July 2004 Archives

See Y'All Tuesday (August 3rd)

wild at heart
I'll be away the next four days co-leading a group of men from Mars Hill Bible Church to Canada for a Wild at Heart retreat. We're taking these guys up in the wilderness so they can get their hearts back and be the men of God they were destined to be.

I'm leading this with Matt and Mark and it's going to be an intense weekend of brokeness and watching men be set free and unleashed for the return.

Matt, Mark, and I are going to pick a fight and battle for these guy's heart. Pray for us. I'll be back Tuesday with a surprise announcement as well.

Wind Power Blows

Environmentalists have been lying to people about the benefits of wind power like the Soviets lied to people about the benefits of communism. At one point, The Sierra Club called wind power "Cuisinarts of the Air" because they dice birds and bats like nobody's business. A nerd at this think tank wrote a really cool piece about it. . .(oh wait that's ME!!). Below is the intro and click here for the full article:

Environmentalists deserve credit for helping us all think seriously about our stewardship of nature. From Genesis onward, Scripture is laden with the message that creation is good, that its purpose is to manifest God’s glory, and that human beings are its stewards. Our role in creation makes it all the more important that participants in debates about how properly to steward the earth’s resources have a commitment to truth. Capitalizing on current confusion over fossil fuel reserves, proponents of wind power are working hard to deceive concerned citizens with sensational propaganda.

Groups like the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Michigan Consumer Federation promote wind power as an energy alternative through misleading claims. “Unlike other fuels, the cost of wind never changes. It’s free. And it has the added advantage of producing no pollution,” says the Michigan Federation.

Wind power produces energy, says the AWEA, “without consuming any natural resources or emitting any pollution or greenhouse gases.” Not only is wind power less expensive than other forms of energy production, we’re told; it also increases the “security of the U.S. electricity supply.”

So overwhelming are the advantages of wind power in the eyes of some proponents, they want to use the power of government to force utilities and businesses to convert to wind.

Two recent studies by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the David Hume Institute blow some much needed fresh air across wind power’s musty arguments. These studies highlight a few ways in which the wind environmentalists are deceiving consumers.

First, wind power is not free. There is overwhelming international agreement that wind power will force consumers to pay twice as much as the most economical fossil-fuel option. Wind power is weighed down by collateral costs.

No 'Mistakes' in the Kobe Case

The alleged victim of Kobe's alleged raped had her full name in print on-line by the Colorado court along with other information. It is said to be a mistake. DUDE, COME ON, do we really think a court clerk would make an "oopsy" like this by accident with such a high profile case?

By the way, folks, this is the THIRD incidence of leaked information that hurts the girl (NOT Kobe).

I don't believe it. . .the victims identity is out so here come the vultures. Here's the story:

DENVER, July 28 - More confidential material from the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case, including the last name of the woman who has accused Mr. Bryant of rape, was accidentally released to the public by the court on Wednesday through the Colorado State Judicial Branch Web site.

It is unclear how long the document, which was clearly marked "filed under seal," was posted. The court's Web site for public information closed down just before 3 p.m. Mountain time, a law professor in Washington, D.C., who noticed the posting said. The site was back just before 5 p.m. with the document apparently removed.

July 29, 1968 Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae which reaffirmed the Church’s opposition to abortion, and to all contraception except the rhythm method.

Much later, Protestants actually took a stand. Protestants owe a debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church for turning abortion into an international cause for Christians to fight against.

Does anyone remember when abortion became such a huge issue among evangelicals? I'm inclined to say only AFTER Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Is that correct?

Hitler for President

July 29, 1929 Adolf Hitler became the president of the Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis).

And the world was never the same from that point on. . .

poor white guy
Answer: no one, especially the suburban evangelical types. Who's trying to get the vote of poor whites, neither democrats nor republicans. You won't see any poor whites paraded across the platforms at either convention.

If I was poor and white I would probably hate white, sub-urban middle-class evangelicals because it seems that only poor people of color get the lion’s share of mercy ministries and support.

Even though, as we all know, most of those below the poverty line in America are white, white churches insist on only serving the needs of poor blacks and Hispanics. It's like a fetish some might say. Why is this? Why can’t poor whites get some help? Since drug use rates are higher in rural America than our urban centers you would think more effort would be directed there, for example.

