Monday, June 29, 2009
"Nine out of ten of you struggle with impure thoughts...Especially after the story I told about my wife"
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Kind of makes you want to get on a flight today, doesn't it?
Monday, June 15, 2009
I've been critical of Twitter for what seems to me incorrigible frivolity (and narcissism). Who would have thought the Sistine Chapel would be similarly categorized by its painter?
(Credited to Michelangelo...source unknown.)
Friday, June 12, 2009
That may go a long ways toward explaining why I'm still single.
On campus, one of the taunts - or badges of honor, depending on your perspective - was "Navigator Neverdater." Unlike Crusade, we weren't known as a marriage factory. In fact, it was rather the opposite. Early in my college career, someone said that you only have 4 or so years in college, and it's an unparalleled time for growth in your Christian walk, so why not focus on that and save the dating/marriage stuff for later? Sounded good to me, so I made a commitment not to date until after college. Only when I started getting interested in someone during my missionary years did I remember that my commitment had expired. So we dated a couple times, but she married my friend, instead. They're now Navigator staff.
All of the above is simply to introduce this delightful video from a Navigator college student. It's clear that this part of the DNA of the Navs is still recognizable. Of course, the Navs are defined by something much different than collegiate dating practices, namely such things as Scripture Memory, Bible study, discipleship, and spiritual reproduction. And also of course, most people involved with the Navs do get married. Nevertheless, if you were involved with the Navs in college, you'll love this video, and if you weren't, you'll probably find it rather funny, too:
Thursday, June 11, 2009
- You live and let live.
- Tolerance reigns.
- Neither party demands anything of the other and neither changes anything to accommodate the other (neither one "compromises").
It's hard to summarize accurately what he was saying, because to me it seemed inconsistent and a bit incoherent, but it was clear that he didn't agree with my claim that the best relationship is one based on active love, commitment, deference, service, and sacrifice. His view seemed to be that each should do whatever he/she wants, with the goal of maximizing self-pleasure and minimizing self-pain. I commented that if two partners with that view ever actually agreed on something, it wouldn't be a relationship, but a coincidence.
- "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3.16)
- "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15.13)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
If you are like me then you have at least one or two social networking accounts.... I may have taken it to extremes but I eventually went and got a FriendFeed account which tied most of them together. By doing this when I update my Friend Feed status I update my Facebook and Twitter accounts. but here is where it gets tricky. If I update my Flickr, youtube, my Google Talk status, one of the many blogs, or my 73s.org accounts, Friendfeed will pull from them and publish the update out to the others. As these updates get pushed to the Twitter account my Live Spaces account will post that update as well. Another cool thing is if I share an item from Google Reader, it will also push that and any comments to Friend Feed, and then back out from there. Duplicate items can happen, and I am still working on that, but all in all it is easier to really only manage one or two instead of the 12 I once had to cut and paste too.
Now If I could get the Zune Social updates to replicate as well, I would not have to update anything separately.
Do I really need to let the whole world what I am having for dinner? If you have to ask then you just don't understand. It is cool to be able to let you friends and family know what is going on, and to share articles that have caught my eye. Do I have to? no not really, but it is cool, and I am still having fun with it. When it becomes a chore then I may have stop. Until then, keep connected, and share what tips you have for linking your social networking in the comments.
Monday, June 8, 2009
[An] internal intelligence report on La Familia from the Mexican justice department surfaced in Milenio, bringing the news that the faith-based cartel grounds its indoctrination program on the writings of macho Christian author and veteran Focus On The Family senior fellow John Eldredge, who now heads Ransomed Hearts Ministries in Colorado Springs.
There are four separate references to Eldredge in the Mexican intelligence memo on La Familia. The cartel has conducted a three-year recruitment and PR campaign across Michoacan featuring thousands of billboards and banderas carrying their evangelical message and warnings. La Familia is known for tagging its executions and other mayhem as “la divina justica”–divine justice.
The report says La Familia leader, Nazario Gonzalez Moreno aka El Loco o More Chayo (”The Craziest”) has made Eldredge’s books required reading for La Familia and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education members to circulate the Colorado-based evangelical’s writings throughout the Michoacan countryside.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
A green revolution
May 28th 2009 From The Economist print edition
Saving the world will not be cheap
The best way to curb global warming would be a carbon tax. The money raised could be divided up among citizens or used to repay the national debt. A tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) would give everyone an incentive to emit less of it. It would be simple, direct and transparent. For these reasons, it will never happen in America.
Frank talk about energy policy is rare. Politicians hate to admit that anything they plan to do will cause pain to any voter. During the election campaign, both Barack Obama and John McCain proposed a cap-and-trade system for curbing CO2 emissions, not because it would work better than a carbon tax but because it did not have the word “tax” in its name. Both candidates also gave the impression that their green policies would yield huge benefits while imposing no costs. A shift to alternative energy, they agreed, would not only check global warming but also create millions of green jobs and help break America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Neither dwelt on the fact that cap-and-trade will raise energy prices, that subsidies for renewable energy will have to be paid for, or that both policies will destroy jobs as well as creating them, while probably cutting growth. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a 15% cut in CO2 emissions will cost the average American household $1,600 a year. If politicians pretend they can save the planet at no cost, they risk a backlash when people realise they were fibbing.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The great statesmen of the past saw themselves as heroes who took on the burden of their societies' painful journey from the familiar to the as yet unknown. The modern politician is less interested in being a hero than a superstar. Heroes walk alone; stars derive their status from approbation. Heroes are defined by inner values; stars by consensus. When a candidate's views are forged in focus groups and ratified by television anchorpersons, insecurity and superficiality become congenital.
Henry Kissinger, Years of Renewal, 2000
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
"I Did Not Come to Call the Righteous"
We ninety-nine obedient sheep;
we workers hired at dawn’s first peep;
we faithful sons who strive to please,
we virgins who take pains to keep
our lamps lit, even in our sleep;
we law-abiding Pharisees;
we wince at gospels such as these.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Look Who's Irrational Now
By MOLLIE ZIEGLER HEMINGWAY
...The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.
"What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.
The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?
The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.
Even among Christians, there were disparities. While 36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal, only 14% of those belonging to the Assemblies of God, Sarah Palin's former denomination, did. In fact, the more traditional and evangelical the respondent, the less likely he was to believe in, for instance, the possibility of communicating with people who are dead.
This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener," skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.
Surprisingly, while increased church attendance and membership in a conservative denomination has a powerful negative effect on paranormal beliefs, higher education doesn't....
On Oct. 3 , Mr. Maher debuts "Religulous," his documentary that attacks religious belief. He talks to Hasidic scholars, Jews for Jesus, Muslims, polygamists, Satanists, creationists, and even Rael -- prophet of the Raelians -- before telling viewers: "The plain fact is religion must die for man to live."
But it turns out that the late-night comic is no icon of rationality himself. In fact, he is a fervent advocate of pseudoscience. The night before his performance on Conan O'Brien, Mr. Maher told David Letterman -- a quintuple bypass survivor -- to stop taking the pills that his doctor had prescribed for him. He proudly stated that he didn't accept Western medicine. On his HBO show in 2005, Mr. Maher said: "I don't believe in vaccination. . . . Another theory that I think is flawed, that we go by the Louis Pasteur [germ] theory." He has told CNN's Larry King that he won't take aspirin because he believes it is lethal and that he doesn't even believe the Salk vaccine eradicated polio.
Anti-religionists such as Mr. Maher bring to mind the assertion of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown character that all atheists, secularists, humanists and rationalists are susceptible to superstition: "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can't see things as they are."