Sunday, December 31, 2006

For 2007

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in the world
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

(A Franciscan Blessing)

via Joel Vestel

Holiday Media

Some of the new, eclectic media around our family this holiday...

Film DVD - Pulp Fiction
Watching this was at the request of Uncle Dug, who got the DVD for Christmas. Yeah yeah, I know - extremely vulgar and violent. But you have to admit, the director was *certainly* trying to say something - "Redemption" is a major theme in the movie. And you must know that Quentin Tarantino [the director] is a huge influence in our culture. More in this article if you are interested - spoiler alert.

CD - Hannah Montana
Overheard on the long drive home:
me - "I'm totally addicted to this CD."
D - "You would be."

CD - Evanescence, The Open Door

Film - Night at the Museum

Music - Christina Aguilera, Back to Basics

Music - Michael W. Smith, Stand

Book - The Journey of Desire, John Eldredge

Book - Planting Churches Cross-Culturally, David Hesselgrave

Remember, relevance to culture is not optional.

2006 in cities

Oops - totally forgot this one and it's one of my favorites... [post is backdated]

1. Fairfield, CT, USA
2. Leesburg, VA, USA
3. Hagerstown, MD, USA
4. Orlando, FL, USA
5. Savannah, GA, USA
6. New York, NY, USA
7. Chincoteague Island, Virginia VA, USA
8. Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA
9. Los Angeles, CA, USA
10. Anaheim, CA, USA
11. Newport Beach, CA, USA
12. Yaounde, Cameroon, Africa
13. Kribi, Cameroon, Africa
14. Paris, France, Europe
15. Gettysburg, PA, USA
16. Annapolis, MD, USA
17. Patapsco State Park, MD, USA
18. Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA
19. Savannah, GA, USA

[Related - 2005 in cities]

Urbana 06 - Missionary Trading

Urbana 06 is going on right now - you can get both the audio and the video from all the sessions as they become available at, which is really cool. I've never been, but maybe one of these years I should go.

I've been following a few people who are blogging from the conference. One snippet that intrigues me:
"One practical challenge that Muriu [plenary speaker Oscar Muriu] offered – when American churches send a missionary to the Two-Thirds World, they should also work to receive a missionary from the Two-Thirds World. When churches send a team on a short-term trip, they should likewise receive a team from their partnering church or mission. The North American church must realize how much it needs the life and perspectives of our brothers and sisters around the globe to help us live missionally in our own culture. After all, every part of a human body both gives and receives from others. We are impoverished if we think we have nothing to receive from the majority world church."- Al Hsu, from the Suburban Christian
Sort of like our Reverse Missions idea, but even better. Working out an idea like this would continue to make SPACE one of the most innovative, creative and strategic student missions movements around.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I could get used to this

It's not much, but I call it a remote office. Tybee Island, GA.

Double Confirmation and a Sense of Destiny

"The classic pattern for double confirmation involves four steps. First there is a crucial moment in the leader's ministry when a sure word from God is needed for direction. Second, God gives direction to the leader directly or indirectly. Third, God then confirms this direction through someone else. Fourth, God brings the two together in some unmistakable, sovereign way.
Double confirmation gives divine affirmation to an important decision and validates a leader's spiritual authority. It gives a renewed sense of destiny to the leader, while serving as a sign to outsiders as well as insiders."

- Bobby Clinton in The Making of a Leader

Your experience?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wednesday Potpourri

::: VBS Ladies
"They can be a blessing, or a source of consternation if they’re given too much authority and allow activities to supersede relationships."
Link from Seth Barnes

::: Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
Link from Rudy

::: A Biblical Missiology for North American People Groups
Therefore, discipleship of North American people groups is not only a domestic missions agenda but a global one. A biblical missiology that encompasses inclusion, compassion, justice, and proclamation is biblically mandated. If members of people groups are discipled here, many more individuals of unreached people groups can be discipled internationally. As Rajendra K. Pillai boldly states in his book, Reaching the World in our own Backyard: "People from other religions and cultures now live, study, and work among us. They are America’s most overlooked mission field. We cannot make excuses anymore. The eternal destinies of millions are at stake. Remember: If you are not fishing, you are not following!"
Full pdf report from

