Pages

Search This Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Start the 28th Amendment

Excellent idea!

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "Lewis Grace" <loumaspetey@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 30, 2011 2:47 pm
Subject: Start the 28th Amendment
To: "Lewis Grace" <loumaspetey@yahoo.com>






________________________________

 
 Start the 28th Amendment!!
>>
>> 
>>
>>The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3
>>months & 8 days to be ratified!  Why?  Simple!  The people demanded it.  That
>>was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
>>  
>> Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to
>>become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
>>  
>> I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people
>>on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
>>  
>> In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
>>message.  This is one idea that really should be passed around.
>>  
>>  Congressional Reform Act of 2011
>> 
>> 1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of the possible options below..
>>  
>>   A. Two Six-year Senate terms
>>   B. Six Two-year House terms
>>   C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
>> 
>> 
>> 2.  No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and
>>receives no pay when they are out of office. 
>> 
>> 
>> 3.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
>>  
>> All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
>>system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and
>>Congress participates with the American people. 
>> 
>> 
>> 4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
>> 
>> 
>> 5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will
>>rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
>> 
>> 
>> 6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same
>>health care system as the American people.
>> 
>> 
>> 7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
people.
>> 
>> 
>> 8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void
effective 10-1-11 
>> 
>> 
>> The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.  Congressmen
>>made all these contracts for themselves.
>> 
>>  
>> Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned
>>citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back
>>to work. 
>> 
>>  If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take
>>three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message.  Maybe it is
>>time.
>> 
>> THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.   If
>>not, just delete
>>  
>> You are one of my 20+.  Please keep it going.
>> 
>>
>> 
>>
>> 
>>
>> 
>>
>> 
>>
>>
>>______________________________________________________________________
>>This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
>>For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email 
>>______________________________________________________________________
>>
>>
>>______________________________________________________________________
>>This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
>>For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email 
>>______________________________________________________________________
>>
>>
>>
>>__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature
>>database 6016 (20110405) __________
>>
>>The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.
>>
>>http://www.eset.com//
>>
>>
>>__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature
>>database 6016 (20110405) __________
>>
>>The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.
>>
>>http://www.eset.com/
>>
>> 
>>=======================================================
>>THIS ELECTRONIC MESSAGE, INCLUDING ANY ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS, IS        
>> CONFIDENTIAL and may contain information that is privileged and exempt from
>>disclosure under applicable law. If you are neither the intended recipient nor
>>responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, please note
>>that any dissemination, distribution, copying or the taking of any action in
>>reli




ABCNews.com: Royal Wedding

Freakshow hats!
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie go all out.


Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Thursday, April 28, 2011

I <3 Enoch ;)

http://www.logoschristian.org/revealed/

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Re: [Slice 2449] From the Fringes (April 27, 2011)

WOW,this one is extra awesome.

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Wed, Apr 27, 2011 3:03 am
Subject: [Slice 2449] From the Fringes (April 27, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 



From the Fringes

Author A.J. Jacobs admits that he was agnostic before he even knew what the word meant.  For all the good God seemed to invoke, the potential for abuse was far too high in his mind for God to be taken seriously.  In a book exploring religion and religiousness, Jacobs describes an uncle who seemed to confirm this for him.  Dabbling religiously in nearly every religion, his uncle went through a phase where he decided to take the Bible completely literally.  Thus, heeding the Bible's command in Deuteronomy 14:25 to secure money in one's hand, he tied bills to his palms.  Heeding the biblical command to wear fringes at the corners of one's garment, he bought yarn from a kitting shop, made a bunch of tassels, and attached them to every corner he could find on his clothes.(1)  While his uncle sought faithfulness to the letter, Jacobs was left with the impression that his uncle was "subtly dangerous."  

There are certainly sections of the Bible that when stripped of context and read in a lifeless vacuum can lead a mind to extremes.  Like Jacobs, it is easy to conclude that religion and religiousness are completely ridiculous; or like his uncle, it is possible to assume complete literalism and run in ridiculous directions.  The practice of making and wearing tassels on the corners of one's garment, commanded in Numbers 15:37, is one such peculiar biblical decree easily dismissed in the name of reason or disemboweled in the name of faithfulness.  Yet neither response truly yields an honest view of the command.      

