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October 29, 2004

Did I say no more political posts?

All right, so please don’t chastise me too much for going against my word. I found this very funny video about electronic voting in Florida and thought you might like a laugh.

E-Voting in Florida

(Link via Darren Barefoot.)

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October 28, 2004

Bus Proverb #12

“God, this better be food, ‘cause I’m hungrier than hell.”
All Bus Proverbs

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October 25, 2004

Nine days...

To tell you the truth, I thought I’d write something about politics all the way up until November 2. The funny thing is, this recent interest in American politics is relatively new for me — they never really mattered too much before. But, today marks the end — despite my innately obsessive need to finish what I start — of any pre-election political entries on this Weblog. I just don’t feel like talking about it anymore. Sorry.

I’ll leave with something that interests me far more than politics ever will: art.

Currently, the Johnson County Community College Gallery of Art, in Overland Park, Kansas, is exhibiting a show called, “Contemplating War” (it is showing until November 7). The pieces were created by Melanie Baker, Mandy Durham, Dominic McGill, Jesse Small, and Do-Ho Suh, but it was set up in a way which made individual attribution difficult (so I hope the artists can forgive me). The pieces are well-crafted and emotionally moving. The exhbit is small — four pieces — and I recommend you check it out (if not in person, on the web).

Here is a photo I took of a sculpture that looks eerily reminiscent of early European chainmail worn by some Christians during the Crusades…But look closer:

'Contemplating War' #1 'Contemplating War' #2

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October 22, 2004

VocationVacations...

VocationVacations is the ultimate vacation adventure for people yearning to explore the job they’ve always dreamed about – but have never had the chance to try. Until now!
VocationVacations is the only vacation company of its kind that offers you a risk-free opportunity to test out the job of your dreams under the guidance of an expert mentor who shares your passion. Now you can dive right into the career of your choice for a couple of days while on an otherwise traditional vacation — and you won’t even have to quit your day job!
Let’s take a VocationVacation!

(Link via FastCompany Now.)

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"Weak is the New Strong" (A little weekend reading for y'all...)

There’s a new article up at Christianity Today called “The Emergent Mystique,” by our friend Andy Crouch:

Like all labels, this one conceals as much as it reveals. But the phrase “emerging church” captures several important features of a new generation of churches. They are works in progress, often startlingly improvisational in their approach to everything from worship to leadership to preaching to prayer. Like their own members, they live in the half-future tense of the young, oriented toward their promise rather than their past. But if their own focus is on what they are “emerging” toward, perhaps most surprising are the places they are emerging from.
Check it out.

(Link via Darryl Dash.)



You can read about some of my own experience with Andy Crouch here.

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October 20, 2004

WHEEL...OF...FORTUNE!

It’s been feeling entirely to serious around this Weblog lately, so I thought I’d let you all in on something fun that I did this past weekend (actually, it was Julianna, her mom and step-dad, and me).

We went to the Wheel of Fortune auditions!

There were a lot of people from various backgrounds all wanting a chance at getting on the show. The line went out the door a few times during the day. A “traveling Pat” (real name, Marty) played the host and a “traveling Vanna” (real name forgotten) played…Vanna. In any case, they were hysterical, so I didn’t miss the real dynamic duo at all — the host had the audience eating out of his hand as if he were a high-paid televangelist. “Vanna” was fun too as she wrote the letters on the word board, old-style.

We had a lot of fun, but never got called up to the stage (I’d give a description of how they called people up, but that would take away from the fun that I’m trying to create here). Next Sunday, Julianna and I might try to go to the final Kansas City auditions for another shot at the big time.

Here are a few photos from our day…

Cathy, Julianna, and the Wheel of Fortune van The Line Feelin' the Wheel Spirit!
'Pat' and 'Vanna' Spinning the Wheel 'Vanna' Writes
To tell you the truth, I think that this should be a monthly event.

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Frontline archives...

Frontline Here you’ll find a list of PBS‘ “Frontline“ shows dating back to January 17, 1983. Most of the links to recent shows include transcripts and video (including The Choice 2004, which I wrote about a few days ago.)

(Link via Wheat.)

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p2p Politics...

I got an e-mail from Lawrence Lessig this morning (and, no, I’m nothing special — a lot of people got this e-mail) about a new site he helped put together: p2p-politics.org.

p2p Politics

It sounds pretty interesting:
What’s the purpose of this site?
There is an extraordinary range of political speech that has been created for this election, some of it professionally made, most of it not. We are volunteers who think that it should be easier for people to show other people the content they think they should see before they vote.
We built this peer-to-peer site to enable people to send personalized messages with links to video clips about this election.

