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Tom H. said...

After spending all day Saturday watching football on
television, a UNC grad fell asleep and spent the night
in the chair. His wife woke him in the morning.

"It's twenty to seven," she called.

"In whose favor?"

Roger - Oxford U. said...

We went to the movie the other night in Chapel Hill.
I sat in an aisle seat as I usually do because it feels
a little roomier.

Just as the feature was about to start a UNC student
from the center of the row got up and started working
her way out.

"Excuse me, sorry, oops, excuse me, pardon me,
gotta hurry, oops, excuuuuusssseee me."

By the time she got to me I was trying to look around
her and I was a little impatient so I said, "Couldn't you
have done this a little earlier?"

"No!!" she said in a loud whisper, "The TURN OFF
YOUR CELL PHONE PLEASE message just flashed
up on the screen AND MINE IS IN THE CAR!"

Jill Carattini - rzim said...

Nativity Scenes

I have always insisted that my position on December birthdays is that its
proprietors are easily neglected. We are over-shadowed by Christmas
decorations in November and over-looked in December by relatives busy with
Christmas errands and office parties. And yet, I have always secretly
loved it. On the day I was born, the world was awake, decking the halls,
and looking to the birth of another infant. The spirit of Christmas seems
a part of my own, the birth of Christ a part of my identity, reminding me
each year that I too was born, that I was fragile, that I was celebrated.
For those born in December (and for any who remember their own beginnings
in the scenes of Advent), the season offers a time of contemplating
infantile beginnings, a lesson in what it means to be human, like no
other. Stories and celebrations of one's birth are juxtaposed with a
nativity story told long before we were born and one that will continue to
be told long after us.

In fact the story of God is a story filled with nativity scenes. In these
stories, we find God is present before we have accomplished anything and
sovereign long before we know it. Thus David can pray, "For you created
my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you
because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I
know that full well" (Psalm 139:13-14). And God can say to the prophet
Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were
born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations"
(Jeremiah 1:5). And those who witnessed the miracle of Elizabeth and
Zechariah can rightly exclaim God's hand upon the child before that child
can say his own name: "The neighbors were all filled with awe, and
throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these
things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, 'What then is
this child going to be?' For the Lord's hand was with him" (Luke

In a world where significance and identity are earned by what we do, by
what we have accomplished, by what we own, the kingdom of God arrives
scandalously, jarringly--even offensively. In this kingdom, a person's
worth begins before she has said or done the right things, before he has
accumulated the right lifestyle or even made the appropriate confessions.
In this kingdom, God not only uses children in the story of
salvation, not only calls us to embrace the kingdom as little
children, but so the very God of creation steps into the world as a
child as well.

Children are not usually the main characters in the stories we tell, yet
the story of Christmas begins and ends with a child we don't quite know
what to do with. Here, a vulnerable baby in a dirty stable breaks in as
the harbinger of good news, the fulfillment of all the law and the
prophets, the anointed leader who comes to set the captives free--wrapped
in swaddling clothes and resting in a manger. Coming as a child, God
radically draws near, while at the same time radically overthrowing our
conceptions of status, worth, power, and authority. Jesus is crowned king
long before he can sit in a throne. He begins overturning idols and
upsetting social order long before he can even speak.

If truth be told, perhaps I feel a certain delight in celebrating births
and birthdays at Christmastime because it is the season in which it is
most appropriate--and most hopeful--to remember our fragility, our
dependency, and the great reversal of the kingdom of God: "But God chose
what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in
the world to shame the strong" (1 Corinthians 1:27). Advent, like
childhood, reminds us that we are in need of someone sovereign. It also
reminds us that, like the baby in a Bethlehem stable, we too are somewhat
out of place, homeless and longing for home. The image of a tearful baby
in a manager is a picture of God in his most shocking, unbefitting
state--the Most High becoming the lowest, the face of God wrapped tightly
in a young girl's arms.

How true that to be human is to be implicitly religious, for even within
our most deeply felt needs for love and refuge, we are reminded that there
is one who comes so very far to meet us. Inherent in our most vulnerable
days is the hope that God, too, took on the despairing quality of
fragility in order to offer the hope of wholeness. In our most weakened
states of sin and hopelessness, Christ breaks in and shows the power of
God in the face of a child. Indeed, glory to God in the lowest!

