Archive for October, 2010

In a post titled Nicholas Sparks: The Safe Haven of Commitment, Tony Rossi writes:

“Love doesn’t mean anything if you’re not willing to make a commitment.”

Though that line is spoken by one of the characters in Nicholas Sparks’ new novel Safe Haven, it’s a viewpoint the best-selling author shares.

With the success of books and movies like The Notebook and Dear John, Sparks has a well-founded reputation for being able to craft romantic stories that touch people’s hearts. But romance alone isn’t enough to create a meaningful, lasting relationship like he’s had with his wife Cathy for over twenty years.

In a recent interview with Christopher Closeup, Sparks explained that he once had a debate with his brother Micah about this very topic. Micah suggested that communication is most important in a relationship. That led Nicholas to ask, “What does communication matter if you’re not committed to each other? People who’ve been married a long time or been in any relationship — whether it’s with your parents or with your children — you know that emotionally, it’s going to go up and down. Love is not a straight line. If you’re committed, you know you’ll work through whatever’s keeping you down, that you’ll come out on the other side, and it will get better again.”

Amen to that. Read the whole piece. It’s got more good observations, and food for thought.

hat tip: The Anchoress

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Voters in Rhode Island are being asked to shorten the official name of the state from its current official “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to simply “Rhode Island.” Sadly (or do I mean outrageously?), the reason given by supporters of the proposal is that “plantations” supposedly conjures up images of slavery. That’s too bad. As it happens, to link Providence Plantations with slavery is not only to ignore history, it’s pretty much to turn local history on its head, according to Brian Stinson, writing at Newport Now.

hat tip: The Corner

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Sometimes an atheist will find a beacon in the darkness (whether the beacon knows it or not).

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Jennifer Fulwiler has six reasons why “Do you want more children?” isn’t the right question to ask.

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Anthony Esolen, in writing about the current Separation of Reason and State, provides some background for understanding America’s founding.

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Then there’s Amazing Grace, same lead singer.

Her ministry’s website is here. God has given her great talent. May He continue to help her navigate the sometimes hazardous shoals of fame.

hat tip: GodVine

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Via The Anchoress – a contagious case of joy. (Just try not to catch the joy. Especially right at the end. I dare you. )

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I recently worked my way through The Birth of Freedom: How Biblical Foundations Changed History, the 7-session version hosted by Dave Stotts. (Publisher’s page here.) Each session is short (roughly ten to fifteen minutes), with a few follow-up questions and answers. It’s a good overview, debunking the baseless-and-rather-upside-down-but-widespread notion that Christianity somehow held back the progress of Western Civilization. At the same time, it doesn’t sugarcoat misdeeds done by all-too-imperfect Christians. (Call it “the good, the bad, and the ugly” school of history.) There are some graphic images (uhm, did I mention it doesn’t sugarcoat war or slavery, either?), so be sure to preview it before you show it to youngsters.

This is based on the Acton Media documentary, which I understand is pretty good. I bought this version both because I hoped it might be better for group study, and also – ahem – because it was on a special, introductory sale… What can I say? (It was still discounted at Christianbook.com as I went to post.)

Considering the state of affairs these days, the DVD is quite timely, and I wish I could get it into more hands before this next election. That, of course, isn’t likely to happen, but I think it’s well past time we got more people versed in history, and thinking about how and why civilizations either progress or decay, and what government is supposed to do, and what must be active in society for freedom – and thus men – to flourish.

It will help, I think, if we, for instance, have some idea of what was different between the American Revolution and the French Revolution that came right on its heels. One Revolution led to greater and greater freedom that spread and bore much good fruit – and the other led to The Terror and dictatorship. Why? That, as it happens, is one of the subjects touched on in this course.

It will also help, I think, if we look at the ancient Roman and Greek empires without rose-colored glasses on. For all their achievements, they were built on slave labor, and were rather brutish societies that held human life cheap. That, too, is touched on. They also suffered from a lack of recognition of a higher moral order, which meant that rulers went with what sounded good or played well or felt right or seemed useful at the moment. Sound familiar?

This course features some heavy hitters in the history field, and packs in a lot of info considering the brevity of the course. I was afraid, from clips from earlier work with Dave Stotts that I’d seen, that this course might be too laden with horsing around for my taste, but no. Stotts isn’t suit and tie by any means, but he stays on message, and stays in intro and wrap-up segments, letting the other historians carry most of the messages.

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I have been hearing that Saul Alinsky dedicated Rules for Radicals to Lucifer.

Well, yes and no.

I went over to browse the book on Amazon, and this is what I found. On an introductory page, prominently featured, are three quotes. The first, from Rabbi Hillel, urges, “Where there are no men, be thou a man.” The second is from Thomas Paine (ellipsis in original): “Let them call me a rebel, and welcome, I feel no concern for it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul…” The third is attributed to Saul Alinsky: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”

Uhm. While not quite being a bald dedication of the book to Satan, I think it’s fair to say that to list Lucifer as the first radical – not to mention an effective one – in a book laying out rules for self-proclaimed radicals, is neither a profession of faith in God Almighty (aka “the establishment”?); nor an invitation to loyally serve Him or His children here on Earth.

God have mercy.

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The Anchoress has some thoughtful observations about the mine rescue in Chile here, and here.


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