::: The Delta Scan - A forum for scanning the science and technology horizon over the next 50 years.
There are some amazing outlooks [an internally consistent, plausible view of the future based on the best expertise available - not a prediction or policy or preference] in here, including:
- Studying Human Behavior in Cyberspace
Cyber-ethnography, defined as the study of online interaction, is likely to become an important area of anthropological research as more and more human activites are conducted in cyberspace.
- Application of AI to Global Trade and Logistics
The application of artificial intelligence to commerce may make trade and logistics more efficient.
- Mobile Phones and Economic Growth in the Developing World
Mobile phones have the potential to spur economic growth, especially entrepreneurial business, in the Developing World.
- From Brain Drain to Brain Circulation
The 20th-century phenomenon of 'brain drain', of scientific and engineering talent emigrating from developing countries to North America and Europe, is likely to be replaced by 'brain circulation', in which globally mobile scientists and engineers work for shorter periods in a wider range of countries.
via BoingBoing

Saturday, December 23, 2006


K turns nine today. That is her running in the annual Pumpkin Run at her school from around Halloween. Keep running girl, the world needs you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

On the Move

We are on the move to Savannah for the Christmas holiday. Should be a fun time. Blessings and Merry Christmas to you and your families.

ps - My house is being guarded by one very dangerous housesitter and two very smart dogs.

Photo: K on her new bike she got for her birthday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday Potpourri

::: 70
Paralyzed making a decision as a leader? The Marine Corps trains officers to make decisions when they are 70 percent confident of the outcome.
A template for looking at some of the most commonly encountered problems in reaching a decision from Leading Blog.

::: 80
We often fear letting go of things because of someone who will do it as good as us. But, as Maxwell has said, if someone can do it 80% as good as you--let go. When we don’t let things go, not only do we deprive others of getting in the game, but we also don’t get to grow on to new levels of impact ourselves.
7 points about developing leaders from NorthWood Church.

:::The top 5 most dangerous roads in the world
Link via kottke

::: Virgin Komodo Dragon to Give Birth
See, it could happen. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Blog Updates to Your Phone?

I'm going to try to enable this very soon. [RSS readers - there is an embedded video in this post.]

via [For some really strange reason, my wife didn't think it was half as funny as I did.]

Monday, December 18, 2006

The End of Poverty - Chapter 3

The third post in a series of posts based on the book The End of Poverty. [Notes from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.]

Chapter Three - Why Some Countries Fail to Thrive
Eight major categories of problems can cause an economy to stagnate or decline:

1. The Poverty Trap
Poor do not have the ability by themselves to get out of it - too poor to save for the future.

2. Physical Geography
Americans, for example, believe that they earned their wealth all by themselves. They forget that they inherited a vast continent rich in natural resources, with great soils and ample rainfall, immense navigable rivers and thousands of miles of coastline with dozens of natural ports that provide a wonderful foundation for sea-based trade.
Many of the world's poorest countries are severely hindered by high transport costs because they are landlocked; situated in high mountain ranges; or lack navigable rivers, long coastlines or good natural harbors. Culture does not explain the persistence of poverty in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan or Tibet. Look instead to the mountain geography of a landlocked region facing crushing transport costs and economic isolation that stifle almost all forms of modern economic activity.
Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, has an ideal rainfall, temperature and mosquito type that make it the global epicenter of malaria, perhaps the greatest factor in slowing Africa's economic development throughout history.
Fortunately, none of these conditions is fatal to economic development. It's time to banish the bogeyman of geographical determinism, the false accusation that claims about geographical disadvantage are also claims that geography single-handedly and irrevocably determines the economic outcome of nations.

3. Fiscal Trap
Even when the private economy is not impoverished, the government may lack the resources to pay for the infrastructure on which economic growth depends. Governments are critical to investing in public goods and services like primary health care, roads, power grids, ports and the like.