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
would enjoy receiving "A Slice of Infinity" in their email box each day,
tell them they can sign up on our website at If they do not have access to the
World Wide Web, please call 1-877-88SLICE (1-877-887-5423).

Dr. Jerry B. said...


The action being questioned is the signing of the letter
prepared at the Yale Divinity School Center for Faith
and Culture, "Loving God and Neighbor Together." It
was prepared as a response to a letter circulated last
September from a group of 138 Muslim scholars of the
Islam religion, and addressed to Pope Gregory XVI, to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and generally to many
prominent Christians throughout the West.

The Yale letter was published as a full page ad in the
New York Times, with some 300 signatures from all
types of Christians, including both nominal and true
believers. It is reported that there are a few hundred
additional signatures on file at Yale, and their website
offers a convenient way for others to sign. One writer
opined that the signatures represented a "who’s who"
of the theological left.

The Pope is said to have received the Islam letter
"warmly," although in response he proposed to the
Muslim writers a different approach, writing that the
path to true dialogue lies in "effective respect for the
dignity ot every human person, on objective
knowledge of the religion of the other, on the sharing
of religious experience, and finally on common
commitment to promoting mutual respect and
acceptance among the younger generation."

One is not surprised that Liberal Christians (a term
which we consider to be an Oxymoron) rushed to
sign the Yale response. Since they do not treat the
Bible as the authoritative Word of God, the nice
sounding quotations from Mohammad in the Quran
sounded fine to them.

One is surprised, however, to note that several
individuals who are generally considered to be
Evangelical Christian believers also signed the
Yale response letter.

The Islam letter made repetitive references to Matt.
22:36-40 in which Jesus said that the two great
commandments are to love God and to love one’s
neighbor as oneself. When Mohammad wrote the
Quran in about the year 600 AD, the Christian faith
had already been in existence for 600 years, and he
had portions of the Old Testament and at least the
Gospel records from which to quote verses which
seemed to be in compliance with his religious
convictions. That quotation from Jesus seems to
have registered strongly with the Islamic scholars.
And by forgetting or ignoring the basic foundational
facts of Islam, these so-called Evangelical leaders
have rushed into the doctrinal trap set by the Muslims.

It is not possible in terms of time and space to deal
exhaustively here with these issues, but just a few
examples should suffice to demonstrate that there
is little or no common ground between the two
largest of the world’s several religions.

The Islamic claim that Allah and Jehovah are the
same God is false. As Emir Caner, Dean of The College
at Southwestern, summarizes it, "To say that ...
Christians and Muslims worship the same God is
beyond naive – it is blasphemous." Allah is clearly
defined as being alone, with no associate, in these
words from the Quran, "Allah is one. He begets not
nor is He begotten. And none is like Him." The
Christian doctrine of the Trinity, of God as Father, Son
and Holy Spirit, is foreign to Islam, as is the Sonship
and Deity of Jesus Christ – whom Mohammad refuses
to accept as having been slain for the sins of the
world – in fact the Quran clearly denies both the
Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, yet these
truths are the very heart of the Christian Gospel.

One other false claim of Islam might be mentioned –
the claim that Muslims and Christians share in the
Abrahamic covenant. Yet the facts are that God’s
covenant with Abraham and his heirs was made with
Abraham involving Isaac. the son to be born to Sarah,
and not involving Ishmael, the son born to Hagar.
Ishmael became the father of the Arab race, and it
was foretold that he would bring trouble to the
descendants of Abraham. So the Islamic claim of
common ground on the basis of the Abrahamic
covenant is also false.

So the questions do rightly arise: how could these men
who profess to be Evangelical Christian believers find
a basis for any hope of common ground between Islam --
which denies the Trinity, the Sonship of Jesus Christ,
the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection
– and Christianity, for which these are the foundational
truths? Perhaps for publicity, or the popular acclaim of
being associated with prominent Christian leaders
in the West.

It is to be noted that Leith Anderson, NAE President,
explained his signature in these words, "I agreed to add my
name to the letter. While I am indicated as the President
of the National Association of Evangelicals, I added my
name as an individual and not as an institution." Other
NAE members may find some comfort in this admission.

