Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
It's a song by a group called "Flipsyde." (not Christians as far as I know), but the song is pretty moving. There's a lot of truth in the song. I'm not sure if the singer (Piper) has dealt with abortion, but he does a good job of getting the message across.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
(Also interesting is that in the early days of Google they used lego bricks as the casings for their hard drives.)
Happy Birthday Lego Brick! It's one of those timeless toys that will probably be around no matter how advanced toys get. Kids love to build, and lego is one of the best!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
- "Despite all the fancy buildings, sophisticated programs and highly visable presence, it is my contention that the churchis almost a non-entity when it comes to shaping culture."
- "We have created a phenomenal subculture with our own media, entertainment, educational system and political heirarchy so that we have the sense that we're doing a lot. But what we;ve really done is create a ghetto that is easily dismissed by the rest of society."
- [Regarding the church's tendency to push people to traditional missionary work] "It's almost as if we believe God is strong enough to take care of his own only as long as they stay within the safety of the Christian ghetto." [ie: traditional missionary work in a 3rd world country]
- "Participating in a boycott of the products of companies sponsoring trashy television programs might make us feel good and righteous, but it has very little to do with being the salt of the world."
- "Sitting in the pews, wringing our hands about decay in the world is not being salt."
- "The best way to stop the spread of evil is to replace it with something good."
- "Being salt does not always mean we "evangelize," but by replacing evil with good we enhance the climate for evangelism."
- "There are so few Christians in the Hollywood film industry, can we blame the movie makers for the errors when they try to portray religious faith."
- "We have the movie morality ministries to keep score for us, but we do not have the writers to change the score in our favor."
- "It is very unfortunate that the only efforts organized by Christians to affect mainstream tv have been negative and reactionary."
- "The most damaging disservice the blasters and boycotters do to the cause of Christ is that it distracts Christians and drains financial support from any positive effort to bring the real salt of the gospel to bear on the medium."
Some challenging words! As a person who loves pop culture and media, this book was particularily challenging to me. I highly recommend taking a look at it if you get the chance.
My next book? "The Irresistable Revolution" by Shane Claiborne.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Like Maple Leaf fans say: "There's always next year."
Friday, January 18, 2008
Recap coming on Monday.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Wow! Talk about a tough parent! I have a ton of respect for this woman. It seems like kids today have way too much power over parents. If I ever talked back to my parents, I knew I would have to face some serious discipline. Now I hear kids talking back to Mom & Dad on a regular basis. Could it be we've gone too far towards leniency? Maybe. But with Moms like this one on the scene, there's still a ray of hope for the future.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
We wanted to do something that would be remembered for the rest of time by people at the school... something legendary. So we brainstormed and came up with what we thought would be a truly legendary prank. We drove out to the country and met up with a farmer who had some chickens and a couple pigs that were of no use to him. (Mentally ill or something like that) We bought the animals from him and also picked up some sod from a new subdivision. It was time to put our plan into action. Through research we found out there were no motion detectors in the cafeteria, and the only way to trip the alarm would be to open one of the windows or doors to the outside. So we unscrewed the contacts on the door and taped them together so they wouldn't separate and trigger the alarm. We also unscrewed the latch on the door so it could be opened from the outside even if it was "locked." (A great deal of planning went into this prank) We were going to sneak in at night, fill the caf with sod and a handfull of chickens and a couple pigs. It was going to be awesome!
We decided on a day in June to pull off the prank, and after baseball practise we agreed on a rendezvous point and time to meet in the middle of the night. I went home, set my alarm before going to bed, and got ready to sneak out of the house and make my way over to the school under the cover of darkness. Bad news is I slept through my alarm and missed the fun. My mom woke me up the next morning and I was ticked! Months of planning and I missed the heist! I choked down some breakfast and made my way to school for another dull day of classes... or so I thought.
Upon arriving at school I saw these huge trucks parked right outside the cafeteria with these big hoses running into the school. "They pulled it off!" I told myself as a smile crept across my face. I made it to class on time and as the announcements were wrapping up there was one announcement I did not expect to hear: "Would AJ please report to Mr Chasty's office please." Uh oh! But I wasn't even here! Turns out he knew it was my group of friends and I was the only one brave enough to show up at school that day. "I didn't do it!" I exclaimed. No dice. He wasn't having any of it. I was sure he would call my parents and I was going to get it from them when I got home. Surprisingly they weren't all that upset, (I think my Dad may have even smiled, almost like he was proud) and no harm came out of it. Sure they had to fumigate the cafeteria and no one could use it for a couple days, but no property was destroyed and no one was hurt. Apparently they still talk about that prank, and no one has topped it yet. That makes me smile.