In fact, what seems an entirely curious fashion tip for the people of Israel was a common sight in many ancient Near Eastern cultures.  Fringed garments were considered ornamental and illustrative of the owner; they were also were thought to hold certain spiritual significances.(2)  In Assyria and Babylonia, for instance, fringes were believed to assure the wearer of the protection of the gods.  Thus, God's command of the Israelites to "make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations" took something familiar to the nations and gave it new significance for the nation God called his own.  "39You will have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and not follow the lust of your own heart and your own eyes" (Numbers 15:39).  Like many of the commands and rituals described in Jewish and Christian Scriptures, the instruction of tassels is about remembrance.  The perpetual presence of fringe and tassel was a tangible reminder that all of life, not only moments of piety or prayer, was an opportunity to be in the presence of God.  To miss the rich substance of this divine petition is to miss it—and its petitioner—entirely. 

But more than this, we do well to carry such social, historical, and linguistic depth throughout other segments of Scripture we might otherwise dismiss.  What might have seemed an insignificant quirk of an ancient context finds meaning in texts long thereafter.  In ancient times, for instance, tassels were a part of the hem of a garment, which itself was a significant social statement.  The hem was the most ornate part of one's attire, and thus declared the wearer's importance before the world.  It was considered a symbolic extension of one's person, a means of grasping one's stature—sometimes literally.  Grasping the hem of one from whom you wanted something, you were thought to be grasping the very identity of the owner—and hence it was shameful to refuse the request.  The hems of kings' and nobles' robes, moreover, were symbolic of their rank and authority, and therefore were often longer, richer in color, or made with more costly fabric.  Thus, when David cut the hem of Saul's robe in the cave, the declaration was as potent as crushing the crown of Queen Elizabeth or impeaching the president.  Saul conceded, "Now I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand."

But along with authority, importance, and personhood, holiness was also expressed in antiquity by the fringes and hems of one's garment.  The length of a priest's or rabbi's fringes was symbolic of piety, respect, and authority.  And this message is perhaps no clearer than in the vision of Isaiah when the very hem of the robe of the LORD filled everything before the prophet's eyes.  "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robefilled the temple."   Isaiah envisions the God described in Scripture as one whose person is larger than anything we can imagine, one who comes near to us within a specific context, and fills the world with even the fringes of Himself. 

I know only of one other hem that amazed crowds and changed individuals in the same way.  Unlike the priests who made "their fringes long" to shout of their piety, this man had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him (Matthew 23:5, Isaiah 53:2).  And yet, people came from the very fringes of society hoping to touch even the hem of his robe.  They begged him that they might touch even the tassels of his cloak.  And indeed, all who touched him were made whole.(3)


Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. 



(1) A. J. Jacobs, A Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), 6.
(2) "Fringes," in J. Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902), 68-70.
(3) Cf. Matthew 14:36, Matthew 9:20, Luke 8:44, Mark 6:56.
 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 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 www.rzim.org/Slice


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pedigree View - Ancestry.com

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/26515288/family/pedigree

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



The Universe Was Created 6,988 Years Ago Today, According To Kepler (VIDEO)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/27/the-universe-created-kepler_n_854361.html

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



MAG 2011

Ancient& World history clubs trip to memorial art gallery Rochester....

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Sherwood Inn,April 2011

Some of the coolest kids I know!

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Zoo trip

Some of my favorite ladies on the planet & our national bird!

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



MAG

My favorite part of our Memorial Art Gallery Field trip this year....

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Monday, April 25, 2011

Lesson Plans | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

http://rockhall.com/education/resources/lesson-plans/
Getting ready for our summer camping  trip!
Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Can't wait.....

Summers coming soon& that means hoppin a ferry to our favorite island to see our favorite nanny! Can't wait to smell the ocean air& watch  the sunset over the Atlantic....

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Italian Stallions



Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Italian Stallions....good times;)

Miss the days of little guys playing videogames& staying up all night, eating pigs in a blanket,harassing each other,having noisy fun,breaking things in my house....so grateful for all of those Italian stallion sleep-overs...;)

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Forwarded message -----
From: "jennifer grace" <grace.family@live.com>
Date: Sun, Apr 24, 2011 11:50 pm
Subject: Itallionstallions
To: "grace.family@live.com" <grace.family@live.com>

Nate Grace vs NYpizza burger!

The Bellone bros found it an interesting challenge to try & fill my always  hungry husband w/ a 7# burger......boys r so silly.....

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Saturday, April 23, 2011

I will rise, when He calls my name.

You are invited,,,even though you may not celebrate Easter,or you  don't usually go to church,or you have a usual Sunday routine--- in spite of that-- you are invited to celebrate the resurrection of  our Lord tomorrow,11am@ Rose United Methodist Church....
Alissa &I will b dancing to " I will rise". May God bless you all;) in this holy season& in all others...
JlrGrace
Sent from my HTC Aria™! smartphone on AT&T



Friday, April 22, 2011

[Slice 2446] There Was a Body (April 22, 2011)



Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 3:18 am
Subject: [Slice 2446] There Was a Body (April 22, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 



There Was a Body

There was a body on the cross.  This was the shocking revelation of a 12 year-old seeing a crucifix for the first time.  I was not used to seeing Jesus there—or any body for that matter.  The many crosses in my world were empty.  But here, visiting a friend's church, in a denomination different from my own, was a scene I had never fully considered. 

