Basic Flying Rules:

1. Try to stay in the middle 
of the air.

2. Do not go near the edges 
of it.

3. The edges of the air can be
recognized by the appearance  
of ground, buildings, sea, trees  
and interstellar space. It is much
more difficult to
fly there.

4. Stay clear of clouds with rocks 
in them.

5. Make the same number of 
landings as you do takeoffs.


Jill Carattini said...

One of the most compelling scenes in the Gospels involves a man whose words
were never recorded. Lazarus is first introduced in the Gospel of John as
one Jesus loves--and one who is sick. The illness had silenced Lazarus to
the point where it is Mary and Martha who had to send word to Jesus:
"Lord, the one you love is sick" (John 11:3). When Jesus heard the news
of his friend's condition, he immediately replied: "This sickness will not
end in death." A few days later, Lazarus was dead.

There are times when I read this story and I long to say in response, "But
it did end in death." Before the story of Lazarus was a story fully
marked by the power of resurrection, it was first a story marred by the
force of death. Lazarus still walked through the pain of his illness; he
still faced the uncertainty of dying. Mary and Martha still grieved at
the grave of their brother for four days. And Jesus himself wept.

Even for those who look to the resurrection as their certain hope, death
is still a jarring occurrence. The journey toward death was harsh and
shocking to Lazarus, his family, and his friends. But it was not the
final word. There is a voice that can be heard even through the last
shriek of death.

Author and professor James Loder tells the story of his younger sister's
transforming encounter with death and life. From an early age, it was
evident that Kay would be a child marked by struggle. Loder describes her
as "a troubled young girl living in a middle-class family in which there
seemed to be no trouble at all."(1) Yet off and on throughout her
childhood, she would suddenly break into tears and fall into bouts of
genuine discontent, such that she was having great trouble both at home
and in school. When she was fourteen, their father was diagnosed with
brain cancer.

Nine months later, on the night before he died, Kay and her brother took a
walk together in the rain. As they walked quietly together, they came to a
lake. Both slowed at the sight of it and its various reflections in the
light. On the other side of the lake was a figure that stopped them both
completely. Remarkably, there seemed in front of them the silhouette of a
Christ-like figure; he was carrying a burden as he walked in the rain.
They were both transfixed. "Do you see what I see?" Loder asked. "Yes,"
came the hushed reply of his sister.

After that evening life was somehow different for her. Their father
passed away, but the vision of Christ in the midst of it was somehow more
permanent. Kay's life took an entirely different turn. She sailed
through school and pursued theater with the idea of bringing God into it.
Loder explains that it was never easy for her; in fact, "it was very hard,"
he said, "but always there was the vision.... [S]he was continually ripped
off. Her material was stolen, and she died at the age of thirty-nine.
[Yet] even in dying, her great love of God and the power of the vision
gave death to death; in love she was married to the Lord for life and for
life after death."(2)

We don't know how Lazarus reacted to his own death and subsequent
resurrection. The gospels do not offer us a single word from the mouth of
the one who was raised. In fact, the man at whose grave Jesus wept is
known only in the gospels as one who listened. Amidst a crowd drawn by
sorrow to a graveside in Bethany, Jesus called out in a loud voice:
"Lazarus, come forth!" And the dead man indeed came out, his hands and
his feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

There is something about suffering and despair that brings us to strain
our ears for the voice of God. Where we have written God off as silent,
where we have lived with the suspicion of a distant or demanding ruler,
there is a compulsion within our pain that forces us to listen. There is
an image of Christ who carried the same burden. And it is met with the
promise of one who speaks: This sickness will not end in death.

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

(1) James E. Loder, The Transforming Moment (Colorado Springs:
Helmers & Howard Publishing, 1989), 228.
(2) Ibid., 229.

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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World Wide Web, please call 1-877-88SLICE (1-877-887-5423).

Professor Howdy said...

We were watching the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on TV
one night, and I was actually amazed by what I heard. Reporters from all
over the world are at this dinner, along with the President of the United
States, who usually does a humorous speech. Well, George Bush finished and
then one of America's most popular comedians was introduced as the night's
entertainment. But this man - who is known far more for being suggestive
than spiritual - made this statement: "I've been watching the evening news a
lot lately - with my Bible opened to the Book of Revelation. And as I'm
hearing what's happened in the world, I just go 'check ... check ... check.'"

Now, that's a comedian - not a theologian - observing how closely
current events seem to be following the Bible's description of this world's
climactic events. But these days a lot of people are suddenly thinking about
things like a future that's beyond our control and an eternity that's one
heartbeat away. There's this sense - both cosmically and personally - that
our time may be shorter than we thought.

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from the first chapter
of Revelation - and it's a reassuring note, actually, in a very
unpredictable world. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus says, referring to the first
and last letters of the Greek alphabet, "I am the Alpha and the Omega ...
who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Then in Revelation
1:17 and 18, Jesus says, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I
am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And
I hold the keys of death and Hades."

Well, as countries rise and fall, as leaders come and go, as the
world seems to be exploding, Jesus is the unchanging, undying Lord of
history. That was settled the day He walked out of His grave under His own
power after His death for our sins on the cross. When every loved one is
gone, when everything you've been depending on collapses - there stands
Jesus Christ, Son of God. He holds the keys! He is your safe place in a
dangerous world! A new follower of Christ was given a Bible, and since no
one showed him where to start reading, he started at the end with
Revelation. A veteran Christian asked him if he understood anything he read
there. The new believer said - "Well, one thing. We win!"

Well, actually Jesus wins. And in a world where we're so vulnerable,
where things are so unpredictable - not to mention the fact that eternity is
always just a heartbeat away. This is a good time to be sure you belong to
the Lord of history, the Conqueror of death - Jesus, the man who died for
your sin so you could belong to Him.

If you've never begun this anchor-relationship with Jesus Christ,
you could do it this very day. Talk to Him. Tell Him, "I'm Yours, Jesus,
from this day on." He promised He would enter your life upon your personal
invitation. If that's what you want, then I would like to send you my
booklet, it's called "Yours For Life." It's about beginning life's most
important relationship.

Once you belong to Jesus Christ, you are secure no matter what
collapses and you are ready for eternity, no matter when it begins.

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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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