To visualize the tipping point, think of a wave composed of individual drops of water representing people. As people embrace a movement or method, they increase the wave. As more people benefit from it, the wave grows, until it reaches its peak and plunges forward, actively drawing people in, without their being aware of any change at all. At that point, the idea, social behavior, or trend begins to spread at an amazing rate. When applied to the context of an awakening conscious, one person may assist another in that awakening and they in turn may help another. But the spread will only progress from individual to individual until the tipping point is reached. When the critical mass is reached, it becomes almost futile to resist that awakening, and the whole of a group or even the whole of humanity may be transformed.
The tipping point is a period of change wherein a creative minority can make a tangible difference by spreading positive ideas to the majority. It only takes a single individual to tip the wave. In applying the concept of the tipping point to your own growth, it may be helpful to remember the power of one. It means no effort is useless, because it is contributing to a larger outcome, and that even small actions can produce profound changes.
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The WallStreet Journal
Pope Benedict XVI called on U.S. bishops last week to "continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home." Mr. Tancredo's response was to accuse the pontiff of "faith-based marketing" and claim that "the pope's immigration comments may have less to do with spreading the gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church."
Mr. Tancredo – who sports T-shirts that read "America Is Full" – also cited a March 1 Wall Street Journal editorial to support his argument. The editorial concerned a new Pew survey on religion in the U.S. and noted that in recent decades the Catholic Church has been losing members among the native born but gaining them among the foreign born. "We'd encourage our friends on the right who want to limit immigration to consider the health of our churches," we wrote.
Our point, evidently missed by the Congressman, was that the U.S. Catholic Church has traditionally been an immigrant church, helping to settle and assimilate generations of Irish, Polish and Italian newcomers. The pope made a similar argument during his visit last week in separate remarks to U.S. educators. "Countless dedicated religious sisters, brothers and priests together with selfless parents have, through Catholic schools, helped generations of immigrants to rise from poverty and take their place in mainstream society," he said.
To Lou Dobbs, another Tancredo-like compulsive, all of this amounted to the pope "insulting our country." The CNN anchor said, "I really don't appreciate the bad manners of a guest telling me in this country and my fellow citizens what to do." You know the restrictionists have gone head-first into the fever swamps when they denounce a Christian religious leader for sounding like a Christian.
The pope welcomes immigrants because he's Catholic, not because they are. He isn't "marketing" his faith. He's practicing it.
Posted by . at 1:50 AM
Undernourished population: 35 percent
Rice price: up 186 percent since April 2007
Overall food prices: up 70 percent
In 2007, catastrophic flooding wiped out anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of North Korea’s staple corn and rice crops. Earlier this month, the regime announced it was suspending the food ration system in its capital for six months, a sign that leader Kim Jong Il’s administration is bracing itself for another crisis. The North regularly produces only about 80 percent of what it consumes, a figure likely to shrink to about 60 percent this year. But that hasn’t stopped the regime from alienating the very donors—international aid organizations, the West, and South Korea—that have aided it in years past. Kim has annoyed his counterparts in the West and South Korea with harsh rhetoric and continual delays in nuclear negotiations. Responding to the tough stance of new South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Kim’s party newspaper Rodong Sinmun vowed that North Korea “will be able to live as it wishes without any help from the South.” Maybe that’s true for Kim and his associates, but for the 6.5 million North Koreans who live with chronic food insecurity, it spells trouble.
Prediction: The current food crisis could be the worst the country has ever seen, according to an unnamed North Korean official quoted in USA Today. That’s saying a lot, considering that famine during the 1990s killed an estimated 2 million people.
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Posted by . at 5:21 PM
By Barbara Curtis
Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Ah, but I didn’t know Jesus back then – that is, I didn't know him as the Son of God. I knew him only through my guru, who taught that Jesus was a great spiritual master and who blended quotes from the New Testament with quotes from the Bhagavad-Gita to produce a spiritual foundation for people like me – too hip, too cool, too sophisticated to tie themselves to the narrow-minded thinking of Christianity.