4. Governance Failures
Economic development requires a government oriented toward development.

5. Cultural Barriers
Cultural or religions norms in the society may block the role of women, for example, leaving half of the population without economic or political rights and without education, thereby undermining half of the population in its contribution to overall development.
6. Geopolitics
Trade barriers erected by foreign countries can impede a poor country's economic development.

7. Lack of innovation
Consider the plight of inventors in an impoverished country. Even if inventors are able to develop new scientific approaches to meet local economic needs, the chances of recouping investments in research and development through later sales in the local market are very low.
Rich countries have a big market, which increases the incentive for innovation, brings new technologies to market, further raises productivity and expands the size of the market, and creates new incentives for innovation. This momentum creates, in effect, a chain reaction, which economists call endogenous growth. Innovation raises the size of the market; a larger market raises the incentives for innovation. Therefore, economic growth and innovation proceed in a mutually reinforcing process.
8. The Demographic Trap
Half the world, including all of the rich world, is at or near the so-called replacement rate of fertility, in which each mother is raising one daughter on average to replace her in the next generation.
One reason for a poverty trap is a demographic trap, when impoverished families choose to have lots of children. These choices are understandable, yet the results can be disastrous. When impoverished families have large numbers of children, the families cannot afford to invest in the nutrition, health and education of each child.

My thoughts:
- The problem of extreme poverty is much larger than any one idea or thought.
- This chapter is set up for more of the concrete and tangible solutions later in the book. Look for my notes on those in a few weeks - my library copy of the book can't be renewed anymore.
- The paragraph about Americans "forget[ing] that they inherited a vast continent" was sobering. I never thought about it that way before. Gives even more weight to the idea that we have been blessed to be a blessing.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December Convergence

When we are the epicenter of a community that resources, trains and sends people back and forth from culture to culture, December can be an amazing convergence. Friends from near and far dropped in last night.

Photo: Some of the Cam team with Tkshi from Yaounde, Cameroon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A place where you all can comment and share your stories about your friends, people and making an impact on the world. Click.

Friday Potpourri

:::Alan Hirsch on the fringe
In the study of the history of missions, one can even be formulaic about asserting that all great missionary movements begin at the fringes of the church, among the poor and the marginalized, and seldom, if ever, at the center. It is vital that in pursuing missional modes of church, we get out of the stifling equilibrium of the center of our movements and denominations, move to the fringes, and engage in real mission there. But there’s more to it than just mission; most great movements of mission have inspired significant and related movements of renewal in the life of the church. It seems that when the church engages at the fringes, it almost always brings life to the center. This says a whole lot about God and gospel, and the church will do well to heed it.
Link to download the intro and chapter 1 of his new book.

:::Soul Surfing School via the YS Student Newsletter

:::Donate Your USB drives to Africa
Inveneo is a non-profit that brings information and communication technology to remote and rural ares in the developing world. We're holding a Thumb Drive Drive. Donate old USB thumb drives (16mb and larger) so that they can be provided to school labs in the countries where we operate including Uganda, Rwanda, and Mali. Low capacity thumb drives are the AOL floppies of the 2000s. We'd like to put them to good use. Donations are tax deductible.
Link via BoingBoing

Thursday, December 14, 2006

White House Summit on Malaria

D showed me this article which highlights the White House Summit on Malaria, happening today. Some interesting clips:
::: President Bush Announced The President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) In June 2005. PMI is a five-year, $1.2 billion program that challenges the private sector to join the U.S. Government in combating malaria in 15 of the hardest-hit countries. The initiative aims to cut malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in these 15 focus countries in Africa.

::: Through partnerships working in the first three focus countries – Tanzania, Angola and Uganda – aid from the American people has already reached about six million Africans.

::: In June 2006, Mrs. Laura Bush announced the United States will partner with four more focus countries – Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Senegal – to provide long-lasting mosquito nets, anti-malarial drugs, and help these countries conduct mosquito-spraying programs. The initiative also includes education and evaluation programs.
See where you can donate money to buy bed nets - $10 buys one. When we were in Cameroon, I personally didn't sleep under nets, maybe because of the time of year when we were there. I did sleep under one in the DR in 1993 and the lucky scenario of having infectious diarrhea and trying to get out of a bed net in the middle of the night was ... er... memorable. But better than getting malaria I'm sure.

