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NASA scientists once built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at maximum velocity at the windshields of airliners, military jets, and the space shuttle, to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

Eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains, British engineers fired the gun and were shocked as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, shattered the shatterproof windshield, blasted through the control console, broke the engineer's backrest and embedded itself in rear cabin wall.

The horrified engineers sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment along with the designs of the windshield, and begged the US scientists for help. NASA responded with a one-line memo: "First thaw the chicken."

Whatever you do, plan well, make the necessary preparations, diligently do your research, carefully follow the maker's instructions. To do otherwise can lead to an expensive and embarrassing mess, where you're likely to really 'fowl' things up!

Once there was a seven-year-old boy who went to Disneyland with his parents, but with all the excitement of going on all the rides, he was separated from them. He was having such a wonderful time that it was quite a while before he realized the predicament he was in. At first he thought he could find his way back to his parents. But, after a time, it finally hit him. He had no idea where he was going or how to get there. He was lost, really lost.

The same is true of people who have not found the Truth. They may not know it yet, because they may still be having a wonderful time, but they are lost all the same. Sooner or later it's going to hit them that they don't know where they are going or how to get there.

Two things were necessary for the boy to be reunited with his family. First he had to recognize his condition. Second, someone had to show him where he could find his family. The same is true with our preaching. Jehovah's "draws" those whose heart condition is right. And as Jehovah's Witnesses, we are commissioned to show them the Truth.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who say "whatever" and those who say "whatever it takes."

"Whatever" is the response of the shrug. It's a "who cares?" attitude, one of indifference and apathy. "Whatever it takes" is the response of the committed. It's a "can do" attitude that refuses to give up or give in.

Think about those two responses when it comes to our responsibilities as Christians. Jesus said to love your neighbor. Whatever. Jesus said to go and make disciples of all people. Whatever. Jesus said there is more rejoicing over one sinner who is found than 99 that stayed within the fold. Whatever.

Now, let's change that response to "Whatever it takes." Jesus said to love your neighbor. Whatever it takes. Jesus said to go and make disciples of all people. Whatever it takes. Jesus said there is more rejoicing over one sinner who is found than 99 that stayed within the fold. Whatever it takes.

Are we willing to do whatever it takes?

Among the apostles, the one absolutely stunning success was Judas, and the one thoroughly groveling failure was Peter. Judas was a success in the ways that most impress us: he was successful both financially and politically. He cleverly arranged to control the money of the apostolic band; he skillfully manipulated the political forces of the day to accomplish his goal. And Peter was a failure in ways that we most dread: he was impotent in a crisis and socially inept. At the arrest of Jesus he collapsed, a hapless, blustering coward; in the most critical situations of his life with Jesus he said the most embarrassingly inappropriate things. He was not the companion we would want with us in time of danger, and he was not the kind of person we would feel comfortable with at a social occasion.

Time, of course, has reversed our judgments on the two men. Judas is now a byword for betrayal, and Peter is one of the most honored names in the world. Judas is a villain; Peter is a hero. Yet the world continues to chase after the successes of Judas: financial wealth and political power, and to defend itself against the failures of Peter, impotence and ineptness.

Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back, usually with friends

Here are ten rules that might govern a small child's view of the world:

1. If I like it, it's mine. 2. If it's in my hands, it's mine. 3. If I can take it from you, it's mine. 4. If I had it a week ago, it's mine. 5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. 6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. 7. If it looks like mine, it's mine. 8. If I think it's mine, it's mine. 9. If it's near me, it's mine. 10. If it's broccoli, it's yours.

These are appropriate rules for a toddler, but some people manage to carry them through to adulthood! Of course, we all need money and possessions to function well in our society. But an over-emphasis on material things is dangerous.

Some children walk the high road

While others tread the low,

A parent's life determines

Which way a child will go.

The conscience is like a sharp square peg in our hearts. If we are confronted by a questionable situation, that square begins to turn, and it's corners cut into our hearts, warming us with an inward sensation against doing whatever confronts us. If the conscience is ignored time after time, the corners of the square are gradually worn down, and it virtually becomes a circle. When that circle turns within our hearts, there is no inner sensation of warning, and we are left without a conscience.

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