Thursday, February 28, 2002

I wonder who will get Woodson...if he decides to keep playing. I have to believe he still has a couple of good years left in him.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

I really like my SnakeLight by Black & Decker, but not for conventional reasons. I'm not much of a handyman, so I can't say that I love it because it helps me as I work on projects around the apartment (though I have used it that way and found it helpful).

I mainly use it as a booklight to read at night, so that I don't keep my wife up. Yes I've tried the itty bitty booklight and other products like it, and I find them inferior to the SnakeLight. Our kids call it the Story Snake because I often shut off all the lights in their room and then wrap it around my neck to read them their bedtime stories.

However, I just discovered another reason why I like my SnakeLight. While dancing and listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn's Little Sister with my three kids, I found that I could not only use it for a guitar and a microphone, but it also can bend into the shape of a saxophone for the sax solo!! What an amazing product.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

We began reading Richard Hannula's Trial & Triumph: Stories from Church History to our kids at the dinner table tonight. My four year old came up with another winner. The first story is about Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna (c.69-155 AD) who was burned at the stake. We were explaining to the kids that even though Polycarp was defeated in life and burned at the stake, he was with Jesus in heaven now, and, in fact, we would one day get a chance to meet him. So my four year old said:

Daddy, when I get to heaven I'm going to say "Hi" to Jesus first, then I'll go say "Hi" to Colyparp.

Monday, February 25, 2002

There's a new form of church discipline that Pastor LeRoy Sullivan and Elder Jones of Bread of Life Church in Kansas City are experimenting with. It's called we're movin' into your house until you either shape up or ship out. Do yourself a favor and read the story here. Pastor Sullivan deserves credit not only for a creative and effective church discipline measure, but also for tackling a very salient cultural issue with courage and determined follow-through.

Jim of JH3K promised to report on the Pastor's Conference at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He did report on one of Carl Ellis' messages in a Sensus Plenior post, but I figured no one would ever see it, so I'm posting it here for your perusal:

Anyway, Ellis' talk: He began by discussing his idea of the "unchurchable" - essentially those people to whom the methods, statements, and attitudes of American churches mean virtually nothing. By not addressing particular concerns and speaking in the way that we do, we exclude large groups of people from, essentially, being able to relate to the church, and Ellis finds that this group, predominantly black, tends to find its concerns addressed instead by groups like the nation of islam.

His basic assertion as to why we leave this gap of "unchurchables": essentially our gospel is "inadequate". He used a matrix of what the term "righteousness" consists of, that it has a personal and social dimension, and that it addresses both godliness and justice. The American church is concerned first and foremost with personal godliness, while the concerns of unchurchables are primarily in the realm of social justice. (Social here is primarily in terms of the body of Christ as a whole, and not with the typical governmental association it usually has; he considers social Godliness, for example, to be typified by corporate worship).

His example of how social justice was worked out for a sub-dominant group from the scripture was the book of Nehemiah, and he discussed how essentially Nehemiah came in with the goal of empowering the Jews to have sufficiency and not be forced to rely on the oppressive dominant group for their livelihood - he reestablished Jewish agriculture, and he addressed tension among the Jewish people, particuarly in monetary exploitation.

He also had a matrix of Unrighteousness - in place of Godliness and Justice were Ungodliness and Oppression, individual and institutional; and again said the church primarily addresses individual ungodliness, while black people are more concerned with institutional oppression - oppression being fundamentally the combination of sinfulness and power, and any participation within an oppressive institution is implicitly then involvement in that oppression. The illustration he has here for oppression and righteousness is the story of Judah and Tamar.

Within the oppressor/oppressed relationship, Ellis said the oppressed always has a more righteous position, inherent in that oppressed groups position vis a vis the oppressor. The biggest concern he has here is that when oppression is alleviated in some way, a group typically believes it's righteousness is intrinsic, not to the position of the oppressed, but instead to their group; this can lead a formerly oppressed group to be oppressive, because it firmly believes it is righteous in and of itself and not because of the position it is in.

Unfortunately, the talk, which was fantastic, was primarily conceptual. He had one example of practical social justice (a church working to provide homeowner loans to people in areas that are redlined by banks), but otherwise it was just an introduction and though-provocation about his idea of righteousness and oppression.

Thanks Jim for being a hotdogblog correspondent...your check is in the mail.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

My four year old tonight at dinner:

Mommy, who really let the dogs out?


Revisiting free stuff on the web and Calvin College's January looks as if you can listen to all of the lectures from the Series for the years 1997-2002 at the January Series archive. Past speakers include: Neil Postman, Terry Gross, Garrison Keillor, Frank DeFord, Eugene Rivers, Harry Stout, Peter Kreeft, Gilbert Meilander, Jeremy Begbie, Glenn Loury, Stephen Carter, and various Plantingas, along with many others.

The Calvin College January Lecture Series is now available online. Speakers for the 2002 Series include: N.T. Wright, Marva Dawn, Jeremy Rifkin, Chuck Colson, and many others. It's amazing that this kind of thing is so readily available, and so free.

