What If It’s Not All About You?

Thinking Out Loud

Someone else is prayingWhat if?

What if all those times you said you got “an answer to a prayer you haven’t prayed yet;” it wasn’t just that God had met a need before you voiced it, but rather, it was that someone else was praying for you. Someone you know well, or maybe know only superficially. Or someone who knows you, but you don’t know them at all?

What if prayer moves the hand of God more than we, or any theologian ever realized, but we don’t give God the credit because it’s hard for us to believe that out there are people who are the ‘pray-ers’; that out there are people who care about us?

What if people you sometimes are short with, who you sometimes criticize, who you sometimes don’t return their calls, or emails or texts are actually a major, central force in your life through intercession?

What if?

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Happy Thanksgivukkah! Five Things Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Have in Common


In a rare alignment of calendars, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both fall on Nov. 28 this year. And Americans planning to celebrate this double holiday have dubbed it ThanksgivukkahAt first glance, the festivals might seem completely different. One is dreidels. One is pumpkins. One is kosher. One is pigskins. But here are five things the holidays have in common:

Both are a great excuse to stuff yourself silly. 

Yes, people eat hot dogs on the Fourth of July and sip eggnog on Christmas Eve, but there is no holiday on the American calendar that is more about food than Thanksgiving. Hanukkah, a time to eat latkes and brisket, kugel and challah, is also celebrated by putting delicious things in bellies. “All Jewish holidays are about food,” says Dana Gitell, the Bostonian credited with coiningThanksgivukkah. “And that’s one of the reasons why American Jews love…

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No ‘Francis Effect’ for American Catholics


Pope Francis is popular in the United States among Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but that isn’t translating into greater church attendance, according to a new poll.

The new Pope’s outreach to the poor and disabled and his pivot away from what he has termed the Catholic church’s obsession with social issues seems to have inspired Catholics around the world in what observers have called the “Francis Effect,” leading to a surge in attendance at Mass and in identification with the Catholic Church. In the U.S., with the world’s fourth-largest Catholic population, the Pope is well-liked by 79 percent of Catholics and 58 percent of the general public, according to the survey out Monday from the Pew Research Center.

But attendance at Mass and Catholic identification in the U.S. has been steady since 2007, when 23 percent of U.S. adults self-identified as Catholic, to 2013, when 22 percent did so…

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Doobs Cause Moobs? Why Smoking Weed Might Be Giving You Man Boobs


Apparently it’s stoner folklore that doobs cause moobs–or, in more P.C. parlance, smoking marijuana can cause men to grow breast tissue. With medical marijuana becoming legal in states across the U.S., Philly.com delved deep and found that while the pro-pot contingent maintains there’s little scientific evidence behind the claim, it’s a shared belief in the medical community that there is a definitive link between marijuana usage and moobs.

Studies on the issue are few and far between since marijuana is still illegal in most states, but many plastic surgeons believe there is a link. One study found that marijuana has “widespread effects on multiple hormonal systems, including gonadal, adrenal, prolactin, growth hormone, and thyroid hormone regulation.” Or, as Philly.com put it, “When the drug throws off the normal balance of hormones, estrogen levels rise and stimulate breast tissue growth.”

“This is, of course, an inflammatory topic. There is skepticism either…

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Miley Cyrus Sings with Space Kitten at AMAs


This year, Miley Cyrus has gone viral for twerking both in a unicorn onesie in March and alongside teddy bears at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August. And last night, she performed “Wrecking Ball” at the American Music Awards as a CGI kitten traveling through space was projected onto a screen behind her. About halfway through the song, the barely blinking orange tabby started to weep silently and uncontrollably above the pop star, who was decked out in a cat-themed crop top and bathing suit bottom.

Perhaps her performance was inspired by cat-themed fan covers of “Wrecking Ball” on YouTube and on Vine:

If you want to see more animated cats in space, there’s a Tumblr for that (because of course there is).

UPDATE: Lil Bub, the Internet sensation with a tongue that’s always hanging out, emailed MTV News to say that the cat in Miley’s act ripped off her…

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“Taking On Too Big To Fail”: Financial Reform Is About To Catch A Second Wind And Elizabeth Warren Is Ready To Ride It


Financial reformers seeking new rules beyond the range of the Dodd-Frank law haven’t had much to cheer about this year. The chances of Congress passing new regulations—OK, passing anything—look bleak, and the Obama Administration wants to simply finish implementing the last set of reforms. But reformers are playing a longer game, biding their time until the conditions are ripe for a dam burst. That could happen sooner than you think. High-profile champions for reform are gradually bending regulators to their will, and a pile-up of big bank abuses have eroded Wall Street’s reputation in Washington. Most importantly, a new report detailing the extraordinary largesse granted banks during the financial crisis, and questioning whether Dodd-Frank would prevent a rerun, could set off a fresh spark.

An unlikely bipartisan duo, Senators Sherrod Brown and David Vitter, have tried all year to focus attention in Congress on ending “too big to fail,” the…

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World Trade Organization Allows E.U.’s ‘Moral’ Ban on Seal Products

James Franco and Seth Rogen Recreated Kanye’s Controversial ‘Bound 2’ Music Video Shot for Shot


Ever wonder what a shirtless Seth Rogen would look like nuzzling and cuddling with James Franco while they pretend to ride a motorcycle? Look no further, because the duo did a shot for shot remake of Kanye West’s puzzling “Bound 2” music video, which featured Kim Kardashian and her non-nipples.

Think we know what Kanye’s next in-concert rant will be about.

In case you forgot (really, how could you?), here’s the original video:

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Should In-Flight Cellphone Calls Be Allowed?


Following the FAA’s decision to allow electronic device usage in-flight, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a proposal that would allow airlines to have the last word regarding in-flight phone calls. While airlines like Southwest, Alaska Airlines, American and United will be basing their airline-specific regulations on customer feedback, Delta Air Lines said it would continue the ban regardless of a more lenient FCC policy. The FCC is scheduled to vote on Dec. 12.

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Everything You Need to Know About Thanksgivukkah


This year, Thanksgiving falls on the first day of Hanukkah this year, combining to create the very rare holiday of Thanksgivukkah. Here’s what you need to know.

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