"An author should never conceive himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before, but simply and solely as trying to embody in terms of his own art some reflection of eternal Beauty and Wisdom."

- C.S. Lewis
World Mandate 2010: Photos

Here are a few of my photos from World Mandate:

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DSC_2966

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Please Pray for Michael Spencer

Saw this over at Jared's blog:

Please continue to pray for Michael Spencer. If you are able, I know he and his wife would appreciate your donation (click on the PayPal Donate link at his site). He has lost his job now, having exceeded approved FMLA leave, and it's not like he was bankin' anyway. His medical bills will be killer.
Michael (the iMonk) has cancer. here's an update on his site.

Update: As many of you know, David Wayne is also suffering. As is Matt Chandler (H/T again, Jared). Prayers appreciated.

I Can Do Without an iPad

Just give me one of these.


Man!

Disclaimer: this is not a political post. It is just the lament of a bona-fide Apollo moon mission geek and all-around space-exploration nerd.

Planned NASA missions to the moon dropped from U.S. Budget

[The president's] 2011 budget, to be submitted to Congress on Monday, will propose abandoning a program to return US astronauts to the Moon, two Florida newspapers said.

Citing administration and NASA officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the reports said the White House would call on the space agency to focus on other programs, including the development of commercial services to ferry US astronauts to the International Space Station.

Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel, two papers based in the area around the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, said [the president] would seek to boost NASA's budget by six billion dollars over five years, despite a pledge to freeze most discretionary spending.

But the boost will fall far short of the money NASA needs to finance the Constellation program launched in 2004 by [the former president] after the space shuttle Columbia crash in 2003 effectively brought the shuttle program to a close.
I know, I know. We're in a financial crisis. There are bigger fish to fry. We can't be blowing money to visit a lifeless rock 250,000 miles from us.

But I still grieve. The moon missions of the late 1960s enchant me. The Apollo program was perhaps the greatest feat of human engineering and exploration in history.

It's enlightening to note that the views of the future presented in movies of the late sixties (such as 1968's 2001 A Space Odyssey) were not whimsical. People then just assumed that, of course, we would be visiting the outer planets in person by the beginning of the next millennium. Instead, we've been stuck in low earth orbit since Apollo 17 lifted off from the moon in late 1972.

I was really looking forward to going back to the moon. At this point, I'm betting we don't go back in my lifetime, if ever. And I think that's a loss for our country.

iDisappointed

Most people I know are losing their minds over the iPad already. Gotta have something that didn't even exist ten minutes ago.

I haven't checked into the iPad much yet, but my guess is that my take would be a lot like Challies: iPad: The Greatest Disappointment in Human History

Yesterday I sat and watched liveblog coverage of the long-awaited announcement from Apple. To no one’s great surprise, they unveiled their newest device, the iPad. While everyone knew this tablet device was coming, everyone had wondered exactly what it would be. Apple has high standards when it comes to devices like this one and I, for one, was prepared to be amazed. Alas, I was disappointed. iDisappointed, even. I’m ready to declare that the iPad is the greatest disappointment in all of human history (at least since The Phantom Menace).
[Hat Tip: The Fantabulous BIF]

Define Grace

I have used the following definition for GRACE for years.

Unmerited favor.

I use it often in sermons, when I write, when I teach. I use it all the time. I recently received the constructive criticism that this definition is inaccessible to the average hearer, and certainly to an unchurched person. At first I disagreed. The more I look at it, that may be true.

What do you think?

What would suggest as a good non-scholarly-sounding, easy-to-understand, brief definition of the Biblical concept of grace?

I really want to know. Tell me under comments.

Let's Talk About Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

In a word: Wow.

(Side note: to those of you who have been putting it off, stop. Read the books. Or better yet, rent them on audio from your local library. Listening to Robert Dale perform these books has got to be the best way to experience them. Better than just reading them, and better than the movies. The Dude is amazing. Plus it's a timesaver because you can listen in your car.)

