Understanding Women!

When your wife says, "What do you think?" she is not asking for YOUR opinion. She is asking for HER opinion, from your mouth.


Jill Carattini - rzim said...

They gathered every Thursday around nine in the evening with pipes and
teacups in hand. At any given meeting there was likely to have been at
least one historian, a philosopher, a physician, several poets, and a
number of professors. The Inklings, as they called themselves, were
literary enthusiasts who praised the value of good narrative and gathered
to encourage, challenge, and better one another in their various attempts
at creating it. Out of these spirited meetings, in which it is said that
"praise for good work was unstinted, but censure for bad work, or even
not-so-good work, was often brutally frank," there arose the final drafts
of The Lord of the Rings, Out of the Silent Planet, All
Hallows' Eve, and The Great Divorce.(1)

Contrary to many critics who insist these men had little influence on one
another (the Inklings' themselves said of Tolkien that it was easier to
influence a "bandersnatch" than the creator of Middle Earth), Diana Pavlac
Gyler avers they would not have been the same writers had they not written
within the community of the Inklings. "[E]ach author's work is embedded
in the work of others," writes Gyler, "and each author's life is
intertwined with the lives of others."(2) Influence, after all, is far
from imitation. While it is true that these authors came to their
meetings with determined ideas, their reflective and challenging
interactions sharpened thoughts, minds, and lives. J.R.R. Tolkien and
Charles Williams, as well as C.S. Lewis, would likely have imagined far
different worlds had they not participated in the regular reading and
criticism of works in progress.

This idea of communal creativity is one with which I resonant from my own
experience of thinking and writing, from looking around the rooms of
faith, culture, and history and learning to articulate all that is seen.
Even my most original thoughts or imaginative creations are indelibly
shaped by a lifetime of encounters with artists, theologians, family, and
community. We do not interpret the world alone, nor do we live without
influencing one another profoundly. In this sense, we might say that
creativity in all its forms--even in the simplest acts of living and
acting--is inherently an interactive process. What J.R.R. Tolkien notes
on the lips of Frodo can indeed be said of our own interacting stories.
Peering at the large red book in which Bilbo began to tell the story and
Frodo then continued, Sam looks down in wonder. "Why, you have nearly
finished it, Mr. Frodo!" he exclaims. "I have quite finished, Sam,"
answers Frodo. "The last pages are for you."(3)

When the New Testament writers began to speak of creation through the
light of all they saw in Jesus Christ, they affirmed the Old Testament
understanding of total dependence upon the maker of heaven earth, but they
spoke also of Christ's presence as the Word at the beginning. Likewise,
the early church began to see the role and presence of the Spirit in God's
creative work. Creation, they came to understand, and all we see within
it, is the work of a Trinitarian God. Each person of the Trinity in
relationship with one another brings forth out of nothing a creation
reflective of the goodness and love of a divine community. In this image
of God and the fullness of life in the Trinity, creation is affirmed not
as emerging from any lack in God, but from God's communal
abundance. All of creation declares the glory of God, the work of
the loving interaction between Father, Son, and Spirit.

I believe this ultimate image of creative collaboration is one that
orients us as creatures and co-creators alike. The outpouring of
Trinitarian abundance into the creation of all things is one that bids us
to ask: How is it that we are joining God in creation as a community?
What kind of kingdom are we illumining by our life together and influence
upon the world? What kind of stories are we telling and retelling, and
how are we inviting those around us to join in the great Story we have
been given? The creative collaboration of the Trinity throughout time and
creation reminds us that God has made us for community and relationship,
that our stories intertwine as if a great tapestry, and that the grace of
a good creator is working to make that tapestry inherently beautiful.

As the Father has invited us to participate in his good work of creation,
so Christ has called us to join him in furthering the community of the
kingdom among us. By the Spirit, might our very presence in this creative
community be as a great light to the world.

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

(1) W.H. Lewis, "C.S. Lewis: A Biography" (Unpublished Manuscript,
268-269); Wade Collection, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.
(2) Diana Pavlac Gyler, The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.
Tolkien as Writers in Community (Kent, OH: Kent State University
Press, 2007).
(3) J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (New York: Harper
Collins, 2004), 1027.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of
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Chuck Colson said...

Summer Reading
Get Revived with a Good Book
May 22, 2008

Many of us are starting to think about what we should pick up for our summer
reading. Newspapers, magazines, and schools are all putting out recommended
reading lists—and so is BreakPoint. With help from commenters at our blog,
The Point, we have updated our summer reading list, which you can find at Our blogging team at The Point will also be offering
more book recommendations and related activities throughout the summer, so
keep checking back in with us.

In the age of the Internet, television, film, and all the other types of
media that cause divisiveness and parental anxiety, the benefits of reading
are one thing we all seem to agree on. Yet reading, as important and
necessary as it is, can carry dangers of its own if we are not discerning
about what we read.

Dr. Benjamin Wiker demonstrates this in his new book 10 Books That Screwed
Up the World. Dr. Wiker explains, "Common sense and a little logic tell us
that if ideas have consequences, then it follows that bad ideas have bad
consequences. And even more obvious, if bad ideas are written down in books,
they are far more durable, infecting generation after generation. . . ." Dr.
Wiker mentions books like Margaret Sanger's The Pivot of Civilization and
Mein Kampf that carried literary "viruses" to readers around the world.

