Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Clarifying the Discussion

Tony Jones has a followup post on a workshop he facilitated at the National Youth Workers Convention. It's always good to see conversations go beyond the workshop, especially when it yields reconciliation.

Glad I Wasn't Drinking Anything!

Abner ROCKS, though I would have used a Michigan shirt.

Quick & Dirty Calvinism

Pyromaniac says there's no such thing.

Today's Manifesto

Ok, it's a few days old now, I've done a very bad job of keeping up with my RSS feeds. Anyway, Scott resonates.


Scott's been reading the Internet Monk again.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Catching Up With Life

Been a bit crazy lately. The holiday weekend was good for shutting out the world for a couple days, but church on Saturday night and nursery duty on Sunday morning meant that our weekend was busier than usual. Going back to work today wasn't much fun. Throw in the fact that I've been fighting a cold for two weeks now, and that made getting up this morning all the more fun. Fortunately, it was a balmy 55 degrees this morning, so walking out the door didn't feel so bad. Of course, its now 40 degrees and rainy, so the warm temps were pretty short lived. Ah well, it is November after all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The End of a Career

It's hard to believe that The Hit occurred twenty years ago.

Why We Celebrate Christmas

One more link to Jeremy. Christmas is about giving what we've received, not what we've bought.

CCDA Wrapup again

Jeremy had a great time too! I've got someone ready to go with us next year. There'll probably be more too. Lunch with Jeremy was outstanding. Meeting him live and in person made the whole trip worthwhile, though there were a lot of other pieces that also made it worthwhile!

If Your Church Isn't Right...

it may not be tax exempt.

Saint or Communist?

The Archbishop is wondering how to deal with hunger and poverty.

I Like Mike's

take on the discussion regarding Tony Jones' experience at a recent workshop.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Next Year

CCDA will be in Philly, save the date.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Laughing at Jonah

Nathan is watching the outtakes from the VeggieTales Jonah Movie. I can hear him sitting in the room laughing. It brings joy to my heart to hear a four year old laugh at humor completely on his own. I hope and pray that he always has a good and appropriate sense of humor. It will keep his heart healthy.

ADHD and Fatherlessness

Rudy's post should be generating more discussion than its getting, perhaps its getting a lot of links like this one. From my teaching days, I would be very interested in seeing this research played out a little more.

"The authors of this study suggested that social forces may be major contributors to ADHD. Among these social forces are: “the absence of positive father role models; the presence of a revolving door for negative male role models brought into the home; poor parenting; the need for order in the classroom when teachers are severely curtailed in meting out discipline; and a declining appreciation in our culture of what constitutes normal boy behavior.” This study was never given much attention by the mental health community as the “solutions” were not politically correct at they emphasized the deficit of a male role model."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Blogging CCDA, Home Again

We've finally arrived at home. We finally got to hang out with Jeremy for a while. We set up a few times, but we always ran out of time. Today we were able to break away for lunch and talk like we were old friends who'd known each other for years. Never mind that we've only known each other as long as he's been blogging. He invited us to put together a group for a trip out to hang with the GenXcel folks for a week. They've got a lot of great stuff going on, including some of the toughest people groups for ministries to work with right in their neighborhood.

I never did blog on Jim Wallis' message Friday night. The whole evening was simply amazing. The Black Gospel liturgical dance by about a dozen young ladies almost ended when the sound died, but the audience kept on clapping to the beat, the girls kept dancing, and folks in the audience who knew the song sang it out good and loud. As soon as the girls finished their dance the sound came back on. They ran back to the front (they ended the dance in the aisles) and picked up again. The whole place was simply rocking by that point (somehow the chandeliers in the meeting hall stayed attached to the ceiling!). When the finished the second time the audience went crazy. Noel, the emcee for the conference, hopped on the stage, asked the sound man to start it again with the dancers leading the audience around the room and the Hope House Choir joining them in the lead. The song went again and about 1200 of the 2000 people were packed into the aisles dancing the song out again! By the time the Hope House Choir got on stage to bring the place down, the folks in the crowd were wiped out! The Choir still got folks to their feet clapping and swaying with the Gospel tunes. Nothing like an all-male choir of recovvering addicts and alcoholics doing Gospel to bring a tired crowd to their feet!