Why do middle class whites prefer to reach minorities in inner cities rather than the valleys of white poverty in rural America, trailer parks, etc. This is such a pervasive problem that I’m almost positive that NO ONE reading this blog will find a single PCA, OPC, EPC, Lutheran—Missouri Synod, Southern Baptist, Evangelical Free, Emergent Church, and so on that has a targeted ministry to poor whites--in the same way ministries target to poor blacks and Hispanics. I want to be proven wrong here.

Ok, one exception: when I was at Clemson the RUF group would do a missions trip to poor whites over school breaks regularly. Unfortunately, this is extremely uncommon.

When don’t these big wealthy black churches do any mercy ministries to poor whites that reside near them?

When I lived in St. Louis I was amazed at the number of PCA churches within 5 miles of two significant trailer parks but would drive PAST them to find some OTHER people in need of resources (who were darker, of course).

Even worse, and this is a sad story, while I was working at church once that targeted ministries to "poor" people of all "races" I discovered that if you were poor and white you weren’t nearly as important. We did a lot of outreach to high school students in the town where I was and I found a kid from an incredibly broken home who confessed to me that all the wanted for his high school graduation was to have people in the audience cheering for him because NO ONE from his family would be there.

With a severely down cast face, and in a soft voice, this high school senior told me horrible stories about his home life. With great excitement, because of an opportunity for the church to do something EASY (cheer for a kid at graduation), I went to the leaders with the story. There was great excitement about the possibilities until I mentioned that this poor kid from a broken home in need of relational support was WHITE.

You would have thought I told these folks that he was currently living in Russia. There was immediate disinterest. Nothing was done. I was in shock and then it hit me. Evangelical churches committed to poverty discriminate usually on the basis of race often. These churches avoid poor whites and middle class blacks and Hispanics. If you don't fit the "poor" stereotype a church might not help you.

Great, More Regulation

WASHINGTON, July 27 - Deregulation is the mantra of the main players in Internet-based phone service, a new technology that could increase competition and further drive down phone prices.

But behind the scenes, a fierce battle is emerging among rival companies and between federal and state regulators over the shape of new government regulations and control of the service, which has the potential to be the most significant development in telecommunications since the breakup of the AT&T monopoly 20 years ago.

Land-line phone utilities, reports the New York Times, are seeking more regulation to maintain control over the market by using government. It's all about control. . .

Hours and hours of scripted blah, blah, blah. . .does any one really care? For some reason the whole process just seems kind'a anti-climatic. But don't get too excited the Republican Convention won't be any different.

They're both hours of blah, blah, blah. . .

It's good to be back!!

With the blog troubles I wondered if the rapture had happened and I just missed out.

teens on weed

That's what the kid said to me yesterday. As we (about 8 guys) were waiting for electricity to return to the gym last night, we had violent thunderstorms, I found myself talking to Mitch, an avid 16-year-old basketball player and a faithful, practicing Catholic. Mitch lamented about a GOOD friend of his at his Catholic school who smokes weed daily and often in front of his Mom.

His Mom does nothing. She's basically given up. He sees his dad every other weekend. Gary (not the kid's real name) started smoking weed in the eighth grade. He'll be a junior next year. His middle-class, baby boomer parents are divorced. The kid's a serious pothead, borderline alcoholic, and unfortunately suffering academically.

Weed is easier for kids to get than alcohol. And cheaper too!!

Too Many New Jobs for the Poor

An editiorial in the New York Times today complains that too many new jobs are being created for folks at the lower income level. It seems that more jobs need to be created for the elite.

The state of the American labor market remains the defining issue of the current economic debate. Through February, the United States was mired in the depths of the worst jobless recovery of the post-World War II era. Now, there are signs the magic may be back. More than a million jobs have been added to total nonfarm payrolls over the past four months, the sharpest increase since early 2000.

These gains certainly compare favorably with the net loss of 594,000 jobs in the first 27 months of this recovery. But there's little cause for celebration: the increases barely make a dent in the weakest hiring cycle in modern history. From the trough of the last recession in November 2001 through last month, private sector payrolls have risen a paltry 0.2 percent. This stands in contrast to the nearly 7.5 percent increase recorded, on average, over the comparable 31-month interval of the six preceding recoveries.

Nor is there much reason to celebrate the type of jobs that have been created over the past four months. In general, they have been at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

Stephen Roach prefers an economic environment where those who need new jobs the most, that is those with more difficult industry transitions, should be presented with less opportunities for new employment.