As someone plucked out miraculously from the New Age, I can only hope that Christians who love and trust Oprah will not blur the lines of their faith. Oprah has stated that though she was raised as a Baptist, she no longer believes that Jesus is the only way to reach God. It sounds so much more rational and compassionate, doesn't it?
Why can't we all just get along?
There are questions we don't have the answers to. And there are questions that are not seeking an answer, but rather opening a door leading to "a wider path" – questions like the one posed long ago: "Hasn't God said that you could eat of every tree of the garden?"
The New Age is based on concepts that sound almost irresistible. Like Eve, some hear the spiels of modern gurus like Tolle and Willamson and begin to think the faith of their fathers is too rigid, too narrow – that God would never impose an "irrational" boundary between us and "full knowledge of the spiritual realm."
Sometimes the lie creeps in subtly as Christians begin to research natural or holistic medicine – alternatives which can be very God-honoring but for years were shunned by Christians, thus becoming New Age territory by default. Or a doctor may recommend yoga or meditation to reduce stress. No matter how uplifting and innocent some New Age practices appear, Christians need discernment in these areas, just as at the seashore they need to know where the undertow begins.
The more we understand the distinctions between New Age religion and Christianity, the less vulnerable we are ourselves and the better able to address the confusion of people who may be – as I once was – earnestly seeking the truth.
What exactly is the New Age? Impossible to narrow down, the New Age is actually a vast smorgasbord of beliefs and practices. Each New Ager fills his tray with whatever assortment fits his appetite. All is liberally seasoned with self-centeredness. It's really a Have-It-Your-Way religion – thus its modern appeal...
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Posted by . at 3:26 PM
By Dr. Paul Kengor
On this literal life-death issue, credit goes to Newsweek’s Jon Meacham, who co-hosted the forum, and did his homework. Meacham must have known that Mrs. Clinton has always carefully avoided this question. She understands the stakes of conceding that life begins at conception. As noted by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason, if the object in the womb is not a life begun at conception, then whatever one chooses to do with it is no concern. But once one acknowledges the object is human life, moral considerations completely change.
In my research on Mrs. Clinton, my closest lead into her thinking was this assertion by her husband in his 2004 memoirs: “Everyone knows life begins biologically at conception,” wrote Bill Clinton, the man with whom Hillary Clinton has had more discussions on more subjects than anyone else, including abortion. One would think “everyone” includes Senator Clinton. But then, Bill added a classic Clinton qualification: “Most people who are pro-choice understand that abortions terminate potential life.”
Note the words potential life. Alas, this was precisely Mrs. Clinton’s response at Messiah. “I believe that the potential for life begins at conception,” she explained, and then plunged into a defense of abortion. “But for me, it is also not only about a potential life…. And, therefore, I have concluded, after great, you know, concern and searching my own mind and heart over many years, that our task should be, in this pluralistic, diverse life of ours in this nation, that individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision…. I think abortion should remain legal.”
Clearly, Mrs. Clinton’s view of “pluralistic, diverse life” has limits.
Obama’s answer was even more ambiguous: “This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it’s very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So, I don’t presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I’ve said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we’re having these debates.”
Basically, Obama concluded that in considering these questions during these debates, we should consider these questions during these debates—and that potential life is “extraordinarily powerful.” In response, the Messiah faithful erupted into applause, indubitably impressed.
In essence, neither of these would-be presidents professes any idea when life begins. In actuality, of course, both almost certainly believe life begins at conception. No doubt, any scientist at Harvard could have clued in Obama on this simple biological reality. And Hillary Clinton must have heard this somewhere at Yale.
The truth is that both candidates will not state the obvious on conception because of their positions on abortion. If they utter the self-evident truth, they undermine the “compassion” of their stance on abortion...