When they finished, it was time for the evening's speaker. Jim Wallis blew me away. I don't think I'd ever heard him preach before! We walked out of the hall and dropped $22 for his most recent book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. The dude could preach. I don't know that I've said, "Amen" so much in one sermon in a long time!! No wonder kids who've given up on the Church are picking up his book. He understands and counters the hypocrisy that so often passes for "Biblical" Christianity these days. Has anyone asked you lately why the most Biblically conservative countries are the ones with the biggest racial problems? It's time to start getting it right, Church!! Anyway, I'll post more on that message once I dig up Jill's notes. Definitely a lot of stuff worth repeating.

Replacing Justice with Service

Every time we attend CCDA, we hear someone who gives the re-focus message. It's happening right now. We're listening to Richard Townsell of Lawndale Community Church right now. He's preaching from Micah 6:8. He's asking the crowd WWFT (What Would the Funders Think). And why is that our priority?!? We have to change how we raise money! The current system requires us to find a really hard story (especially if its a child) and use it to raise money. Does the hard luck story change? No, but we get a check and the donor gets a tax write off. Stop denigrating people in the effort to raise money. Its easier to get $20,000 from a bank than $5,000 from a suburban church if we don't pimp the poor for cash.

Deutoronomy 15 tells us how God looks at justice. Every seven years all debts are cancelled. This is a systemic response, not an individual response. The LORD wants to level the playing field so that there are not people thinking, "I can help people" and "I need help from someone." Wealth is OK. Extreme inequity is unjust. God wanted to make sure that no one got stuck on the bottom of the pile. Our system keeps people stuck on the bottom of the pile. We shouldn't be standing for justice. We should be moving for justice! Standing doesn't get us anywhere.

The Three R's of Justice
Repentence - We believe that people are poor because they have a pathology. We have to repent because we don't apply the same standards to the rich who are stealing money all day long! I'm sorry that I've raised money on people's backs.

Relationships - We don't have real deep relationships in our neighborhoods. We have service relationships. A real relationship has reciprocity, a mutual give and take.

Response - After we've done the first two, we pray. We ask God, "Where do we go now?"

Friday, November 18, 2005

Jeremy's Blogging Seminar

I just walked into Jeremy's blogging workshop a little late. Sbarro's was good, as was the conversation with the Henkel's, but it led me to be running behind. Jeremy's talking about how so many of the inner city kids he works with have blogs. The digital divide is disappearing or gone. That is a good and bad thing. The kids are posting stuff that many people would find shocking. How do we deal with and educate kids regarding that. I'm going to tune in a little better now.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blogging CCDA

We arrived at CCDA at 10 AM, just as we expected...except that we forgot that there was a time change (Indiana really needs to change clocks like the rest of the country so people know what time it is when they enter Indiana). The first day has been great. Jill and I went our separate ways to workshops, Jill to an Emerging Leaders workshop, and I went to a fundraising workshop. Both were excellent. Jeremy and Rudy led Jill's workshop. The were outstanding. She's got a lot of feedback for Borderlands. Look out Jason!!

After the workshops we met up with a bunch of folks from Evangelical Free Churches. There were about 25 of us who met and then had dinner together. Of those 25, almost half were African-American. This wasn't your momma's Free Church gathering!!

Tomorrow we'll catch up with the Henkels and have lunch with Jeremy before I go into his blogging workshop (Rudy cancelled at the minute so he could attend an event for Sam, can't blame him for that). Jeremy is filling in at the last minute and is hoping to have some other bloggers in the audience. He's co-leading it with someone he's never met. It should still be good, though. I was really hoping for Rudy (sorry, Jeremy) as he's got a great blog with a lot of customization. I want something like that, but haven't had the time to learn...yet. I'll also catch a workshop on homebuyer education. I was shocked to see something like that here, so I'm a bit psyched about that.

Blog ya later!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First Snow

Actually, its just a dusting, so it doesn't really count as a real snow, but there was a layer of the white stuff on our picnic table and other outdoor stuff. Light flurries are expected throughout the morning, but we'll see if that actually happens. The boys were excited though. They always love to see snow on the ground. They'd rather have enough to go play in it, though.