This book is ... I'm at a loss for words. If I call it a masterpiece, those of you who haven't read it will think I'm exagerating. Let's just say that it is up there among the finest of Children's literature...though this book really isn't for elementary age children.

These books really do keep getting better and better. The end of this one was like reading the end of "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. The whole thing is at school kid-stuff, even while the seriousness of the adult world is looming, it's still "out there", in the sense that it's not really in the realm of serious worry. And then you get to the end, and the hero (and the reader) finds out that what's been going on in school was the real world. And it's serious. And wham-o! It's life or death.

Whereas "Prisoner of Azkaban" lays the groundwork, this is where it turns really serious. The endings of books 3 and 4 are both amazing pieces of adrenaline rushes. It's like finally coming to the end of a roller coaster ride, only to find that the final screaming descent doesn't stop...It just keeps going. The endings of these two books just pulled me along.

A few thoughts:

Yaaaay. Finally, one of the books starts somewhere other than the Dursleys. I also liked that there is lots of story before we ever get to Hogwarts. The Quidditch World Cup...

The rift between Harry and Ron was a great addition to the story. Realistic. I began to root for them to reconcile, but was actually surprised (but relieved) that it happened as soon as it did. The scene where they reconcile is brilliant.

Ron is hilarious. "Percy wouldn't recognize a joke if it danced in front of him naked...wearing a house-elf's tea towel." I haven't said much about Ron, yet, but he is a brilliant character. His wisecracks are awesome. Each character in these books has real personality. ("House Elf Liberation Front!")

The Christmas Ball was hilarious. What a great picture of "the middle school dance". Neither Harry or Ron's dates really like them, and end up wandering off. Rowling does a great job of showing that at that age, girls are better at that romantic stuff than boys. She also does a great job of portraying how awkward and uncomfortable and stressful such things like who's taking whom to the dance is to young adolescents. Though it is set in the fantastical wizarding world, it was still so real. This is always a good mark of good sci-fi/fantasy.

Rowling is a great mystery writer too. Every thread every detail of the story ends up being important. When the big reveals come at the end, it turns out that everything that happened in the first chapters had a reason. How a writer has the end so well worked out even in the beginning, I'll never fully understand.

One quibble: if Voldemort's inside man had just turned Harry's Broomstick into a port key in the beginning, half the book wouldn't even have been necessary. ;-)

Please put your discussion and thoughts about book 4 under comments. I want to hear from you! But I haven't read books 5, 6, 7 yet, so no spoilers please!

Life Is More Important Than News

Finally, someone understood that.

Two News Teams dug out a little girl in Haiti.

He is the only Australian TV cameraman ever to win the Gold Walkley for journalism but when Richard Moran heard the soft, desperate cry of a baby girl beneath the rubble in Haiti, he put down his camera and started to dig.

"He was up to his waist, lifting out pieces of concrete," says Nine Network reporter Robert Penfold, who was with him.

"And then, out of the ruins came this little girl, and I will never forget it. She did not cry. She looked astonished, almost as if she was seeing the world for the first time".

Confusing local viewers, however, was that both Nine and its rival, Seven, were saying they helped bring the little girl out, and the footage seen around the world was indeed of Seven's Mike Amor, standing above the hole in the ground.

He reaches forward to take the dusty little girl, pours water over her head to clear away dust, and then gives her something to drink.

Nine doesn't have that footage, and its team was yesterday feeling a bit of the kick in the guts that good journalists get when rivals have exclusive footage of something so marvellous but, as Amor himself said: "That moment, it was beyond news.

"The focus of everybody on that hill was the little girl, and as any of us will tell you, it was Deiby who went into that hole, and dug, and dug, until he got that little girl out. He's the hero."

Deiby Celestino is the Nine Network's fixer (interpreter, and sometime security guy).

