Archive | November, 2011

A Time To Act

November 30, 2011

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I face a question and a challenge as I grope my way into activism. The question: What do I do when the river that swept me into the life of Christ now empties into a toxic swamp? The very word, “evangelical,” which once conjured images of joyful Jesus Freaks, conveys political intimidation. It’s as if Ayn Rand’s spirit descended and screeched on Pentecost: “Be selfish and shrill!” But then comes the challenge: Why am I so late? Why did I hide behind the term, “peacemaker,” and avoid the loving confrontation so necessary for true shalom? Why did I wait until I was personally hurt?

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A call for videos advancing the cause of furry little animals

November 15, 2011

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The National Association of Evangelicals has joined hands with others and is sponsoring a video contest on creation care for 18 to 25-year-olds. The deadline is December 10th. See the video below for more information.

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Video of the month: An underground Christmas celebration

November 13, 2011

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The commercials are already on the air, so we’ll show this video from our friends at The Advent Conspiracy — even though it isn’t Advent yet. There is no law mandating that we get stressed out at this time of year. Really. Honest.

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Occupiers: Some have been at this for 2,000 years. They sympathize.

November 8, 2011

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The supposedly “unpredictable” was really predictable – and it now unfolds to our surprise: Religious authorities applaud the world-wide “Occupy” movement while others quake.

While not mentioning the protest, The Vatican dropped the greatest non-bombshell on October 24th when it denounced “the inequalities and distortions of capitalistic development.” As usual, headline writers exclaimed irony. An example: “Occupy Wall Street’s Most Unlikely Ally: The Pope,” written above an article which said essentially, that this is no big surprise. The 17-page message, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority,” is one more drumroll for The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. You’d swear they’ve been millennial kids veiled in old man masks. Sample the Occupy-like phrases: “The inequalities and distortions of capitalist development” … “the economy needs ethics” … “selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a mammoth scale” … “no one can be content with seeing man live like a wolf to his fellow man” … “We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest.” The clerics quoted Pope John Paul II’s 1991 warning against “an idolatry of the market.”

Their solution: An intentionally vague “global political authority” that would ensure an economy imbued with ethics.

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A week after the storm …

November 5, 2011

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Temperatures dropped into the twenties in Connecticut last night, with many still without power a week after an October snow storm. I have a soft spot for two of the more blighted towns: My family moved to Bloomfield from New Jersey in 1972, listening to the howls of our Siamese cat and the flaps of our car’s wiper blades amid the remnants of Hurricane Agnes. Roughly a year later, my life as an obnoxious, foul-mouth teenager ended when I became an obnoxious, clean-mouthed Jesus Freak. I often pedaled my bicycle over Talcott Mountain and into wealthy Simsbury, always hoping to meet one of the co-eds at Ethel Walker School, a girls prep school. I never did, for which all can be grateful (How would I introduce myself? “Hi, I’m a born-again Christian and I have a strict morality. Wanna go out with me?”). I later worked in Simsbury as a YMCA day camp counselor, which I loved.

So I drove there this morning …

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The price of savoring delusion

November 4, 2011

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Legends, fables, and myths crumpled beneath a freak October snow storm in Connecticut this past week. Leaf-laden trees fell and yanked wires and plunged vast numbers into a power outage. Tales are told of families braving cold in dark living rooms; of bundled children beneath mounds of quilts; of schools doubling as shelters; of eight carbon monoxide deaths – all in upscale Connecticut, the home of well-heeled actuaries and drab insurance executives.

Look closely. You’ll see the carcasses of those fables pinned under the dead oaks and maples.

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A behemoth gasps its last gasp

November 1, 2011

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Rugged Individualism died beneath the weight of a collapsing tree branch on the evening of October 30, 2011, one of the many victims of a storm that laughed at our era’s isolation and cubbyhole thinking. No funeral service is scheduled.

The creed, founded upon myth and nurtured in fable, always looked pale when seen in reality’s light: humans have been social animals since their days in the cave; they’ve never reigned victorious alone. Even the solitary sheriff fended off grizzled bad guys with guns and bullets made by unseen hands – and he never crafted the barn doors shielding him from the shotgun blasts or the whiskey bottles he so crudely smashed. Interdependence lay at the heart of his independence, just as it does for today’s entrepreneurs. One wonders if Wozniak and Jobs sent thank-you notes to the construction crew of their garage.

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October roars through at the Alternative Mainstream

November 1, 2011

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This blog lit up last month with 2,228 visits, breaking May’s record high of 1,393. October 30 is now the Michael Phelps for a single day with 324 hits, with the 29th and 31st achieving nearly the same results. The chief reason: We were noted in the “Occupy” movement. There were ping-backs and links galore. […]

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