Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Bore-gonian

Rant Alert!

For those of you not in the Northwest, the Oregonian is the major newspaper in the state and in Portland specifically. If you like to read it . . . I'm happy that you enjoy it. I used to subscribe to the paper (6 or 7 years ago), but found that the majority of the time I was picking it up off the front porch and putting it in the recycling bin on the back porch. More recently I have been working at a place that sells this paper, so I get to see the headlines on a daily basis. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I think it's ok with newspapers.

During the NBA season I think we went for 18 days straight where the front page article was about the Portland Trailblazers. There were numerous days where there was news that had an impact an any way on the citizens of the city and state. Lately, we have gone back and forth between the 'Blazers and the birth of a baby elephant at the zoo. Yeah, Obama's selection of a VP candidate didn't make it, Obama's speech got bumped, Huricanes ravaging the gulf - no mention.

How is this our major news source? Basketball and pachyderms are the reason that people will pick up the paper? Readership is increased by a giant picture of Greg Oden? How shallow is our city? This makes me feel a little embarrassed to be an Oregonian - good thing that only about 20% of the people here actually read the thing.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Obligatory Political Post

I'm wondering if this election will make history for votership . . . I feel like a lot more people are taking interest in what's happening. For the first time in my life I listened to the speech from a party convention.

Here's what I'm thinking right now . . .

Obama: His speech told me that he's a Democrat to the core. I had heard good things, but when he spoke I heard the same rhetoric as always - he's partisan, and is holding the party line on many issues. He railed on about how we need change in Washington, but he proposed doing so by continuing the old Democratic policies. I heard some good things from him to be sure, but most of it was couched in a diatribe against Bush which is a shallow, immature political tactic.

McCain: His Veep choice is a brilliant pollitical move. I think he is trying to court the disenfranchised Clinton suporters - I have to wonder how successful he will be. By bringing youth and feminity to his ticket he broadens his appeal. It doesn't hurt that she is an attractive woman because McCain isn't too easy on the eyes if you know what I'm saying. His platform isn't too bad, it's defintely not the "four more years of the last eight years" as Obama would paint it. I don't want be a one issue voter, but if he were to promise to privatize Social (in)Securty that would get me in a hot second. I am disgusted with Bush et al backing out on their plan.


Thanks to Mark for pointing out some of the cool new features on blogger look right to see them in action.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kingdom Work

Cross Posted from: Soma Christou.

On Saturday, August 23rd we were blessed to be a part of the Agape Blitz. Our contribution was to help out at Lincoln High School where we led a team in performing some much needed maintenance around the campus. We weeded and painted and took care of the place so that when students return it will look a little better.

What really struck me though was the people that joined in the service. Most of the time we think of service as being what privileged people do for those with less (and that is often what it is), but on Saturday I saw something that spoke of Kingdom to me - a small group of people from a brand new church were the ones working to help out the school where many of the wealthy citizens of Portland send their children. One of the servants had been homeless not too long ago! The wealthy people should be serving the poor, but the Kingdom uses the poor to serve the rich . . .
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are . . .
I saw Kingdom Work on Saturday - and the parents in charge of the work day saw it too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What the eff?

What do you think about Christians that swear? Is it ok for Christians to swear or is cussing a sin?

Time Magazine's "Best Theologian" of 2001, Stanley Hauerwas, is well know for his foul mouth.

On the other extreme is a person who claims that when one uses words such as 'heck' and 'shoot' that it "shows disrespect toward God"

I have found myself using more 'colorful' language of late. I'm not trying to justify what I'm doing, but to really explore my actions.

I remember feeling guilty about swearing when I was younger and working hard to break the habit. I also felt that Baptists were going to hell for believing in Calvinism. As I have matured I no longer condemn my Baptist brothers and sisters. Was my opinion of language also childish?

I think this text has some bearing on the issue: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Eph. 4.29) But does "unwholesome talk" encompass the words that we consider 'bad' or is it the content of our speech?

Are we becoming of the world by cussing, or are we living in the world as the incarnation of God through the Spirit when we speak to people in their own language? Do we bear a better witness when we watch or language, or do we connect with people better when they feel comfortable to speak freely around us?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I want one!

"Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects."*

Please, please, please get me a cloaking device!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tropic Thunder

We got free tickets to a screening of "Tropic Thunder" last night (it comes out on Friday). All I have to say is that this movie is ridiculously funny.

It is funny like "Walk Hard" or "Taledega Nights" in quality and quantity of the humor. Yes, that means it is a filthy, disturbing movie that will make you cringe as often as it will make you laugh. Yes that means that (if you like those other movies) you will laugh until your abs hurt and your cheeks ache.

I won't spoil anything for you by telling you that this movie is about people trying to make a war movie and getting caught up in real conflict. But just like "Anchor Man" was about a TV news anchor, the plot doesn't encompass the depth and breadth of the hilarity.

Go and see this movie (if you are not easily offended and you like the movies above).

Monday, August 11, 2008


The Art of Manliness blog has a post that says it so much better than I could.

Why Being “Indie” is a Bunch of Bunk

The indie identity is based on the idea of being independent from the mainstream. To this end, indie people buy clothes, CD’s, furniture, books, food, and concert and movie tickets that are not popular with the masses. Instead of going to Chili’s, they frequent their local Thai restaurant; instead of going to Wal-Mart, they go to Whole Foods; instead of picking up the new Coldplay CD, they buy an album from Blood Red Shoes; instead of shopping at the Gap, they buy from American Apparel; instead of buying a Dell they buy an Apple (sure they’re a big corporation, but they’re so cool). But what is the common denominator in all of those things? Spending money. Consumption. Indie people express their independence from the mainstream by doing the single most mainstream thing possible: basing their identity on what they consume.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

CERN Large Hadron Collider

On September 10th the CERN Large Hadron Collider will go online in Europe. It aims to solve some of the mysteries of particle physics by accelerating stuff and then crashing it together so that is all blows up. Then they look at what comes out to see what stuff is made of.

Too sciency for you? Sorry.

Check out this rap by the people building the collider:

Some people are afear'd that this thing will break the earth by ripping time open or creating a black hole inside the earth or something.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Be a Man!

So I found this new blog that I pretty sweet. It is called the Art of Manliness - and if you are of that gender you should go and check it out.

Topics that I have seen so far range from how to be a good father to how to dress well or to speak well or to give flowers with deep meaning. The blog is written by a man and his wife, so you are getting what men like and what (at least one) women like in a man.

I think that we need more of this. God created men and women to be different - we need to celebrate those differences. A true man will support, respect, and empower women; but he will do it through his masculinity and empower her to use her femininity.

When the bible says that God created humanity in his image it immediately says that he created male and female - both male and female together make up the image of God.

So be a man (if you are one), and reflect God's image (or at least half of it); if you are a woman then you can reflect the other half of God's image. Together we can show the world the face of God!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

push up date

A quick update on my journey to be able to do a hundred push ups in 6 weeks. Week one went alright, but somewhere along the way I injured my neck/shoulder - not a big deal, but I had to take a day off. I went back and re-did the last two days of week 1 and I'm ready to move on to week 2. I'm already feeling stronger and more confident.

You should try it.