Rkfd to Indy.gif

Rkfd to Indy.gif
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
I gave up on Google pretty quickly, and went over to It doesn't always point one to the exact location, but it'll get me close enough. This map shows my results. Let's face it, driving through Chicago during rush hour tomorrow doesn't sound like the fastest way to get to Indy. I'm guessing I-39 to I-74 will work out a bit faster (by an hour or so!).


In preparing to drive to Indy tomorrow, I typed "Rockford, IL to Indianapolis, IN" into Google. The number 6 result? BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS!! What on earth do bankruptcy attorneys have to do with traveling to Indianapolis?!?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

If You Lose, Find a Bigger Bully

From the "Truth Hurts, So We'll Try to Manipulate Our Way Around It" category, Microsoft is now asking the Department of Justice to intervene on their behalf in the ruling handed down last year by the European Commission. Uh, yeah, that'll help. The DOJ already won a case against Microsoft for the EXACT SAME THING, but allowed them to get b(u)y with a slap on the wrist. The EC isn't quite so nice, so now Microsoft wants the DOJ to intervene. I'd guess that the US government is so highly respected in Europe that they'll just roll over for the Microsoft-DOJ team. Yeah, right. Why can't Microsoft just pay up and move on, everyone knows their guilty anyway.

Free Software

Of course, it is, its open source. It's also all for the Mac.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Football

I had a chance to sit and watch an entire football game today!! Our local games are always the Bears, and that was definitely worth watching today!! There aren't very many stadiums where the weather can determine how the game is played, but Soldier Field is one, and today the wind was amazing. Of course, we had the same winds here, though not quite as strong. Vasher's 108 yard run back was awesome. Great team play. Watching Urlacher take charge and give him directions, while still keeping up and then passing him to make the final block was to watch a true team player. He remembered that the goal was to get Vasher into the end zone, and it was obvious that he was going to make that happen. If there is a sportscaster in the US that does not show that tonight on the evening news, they should be fired. That single play showed the power of the wind, smart play, a record setting play, and smart football on the part of the Bears. It single-handedly turned the game around, making it a 7-3 game rather than a 6-0 game at halftime. Overall, the game was the perfect example of why the NFC North is called the "Black and Blue" division.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Jeremy has posted the answer to the Question of the Week regarding poor drug dealers. Freakonomics took a serious look at the economics of the drug trade and came to some interesting conclusions. Check out Jeremy's post to see the results.

The Microsoft Memos

Cringley has expressed his opinion that the memos weren't "leaked," they were designed for public consumption, oh, and they show that Microsoft doesn't have any idea about how to address what is happening in their industry. Scary stuff if you're a Microsoft employee.

Contrasting Good and Evil

Find it here

Smart Money Likes Apple likes the Mac, as do the vast majority of people who use them! Can you name one computer company that gets higher ratings in all areas of hardware and software than Apple? (hint: Dell does not get better ratings than Apple, and while Dell's ratings have fallen, Apple's have remained extremely high)

A Case Study in Innovation

Jeremy links to the Time Magazine interview with Steve Jobs. Jobs seems to understand things about design that others just never get. The folks over at Presentation Zen also see the difference. How many business leaders approach business from the perspective of Steve Jobs? Very few. As Jobs himself points out, that is definitely not how the leaders of car companies think! Mike Evangelist can at least point to one record company exec who gets it, but apparently he's rare.

In the meantime, Jordon is wondering how we develop leaders within the Church. Legitimate questions being asked. Are our seminaries too academic to be able to produce leadership? There are some folks wondering if they can even produce good pastors anymore. We seem to have taken our eyes off of the main thing. If our goal is to change the world, it often seems as though Apple would be the better place to invest our money. As much as I love Apple computers, I'm not advocating that. We ought to be investing our time, money, and knowledge into building the Church most effectively. This often comes by creating new models or versions. Let's face it, we're not driving Model T's anymore. That doesn't mean that the basics of the faith change. The Model T used the combustible engine just as our modern vehicles do. What changes are the ways that we express those basics of the faith. Too many people have become frightened by the non-essentials. The result is confusion about Truth and objectivity.