In my own Protestant circles I remember hearing the rationale.  Holy Week did not end with Jesus on the cross.  Good Friday is not the end of the story.  Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried.  And on the third day, he rose again.  The story ends in the victory of Easter.  The cross is empty because Christ is risen. 

In fact, it is true, and as Paul notes, essential, that Christians worship a risen Christ.  "[For] if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:14).  Even walking through the events of Holy Week—the emotion of the Last Supper, the anguish in Gethsemane, the denials of the disciples, the interrogation of Pilate, and the lonely way to Golgotha—we are well aware that though the cross is coming, so is the empty tomb.  The dark story of Good Friday will indeed be answered by the light of Easter morning. 

And yet, there is scarcely a theologian I can imagine who would set aside the fathomless mystery of the crucifixion in the interest of a doctrine that "over-shadows" it.  The resurrection follows the crucifixion; it does not erase it.   Though the cross has indeed taken away the sting of sin and death, and Christ has truly borne our pain, and the burden of humanity is that we will follow him.  Even Christ, who retained the scars of his own crucifixion, told his followers that they, too, would drink the cup from which he drank.  The Christian, who considers himself "crucified with Christ," will surely "take up his cross" and follow him.  The good news is that Christ goes with us, even as he went before us, fully tasting humanity in a body like yours and mine. 

Thus, far from being an act that undermines the victory of the resurrection, the remembrance of Jesus's hour of suffering boldly unites us with Christ himself.  For it was on the cross that Christ most intimately bound himself to humanity.  It was "for this hour" that Christ himself declared that he came.  Humanity is, in turn, united to him in his suffering and is near him in our own.  Had there not been an actual body on the cross, such mysteries would not be substantive enough to reach us. 

Author and undertaker Thomas Lynch describes a related problem as well-meaning onlookers at funerals attempt to console the grief-stricken.  Lynch describes how often he hears someone tell the weeping mother or father of the child who died of leukemia or a car accident, "It's okay, that's not her, it's just a shell."(1)  But the suggestion that a dead body is "just" anything, particularly in the early stages of grief, he finds more than problematic.  What if, he imagines, we were to use a similar wording to describe our hope in resurrection—namely, that Christ raised "just" a body from the dead.  Lynch continues, "What if, rather than crucifixion, he'd opted for suffering low self-esteem for the remission of sins?  What if, rather than 'just a shell,' he'd raised his personality say, or The Idea of Himself?  Do you think they'd have changed the calendar for that? [...] Easter was a body and blood thing, no symbols, no euphemisms, no half measures."(2)   

On the cross, we find the one whose self-offering transformed all suffering and forever lifted the burden of sin.  On this dark and Good Friday, we find the very figure of God with us, a body who cried out in a loud voice in the midst of anguish, on the brink of death, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."  Precisely because the cross was not empty, the coming resurrection is profoundly full. 

 

 

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

(1) Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (New York: Penguin, 1997), 21.
(2) Ibid. 
 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 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 www.rzim.org/Slice


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fwd: [Slice 2445] Man and Mystery (April 21, 2011)



Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Forwarded message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 3:04 am
Subject: [Slice 2445] Man and Mystery (April 21, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 

Man and Mystery

Author Annie Dillard once observed, "We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery."(1)

Today is Maundy Thursday.  For those who experienced it first, Maundy Thursday, which is Latin for "command," was an eventful day.  It was the day the disciples received the command to love and had their feet washed by Jesus.  It was the day they perhaps first saw the connection between the Passover sacrifice, their beloved teacher, and the bread of life.  It was the day their eyes were roused by the uniqueness of the man before them, their minds filled with history, prophecy, and tradition—and they began to wake to the grand mystery of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

In fact, Jesus is a mystery that has unarguably shaped all of history.  A 1936 Life magazine article on the life of Jesus noted, "Jesus gave history a new beginning.  In every land he is at home: everywhere men think his face is like their best face—and like God's face.  His birthday is kept across the world.  His death-day has set a gallows across every city skyline.  Who is he?"(2)  The mystery of Christ, his life, death, and influence is uniquely unmatched.  Even Napoleon, in a conversation while imprisoned at St. Helena, acknowledged: "The religion of Christ is a mystery which subsists by its own force, and proceeds from a mind which is not a human mind.  We find in it a marked individuality, which originated a train of words and maxims unknown before—Jesus borrowed nothing from our knowledge.  He exhibited in himself the perfect example of his precepts.... Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires, but upon what did we rest the creations of our genius?  Upon force.  Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love and at this hour millions of men would die for him."(3)

But who is the man behind these concentrated words?  I can think of no better question to ask on Maundy Thursday.  And yet, as Ravi Zacharias states, the precursor to the answer is the intent of the questioner.  Magazine articles and television programming may reflect curiosity in the man the world remembers this week, but do we want to know who Jesus was, who he is, beyond the philosophical exercise? 

