Sunday, July 29, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
To be honest, their service is much different than ours but I enjoyed it. The service had much more liturgy than we have and the atmosphere was organic and artsy. They have the room set up in a circle with lots of candles and mismatched chairs. Granted not everything worked in terms of flow and they went overboard in trying to be different but it was a good service.
Having said that, I have a suspicion that I was one of only a few in my church who appreciated their style. Most people I spoke with were fairly critical of the service. Even though we are a new church our self, many people in our church are more traditional and resistant to change. I can appreciate that. It's nice to be in on the ground floor of a new church and have ownership. Joining with Black Soil would certainly shake that up.
Regardless of whether we merge, one byproduct of the process has been a broader discussion of our own church mission and vision. We are an eclectic bunch drawing from a broad range of experiences. Frankly, this diversity is what I find most appealing. But I am not sure that we have ever really worked through these differences or if we have just sort of glossed them over for the sake of unity. This discussion provides a framework to address those issues.
One thing that Noah, our pastor, shared last night was that unity does not mean complete agreement on every issue but submission of our own agenda and opinions for the sake a unified mission. This perspective takes a lot of humility and sacrifice but I believe it is a true reflection of what we should look like as the church universal. This doesn't mean we should accept all teachings and opinions as equal or valid but there has to be room to disagree over the non essentials that often divide the church.
In the end, it is unclear where this journey will take us. But like most trips, the best experience is getting there.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I actually think the picture turned out quite well. And of course, of the 10 responses, mine is the most well thought out.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Here's an idea: Instead of teaching kids about sex how about teaching them to read and write and leave it up to parents to teach their kids about sex. No wonder our public school's are failing and that teenage sex is increasing rapidly. Obama's explanation for his position is that since kids are having sex they need to learn at an earlier age to avoid getting pregnant and catching diseases. But if you look at the facts, teenagers engaged in far less sex back when schools were more interested in teaching and parents were the primary source of sex education. And kindergartners aren't engaging in any sex that I am aware of.
Obama's comments once again highlight how out of touch he is with mainstream traditional values. Hopefully, people will begin to see through his centrist facade and view him as the radical liberal that he really is.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The indictment said that in April 2007, Peace, Phillips and Vick "executed
approximately eight dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions by
various methods, including hanging, drowning and/or slamming at least one dog's
body to the ground." Vick also is alleged to have consulted with Peace before
Peace killed a losing dog by electrocution in 2003.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Let's face it, it's not the lack of star power or marketing that is holding soccer back in America; it is the game itself. It's slow, methodical and boring. Most games end with only 1 or 2 goals scored and that is simply not enough to keep the American public's interest. Instead of trying to sell the game via Beckham, the people running MLS should try tweaking the game to make it more American friendly. I can hear all the soccer purists complaining as I write this but how many actual soccer fans are there? Maybe five hundred nationwide.
Here is what I would do to fix the game. Get rid of the offsides so as to allow players to get more one on one chances to score. This is such a common sense change and I don't know why they refuse to do it other than tradition. Second, I would widen the field to give more room to maneuver. Third, I would change the substitution rules to allow players to get a break during the game and then come back fresh. There is nothing worse than watching tired soccer players try to finish a game. Fourth, I would get rid of the yellow/red card system and instead go to a hockey type power play system.
If they did all these things, I guarantee scoring would increase and so would American interest. Until then, it will be the same old, same old, with Beckham or without him.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
My nephews Jacob and David have been thrown out of the house by my brother. And while I sometimes give them the benefit of the doubt, this time he was totally justified. They are both heavily involved with drugs and have become completely disrespectful of all authority and particular of their Dad. This scenario has been building for some time and it's been hard to watch and know that there was nothing I could do stop it.
Being an Uncle is one of the most rewarding things in my life. Some of my best memories are with Jacob and David. I love my nephews deeply but, because of their behavior, It is increasingly difficult to be around them. They used to be sweet, innocent boys but that has all been stripped away by drugs and uncontrollable anger. I have tried talking to each of them separately hoping to instill some perspective on the decisions they are making and also to give them a positive role model. But lately, it just falls on deaf ears and they blame everybody else but themselves.
I know that their lives have not been the easiest. Their parents got divorced and then both got remarried. Their Dad can be angry and distant at times. I get that, but it's still no excuse for their behavior. What I don't think they realize is that the bad choices they make don't only impact themselves but the rest of the people who love them. My Mom cries herself to sleep because she feels like she has lost them. My brother is an emotional wreck because of what's happening. My relationship with them has soured over the past year because of their choices. And while they might not care about that, I certainly do.
This should have been a fun year. Jacob is a senior and I should be taking him on college tours together dreaming about his future. David is just about to get his drivers license and I want to see him drive away by himself for the first time as he experiences some independence. But instead, they are wasting away in a culture of drugs and rebellion.
The ironic part is that while they want to be treated like adults they don't want to take any responsibility for their actions. They don't realize that adulthood is 90 percent responsibility and only 10 percent freedom. Instead, they think being kicked out of the house is going to give them freedom to do whatever they want. I hope this experience will be a wake up call but I don't know that they have really hit rock bottom yet. It's incredibly frustrating and sad to watch their fall, but in the end it is necessary so they can finally seek out the help they need.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
This is a new strategy in addressing the war. Over the past few years the media has relentlessly reported that we are losing the war and that we should get out before it gets any worse. This message has resonated with the American public making this war very unpopular. So why change the course and now declare victory as the reason to get out of Iraq? It appears that this effort is a way to end the war while selling the notion that we are still a superpower that cannot be defeated. This idea appeals to the public because we like to consider ourselves invincible and better than anybody else, especially a bunch of third world terrorists.
Tester's message of claiming victory in defeat reminds me of the book 1984. I just started reading it a couple weeks ago and his proposal fits right into the doublespeak methods utilized in the book. The government uses phrases like "war is peace,” “freedom is slavery” and "ignorance is strength” to confuse and enslave the public. I am not suggesting that this is Tester's goal but I do believe he inentionally manipulating language by changing the definition of success in Iraq to fit his agenda. Most rational people can observe the war in Iraq and determine that we are far from our goals in the region. But these same people will jump at the chance to leave and claim victory under Tester's scenario simply because they want to believe that truth.
The public's reaction to his proposal will be interesting to watch, especially contrasted to the long held notion that we are losing the war. Either way it looks more and more likely that we will be leaving Iraq before the year's end. Victory or not.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
It's telling that my natural answer to that question is to ignore all the things I have done and simply shrug my shoulders as if to say my life is boring. Maybe I am just giving him the answer that I expect he wants to hear. Or I just didn't want to spend 20 minutes explaining to him all my activities and that's fine. But sometimes I need to remind myself that I shouldn't shortchange all the good things in my life.