Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Day of Hard Labor

Well, almost. I was asked by my board president if I wanted to earn a little extra money. His business had sold one of their buildings and they needed to move 30,000 files into several semi trailers. I had a hard time conceptualizing 30,000 files. I don't anymore. Take a 6 car garage, and fill it with files that are standing up on their edge. Fill it completely full. Now, you only have about 3,000 files that you couldn't fit. Or, better yet, fill 3 semi trailers that are 45 feet long with five rows of files. Then fill 2 more semi trailers that are 48 feet long with six rows of files. Now you only have about a thousand files left over. Needless to say, I was stiff last night.

My brother came out and helped as well. All in all, about 20 people worked for 6+ hours to fill those five semi trailers. I learned something. Young people are more agile than their parents. They also don't work very efficiently. Good thing they're more agile. They'd really be hurting if they worked inefficiently and were older.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

If This Works...

If this happens, it could be the beginning of something much bigger than the world governments have ever succeeded in doing anywhere. Of course, God has always been able to operate in much bigger ways than the world governments ever have.

Separate and Unequal

I have believed this to be true for a long time. This article doesn't take into consideration private schools, which are even more separate and unequal.

So Open-Minded Their Brain Leaked Out

The Anglican Church is now into book banning. That's right, the church known for endorsing most anything won't endorse a publication by and for its own members. Can you say, "Tyranny?"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Think Different

A few years back Apple ran a series of ads entitled "Think Different." Today, Rosa Parks was added to the list of people who thought different. I've got about 6 of the posters from that original series. They showed up in the teachers' lounge at school one day during my teaching days. Amazingly, no one wanted them! I grabbed one of each, printed out a little blurb on each and laminated them with the blurb on the back. Very cool stuff. From memory I've got Amelia Earhart, Miles Davis, Cesar Chavez, Pablo Picasso, a scientist whose name escapes me a the moment, and Albert Einstein (not the same scientist whose name I forgot). It seems like there's one or two more. I didn't take the John & Oko poster, it wasn't appropriate for a classroom of fifth graders.

Carrot, Egg, or Coffee

How do you deal with trials in life?

Catching Up With Shelby

It's been quite a while since I've "conversed" with Shelby. She had a very long post today, which I barely even skimmed, but she did highlight a few items with large print, and I read those. Very interesting stuff.

The resurrected Lord told five hundred people to go back to Jerusalem to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit, but after just twelve days there were only one hundred twenty still there. The Lord knew this would happen, and He often causes things to take longer than we would like to thin out the crowds, getting rid of the unfaithful, because anything of true significance must be built on faithful people. This is why He requires that we not only have faith, but also patience, to inherit the promises.

How true is this? If you want to read that very long post, check it out at Shelby's blog. Just make sure you've got more time than I do right now!

Hey Shelby, if you read this, thanks for the reply. Good to finally get you bookmarked again!

Political Power and the Religious Right

Will simplifies some very complex issues in this post on power, but the overall point is still highly valid. If I remember correctly, the Reagan and Clinton administrations had as many members end up in jail/prison as the Nixon administration did. There's nothing sacred about political power, regardless of who's got it. The old saying still holds true, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (or something like that ;-) )

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Emerging Church, Emerging Culture

Jill and I have had a lot of discussions lately about why we're comfortable with emerging church thought. We've decided that much of it has to do with the fact that we spent so much time around it. Much of what we read reflects what we experienced living on Chicago's west side and working at the Rock of Our Salvation Free Church/Circle Urban Ministries. The focus was moved off of ourselves and onto the idea of serving God by serving others. There was no dropping of the evangelical beliefs that we had and still have. What we lived, though, were lives that were shaped by a community of believers who experienced much of our lives together, but we all seemed to view it through different eyes, eyes that were developed in our upbringing, our education, our entire lives both in and out of that community of faith. We understood that life sucks an awful lot of the time, and God doesn't just drop down out of the sky to fix things. That's why a community of faith is so important. We have never experienced that since we left Chicago. We have not experienced celebration that began to compare to a communion service in that gym. We have not had to depend on friends like we did during that time in our lives. The overall concept of community was ever-present, and escaping it would have left us sitting alone on an island.