Perhaps that first Maundy Thursday, just before the Passover Feast, just a day before Jesus was betrayed, is a revealing scene for the honest seeker of Christ's identity. The story is recounted in the Gospel of John.(4)  Jesus looks at his disciples, his friends, those who would soon deny even knowing him, those who even so, he would love to the end.  And standing with those men, knowing the weight of the darkness before him, knowing from where he came from and where he was going—knowing that before the light of Sunday would come the blackness of Friday and the emptiness of Saturday—Jesus took a towel and a basin and began to wash their feet.   

Indeed, who is he?  Oswald Chambers said that drudgery is the truest test of genuine character.  Foot washing was a lowly job—and an oft-recurring job due to sandals and dusty streets; it was a job for a servant.  But here, the menial task was instead performed by the master, their teacher, the Messiah they hoped would save them with force.   

The mysterious truth of Christ's identity is that he still does what is analogous to washing soiled feet: with our deepest sorrows, our sorriest actions, our smallest attempts at faith.  Might we wake again and again to the enormity of who Christ is, and in so doing heed his command to love as he has loved.    

 

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. 

 

(1) Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, (New York:  HarperPerennial, 1998), 4.
(2) George Buttrick, "The Life of Jesus Christ," Life, December 28, 1936, 49. 
(3) Napoleon I, "Napoleon's Argument for the Divinity of Christ," Evans & Cogswell, No. 3, Charleston, 1861.
(4) John 13:1-17.
 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 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 www.rzim.org/Slice


Man and Mystery (April 21, 2011)



Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 3:04 am
Subject: [Slice 2445] Man and Mystery (April 21, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 

Man and Mystery

Author Annie Dillard once observed, "We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery."(1)

Today is Maundy Thursday.  For those who experienced it first, Maundy Thursday, which is Latin for "command," was an eventful day.  It was the day the disciples received the command to love and had their feet washed by Jesus.  It was the day they perhaps first saw the connection between the Passover sacrifice, their beloved teacher, and the bread of life.  It was the day their eyes were roused by the uniqueness of the man before them, their minds filled with history, prophecy, and tradition—and they began to wake to the grand mystery of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

In fact, Jesus is a mystery that has unarguably shaped all of history.  A 1936 Life magazine article on the life of Jesus noted, "Jesus gave history a new beginning.  In every land he is at home: everywhere men think his face is like their best face—and like God's face.  His birthday is kept across the world.  His death-day has set a gallows across every city skyline.  Who is he?"(2)  The mystery of Christ, his life, death, and influence is uniquely unmatched.  Even Napoleon, in a conversation while imprisoned at St. Helena, acknowledged: "The religion of Christ is a mystery which subsists by its own force, and proceeds from a mind which is not a human mind.  We find in it a marked individuality, which originated a train of words and maxims unknown before—Jesus borrowed nothing from our knowledge.  He exhibited in himself the perfect example of his precepts.... Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires, but upon what did we rest the creations of our genius?  Upon force.  Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love and at this hour millions of men would die for him."(3)

But who is the man behind these concentrated words?  I can think of no better question to ask on Maundy Thursday.  And yet, as Ravi Zacharias states, the precursor to the answer is the intent of the questioner.  Magazine articles and television programming may reflect curiosity in the man the world remembers this week, but do we want to know who Jesus was, who he is, beyond the philosophical exercise? 

Perhaps that first Maundy Thursday, just before the Passover Feast, just a day before Jesus was betrayed, is a revealing scene for the honest seeker of Christ's identity. The story is recounted in the Gospel of John.(4)  Jesus looks at his disciples, his friends, those who would soon deny even knowing him, those who even so, he would love to the end.  And standing with those men, knowing the weight of the darkness before him, knowing from where he came from and where he was going—knowing that before the light of Sunday would come the blackness of Friday and the emptiness of Saturday—Jesus took a towel and a basin and began to wash their feet.   

Indeed, who is he?  Oswald Chambers said that drudgery is the truest test of genuine character.  Foot washing was a lowly job—and an oft-recurring job due to sandals and dusty streets; it was a job for a servant.  But here, the menial task was instead performed by the master, their teacher, the Messiah they hoped would save them with force.   