So, how did I go from Steve Jobs and innovation to the Church? Quickly, and with the help of some friends, but that's not the point. As the Kingdom of God on earth, we need to be thinking carefully about how we live and what we say. "Our Scriptures, confessions, and creeds are all very public, out in the open. Anyone can easily learn what it is supposed to mean to be a Christian. Our Bible is open to public examination; so is the church’s life. That is our problem. People can read what our Scriptures say, and they can see how Christians live. The gulf between the two has created an enormous credibility gap." We need to constantly be looking for innovative and new ways of communicating the Truth in our words and in our deeds.

Apology to Family

I meant to link to this the other day. Michael issued an official apology to his family for becoming a full-time pastor. How many pastors' wives wished their husbands would do the same?

Up-to-Date or Out of Date?

churchmarketingsucks has posted a brief review of the National Outreach Convention. Their take on it? People who were out of touch proved it. People who are doing church planting are putting a whole lot more thought into outreach. Ironically, they tended to lean heavily toward the emerging church thoughts.

Open Mouth, Insert Both Legs

Pat Robertson is at it again, big surprise. If he hasn't figured out how to keep his mouth shut by now, he probably won't. I figured that I'd run into quite a few responses amonst bloggers. I was right. I think the best was this one by Abner. I would also like to remind Pat that the natural disaster most likely to strike that area of PA will be the aftermath of a hurricane that would have hit VA Beach first. Sorry Pat, but you'll most likely get it first and worst.

Friday, November 11, 2005

One Computer, Three Operating Systems

There are ways for geeks to run three operating systems on one computer, but Apple may be bringing that mainstream, and no, I'm not talking virtual computing here. ComputerWorld takes a look at a new Apple patent that may make it as easy as a keystroke to switch from Mac OSX to Windows to Linux to ... Hey, maybe this will make Sven happy!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Amusing People to Hell

Jeremy linked over to a set of quotes that Tony is gathering. Among them is this:

Jesus did not intend His church merely to provide bigger and better amusement for bigger and more upscale audiences. His vision was of a church that would inject His light and life into a dark and dying world. So we had better take the vision of Jesus seriously, or we won't just be amusing ourselves to death. We'll be amusing people to hell. -Leighton Ford, author and speaker

And this:

"This is the American Dream. Work. Buy. Display. Repeat." C. S. Lewis

And this:

"If Jesus loved people like we do, he would have lived a long, prosperous life."
--- a quote by someone I don't know

And finally, this story by Campolo:

From their conversation, Tony learned an astonishing amount about Honolulu's night life, for the
girls were discussing their night's work and their male clients. The girls were prostitutes.
Here's the rest of the story in Tony's own words:

