Friday, June 18, 2010

Jump In

Recently I came across an amazing video showing the world famous French free-diver Guillaume Nery who decided to base jump into Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas (which is the second deepest blue hole in the world at a depth of 663 feet to the ocean floor). To be fair he currently holds the world record for constant weight free diving (which is diving without fins) to a depth of 370 feet. So he's really good at this sort of thing, but it was impressive nevertheless. Although he doesn't reach the bottom, it is still breathtaking to watch the video footage of him walking from the beach until he gets completely underwater as he finally approaches the edge of the blue hole. Then he jumps and descends with his girlfriend and fellow diver French champion Julie Gautier capturing it all with some very creative video footage. You have to check it out. Really great stuff.

I couldn't help but think about faith as I watched this. It seems like as Christians there will always be blue holes that we come across. Obstacles that we need to face. Challenges that we need to overcome. Decisions that we need to make. A deep, dark abyss of the unknown. But we have to have faith because God knows, and He often leads us to such points in our life for a reason. We need to have faith in Him. We must have faith in the tools we have been given - the Word of God; prayer; the Holy Spirit; the church - so much is available to not only prepare us for such moments, but to get us through them. But the only way we will get through is to jump in. Trust God who sovereignly moves in our lives in every circumstance that we face - the good, the bad, the unknown. And when we do take that leap of faith we may be surprised at the unexpected beauty that we find. And He will always bring us back up for air - better for having faced and overcome the unknown - glorifying God for it. And it becomes a testimony to all about the wonder of having come to the brink, taking the plunge, and finding that God had beauty and purpose through it all.

If you're on the brink right now facing a blue hole of uncertainty - perhaps in your marriage, or your job, or your health - whatever the unknown is right now for you - jump in. Have faith. Trust God. There is unexpected beauty to be found and God will be glorified through it all.

A Cautionary Tale

The world at large is completely in the dark as to how many oil spills happen all over the world yearly - from faulty equipment and maintenance, sabotage, corporate irresponsibility, or oil pirates. Nigeria has been dealing with the after effects of oil spills that have been ongoing - for 50 years!

In Nigeria, Oil Spills Are a Longtime Scourge -

This is serious people.

Photo by Jane Hahn NYT

Alcohol Under A Microscope

Who knew that alcohol could be this...beautiful? Sure, it can end badly and be harmful if abused, but it starts out like this:









Check this article out for more background.

Inflatable Pillow Tie, at Last

As if YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. hasn't already cost US businesses untold $$$ in lost productivity - I give you:

Inflatable Pillow Tie, at Last

I'll let you know how it works. ;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beach report: Where the oil has washed ashore |

Beach report: Where the oil has washed ashore |

Hate The Phrase; Love The Concept

It must be time for me to write something about accountability. Today I was reading an article on Lifehacker called "Do You Have A Work Buddy?" A solid article explaining the benefits of working with someone who can sharpen you, strengthen you, motivate you, encourage you, etc. I have to say I hated the phrase ("work buddy") but loved the concept.

This evening Erin and I had my brother in law, David, over for dinner. As we were talking together afterward he began telling me about how encouraged he's been working a lawn care job on the side that he and a buddy started this year. He said the best thing he's enjoyed about it was the opportunity to do it with someone. Having this business partner (who also happens to be his friend and roommate) has allowed for a higher pursuit of excellence and a challenge to be the best they can be at their craft all the while enjoying each others company. A reiteration of the "word buddy" concept above.

As if that weren't enough, a dear friend and colleague of mine shared an interesting business concept that he discovered with a software development consulting group we have employed for some work and training. He explained to me how this company provided not one contract resource, but two contract resources for the project we hired them to accomplish. The one contractor is called a "driver". The other is called an "advisor". The idea being one is primarily responsible for the focused work of coding while the other observes - making suggestions, critiques, and affirmations on the progress of the coding in particular and the project overall. Another type of example of the "worker buddy".