That brings me back to the relationship between our experience in Chicago and our talks about the emerging church. The emerging church definitely has some racial stuff to work through, but it is moving in the direction that most racially diverse congregations have already been. The idea is not to (here I go again) try to label people as being "in" or "out," the idea is to move people, via our relationships with them, closer to God. What is accomplished with defining whether people are "in" or not? Nothing. That attitude should not be a part of how we define ourselves as Christians.

Ultimately, Jill has become convinced that the whole debate over the emerging church is really one of cultural superiority. I think she's got a very strong argument. The theology part of the debate really isn't that deep. The evangelical core beliefs are present on both sides of the debate (see Roger Olson's article "Does Evangelical Theology Have a Future" in the Christianity Today archives). Trying to debate over the theology is mostly about finding tiny bones to pick. Most of the debate really comes down to "Are we white, middle-class ______ (insert term here, Calvinists, Arminians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc.)" or are we something else. The something else is much less defined, much less a part of traditional heritage, much less secure, but also much more filled with potential.

Robert Webber

He's blogging now. He was one of the most popular profs at Wheaton when we were there. This should be a blog worth reading.

Spiritual Formation from Where?

Scot McKnight is asking the question, where do you go for spiritual formation? Personally, I'm not quite sure how to answer that one.

Now Scott Talks About...

what he's doing now.

No Longer A Traditional Pastor

Scott is in the middle of a series on why he left the traditional ways of being a pastor.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Doubts Amongst Believers

An Intellectuelle summed it up pretty well for a lot of people.

Religious Pluralism

Next Reformation has an article on the topic of religious pluralism. Interesting look at the topic. Very true comments regarding Christians view of others as being the enemy. All humans have the potential of being saved by God's grace. That's not a claim for universalism, its a claim for the completeness of Christ's work on the cross. Christ's death and resurrection was sufficient for the salvation of every human being. That doesn't mean that all will accept God's gift of salvation, but defining people as our enemy does nothing to introduce them to the Love of God, it only serves to distance them further from it.

Counter Cultural Church

This post is awesome! A serious look at what it really means to be counter-cultural. It doesn't go to the point of saying that the church is not counter-cultural in the US, but it certainly points in that direction. Should we be counter-cultural? What would that look like? Most people simply view the Church as another social club. A mega-church is a large and popular social club, a good place to make business contacts, a small church is a private social club that makes it easy to know who is in and who is out (there's that phrase again).

Personally, I believe the Church should be counter-cultural. I've attended one counter-cultural church in my life. We long to return to that Body!!

Review of Carson Book

Scot McKnight pointed to this Eddie Gibbs' review of DA Carson's book, Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church. It's a pretty fair and balanced review. Interestingly, it ties in to an article that appeared several years ago, also in Christianity Today. "Does Evangelical Theology Have a Future" by Roger Olson looked at the differences between what he calls the Traditionalists and the Reformists, using his own definitions of each word so that they aren't interpreted as being negative. Very interesting stuff. The distinction that Gibbs points out in this review is the thing that really struck me in reading Olson's article. The focus of one group on who is in vs. who is out and the focus on the other group on Who is on center stage. The distinction between these two groups is redefining how people approach evangelical theology. Carson comes from the former, the emerging church comes from the latter, thus the tension.

Friday, October 21, 2005

For the Men in the World

A fly is in the urinal, or is it?

HT to Scott.

I'm Addicted

I'm not much of a game player, but the recent discussion on my Folding Team's forum board got me curious. Now I'm spending the night at Jill told me to have her coffee ready when she wakes up in the morning. So far I've finished through level 8. I'm taking a short break for this post, then I'm going back at it. WooHoo!

Hurricane Wilma

Jill's uncle lives in Playa del Carmen (here's his website with a picture of his house on the left), where he manages property, including time shares and even renting out rooms in his own home two blocks from the ocean. Hurricane Wilma is the second direct hit they've taken from hurricanes this season, the first being Emily. We probably won't hear anything for a few more days at best. I'm sure his family is inland staying with his in-laws. I'm also sure that he stayed put. Their home is built out of cement and is designed to withstand winds up to 300 mph. Of course, they probably don't have any windows left, though. They lost all their windows in July, with the first hurricane. The entire family stayed for that one, but Jill's aunt vowed not to stay for another one. It was a very frightening experience. The amount of rain is sure to bring up some snakes. I'm also sure much of the town will be devastated. Though its a tourist spot, much of the town is mired in poverty, living in shacks that are incapable of withstanding a hurricane, muchless two in one season. I'll post more once I know more.

