Page 1 - 2023 March-April Newsletter
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March-April              Southern Pennsylvania
                                                District Church

                                               of the Brethren

                              A Message from our District Executive

              I watched a video of a young woman who has Tourette’s Syndrome. In case you do not

              know what Tourette’s is, the following excerpt from Wikipedia may help:
              Tourette syndrome or Tourette's syndrome (abbreviated as TS or Tourette's) is a
              common neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood or adolescence. It is characterized by
              multiple movement (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. Common tics are blinking, coughing,
              throat clearing, sniffing, and facial movements. These are typically preceded by an unwanted urge or
              sensation in the affected muscles known as a premonitory urge, can sometimes be suppressed
              temporarily, and characteristically change in location, strength, and frequency. Tourette's is at the more
              severe end of a spectrum of tic disorders. The tics often go unnoticed by casual observers.
              Tourette's was once regarded as a rare and bizarre syndrome and has popularly been associated
              with coprolalia (the utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks). It is no
              longer considered rare; about 1% of school-age children and adolescents are estimated to have
              Tourette's,  and coprolalia occurs only in a minority.
              In the video, the woman was asked where some of her vocal tics came from.
              Her answer was from watching Tik Tok videos. In other words, she mimicked
              what she was watching. It reminded me of the adage about computer
              programing: “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” My mind also meandered back to that
              old Sunday School song that told us to “Be careful little eyes what you see.”
              Our brains are far more complex than I can understand but I heard that our
              brains retain every bit of information that we see, hear, or read. The problem for
              us is that we can’t always remember just exactly where it is stored! So, all that
              “stuff” is in there and just waiting to come out. Many of us have internal sensors
              that help stay socially acceptable and out of trouble.
              I think there is a better answer for us than just relying on that internal sensor.
              (Actually, since it is in God’s word, I KNOW it is better!)
              “Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the
              end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with
              all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find
              delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish
              gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life

              according to your word.” Psalm 119:33-3 (emphasis mine)
              Time spent in God’s word is crucial for filling our minds with things that
              lead to better living and keep us from wrong thinking, wrong living, and
              wrong speech. It also provides a way for God to expose those things
              which are harmful and/or detrimental to our Christian witness.
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