Update - LB reminded me that the ladies slept under nets at the beach. Us men didn't because we were up high on a hill with a steady breeze.

Some related malaria reading: Keith's [from Under the Acacias] malaria series, my post about a WashingtonPostMag article, October 2006.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2006 in books

A list of books that I read [or sort of read] this year with some comments in order of my recommendations to you - top of the list are must-reads.

:::The One Thing You Need to Know
Lots of great stuff about leadership, managing and focus. If you have any influence over people [and you probably do even if you don't think you do] you need to read this. Easy reading, great stories. [My notes - Chapter 2, Chapter 4, Conclusion ]

:::The End of Poverty
Amazing book about the incredible possibility that extreme poverty will be nonexistent when our kids grow up. Gives a great view of the world that most of us never encounter. Those of you that are technically inclined will really appreciate the section on solutions to extreme poverty which are all based on transferable technologies. I'm still working through this one. [My notes - Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.]

:::Organic Church
Very different view on growing churches and people organically. Some good ideas that can be transferred for student ministry. You will enjoy it. [My notes.]

:::A Whole New Mind
Fascinating book dealing with abundance, globalization and teaching our minds to think in different ways. Each chapter also has some great experiential exercises to bring the concepts to tangibility. Some of our students are already wired this way. [My notes on Symphony and Abundance.]

:::The Making of a Leader
This is a really good and weighty book - it takes time to work through. Therefore, I need to read it again and spend more time working through it. And when I say weighty, I mean that you can almost see the impact of *your* leadership and growth on others - both in good and bad ways.

:::Shaping the Spiritual Lives of Students
Good view into adolescent spiritual growth. [My notes - Chapter 7 and random quotes and my review at]

Good. Not as good as Waking the Dead, but good.

:::Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Whether you like Driscoll or not [I do mostly,] it's a good read. As someone not in vocational ministry, reading it gave me a new appreciation for those that are. [My notes.]

Fun and intriguing read. Very interesting ideas and Gladwell has a really fun, engaging style of writing. [My notes]

:::The Celtic Way of Evangelism
Good read - lots of good stuff in here. I'm pretty sure some of it was covered in Perspectives though. So would be good if you haven't taken that class. [If you haven't taken it, GCC is offering it in the Spring - contact me for more details.]

Fun book. Probably a little less of a revelation to those under 30. But a good read.

:::Messy Spirituality
Skimmed it mostly. Lots of people liked it. Didn't engage me like I would have hoped. Could very well be that I need to read it again.

:::Ambassador Children
Skimmed it. Good concept.

Also in there: a few real estate books, Exiles [which is really good but needs more attention] and the Walt Disney World Celebration Catalog.

Monday, December 11, 2006

SPACE Orbiters

You are interested in world cultures, global missions and launching your friends on an adventure while you live a big life that takes on the trajectory of Jesus and his strategic orbit from culture to culture, country to country, planet to planet.

You feel personally responsible for:
- compelling old and new friends to serve humanity in ways largely outside of their comfort zones
- making friends with people that have no idea what the word 'church' means
- engaging friends and strangers that have backgrounds from other cultures
- living a life filled with moments that intersect destiny, hope and mission

You will:
- get a chance to dig deeper in your interests in world cultures and global missions
- watch as your friends impact strangers they never knew existed
- be a part of tri-weekly interactions centered around student missions, the core values of SPACE and your gift to mankind
- help architect mission experiences for your friends and peers based on your interest in cultures, your high tolerance for risk, and your passion for your culture

The world is your playground and your heartache.

Photo: EllyK and TriciaB - SPACE Orbiters - on the beach in Kribi, Cameroon, August 2006.

