How Is It?

UNC dinner dates

How is it one careless match 
can start a forest fire, but it 
takes a whole box to start a 


Professor Howdy said...

While attending a convention in Chapel Hill, three psychiatrists
take a walk.

"People are always coming to us with their guilt and fears,"
one says, "but we have no one to go to with our own problems."

"Since we're all professionals," another suggests, "why don't
we hear each other out right now?"

They agreed this is a good idea. The first psychiatrist confesses,
"I'm a compulsive shopper and deeply in debt, so I usually overbill
my patients as often as I can."

The second admits, "I have a drug problem that's out of control,
and I frequently pressure my patients into buying illegal drugs for

The third psychiatrist says, "I know it's wrong, but no matter
how hard I try, I just can't keep a secret."

Jill Carattini said...

"I like to listen," said Ernest Hemingway. "I have learned a great deal
from listening carefully." Hemingway speaks of a significant virtue,
lamenting accurately, "Most people never listen." But I wonder if he
would feel differently if it were his books to which people were

The popularity of audio books is redefining the notion of reading, and
some authors--and readers--are unhappy about it. "Deep reading really
demands the inner ear as well as the outer ear," says literary critic
Harold Bloom. "You need the whole cognitive process, that part of you
which is open to wisdom. You need the text in front of you." Others who
doggedly defend the entire experience of reading--the feel of a book in
their hands, the smell of its pages, the single-minded escape of delving
into a story--find listening to a book something along the lines of
cheating. "You didn't read it," they contest. "You only listened
to it," as if this somehow means they took in a different story. For
those who love the written word and printed page, for those who are elated
at the sight of a bookstore, not only is listening to Hamlet or
The Count of Monte Cristo like picking up the cliff notes, but
e-books are a trend that will clearly never last. There is no substitute
for books, no surrogate for reading.

I agree. And so, it is probably for this reason that I find myself
responding to the question, "Have you read such and such?" with a
similar admittance of guilt: "Well, I listened to it" (usually accompanied
with a comment about Atlanta traffic). And yet, I am becoming more and
more convinced that audio books definitely have their place in
learning--with or without traffic. Auditory processing is vital to any
learning. Listening carefully is a vital skill to keep sharp.

I find that I pick up different facets when I listen to a paragraph than I
might have gleaned from reading that same paragraph. C.S. Lewis's Mere
Christianity is a book I have read many times. Recently, I bought the
book on CD and found listening to the work an entirely different,
altogether helpful experience. Interestingly, Mere Christianity
began as a series of lectures on the radio. Some words are powerfully
heard whether silent or aloud.

Of course, much of Scripture has a similar origin, resonating powerfully
in both oral and written traditions. The importance of memorization and
oral tradition in Israelite culture played a significant role in bringing
the collected works of Scripture into being. Listening to narratives,
songs, and the Torah read aloud was an integral part of keeping the name
of God and the history of his presence before them. Throughout the Old
Testament, the people of Israel are charged with the command to remember:
"Hear O Israel the LORD our God, the LORD is one" (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Listening carefully was imperative to remembering the God among them.

And it still is. In homes where we are not put to death for owning a
Bible, it is easy to forget the wonder of a God who speaks. As countless
translations continue to emerge and divide us, it is easy to be distracted
from the authority of words that never fade, but come into new generations
and changing cultures with new influence. The words of Scripture are
living and active, the Spirit leading us to the person of Christ within
the pages. Read aloud or studied silently, God is speaking, crying out
for ears to hear and hearts to search.

As Ezra read the words of the Law before a generation who had forgotten,
the people wept in the presence of the LORD and immediately fell down in
worship. When the apostle Paul's letter was read aloud to the Roman
church, the words resounded similarly among the crowd: "Consequently,
faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the
word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). The voice of God is still speaking! The
kingdom is among us! Who among us will listen?

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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Wist u dat de God van u houdt?
Avez-vous su que Dieu vous aime ?
Wußten Sie, daß Gott Sie liebt?
Avete saputo che il dio li ama?
Você soube que o deus o ama?
¿Usted sabía que el dios le ama?

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Bob Dean said...

... When speaking in Montana,
Barack Obama got a standing
ovation when he said, “It is
time to take back the country.”
The bad news: he was on an Indian
reservation at the time.

Jay Leno

Leroy Jethro Gibbs said...

“Barack Obama was speaking to a
Jewish group, and he told them that
his name Barack is the same as the
Jewish word ‘baruch,’ which means
one who’s blessed. Obama had a
harder time explaining his middle
name, Hussein. Things got quiet
there.” —Conan O’Brien

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