Many like Roach would prefer expanding welfare rather than expanding jobs for those in the low skill labor market.

And Bacon for Dessert

Last night I went to the grocery store on my home from tennis (that was cancelled due to weather) and I noticed that bacon was on sale.

Now, bacon ranks only second to french fries as one the greatest foods on the planet. Two packages for $6 bucks. I had to.

So with my salmon, salad, and a cabernet, from what I now know is a horrible winery in Ohio near Lake Erie, I had 5 slices of bacon for dessert. YUMMY!!

Mom kills her twin babies

An Atlanta woman (actually living in East Point which is my home town) allegedly murdered her twins earlier this month.

The twins were found in the toilet and it was thought that the twins were still-born but an autopsy reveals that they were alive at birth. Here's the story:

Premature twins found dead in East Point inside a toilet were born alive, according to the Fulton County medical examiner's office.

Authorities spent the past two weeks trying to determine whether the girls were stillborn. "They are homicides," said Associate Medical Examiner Michele Stauffenberg, who led the investigation.

East Point police have charged the twins' mother, 25-year-old Alainer Warren, with two counts of murder. Police say Warren gave birth after waking up to use the toilet in the early hours of June 29, but closed the lid and left the babies inside while trying to wake up others in the house.

Now, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard's office will decide whether to seek an indictment against Warren, who is from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The district attorney's office will review the autopsy report and decide on the charges, said Lyn Vaughn, spokeswoman for the office.

Warren could not be reached for comment.

She spent 12 days in the Fulton County Jail but was released July 11 on a signature bond. She initially said she did not know she was pregnant. Later, however, she told police she had suspected she was and had talked with her boyfriend about a possible abortion. She was 27 weeks pregnant when she gave birth.

Warren has a 6-year-old daughter living in upstate New York. She gave up another child for adoption in recent years, said Detective Robert Gray of the East Point Police Department.

Honestly folks this stuff really causes me to ask some deep questions about evil, justice, providence, and sovereignty.

KFC Chicken Abuse Scandal

Apparently, a supplier of chickens to KFC is being exposed for abusing chickens before they are slaughtered. Animal rights groups are outraged at the release of a video tape.

An animal rights group involved in a long legal dispute with Kentucky Fried Chicken about the treatment of the 700 million chickens it buys each year is to release a videotape today showing slaughterhouse workers for one supplier jumping up and down on live chickens, drop-kicking them like footballs and slamming them into walls, apparently for fun.

After officials of the KFC Corporation saw the videotape yesterday, they said they would seek dismissal of the workers, inspect the slaughterhouse more often and end their relationship if the cruelty was repeated. The company that owns the slaughterhouse, the Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, the country's second-largest poultry processor, said it was "appalled" by the tape.

Animal rights groups have long complained that sheer malicious behavior - on top of the expected confinement and bloodletting - goes on in slaughter plants, but this is the first time such graphic proof has been produced. The tape was taken surreptitiously by an investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who worked from October 2003 to May 2004 at a Pilgrim's Pride plant in Moorefield, W.Va., that won KFC's "Supplier of the Year" award in 1997.

Firstly, KFC is not responsible for the behavior of a single rouge employee at a supplier (not own or operated by KFC). Secondly, this would only be overtly scandalous if it were company policy (and practice) to treat chickens this way. As such, what we have here are the actions of a few sick individuals who acted irresponsibly but neither Pilgrim's Pride nor KFC should be slandered. The individuals should be disciplined for sure.

Remembering Bruce Lee


Jul 20, 1973, Bruce Lee (32), martial arts expert and film actor, died 3 weeks before the opening of his new film "Enter the Dragon." In 2000 Davis Miller authored "The Tao of Bruce Lee, A Martial Arts Memoir."

This was clearly the height of martial arts filming and the industry never recovered.

Jul 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his legendary "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin made the first successful landing of a manned vehicle on the moon when they touched down in Apollo 11. Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the landing module Eagle to become the first man ever to walk on the moon. The two astronauts explored the moon's surface for 2 1/2 hours, with amazed TV audiences looking on. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments and his contributions to the space program. Edwin Aldrin became the second man to step foot on the moon shortly after Neil Armstrong hopped off the lunar lander Eagle at 10:56 p.m. Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon for about two hours during their 22-hour lunar stay. Thomas Kelly (d.2002 at 72) was the engineer who had overseen the building of the lunar module.