The mysterious truth of Christ's identity is that he still does what is analogous to washing soiled feet: with our deepest sorrows, our sorriest actions, our smallest attempts at faith.  Might we wake again and again to the enormity of who Christ is, and in so doing heed his command to love as he has loved.    

 

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. 

 

(1) Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, (New York:  HarperPerennial, 1998), 4.
(2) George Buttrick, "The Life of Jesus Christ," Life, December 28, 1936, 49. 
(3) Napoleon I, "Napoleon's Argument for the Divinity of Christ," Evans & Cogswell, No. 3, Charleston, 1861.
(4) John 13:1-17.
 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 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 www.rzim.org/Slice


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Re: [Slice 2444] Pointing Fingers (April 20, 2011)

A Slice of Infinity

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Wed, Apr 20, 2011 3:05 am
Subject: [Slice 2444] Pointing Fingers (April 20, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 

Pointing Fingers

For a world of pointing fingers, the day is ripe with opportunity.  Today is "Spy Wednesday," an old and uncommon name for the Wednesday of Holy Week, so-named because it marks the agreement of Judas to betray Jesus.  As told by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Judas approaches the chief priests and asks what they would be willing to give him for turning Jesus over to them.  They agree on a sum, and from then on Judas looks for opportunity to hand him over.(1)

Some commemorate the involvement of Judas in the story of Holy Week by collecting thirty pieces of silver, the exact amount Judas was given to betray Jesus, and later returns to the chief priests in regret.  Typically, children gather the coins and present them as gifts to the church.  In other cultures, the tradition involves children throwing an effigy of Judas from the church steeple, then dragging it around the town while pounding him with sticks.  For whatever part of us that might want a person to blame for the events that led to the betrayal, death, and crucifixion of Jesus, Judas makes an easy target. 

But nothing about Holy Week is easy, and the gospels leave us wondering if guilt might in fact hit closer to home.  It is noted in Mark's Gospel, in particular, that the moral failures of the week are not handed to any one person, but described in all of the actors equally:  Yes, to Judas the betrayer.  But also to weak disciples, sleeping and running and fumbling.  To Peter, cowardly and denying.  To scheming priests, indifferent soldiers, angry mobs, and the conceited Pilate.  Mark brings us face to face with human responsibility, such that it is not a stretch to imagine our own in the mix.      

While we may successfully remain apart and shrouded from the events, conversations, and finger pointing of Holy Week, the cross invites the world to see that we stand nearer than we might realize.  Such a thought might seem absurd or dramatic, a manipulative tool of theologians, or an inaccurate accusation on account of your own sense of moral clarity.

Yet the invitation to emerge from our own darkest failings, lies, and betrayals is somewhere in the midst of this story as well; not an invitation to dwell in our own impoverishment, but rather, a summons to death and light.  The difficult message of the cross is that there is room beside the hostile soldiers, fickle crowds, and fleeing disciples.  Also difficult, but merciful, is the message of the cross that there is indeed a way to wholeness of life and hope and liberty, which leads through death and self-surrender.  Before we found a scapegoat to detract attention from our own failings, before we even considered the endless possibilities of finger pointing, Christ died pointing at you, pointing at the soldier and the priests and the disciple who betrayed him.   

 

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. 

 

(1) See Matthew 26:3-5, 14-16, Mark 14:10-12, Luke 22:3-6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Re: [Slice 2439] Acquainted With Grief (April 13, 2011)

He became like us so we could know Him....

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 3:02 am
Subject: [Slice 2439] Acquainted With Grief (April 13, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 

Acquainted With Grief

"Please—Mr. Lion—Aslan, Sir?" said Digory working up the courage to ask.  "Could you—may I—please, will you give me some magic fruit of this country to make my mother well?"

A child in one of the Narnia books, Digory, at this point in the story, had brought about much disaster for Aslan and his freshly created Narnia.  But he had to ask.  In fact, he thought for a second that he might attempt to make a deal with Aslan.  But quickly Digory realized the Lion was not the sort of person with which one could try to make bargains. 

C.S. Lewis then recounts, "Up till then the child had been looking at the lion's great front feet and the huge claws on them.  Now in his despair he looked up at his face.  And what he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life.  For the tawny face was bent down near his own and wonder of wonders great shining tears stood in the lion's eyes.  They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the lion must really be sorrier about his mother than he was himself."(1)

Charles Dickens often spoke of his characters as beloved and "real existences."  I have often wondered if the "safe but never tame" Lion ministered to C.S. Lewis half as much as this Christ figure has comforted others.  Lewis was a boy about the age of Digory when his mother lay dying of cancer and he was helpless to save her. 