Yunus - We Can Put Poverty in the Museums

From Muhammad Yunus and his Nobel Peace Prize speech:
We get what we want, or what we don't refuse. We accept the fact that we will always have poor people around us, and that poverty is part of human destiny. This is precisely why we continue to have poor people around us. If we firmly believe that poverty is unacceptable to us, and that it should not belong to a civilized society, we would have built appropriate institutions and policies to create a poverty-free world.

We wanted to go to the moon, so we went there. We achieve what we want to achieve. If we are not achieving something, it is because we have not put our minds to it. We create what we want.

What we want and how we get to it depends on our mindsets. It is extremely difficult to change mindsets once they are formed. We create the world in accordance with our mindset. We need to invent ways to change our perspective continually and reconfigure our mindset quickly as new knowledge emerges. We can reconfigure our world if we can reconfigure our mindset.
Other interesting quotes:
Ninety four percent of the world income goes to 40 percent of the population while sixty percent of people live on only 6 per cent of world income. Half of the world population lives on two dollars a day. Over one billion people live on less than a dollar a day.

Today, Grameen Bank gives loans to nearly 7.0 million poor people, 97 per cent of whom are women, in 73,000 villages in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank gives collateral-free income generating, housing, student and micro-enterprise loans to the poor families and offers a host of attractive savings, pension funds and insurance products for its members. Since it introduced them in 1984, housing loans have been used to construct 640,000 houses. The legal ownership of these houses belongs to the women themselves. We focused on women because we found giving loans to women always brought more benefits to the family.

We are creating a completely new generation that will be well equipped to take their families way out of the reach of poverty. We want to make a break in the historical continuation of poverty.

In Bangladesh 80 percent of the poor families have already been reached with microcredit.

As a first step to bring ICT to the poor we created a mobile phone company, Grameen Phone. We gave loans from Grameen Bank to the poor women to buy mobile phones to sell phone services in the villages. We saw the synergy between microcredit and ICT [Information and communication technology.]

Human beings are a wonderful creation embodied with limitless human qualities and capabilities. Our theoretical constructs should make room for the blossoming of those qualities, not assume them away.
Link via kottke

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What on Earth is Wrong with Bloglines?

For those of you that have seen my 50 and 60 republished posts... it's not me...

Saturday Potpourri

::: Composting Toilets
Typical "low-flush" toilets in the United States and Canada use 6 liters (1.6 gallons) of water per flush, notes Scott Smith, vice president of Canada-based Sancor Industries, which manufactures Envirolet Composting Toilet Systems. Thus, by switching to a no-flush composting toilet, a person can save more than 8,000 liters (2,000 gallons) of water per year, assuming an average flush rate of four times daily. "In 25, 50, 100 years, we probably won’t have…the luxury of using clean water to wash away waste," Smith observes.
Link via WorldChanging

::: China Bloggers
China had 19.87 million bloggers at the beginning of November.
Link via

::: 72 hours a week
Americans aged 13-18 spend a whopping 72 hours a week using "electronic media."
Link via

Don't underestimate the skate culture.

::: MTV moves into Pakistan
"The launches of MTV and Nickelodeon in Pakistan reflect our continued commitment to pioneering the localization strategy in music and kids' entertainment," says Bill Roedy, the president of MTV Networks International. "These new channels enable us to showcase Pakistan's unique and vibrant culture, while celebrating the diversity of music and common experiences among kids and young people."
Can you say indigenous? Link via

[, which I found via YPulse, is a website devoted to youth culture from a more global perspective - since there are 3 billion people in the world under the age of 25. Yes, you read that correct - 3 Billion. And you think *your* youth ministry is understaffed....]

Friday, December 08, 2006

TTS - StrengthsFinder - Arranger

My fourth post in a series based on my specific StrengthsFinder strengths.