He had gone "up the hill" (meaning, to an area outside Port-au-Prince, where many homes were destroyed) with the Nine team, because Save the Children promised to make an Australian aid worker available for interviews. Seven was there, too. While they were waiting, locals told them they could hear a baby crying under the rubble. "We walked perhaps 3m across this hillside of completely collapsed homes," says Penfold. "We had to walk over sheets of tin, and then climb up over concrete, and then jump down, on to another slab of concrete, to where four men were standing, pointing, and you could hear crying, from somewhere underneath."

Moran, who won the highest award for journalism, the Gold Walkley, in 2003 for his coverage of the Canberra bushfires, put his camera with a microphone attached into a cavity, and Penfold said: "It was gut-wrenching. "There were slabs of concrete all around, and we couldn't see what we could do, and at the same time, we couldn't walk away."

He said Deiby, "who is this short, wiry, muscly guy", said "I think I can get in there" and down he went. Mr Celestino told The Australian: "I could hear her . . . I had to keep going." He called out in Creole "Come to me?" and then, out of the darkness, the 18-month-old's face emerged.

Of seeing the toddler emerge from the rubble, Amor said: "I haven't seen anything so remarkable since the birth of my own child. "The emotion for all of us has been incredible."
If I understood correctly, two rival newsteams teamed up momentarily to help rescue this girl. But only one got footage, the other cared more about the girl.

When it says that the camera was put into a cavity, does that mean they pointed it so they could see down there where the girl was, not for the purpose of getting news footage, but for the purpose of trying to rescue the girl? That's how I understood it. Channel Nine used its camera to find the girl, and Channel Seven used its camera to capture the whole event while men from both teams helped to rescue her. Am I understanding the event correctly?

24: Day 8, 8:00pm to 9:00pm

A somewhat-delayed Liveblog of the latest episode of 24 is below.




******* SPOILERS FOLLOW ********
Read the rest of this entry . . .

World Mandate 2010

Once again I have the privilege this year of photographing my church's annual missions conference, World Mandate.

World Mandate, which is happening this coming weekend, convenes at the Ferrel Center in Waco every year. So if you're in the area, feel free to drop by. You might even meet your future spouse there (I met my wife at World Mandate in 1995 :-).

On Scott Brown's Ecumenism

I thought this post by Mike Potemra on Scott Brown (Senator-elect from Massachusetts) was pretty interesting.

Brown is a member of a church affiliated with the Calvinist-rooted Christian Reformed Church in North America. If you go on the website of his congregation, New England Chapel in Franklin, Mass., you will read the following testimony from an attendee: “I have found a home, a family, friends, and most importantly, begun the journey to a REAL relationship with God. It is not one based on guilt or fear, but rather love, hope, and mercy.” The rest of the website has a similar tone. This is clearly not the Calvinism that lives on today chiefly in anti-Calvinist apologetics: the Calvinism of Salem and Hawthorne, that continues to haunt America’s dreams with a God who is best understood as a cruel despot. This new Calvinism is a development of the post-Great Awakening era, a religion that’s not afraid of sentimentality — yet it remains recognizably Calvinism, in its stress on the Bible and on the sovereignty of God.

And then one reads that Mr. Brown helped raise $5.5 million for the Cistercian nuns of Wrentham, who pray for him daily. (Brown himself is quoted: “When you have nuns praying for you three times a day and you’re not Catholic, anything that anybody can do or say about me, it’s Teflon. . . . It bounces right off.”) A couple of years ago, I happened to be in the Wrentham area shortly after having read about this abbey in a book by Thomas Merton, so I dropped by — and I can tell you that Mt. St. Mary’s is a genuine survival of faithful Catholicism, in a time and place generally considered less than hospitable to its values. A beautiful place and one that I long to visit again.

This is the America Scott Brown is from, a place where Calvinists are cheerful and conservative Cistercians pray for their Protestant benefactor. Some on the Internet are upset because Senator Brown is pro-choice, but most are wise enough to realize that he is a friend to life in many ways that will actually count over the next couple of years. Brown, like the rest of us, is what religious folk like to call a “work in progress” . . .