Where were you? I was still a couple of years from existing!

If you're married stop what you're doing right now and say a Prayer of Thanksgiving for your marital status. The New York Times today reports that CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL single Christians are so lost about dating/relationships/marriage that we rely more on secular psychology than theology to address this issue. Why does the New York Times care about single Christians? Hmm. . .

Michelle McKinney Hammond has written 20 books, 5 of them published in the past 18 months, and nearly all are devoted to helping Christian women navigate the territories of love, dating and self-empowerment.

Close to one million copies of her books have been sold, and Ms. Hammond's talks at churches and Christian conferences draw thousands of women.

In one of her most popular titles, "Sassy, Single and Satisfied," which has sold 150,000 copies since its release last year, Ms. Hammond, who is 46 and single, asks, "Why do we feel that if we are not married, we are not free to enjoy life to the fullest?"

Ms. Hammond is perhaps the most visible face of a growing evangelical advice industry for single men and women that borrows more from the vernacular of psychotherapy than theology, and advances the discussion of romantic attachments beyond a focus on chastity.

Traditionally, Christian-themed books about dating have been intended for teenagers and college students. In recent years, recognizing that Americans of all faiths are marrying later in life, Christian presses have published books on the more-nuanced issues that adults face as they fall in and out of love.

According to the Evangelical Publishing Association, the number of Christian-themed books on single living sold in the United States over the past year has risen by 35 percent, and the number of books specifically on dating 21 percent. Two years ago, the online bookstore Christianbook.com offered 59 titles directed at singles; it now sells more than 300.

Apparently Christian singles suffer in ways that unbelievers do not:

Of the approximately 15 million evangelical Christians in America, about 3.5 million are single adults, 500,000 to 1 million of them never married, according to the Barna Group, a research group that analyzes Christian trends. But demographics alone are not responsible for literature devoted to these single men and women.

Beyond the proscription on sex outside marriage, evangelicals grapple with relationship issues many other young Americans do not, spiritual leaders and authors say. For example, many single people raised in conservative Christian denominations believe it is not necessary to actively pursue a partner.

Ok, this must be a lie: "there are far fewer single, churchgoing Christian men then there are women. "The imbalance is real and has historical precedent," said Lauren Winner, an adjunct professor of religion at the University of Virginia.Ms. Courtney said some of the churches she has attended have had a ratio of four single women to every single man."

What? Where is this church? Hey, if this a PCA church in a major city out there with these stats e-mail a pastoral call today: abradley@acton.org!!

I'm beginning to wonder if we're not living in a 1 Corinthians 7 context!!

A Tale of Two Families

FAMILY A (Do you know your daughter?): Saturday night while eating at Famous Dave's with Drew and Josh I looked over to the booth next to us and noticed what I would consider sad family dynamics. I noticed what looked to be baby-boomer parents sitting down having dinner with their daughter--which is normal.

Here's the sad part--the teenage daughter was reading a book while the parents talked. I couldn't believe it. This was OUT in a restaurant. Imagine what it must be like at home?

FAMILY B (Nature's Best): I was at McDonald's on the Sabbath continuing to re-adjust to American food (and satisfy my French fry cravings). Glancing away momentarily from the Grand Rapids Press I look out through the drive-thru window and notice a teenager laughing hysterically. I start to wonder what this punk kid and his friends are laughing at. I begin to envy their freedom to only be stressed about what was going to happen within the next 15 minutes.

So, in my investigation of the source of this male cackling, I lean over to the right just a little to pierce my eyes even further through the green Ford Taurus driver side window only to find that the source of the this 16 or 17 year-old young man's joy was, yep, you guessed it folks, his father!! It wasn't a car full of kids. It was a father and son.

Then, I thought, "now this is a beautiful thing." This kid is having a great day laughing hysterically in the drive-thru at McDonald's with his Dad. For this father and son this laughing seemed natural and a part of their relationship. It was truly beautiful and awesome to witness.

Here's a proverb: Peace reigns in a house when a teenage son’s source of joy is his father.

I was at IHOP Friday morning and almost choked on my pancakes when I overheard a woman at another table order decaf coffee. I thought, "what's the point of that, lady? It's 7 in the morning, what's the point of drinking coffee without the caffeine, EVER."