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Posted by . at 2:59 PM
By Ricky Carandang
Yes, there are real supply and demand factors driving up rice prices, but one must concede that a big chunk of the increases in the prices of oil, gold, and rice, are due to speculation on the international commodities markets.
But because gold is not a basic commodity, it can go up dramtically without too much of a ripple in the world economy. And yes, the global economy has proven pretty resilient in the face of rising oil prices because increased efficiencies in their use. For example, cars today are much more fuel efficient than they were in the 1970s when the last major oil shock rattled the global economy.
But a rapid and sharp rise in rice and wheat prices will have a dangerous impact on the world’s poor countries. The World Bank and the United Nations have raised the alarm on this.
The effects are being felt not just in the Philippines but all over the developing world. Western media is blaming supply and demand problems, and to some extent they are right. Governments like ours have lacked the foresight or the will or just never really cared about forward planning to ensure food security. So the government is partly to blame as well. But Western media is also glossing over the fact that much of this food crisis is due to unhampered speculation on the international commodity markets...
So in light of speculative investing, after all, in the long run, is total free trade advantageous to economies striving to emerge?
Why do you think the USA is getting more aggressive now in promoting free trade than before?
Emerging economies should be very prudent in deciding what specific areas of their economies are they going to allow free trade.
An emerging economy entering into a total free trade agreement with a fully developed economy is like a wage-earner gambling poker against a casino.
Posted by . at 2:55 AM
This does not mean that gentle people are by nature passive or meek. Rather, their copious inner power is manifested in their gentleness and their choice to move with the flow of the universe instead of against it. You can make use of gentleness in your own life by applying it in situations where you feel challenged by your circumstances or by people in your environment. As you move forward gently, the energy pervading your life will likely shift and, consequently, the blockages before you will vanish. Cooperation progresses smoothly when approached gently because all parties involved feel confident that their needs will be met. And quarrels are easily quelled with gentleness because the dualistic concepts of losing and winning are made moot by our willingness to exercise infinite patience with those whose values differ from our own.
Gentleness must be practiced, as we are inadvertently encouraged to act competitive in certain phases of our lives. At first, your established habits may make being truly gentle challenging. Yet after a time, if you commit to consciously applying gentleness to all areas of your life, whether by collaborating rather than competing or yielding graciously to the impassable roadblocks in your path in order to seek a new road, you will find that you begin to act gently habitually. Your patterns of thought and behavior become ever more peaceful, and you will discover that you encounter far less impassable resistance on your individual journey.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious.
Posted by . at 4:58 PM
Complaining is a person’s way of acknowledging that they are not happy with the way things are. In a metaphorical way, when we complain or criticize, we are tearing down an undesirable structure in order to make room for something new. But if all we do is tear down, never bothering to summon the creative energy required to create something new, we are not fulfilling the process. In fact, we are at risk for becoming a stagnant and destructive force in our own lives and in the lives of the people we love. Another issue with complaining is that we sometimes tend to focus on other people, whom we can’t change, as a way of deflecting attention from the one person we can change—ourselves. So transforming complaining into something useful is a twofold process that begins with turning our critical eye to look at things we can actually do something about, and then taking positive action.
When we find ourselves complaining, the last thing we need to do is get down on ourselves. Instead, we can begin by noticing that we are in the mode of wanting to make some changes. But rather than lashing out at somebody or an organization, we can look for an appropriate place to channel this energy—not our neighbor’s house, but possibly parts of our own. Finally, we can ask ourselves the positive question of what we would like to create in the place of whatever it is we want to tear down. When we do this, we channel a negative habit into a creative process, thus using our energy to change the world around us in a positive way.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-22
We exhort you, brothers, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward all. See that no one returns evil for evil to anyone, but always follow after that which is good, for one another, and for all.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.
Don't quench the Spirit.
Don't despise prophesies.
Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good.
Abstain from every form of evil.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
But exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called “today;” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
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