New Mac User?

Got a call from a friend today. She had been thinking about getting an iMac G4, the iMac with the dome. She hadn't come up with the money when she knew someone who had one for sale, so now she's just hoping again. She's now thinking seriously about a Mac mini. Definitely a good buy! I love our mini. They are outstanding computers! She'd be able to get a brand new mini for the same price as a used iMac. She was introduced to the Mac when I fired one up in her office a while back. She couldn't believe how easy to use it was. She couldn't believe that I would say, "Go ahead and play around on it, you won't hurt it." No one had ever encouraged her to go loose on a computer before. Everyone is afraid that something will bad will happen. I'm not. Go ahead, and play around.


It's Coming! We still haven't decided if we're going to attend. If we do, a hotel room is definitely out of our price range right now. We'll also have to figure out what to do with the kids for the weekend. Jill definitely is not going to let me go alone. She loves the CCDA conferences as much as I do! Since its in Indy this year, we are sure that a lot of friends will be there. Still, we don't know yet...

One of Those Weeks

This was one of those weeks where I couldn't help but think that every day was Friday. Then, when Friday got here, I couldn't believe it was already Friday! Ugh!

Sayings By Nathan

To Isaac: "You look better than Spiderman!"

To Dad (me): "Daddy, you get to be a Bonehead. I'll be the white Bonehead and you can be the black Bonehead!" (referring to dinosaurs and the fact that he was wearing a white shirt and I was wearing a black one)

To Mom: "Today, Tyler and I will be Boneheads!" (see note above)

Originally posted at The Dad's Group

No to Heat, Yes to Guns

What else can one say, other than Congress has some pretty screwed up priorities.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How Niche Is That?

In terms of US computer sales, Apple is now in the top five. Of course, anyone who pays attention knows that it is still number one in customer service (Dell has never been alone at the top, and now it isn't even at the top). Why don't you use a Mac? Brainwashing?

You Think Your Church is Bad?!?

Hat Tip to Jordon. This story is almost unbelievable!

Why I'm Not...

a Fundamentalist in the common sense of the term. I know the term is loaded and everyone seems to have a different definition. Jeremy sums up the most commonly used sense of the term, and states his breaking away point. It seems as though a lot of folks grow up and go through a similar experience. Its usually memorable enough to keep us from going back. Thanks Jeremy!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wired News on Spyware

Wired has an article on fighting spyware. There's a lot of good info there. If you use Windows, you should check it out. Of course, at this point in time, Mac users need to be aware, but there really isn't anything to do about it, since spyware really doesn't infect Macs right now. Of course, the easiest way to counter spyware is to switch to a Mac, which is definitely the best option if you're just checking email, surfing the internet, listening to music, playing with digital photography, editing home movies and burning dvd's, writing papers, doing spreadsheets or powerpoints, etc.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Scary Offshoot of Hurricanes

Jordon's got the scoop.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Don't Send Money

I have a hard time believing that people would actually send Pat Robertson money, but apparently they do because he's still on the air. Jeremy has the latest ramifications for Robertson's mouth. I'm thinking he really needs to retire if for no other reason than to allow Christians to be Christians.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Baseball's Luckiest Fan

He caught two of the biggest hits in Astros history, from his seats in the outfield!

Relevant Church?

Ryan Bolger has become one of my favorite bloggers. Unlike me, he actually puts serious thought into his posts, and his recent post on "relevant" churches is a good example of that.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Before and After

I'm thoroughly enjoying, even though they rejected my only submission. :-( Ah, well, I'm a total amateur, but I'll learn how to take better shots by seeing what others are doing. One very impressive twosome of shots were on the site. Check them out:

Amtrak engine #69: Before Picture.
Amtrak engine #69: After Picture.