Caffeine, America, is part of the coffee drinking experience. It's like going to a church that does not believe the Bible. It's like stepping in the shower only to use NO WATER? Water is part of the bathing experience. I guess these types of people just like smelling the soap.

In the spirit of making things illegal through constitutional amendments, I would totally vote for the Defensive Natural Ingredient Act. The DNI act would make it unconstitutional to remove caffeine, sugar, and alcohol from their natural products. America this just violates the natural order of things.

If you can't handle caffeine, sugar, alcohol etc. then don't drink coffee, eat ice cream, or drink beer at all. If you just want to drink hot flavored brown water then go outside put some dirt in a cup and pop it in the microwave on your way to work or after dinner.

Sugar-free ice cream? Non-alcoholic beer? Decaf blah, blah, blah. . .it's just scandalous and a shame. These are the people who buy a car only to never use gas. They would support a democracy but never want elections. They would swim in a "water-free" pool. They go to resturants not to eat but to smell the food. It's sick.

Put the DNI on the ballot in the fall and safe our country from being "de-souled."

Oh yeah, I don't forget the greatest enemy of the all the demon called "FAT FREE."

I had an incredible conversation last night with a new friend I made at church a few weeks ago. After talking for an hour or so I, assuming his wife wasn't around, asked him about her whereabouts. To my amazement, he told me she was there, at home, the whole time.

I thought, "WHAT?? You mean you weren't just talking to me because your wife was away?" In a strange way, it seemed precedent setting. Typically, at least with guys it seems, you'll hear from your married friends and have good conversation during (a) a crisis or (b) when the wife is out of town (or at least not a home for several hours).

The conversation was real, authentic, to the point, honest, open, comfortable, and uninhibited--all things that Xers value in relationships (even among men).

But THEN, he invited me to hang out. Not just with him but his wife as well. Now I'm thinking, "HOLD ON you're breaking the young couple protocol. You're actually inviting a single person to enter into you're married journey as NEW friend on purpose?" I almost didn't know what to say.

The church quarantine between Xer singles and marrieds was breeched last night and it was almost overwhelming. The church quarantine of Xer marrieds and singles results in missed opportunities to experience the mutual edification of the cross-pollenization of unshared experience. It's good for me to know people that have a different daily routine than I do.

Needless to say, I asked him to thank his wife for me for letting me have his ear as long as I did. She must be an incredible woman. And rare in the church.

About a month or so ago another new Xer married friend broke protocol by inviting me into his family's life as a new friend. And he's even got middle school aged kids (they stared having kids like IMMEDIATELY out of college). But again, I was in shock.

I thought, "hmm, you know I'm single and you won't me around any way." Are the Gen Xers in Grand Rapids just different from my experience in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Philadelphia? I dunno, but I've been very encouraged the last couple of months by the new people I've met. That is, the new invitations I've received.

But why does it have to be this way? Why can't Xer marrieds and singles living in community together? I don't get it? Why the quarantine?

What happens to some if us single Xers with the quarantine is that I'm increasing several years older than my friends are. I just had this conversation yesterday with another Xer friend of mine who missed the marriage cut as well. We were talking about vacations and noted that since most of our church friends are 4-7 years younger than we are, and people our own age are married and therefore quarantined, finding vacation partners is almost impossible because your younger friends don't have any money.

So you're stuck making a road trip to the nearest beach instead of exploring the planet. Since our friends are either newly in careers or in grad school they don't have the discretionary income to go anywhere far. I was hoping to go to New Zealand in the fall for a Lord of the Rings tour, but of course, none of my single friends can do it, and what's the point in asking one of my married friends.

How do non-Christians handle this?

Seriously this is the title of a real book: How to Succeed in Business Without Being White, by Earl Graves.

The questions loom large with a book like this. Among them is a question like this: what does a book like this say to the expectations of blacks and whites in hte market place particularly regarding stereotypes?

Am I alone in thinking this is kind'a weird?


July 15, 1870 Georgia became the last of the Confederate states to be admitted to the Union.

Actually, this isn't entirely true. Georgia officially joined the union when it recently decided to stop offending it's black taxpayers by removing the US eqiuvalent of the swastika, known as the Confederate Battle Flag, from the state's flag.

Georgia truly became a part of the Union on March 2, 2004 with a vote for a flag of unity.
Check it out!!