You are a conductor. When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, you enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until you are sure you have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible. In your mind there is nothing special about what you are doing. You are simply trying to figure out the best way to get things done. But others, lacking this theme, will be in awe of your ability. "How can you keep so many things in your head at once?" they will ask. "How can you stay so flexible, so willing to shelve well-laid plans in favor of some brand-new configuration that has just occurred to you?" But you cannot imagine behaving in any other way. You are a shining example of effective flexibility, whether you are changing travel schedules at the last minute because a better fare has popped up or mulling over just the right combination of people and resources to accomplish a new project. From the mundane to the complex, you are always looking for the perfect configuration. Of course, you are at your best in dynamic situations. Confronted with the unexpected, some complain that plans devised with such care cannot be changed, while others take refuge in the existing rules or procedures. You don't do either. Instead, you jump into the confusion, devising new options, hunting for new paths of least resistance, and figuring out new partnerships -- because, after all, there might just be a better way.

Action Items:
- Seek complex, dynamic work environments in which there are few routines.
- Make lists of suggestions for how to improve your work environment.
- Develop successful strategies for getting things done. Push yourself to keep adding new wrinkles.
- Learn the goals of the people with whom you work. Let them know that you are aware of their goals.
- Take on the organization of a big event, a convention perhaps, or a company celebration.

Be ready to:
- Explain that your flexibility doesn't mean that your priorities are constantly changing. Tell others that your priorities remain the same, but that you are simply looking for better ways to implement them.
- Give people time to understand your new way of doing things when you present it to them. Your mental juggling is instinctive, but others might find it difficult to break with the existing procedures. Take the time to clearly explain why your new way is more effective.

TTS - Arranger
* "You are a shining example of effective flexibility..." That is a bit surprising to me - sounds more like Adaptability.
* "few routines" - I do like that.
* I volunteered to do some organizing for a few small work related things in the past month after reading this. They were fun and easy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reaching Beyond

An over read conversation [with permission]:
If the comment below didn't capture my imagination, then I would be dead. "Warriors needed in a quest to save the universe one planet at a time starting with Earth. Safe return doubtful."
Ah to be 19 again . . . but with a heart for Christ and a spirit to reach beyond the limits of my fear. Trusting the Lord to lead, guide, nourish and protect you. Love, Dad.
LB is joining us for the first part of the Winter-Sheng-Orlando-Fest - Humana 2.0. Incidentally, her family is doing their own reaching beyond today, as they move out of our area, following the Spirit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

InterVarsity - U of MD College Park - speaking notes

Loads of fun tonight with the gang at College Park - thanks again for hosting me! Below are my notes....


::: Intro
semester as a missions experience
God can speak and mold you
Jonah - God walks Jonah through the experience
spend a few minutes tonight walking through your semester
see it as a missions experience
also talk about going back home

::: This Semester
three questions
- most fun experience
- most embarassing experience
- experience gave you the most self-assurance (talent, strength, energized, etc.)
Share out loud

ST: D's friend in college that shrunk all his clothes

Encourage and challenge you to think about the lessons you learned this semester - not only about the world - but about yourself
College such a great environment to do that

Take the time to work these ideas and burn them in your heart
talk in relationship
serve others in community
ask God to speak to your heart

Resource to be posted - 30 great questions

::: Reentry
All of you will go home soon
Some of you will love it and some of you will hate it
Could be:
great family and home life - empowered, energized, welcomed home
terrible home life - current and history of abuse, neglect, dysfunction
and any extreme in between
Home life is just as important as any mission field

ST: retreat story - homeschooled into public school - "they are really human too"
Sometimes we don't see our family as human

Let's look at going home as re-entry into a different culture as well

one filter:
Learner [vs. Teacher]
posture of humility, engaged, curious, seeking, open
You want to impact a culture, start to learn about it
Language and food - two biggest ones
focus on language
not only on what is being said, but what is not being said
what is really being communicated
patterns of communication that are non-literal
what are the legends in your family
what makes your family simply your family

ST: a dna from my parents is a very low threshold for risk - communicated not in words but in desire and ideas that are elevated and honored

ST: Many many debriefings and rentry discussions
- riding the subway for the first time
- learn another language
- taking risks for Jesus was totally worth it

ST: Cameroon team in Paris
one student - on the brink of a new reality - school on the west coast - right after Africa
scared, excited, a whole range of emotions
need that time to process
prepared for something to come in the future

dont forget that this time is preparing you for something huge
you are the world's only hope

Monday, December 04, 2006

World Map Game

Play this world map game. Comment on your score - I did dismally. via Kottke

[Related - LeapFrog globe that my parents got for the girls last year - we love this toy!]