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October 19, 2004

"(Didn't Know I Was) UnAmerican"

Watch this Flash movie (and turn your speakers up).

The war in Iraq has cost $138 billion (and counting… ):

(Didn't Know I Was) UnAmerican

(Link via Jen Lemen.)

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FireFTP...

Mozilla Smile Mozilla has done it again…

There are so many cool extensions for Firefox (which, by now, should be everyone’s web browser of choice). A few I use are Sage (a lightweight RSS/ATOM reader), FoxyTunes (a media controller), miniT (allows you to drag-and-drop your browser tabs), and Web Developer (a toolbar custom-suited for web designers)... I use a few more too, but those are my favorites. (I still haven’t taken the time to get Google Desktop to work yet, but I will).

Now, there’s FireFTP, a full-featured, cross-platform FTP client for Firefox. Ahhh, yeah.

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"Traditional vs. the Emergent Church"

There’s a new article up at Allalon called TRADITIONAL VS. THE EMERGENT CHURCH: Struggling with Structure and Looking for New Forms (sorry, you’ll have to start a free membership to read it), by Alan Roxburgh.

Here’s an excerpt:

...I participated in a conference of self-identified “emergent” leaders. These leaders were not from main line or even classic evangelical denominations; but from a loose assortment of church plants and new church experiments across the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia. What characterized the conversations among this diverse group (it wasn’t everyone but the majority) was the common reaction to the ‘institutional’ church (I put it in italics because it is the word they used to describe existing congregations and denominational structures. Pointing out that any group that becomes more than one or two people and meets somewhat regularly is de facto institutional did not deter their deeply felt responses to existing forms of church. There’s was a visceral response coming out of hurt, confusion and a longing to discover forms of church that would engage the world of their peers in a post-modern context). These were people living into experimental forms of church life (home churches, church planting experiments, new kinds of community with no leaders at all; experiments in emergent forms of church life where nothing was planned but came forth as people met and so forth).
Roxburgh does a fairly good job of laying the ground for church history (and even has a chart reminiscent of a couple of my own), but in my opinion he began with a judgmental tone. I also think that he may have missed the history of the Emergent movement and, quite possibly, some personal connection to the people involved as well.

Continue Reading...

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October 15, 2004

Laughing at translation, Part 2...

Remember this? Well, I just gor a bunch of pictures from my brother (who is in Southeast Asia) that are just as funny. A friend of his went to a local toy store and took these photographs of some of the toys — as well as one billboard (that first pic there) that he saw.

Billboard

What a shiny, long-flowing head-covering. (I had to block out some of the verbiage in order to protect my brother’s actual location.)

Toy #1

I always knew that Pooh wasn’t as innocent as everyone thought.

Toy #2

I’m thinking of changing the subtitle of this Blog to this one!

Toy #3

Yeah, that Garfield… He can party with the best of ‘em.

Toy #4

I really wish I knew what this toy was.

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October 14, 2004

And while the stew boils, abortion stirs...

I have to admit something. Abortion has never been an issue that concerned me very much… As a typical evangelical Christian in my upbringing, I was typically pro-life. And possibly untypically, for my generation of evangelical Christians, I leaned heavily toward “with exception.” But, due to my lifestyle, I knew that abortion would probably never enter my scope of decsion-making — or, rather, co-decision-making. But, beyond my stance on the “rights” and/or “wrongs” of abortion, the one thing I have never felt very strongly about was the illegalization of abortion. I had just seen too much passion behind people who wanted it illegal — and, I’m talking about hateful passion — and not enoug love being poured out to expectant mother’s who needed love and not judgment. Also, even at a young age, I knew that causes and effects of abortion were never an outcome of lawmaking whether it supported abortion or not.

Continue Reading...

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"Success vs. Fruitfulness"

I know I quote the here a lot, but this one was just too good to pass up:

Bruderhof“Success vs. Fruitfulness”
Henri J. M. Nouwen

We have been called to be fruitful—not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness.

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October 12, 2004

Frontline: The Choice 2004

George W. Bush as a soldierFrontline‘sThe Choice 2004“ was on television tonight. It is a documentary that traces the lives of both President Bush and John Kerry. If you get a chance to watch it, I recommend it (it’s on PBS television or you can watch a streaming version at PBS.org, beginning October 15th — you can also listen to an audio version of the show here, beginning October 13th). “The Choice 2004” is powerful and revealing. Both Bush and Kerry had led very colorful lives that are much more faceted than their public images might let on (they just missed each other at Yale by two years!).

