Saturday, May 31, 2008

Consumer Worship

The Internet Monk has started a new blog called Jesus Shaped Spirituality. In one of his first posts,
"The Intentional Jesus Visits Your 40 Minute Worship Music Set", he tackles how the worship that dominates most Christian church's has been tainted by consumer culture:
"I don’t think anything like today’s music dominated evangelical worship service is remotely on Jesus’ menu for creating disciples. I think we’ve badly missed the boat on that one, and the kind of disciples the American church is producing shows that we’re producing passive consumers of church culture, not Kingdom agents living out their faith in the Gospel of the King."

Friday, May 30, 2008

¡Viva la Vida!

Coldplay's new album, Viva la Vida, is coming out June 17th! I just downloaded the title track off iTunes and I love what I hear.

Time to get ready for Nightstrike.

Lost Finale and Doctor Zhivago

"Four seasons in, the show demands even more of the viewer than it used to. But those who have stuck around know that rewards richly outweigh the frustration."

"It might be the most rewarding, deliciously challenging episode in the history of this mystical ABC serial" (news.yahoo.com)
That's a quote from a review of the season finale for Lost that I wholeheartedly agree with. It's unfortunate that some in the blogging community are missing out on the experience.

The anticipation for next season of The Office and Lost is already mounting. :)

I watched the 1965 version of Doctor Zhivago a couple nights ago. Truly a classic. Many scenes stand out vividly in my mind; shots of the train, interior set designs, the house in Varykino, the zoom in on Strelnikov's glasses after he is killed, the landscape... The intensity and tension created by the acting is equally astounding.

In particular, and this is the connection to Lost, a certain anarchists intellectual (Kostoyed Amoursky played by Klaus Kinski) on the cattle train through the Urals stood out. He is nearly a mirror image of Sawyer. His intensity, his demeanor, his character, and even his physical features. I could not find a screen-shot of him in Doctor Zhivago, and this is the best I could find to convey my thought.

Anyone else out there see the connection? Or am I crazy?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Karma vs. God's Punishment

Interesting thought of the day:
Actress Sharon Stone has sparked criticism in China after claiming the recent earthquake could have been the result of bad "karma" (BBC)

The hurricane (Katrina) was an act of God upon a sin-loving and rebellious nation. (Beliefnet)
Are these two really any different? Does karma have any place in Christian theology?

And here is the sad fact of the day...

The title of the top Google result for "God's Punishment" is "Katrina: God's Judgment on America".

Friday, May 23, 2008

Link-O-Rama 5/23/08

It's that time again - time to clean up all the random tabs that are clogging up my browser.
Couple more weeks left of this hectic spring term and I will be back to blogging more regularly!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Office Season 4 Finale *Spoiler*

Everything has fallen apart:
  • Jim and Pam are supposed to be engaged!
  • Michael and Jan are supposed to be OVER; and Holly is perfect for him!
  • Dwight and Angela are supposed to be together (okay, this was partly resolved in the closing segment)!
But, "Special" Kevin is one of the most hilarious pranks ever pulled!

"Goodbye, Toby" is possibly my new favorite episode.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"8 reasons why this is the dumbest generation"

Author Mark Bauerlein aims to provoke in his new book, ' The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future ' (Tarcher/Penguin). Do you agree? Take a look at eight reasons the Emory University English professor gives to ''not trust anyone under 30'' -- see which you think is the best. Disagree, or have your own spin? Have your say on this message board . Or ask Bauerlein a question directly and he will answer readers in a live chat at noon on Wednesday.
"Author Mark Bauerlein aims to provoke in his new book, "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future" (Tarcher/Penguin). Do you agree? Take a look at eight reasons the Emory University English professor gives to ''not trust anyone under 30'' -- see which you think is the best. Disagree, or have your own spin?"

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Cardinal Speaks of God in Britain

The following are some interesting quotes in regard to statements made recently by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

From BBC:
"Believers may be partly responsible for the decline in faith by losing sense of the mystery and treating God as a "fact in the world", he said in a lecture."