A Native American OOPS!!

July 15, 1830, 3 Indian tribes, Sioux, Sauk & Fox, signed a treaty giving the US most of Minnesota, Iowa & Missouri.

OOPS!! Treaty? Guess who got the short end of that one.

Russell Halley and Jorge Guzman, participated in a dance competition in April at M.I.T. where, for the first time, two men danced together at a championship level. Mr. Halley and Mr. Guzman are also pushing against limits set by the United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association, which requires that a competing couple consist of a man and a woman.

The two dancers say that the rules are archaic and that they have proved that two men can dance powerfully and still be artistic. Moreover, they ask, if questions of gay identity and inclusion are being engaged in the workplace and in the bonds of marriage, then why not in professional and amateur sport?

"Did you see the people at M.I.T.?" asked Mr. Guzman, 41, a stock trader who has been dancing with Mr. Halley for three years and who both leads and follows. "They were screaming and jumping. They were happy — straight and gay people — because they understood everything that we were doing."

Honestly folks, this does follow. If marriage no longer is between one man and one woman why should the rules of competitve ballroom dancing be different.

As an aspring salsero myself I say, "hey, let'em do it. . .it only means more women for me!"

For two years Mr. Guzman and Mr. Halley have competed internationally in gay ballroom dance tournaments in Europe. But such competition is virtually nonexistent in the United States, and the two dancers, who live in New York City, say they have neither the time nor the money to keep flying to competitions in Hanover, Munich and London. . .

The International DanceSport Federation, which oversees competitive ballroom dancing worldwide, says that allowing all-male couples alters the fundamental nature of the sport.

Wow, America, what's next?

FAT America

WASHINGTON, July 12 - The Department of Agriculture announced plans on Monday to revisit the Food Guide Pyramid, an icon that was developed to help Americans use dietary guidelines to eat healthfully.

Introduced 12 years ago, after almost $1 million was spent debating the shape of what was supposed to be the government's primary nutrition education device, the pyramid has not accomplished its goal, the department acknowledges.

"We've got to reverse some trends," Eric Hentges, executive director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the Agriculture Department, said. "We've got to connect with individuals. We've got to be able to communicate the major message of what's appropriate for you."

The increasing number of overweight and obese Americans indicates that whatever the department has done in the past has not been successful.

Gluttony is America's favorite past time. As soon as I arrived back in the States it's one of the first things I noticed--just how overweight most Americans are. The Atlanta airport seemed wall to wall with live weeble-wobbles. Now I understand that some (and I mean SOME) have genetic dispositions toward obesity but for others it reveals just how our affluence is killing us slowly.

America stop eating so much. It's not even necessary to eat as much as we do. It's so bad that the government is trying to get in on the game and change the food pyramid. The pyramid is not the enemy it's people eating the pyramid 5 or 6 times a day with ridiculous helpings is.

It's embarrassing.

Your Next Vice-President

Hmm. . .it seems that in my absence the Democrats have put together a clever ticket for the Election. Since both Bush and Kerry are about as exciting to listen to as the mating call of the earthworm the Vice-Presidential debates will be the most interesting.

Edwards will babble on and on about "America being the place where Americans can be American, blah, blah, blah" and Cheney will be telling Edwards to go do things to himself. I'm anticipating quite a rhetorical circus.

Is a Kerry/Edwards ticket beatable? Since Americans vote on vanities alone the fact that they do have "better hair" just might be the thing to get them the %51 of the votes. They know the American voter where thinking is optional.

If the election were today I think Edwards would be your next vice-president. This is just a quess. . .

Yes, I'm Jet-Lagged

Yes, I'm blogging at 3:20 am because I'm not tired. Any advice on jet-lag managment is welcome.

A Praise From the Asia Trip

Here is a prayer of praise from the Traveler's Edition of the Book of Common Prayer:

A Digestive Collect
(the people stand)

We thank Thee, for granting thine created man and blessing him with the intellect to develop anti-diarrheal medication--especially the "Mint Flavored" chewable form in Imodium Advanced.

Above all, we celebrate the splendor of how just two chewable tablets can change a person's Asia experience.

Grant us the creativity and ingenuity to develop even more drugs to combat other bodily evil which is reminds us of the consequences of the Fall.

MANY, MANY thanks to Mr. Jordan Ballor for three weeks of blogging!! This site would have been dead with out him. Three weeks of blogging is quite a committment!