"My son, my son," said Aslan.  "I know.  Grief is great.  Only you and I in this land know that yet.  Let us be good to one another..."

The tremendous figure that fills the gospels towers above all attempts we have made to describe him.  Yet had we been in charge of writing the story of God becoming man, I doubt it would have been Christ we described: "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not" (Isaiah 53:3).  He was not the stoic, man of nerves we might have imagined.  Nor was he the ever-at-peace teacher we often describe.  He was, among other things, a man of sorrows. 

There is, for me, immense comfort in a Christ who was not always smiling.  As I picture his face set as flint toward Jerusalem, my fear is unfastened by his fortitude.  As I imagine the urgency in his voice as he defended a guilty woman amidst a crowd holding rocks, my shame is freed by his mercy.  And as I picture him weeping at the grave of Lazarus, crying out at injustice, sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane, my tears are given depth by his own cries.  We do not grieve alone. 

"But you, O God," cried the psalmist, "do see trouble and grief."  Becoming man, the character of God was not compromised or misrepresented.  As Jesus knew tears, so the heart of God is one that knows grief.  The heart of the Father is one who has lost a Son.  "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted," writes the prophet Isaiah.  Matthew describes the extent of these words: "Then [Pilate] released Barabbas to them.  But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified" (Matthew 27:26).  Indeed, grief is great; let us be good to one another.

Perhaps those who mourn are called blessed because they are at this point closest to the deepest wound of the heart of God.  Until every tear shall be wiped dry, we have before us the hopeful figure of the Man of Sorrows, who bore on his shoulders our grief and his own.  "My son, my daughter, I know."

 

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

(1) C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew, (New York: Harper Collins, 2001), 83.

 

 

 

 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 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 www.rzim.org/Slice


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Re: [Slice 2438] The Scandal of the Cross (April 12, 2011)

A Slice of InfinityIt's truth.
This one story-- is like NO other in history---
Have questions? Want evidence?
I may b able to help you out....
-j
Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Tue, Apr 12, 2011 3:15 am
Subject: [Slice 2438] The Scandal of the Cross (April 12, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 



The Scandal of the Cross

There is a striking verse in the New Testament, in which the apostle Paul refers to the cross of Jesus Christ as foolishness to the Greek and a stumbling block to the Jew.  One can readily understand why he would say that.  After all, to the Greek mind, sophistication, philosophy, and learning were exalted pursuits.  How could one crucified possibly spell knowledge? 

To the Jewish mind, on the other hand, there was a cry and a longing to be free.  In their history, they had been attacked by numerous powers and often humiliated by occupying forces.  Whether it was the Assyrians or the Babylonians or the Romans, Jerusalem had been repeatedly plundered and its people left homeless.  What would the Hebrew have wanted more than someone who could take up their cause and altogether repel the enemy?  How could a Messiah who was crucified possibly be of any help?

To the Greek, the cross was foolishness.  To the Jew, it was a stumbling block.  What is it about the cross of Christ that so roundly defies everything that power relishes?  Crucifixion was humiliating.  It was so humiliating that the Romans who specialized in the art of torture assured their own citizenry that a Roman could never be crucified.  But not only was it humiliating, it was excruciating.  In fact, the very word "excruciating" comes from two Latin words:  ex cruciatus, or out of the cross.  Crucifixion was the defining word for pain.

Does that not give us pause in this season before us?  Think of it: humiliation and agony.  This was the path Jesus chose with which to reach out for you and for me.  You see, this thing we call sin, but which we so tragically minimize, breaks the grandeur for which we were created.  It brings indignity to our essence and pain to our existence.  It separates us from God.

On the way to the cross two thousand years ago, Jesus took the ultimate indignity and the ultimate pain to bring us back to the dignity of a relationship with God and the healing of our souls.  Will you remember that this was done for you and receive his gift?

You will then discover that it is sin that is foolishness.  Our greatest weakness is not an enemy from without but one from within.  It is our own weak wills that cause us to stumble.  But Jesus Christ frees us from the foolishness of sin and the weakness of our selves.

This is the very reason the apostle Paul went on to say that he preached Jesus Christ as one crucified, which was the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Come to the cross in these days given for our contemplation and find out his power and his wisdom.    