I overheard the woman sitting beside me say, "Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm going to be
Her "friend" responded in a nasty tone, "So what do you want from me? A birthday party? What do you want? Ya want me to get you a cake and sing 'Happy Birthday'?"
"Come on!" said the woman sitting next to me. "Why do you have to be so mean? I was just telling you, that's all. Why do you have to put me down? I was just telling you it was my birthday. I don't want anything from you. I mean, why should you give me a birthday party? I've never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?"
When I heard that, I made a decision. I sat and waited until the women had left. Then I called
over the fat guy behind the counter and I asked him, "Do they come in here every night?"
"Yeah!" he answered.
"The one right next to me, does she come here every night?"
"Yeah," he said. "That's Agnes. Yeah, she comes in here every night. Why d'ya wanta know?"
"Because I heard her say that tomorrow is her birthday," I told him. "What do you say you and I do something about that? What do you think about us throwing a birthday party for her--right
here--tomorrow night?"
A cute smile slowly crossed his chubby cheeks and he answered with measured delight, "That's
"Look," I told him, "if it's okay with you, I'll get back here tomorrow morning about 2:30 and
decorate the place. I'll even get a birthday cake!"
"No way," said Harry (that was his name). "The birthday cake's my thing. I'll make the cake."
At 2:30 the next morning, I was back at the diner. I had picked up some crepe-paper decorations at the store and had made a sign out of big pieces of cardboard that read, "Happy Birthday, Agnes!" I decorated the diner from one end to the other. I had that diner looking good. The woman who did the cooking must have gotten the word out on the street, because by 3:15 every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place. It was wall-to-wall prostitutes ... and me!
At 3:30 on the dot, the door of the diner swung open and in came Agnes and her friend. I had
everybody ready (after all I was kind of the emcee of the affair), and when they came in we all
screamed, "Happy birthday!"
Never have I seen a person so flabbergasted ... so stunned ... so shaken. Her mouth fell open. Her legs seemed to buckle a bit. Her friend grabbed her arm to steady her. As she was led to sit on one of the stools along the counter, we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
As we came to the end of our singing with "Happy birthday, dear Agnes, happy birthday to you," her eyes moistened. When the birthday cake with all the candles on it was carried out, she lost it and just openly cried.
Harry gruffly mumbled, "Blow out the candles, Agnes! Come on! Blow out the candles! If you don't blow out the candles, I'm gonna hafta blow out the candles." And, after an endless few seconds, he did. Then he handed her a knife and told her, "Cut the cake, Agnes. Yo, Agnes, we all want some cake."
Agnes looked down at the cake. Then without taking her eyes off it, she slowly and softly said,
"Look, Harry, is it all right with you if I ...I mean, is it okay if I kind of ... want I want to
ask you is ... is it OK if keep the cake a little while? I mean, is it all right if we don't eat it
right away?"
Harry shrugged and answered, "Sure! It's okay. If you want to keep the cake, keep the cake. Take it home if you want to."
"Can I?" she asked. Then, looking at me, she said, "I live just down the street a couple of doors.
I want to take the cake home, OK? I'll be right back. Honest!" She got off the stool, picked up
the cake, and, carrying it like it was the Holy Grail, walked slowly toward the door.
As we all just stood there motionless, she left. When the door closed, there was a stunned silence in the place. Not knowing what else to do, I broke the silence by saying, "What do you say we pray?"
Looking back on it now, it seems more than strange for a sociologist to be leading a prayer
meeting with a bunch of prostitutes in a diner in Honolulu at 3:30 in the morning. But then it just felt like the right thing to do. I prayed for Agnes. I prayed for her salvation. I prayed that her life would be changed and that God would be good to her.

When I finished, Harry leaned over the counter and, with a trace of hostility in his voice, said,
"Hey! You never told me you were a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to?"
In one of those moments when just the right words came, I answered, "I belong to a church that
throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning."
Harry waited a moment and then almost sneered as he answered, "No, you don't. There's no church like that. If there was, I'd join it. I'd join a church like that!"
May our churches become the type of churches that would throw a birthday party for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning, and may we all become the kind of Christian who would bring the cake!

Monday, November 07, 2005

We All Know It's Happening

Now there's actually public talk about Apple taking market share from Windows. From the article:

Hardly a week goes by that I don't hear from a friend or colleague with a monumental Windows problem. I tell them I'm glad to help, on one condition: Next time they buy a computer, they agree to consider a Macintosh.

That's pretty close to what I did a year ago, and now my in-laws own a Mac. Last year at Christmas it was described as "The best Christmas gift I've ever received," and that was by my father-in-law who didn't really want it. People just can't believe how easy it is to use, once I can convince them to give it a try. The problem is that most people won't even try. When I was in DC in August I had my new iBook. Someone else had a pc laptop. They wanted to burn a cd. They asked me to look at their computer and see why it wasn't working. They didn't have a cd burner. I offered to burn the cd for them. People couldn't believe it when I pulled out an ethernet cable and hooked the two together. One of the instructors for the workshop told me I couldn't connect them because I had a Mac. (can you hear me laughing out loud yet?) The fact is, the most difficult part of networking a Mac and a Windows computer is getting the Windows computer set up to share. Note that I'm not saying that that is difficult, its just the hardest part.

So, does your computer require that you constantly renew your virus updates, run AdAware, do regular maintenance? Why do you keep using it? Get a Mac and put it all behind you!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bridge Collapse, On Video

November 7th is the 65th anniversary of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Our Folding Team has a little video thing of it in our team logo for the day, so head over to Team Mac OS X to check out the little video blip at the top of the page. It'll be up until about 9 PM central time on November 7th (when the Team changes out the day's logo for tomorrow's logo).

A Few Changes

I've gone back to allowing anonymous comments, for better or worse. Of course, I can still delete them if necessary...