The difference was the gravel truck that drove around a crossing gate.

Astros Beat Braves

I still don't care about baseball enough to comment regularly, but eighteen innings? What's worse than six hours of baseball? There was only one run scored in the entire second half of the game! When you go into the tenth inning tied at 6, people would expect a 7-6 game to have ended in the tenth or eleventh, but the eighteenth? Ugh.

Crossing the Double Diamonds

I took the boys down to Rochelle, IL again on Sunday. They fell asleep on the way down. When we got to Railroad Park there was a Union Pacific stack train going through the diamonds, so we had to wait before we could cross the tracks. After a Burlington Northern went through on the south side of the park Isaac woke up. He and I got to watch a UP auto train go through before Nathan joined us in the land of the living. We got out of the van and went down to the little locomotive that sits at the entrance to the park so they could play for a while. Watched some more trains and then went up to the picnic shelter. We always walk right through the shelter on our way down to the hobo fire pit, which is where I shot this picture. Nathan met another little boy about his age with a Thomas shirt, so they played for a while until the boys decided to go back to the locomotive to play together. Isaac and I and the boy's grandpa then headed back to the other end of the park.

I had finally decided that we should head back home, so I announced we'd stay for one more train. We heard a whistle off in the distance almost immediately. Pretty soon we heard another whistle that sounded like it was coming from the other direction. We figured there were two UP's coming at the same time, until we heard a third whistle on the BNSF line. What started out as a "we'll leave after the next train" turned into "we'll leave after the next three trains." Sure enough, the BNSF came blasting through, followed immediately by two UP's! We thought it was a great way to end our afternoon and got the boys buckled in, only to hear another whistle behind us. I quickly got in, turned the van around so we were facing the BNSF line, and we enjoyed one more train heading west toward the Mississippi! All in all, a very cool way to end the afternoon!

Originally posted at The Dad's Group.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Walking With Wounds

Tonight at Borderlands, Pastor John spoke about how we view major issues in life. He talked about how God does not bail us out of our troubles, but when we seek the wisdom of God (James 1), He allows us to see the troubles from His perspective. It's like putting together a puzzle. When someone decides to put a puzzle in the wrong box, its nearly impossible to complete it because you're looking at the wrong picture. We do the same thing when we face troubles in life.

This tied in very well with something Jill was just reading to me from Scot McKnight's book The Jesus Creed. In it, McKnight was talking about the fact that God redeems us even with our wounds. Even Jesus carries the wounds of our sin forever, He was not healed of those wounds. Perhaps that is why God does not simply come in and bail us out. He allows us to experience trouble in life so that we can carry those wounds with us; they make us better at representing Him.

iPods for Kindergartners

That's right, if you are five years old and live in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district in Texas, you get an iPod for school. KEWL!

No Longer the World Champs

The Boston Red Sox are out of the playoffs, so I think it is safe to say that they are no longer the World Champs. Jeremy would be throwing a party if it weren't for the Yanks playing so bad! It's starting to look like Rudy was right! I have to confess that I didn't even know the playoffs had started until last night. I had the toughest loss of all, being a Cleveland fan. :-( I'd say that the winner of the Angels-Yanks will go to the Series. Frank Thomas cursed the ChiSox in the year of the strike when he said that going on strike was more important than winning the pennant. I was a ChiSox fan until that day. They should be banned from the Series until he retires, IMHO.

Did Ya Notice...

I wasn't sleeping well last night? I've come to the realization that I'm fat and out of shape. Time to start doing all the exercise I should have been doing all along. Guess it takes a point where the motivation actually kicks in, eh?

Missing Church

I've appreciated Rebecca's honesty for a while now.

Legal Music Downloads Increasing

MacWorld UK is reporting that legal downloads of music are on the rise. It's been literally years since I bought a CD. I request iTunes gift certificates for presents rather than CD's. I just don't buy them anymore. All the folks out there who complain that the sound isn't good enough (because they're audiophiles, so they ought to know, and we ought to trust them) betray their ignorance. Digital files are simply a bunch of 1's and 0's that are getting transferred from one location to the next. Saying that the sound gets degraded when digital music is transferred is like saying that words to get misspelled whenever a Microsoft Word file gets transferred. Puh-leeze. There are different levels of quality based on the bit level you have, but once you've downloaded a file, that quality will stick over time.

