholar Abraham Heschel in his book Who Is Man? “Knowledge is fostered by curiosity; wisdom is fostered by awe. Awe precedes faith; it is the root of faith. We must be guided by awe to be worthy of faith. Forfeit your sense of awe, let your conceit diminish your ability to revere, and the world becomes a market place for you.…A return to reverence is the first prerequisite for a revival of wisdom, for the discovery of the world as an allusion to God.”

From the article: “Dropping food dye in milk isn’t just about watching something cool; it’s about standing there and letting something completely unexpected happen. The first astronauts walking on the moon were taking the same adventure as toddlers bounding into the snow for the first time.”

As Families Arrive En Masse, Border Agents Offer Snacks, Medical Checks

Covenanters who work in border areas say it is important that these stories be told.

From the article: “I don’t know any agent worth their salt that hasn’t…gone home at the end of the day, sat down on the couch, didn’t turn on the lights, didn’t turn on the TV, but just sat there and thought about the day,” Border Patrol Agent Jacob Stukenberg said during the tour of the Tucson sector. Today, we are adding a sixth link: A reporter for the Deseret News writes in “Churches, ICE Coordinate Humanitarian Assistance” that ICE is working with some churches to provide assistance.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the churches play an important role. “Where there’s not enough resources or enough people or enough volunteers or enough government employees to help, it’s always been the faith-based community that typically not only provides backup but actually demonstrates leadership,” he said. “It has been these sanctuaries where people can find shelter and food assistance to follow the gospel message of Matthew 25 to help the least of us.”

Alexa Responds to Minister’s Sermon: Orders Toilet Paper

You might think this story is from a satirical site, but sometimes truth is even better than fiction.

From the article: “Brookman, a minister for Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, was delivering a Sunday message from 1 Corinthians 12 when his sermon illustration nearly resulted in the purchase of $28 worth of toilet paper.”

The Dodgy, Vulnerable Fame of YouTube’s Child ASMR Stars

Millions of people are watching videos of young children whisper, make tapping sounds, or chew so that the viewer can experience ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), a “low-grade euphoric” tingling that can go down the scalp, neck, and upper back due to certain sounds. It also can be an experience of deep relaxation. There are many types of triggers, which can include sound of rain, or crumpling paper but also listening to someone speak in a soothing voice. Bob Ross, the soft-spoken painter who had a show on PBS, has been called an “inadvertent pioneer” of ASMR because at least some viewers would experience it while watching the episodes. Many people in the “ASMR community” are quick to say it is non-sexual, but porn sites have been adding videos, and the desire to listen to young girls make the sounds raises serious questions of objectification.

From the article: “On June 3, 2018, Makenna Kelly, a 13-year old from Fort Collins, Colorado, uploaded the video that propelled her to internet stardom. Entitled ‘Eating Raw Honeycomb – EXTREMELY Sticky Mouth Sounds’, it featured the teen chewing fistfuls of pure honeycomb directly in front of a microphone for 16 minutes. In the following months, it was viewed 12 million times. By October, Kelly had reached one million YouTube subscribers.”

Fight the Ship: Death and Valor on a Warship Doomed by Its Own Navy

The question everyone asked was, “How could the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collide with a large container ship?” The real question, as it turns out, is “How could it not?” Already three near misses had occurred.

This incredible multi-media article reconstructs events of June 17, 2017, based on official documents and interviews. It reveals that critical systems needed repair, military leaders at multiple levels exercised horrible judgment, and the inexperienced crew lacked proper training. The crew also showed great valor.

From the article: “Its radars were in questionable shape, and it’s not clear the crew knew how to operate them. One could not be made to automatically track nearby ships. To keep the screen updated, a sailor had to punch a button a thousand times an hour. The ship’s primary navigation system was run by 17-year-old software.”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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