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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sign Of The Apocalypse

"Police hunt for robbers wearing thongs for masks"

That is the article title from an AP article out of Arvada, CO. Here is the article. I'm pretty sure this is a sign of the apocalypse.

ARVADA, Colo. - Police in a Colorado town are searching for two robbers whose masks showed plenty of fashion sense but little modesty: women's thong underwear.

"A surveillance video released this week by police in Arvada, Colo., shows two unarmed men inside the convenience store. They stole an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes in the robbery May 16.

One man wore a green thong and the other wore blue. Each thong barely covered the man's nose, mouth and chin and left the rest of his face exposed. One also wore a pink backpack in which he stuffed the stolen items.

The suspects also wore T-shirts and pants and were described as in their 20s. One had a left arm tattoo."

Intriguing Zoo Ads

Some very thought provoking zoo advertisements at this link. Pretty cool to see a zoo of all places use an intellectual approach to drawing people into their parks. Usually it's just a couple of cute baby animals with a tag line of "Other than yours, the cutest kids on planet earth" or "Have you loved your lion today?"

Here are a couple of my favs:

Elephants never abandon the elderly.

When a dolphin finds a hurt dolphin, it helps it stay afloat.

(bu to Hemmy)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Swarm Theory and Intelligence

Some very interesting stuff here on Nat Geo. These pictures here lead me down a little road of discovery about this issue of Swarm Theory or Swarm Intelligence. It's a fascinating concept on how "agents follow very simple rules, and although there is no centralized control structure dictating how individual agents should behave, local interactions between such agents lead to the emergence of complex global behavior. Natural examples of SI include bird flocking, fish schooling and animal herding."

I wonder how some of this study is being applied to the old adage of the "herd mentality". You can really see this stuff play out socially with kids in schools, a youth ministry, or a cluster of friends. Whether it has to do with feelings, thinking or behaving this swarm theory probably plays out in simple ways such as dress and talk to complex expressions like social justice and religion. Obviously there are positive and negative implications, as well. The Nat Geo article above tells how the business world is taking some of organizational pointers from God's creation in the natural world.

Pretty cool.

(bu to National Geographic)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Tribute

Thoughtful and beautiful tribute video dedicated to soilders - active and veteran - who have and still do give their very best so that we can be free. To my brother and all those who have and still do serve...Thank you! May we use the freedoms we have to bring faith, hope, peace, justice, and love to our neighbors - friend and foe alike.

I think this song by Nora Jones was used by Ken Burns in his documentary, The War.

(bu to Blane via email)

Here's the PBS tribute to WWII using the song American Anthem by Nora Jones.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Leave It To Weezer

Great video from Weezer that pays tribute to 24 viral hits on the net. Here is a link to the most of the video sensations that the vid references. Outstanding!

(bu to Digg Video)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unthinkable Days

I hear stories like this and can only think...Wow. It's the unthinkable and unimaginable: the death of a child. Your child. I know this hits home for me, my parents, and siblings with the death of my sister. I know it hits home for me as the father of a daughter.

So to hear the sad news of Steven Curtis Chapman's family and the tragic death of his youngest daughter just tears at my soul. It also breaks my heart for all of the parents, siblings, and families in the world who don't make millions and don't make the headlines as the news of their loss reverberates through their communities and world.

May all of you who have been impacted by such tragic loss continue to heal and experience the power of God's love and grace.

This song, "Cinderella", was written by Chapman and inspired by his two youngest daughters. I've heard it a couple a times on the radio and come to tears every time as I think of my Sarah. And in light of his daughter's death, it takes on a whole new light.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

All My Faves

Thought this was a pretty cool little web site that features all the "biggies" as they relate to internet search destinations as they relate to topic and subject matter. It's called All My Faves.

I think I got it via an email from my Aunt K about a year ago or so, but most recently it was sent to me by my bro, Matt. It's got all sorts of categories from Sports to Travel and Kids to Blogs. It's even got a feature that promotes a Weekly Faves with tons of very cool, not-so-heard of sites.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's Important In Almost Any Context

I was sitting in my Counseling Theories and Techniques Lab last night when my professor threw out this question, "What contributes to a good counseling session?"

After a few minutes of discussion, she highlighted four foundational elements:

1. Theories and techniques
2. External factors (client issues)
3. Placebo/Hope (expectations that this is going to work)
4. Relationship (client/counselor chemistry)

Then she asked what percentage we thought these made up in that process/session of counseling. After another bit of discussion, she said that in her experience and in light of the meta data the percentages are as follows:

1. 15%
2. 40%
3. 15%
4. 30%

I sat back and thought to myself that those are pretty much right on given any helping context with people i.e. counseling, youth ministry, pastoral ministry, education, etc. The bulk of life change, educational progress, behavioral/cognitive reconstruction lies most with the person being helped and the relationship being formed between helper/helpee.