I also changed my photo in my profile. It's now a picture of me and my oldest son overlooking a train bridge that runs alongside the Mississippi River in Wisconsin. The bridge is passing over the Wisconsin River, needless to say, this is the spot where the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers meet. (duh)

School Vouchers

Rudy's got a post on school vouchers. Make sure you read the comments. I like Dave's idea, which means there's probably no way it would ever become reality. I tend to think that Milwaukee had a good idea when they offered vouchers to extremely low-income families. I'm not much for offering them to everyone, just to the people who really need them. That's a small portion of my thoughts on the subject.

How To Not Be Popular has a post on mega-churches in the Minneapolis area. One pastor doesn't do marketing. He'd rather be free to say what God calls him to say. I think I'd like this guy.

"Last year Boyd preached a series of sermons challenging the militarism and triumphalism that swept this country after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. The series resulted in about 1,000 people leaving the church and a 20% drop in offerings."

Personally, the fact that its only a 20% drop is pretty good, assuming it wasn't a church of 10,000 before the series.

Variations on the Number of the Beast

This is meant to make you laugh, it is not theology.

Microsoft Live platform

Microsoft Live platform
Originally uploaded by niallkennedy.
Here's a photo of Bill Gates at the failed Live demo. Can you see now why it failed (besides the technical problems that created "confusion and delay," in the words of one Sir Topham Hatt)? Perhaps now you really understand why I believe that I really could do better than that.

France and Shelby

Pray for Shelby and her family, missionaries in France.

A Week At Microsoft

What did Microsoft accomplish this week?

Their Windows Media Center for Longhorn (aka Vista) was reviewed. Apparently it's too difficult to use.

They introduced Live, which promptly died. On the spot. In the middle of their introduction. That hurts. Throw in the thoughts of people who have actually put together Keynote addresses, and you get a review like this: "How can the most successful technology company in history, run by the richest man in the universe, stand in front of the world with such incredibly lame slides in their presentation? They look like something put together by a high school kid who just discovered clip art and shaded backgrounds." Then, just to show you how bad it was, Mike included a photo of the presentation. He's right, I could have done much better, and I'm really not good at that sort of thing.

Of course, it all ends with blog posts like mine, inspired by articles like this one. Nice photo there, Mr. Ballmer (for those who don't know, he's actually the CEO of Microsoft, Mr. Gates is not).

Saturday, November 05, 2005

New Recruit

I've finally got Sven to join Team Mac OS X. He's folding under the name "BillyGLuvsOSX" which totally cracked me up. There is actually a team that is showing up on our "Threats" list. It appears that at our current rates, CustomPC will pass us in a little over 20 years. Hopefully we'll have some more recruits using their computers for medical research on behalf of Team Mac OS X by then. Speaking of which, why aren't YOU folding? It's easy, and doesn't interfere with your computer usage (unless you're playing some highly intense graphics game). It's easy to sign up, and there is software on our Team's site for both Macs and Windows. Just make sure that you type 1971 when it asks for your team number. As far as your user name? Pick whatever you want. Questions? We've got a great forum with friendly people.

Hey, isn't Rudy a Stanford Mac user? Of all the people I can think of, he definitely ought to be supporting Team Mac OS X by running Stanford's Folding software! Rudy, sign up and get your school in on it to! It'd make a great science lesson, and maybe Dr. Vijay Pande from Stanford would drop in on the school to help out with that.


Jill was checking out the CCDA website in preparation for the conference in a couple weeks. She found out that they had reserved another group of rooms at the hotel, so she quickly called and canceled our reservations and re-reserved under the CCDA block, so we were able to get a room at the cheaper rate!!! Now we'll actually get to stay at the hotel!!

For those who read this blog and will be in Indy for the conference, we'll be arriving on Thursday morning and leaving Saturday evening. Not ideal, but we're very stoked to be able to attend this year, and now we cut the cost of our room in half!!

No Caffeine

I decided to try giving up caffeine in an attempt to sleep better at night. I've been caffeine free for two weeks. I'm posting this at 3:30 in the morning. Hmmmm....