We have not commented on the abject apology in the
letter for the attacks on Muslims during the Crusades –
although why Americans should apologize for those
Crusades which occurred some seven centuries before
America even existed is not immediately apparent.

Eric Barger, of Take a Stand! Ministries, wrote quite
persuasively on this subject and we offer his quote as
the final comment: "True to their lack of convictions,
this bunch of milk toast, self-proclaimed Christian
leaders espousing the Rodney King ‘why-can’t-we-all-
just-get-along?’ theology, have made the decision that
toiling over doctrine and truth is something less
important than public perception... Groveling at the
feet of Islam isn’t going to win Muslims over – even
if it really was the right thing to do. It is sickening
and each of the signers of the Yale letter – including
Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Leith Anderson and two
prominent Assemblies of God bible college presidents
[note: signatures not mentioned are from the Presidents
of Wheaton College and Fuller Theological Seminary]
– should fall on their knees in shame and beg Jehovah
God for forgiveness."

As Leith Anderson said, in concluding his explanation:
"Will there be misunderstandings and criticisms? I am
sure there will be." He was right.

What then, as Christians, should our relationships
with Muslims, people of the Islamic religion, be? Surely
it should not be to join with them and surrender the
basic tenets of our Christian faith, but rather that we
should include them within the Great Commission of
Jesus Christ to whom the Gospel must be preached.
We should consider them as prospects for conversion,
we should witness to them in love concerning our faith,
and seek to have them experience the blessings of
salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We should pray for them individually and as a people
for whom Christ died.

Afterthoughts . . .

BY THE WAY: If you like Blogs, click on this one:

Hanukkah candles said to affect climate – in
one of the most ridiculous effects of Al Gore’s "Global
Warming" campaign, a group of environmentalists
launched a campaign to encourage Jews around the
world to light one less Menorah candle to reduce CO2
in the atmosphere. Lighting of the Menorah candles
is the most important Hanukkah tradition, and this idea
seems just a bit too much.

A warning from Russia, but not the usual. This one
has a real Christian application. The Russian Orthodox
Patriarch Alexy II has issued a plea to European people
to retain their Christian heritage or risk fading into
oblivion as nations. "Losing their Christian roots, the
people of Europe will sign their own death warrants.
Modern Europe will not create a new post-Christian
culture and civilization, but will simply vanish from
history." His warning is applicable also to America, as
we continue to depart from the faith of our founders.

A touch of humor . . . how current day newspapers
might headline Bible stories:

— On the Red Sea crossing
Pursuing Environmentalists Killed

– On the Birth of Christ
Insensitive Couple Enrage Animal Rights Activists

– On Feeding the 5,000
Disciples Mystified Over Behavior

– On Healing the 10 Lepers
"Faith Healer" Causes Bankruptcy

A note of concern from the Holy Land: Justus
Weiner at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)
warns, "If Western governments do not address the
Muslim persecution and economic plight of Palestinian
Arab Christians, there won’t be many Christians left in
the Holy Land within 15 years." In Bethlehem, the
birthplace of Jesus, the exodus has been most acute. In
1990 60% of the population was Christian. Today that
figure is 20% or less. Weiner said that church leaders
who should be protecting their followers, are being
forced to abandon them to the forces of radical Islam.
Truly a matter for prayer by Christians in America.

A great quote for the Season: "Christianity won’t
rise or fall on whether WalMart employees can say
‘Merry Christmas.’ But its future does depend on how
God’s people advance God’s kingdom, as we help
establish His peaceful rule in the present historical
moment, until Christ reigns in all His glory." – Chuck
Colson and Anne Morse in Christianity Today, Dec. 6.
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Makaila H. said...

Some of the things below are funny or neat to hear.

Isaiah 40:31 ...but those who wait in the Lord will renew their strength; and they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand

And "lollipop" is the longest word typed with your right hand. (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn't you?)

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".? (Are you doubting this?)

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet. (Now, you KNOW you're going to try this out for accuracy, right?)

The words 'race car,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes). (Yep, I knew you were going to "do" this one.)

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. (You're not doubting this, are you?)

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." (Yes, admit it, you are going to say, a e i o u)

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of t he keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out)

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.(Some days that's about what my memory span is.)

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years. (I know some people that could do this too.!)

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like that also)

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. (Good thing he did that.)

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

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