Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I've completed Call of Duty 1 & 2 and am currently making my way through Call of Duty 3, all on Xbox.
What an experience...dropping bombs out of B-52's, taking down planes with huge anti-aircraft guns, being chased by german tanks through narrow European streets, door to door fighting in bombed out villages, trench warfare, driving jeeps like a madman under air and enemy gun fire...on and on it goes. What a history lesson too! It's an inspiring game to see, hear and experience WW2 in a limited but engaging way.
It givens me a greater appreciation of the old marine songs my grand pa used to sing to me while we would drive in his pickup.
"Burning of the Frigate Philadelphia in the Harbor of Tripoli, February 16, 1804"
It depicts USS Philadelphia, previously captured by the Tripolitans, ablaze after she was boarded and set afire by a party from the ketch Intrepid led by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur.
Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection
In 1786 A negro and John Murray went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman or (Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). They asked him by what right he extorted money and took slaves. Thomas Jefferson reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:
The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet (Mohammed), that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to heaven.
You can read more about early America's first and second Barbary Wars with the muslim's on the North Africa coast here:
Friday, January 26, 2007
The machine was lost among cargo in 65BC when the ship carrying it sank in 42m of water off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. The machine first came to light when an archaeologist working on the recovered objects noticed that a lump of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. Closer inspection of material brought up from the stricken ship subsequently revealed 80 pieces of gear wheels, dials, clock-like hands and a wooden and bronze casing bearing ancient Greek inscriptions...
read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1960316,00.html
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This article is very good!
It deals with adult subject matter in a frank and insightful way.
It deals with porn, sex, self image and the way this generation is
being raised to think and have sex.
4 stars in my opinion.
Monday, January 22, 2007
I've had a lot of favorite trees at every home. In fact, as I think about it...I love trees. At my last house there was the one is front that would turn fiery red in the fall. There was the little Japanese maple that hovered over my small waterfall I made in my backyard. And there was the hunched over tree with velvet needles that was home to our tire swing. All of them were friends. I remember many looking back through my life. I can still smell some, feel some and can even hear a few if I am still enough. The rough and pungent Junipers in Bend Oregon, the weeping willow at my mom's uncle Dales in Idaho, whose boughs I would always try to swing on. The tall and majestic evergreens at my grandmothers house that always swayed so softly and smelled warm and fragrant. The giant tree in Tangent whose limbs I walked on way before there was that Crouching Tiger movie. Oh such priceless treasures.
it echoes against the still air.
Silence is forced back into her hiding place,
as an invasion of glee stomps over your crunchy skin.
Suffocating mummies wobble awkwardly,
as anxious energy ascends the powdered hills.
Like a desperate matchmaker you put hands together again.
Prying open old souls with each speeding sled.
Your cold breath resuscitating memories that have become idle.
Your wonder is stunning, a sugary decent covering all that has grown bland.
A voice from another world speaks of childhood again.
What a mystery...frozen hearts finding warmth in your icy hands.
Terry Gilliam, director (you know, Monty Python...)
John Cleese as Robin Hood, Sean Connery as King Agamemnonand and a bunch of midgets or little people, I am not sure what it PC these days. You have to love a movie that has also got God (the supreme being) and the Devil, a minotaur, a puppet loving Napoleon, a man eating Ogre with a bad back, plastic covered furniture, a ship wearing giant, the sinking Titanic, a condescending Robin hood in a ridiculously large green hat. A story that actually tackles some spiritual themes like: free will, God vs the devil, serving God or self, materialism and fatherhood. I am including this movie in my growing collection for our upcoming Faith and Film events. It's a little slow at the start but gets rolling and ends up being a pretty unique and creative movie.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
It's a picture of grace for sure.
When it gently falls from the sky,
quietly erasing everything and making everything new.
It's a wonder every-time I see it.
I needed it yesterday. Someone from our past said some stuff to LeeElla that wounded her, yet again...and made me flash back to a famous picture of Johnny Cash.
Such moments are part of the journey but people can be so hurtful with their words.
But the snow fell...again.
God hears our hearts and He heard mine yesterday. As I was standing up on the neighborhood sledding hill, I heard something else.
A single mom who lives on our street was sledding too. She has many hardships but is doing her best to raise her son and figure out life. She is sweet, in fact she came by the other night with cinnamon rolls for our family...that kind of sweet. But out of the blue she looks at the ground and says:
"I am glad you guys moved into the neighborhood, I feel connected now and have people I know I can call...not just my mom. I feel a part of a group now".
It was priceless and so from the heart. Those were words she spoke but I heard the Lord whispering through them to us.
Moments like those are tender encouragement's from a God who is listening and knows what we need.
I am grateful for His comfort.
Friday, January 19, 2007
And now unto him who is able to keep us from falling and lift us from
the dark valley of despair to the bright mountain of hope, from the
midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy; to him be power and
authority, for ever and ever. Amen.
-Martin Luther King
In December of 2005 I wrote the below entry on my blog:
As the new year approaches I find myself clinging to the truth above.
I will be glad to see 2005 pass and for a new year to come.