A Missional Way for the Pro-Life Cause

Let me lay my cards on the table:

1) If you put overturning Roe v. Wade to a popular vote, I'm in line early ready to vote in favor of protecting the near half a million unborn babies killed each year, and if you're a politician, the best way to lose my vote is to align with the pro-choice agenda.
2) Nevertheless, I don't believe laws -- or the protests and petitions and politicking that seek to achieve them -- are how we are going to eradicate abortion.

The emancipation of the slaves was necessary. But it didn't end racism.

I am not proposing an either/or. What I'm proposing is that evangelicals take the harder route, adopt the harder cause, that we aim for Spiritual change of hearts more than we aim for legal stay of hands.

Here are some thoughts on how we may do this:

1. Gospel-centered preaching. You knew I was going to go there. :-) Here's the thing: Pastors who preach culture war receive Amens from the already convinced and almost nothing from everybody else. At its worst a steady dose of this creates an unhealthy "us vs. them" mentality that has us thinking of our enemies in ways the Sermon on the Mount strictly forbids. But pastors who proclaim the freedom from sin and abundant life in Christ lay groundwork for zeal for life, not just for winning political battles. A gospel-driven pro-life agenda means hating abortion because we love women and we love the unborn. That sounds like a no-brainer but so many of our evangelical countrymen just sound like they hate abortion. And preaching isn't just for pastors. In general, more evangelicals need to talk Jesus more than they talk politics, or else we unintentionally communicate that our greatest treasure is "getting our country back" and that our chief message is political. We are great with the good news of the kingdom of the founding fathers. Let's return to the good news of the kingdom of God.

2. Reframing the abortion discussion. Lots of others have said this better than I can, but I think we've dropped the ball on how we frame the abortion issue. It is a matter of human rights, which is a perspective I first heard from my deeply pro-life friend who voted for Barack Obama. (I know, figure that one out.) But this is how we will best win in the political arena, I think. In many cases, this involves merely shifting from arguing against selfish moms (or whatever) and arguing for an appropriate definition of when life begins and becoming advocates for the voiceless unborn, exploited and commoditized. We can steer the discussion into the same rhetoric of the abolitionist and civil rights movements and end up stirring more hearts, I think.

3. Creating cultures of adoption and rescue. Human trafficking is the emerging danger. It's been going for a long time, but the Church is recently (and awesomely) stepping up efforts to combat it, even here in America. My friend Justin Holcomb and his wife lead efforts of Mars Hill Church in Seattle to rescue sex workers, sex abuse victims, and runaways in their city. Others are working hard to rescue young girls from the sex trade. On the other front, the Church is exponentially embracing the beauty of adoption. It has become a bona fide movement, thank God. The reactive culture of rhetoric and protests must give way to these proactive missionary movements. We will begin changing hearts and minds on these matters of life and death as we create cultures of adoption and rescue. But only communities can create cultures, so churches have to buy in corporately. More families adopting, more families serving and taking in pregnant teens, more churches helping families do those things, more churches loving families and kids, more churches finding ways to minister to the exploited and marginalized and to support missions and organizations that already are . . . these are the pro-active, missional steps to creating truly pro-life cultures.

4. Prophets, not pundits. I don't know how else to put this. We need an MLK for the pro-life movement, a unifying and prophetic voice. We need intellectually strong but charming, powerful, winsome statesmen. We need people who aren't just jockeying for time on FoxNews. I don't even know if this is possible today, given the nature of media exposure and the divide between political parties -- whites and blacks, Democrats and Republicans marched with King; I wonder if we haven't so aligned the pro-life cause with conservative Republicanism that that kind of unity would be impossible for our cause -- but we need a peacemaker with a powerful voice. The only guy I can think of who has access to black, white, right, left, Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, Christian and non, U.S., European, and everywhere else -- and has the respect and listening ear of them all -- is Bono. And I think he's probably pro-choice.