I think he should have his own blog!! So petition WORLD if you're so inclined! Of course that would mean that I would have to find another sub-blogger in my absence!

My trip to Asia was SWEET. Worry not comrads you'll here much about it in the weeks and months to come!!

Guest Blog: The Roar Restored?

Midseason Detroit Tigers Report:

Detroit Tigers.gif

Everyone thought he was crazy to do it, but when catcher Pudge Rodriguez signed with the Detroit Tigers before this season, I guess he knew what he was doing. The Tigers nearly set the record for impotence last year, barely avoiding the dreaded 120 loss mark. Pudge brought along with him a bevy of talented veterans, including Carlos Guillen, Rondell White, and Ugueth Urbina. The real story here, however, is Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who managed to convince Pudge to go from first to worst.

Guest Blog: Guess Who?

I'd like to take this belated opportunity to introduce myself. Sometimes it is nice to put a face with a name. I have been told by various people that I resemble Jay Leno and Jay Mohr. So you can imagine that if they had a child, this is what it might look like (hey, people, they can already make babies from two women):

Jay Leno (courtesy of The Learning Channel - TLC)


Jay Mohr (courtesy of Clear Channel Communications)


J. Ballor (courtesy of The State News)

(That picture of Jay Leno really looks like my dad!)

More bio info after the jump...

I'd like to share just one of the many valuable things you can get from reading the book of Jonah. This morning it's about Jonah as a type of Christ. We'll look at three selections from Jonah, and each will be followed by a parallel with Christ's earthly ministry.

Context: The word of the LORD had come to Jonah and ordered him to go to Nineveh to preach against it. Jonah disobeyed and was seeking to flee to the LORD on a ship bound for Tarshish (the far side of the world).

1:4-6 NIV
Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”

Parallel for Jonah 1:4-6 : Matthew 8:23-26 NIV
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Continue after the jump to see the next two parallels in Christ's ministry and how these events in Jonah's life prefigure those of Christ...

Play the Bunny Game
Experience the tragedy of the commons! The economics in this game is only dismal if you don't manage your bunnies well.

(Note that you must have Macromedia Flash Player to enjoy the games. You can download Flash for free here.)

This game might prove especially helpful for certain members of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), who had a study committee recently recommend that the churches of WARC acknowledge a status confessionis regarding global capitalism at the 24th general council in Accra, Ghana (7/30-8/13). More on this to come...

--Jordan J. Ballor, guest blogging during Anthony's trip to Asia

Asia Journal 4: The Himalayas

I'm literally almost on top of the world. I write this from an internet cafe in Darjeeling, India. I'm about 7,000 feet above see level and eye level with some of the most spectacular mountains in the world--like Mounts Everest and Kangchenjunga.

The view up here is amazing and the people in Darjeeling are some of the warmest I've ever encountered. Clearly the most spectacular view I've ever seen.

Look this place up folks, it's amazing!!

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Co 1:21-22 NIV

--Jordan J. Ballor, guest blogging during Anthony's trip to Asia

As an introduction to this post, I want to sing the praises of TV Land. This is one of the few decent extra channels offered on Comcast’s $13.95 basic cable package. I really like Westerns, so it is nice to have Bonanza broadcast regularly and often. They also periodically do marathons of classic TV shows like Leave It to Beaver. This brings me to the subject of this post.

My wife and I got into a discussion about The Munsters and The Addams Family, since both have recently been broadcast in marathon format on TV Land. These shows looked to me like they were from the same time period, and were probably competitors. This led to a debate about which show was better. She said The Munsters was better. I said The Addams Family was better. Here’s why:

I decided that the best way to determine which show was better was to have a head to head matchup of each character and their counterpart from the other show. They would be judged on things like overall appeal, comedy factor, attractiveness, et al. Also considered would be the relative importance of each character. Our matchups go relatively from least to most important. Here are the results:

Matchup #1: The Kids

Pugsley and Wednesday v. Eddie
Winners: Pugsley and Wednesday
Comments: Two heads are better than one…it’s a dog eat dog world. Eddie loses even though he grows up to be the head basketball coach of the Florida Gators.
Score: Addams 1, Munsters 0

Matchup #2: Distant Relations

Fester v. Marilyn
Winner: Marilyn
Comments: Fester would have won if he weren’t so annoying and Marilyn weren’t so hot.
Score: Addams 1, Munsters 1

