Archive | June, 2011

For no rhyme or reason …

June 30, 2011

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Supposedly, this blog is devoted to theological-sociological-spiritual-cultural-environmental proclammation. Nuts to that for now. I loved this video of breaching whales and I’m passing it along. God is fun and he loves it when his creatures have fun.

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Video of the Month: Parenthood and mercury poisoning

June 29, 2011

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The Evangelical Environmental Network has launched a campaign alerting everyone that one in six babies are now born with high mercury blood levels. Tracey Bianchi, author of Green Mama, published by Zondervan, explains the dilemma and what we can do about it in this video. We’ll cull cyberspace in the future and feature a “Video of the Month.”

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Wise words for an unwise era …

June 28, 2011

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It may have been the most civil statement ever made in thoroughly uncivil times.

Responding to fellow clergy who criticized the civil rights protests in Birmingham, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his towering, magnificent “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 1963.

It’s time that King’s letter—and the spirit and tone in which it was written—be re-examined by every pundit, every pastor, every activist, and every politician

who rightly bemoans the demise of civil discourse in the U.S.

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Global Warming 101 & Green Parenthood

June 25, 2011

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The crowded blogging world features everything from the ridiculous to the trashy to the beautiful to the sublime. Green Parenthood is definitely sublime. It provides practical answers to the inevitable question: “What can a working stiff like me do now that I know the Earth has rolled into Darth Vader’s palm?” You’ll find tips on green picture books for kids, natural stress relief, green weight loss, eggshell recycling, uses for olive oil, and green birthday party ideas. It also points to videos on the environment, most of which children can understand. Here’s one on climate change from the National Geographic …

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Bringing Light into Dark Places

June 23, 2011

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The rains poured and poured, soaking the hundreds of people marching for peace through the streets of Molo in Kenya. The deluge started just as we turned down a side street into the Molo town stadium where we were scheduled to have a peace rally. By the time we got to the shelter at the stadium, which wasn’t big enough to cover everyone, we were all soaked to our skin, shivering with the cold. We set up a wall of umbrellas to protect us from the driving rain, which turned to hail a couple of times. Everything for our rally was wet. The soccer field had turned into puddles and mud. In the US the event would have been cancelled, and people would have gone home disappointed. But this is Africa, and the rainy season is part of the rhythm of life.

My wife Sharon and I had been part of a peace-training team led by Wilson Gathungu and the Rosell family from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City where Wilson has been a student. Wilson had written a paper for a Christian ethics course about the political violence in Kenya which was centered in Molo District. His professor Terry Rosell challenged Wilson to turn his paper into practice, which then gave birth to the Kenya Peace Initiative. The core of this trip was a five-day training and reconciliation program, which culminated in the march and peace rally, or “convention,” in Molo.

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Rebuilding genuine sensuality

June 19, 2011

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So lemme get this straight: You’re a New York Congressman and there’s talk of you running for mayor and you … uh …

I’ll rephrase: You’re a tweeting Congressman with a bulldog reputation, so you’re careful. You’re alert to snoops. Cyberspace eavesdroppers view dirt as gold and will blast it over the internet, so you …

One more try: Where is the line between “psychological malady” and “stupidity”? When can we abandon therapy’s stilted lingo and holler: “You gotta be kidding!”? Crawl out of your alpha male lair and feel reality’s slap while you yelp under the icy shower, ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner! Everyone knows women look at the whole man, not our isolated privates (which aren’t attractive in themselves); everyone knows they love roses, lilacs, fragrant cologne, Valentine’s Day cards, whispered sweet-nothings and little I-love-you gifts wrapped in a bow. They loathe narcissistic “pigs” who think they’re “studs.” Everyone knows that. Right?

Wrong. My recent in-depth research unveiled a scientifically-verified fact: Men are disgusting. And women are not far behind. Pack your bags, Cary Grant and Grace Kelley. Make room for Gene Simmons and Lindsay Lohan. The scandalized politician, for whom we pray as he seeks help, is more the rule than the exception because sensuality has been ripped from its foundation.

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Are we insensitive in our quest for sensitivity?

June 16, 2011

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From Heather King and Betsy Cullerton: I spent some time in Michigan over the weekend. My parents have several acres on the lake, and I haven’t worn out my welcome. My mother is a wonderful gardener, and with all of the rain across the Midwest spring has exploded. I was out in the driveway, listening to the frongsong gurgle and belch in the ditches and gulley. A flock of birds rested in the tree above me. The lake, sequined and shining gave the impression of something solid; I longed to walk across it. For a moment I believed I could. Looking out over such an expanse, I felt such a deep desire and longing to return. I prayed over the feeling, and I realized that it was a longing for God. The world is gorgeous and life pure gift. The world is not my home; my joy is veined, riven with exile.

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Follow-up to John Jay: Wrestling with the great betrayal

June 10, 2011

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The Roman Catholic bishop of Spokane issued a thoughtful ten-point response to the so-called “John Jay Report,” formally entitled, The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010, and released in May by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Most Reverend Blase Cupich listed several needs: Rigorous seminary candidate screening; revisal of the relevant child-protection charter; annual professional clerical education; parishioner education; re-emphasis of proper interpersonal boundaries, recognition of the problem’s extent; monitoring; intent listening and quick response; perspective; and ridding the church of clericalism.

It’s all good, which isn’t surprising. Most clerics were sickened that some used their collars to prey on kids.

My request: Tell us precisely that.

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Life Would Be More Simple If Our Dead Ancestors Followed The Script …

June 6, 2011

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Let’s say hundreds surround you while cameras snap and fans grovel and journalists bark. You might commit a gaffe. You might say “British” when you meant “American.” We’d all understand. Joe Biden put televisions in our Roosevelt-era homes and Jimmy Carter said “Huber Horatio Hornblower” and President Obama called a senator a “jackass.” It was an “oops” moment. Shrewd leaders immediately correct themselves and throw in self-deprecating humor: “I meant to say ‘American,’ but I was distracted because I can see Russia from my house.”

Take that, Tina Fey!

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Our forebears were so deprived they had no tinsel

June 2, 2011

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How did our ancestors do it? There they stood on the Steppes, Byzantine civilization behind them and barbarian hordes before them. They were the thin line between order verses chaos, culture verses vulgarity, sophistication and refinement verses ignorance and coarseness. And they did it all without daily briefings on Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, and Charlie Sheen.

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