I pray that I will walk with the wisdom gained from the shadows of the
I pray that I will chase daylight with renewed vision.
That the grip of disappointment will be broken through surrender.
That I will be able to apprehend what I was apprehended for in greater
That I will learn to bravely love in wisdom's light, again.
That I will dare to jump in the lion's pit even though I might lose
That I won't sleep in Delilah's lap and lose my vision.
I pray for the armor of light to protect me from myself.
I long for deeper meaning, fuller life and awakened passions, governed
by submission to His will.
I pray that this would be the year that Christ would be all in all.
By the grace of God and to His praise alone...I can say that He answered EVERYONE of those requests above and way beyond my expectations.
I had no clue how that prayer would change my life.
If you do anything this new year, do this:
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I think a tear formed as I anxiously puled up today's iTunes account and checked to see it the 4 hour season premiere of 24 was available for download...ahhhhh, yes, sweet joy, there it is ready and waiting for this Jack Junkie. Oh I love the internet...
Sunday, January 14, 2007
-Over 50% of women say their body disgusts them (Dove Internal Study, 2002)
-The body fat of models and actresses portrayed in the media is at least 10% less than that of healthy women (British Medical Association, 2000)
-6 out of 10 girls think they'd "be happier if they were thinner" (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)
-While only 19% of teenage girls are "overweight," 67% think they "need to lose weight" (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)
-90% of eating disorders are found in girls
-58% of girls admit to dieting
-1 million girls under the age of 18 get pregnant annually
-1 out of 10 eighth grade girls smokes daily
-85% of girls experience sexual harassment in school
-30% of adolescent girls have thoughts about suicide
I have many thoughts (someday a book, I hope) that stem from my long relationships with girls, body image issues and youth work. When you work with human hearts, minds and souls in a culture that has sought to force us to value what it says we should value...you see carnage.
This culture has raped and beat beauty into profit. It's found every way it can to sexualize everything. It creates an unrealistic image and then punishes women who can't conform to it. Such evil empowers and funds a multitude of industries that are built on the false realities it produces. Pushing women bow, puke, charge, cry, cut and and despair. Makes men puppets that bow, build lives in fantasy, exploit, grovel, degrade and abuse.
A generation is being raised that thinks unreality is reality. God help the women and men who grow up to discover the human body isn't the reality that you have been presented.
I think much of the plague of pornography both creates and sustains this hallucination. people crafting a mind through images that form desire that won't be satisfied by natural beauty. We've pumped our hearts and minds so full of images of perceived perfection that anything less doesn't move us, entertain us, stir us or keep us. Commitment to a woman is reduced to...as long as we are interested in the web page.
I'll be exploring these thoughts more in the new year.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
It reminds me of the spiritual "balance and tension" that the book of Jude speaks of:
"....keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy." -Jude 1:21-24
I see great wisdom in these verses concerning our life and our work of living among, reaching out and God willing rescuing those lost and submerged in the world.
Love must be the root of our perspective. Compassion for the lost, love for those whom the Lord died for. Holding a general understanding that everyone, no matter how "polluted" they may seem or how far gone they may appear...matter to God and should matter to us. God’s mercy is not just something you receive, it is something that compels you to share it with those who need mercy.
But in living out that love and compassion we are warned to do so with a godly fear. Understanding that the same things that are consuming others in the fires of sin can spark in our own heart and start a fire.
The fear of being burned doesn’t stop us from drawing near enough to the fire to snatch someone out of it. But we should never grow careless in our efforts to reach those who are already burning in the hellish flames of eternity. They are like the men who were slain by the fires that leaped out of the fiery furnace that was being prepared for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They are not in Hell yet, but Hell’s fires have been kindled on Earth, just like Heaven’s kingdom is partly here too.
The appetites of the flesh can become a fire that burns out of control, we need to learn to keep the the embers of our humanity within the furnaces God’s has allowed for them to burn within. Flames outside the fireplace are bad...in the hearth, they can warm us.
There are many things in our culture that are “polluted garments” that we should have nothing to do with. We need godly wisdom to discern what has become so polluted that we should only view it with...hate.
In the end there is an amazing promise for furnace finders...God will keep you from stumbling and will make you stand and will fill your inner life with great joy. Soul winners understand this spiritual joy like few others.
I pray that Jay will heed the warnings of the scripture concerning reaching out to those in our culture who are dead and lost. He is a punk....and like most of us punks we can get tangled up in stuff that ends up destroying the good we set out to accomplish.
God have mercy, it's a wonder we get anything right.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust,
when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin
and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death.
What is evil...are things evil?
Is food evil because people die from eating a lot of it?
Is sex evil because people make money off it, exploit others with it or degrade themselves with it?
Are knives evil because people sometimes kill others with them?
Is America evil because she has people who do evil things and live in her land?
Are you evil because you have done evil things?
Is a band evil because someone listens to their music and conceives an evil act?
Is a woman evil if she is a natural beauty and some man looks at her and becomes aroused and chooses to rape her?
Is the government evil for printing money because some people want it so bad they will kill for it?