John F. Kerry as a soldierJulianna and I discussed whether or not the documentary seemed biased towards Kerry and ended up agreeing that Kerry has just done many more commendable things throughout his career as a politician. Kerry seems like an honorable man who desires unity with the world and peace for the citizens of the United States. The one thing that I foud very interesting was Kerry’s stance on war — from his time in Viet Nam until now, he seems like he hasn’t “flip-flopped” one bit. Bush’s life, though very different than Kerry’s, seems equally as resolute — he is a no-nonsense man that plays it from the gut and has no regrets. Bush has constantly strived to make his footprint in American history, whether it be in business or politics. He’s tough-willed and consistant and surrounds himself with many intelligent people.

I must say that after watching “The Choice 2004,” I think I have made the decision for whom I am going to vote. I won’t make any promises, but I feel pretty set.

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October 11, 2004

A letter from a friend...

RealLivePreacher.com I got an amazing gift in the mail on Friday afternoon. And, it’s not your typical gift (I mean, I paid for it, so how could it be a gift?). The gift I’m talking about did not come in the package it was sent in, nor on the paper that it was made out of. No, the gift came in the form of words so deep and moving that it’s like peering into your soul for the first time — a dive into waters that are dark and ominous yet so refreshing when you finally break the surface. This gift is like an intimate letter from a long lost friend. This gift is my friend Gordon‘s new book, RealLivePreacher.com.

I haven’t read through the entire book yet — not even close. For now, I want to savor it. It’s nice to have a book around that I can just pick up from time to time and read a quick story. Yet these stories are only quick because they are short… Once they travel from the page through your eyes, and then into your brain, it doesn’t stop there. Something happens that’s tender and intimate and alarming. It’s amazing that two or three pages can do that, but they can.

Thank you, Gordon, for the nice note inside. I will treasure this book always.

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October 10, 2004

Derrida is dead...

Sad news for the legions of PoMo:

PARIS (Reuters) – French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the founder of the school of deconstructionism, has died of cancer at the age of 74, France Info radio said on Saturday.
Read the rest here.

Jacques DerridaI first learned of Jacques Derrida at school. Soon after, he became one of the leading sources of inspiration for a short film that I made (you’ll have to look around for my name at that link — it’s about halfway down). I always kind of fantasized that I would be able to take a class from Derrida one day; time for that dream to end.

(News via Celebrity Deathwatch.)

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October 08, 2004

White House or Crock Pot? (The political stew continues to boil.)

White House or Crock Pot?The second presidential debate is on tonight. Because of this, I was motivated to go back and look at the ultra-scientifc Presidential Poll that I took a few days back. Surprisingly the voting stopped at a dead tie: 26 to 26. Even more surprising were the polling numbers that I heard on the news today. In a poll of Missouri voters, the score was 50% to 47% with Kerry in the lead. In an overall poll of American voters the score was 47% to 47%... I guess my little polling experiment was actually more accurate than I could have ever expected.

Last week, at Impact Group, we began a discussion of all things political. It was a great conversation, but none of us were really all that knowledgable about any one subject. Over the last week, we have all been choosing subjects to investigate and come back to share with everyone next week. It should be quite an informative night.

Anyway, my feeling is that, so far, the debates have been less than stellar. Because of this, I wanted to outline a few points that I feel are still bothering me and making it hard for me to make any solid decisions. There are a bunch of things (e.g., wellfare, jobs, health care, etc.) that I won’t even mention here — all of which I’m sure I’ll have much more to talk about after my Impact Group meets again next week.

I’ll list my limited list of points and then explain them a little better afterwards:

  1. The “war”
  2. Abortion
  3. “Killing”
  4. Nationalism & Moralism
  5. Integrity
  6. Honesty
Continue Reading...

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Billy Graham Crusade...

Billy Graham Crusade I forgot to mention that Billy Graham is in town this weekend (that’s a picture of the Kansas City skyline on his front page!). Graham is on his “Renewing the Heart of America” tour (which, I think, is to be his last tour of the States). This weekend is a long time in coming. The Crusade, at Arrowhead Stadium (and here), was supposed to occur last June, but due to a series of events, it didn’t happen.