"If Christians really believed in the mystery of God, we would realise that proper talk about God is always difficult, always tentative."
From Guardian:
"He urged Catholics to prevent the country from becoming a "world devoid of religious faith" through a deeper engagement with God by praying, studying and performing charitable acts."

"What did we do to generate unbelief? We need to examine what we might have done to give people a misleading idea of God. Faith in Britain might be improved by a deeper grasp of the mystery of God on the part of our believers."

"He also called for a better dialogue between believers and non-believers based on mutual esteem, rather than a rejection of difference, in order to address the split between the Gospels and culture. He then questioned the grounds on which some prominent atheists attacked faith."

"The interesting question about atheism is, what is the theism being denied? Have you ever met anyone who believes what Richard Dawkins does not believe in? The God that is being rejected by such people is a God I don't believe in either."

Monday, May 05, 2008

What's Really Behind the Fall of a Society?

One of my favorite aspects to the work I do with Bridgetown Ministries is getting to followup on the relationships that develop when I spend time with people on the team.

One such relationships that developed was with the intern from Tri-Cities this last spring break. In his last update he shared a little nougat of truth worth passing long:
"I'm teaching our HS group this week, pulling from EZ 16:49. I'm talking about Sodom and Gomorra and the fact that sexual immorality and perversion wasn't their downfall as much as the fact that they were "arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned" with the world around them. Who does that sound like? Hmm...we'll see how that goes over!"
Hope you got a chance to enjoy this amazing weather. I have spent the better part of the day on park benches soaking in this sun. Right now I am in Pioneer Square. Such a beautiful day!

Friday, May 02, 2008

World Vision Forced to Cut Aid to 1.5 Million

Well after my post this morning, I know where my economic stimulus check is going:
"(CNN) -- World Vision, one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations, announced Tuesday that it cannot feed 1.5 million of the 7.5 million people it fed last year..."
I think it is worth it to make a statement, if you plan to donate your check, and pledge that you are doing so on rise08.org.

Thoughts on The Economic Stimulus Payment

Piper wrote something on his blog this last Monday that got me thinking...
"For a moment, forget the political puzzle of getting money back when the country is nine trillion dollars in debt. The more immediate question is: How will you make much of Christ with your "economic stimulus payment"? The president says it will be in the mail in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Clue: Nobody in the world will see you spend your money on yourself and conclude that Christ is your treasure. They will assume you are just like them, no matter how loudly you thank God for this boon."
Then I stumbled across David Swanson wrestling with the same subject on Out of Ur:
“I thought that spending my check from the government was supposed to be the patriotic thing to do, but I’m not sure it’s the Kingdom thing to do."...

“As I read about the government’s plan in the news, the more the idea of spending money on myself seemed to be at odds with the values of God’s kingdom,” he said. He told us he’d been reading Jesus’ words in Luke 12 and it appeared to be opposed to the message that we can spend our way to prosperity, security, and happiness.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear… Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted"

Chuck said that Kingdom investment doesn’t necessarily mean giving money to the church.

Maybe there is a neighbor who needs some help. Maybe there is a ministry that could use some financial generosity. “The important thing,” Chuck told the congregation, “is to ask God what his plans are for this money.”
To top it all off, this morning my friend Kyle sent me an interesting link: www.rise08.org
"The current economic downturn in the United States affects every American, but those hardest hit are those with no safety net: the 37 million Americans living below the poverty line, and the 47 million Americans without adequate health insurance. This spring, however, those of us who have been blessed with health and financial stability have an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in our communities — and across our country and the world — who are faced with daily challenges that we cannot imagine…"
Their goal is to rally Americans to donate $100 million to organizations serving the poor in America and around the world.

Make your pledge HERE!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

RSS Awareness Day

The main benefit of RSS is that it enables people to stay connected with their favorite websites without having to visit them. Once you subscribe to a particular RSS feed, you will automatically receive updates from the website that publishes the feed, whenever they release new content.

Here's a really straightforward explanation of how it works:



Personally, I am a fan of Google Reader. I has helped me be so much more productive. It is an ugly thought to imagine the internet without it.

It will revolutionize the way you surf the internet!

To learn more about RSS and RSS Awareness Day check out www.rssday.org.