There's a lot to be said about this concept of accountability and encouragement. It is absolutely vital for everyone to have such a person in their life. The Bible has much to say on this. A classic passage on this type of concept would be Proverbs 27 (NIV). Here are a few thoughts from there on this type of friendship and relationship:

  • Don't seek praise - v.2 "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips."
  • Be critical with purpose - v. 5,6 "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
  • Enjoy godly counsel and communion - v. 9 "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel."
  • Don't quit on your friend - v. 10 "Do not forsake your friend."
  • Challenge to excellence - v. 17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
  • Be humble when praised - v. 21 " is tested by the praise he receives."
Do you have this kind of "buddy"? Are you this kind of "buddy"?

Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard

Talk about asinine - the Coast Guard is majoring on the minors here. Come on people! Stupid.

BP Oil Spill: Against Gov. Bobby Jindal's Wishes, Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard - ABC News

Mark Driscoll on Sin and Repentance

I really was challenged watching a recent video podcast from Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill, Seattle. In his message "John The Baptizer - Part 2" he says this, "Our sin is worse than we think. It is so bad that God, Jesus, had to die for it. If it was important enough for Jesus to die for it then we need to put it to death...If Jesus died for that sin, then that sin must die. Can't just wound it. Have to kill it. Repentance is the putting to death of sin...Because it killed Jesus."

You don't hear a lot of Christian leaders making such biblical statements anymore. Thank God for Pastor Mark.

(By the way - love this pic I found online):

Good Work/Workout Music

Digging this song - "Help, I'm Alive" by Metric.

May not be everyone's dish, but I love it.

Looking For A Pet Dog?

If you're a responsible person who knows what it takes to have a pet and take care of it - and you're looking for a dog to adopt, please read this story.

Huge interest in 25 surrendered dogs | | Cincinnati.Com

Oh, and get your pet spayed or neutered. Kinda helps to prevent pet overpopulation and all.

And if you're looking for a good animal rescue organization to support check out OAR.

BP Purchases 32 of Kevin Costner's Oil-Water Separation Machines

Let's hope his solution fairs better than Waterworld.

BP Purchases 32 of Kevin Costner's Oil-Water Separation Machines

At least someone is trying to do something about it.

Vuvuzela Hero: The Buzz Builds

You've heard of Guitar Hero? Well, step aside, Guitar Hero, because now there's Vuvuzela Hero. Check it out at:

Vuvuzela Hero: The Buzz Builds

Now that's funny right there.

YouTube gets its own Video Editor

In the (singing) words of Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, "Yes I love technology, But not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology. Always and forever."

Nice feature from YouTube. You can trim, combine and even add soundtracks. Very cool

YouTube gets its own Video Editor; trim, combine and even add soundtracks!

Stupid Person Of The Day Award

I know it's early, but Stacy King of Waddell, AZ - you and your husband Keith win this prestigious award today.

Hopefully the rightful owners will get their luggage back soon.

Woman pleads guilty in luggage theft case

Frugality Fatigue

Wow, it must be the day to read and talk about money. Yet another good article on money - focusing on spending:

Food & Drink : $59 a day: What the average American spent in May : Bundle

Michael Dang, author of the above article, asks - how much did you spend yesterday? Let's see, for me - nothing on the way into work. Dropped off my car at Tire Discounters for the whole rotation and balance thing - but that was free because I bought their tires. I packed my lunch (a new and novel concept for me - I have a weakness for eating out and it's been showing with a thinner wallet and bigger belly). So that didn't cost me money. I did go to Target and I bought a fathers day card - $3.99 plus tax. I already had the stamp. Nothing on the way home and nothing last evening. Erin and I made swordfish steaks with pasta and a salad for dinner. And we have cut down our Whit's frozen custard intake to once a week and that only on the weekend. So, yeah, I only spent $4.23 yesterday. That's a marked and willful change for me. According to the above article the average American who makes less than $90,000 a year (considered lower and middle class) is spending $59 a day on non-essentials. That may or may not sound like a lot to you, but let's flesh it out a bit. That's about $1800 a month, which, in turn, works out to about (and here's the breathtaking figure) $22,000 a year! This on non-essentials (lattes and ipads - not the mortgage, bills, etc.) That figure has stayed about the same the last three months but it is a 12 % rise from the same time frame last year. As for Americans who make more than than $90,000 a year spending is up 33 % just from April of this year. Gallup calls this "frugality fatigue". Stop and think about that phrase. Seriously - tired of being frugal? Now I understand that spending drives our economy, but how does our spending compare to, say, our giving? Our saving? For me, I've noticed I've been out of balance financially. I give. I save. But I spend way more than I give or save. I'm trying to get back to financial balance. Enough with the frugality fatigue already.