InterVarsity - U of MD, College Park on Tuesday

I will be hanging at College Park's IV on Tuesday evening, giving a short talk on thinking about the semester like a missions experience. Would love to meet you if you are there. 7.30 at Art/Soc building.

[Related - my speaking notes the last time.]

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday Message Notes

Quick notes from Pastor Mark's talk this morning:
- intro to series Scrooge Comes to Grace - Christmas series
- opened with a scene from The Muppet Christmas Carol, talking about Scrooge
- Affluenza - I Tim 6:17-18
- the lie - your plasma is not big enough, you passport is not stamped enough, etc.
- Heb 13:5 - be satisfied
- The average American family has 13 credit cards
- Marshmallow study by Walter Mischel - idea of delayed gratification
- "I remember reading once of a spiritual seeker who interrupted a busy life to spend a few days in a monastery. 'I hope your stay is a blessed one,' said the monk who showed the visitor to his cell. 'If you need anything, let us know, and we’ll teach you how to live without it.'" - Philip Yancy, Christianity Today, March 2006 p. 112
- Prov 11:25

Gotta go - we are having our neighborhood Progressive Dinner party in about an hour.

Movie Clip Help - Revisit

Two of you wrote in about the movie clip help request. Dennis chimed in with the first Back to the Future and Half Moon wrote in about Walking Tall with the Rock. The only other clip I could think of was in Forrest Gump, when Jenny and Forrest walk past her old house, which brings back loads of scarred memories.

Alas, in any case, I think I've run out of time to find one. But of course, you can still comment if one comes to mind...[scene about someone coming home to a different culture, tension with parents, etc.]

Friday, December 01, 2006

Movie Clip Help?

Ok readers - I need some help. I'm prepping for a talk I'm giving next week and I need a clip from a movie. The clip should help describe someone coming home after a time away, engaging in a bit of reverse culture shock, maybe the tension with their family after being away, etc. Any good ideas? Thanks in advance!

World AIDS Day 2006

Support World AIDS DayToday is World AIDS day. If you aren't familiar with how complex AIDS is, here are some items from the UN 2006 global AIDS epidemic report:
- To date around 65 million people have been infected with HIV and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognised in 1981. The vast majority of the 38.6 million people living with HIV in 2005 are unaware of their status. AIDS is among the greatest development and security issues facing the world today.
- In 2005 AIDS claimed the lives of 2.8 million people and over 4 million people were newly infected with the virus.
- At around 17.3 million, women make up almost half of the total number of people living with the virus, 13.2 million of which live in sub-Saharan Africa (76% of all women living with HIV).
- Sub-Saharan remains the most affected region in the world. Two thirds of all people living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa where 24.5 million people were living with HIV in 2005.
- Growing epidemics are underway in Eastern Europe and Central Asia where 220,000 people were newly infected with HIV in 2005.
- Declines in HIV prevalence have been noted in Kenya, Zimbabwe, urban parts of Haiti and Burkina Faso and four Indian states including Tamil Nadu.
- Worldwide, less than one in five people at risk of becoming infected with HIV has access to basic prevention services.. Across the world, only one in eight people who want to be tested are currently able to do so.
- Each day, 1500 children worldwide become infected with HIV, the vast majority of them newborns.
Many of you are probably familiar with the session with Bono and Bill Hybels at the Willow Creek Leadership Conference [I personally didn't attend] - specifically on AIDS and the Church - here is a transcript from Bono speaking at last year's National Prayer Breakfast, which I've heard is mostly the same thing. Word on the street says that some leaders at GCC are taking this AIDS thing seriously and that there are some people putting a plan together to make sure we as a church get involved. Would love to tell you more, but that is [sort of] all that I know.