Los Alamos Church of Christ

Connections 2016

Beetles, Mirrors and Soundboards



This morning I am going to mix my metaphors.  Early in our study of the Temperaments I used three different metaphors to explain the temperaments.  Now, as we come close to the end of our study, I want to mix these three metaphors in order to see how far we have come. 


Let’s begin with the beetle metaphor…




The order Coleoptera has the largest number of species in the entire animal kingdom.  I can’t get over this. The order Coleoptera contains more described species than in any other type in the animal kingdom.  Coleoptera has about 25% percent of all known life-forms.  Get this… there are 400,000 identified species of beetles.  But biologists estimate, conservatively, that there may be over a million species of beetles.  What? Why?  Really?  Wait…  Here is the point.




God loves variety.  I don’t think there is any other explanation.  As we look at the world around us we have to conclude that God enjoys the variety of his creation! 



This love for variety applies to people as well…


In his book, The Arithmetic of Life and Death, George Shaffner looks at human life through mathematics. Shaffner calculates the probability that you would get the twenty-three chromosomes you got from your mother is .5 to the 23rd power—that is 1 in 10 million. The same is true for the twenty-three chromosomes you got from your father. If you multiply the two of them together, you realize that from a biological perspective, the chance that you would be exactly you is 1 in 100 trillion. But you have to factor in that your parents had the same probability, and their parents, and their parent's parents all the way back to Noah. George Shaffner says the probability that you would be you is a… jillion gazillion. 


God loves variety!  God loves variety in people.  Because God wanted it that way, you are unique. 



To misquote Jesus…



TIM Matthew 10:29-31 Are there not a million beetles in the world? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are more unique than all the beetles.


God created only one of you. You are a Coleoptera in your uniqueness. 


Let’s mix in the second metaphor… the broken mirror.




ESV Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping beetles that creeps on the earth."  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.


The God who made you unique… made you in his image.


This is a fundamental spiritual truth.  Unlike all million species of beetles, we are made in the image of God.  But, a single one of us could hardly bear the fullness of our infinite God.  This is an amazing thought… each one of us bears a glimpse of God’s image. 


It is like a mirror; a broken mirror.  In the moment of creation God looked into a mirror and saw His own image.  Then God broke the mirror into a gazillion pieces.  Each piece bore a minuscule part of his image…. a small glimpse of God.  As each person is formed, in their mother’s womb, a piece of mirror, a portion of His image, is imprinted upon who they are.  Each of us bears a portion of the infinite God. 


It’s a metaphor.  But here is the point… Only you reflect you.  That portion of God which is you only you can reflect  In your uniqueness you reflect a portion of the image of God that only you can reflect.  You reflect God to this world in a way that only you can.  And… and… and… more importantly… you shine glory to God in a way only you can. Only you can give your glory to God.


You are a beetle in your uniqueness.  You are a broken mirror in your reflection.


Now let’s mix in the third metaphor… the soundboard.




In the back of the auditorium is our hockey penalty booth.  In the booth we have a soundboard.  On this soundboard are a bunch of sliders.  Each of these sliders control how loud each input is into the speakers.  The soundboard mixes the sound we hear.


All of us are soundboards of temperaments.  If there are nine sliders in our soundboard each mixing one of the temperaments, then your sound is a unique mix of the temperaments. Only you sound like you.

--Your sound may be really high in the caregiver and sensate and low in activists and middleish in all the others.

--My sound may be high in intellectual and enthusiast and almost silent in the contemplative temperament.

--Someone else may be a loud traditionalist, with medium aesthetic and low naturalist.


We all broadcast a distinctive sound.  Only you sound like you.


Let’s find out your uniqueness… your shine rating… your sound setting…





Let’s retake the tests…

--I have tweaked the tests to make them more uniform.

--Taking them all at once may give us a more consistent score.

--We will rank them highest to lowest.