Cut The Strings

Giving has NEVER been easier. Then why is it still so hard?

New App Helps Charities Make More Money Online

Wikipedia defines a gift as, "The transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return." Maybe that's the rub - if we give, we do so with strings attached. It's time to cut the strings and give of ourselves - be it time, money, talents - whatever we have been blessed with - for the temporal and eternal good of others. As Americans, we have so much to give. As Christians, we have something eternal to give. In what ways are you giving? How will you give today?

The $600 Billion Challenge

I found this article in Fortune Magazine (though quite long) to be amazing and inspiring.

The $600 billion challenge - FORTUNE Features - Fortune on

The short of it - Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have been working for a while to create a pledge from the worlds 400 billionaires to donate 50% of their wealth to philanthropic and charitable causes either in life or at death. According to reports, the net worth of these billionaires is $1.2 trillion dollars, making the pledge $600 billion dollars. Astonishing. To put this in comparison, the IRS reports that Americans as a whole donate $300 billion dollars to charitable causes and organizations annually - by far the greatest total of any country in the world (and this doesn't take into account that Americans at lower income levels do not itemize for this so the number surely is greater). To date, the billionaires donate 11% of their wealth, which, as the article points out, is slightly better than a tithe. Again, impressive.

Some of the heavy hitters who have been meeting regularly concerning this are: David Rockefeller, Sr.; Warren Buffett; Bill Gates; Mayor Bloomberg; "Pete" Peterson; Julian Robertson; George Soros; Charles "Chuck" Feeney; Oprah; Ted Turner; Eli and Edythe Broad; and John and Tashia Morgridge. Say what you want about those on this list - like them or not - but they, plus many others, or seriously going forward with this. You may visit this site for more information. In the article I was most impressed by Charles "Chuck" Feeney who actually dropped off of the Forbes top 400 wealthiest people alive in 1997 because he "gave bulk of holdings to charity." I can't say as to what charities and philanthropic causes these monies are going to or will go to, and I do not know what eternal consequence this will have, but the fact that the Gates Foundation has already invested billions to come up with and distribute a tasty pill that combats malaria - that's a huge cause worth supporting.

I especially liked the closing paragraph of the above article by Carol J. Loomis, senior editor at Fortune, "Society cannot help but be a beneficiary here, by virtue of at least some dollars and perhaps many. Nor will it be just the very rich who will perhaps bend their minds to what a pledge of this kind means. It could also be others with less to give but suddenly more reason to think about the rightness of what they do." There's a challenge for all of us.

Familiar refrain: Reds bullpen struggles

The Red's are fortunate to still be tied for 1st place after this 3 game losing streak. It almost all falls exclusively on the shoulders of the bullpen. It's odd because they had the 3rd best bullpen in the NL last year, but this year they are 13th. They need a shakeup. Give some of the young guys in the minors a try or bring someone in. Enough already! Come on Redlegs! Don't do the June swoon!

Familiar refrain: Reds bullpen struggles

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Show Up And Get In The Game

So I got a Blackberry the other day. One of the first things I did was download the Tetris app (perhaps the best $4.99 I ever spent). Love the game. A couple of days later I saw this on Reddit:

It made me laugh, because I can really relate to this. Now, if you've never played the game - it's not hard. Just build a row with the different shaped pieces with varied colors that are falling to the bottom of the screen and once the row is built - it disappears. If you don't have the right piece or if you use the piece that is falling incorrectly, you don't finish a row. And if you don't finish a row, the pieces stack up in awkward ways and it gets harder to finish a row as the pieces seemingly fall down quicker. Then before you know it - the game is over because the right piece or pieces didn't show up (usually the long, straight ones), or they weren't used in the right way. The greatest fun is to build several rows at a time and wait for just the right piece at just the right time to complete the rows and when that happens, you get extra points as the rows disappear. The more rows you build and make disappear at any given time the better. 

