Nieuwe Romaans!

Eighty year old Bessie bursts into the rec room of the men's retirement home.

She holds her clenched fist in the air and saucily announces, "Anyone who can guess what's in my hand can have a date with me tonight!!"

A witty, elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, "An elephant?"

Bessie thinks a minute and says, "Close enough."

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Professor Howdy said...

On the Threshold

The "doorknob phenomenon" is an occurrence many physicians know well.
Doctors can proceed meticulously through complete examinations and medical
histories, taking care to hear a patient's questions and concerns, but it
is often in the last thirty seconds of the appointment that the most
helpful information is revealed. When a doctor's hand is on the doorknob,
body halfway out the door, vital inquiries seem to be made; when a patient
is nearly outside the office, crucial information is shared almost in
passing. Many have speculated as to the reasons behind the doorknob
phenomenon (which is perhaps not limited to the field of medicine), though
a cure seems unlikely. Until then, words uttered on the threshold remain a
valuable entity to the physician.

If I were to speak on behalf of patients (and perhaps I've been a
perpetrator of the phenomenon myself), I would note that the doorknob
marks our last chance to be heard. Whatever the reason for not speaking
up until that point--fear, discomfort, shame, denial--we know the
criticalness of that moment. In thirty seconds, we will no longer be in
the presence of one who offers healing. At the threshold between doctor's
office and daily life, the right words are imperative; time is of the

I wonder if there is such a threshold as we stand before the Great
Physician. There are times in prayer where it might feel as if we are
moving down sterile lists of conditions and information. Work. Finances.
Mom. Jack. Future. And where bringing to God in prayer our laundry list
of concerns with repeated perseverance is both necessary and helpful,
perhaps there are times when we have silenced the greater diagnosis with
the words we have chosen to leave unspoken. Can a physician heal
wounds we will not show, symptoms we will not mention?

Thankfully, God can and does heal wounds we cannot even articulate. The
scripture writers speak of a God who hears our groanings too deep for
words. On the other hand, choosing to leave out of our prayers certain
toxic symptoms hardly shows our prayer for God's will to be done entirely
sincere. How can God begin the work that needs to be done in our heart
when we refuse to come near the operating table? Is there a cure for
those who do not seek it?

The prophet Jeremiah once cried, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no
physician there? No healing for the wound of my people?" Jeremiah lived
during one of the most troublesome periods of Hebrew history. And he
stood on the threshold between a people sick with rebellion and the great
Physician to whom they refused to cry out in honesty.

"I have listened attentively," the LORD declared, "but they do not say
what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I
done?' Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle"
(Jeremiah 8:6). His words are weighted with behavior I recognize. A
patient who complains of a cough while a fatal wound is bleeding will
neither find respite for the cough nor her unspoken pain, and of course, a
good physician would not treat the cough until the bleeding has been

In Jeremiah's day as in our own, the promise of a painless remedy was not
left unspoken. Of these prophets of deceit God uttered, "They dress the
wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they
say, when there is no peace" (8:11). Their promises are easy to stand
beside but crumble under the weight of us. To stand in honesty before the
Great Physician is more difficult. It is to admit we need to be made well,
however painful the remedy or costly the cure.

The great hymn places before us a powerful resolution:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessing flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found.

The woundedness of humanity is serious. It cannot be bandaged as anything
less than a mortal wound. So let us not wait until we've reached the
threshold of life and death to address the indications of our illness.
But let us in hope and honesty come into the presence of one who imparts
healing. In the coming of Christ, God offers a cure that extends as far
as the wound has festered.

Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of
challenge, words of truth, and words of hope. If you know of others who
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Professor Howdy said...

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on:

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my
operating table because when you open them up, everything
inside is numbered."

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians!
Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think file clerks
are the best, everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in with, "You know, I like
construction workers. Those guys always understand when
you have a few parts left over at the end and when the job
takes longer than you said it would."

Professor Howdy said...

From past 'T&H":

What we saw in the past few weeks in the Islamic demonstrations
over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad was another vivid depiction
of the difference between Muhammad and Christ, and what it means
to follow each. Not all Muslims approve the violence. But a deep lesson
remains: The work of Muhammad is based on being honored and the
work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very
different reactions to mockery.

If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation. This was
His saving work: to be insulted and die to rescue sinners from the wrath
of God. Already in the Psalms the path of mockery was promised: “All
who see me mock me; they make mouths at Me; they wag their heads”
(Psalm 22:7). “He was despised and rejected by men . . . as one from whom
men hide their faces . . . and we esteemed Him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

Professor Howdy said...

Jesus Christ, the Son of David,
the Son of Abraham,
Son of God, 2nd Member
of the Holy Trinity, Savior,
Son of Man, Prince of Peace,
The Mighty God, Wonderful
Counselor & Lover of my Soul!

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