All Temperament Test



Intellectual Test

1. I enjoy discussing hard theological questions. -                                                   

2. I spend more money on books than music. -                     

3. I watch documentaries on TV. -                                         

4. I believe theology is important. -

5. I place importance on doctrine when picking a church home. -

6. I like Greek word studies in sermons. -                                                     

7. I attend Bible class. -                                                                     

8. I spend private time studying the Bible. -

9. I listen to educated speakers present biblical truth. -                  

10. I get excited when I'm learning new theological truths. -           



Intellectual Score…                Rank…



Caregiver Test

1. I visit shut-ins. -

2. I do volunteer work in the community. -

3. I hang out after church to visit with people. -

4. I often have people in mind I need to contact. -

5. I use my skills to help others. -

6. I serve at church. -

7. People are often in my house. -

8. I take people out to eat. -

9. I am a generous with my money. -

10. I give thoughtful gifts. -



Caregiver Score…                   Rank…



Traditionalist Test

1. I follow the rituals of the holidays. -  

2. I am moved by patriotic symbols. -

3. I pray written prayers. -

4. I have or would like to have a meaningful tattoo. OR, I wear symbolic jewelry. -

5. I connect to the old hymns. -

6. I visit old church buildings. -   

7. I connect to the rhythm of church services. -

8. I enjoy deciphering stained glass windows. -

9. The use of decorations helps me sense the presence of God. -

10. I love weddings because of the ceremonies; the traditions; the symbols. -



Traditionalist Score…                        Rank…



Enthusiast Test

1. I listen to worship music. -

2. I raise my hands when I connect in worship. -

3. I play with children, because I am childlike. -  

4. I like parties, fellowship and celebrations. -

5. The music is not too loud. -

6. I like sports. -

7. I don’t have to understand in order to worship. -

8. I am unconcerned what others might think about me. -  

9. I am a glass-half-full optimist. -

10. I don’t worry about where the Spirit may lead. -


Enthusiast Score…                 Rank…



Sensate Test

1. I am passionate about… (creative activity) -

2. When I buy a car it is based on appearance. -

3. My home is a reflection of me. -

4. When working with kids I like the crafts part of teaching. -  

5. I notice the visuals of a movie. -

6. I notice the architecture/engineering of things. -

7. When I enter a beautiful church building my heart lifts toward God. -

8. I go to arts and crafts fairs. -

9. I go to concerts/ theater/ dances because I enjoy them. -   

10. I know the names of more colors than the 16 Crayola box. -



Sensate Score…                      Rank…



Ascetic Test

1. I spend time in quiet. -

2. When I am in a car I do not turn on the radio. -

3. I participate in long-distance athletic activities. -

4. I get rid of stuff I don’t use. -   

5. I enjoy my time alone. -

6. I am on time. -

7. I have a strict routine. -

8. I fast. -

9.  Waiting doesn’t bother me. -

10. I have a regular quiet devotional time. -



Ascetic Score…                       Rank…







Contemplative Test

1) I have conversations with God. -  

2) I have learned to pick out the voice of God. -

3) I am at peace when I am with God. -

4) I can spend an hour on the couch thinking of how much God loves me. -

5) I don’t mind being by myself, because I never am. -

6) I journal. -

7) I am often late because I was “with God.” -

8) I can focus on God for a long time. -

9) When I hear a “love song” I think about God. -

10) My prayers are mostly “I love you.” -

Contemplative Score…                      Rank…



Naturalist Test

1. I would rather meet at the park than Starbucks. -

2. I have an outdoor hobby. -

3. I take pictures of nature. -

4. I take hikes. -

5. I am moved to prayer when I am outside. -

6. I enjoyed our Naturalist Sunday; when we did church outside. -

7. I would love to go on Trek. -

8. I watch the stars. -

9. I love wild animals. -

10. I watch nature documentaries. -



Naturalist Score…                  Rank…



Activist Test

1) I pay attention to current events. -

2) When I see injustice I want to do something about it. -

3) I belong to or donate money to organizations which work for change. -

4) I have a cause or I feel I need one. -

5) I often bring up “important” subjects. -

6) I attempt to recruit people to my side. -

7) I get upset when things are not fair. -

8) I sympathize with the oppressed of the world. -

9) I have strong opinions about stuff. -

10) I argue about “issues.” -



Activist Score…                      Rank…





Add up all your scores… Then prioritize them 1 to 9.


Let’s do our congregation scores… How many 1st or 2nd of each temperament. 


Sound Board Sliders picture of congregation


Let’s mix all three of our metaphors together…




In your uniqueness you are a beetle!

As a mirror only you reflect God like you… both ways!

As a soundboard you have a distinctive sound!


You are unique as you reflect God’s glory with your distinctive sound!




Stand and join me in reciting The Shema…



BMS Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Unique Beetle: The Lord our God, the Lord is in your broken mirror.  And you shall love the Lord your God in your distinctive sound with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”



My temperament is God’s gift to me.

My temperament is my gift to God.

My temperament is my gift to the body.

My temperament is my gift to the world.


Tim Stidham

October 30, 2016

Los Alamos Church of Christ