It made me think about the church - the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:16 (ESV) says, "...from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." If we are true Christians then we are members of the body of Christ. We each have different shapes, sizes, and colors so to speak - all necessary for the health of the body of Christ. We have an obligation to help the body grow and build up in love - row upon row as it were. Ephesians 2:21 (ESV) says " whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. " Just as the one physical body has many members that are necessary for it to function properly, so it is with the church. Each member is kind of like a Tetris piece. It has a place. A perfect fit - gifted to contribute for the Glory of God. If it doesn't show up, or is not used properly, it can cause all kind of problems. Now I don't know how the rows disappearing in the game quite fit into this analogy. Perhaps it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say we should all strive to find our place within the body. To have that building of unity for growth in holiness - one piece at a time. Then in the fullness of time, we will disappear - either by the revelation of Christ or by death. Either way we will stand before the Lord and give an account for how, in a manner of speaking, we played the game. So my advice? Figure out what piece you are and the place you are to be. Then show up and get in the game.

Home For Good

I write a lot of songs about "going home" or "finding your way home". I know, for me, where that comes from - it took 10 years for me when I was a child to find a home that was truly a home. And while those first 10 years were difficult in many ways, I was never an orphan. I can think of nothing sadder than an orphan - to be abandoned on purpose or circumstantially - fatherless, motherless. The statistics are staggering in our modern world. Consider:

  • Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
  • Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans
  • Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)
  • 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home
  • Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
  • Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system
  • Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT
  • Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home
  • In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.
  • 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.
  • Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.
    Courtesy of the Home For Good Foundation

    My heart breaks to read these staggering statistics. So does the heart of God. 

    In a spiritual sense we are born orphans apart from God - because of sin. But there is a remedy for this:

    Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV) - "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."

    John 1:12 (ESV) - "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

    And praise God for this:

    John 14:18 (ESV) - "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

    If you are a child of God, you are no longer orphaned. You are adopted into the  family of God and even made joint heirs with Christ. As adopted children of God we must share this message with the whole world - including the literal orphans all around us. And perhaps God would even lead us in time to adopt an orphan in this world and minister to their physical and spiritual needs so that they may know not only what it means to be adopted here and now, but also in the world to come. 

    Home for good.

    Thomas Kennington "Orphans" 1885

    Appreciating The Ride Into Work

    The Swedes get credited for doing a lot of things well. Their subway system is no exception. How would you like to see this on your way in to work in the morning?

    Now this is man made art, and it's really cool and beautiful. It is to be appreciated. Most of us don't ride into work on a subway, but we hop on the highway. It's easy to miss our surroundings as we head into the rat race, with a million things on our mind. But pause long enough to really see your surroundings. You may be blessed by something amazing like the above, or by something that God made:

    A Soporific or Epistemic Post?

    Don't know if this will put you to sleep or cause you to learn something new, but because I love words I had to share this article with you. And because I want to be as laconic as possible, that's all I'm going to say on the matter. :)

    Glad Jim Zorn's a Christian and all, but...

    ...I would rather he not be successful at Baltimore as their new Quarterbacks coach. You know, because I'm a Bengal's fan. That said, the Ravens will be a formidable offensive foe this year with "Joe Cool" Flacco, my fantasy stud running back Ray Rice, and the addition of Anquan Boldin.

    Jim Zorn's fallback option: Turn Joe Flacco into a Pro Bowler -

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    A Nice Personal Touch From Gmail

    Google has added yet another nice feature to one of its products. Now, in Gmail, the senders profile picture can be included in correspondences. It's a nice personal touch to put a face with the email. Not a big deal. Just kind of cool.

    I Prefer Big Butter Jesus

    It is by now a national headline thanks to Matt Drudge - but in case you live locally around the greater Cincinnati area and somehow missed the biggest news story of the last 24 hours here's your newsflash..."Touchdown Jesus" was struck by lightning (an "act of God" I believe would be the insurance term) and burned to the ground - all except for the steel frame reaching heavenward - as if pleading, "Why?" It looks more like "Stick-man Jesus" now. You may be the only one around if you don't know the statue I'm writing about. But anyone who has ever traveled up or down I-75 through Monroe has seen this statue at some point. Surely. You may not know it, but behind the statue, there's a church (in case you missed it for the statue) - The Solid Rock Church. Pastor's Lawrence and Darlene Bishop of Middletown built the statue (and the church), which the church calls the "King of Kings" statue. All that said, I prefer the other well-known moniker for the six story tall former statue of Jesus - "Big Butter Jesus". Perhaps that's because the real "Touchdown Jesus" resides in South Bend and, as of this posting, was unscathed and doing quite well. Hopefully the football team can do the same this year. Go Irish.

