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Corpus Callosum

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Definition: The corpus callosum (CC) is the major white matter tract connecting the right and left cerebral hemispheres of the brain. In Latin, corpus callosum means a big body which is appropriate given its large relative size in the brain.  The CC can be thought of as a a bridge between the 2 hemispheres or as the highway in the brain upon which information passes from one half of the brain to the other.

Scripture: Matthew 6:1-4

1.  Right Side/Left Side in Scripture

·         Leviticus 14:14 -  13  He is to slaughter the lamb in the holy place where the sin offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy.  14  The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.  15  The priest shall then take some of the log of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand,  16  dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the LORD seven times.  17  The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering.  18  The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for him before the LORD.  19  "Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering  20  and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for him, and he will be clean.

·         Ecclesiastes 10:2 -  The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.

·         Matthew 25:32 - 32  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  33  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  34  "Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  35  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  36  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'  37  "Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  38  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  39  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'  40  "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'  41  "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  42  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  43  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'  44  "They also will answer, `Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'  45  "He will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'  46  "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

·         See also Genesis 48 - 10  Now Israel's eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.  11  Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too."  12  Then Joseph removed them from Israel's knees and bowed down with his face to the ground.  13  And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right towards Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left towards Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him.  14  But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.  15  Then he blessed Joseph and said, "May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,  16  the Angel who has delivered me from all harm--may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth."  17  When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim's head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.  18  Joseph said to him, "No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head."  19  But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations."  20  He blessed them that day and said, "In your {The Hebrew is singular.} name will Israel pronounce this blessing: `May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.'" So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

·         Psalm 16:11 "Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures forevermore".

We also see significance in the right and left hand in our world today.  The title of the sermon came from a talk with Dave Clark on an early morning run.  David will sometimes hear a sermon under construction and so he contributed this term which I found very interesting.

Left Brain Right Brain
faith reason 
Mary Martha
spirit truth
feminine masculine
inspirational intellectual
spiritual natural

Most of us have heard the idea that we are “cross-wired” – in other words, one side of our bodies is controlled by the opposite side of our brains.

We all have two sides to us.  There is one side that we see – it is our public self and the other side which few people see or no one sees other than God.  There is that tension within most of us, the struggle between the spiritual and the natural or the human.  There are times when we function in this world as “spiritual” beings.  Those are the times when we are able to give an unnatural response to circumstances.  Hope in the face of death, forgiveness in the face of offense, humility in the face of pride and plaudits, servanthood in the face of a “dog-eat-dog” worldview,  and so on – when we are able to do this we are at our best

2.  What is Jesus suggesting?

·         That there are certain things that Christian people do that should be minimized.  As individuals and as churches we need to be careful not to do our “acts of righteousness before me to be seen by them”  There is something in this that turns the heart of God away from us.  What is done for God needs to be done without other motives.

Ruth Harms Calkin does a masterful job on the subject of humility in her poem:

                       I Wonder

   You know, Lord, How I serve You

   with great emotional fervor in the limelight.

   You know how eagerly I speak for You at a Women's Club.

   You know my genuine enthusiasm at a Bible study.

   But how would I react, I wonder,

   if You pointed to a basin of water

   and asked me to wash the calloused feet

   of a bent and wrinkled old woman

   day after day, month after month,

   in a room where nobody saw and nobody knew? 

·         God honors that which is done with little regard for self and personal recognition.  It’s difficult for us to cease to promote ourselves.  It is much easier to fight and scratch and scramble for position or power or recognition.  God is a rewarder of those who do for Him “in secret”.  There are “prayer warriors” within our congregation who never make it out to a public prayer meeting.  They are in constant communication with God.  They talk to Him more than they talk to any other person in this world.  I do not believe that it is the manner in which Christian people should behave – to try to advance over others at any cost, excusing it as though there were some “arenas” in which behavior that is less that honoring to God, is acceptable.

·         We should avoid personal record keeping.  He’s really saying something like:

Ø      Don’t take yourself too seriously

Ø      Don’t over-think what you are doing.  There are times when we can reason ourselves out of doing what God would have us to do – in this case the left hand becomes “prohibitive” in the effort that we make to honor God.

