HIDE AND SEEK

September 28, 2010Read: Psalm 32

“You are my hiding place. You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” – Psalm 32: 7

I'm no Jack Hanna, but did you know that the rhinoceros beetle is the strongest creature on the planet? He’s the Popeye of the animal world. Elephants? Weaklings. Hippos? Don’t even belong in the same sentence. Oh sure, the elephant can put up to 25% of it’s weight on its back, and the Hippo’s bite provides around 1400 pounds of pressure per square inch, but compared to a beetle? That’s like fighting a lion with a toothpick, especially when you consider that this beetle can carry 850 times his own weight. To put that into perspective, if you were that strong, you’d be able to lift 65 tons over your head.

But what’s interesting to me is not how strong he is compared to the other creatures, but it’s how he got so strong that catches my attention. Scientists say he’s so strong because every day he digs his way to a hiding place to escape danger. He literally moves earth to get to safety. Simply put, he gets strong when he hides.

You know, as believers we gain strength when we go to our hiding place; when we find a quiet place to talk to the Lord and read His word. When we don’t — when we get “too busy”  – we’re weakened, out in the open, vulnerable, and subject to predators we were never meant to face. But friends, when life is a jungle, He’s our hiding place and source of strength all in one, and we can go there anytime we want. After all, He moved heaven (and earth) to make sure we could.

–J.P.

THE OBESITY GENDER GAP Does it cost women more than men to be obese?

Obesity is taking its toll on America. A new study conducted by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), a group of 33 countries ""committed to democracy and the market economy," showed that the U.S. has the highest percentage of overweight and obese individuals in the democratic, market-economy world. Not exactly a great distinction for us as Americans.

But within our own waist-widened society, it may be women that are hardest hit. Another study, performed by researchers at George Washington University, shows that a woman ends up paying nearly double her male counterparts. While a man racks up $2,646 annually in extra expenses if he is obese, a woman’s obesity costs her $4,879, almost twice as much. For the full story, click here.