    But over the last six years (the statue was built in 2004) I have actually given a lot of thought to that statue. At times, it's made me laugh (thanks to the Big Butter Jesus song by Heywood Banks). At times I've scratched my head and shrugged. I mean, what do you make of THAT? And at times I've been, I don't know, frustrated at the site of this statue. Why? I guess because it cost a quarter of a million dollars to build, plus many expensive repairs over the years. Numerically that looks like $250,000. The estimated damage from the fire for the statue is $300,000 (the amphitheater behind the statue sustained heavy damage as well at $400,000). The early word is that the husband and wife co-pastor's are going to rebuild it - this time with "fireproof" materials. Years ago, Pastor Lawrence Bishop said he was trying to help people, not impress them, with the statue. He said his wife proposed the Jesus figure as a beacon of hope and salvation. To be fair, so many people have stopped to visit the statue - either because of inspiration or intrigue - that the church had to pave a wide walkway to and around the statue. It became a monument of sorts that gained the national spotlight. I don't want to diminish the fact that someone out there may have been affected by seeing this statue in some sort of spiritual way, but I still can't get over how much money was given to erect that statue. I know the pastor said they were trying to help, not impress, people. But how much help can a statue that looks like a slowly melting Jesus made out of butter really offer? Now, spending that quarter of a million dollars on real human needs - especially those needs that exist in third world countries - where people either do not have the Gospel or suffer for it - that's help. Spending it on people who do not have proper nourishment, or drinkable water, or available health care - now that...THAT could and would have been real help AND impressive. Certainly inspirational. And definitely not odd - especially for the Christian. That type of help causes the world to take notice. I doubt Heywood Banks would write a humorous song about that type of ministry of compassion. Oh well, the statue was insured. It will be rebuilt. It will continue to be a joke to most, and, perhaps, a momentary help to others. But tell me what good that statue will be to a starving child - hungry for rice and the Bread of Life? I would rather see a modest monument listing all of the names of people from around the world who had been helped instead with that money. I can't help but find it a bit ironic that lightning burnt this statue to the ground. Some would call that signs and wonders. Me, I just can't help but wonder about it all.

    Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

    We all go through dark seasons in our lives. The 16th century Spanish poet and Catholic mystic St. John of the Cross called this type of season the "Dark Night Of The Soul". Thousands of years ago, there lived a Jewish man named Daniel. He was a captive of the Babylonian Empire under rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. This king had a dream, and it troubled him. No one around him could interpret this dream - not even his own wise men, magicians, astrologist's, or sorcerers. He got mad enough to kill for this. It was a dark time in the kings court. Then a man named Arioch tells the king about Daniel. I'm sure Daniel had some dark nights as well during this time, and would again (think Lion's Den). But now an angry king killing people who cannot interpret his dream - which was, in fact, a vision from God - is told of Daniel. So Daniel gets volunteered for the task of doing what no one else could do. But Daniel wasn't scared of the darkness surrounding him. On the contrary, Daniel said, 

    "20...Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. 21...He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22...He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. 23...To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter."

    In Daniel's time of darkness, he did 10 things - revealed in this classic prayer:

    1) He praised the name of God. - v. 20
    2) He recognized God's name is everlasting. - v. 20
    3) He trusted in God's wisdom and might. - v. 20
    4) He believed in the sovereignty of God in matters pertaining to this world - times, seasons, kings. - v. 21
    5) He sought and gained wisdom, knowledge, and might from God. - v. 21, 23
    6) He found deep and hidden things were not off limits from God's revelation. - v. 22
    7) He knew he didn't need to be afraid of darkness because God even knows what is in the darkness. - v. 22
    8) He saw that light dwells with God - dispelling the darkness. - v. 22
    9) He remembered his heritage. - v. 23
    10) He gave honor and thanks to God for answered prayer. - v. 23

    If you're going through a dark time, examine this prayer and find the Light that you need to lead you out.