Often when I find cool stuff like this on the web, I make a recording with my portable cassette recorder and listen to it on my commute to and from work, or on a long trip. If it turns out to be any good that ensures that I have a copy if the material is ever taken off the web, or free access to the material is discontinued. I'm sure there are much cooler and more sophisticated ways to do this kind of recording with an MP3 player or a CD burner, but I ain't got a burner & I'm probably not savvy enough to figure out how to save a RealAudio file as an MP3 to my own computer.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Five people who should have blogged but didn't:

H.L. Mencken
Saint Augustine
Martin Luther
Mark Twain
G. K. Chesterton

Surely y'all can pile up more suggestions.

Five people who should have a blog who don't:

N. T. Wright
Robert Lupton
Heywood Banks
Peter Leithart
Steven Wright

I could easily think of another dozen blogs-that-don't-yet-exist to waste my time on, er, uh, I mean, read on a daily basis. Other suggestions?

Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

After congratulating myself on such a superb run on Monday morning, I had an awful workout yesterday (Wed) morning. I was supposed to run two miles at a moderate pace...and because of aches & pains (after my four mile run Monday morning, I played basketball for an hour with the inner city teens I work with -- they're a lot younger (read more energetic than I am), tight muscles, etc. I wasn't mentally tough enough to do it. I ended up jogging about half a mile and walking half a mile. Today is a prescribed day of rest on the schedule, but I'll give it a shot again on Friday morning.

Monday, February 18, 2002

This morning I ran further than I've ever run in my entire life...4 miles. Feel free to stuff my Sensus Plenior box with congratulations, praise, encouragement, etc. ;-)

Saturday, February 16, 2002

As you can see, I've switched to a new template. I'm hoping to refresh my blog overall to make it a little more pleasing to the eye and update all the sidebar info. I'll get around to it sometime soon.

Friday, February 15, 2002

Interesting tidbit from Operation World:

In a 'global village' of 12 Evangelical Christians, two would be from North America, two Latin Americans, three Africans, three Asians, 1 European and one from Oceania. Europe brings up the rear with 2.4% Evangelicals.

Re-blogged from Urban Onramps.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

So JH3K -- if you're out there -- can you report for us anything regarding the conference at Bethlehem Baptist?

In an attempt to get in shape I've decided that I'm going to run a race. No...I DID NOT say a marathon, I said a RACE. I'm currently training to run the St. Patrick's Day Parade Run, which is a 5 miler. I've never run more than three miles in my life -- though I've done that several dozen times.

If I finish this race alive and uninjured, I'm hoping to move up to a 10K (little over six miles) and then MAYBE a half marathon (13 miles). Let's see how the five miler goes first.

The race is a little over four weeks away, and I just started training on Sunday night (2/10). Here's the training schedule that I'm more or less following. It's a 10 week schedule that prepares one for a 10K, which is the closest training schedule offered on the website. And, yes I jumped in at the 5 week point, although I had been doing a little running prior to that. I'll try to post an update if anything interesting happens, at the very least I hope to post after March 16th that I successfully completed the race.

Retired firefighter, P. J. Schrantz is brewing and marketing Fire Company Brew, all of the profits will go to charitable endeavors that will support families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy.

Of the many fireighters killed at the World Trade Center, five were friends and former co-workers of Schrantz. He was personally involved in the rescue efforts arriving at the WTC on the afternoon of the 11th and remaining there for four days, sleeping on the streets. In those first four days, he left ground zero only to take his 5 year old son, who has leukemia, for chemotherapy treatments.

For beer drinkers, I might nudge you to consider ordering some Fire Company Brew to quench your thirst. The beer will debut later this month and will be brewed by Matt Brewing Co. There doesn't appear to be any news about the beer on their site yet, nor does the Fire Company Brew URL work...they're apparently not all the way up and running yet.

I don't watch MTV (in fact all of our television viewing is courtesy of the rabbit ears on top of our TV), but apparently they air a reality show called Flipped in which they flip a person's regular life for a day, without that person's prior knowledge.

On an upcoming show Kariem Amos, program director at the Harambee Christian Family Center, will be featured along with Michael, a young man on the periphery of the skinheads. Harambee is a Christian ministry serving mainly African-American and Latino residents in a very rough neighborhood in the Pasadena area.

Michael, who is contemplating becoming a full-fledged "skin", spends the whole day with Kariem in and around the Harambee Center. I won't spoil it for you, instead I'll point you to Harambee's blog where you can check out the two posts for Monday February 11th to see what happened and to read some of Kariem's thoughts about his day spent with Michael.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

As reported in this article, these guys comprise one of the best recruiting classes in the nation...

Good thing, because the Boilers are playing so badly, that Gene Keady said the following in a recent interview:

"In 43 years I've never missed one game. But I tell you what, these games lately, my chest has been hurting. I'm looking for an out."

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