5. Technology, technology, technology. Do you know why the abortion rate is going down? I think it's the increasing advances in technology, particularly ultrasound technology. Women are seeing their babies. Technology is catching up with abortion. Smart churches will support their local crisis pregnancy centers, which are often frontlines on the struggle for the unborn, and help them get ultrasound equipment. No, they're not cheap. But life isn't either.

6. Love. I'm coming full circle, here, but if we were to outlaw abortion tomorrow, we'd still have 500,000 women a year who didn't want their babies. You have probably already had unwed teenage girls get pregnant in your church, and if you haven't you probably will at some point, and besides all that, there are plenty in your community and city. Before and in addition to removing abortion as a legal option for them, we have to love them, welcome them, teach them, serve them. Only the love of God can change hearts. Let that be the ammunition of our war.

(Cross-posted at Gospel-Driven Church)

Just Because . . .

A sweet dose of Pomplamoose for you.



The word game at the end is fun too.

Tiger Woods: The Post I Wish I'd Written

Hunting Tiger by C.J. Mahaney

Tiger Woods wants his privacy back.

He wants the media entourage to disappear from his life.

He wants to be left alone so he can manage his personal problems in private.

Not a chance.

...

Hunted by the Media

As expected, the allegations of adultery involving a public figure are attracting a media pile-on. This is a big story with a big audience and it’s a story that will not disappear soon. Tiger Woods is being hunted by the media.

But let us make sure we do not join the hunt. A Christian’s response to this story should be distinctly different. We should not be entertained by the news. We should not have a morbid interest in all the details. We should be saddened and sobered. We should pray for this man and even more for his wife.

And we can be sure that in the coming days we will be in conversations with friends and family where this topic will emerge. And when it does, we can avoid simply listening to the latest details and speculations, and avoid speaking self-righteously, but instead we can humbly draw attention to the grace of God in the gospel.

Hunted by Sin

But Tiger is being hunted by something more menacing than journalists. Tiger’s real enemy is his sin, and that’s an enemy much more difficult to discern and one that can’t be managed in our own strength. It’s an enemy that never sleeps.

Let me explain.

Sin Lies

The Bible in general, and the book of Proverbs in particular, reveals an unbreakable connection between our character, our conduct, and the consequences of our actions. These three are inseparable and woven by God into His created order.

Deception is part of sin’s DNA. Sin lies to us. It seeks to convince us that sin brings only pleasure, that it carries no consequences, and that no one will discover it. Sin works hard to make us forget that character, conduct, and consequences are interconnected. And when we neglect this relationship—when we think our sins will not be discovered—we ultimately mock God.

Sin Hunts

We’ve all experienced it: Sin lies to us. We take the bait. And then sin begins to hunt us.

One commentator on Proverbs articulated this truth like this: “The irony of a life of rebellion is that we begin by pursuing sin…and end up being pursued by it!….You can ‘be sure your sin will find you out’ (Num. 32:23…).”* In other words, sin comes back to hunt us.

In light of this fact, sin is an enemy Tiger can’t manage. He can’t shape this story like he does a long iron on a par 5. Tiger doesn’t need a publicity facelift; Tiger needs a Savior. Just like me. And just like you. And if by God’s grace he repents and trusts in the person and work of Christ, Tiger will experience the fruit of God’s promise that “whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

Conclusion

Tiger cannot intimidate this enemy like he can Pebble Beach or any of the field of professional golfers. And there is no privacy he can claim from this enemy, regardless of his resolve, his silence, or the name painted on his yacht. It’s likely Tiger only perceives the press hunting him out of a vain “curiosity about public figures.” But Tiger is being hunted and hounded by a far greater foe: the consequences of his sin.

And this story should humble and sober us. It should make us ask: Are there any so-called “secret sins” in my life? Is there anything I have done that I hope nobody discovers? Is there anything right now in my life that I should confess to God and the appropriate individuals?

And this should leave us more amazed by grace because there, but for the grace of God, go I.
Amen. This post reminds me of one of my favorite verses. "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." God was warning Cain about the sin he was harboring in his heart. (Genesis 4:7)Sin is a hungry beast that just waiting for the opportunity to gobble us alive! It's dangerous to feed it.