But today, we have a whole new crop of books full of damaging, devastating
spiritual ideas—books like The Secret and A New Earth. These make false but
very seductive claims, tempting human beings to re-create God in their own
image, or even to set themselves up as God.

Dr. Wiker proposes that we inoculate ourselves against literary "viruses" by
reading the books that carry them. Obviously, this is not advisable for
everybody—you certainly do not want to hand someone susceptible to New Age
claims a copy of A New Earth—but he is right: It is wise for us to be able
to refute the false claims carried in these books.

Christians who have a biblical worldview can be invaluable in bringing a
perspective to bear in dismantling these false ideas. Also, we can read good
secondary sources to get better informed on what we are dealing with. For
example, Richard Weikart has written an excellent book, From Darwin to
Hitler, exposing the false ideas of Darwin and their dire consequences.

But most of all, we need to know the biblical worldview even better than we
know the false and destructive ideas, and that is where reading good books
comes in. Ideas don't disappear when we try to suppress them, but they can
be discredited by better and worthier ideas. So start with reading The Good
Book—the Bible—and knowing it well. But also familiarize yourself with the
great Christian classics and the giants of literature—the books and ideas
that have stood the test of time and raised up our minds and hearts, instead
of corrupting them. If you need help knowing what some of those are, drop by
our website and especially our blog to join in the conversation with fellow
bookworms, to get ideas from them and to share your own. Or check out Dr.
Ken Boa's excellent "Great Books Audio CD" series that I talk about so often
on "BreakPoint."

Summer is a time for relaxing, refreshment, and revival. When I am fatigued,
physically or spiritually, I find that it is The Good Book and other good
books that revive me. So make sure you stop by and let us help you get
revived this summer.

Click Here
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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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Professor Howdy said...

*"Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing -
and that was the closest our country has ever been to being
even." --Will Rogers

Dr. Al Mohler said...

When Deaths Outnumber Births -- The Parable of Pittsburgh

Demography is not destiny, but that claim is not, humanly speaking, far off
the mark. The pattern of populations and social behaviors will establish the
character and contours of any civilization. For this reason, any major
change in the population is significant, and the more unexpected the change,
the more significant its impact.

Thus, Americans should take a close look at the fact that in a handful of
major metropolitan areas, deaths now outnumber births. In times past, this
would have indicated a major catastrophe such as famine, plague, or war. But
with regard to these cities, the causes include nothing to do with famine,
plague, or war.

The New York Times reports that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a symbol of this
new development. As the paper reported in its May 18, 2008 edition, this
development is significant indeed.

From the report:

Hospitals are closing obstetrics wards and converting them to acute care.
Local governments and other social service providers are adjusting to the
emergence of entire neighborhoods where the average age is soaring, and
private foundations are awarding scholarships to retain students and attract
new ones.

In Pittsburgh, public school enrollment plummeted from about 70,000 two
decades ago to about 30,000 and continues shrinking by about 1,000 a year.

"At a certain point the school system becomes no longer viable," said Grant
Oliphant, the new president of the Pittsburgh Foundation, which is
overseeing a program that provides college scholarships worth up to $40,000
for any student who has attended the city's public schools since the ninth
grade and graduates from high school with a grade point average of at least

This report is certain to surprise many Americans -- those unaware of the
looming demographic crisis faced by many American communities. Some of these
citizens are probably aware of the collapsing birthrates in Europe and
Japan, but thought that American exceptionalism would ensure that no similar
development would reach American shores.

Those same citizens are also probably unaware that America's birthrate just
slightly above base population replacement is sustained at that level only
by the higher reproduction rates of new immigrants -- to whom we should be
grateful for representing their hopes by having children.

The situation in Pittsburgh is complicated by factors including economic
shifts and a general loss of population. But when all things are taken into
consideration, this means that Pittsburgh will see more funerals than baby
showers. A community cannot survive that imbalance for long. Warnings of
such developments as a collapse of the schools are not projected all that
far into the future.

And Pittsburgh is not alone:

Other metropolitan areas, too, are teetering on the brink of natural

In the 1990s, deaths outnumbered births in only four metropolitan areas with
more than 250,000 people, and three of those were in the South. Since 2000,
10 metropolitan areas -- half of them outside the South -- have suffered a
net loss of population to natural decrease.

In three other areas hurt by vanishing industry, Buffalo-Niagara Falls and
Utica-Rome in upstate New York, and Duluth, Minn., deaths exceeded births in
at least one year in this decade.

The collapse of birthrates is a sign of huge social and moral
transformations. Schools are called into question, but so are churches and
other institutions. Falling church statistics across denominational lines
are, to a significant degree, traceable to falling birthrates among members.
This trend was first visible within the mainline Protestant denominations,
but is now visible among Evangelicals, including the Southern Baptist

Pittsburgh is becoming a parable of population loss for the rest of the
nation. Will anyone take notice?

Professor Howdy said...

Any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the
13th in it.


The first city to reach a population of 1 million people
was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. London, England reached the
mark in 1810 and New York, USA made it in 1875. Today,
there are over 300 cities in the world that boast a pop-
ulation in excess of 1 million.


The Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii is the largest volcano on
Earth. It rises more than 50,000 feet (9.5 miles) above
its base, which sits under the surface of the sea.

thekingpin68 said...

When your wife says, "What do you think?"
she is not asking for YOUR opinion. She is
asking for HER opinion, from your mouth.


Leroy Jethro Gibbs said...

I'm thankful for our troops
who sacrificed for our great

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