Ø      Guard yourself against pride or the feeling that you are “owed” something for what you do

3.  Applications:

·         Right Brain/Left Brain & Giving – How does God direct us in giving.

Luke 6:38  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

2Co 9:7  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Mark 12:42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, {Greek two lepta} worth only a fraction of a penny. {Greek kodrantes}  43  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  44  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."

Luke 7:37  When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,  38  and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.  39  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."

 40  Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.  41  "Two men owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, {A denarius was a coin worth about a day's wages.} and the other fifty.

 42  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"  43  Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.  44  Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  45  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  46  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  47  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."  48  Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  49  The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"  50  Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

John 12: 1 ¶ Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  2  Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.

 3  Then Mary took about a pint {Greek a litra (probably about 0.5 litre)} of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  4  But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,  5  "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." {Greek three hundred denarii}

 6  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.  7  "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.  8  You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

·         There are certain "activities" in the church that require dominant thought from one side of the brain and support from the other.  You cannot worship God in your “right mind”.  It requires the leadership of the that “left brain” thinking – the part of us that allows ourselves to “adore” God and to express our love to Him.  That doesn’t mean that we abdicate truth but that we use our understanding of truth to enhance the worship experience rather than to intellectualize ourselves out of it.  When God moves in people’s hearts they have to express themselves in ways that they might not normally express themselves.  Even as a young child in our most conservative Wesleyan churches I saw “hanky waving” and I remember one of our Wesleyan pastors, George Delong, step out of his pew, raise his hands in the air and do a little “holy jig” – it was never offensive to me – it was short and sweet – I hear people shout “haleleujah” without fear of being labeled a “radical”.  Do I want to see all this manifestation – nope just want to see people enjoying that relationship with God in an evident manner.

And you can’t wait for the left brain to drive everything in your life either.  There are certain very real aspects of the Christian life that require the leadership of the right brain.  Obedience, perseverance, self-control – doing the right thing just because it is the right thing, commitment and honoring your word – doing what you say you’re going to do.

·         There is tremendous internal conflict when we do not allow the proper thought process to lead.  God wants “hearty” worship from his people at certain times and “heady” worship at other times.

No man can be without his god.  If he have not the true God to bless and sustain him, he will have some false god to delude and to betray him.  The Psalmist knew this, and therefore he joined so closely forgetting the name of our God and holding up our hands to some strange god.  For every man has something in which he hopes, on which he leans, to which he retreats and retires, with which he fills up his thoughts in empty spaces of time, when he is alone, when he lies sleepless on his bed, when he is not pressed with other thoughts; to which he betakes himself in sorrow or trouble, as that from which he shall draw comfort and strength -- his fortress, his citadel, his defence; and has not this a good right to be called his god?  Man was made to lean on the Creator; but if not on Him, then he leans on the creature in one shape or another.  The ivy cannot grow alone: it must twine round some support or other; if not the goodly oak, then the ragged thorn -- round any dead stick whatever, rather than have no stay or support at all. It is even so with the heart and affections of man; if they do not twine around God, they must twine around some meaner thing.


 ... Richard Chevenix Trench (1807-1886)


Bobby Sanderson, minister of music at the First Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi, has written that he read an article about worship. In that article, the author said, "I wish I could get my people to stop evaluating worship and start experiencing it." Sanderson says that he began asking himself some hard questions:

1. Is worship about God or is it about what I like?

2. Do I seek God's presence or the comfort of being with friends and doing what is familiar?

3. When is the last time God "blind-sided" me and spoke in a way I did not expect?

4. Am I so contemporary I lose the transcendence of God?

5. Am I so traditional that I forget God's relevance?

6. Do I see myself as part of an audience giving approval/disapproval to worship leaders?

7. Can God use what I don't like?

8. Am I more into music than the spoken word?

9. Do I ignore the command to sing just to get to the "message"?

10. Do I leave worship with a clear sense of what I'm supposed to do?

11. Is the style of worship more important to me than the object of worship?

12. Do I love His presence as much as the songs I sing and play?

13. Can I worship Him when it's hard work and my joy is running low?

--from "Evangel," the weekly newsletter of First Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi, October 3, 2001 (Vol 69, No. 40)

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