Songbirds in Haiti

You don't need me to rehearse the devastation. Haiti is, for all intents and purposes, destroyed.

We have some in our church who have done mission work over the years in Haiti. A nurse who has done medical missions there was recalling large swaths of land void of trees. The poverty is so deep there, they have gone through the vegetation for fuel. The hunger is so desperate there, they have eaten all the birds.

She said there are no songbirds in Haiti, because they've cut down all the trees and eaten all the birds. That is as vivid a picture of the poverty in Haiti as I've heard.

It is materially true, but it is a threat of spiritual truth. Where is the hope in Haiti? How can the trees cry out if there are none? Who will speak into the hopelessness? Who will be the light in the darkness?

The Church will. As she always has. And as she always will. The Church was in Haiti before the earthquake, and the Church will still be there, long after Haiti has dropped off CNN's radar, long after it has conversationally dried up around the international water cooler.

The Church is still in Indonesia, rebuilding after the tsunami. The Church is still in Louisiana and Mississippi, rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. The Church is still in El Salvador after their earthquake. Still in Texas after Hurricane Ike. Still in the furthest reaches of the world.

The Church will be there because the omnipresent God is the one true God and his Son Jesus stands over the earth.

The people of God's missional Church will be the songbirds of Haiti, singing with hearts and hands of love the glory of God into and over that land.

Here's the 24 Post You Asked For

I've finally watched the first four hours of day 8 of that most ridiculous but strangely compelling action drama, 24

******* Spoiler-ish talk below the fold *******
Read the rest of this entry . . .

Strange Days

Regardless of your political persuasion . . . you have to wonder at the strange times we live in.

Who would have thought that a Republican would win the Senate seat long held by Teddy Kennedy, in bluest of blue Massachusetts.

Goebbels' Quote: Did He Really Say That?

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. ~ Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda
I saw this quote as the heading of an editorial a while back... and since we also have it in our quote rotation here at thinklings, it got me thinking, "Did Goebbels really say that? And if so,what did he mean?"

So here's what I found out from some internet research. It is listed at a quote website although I don't know if you can even trust websites anymore. It bugs me to run into quotes without a reference to when it was said or where it was written. (Though I've been guilty of just listing the author without saying where I found it myself.) I wish that everyone would say where and when a quote came from. In this day and age where anyone can say anything on the internet or in an email, it is all the more important. I'm a real stickler for authenticity and I try never to attribute a quote to someone unless I can personally verify it.

And so the quotes website I link to above may be just proliferating a myth. I never found an actual citation for this quote. I did however learn from wikiquote, if that can be trusted, that a similar quote is often misattributed.

Misattributed
* But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success. -o Actually from "War Propaganda", in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925), by Adolf Hitler.

* (multiple alternatives) If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. // If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. // If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. // If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth. // If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.
o no reliable source; probably misquotations of the Big Lie idea
The "Big Lie" idea was not Goebbels revealing some secret of Nazi propaganda. (At least not willingly.) His point in context was that it is the British who are lying. Oh the irony, that this quote has been repeated so often and attributed to Goebbels that it doesn't seem to be questioned anymore.

The following is an authentic Goebbels quote. Or at least I think it is, becomes it comes from wikiquote and the actual original source is cited.

That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not as a rule reveal one's secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

* "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik" ("Churchill's Lie Factory"), 12 January 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1941), pp. 364-369
* This and similar lines in Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf about what he claimed to be a strategem of Jewish lies using "the principle & which is quite true in itself & that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily," are often misquoted or paraphrased as: "The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed."


Here's my conclusion: It looks like Goebbels never said what is attributed to him at the top of this post, or the more common, "If you tell a lie often enough (or big enough) it will be believed."