Matchup #3: Old People

Grandmama v. Grandpa
Winner: Grandpa
Comments: Grandpa was a classic, while Grandmama was merely an unremarkable forerunner of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies.
Score: Addams 1, Munsters 2

Matchup #4: Women of the House

Morticia v. Lilly
Winner: Morticia
Comments: Morticia was surprisingly good-looking, as well as having a style and joie d’vivre which Lilly just couldn’t match. Morticia could fence AND tango.
Score Addams 2, Munsters 2

Matchup #5: Men of the House

Gomez v. Herman
Winner: Gomez
Comments: Gomez, played by the incomparable John Astin, was a darker version of Groucho Marx. Herman was a goofball, who had his endearing moments, but in the end looks too much like John Kerry.
Score: Addams 3, Munsters 2

Matchup #6: The Intangibles

Lurch, Cousin Itt, Thing v. The Car
Comments: In many ways, the freaky side characters were the stars of The Addams Family, and really made the show. Add to this The Addams Family movie franchise, and the fact that MC Hammer made a song about The Addams Family, and you end up with a rout.
Final Score: Addams 4, Munsters 2

--Jordan J. Ballor, guest blogging during Anthony's trip to Asia

Yesterday, I participated in a raid on a slave labor rice mill plantation here in India. Seven families were freed from slavery. It was awesome, again, to be apart of God's liberating work in the lives of dehumanized people. (A few days before the team I was with rescued 85 slaves from a rock quarry plantation--it was a good week. Over 100 were freed from slavery).

At around 10:30 am we entered the compound with the police, gathered the slaves together, interviewed them regarding their being trafficed to the slave owner, the government interrogated the slave owners, the slaves were then told to gather their belongings. They were loaded on a trucked and I watched them go free--many for the first time ever at sunset on the same day!!

I spoke with one guy who was 23-years-old and has been a slave in rice mill plantations all of his life. His parents were sold into slavery several decades ago. He cannot read, write, was a bit malnourished, etc.

The slave owner of this particular rice mill compound did not provide food for the slaves so when we arrived to rescue them a few of them had gone out to hunt for rats for the day to feed their famlies and almost missed being rescued. I saw one of the rats from the day before. It was HUGE (over a foot long). The also hunted turtles.

Their faces told the story of oppression, dehumanization, emasculation, hopelessness. I wish you could have seen the eyes of this 23-year-old once he realized that now for the first time in his life he is FREE. He was eager to tell me his story. On several occassions I almost completely broke down. They just looked so tired and hopeless. If Christians don't are about this stuff folks, who will?

I have seen much evil on this trip.

Guest Blog: Name that Tune

N.B. - Props and respect given to Bunnie Diehl, hopefully she won't see this entry as infringing on her brilliant series of posts on CCM and secular music. I will attempt to restrict myself to this one entry on this subject. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pass on the lyrics to these two songs, however. Hopefully, the profuse links to Bunnie's blog will mollify her. Fear the wrath of Bunnie!

Here are two secular songs which, with a little tweaking, could probably pass for CCM lyrics. Plus they would have the added benefit of being good music. My wife and I got into a bit of a discussion about this the other day.

I have to admit, when I'm scanning through the radio and I hit a station playing a CCM song, I move faster to move off that station than any other thing playing on the radio. I have a sort of visceral revulsion to that music. The word that I found myself characterizing the music with yesterday was "presumptuous." I'm not exactly sure why it fits, but I can feel that it does. The sort of melodramatic, seemingly contrived, pseudo-feigned, showy "love for Jesus" music just turns me off, which results in me turning it off very quickly. Maybe it's just that I don't love Jesus enough...it may not seem like it, but I do try to be charitable on this topic, even though often unsuccessfully. I'm happy to have that music out there if other people want to listen to it. I'm not on a crusade to ban CCM or anything like that. I just can't see the appeal, and I certainly can't see using that music all over the place in church.

In any case, on to the real reason for blogging. I'll give the lyrics as they appear for the next two songs. I'll have a link to the source, so you can look up the title and artist, and modify this post after a bit to include that info here as well. In the meantime, we can have some fun if you want to guess artist and title info for either of the next two songs. You can refer to them in your posts as #1 and #2.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2004 is the previous archive.

August 2004 is the next archive.


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