Today’s Money Shot 10/9/10

Without the gospel there is nothing but desert on earth and no confession of God and no thanksgiving. But where the gospel and Christ are, there is Bethlehem abounding in grain, and grateful Judea; there everybody has enough in Christ and there is nothing but thanksgiving for God’s mercies. But the doctrines of men [ie legalistic attempts at justification with God through pious duty] thank only themselves, and yet they permit arid land and deadly hunger to remain. No heart is ever satisfied unless it hears Christ preached properly in the gospel; when this happens, a person comes to Bethlehem and finds him; then he also comes and stays in Judea and thanks his God eternally; then he is satisfied; then, too, God is praised and confessed. Apart from the gospel there is nothing but ingratitude and we do nothing but die of hunger.  Martin Luther

For churches with a significant set of sr citizens

Elderly with Cognitive Decline Offer Excellent, Hurtful Advice
According to a posting at The Scientific American, elderly people with loss of executive function–lessening of inhibitions–are more likely to offer useful, but tactless, advice.
You know how grandma’s always criticizing your new haircut or choice of clothing? Well, it might not hurt to listen. Because old folks who can’t hold their tongues may give the best advice. That’s according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Researchers recruited 19 undergrads and 32 adults in their 60s and 70s. They split the older adults into two groups, based on the adults’ abilities to control their behaviors and impulses—called executive function, which naturally declines with age. Then the researchers showed all three groups a photo of a visibly obese teen, along with a list of her complaints, like trouble sleeping and lack of energy—symptoms associated with childhood obesity.
What advice could they offer this girl? Well, only half of the higher functioning adults and a third of the college kids brought up the girl’s weight as the possible source for her problems. But 80 percent of the adults with cognitive declines mentioned weight. They also gave twice as many helpful tips, like more exercise, a better diet, and delivered them with more empathy. So next time you need advice, try grandma or grandpa. But be prepared for brutal honesty.
—Christopher Intagliata