Of course, there's also the question of price. I buy online because the price is fair. I was in a Christian bookstore yesterday (which actually has far more useless trinkets than books, go figure) and could not believe the price variances on cd's there. They ranged from $10-$20. I know I'll pay the same, and I can just buy the songs I want if I buy online, so I'll stick with that. If the music labels get their way, and iTunes has to raise prices to feed the rich and greedy, then the music labels should assume that the numbers in the MacWorld article will lean toward an increase in pirated music next year. It's a shame, because they really do have a good thing going in online music sales.

Apple's Use of Media

Regardless of your opinion on Apple Computer, they have the ability to generate buzz worthy of a Super Bowl ad. A simple email, which cost next to nothing, has the Apple faithful around the world chomping at the bit for October 12th to get here. AppleMatters takes on the marketing angle, and Apple has the marketing stuff down pat. One email, and the Apple portion of the internet superhightway is packed to the hilt! Regardless of the announcment, it will be big news, simply because Apple has marketed it well, with one little email no less.

Maybe should comment on this one?

Jordon re: Graham

Jordon Cooper has a lot to say about the recent controversy surrounding Franklin Graham. I'm not so sure I agree with Jordon in some areas, but its a great post and worthy of taking the time to read. In the big picture view, though, I think Jordon is right. Evangelicals tend to have an Old Testament view of God. That's why we get upset when the Ten Commandments are taken down by a court ruling, but we never even attempt to put up the words of Jesus (seems like another blogger was commenting along those lines recently, sorry about not linking, I don't remember who it was! Let me know and I'll edit the post with the link). Of course, the words of Jesus are a bit more radical. It's easier to put up "Do not murder" than it is to put up Matthew 5:21-22. Life starts getting a little more tricky when confronted with the words of Jesus. That OT stuff is just a bit less wordy and easier to reinterpret to our own benefit.

Anyway, check out Jordon's post and take the time to read it.


If we actually lived the type of life Jesus asked us to, we would have no need for "apologetics"

Friday, October 07, 2005

Black Hats and the Mac

I posted this over on my on-again off-again blog that no one knows exists. It's one of those things that I figure I can fire up some day in the future when I actually have time to blog seriously. Until then, its a bit of a fun hobby.

The basic gist is that the Macintosh operating system is WAY more secure than Windows, but nothing is perfect, and there are bad people out there who are trying to compromise computers. The MacDevCenter at O'Reilly has posted a great article on how to protect your Mac from those bad people who want to use your credit card. It gives a bit of the background on how Black Hats work as well. Interesting read regardless of your computer platform because it gives an overall education that computer users need to pay attention to. The thing to remember is that there are NO rootkits available for Mac OS X, but even that doesn't mean perfect protection.

Where Do You Fit?

Marla is at it again. She stole the Retro/Metro idea from website by the same name. Interesting and thought provoking. I definitely fall into the metro category, though probably not as far as some people would think I do.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Armed Nuns

You only see ads like this at Too funny!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Settings Change

I'm no longer allowing anonymous comments. Should cut down the comment spam I've started getting.

John 3:16, Kind of

What would Johnny do?

Should I Say Anymore?

Due to time constraints and a bit of frustration I haven't been blogging much lately. I was thinking about staying out of "religious" posts altogether due to the frustration aspect (uh, NO, I have never suggested or hinted that McLaren is God, I haven't even said that I agree with him on everything...especially since I've read relatively little of what he's written...sheesh, where did that come from?!?). But, there's so much good stuff to be found in the "Godblog" world. So, without any comments from myself, I recommend a few reads.

Very brief interview with Campolo and McLaren in Leadership Magazine Blog
How do we view people around us
Attractional vs. Incarnational
Taking Criticism
A Joke
I Reject
Whenever I'm in the mood for a long and thoughtful post, I go here
Polarisations (spelled by a Brit)
Beautiful Bob, no, not me
It ain't just the Assemblies of God (oops, an editorial comment slipped out

Have fun!