Ravi Zacharias is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

 

 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fwd: [Slice 2436] Remember Me (April 8, 2011)

A Slice of Infinity

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Forwarded message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 3:03 am
Subject: [Slice 2436] Remember Me (April 8, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 



Remember Me

There is something comforting about the many characters in the Christian story of which we know very little.  There was more to the story of the woman who knew that if she could just touch the fringe of Jesus's robe she would be well.  There was more to tell about the woman who anointed Jesus with a jar of perfume, or the thief who hung beside Jesus on the cross.  Yet, we are told only that they will be remembered.  And they are.  However insignificant their lives were to society, they have been captured in the pages of history as people worth remembering, people who had a role in the story of God on earth, people remembered by God when multitudes wished them forgotten.  It is to me a kind reminder that our fleeting lives are remembered by God long before others notice and long after they have stopped. 

We know very little about the man named Simeon, but we know he was in the temple when he realized that God had remembered him.  Reaching for the baby in the arms of a young girl, Simeon was moved to praise.  As his wrinkled hands cradled the infant, Simeon sang to God:  "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation" (Luke 2:29-30).

Simeon uses the language of a slave that has been freed.  There is a sense of immediacy and relief, as if a great iron door has been unlocked and he is now free to go through it.  God had remembered his promise even as God remembered the aging Simeon.  The Lord had promised he would not die before he saw the Lord's salvation.  Now seeing and holding the child named Jesus, Simeon knew he was dismissed to death in peace.   

Marveling at the bold reaction of a stranger, Mary and Joseph stood in awe.  Upon laying eyes on their child, a man unknown to them pronounced he could now die in peace!  They were well aware of God's hand upon Jesus; yet here they seem to discover that the arm of God, which is not too short to save, extends far beyond anything they imagined.

Simeon's blessing and words to Mary only furthered this certainty: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too" (Luke 2:34-35).  To these words as well, Mary and Joseph stood in awe. 

In this Lenten season we recall the symbol of the cross, the sword that pierced a mother's heart, and the passion of the one who will continue to be spoken against.  An old man in the temple hundreds of years ago, through a fraction of a scene in his life, reminds us still today that to look at Jesus is to look at the salvation of God.  Whether peering at the child in the manger or the man on the cross, the human heart is yet revealed in its response to him.  This is, in fact, our most memorable feature. 

Perhaps the small excerpts of the many fleeting lives we find throughout the Christian story were meant to capture this very sentiment.  As the thief peered into the bruised eyes of Jesus, like Simeon, he saw the salvation of God.  "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42).  And it was so.    


Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.


An Early Bird discount of $200 per person is currently available for RZIM Summer Institute: Sign Up Today

Join Ravi, Stuart,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

eHow.com | How to Use Cotillion to Teach Etiquette

http://www.ehow.com/i/#article_2317892

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T



Fwd: [Slice 2435] At the Crux of History (April 7, 2011)

A Slice of Infinity

Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Forwarded message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Thu, Apr 7, 2011 3:09 am
Subject: [Slice 2435] At the Crux of History (April 7, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 

At the Crux of History

In the film Hannah and Her Sisters, the character played by Woody Allen tries to tell his Jewish parents that he has difficulty believing in the God of their faith.  His mother won't hear such nonsense and locks herself in the bathroom.  Allen's character shouts after her, "Well, if there's a God, then why is there so much evil in the world?  Just on a simplistic level, why were there Nazis?"  From behind the bathroom door the mother cries out to her husband, "Tell him, Max."  The father replies, "How in the world do I know why there were Nazis?  I don't even know how the can opener works!"

Evil confronts us in many ways, and demands some kind of an answer.  Regardless of whether we believe God exists, that we are god, that everything is god, or that there is no god, some kind of answer is needed.  To the Christian, the question is posed in light of the view of God that is presented in the Bible, but all beliefs and everyone has to come up with some kind of explanation.  The problem of evil demands some kind of philosophical response, but also one that satisfies us existentially. 

It has been fashionable of late to reject any and all notions of truth in place of taste and perspective.   Reality is merely what one clams it to be.  Truth is merely as we see it, or as it is socially constructed.  But even when posing the oft-asked questions, "Where was God when such and such an event happened?" or "Why did God allow it to happen?" some knowledge of what life is about is presupposed.  Moreover, positing the questions of God's involvement and whereabouts in the midst of evil presupposes some sense and notion of good. 

But where does this notion come from?  As the Twin Towers fell in New York City, many of the same voices which days earlier claimed the moral equivalence of all views suddenly seemed compelled to invoke evil as real, as different from something else, and that something called the "good" was both better and to be defended.

The biblical vision captured in the Westminster Confession in 1646 claims:  "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."  To most modern people, the chief end of life is to provide freedom and as much pleasure as we can get forever.  Interestingly, as we look back through the history of ideas, the question, "Where is God when it hurts" was not asked before the 17th century.  The inquiry has a late pedigree in our making man the center and measure of all things in our considerations. 