Friday, November 04, 2005

Re-Examining Calvin

Jason Clark is seriously considering a reevaluation of Calvin. He's hoping to get something better out of what Calvin taught than the traditional stereotype of an angry God.


Congrats to Sven and Liz!

Emerging Church is Pro-Lots

The emerging church has been criticized for being critical. Scot McKnight continues his series of blog posts on the emerging church by looking at what the emerging church supports as opposed to being against.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why He's Not Emergent

Michael has posted on why he's not emergent. Don't be drinking anything when you read this, it won't be good for your nose.

Half Million Folds

Today I topped the half million point in Folding @ Home!

Politically Incorrect

Abner doesn't like our sense of entitlement. I'm amazed at how many people I see who believe that someone owes them a house (to own). The concept of taking care of your finances and past debts is appalling to them. My response? Sure, you can get a loan, just plan on being robbed by the lender in the process and ultimately losing that house to foreclosure. Why? People who have a terrible track record with their money aren't going to change just because they buy a house. That's why traditional lenders won't touch them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lead Paint Test

If you've been reading for a while then you know that we've been working at passing a lead paint inspection. In January we pulled all of our windows out, took them to the garage, sanded them down and repainted them. It didn't work. This past summer we replaced them. Of course, the City made us put in wood windows in the front of the house. The wood windows didn't pass (all the windows that I got to choose passed, of course). I cased the bases of the failing windows in aluminum. We repainted both of our porches...again. Today we passed. It has been a long time coming, and a major pain, but it will ultimately be worthwhile in the long run. What this really means is that I have to complete our final pay request to the City, get our final inspection/walk through, and wait for a check. Oh, and live here for five years. We love this house, so living here for five years won't be too painful. It's an awesome house!

Quick Links

Here are some quick links I've found interesting:

Scot McKnight on the protest aspect of emerging church
Same guy discusses the topic "What is the Emerging Church?"
Mike Evangelist writes about his time at Apple Computer. This one is specifically about the rumors surrounding Steve Jobs' personality and image.
I was going to blog this, but Mike beat me to it. The Daily Dig the other day was extremely powerful.
Finally, Latina Liz posts on changing the world

Check them out. The last two are a bit shorter, but very good and very powerful.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


We finally got the details worked out so we can attend the CCDA conference in Indy in a couple weeks! WooHoo! It took us so long that we weren't able to get the discounted room rate. When we talk in the morning, we'll have to discuss some other alternative and possibly cancel our room reservation. It's more than double what the discounted rate would have been. :-P Ah, well, we get to go, and that's a huge plus!

And yes, Jeremy, I'll be looking for you!


Saturday night a friend gave me a "preview" copy of George Barna's new book Revolution. I believe the book is now available in stores, but since it was free, I took it. Also got a cd of Barna reading an abridged version of the book as well. I've been listening to the cd on my iPod while I've been working out. I can't wait to dive into the book!!! He nails it in so many ways. Of course, he's also probably going to lose a lot of his traditional support base as well. This book definitely places him in the "emerging" crowd. I've heard it said that there are no intellectuals in Emergent (the US version, anyway). I don't really know how "intellectual" is defined. Scot McKnight, a prof at North Park, has produced a share of "intellectual" material, as well as stuff geared toward the layman. Dallas Willard is one of the most popular authors amongst Emergent, as was NT Wright. Hey, even Tony Jones, the national coordinator for Emergent is a research fellow at Princeton Seminary. From what I understand, you don't get into Princeton by playing dumb. Now Barna is producing a book that is very attractive in that crowd. Does this mean he'll now be an outcast among the traditional evangelicals? I hope not. What I've been hearing thus far needs to be said. There are an awful lot of people who love God and have put their faith in Jesus, but they are not showing up at church on Sunday morning (or Saturday night, or Friday night...). These people haven't lost their faith, in fact, many are actively living and growing in it. They just aren't doing it in the context of a church home. We have remade the Body into something loaded down with rules and expectations that people who come in from the outside just aren't ready to meet. Some stay anyway, and are slowly transformed. Others want to believe, but they just don't see those expectations as being consistent with Scripture. When its all said and done, it comes down to the issue of relationships, and since fewer than one in six Christians are in an accountable relationship with other believers, its tough to believe that someone from the outside would have much of a chance at one either.