I also found it encouraging to find that theory and technique (philosophy and methodology, doctrinal orientation and praxis, etc) are at the bottom of the short list. It's not to say those aren't important because they are. Leadership skills, teaching skills, education skills, and people skills are big, but not the biggest. I also found it interesting that Hope was at the bottom. And as I got to thinking about that, I wondered if that was largely influenced by the counselor/teacher/pastor who was leading and facilitating towards this overtly or subversively stated theme of hope in our lives.

One thing this doesn't account for in the world is the ever present reality of the divine Holy Spirit as it relates to enlightening, guiding, and convicting people about stuff they are dealing with in life. I'm not sure what some meta statistical analysis can come up with as it relates to that supernatural X factor, but here's to acknowledging it and even praising it!

Just thought I'd drop a little knowledge on you while it's hot. That's how we school counselors/former youth pastors roll.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Modern Mother's Day

A fun fact on how we got to our modern Mother's Day. Click here to check out some other thoughts about ancient mothers' days.

Then, in 1908, Mother’s Day was born again at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, thanks to the efforts of one Anna M. Jarvis, who was looking to honor her mother Anna Reeves Jarvis, who’d recently passed away after spending more than 20 years teaching Sunday school at the church. Every mom who showed up to the memorial received 2 white carnations. The event was so successful, Anna quit her job and went all over the country petitioning state governments, women groups, churches, anyone who’d get behind her cause to create a national Mother’s Day. Her hard work paid off and in 1912, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day. Two years later, good old President Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, reserving the second Sunday in May as the official Mother’s Day. And there was much rejoicing in the offices of Hallmark. (You think I’m joking, but the card company was founded in 1910, so it’s entirely possible.)

(bu to Mental Floss Blog)

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Two Wheelin' It, Baby!

Had a huge moment in the fam this past weekend. Sarah wanted to get her bike out and begin riding it. Problem was that we didn't have any training wheels (broke last year). However, she insisted that we teach her. Kelly and I thought silently to ourselves that this could take days if not a week or longer for her to learn to ride this thing. She's not particularly athletic or superior in coordination. She's your normal 5.5 year old when it comes to stuff like that.

But what you see in the video happened literally in 15 minutes or less! It is pretty cool and simply amazing. Needless to say we are by stock in Band-Aid/Johnson & Johnson right now. Our kids elbows and knees are starting to look like strip mines!

How awesome is that? That's my biggest girl! Woohoo! Now Parker is chomping at the bit to take his training wheels off.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Parker

Seems like just yesterday I was getting the call that baby #2 was on the way. And who did God give us...Parker! He turns the big 4 today. He's an amazing kid who loves people, his sister, his bike and his scooter. He truly is full of life and character. He never ceases to amaze us with his all out expression!

Happy Birthday, my beloved son!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Tough Love Of Forgiveness

Forgiveness. It's a word that has pushed, pulled, and messed with my heart, mind, and soul over the last 5 years. On one hand, it's pretty simple, black and white: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. We should and need to forgive others. Period. But as is usually the case in life, it rarely works out to be that cut and dry.

Hence, it's complex and messy. Pain. Woundedness. Pride. Sin. They all get in the way of us dealing with forgiving. As people who need to forgive and the people who need to be forgiven, we live intertwined lives that zig and zag, criss and cross, and push and pull so that waters we enter are pretty muddy. Thus we live lives in the gray doubting whether we should do the hard and simple work of forgiving others.

The reason I share this is because I really need to come to some resolution with the people and the issues that need time, prayer, and forgiveness. God has been pricking my heart and whispering in my ear for sometime to deal with this stuff. It's been a slow cook area of my life.

Therefore, when I found this blog post entitled "When You Forgive...", I found it to be beautiful, honest, and some of my very thoughts exactly. So I share it with you. Maybe you are dealing with a deep wound in your life caused by someone close whom you trusted and loved. Like my relationships, they are most likely in desperate need to experience the deep, healing, and liberating power of forgiveness. Here is the opening paragraph and another that resonated with me.

I remember when my parents got divorced, people used to tell me, "Time will heal your pain." I hated that rhetoric. Why should my dad and his new wife get away with wrecking our family by virtue of time's ability to heal, to make us forget, to help us move on? So I vowed that time would not heal, that I would not forget, that, in fact, the pain would last.


It would have been incredibly helpful, in looking back, if someone had simply mentioned that Jesus died not just for my sins (sins I couldn't see, identify or feel), but that he died for the sins against - for those sins committed against victims. It would have been even more helpful if I hadn't been admonished to forgive my parents, but had rather been told how important my pain was to God, how proud God was of me for caring that much about truth, justice and suffering... and had then shown me a way to use that pain to create a more just and compassionate world (not just a tiny, in-grown sense of personal revenge-as-justice that I had adopted).

(bu to Jesus Creed)

The Omnipresent Jesus

Call me crazy, but I think the part where he says, "Don't make any images of me," also means this stuff (let alone the ritual stuff that confuses us in relationship and worship). Click here for some more asinine stuff made with the image of Jesus.

(bu to Mish Mash)

The Hunger Site

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