AJ the Wonderdog
Member - Sod Squad, Class of 2000
Monday, January 14, 2008
It was an interesting feeling. I went to the boat show on business, no desire to pick up a boat nor had I given it any thought. And yet I ended up leaving the show with the feeling that unless I had a boat, I wasn't getting out of life what I could be getting. Amazing how marketing works huh?
They're smiling here... just wait until they are making payments on this thing in the middle of February, -20 outside and the boat is holed up in storage.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Some things I noticed watching the video.
a) The lady who runs this competition isn't too eager to help the lady who just cheated.
b) They wait a good 15-20 seconds before going back to the studio.
c) When they do get back to the studio, the hosts only pretend to care.
Remember kids... Cheaters never prosper!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
By now nearly everyone has seen the Will Ferrell comedy, Talladega Nights. It features a drawn-out gag where Ricky Bobby and Cal both talk about the different ways they picture Jesus: from baby Jesus to drunken Jesus. It was a joke that caused some laughter-and some anger. I experienced both. At first, it is semi-offensive, even for a desensitized college student. Of course, I didn’t say anything around my friends. It’s easy to talk about sex or politics, but getting into religion/spirituality is a whole other story. Often, humor takes off the edge, making it a useful tool for evangelizing.
The Bible tells us that every being is created in the image of God. Therefore, we have to take every thing we experience as another opportunity to creep closer to a thing called Truth. People complain about the Will Ferrell scene: it’s blasphemous, offensive, insulting—and I respect that opinion. It is tough to hear our thoughts and beliefs on prayer simply disregarded like that.
But at the same time, we have to try to glean truth from the experience. What can this tell us about our human nature, the deep flaws of the flesh? In the movie, Ricky Bobby tells his father-in-law that he prays to baby Jesus because that’s the one he likes the best. Cal takes it a step further, telling how he likes to picture Jesus: hammered at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. This is ridiculous right? They think they can just mold Jesus into whatever they want Him to be and that’s OK?
Wait, why does that sound so familiar?
A critically thinking person can see that the scene gives us a hunk to chew on about creating God in our own image. How many people kill, hate, lie or steal in the name of love? The scene illustrates the same point: people do screwed up things in the name of God, Jesus or religion in general, and then they rationalize it all, making things backward by creating a God in their own image; someone to sit on their throne in Heaven as the almighty yes-man.
God gave us a conscience. He didn’t send us down here by ourselves, controlled solely by flesh, because He knew what would happen. At the same time, as Bob Dylan tells us, “Every man’s conscience is vile and depraved.” The flesh interacts with the soul; it corrupts the conscience, grossly twisting things. We get what in psychology is referred to as cognitive dissonance: we, compelled by the flesh, do something wrong, and then, in retrospect, have to attempt to reconcile the thought process, or conscience, with the action we have committed. We have choices: change the behavior, acknowledging that it is wrong, or change the status of the behavior on the right-wrong scale in our minds.
As humans, we generally choose the latter. We cannot admit that we have messed up. We would rather walk around with planks in our eyes than to just say, "God, (or mom, dad, spouse, sibling or friend) I messed up."
The thing about Christians, though, is that we should be aware, more so than anyone else, that we are deeply, deeply flawed. We know our flesh is out for us and that no one can work their way through their sin. We must bow in a culture that likes to stand on stilts.
That disconnect between our standard and our behavior hurts. We have a view of God; we go against this view; we feel guilty; we change our view of God. The problem is, before God takes us anywhere near were we need to be, we have to give up the pride and talk to him. We have to know it will happen again, and that we cannot change our mindsets and views of God to justify what we have done. For this reason exactly we are told to verify everything in Scripture. God made our conscience—He knows that it can be manipulated.
So did Ferrell and company mean to specifically help out Christians who are distorting the characteristics of the Christian God? Probably not. Their thoughts probably went something like this: Hey, people do horrible things in the name of religion … lets make fun of it. As Christians, we can feel insulted, or we can try to learn something.
We can’t let the artist’s intentions control our reactions. We have to take the art away from the artist and take the Truth, however it comes. And the truth is this: I have a Jesus who gets pissed off and thinks about shooting people for petty things like the way they drive, but I’ve also met a Jesus who washes my sins away and loves passionately. And my hope is in the fact that the more I talk to the real Jesus, the more I move away from my mirror messiahs and the closer I get to something true and beautiful.
WOW! I love it!