I don’t know if we’re going to attend, even though it shouldn’t be too dificult: it’s free and there’s sure to be seating (there are a number of other festivals occurring this weekend, as well as two NASCAR races, the 25th Annual American Royal Barbecue Rodeos and Horse Shows are going on, and…it’s raining — Arrowhead Stadium is an outdoor stadium). The advertising hasn’t been that great for the Crusade either. They had begun to advertise during the Spring, but the long delay has surely tapped their budget. There are a few billboards around and some signs on the sides of busses. They also made this really creepy sort of television commercial that I don’t think will make anyone want to go.

Something tells me that not many “unsaved” go to see Billy Graham anymore. I just pray that God will use this crusade to reach a few people here in KC who don’t know him yet.

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Rainy days and busses...

Rainy Days and Busses This is a picture of my view from the bus yesterday. It’s rained pretty hard and I got more than a little wet — in fact, I think one of the cars that passed me while I was standning at a certain curb-side bus stop purposely tried to splash me by driving through a puddle. Thankfully, I was far enough away that the splash only grazed my shoes.

Yesterday’s rain kind of scared me, though. I haven’t yet braved the winter as a bus rider and the thought of trudging through the snow to get to my various bus stops seems a bit daunting. It’s hard enough to make it on time without having to worry about slipping on ice or sinking into a two-foot snow drift.

I drove to work today. It’s not raining, but it’s still wet (and rain is forecasted for later on). I’m sure I’ll be fine during the winter months (last year, I noticed plenty of people successfully riding the bus). I guess I’ll just have to wait and see… I definitely don’t plan on buying another car, so aside from the odd days when I’ll get to carpool with Julianna, I’m just going to have to tough it out.

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October 07, 2004

Morning questions...

American CrossA friend of mine is a nationalist. He’s not a Nationalist (i.e., affiliated with the political party), but someone who firmly believes in the sanctity/blessing of the United States and its (our) role in playing “world-redeemer.” Now, I wouldn’t say that he believes that The U.S. is “chosen” by any means (especially not like that of the Jewish race), but he does hold strong to the notion that the U.S. was chosen by God to “right” the “wrongs” of the world.

Without arguing about this point (as I do not desire to), I wanted to post a very interesting question that he had this morning — something that got me thinking, so I’m hoping it will get you thinking too. (And just to let you know, I am paraphrasing here).

His question:

Do you think that God has a different calling for governments (as a single entity) than he does for individual people?
Wow.

My first response was this:

“God didn’t call governments to do anything. He did call individuals to believe in Him and love each other. So, in an idealistic world, where the government was run by authentic Chritians, we shouldn’t even see a difference — the government would look exactly like that of an individual; they’d believe in God and love each other.”

This brought up another point from my friend:

But it’s plain that throughout the stories in the bible, God asks individuals not to kill (and to love one another) but He authorizes (even commands) the leaders of many peoples to go to battle with other nations — nations that do not follow their customs or believe in their God — therefore condoning killing.

Continue Reading...

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October 06, 2004

But, I've never won anything!

Agua Fria I just found out that I won the Pivot Template Contest (you can see all of the designs and the announcement of the winners here). My template is called “Agua Fria” — I don’t think that I had the best template by any means, but it is probably one of the funnest.

The grand prize for the contest was $100 which I opted to donate back to Pivot (the coolest Weblog tool around). I am glad to have won this contest just for the fact that I could further support the Open Source community.

Thanks, Pivot folks! You’re a great bunch of people.

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October 05, 2004

A side-note...

When my web browser crashes mid-Blog-post — twice — I get very frustrated. I will try again tomorrow.

Arg.

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Our day in Chicago...

(Finally!)

If you didn’t read about it already (here and here), Julianna and I went to Chicago last Friday to see the Cubs play, courtesy of our good friend, Jason. Well, I’m sure most of you know that the Cubs didn’t win — or make it to post-season. That’s too bad (especially for fans like Jason). But, I must say, it was probably the best baseball game I have ever watched. We also had a blast being touring the city with Jason as our guide.

Continue Reading...

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October 04, 2004

Online with RLP...

Real Live Preacher (aka Gordon Atkinson) did a “virtual book signing” for his new book today… It was a lot of fun!

Online with Real Live Preacher

There’s still time — until 2pm CST. (RLP says that the Tecate is just a prop, but if it were me… )

Thanks, Preach, for making yourself available to all of us groupies!

Update: RLP eats. Yep. He does:

RLP Eats

(Tortilla soup if y’all wanted to know.)

RLP actually signing a copy of Real Live Preacher:

RLP Signing

RLP says, “Goodbye”:

RLP Says Goodbye

(Another) Update: See more pictures from the event here (this is one of my favorites).

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