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Tidbits – June 2022

If you ain’t Dutch…

Readers from a Dutch background are undoubtedly familiar with the slogan, “if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.” Those same readers might be surprised to know that the Dutch are not the only ones to come up with a bit of rhyming nationalistic bravado. Below are just a few of the many out there:

  • “If you ain’t Greek, you must be weak.”
  • “If you’re in a hole, look for a Pole.” (It’s admittedly unclear if this is a nationalistic slogan about how helpful the Polish are, or perhaps just a bit of practical advice on how to get out of pits.)
  • “To be Swiss is bliss.”
  • “Only a Czech deserves a peck on the neck.” (As is well-known, Eskimos kiss by rubbing noses, the Tookinese do it by rubbing ear lobes, businessmen by rubbing elbows, and apparently, Czechs prefer pecks on their necks.)
  • “Aussies rule!” (It may not rhyme, but they make up for it with vigor.)
  • “Only the best of the lot, get to be a Scot!”
  • “If you ain’t Finnish… then keep going.”
  • “If you ain’t Canadian, that’s okay too.”

Imponderables

• Do the “Alphabet Song” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” have the same tune?
• How come wrong numbers are never busy?
• Do people in Australia call the rest of the world “up over”?
• How can there be self-help “groups”?
• How do you write zero in Roman numerals?
• Why do the signs that say “Slow Children” have a picture of a running child?
• What was the best thing before sliced bread?
• Why do people tell you when they are speechless?

TV was pretty weird two decades ago too

We’ve got thousands of channels and nothing good to watch, and so much weird stuff to avoid. But lest we despair, let’s remember that the former days were not all that different than today (Eccl. 7:10). In 2004, this is what RP was warning readers to watch out for, as it was “coming to a TV near you.”

  • The Swan – Women undergo drastic plastic surgery and then compete in a beauty pageant.
  • The Littlest Groom – Dating show. A 4-foot-5 man dates a bevy of similarly sized women, then gets to date some full-size ladies and must choose one.
  • Playing it Straight – Another dating show. Woman seeks suitor from a group of good-looking guys, but some of them are gay. She wins if she picks a straight guy.
  • My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancée – Yet another dating show. Woman tries to convince her family to let her marry a jerk. She wins big bucks if her family doesn’t love her enough to object.
  • Temptation Island – Adultery show. Couples are separated and then sent to two exotic islands where models tempt them to cheat on their partners.
  • Fear Factor – Gameshow. Contestants compete by bobbing in a barrel of cows’ blood, and by eating maggots, eyeballs, and worms.

Rather than just lament the bad, we can celebrate the good, as we’ve done with our articles “200 movies King David might watch” and “100 documentaries that make learning a joy.”

Couldn’t count, but had a way with words

“There are only three ways to teach a child. The first is by example, the second is by example, and the third is by example.” – Albert Schweitzer

Oh, what a feeling!

Some years ago a minister heard several other ministers rave about the high-powered Christian meetings they had attended. They all talked about how warmly they had felt and what a great shared spiritual experience it had been.

After overhearing this, the first minister decided to share with them his own experience of a meeting he had come from the previous night. He described in great detail the feelings that had come over him when 40,000 sang the same songs. What an unforgettable experience!

His colleagues all agreed and wanted to know more about the extraordinary event. What was it all about, they wanted to know. Who was the special man who organized it?
“Oh,” he replied, “It was a Paul McCartney concert.”

This little story is told by Sjirk Bajema in the Feb. 2004 issue of Faith in Focus, and there is a moral to his tale: feelings alone are no guarantee of God’s presence or His approval. Christians who seek to experience God must not neglect His Word, lest they lose sight of the fact that while the love of God is an extraordinary experience, extraordinary experiences can (at least temporarily) be had apart from the love of God.

Bad, like ham left out of the fridge all day 

The following are taken from an email that circulated some years back that was supposed to be a compilation of some of the worst/most brilliant analogies and metaphors written by American students.

  • Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  • He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
  • Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  • John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  • The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  • He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  • From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

To get your team going 

“Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” – Marilyn vos Savant

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice there is.” – Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut


