Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
As a Christian pastor, I should probably NOT admit that I actually enjoy reading the Harry Potter series of books. I know that if anyone ever reads this blog I'll probably get some negative comments, usually from fellow believers that haven't read even one of the books. While I do have a couple of ministry friends that enjoy the books as great stories (which they are), and J.K. Rowling as a creative author, I know at least one who would consign those who read the books to one of the lower rings of Dante's Inferno. He hadn't read the books, but knew someone who had. "Magic" was the issue. I found JOLLYBLOGGER: Harry Potter is Heating Up Again to add some interesting thoughts.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller is a very interesting book. The style is more like Annie Lamott, the theme is somewhat eclectic, but the sentiment is a deep spirituality that pursues being real, honest, authentic. I especially liked his comments about our culture - even our church culture - being passionate about "nothing." Miller says on page 111: "A friend of mine, a young pastor who recently started a church, talks to me from time to time about the new face of church in America--about the postmodern church. He says the new church will be different from the old one, that we will be relevant to culture and the human struggle. I don't think any church has ever been relevant to culture, to the human struggle, unless it believed in Jesus and the power of His gospel. If the supposed new church believes in trendy music and cool Web pages, then it is not relevant to culture either. it is just another tool of Satan to get people to be passionate about nothing." All those seeking to be relevant would do well to consider thoughts like this . . . .
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Stardock Object Desktop and Wincustomize lets you redesign your Windows environment in some very cool ways. It costs a bit, but it is fun. There are 100's of nicely designed suites you can apply with a simple interface. Stardock updates the program elements regularly. You can even make your interface look like a Mac. You will appreciate it a bit more with a higher end graphics card ... it might even give you an excuse to upgrade! Windows XP Themes, XP Skins, XP Visual Styles, Icons & Wallpapers for your ultimate desktop experience!
Monday, July 11, 2005
The Demotivators Collection - from Despair.com is not really "politically correct" so maybe that's what I like about it. Of course I like to have some encouraging poster and promos, but maybe we have become so "slogan-ish" in our approach to life that we have lost sight of the reality of life. So ... that's my philosopical comment for the day.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
OK! I'm ready to head back to the Caribbean and another cruise. Won't happen for a long time but memories of warmth and not-all-that-expensive luxury on the Celebrity Century pop into my mind on weekends like this ... rainy rather than sunny in the great city of Sammamish. Of course that happens every year in Washington it seems. I've been here for 20 years now and it still seems odd that it's cool on July 4 and wet and gray and ... you get the picture. Enough whining for now. My sermon last week was about rejoicing always, praying always, and thanking-God always. Guess it's time to do that with little things like the weather.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Over the past year, I've been involved in an ongoing dialogue with friends, co-workers, my wife, and others over the issue of domestic violence in Christian homes -- especially when husbands are cruel, abusive, angry, or otherwise sinful in their behavior. How is a wife to respond? One of the threads we have had to deal with involves the nature of submission and authority in the home. Some of the husbands I'm talking with say submission is absolute, that is, no matter what, a godly wife will submit even to her hurt ... even if the husband is being evil and sinful. A truly godly woman will trust God with her life, it is said. I'm pretty sure that it is a very small percentage that hold that extreme view, but there is certainly strong disagreement among conservative, Bible-believing Christians about how Christian wives should handle verbal, emotional and/or physical abuse. I liked much of Nancy Wilson's insights in this article of Credenda Agenda. Nancy seems to have a very strong, conservative view of submission. She also seems to have a reasonable and biblical approach to a husband who sins against that wife. Her conclusion is: "A wife is to be a helper to her husband not a blind follower, and this sometimes includes going past him to get help. God blessed Abigail when she did this. In her case it was abundantly clear what was necessary. In other cases it might require pastoral oversight. But obedience and submission to a mere man is never absolute. God governs all of us. We demonstrate that we serve Him above all others when we realize that our submission and obedience to our husbands is always to be lived out within the boundaries God has wisely set for us." Read the whole article, especially the part about Abigail. I'm sure the dialogue will continue. I find 6-10 new web articles on the topic every day (using Google Alerts). There's other themes that come into play as well and there's lots of disagreement about what action a wife might take. Is it OK to leave if you are beaten? What does that look like? When do you come back? Lots of other questions inhabit our discussion as well: Is the abuse merely a symptom of something deeper -- power and control? Isn't this just a psychological construct; or part of the feminist agenda? Is verbal abuse as damaging as physical abuse? Some seasons of pastoral ministry are harder than others.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Holidays are nice ... not in the least because I get some time to just hang around the internet and explore some new stuff. Today's finds? Google Scholar - a new beta from the most excellenct Google team. All Google's search power directed at the huge intellectual resource that exists. I found several new and helpful informative resources on topics I'm researching. Google Scholar About Google Scholar There's also Google Print which is a work in progress indexing material from publishers and libraries ... much of which hasn't made it to the web yet. Google Print I'm looking forward to some long hours of online research using both these resources. Long live Google!