Are you evil if your son or daughter does something evil?
I know guys that use the internet to feed their sexual appetite and are sabotaging their marriages and their inner lives but that doesn't make the medium evil. Print isn't evil because publishers can print porn. Canvas isn't evil because a perv can produce his sick fantasies on it. Music isn't evil because someone screams blasphemies and obscenities in it.
Media simply becomes the vehicle of the evil in our own heart.
Is money evil?
I see the use of resources like the parable of the talents. The one who received 5 talents isn't to feel shame for receiving more than the man that received one talent. He is called to multiply what he has for the master. No guilt, no shame, no animosity...just work what you have to the greatest profitability to the One who gave it to you.
I see people who do that in a godly way and others who are obviously motivated by pure self interest.
I don't think the bible teaches that burying wealth is more holy than using it.
We live according to the reality we know. Prosperity, poverty, contentment, generosity, greed, excess, waste, superfluities or necessity: are all matters of perspective based on multiple frames of reference. Everyone on this planet has completely different ideas about those things. Ones culture, economics, religion, climate, temperament, political views etc all come into play.
Reading the bible, understanding the new covenant vs the old and learning to follow the Holy Spirit is critical to living out love as it relates to economics. People can use scripture to guilt, control and harm people, we do it all the time. Some rich suburbanite could look at the urban poor and judge them for not working and quote "He who doesn't work, doesn't eat" and shrug them off as lazy and a drain on society. But does an unemployment rate come into play at all in that judgment? Does corporate downsizing, lack of resources, disaster, sickness, tragedy, mental illness, outsourcing make room for grace in any of that thinking. Does an understanding of poverty only get reduced to no work, no food? I think the bible teaches a more broad relationship with poverty. One that is both structural and personal. The letter kills and the Spirit gives life.
Only God can lay truth on all people, for all time, in all cultures, in every circumstance...when we try to do it....it's rarely life giving.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Technology is evil...?
With all due respect, I dont buy that premise. I hear that kind of thinking all the time in christianized circles. A kind of rockwellish nostalgia for a time when we were chomping on wheat stalks, sawing logs and sending smoke signals or hoping pigeons would return.
I am thankful for the advancement of technology.
Especially when I am sitting in a CAT scan or taking meds to alleviate personal suffering. I am grateful for the ability to argue a point from the other side of the world with a few taps on a keyboard. I rejoice about the possibilities when I almost daily communicate with various missionaries in very remote or distant fields and see the ongoing encouragement, finance and empowerment that comes because of quick response and sharing. I am blessed when because of the internet I can preach a message, post it after the service and a soldier in Afghanistan can download it and be strengthened in his faith during a dangerous season in his life. I get jacked up when I am reconnected with a friend from high-school because of myspace and find out he was living right down the street from me and he ends up coming to my church for First Fridays and we are reunited after 15+ years!
And speaking of spiritual growth...because of tech, I download the best ministries around, get in-depth teaching, preaching and bible study material that I can listen to anywhere, anytime and for free most of the time. As a pastor I have been liberated from the four walls a church and the mindset that keeps you there and get out of the "study prison". I have been set free from sitting in a room as a pastor and hoping people will come to me. I have been given a gift through tech, the ability to be with the people again in a new ways and especially by just being present. I can now counsel from anywhere at anytime too. My presence can be accessible by my phone in my pocket. I am not hidden away in religious tower somewhere with a cloak of privacy and an aura of unavailability...I can be talked to, contacted and found.
My study goes with me now. I can sit for hours helping our refugees with appointments with doctors and state stuff and be perfectly content as I study, write, read, listen or watch from my laptop or ipod. I've got a hundred thousand books that are in my hand. I can access the greatest literature of all time with a few searches, I can amass a library of the concordances, language helps and classics for free. I have free roam in the greatest minds and hearts of the christian church. I can order books that would never find their way into my city. I can make friends across the seas and end up in their living-rooms or churches ministering the word of God. On and on it goes...
Can I find evil too...yes, but most of the evil I find bubbles up out of my own wicked heart, all my actions after that stem from that root.
Man can turn anything into evil...God had to write laws to instruct man that humping his pooch is wrong, for heavens sake!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
- C.S. Lewis
Whispering is the moment,
like a fragile butterfly
that lands least expected.
You hover and tease, painfully finicky,
you make me slave to hold you.
I can gaze on the canvas of your painted colors,
hold my breath at the contemplative movement of calmed flight.
But with open palm only.
I can not grasp you or I will kill you.
I can not make you stay...without driving you away.
I must be content to experience the present...without thought of more.
Your fleeting beauty teaches me the elusive grace of gratitude.
Visit me again and again and again...
-Holding a moment by Eric Blauer 1.6.07
We held our "First Friday...on the other side of the tracks" and had an awesome time, great turnout, amazing food, Kristen Marlo filled the place with some fantastic acoustic music and I even sold some of my art that was being presented. I am jacked up about the potential of this event and look forward to artist Matthew Whitney from Seattle and another local musician Mark Ward coming in February.
Props to the team that put this event together, you deserve it!