                                                                                 photo by phoenixdub

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Warning Labels And The Constitution - Only In The 21st Century

    No joke. Wilder Publications has started putting warning labels on copies of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other historical documents.  It reads that each document is "a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.” For more you may refer to this article. To be sure significant progress has been made with issues such as race in the last 200 plus years, but the word "values" has become a relative term. Tolerance is the new "value" of our society. That said, intolerance is not an option either. Unconditional love, grace, and truth have never been more needed than right now.  Time-honored traditions and writings are under constant attack as everything is being watered down or twisted to fit 21st century, post-modern, political, scientific, religious, and secular agendas which place little emphasis or value on things like the Constitution of the United States of America. What's next, a warning label for the Bible? Don't laugh.

    another reason not to like soccer (football for those across the pond)

    one word - vuvuzela. or lepatata if you prefer. or simply - stadium horn. a three foot by three inch long blow horn. that's like the size of a small child, and if you can believe it, even noisier. no matter what it's called it's the most annoying sound in the world. don't believe me? have a you believe me. it sounds like a cow bellowing out in a monotone wail of pain.

    i tried to be a good sport today at lunch and tuned in to a world cup match on espn between japan and - i don't remember and it doesn't matter. simply put, i mashed the channel up button on the remote control as if my eternal security depended on it to get to good old sportscenter (bumped to espn 2). even argentine footballer (soccer player for the lay person) lionel andres messi had this to say, "it's impossible to communicate. it's like being deaf." well, if you're not deaf going into the stadium, there's a reasonable chance of leaving the stadium in that condition after your team wins or loses. that is, if you don't get trampled first. which, by the way, indicates what? that your team won or lost? i can't remember. or maybe it's both. but i digress. here is an article that explores this topic a little deeper if you care to know.

    now - for those of you football - um, i mean - soccer lovers out there, i'm really just giving you and your beloved sport (the most beloved in the world by the way) a hard time. but for my money, give me the nfl anyday. and leave the vuvuzela's at home people.

    we have met the enemy...

    ...and he IS us. pogo was right, and the deep horizon oil catastrophe really drives this home. and if you're tired of hearing about it, then prepare to get exhausted.

    op-ed columnist thomas l. friedman has a great article in the ny times today "this time is different." i urge you to read it - regardless of your political background - which is a point well-covered in the article. i especially liked this quote near the end of the editorial, "How could we have gone back to business as usual and petty political gridlocks with all those black swans circling around us?"

    if you are not concerned about this spill and the havoc it is playing on the gulf, its wildlife, its residents, and its commerce then i ask you to check your pulse. 

    we are too attached to getting things cheap and living comfortably in this country - no matter the cost. forget about third world workers, or dangerous and irresponsible business practices exhibited by corporate behemoths like BP. it's so much easier to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear away from the truth. pick up a broom and sweep your porch. you don't need a gas blower for that. use a rake and some elbow grease in the fall. it's a good workout. no need for a leaf vacuum. how about a reel or battery operated mower? or how about shopping at thrift stores or good will for clothes and furniture? there are a lot of simple things that can be done to take better care of the world God has given to us. it starts now. it has to.

    life and peace

    "for to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." - romans 8:6
    "to set the mind" speaks of purpose. a willful choice. to set the mind "on the flesh" has a penalty - death. this could be literal or figurative. who wants death when there is an alternative - life? but this also requires purpose - setting the mind on the Spirit. this willful choice brings life AND a nice little bonus - peace.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    the time is now to reconsider google buzz over facebook and twitter

    as many have noticed (and complained about) i am no longer on facebook (too much farmville and not enough meaningful exchanging of ideas - not to mention the security concerns). i've never been on twitter. couldn't get past how silly the name sounded. but i like google buzz. it continues to improve too. pretty much everything that google does is top notch (on a side note - please, google, let me have the option of turning off conversation threading). anyway, here is a nice article on the time is right to reconsider google buzz. just remember, i mentioned it here first - before it got big. :)