Up Next


In a Nutshell

Tidbits – May 2022

A gentle answer to a rude question Christian comedian Phil Callaway recently told a story about a lady who thoughtlessly questioned whether he should ever have been born. Yikes! But rather than answering in kind, Callaway took his lead from Prov. 15:1 and offered a gentle word. “I spoke somewhere telling of my parents who were about 40 when I was born. Two ladies came up to me after. They were upset; they were clearly disagreeing. One said ‘I don't think mothers should have children after 35. What about you?’ I said ‘I agree completely – 35 is a lot of children.’ Well, they began to laugh, and away they went focusing on what united them.” A rude question to defend the unborn Abortion supporters are rarely willing to talk about the central issue in the abortion debate – the humanity of the unborn. They choose slogans instead, like “My body, my choice,” that beg the question: is there only the one body involved? (As Laura Klassen has noted "Our bodies, my choice" isn't nearly as catchy a slogan.) Isn't that the very point being debated? So when they try to evade talk about the humanness of the unborn, Greg Koukl has a quick way we can make clear there are two bodies involved. In Precious Unborn Human Persons he recounts that when he was confronted with a woman declaring the “my body, my choice” slogan, he has a question for her: “Do you have a penis?” “No!” “Is it possible your unborn could have a penis?” “Um…yes.” “Well then that clearly isn’t your body, is it?” Two questions too many Even if you've studied all the issues and put in the time to talk to your local candidates, the ballot you cast will have precisely the same weight as the one cast by your old college buddy who can't even remember who he voted for, or why, except that some celebrity told him it was important to go out and vote. So should dumb people be allowed to vote? A couple of decades back, writer R.W. Bradford said no, and proposed a basic bare minimum test that a person would have to pass before their ballot would be counted. His test had just two questions: Which of the following is the letter “B”? – A B C D E What does 2 x 2  equal? – 1 2 4 6 8 10 24 As attractive as this bare minimum might be, it becomes less so when we consider who is going to administer the test. Do we want a State that doesn't know when life begins, what makes us equal, or what a woman is, to decide who's smart and who's not? Consider how Christians, and liberal bureaucrats, might answer two equally obvious questions quite differently: Can men get pregnant? YES / NO There is no truth. TRUE / FALSE SOURCE: "'B' is 'B'" Liberty, January 2001 10 ways to be pro-life Got more we can add to this list? Contact the editor with your suggestions. Be foster parents, or support those who are Pray regularly, both for pro-life concerns and for abortionists too – God can work wonders, so let's ask! Attend pro-life rallies and “Life Chains" Donate money Wear pro-life t-shirts Vote only for completely committed, loudly proudly pro-life politicians Write letters, to your newspaper and your elected representatives Visit the sick and elderly Boycott pro-abortion businesses and support businesses that have taken a stand for the unborn Be loudly pro-life at all times, and at every opportunity Question the accusation Christians are sometimes labeled as a bloodthirsty lot and the accusation is made that Christianity is responsible for more bloodshed than anything else. The Crusades are then cited as proof-positive of this notion. But as Greg Koukl points out in Tactic in Defending the Faith, it is actually atheistic communism that "has been responsible for the most inhumanity to man" as the godless trio of Lenin, Stalin and Mao killed more than 100 million people between them. Life long commitment restored Star Trek tells us that in the 24th-century couples will have a number of options should they decide to marry, including 5-year, 10-year and lifetime marriage licenses. And should they choose one of the short-term licenses, upon its expiry they will be able to part ways with no muss or fuss. They could, of course, also choose to renew, or even upgrade to a lifetime license. Science fiction you say? Well maybe, but not particularly far-fetched. After all, we already have short-term marriage licenses, though they aren’t called that. Present-day marriage licenses don’t even require a 5-year commitment as spouses can divorced the very next day. But since 1997, in the American state of Louisiana, couples can choose between the traditional, easily escapable, marriage license, or“covenant” marriages. Covenantal marriages still allow for divorce but it is much, much harder to do. Couples have to undergo mandatory counseling should they want out, and then wait out a one-year separation before being allowed to file for divorce. Even then the divorce is only granted if one of the spouses can prove the other at fault for the marital breakdown (no-fault divorce is not an option). The grounds acceptable are restricted to adultery, abandonment, physical or sexual abuse, habitual drunkenness, or a felony conviction. Quite the questions! •How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn't live there? • How do you know when it's time to tune your bagpipes? • If people from Poland are called "Poles," why aren't people from Holland called "Holes?" • If some people can tell the time by looking at the sun how come I can never make out the numbers? You might be a Dutch Calvinist if ... your closet is divided into work clothes and Sunday clothes. you re-used plastic containers long before anyone had heard of the environmental movement. you have a two-volume address book: A-U & V-Z. all your cookies taste like almond. you make the bed in your motel room. you've ever been in church on New Year's Eve. you wipe the last of the butter out of the container with your bun. you've ever been interrupted by a waitress while saying grace. your main contribution to increased gender equity was that controversial switch from King to Wilhelmina brand peppermints. SOURCE: compiled from the Internet here and there and everywhere. Is Teddy right?  "There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart, and that is softness of head."  – Teddy Roosevelt Undeniable From the start, doubting has been common to God’s people: Adam and Eve doubted God’s trustworthiness, Sarah and Zechariah both doubted God’s ability to give them a son, and Thomas was skeptical about the resurrection. Today too, many of us will go through a season of doubt. But as common as doubting might be, that doesn’t make it right or reasonable, as Paul explains in Romans 1:18-23. As Christian rapper Toby Mac put it below, God is Undeniable! (See also, Romans 1:18-23) There are moments that I doubt You. Blind to the beauty that surrounds me, I try to push away the need that I’m needin’ proof. And this struggle that I have, it ain’t nothing new. But the evidence is piling up, yup You change my heart - isn’t that enough? You give me life that I can’t take credit for Call me to walk through an open door. Your work doesn’t stop with me. Your signature’s on everything we see, From the hills of Negril, Jamaica, To the kid that the doctor said would never make it. Which is harder to believe? That You don’t exist? Or that You orchestrated all of this? Living in the world that is so confusing You’re the argument I’m never losing ‘Cause I believe Undeniable, You are, You are, You are Unmistakable, You are, You are You’re the bright and morning star But still You speak to my heart Undeniable, You are, You are ...


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