Yet the Bible clears up any ambiguity about who we are, who God is, what is wrong with the world, and what can be done.   The possibility of freely chosen love means allowing conditions that permit freely chosen rejection, evil, or alternatives.  Our lack of interest in God and our self-assured confidence excludes any normal or routine reflection on life.  For many of us, pain is the platform from which the imperative questions of life are asked and answered.  C.S. Lewis put it this way, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

The question of God's presence in the midst of evil is answered in the silhouette at the heart of a different question:  Where was God at the crux of human history?  As the disciples' gazed at the cross, their expectations were dashed, their hopes shattered, and they could not see God in the midst of the turning point of history.  But at the cross, what men at first could not see was the very triumph of good over evil.

 

Stuart McAllister is vice president of training and special projects at Ravi Zacharias

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Re: [Slice 2434] Dismissing Grace (April 6, 2011)



Sent from my HTC Aria™ smartphone on AT&T

----- Reply message -----
From: "A Slice of Infinity" <postmaster@ls.egen.net>
Date: Wed, Apr 6, 2011 3:05 am
Subject: [Slice 2434] Dismissing Grace (April 6, 2011)
To: "jen grace" <grace.family@live.com>

 Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to view in browser.
 



Dismissing Grace

The Gospel of Mark recollects a scene that makes me cringe every time I hear it.  I wish I could say it was the account of Judas's betrayal of Christ, or the description of Jesus sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane.  But it is not. 

In the first chapter of his testimony to the life of Jesus, Mark describes a man with leprosy who comes to the feet of the unusual rabbi in great need.  On his knees, he begs with a statement of certainty, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."  To this Jesus responds with an act of healing that would indeed change everything in the life of man pushed to the outskirts of a society, declared leprous in more ways than one.  Jesus heals him and then immediately tells the thankful man not to tell anyone.  The command is troubling to me, but more so is the story that follows.   

As an aside, Mark's Gospel, the shortest of the four, is largely concerned with getting the message of Christ out without delay.  He opens his account with a single-sentence introduction, and his favorite word throughout the book is a Greek word meaning "immediately" or "at once."  The story of the leprous man is no different. 

In response to this man kneeling at Jesus's feet, Mark describes Jesus immediately willing and sympathetic.  "Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!'  Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured" (1:41-42).  Mark conveys a compassionate savior who is near to us, reaching out with a power that is relevant to our lives.  In the Gospel of Mark, the divine equation is not only apparent but spoken with urgency.  God is near; Christ has come; if you will seek him, you will find him. 

But the passage continues.  Jesus sends the healed man away "at once" and "with a strong warning."  "See that you don't tell this to anyone.  But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them" (1:44).  It is at this point in the account that I find myself getting quite self-righteously concerned.  How difficult is it for a man who was just healed to respond in gratitude by heeding Jesus's simple instructions?  It is a strange command, yes, but isn't this the least he can do? 

Yet Mark reports a man eager to speak of the power he has seen.  "Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news."  Adding uncomfortably, "As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.  Yet the people still came to him from everywhere."

The chapter concludes with hope, the story on a positive note (people still find their way to Jesus), but it is often no match for the discomfort I feel.  The story Mark tells hinges on the concepts of action and reaction; the words "at once," "immediately," and "as a result" remind us unpopularly that behavior has consequences.  Of course, I know we are not islands.  I rejoice when the act of falling at Jesus's feet causes a move of compassion in Christ and healing in the hearts of those who need.  But I cringe at the thought of my own wrong behavior causing consequences to God.  I don't want to think about my ability to grieve the Holy Spirit with my anger, or my foolishness, or my disobedience.  I don't want to think about the times I have gotten in God's way, "fixing" the catastrophes through which the Spirit may have been reaching someone, turning away from Christ's simple instructions and forcing him to lonelier places. 

And yet, isn't this the reality of the Cross itself?  At the actions of humanity, he was dismissed to the loneliest place of all.  I, too, am free to act and react, to make choices and affect others.  But behavior has consequences; there is always a cost.  My behavior brought something into the world that wasn't meant to be there, something God chose to remove by bearing it—by bearing me—upon the Cross.  There is indeed a cost, but so there is also a redeemer.

Again and again, whether we reject it or truly hear it, the Christian story requires us to wrestle with the one who responds on our behalf.  How often has he reached out to us with compassion only to find that touch rebuffed?  How often have we rejected his grace, wisdom, or way, believing we know better?  Yet even here, even unto death, his hope and work remains:  O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!  How often I have longed to gather you together as a hen gathers her chicks...


Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

 

 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 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 www.rzim.org/Slice