And if he did say that or something like it, I don't think he meant it as it appears - Like the inside secret confession of a Nazi propagandist...though that implication makes it rather delicious for the modern day propagandist...er opinion writer. Drawing a conclusion from the actually verifiable quotes and speeches of Goebbels, if he did say anything like this, he most likely meant it as a criticism of what his enemies were doing. (i.e. claiming that Jews and the Allies were the liars.) He was not admitting that he was a purveyor of lies. (Although you and I know he was an evil liar, that's probably not what he meant.)

Here's a pretty good selection of Goebbels speeches and articles.

So doubting that he said it in the first place, and believing that if he did, he was actually criticizing Jews or the English, I will never use that quote again. That's my take.

If there's one thing I hate more than a made-up or misattributed quote, it's a quote taken out of context. Imagine how shocked I was when I learned that when Mark Twain said, "It's not the parts of the Bible that I don't understand that trouble me, it's the ones that I do understand." He meant something entirely different than how many pastors and books had quoted it to me. I had heard it quoted as meaning that rather than Christians spending too much time on the difficult passages, we should spend more time dealing with the parts we do understand. i.e. we should spend more time obeying, and less time worrying about who the sons of God were that married the daughters of men.

So in researching the quote for something I was working on to make sure it was authentic, I found out that Twain was actually criticizing the Bible! When he said that the parts he understood troubled him, he was talking about God commanding the Israelites to slaughter men, women and children. He was explaining why he didn't believe the Bible was the word of God, and criticizing how awful it was.

So how about you? Can you shed light on the authenticity and meaning of the Goebbels quote?

Is there another quote that people use all the time that is wrong, misattributed or out of context?

Predictions

-Mitt Romney will win the Republican Nomination in 2012... but will ultimately lose to Obama.

-Wearing your pants too low will finally go out of fashion, the direct cause being the "Pants on the ground" song which the general public will start singing behind the backs of guys wear their pants that way. The harassment will just become too much, and one man will have destroyed a fashion with a little song as catchy as a commercial jingle, and decent Americans everywhere will rise up and call him a hero.

-Arnold Schwarzenegger will make another Terminator movie after he moves out of the governor's mansion...because he will be desperate for popularity.

-Joe Biden will not return for Obama's second term, citing family and personal reasons, and Hillary will insist on being VP.


Obama will kill the "From Moon to Mars" space program
, saying we need the money here on earth.

Joel Osteen will resign from public ministry because of depression. Dude's gonna burn out.

We will find Osama Bin Laden. (Because I needed to end on an optimistic note.)


I tried to make my predictions specific, and not obvious, so that if I'm right, you'll know. ;-) (In other words, I didn't write things like "Fox will start a stupid reality show" or "A politician will resign in scandal.") So what specific (and unexpected) predictions do you have?

How LOSTies Make Sandwiches

How "Lost" characters make a sandwich.
Some examples:

Jack
1. Gather ingredients
2. Point gun at ingredients and shout “HOW DO I MAKE A SANDWICH OUT OF YOU?!?!?”
3. Breathe heavily through your nose as though you were about to hit ingredients
4. Give up and make the sandwich yourself, and eat it bitterly

Kate
1. Make separate sandwiches, one with peanut butter and one with jelly
2. Take a bite of the peanut butter sandwich, declaring it the best
3. Take a bite of the jelly sandwich, declaring it the best
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 ad infinitum
5. Follow peanut butter or jelly sandwich into grave danger

Sawyer
1. Throw the jar of jelly at wall, sneering “I don’t need no sandwich”
2. Call the mascot on the jar of peanut butter lots of clever nicknames
3. Huff and puff and stomp around and grumble a lot
4. When no one’s looking, make perfect, even, symmetrical peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sit in a corner, enjoying every bite

Locke
1. Sit idly by, believing that the ingredients will find a way to make a sandwich out of themselves
2. Lose faith and make the sandwich anyway
3. Realize that you were the instrument by which the ingredients chose to make a sandwich after all
4. Run around the room and grab everyone’s knives, insisting that their sandwiches will do the same in time

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