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Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm

i stand corrected, sir

“By 1998 six of the seven largest parachurch mission agencies were World Vision (founded 1950, annual revenues $304 million), Larry Jones International Ministries/Feed the Children (1964, $128 million),MAP International (1954, $85 million), Compassion International (1952, $69 million), Food for the Hungry (1971, $53 million) and Christian Aid Ministries (1981, $43 million). All have been founded since 1945 and all make relief, development, education and health care their primary focus, with evangelism a secondary concern.” – Michael S. Hamilton, “More Money, More Ministry: The Financing of American Evangelicalism Since 1945,” pg. 118.

“The budget of just one organization dedicated to evangelism – Campus Crusade for Christ ($241 million) – is itself larger than all spending by all evangelical political group, right and left. Evangelicals spend more on summer camps than on politics, more on urban rescue missions than on politics, and more on youth programs than on politics. When we factor in the amounts that evangelicals give to their churches – probably somewhere between $14 billion and $20 billion – there is no doubt that evangelicals devote less than 1 percent of their religious spending to public affairs matters. If we follow the money, it clearly does not lead to politics.” – ibid, pgs. 130-131.

these figures are from 1998, but they are still startling. to me anyway.

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm

a fitting tribute to the poor bastard killed by consumerism

i can’t believe they can’t prosecute the killers. couldn’t they at least seize their credit cards or ban them from wal-mart?

warning: explicit lyrics.

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 1:31 pm

mid-morning time waster: yakking off

you americans…

first you arm hussein

then you fight hussein

now you elect hussein

what a country!

what’s next? hijab as new black?”

your turn! what’s your favorite yakov bit?

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2008 at 4:34 am

Joe the Plumber=America
submitted by: slowfo

It all started with a simple game of football with his son in the front yard…or at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me (and if you can’t trust Wikipedia, who can you trust anyway?). On October 12, 2008, then-Presidential candidate, Barack Obama whizzed through an Ohio neighborhood to do a little meet-n-greet and stumbled upon Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka. “Joe the Plumber”, and changed history in ways that we still haven’t seen the end of yet.

To recap the major events since October 12th, here’s Joe’s meteoric rise in a nutshell:

  • Joe was played like a pinball over the next 3 weeks as the two best options for President of the free world (or at least the best two who actually wanted to pursue the job) would use him in any way, shape, or form for their own selfish, political gain.
  • All major media groups picked up the Joe the Plumber story, swarming him for feedback and/or appearances. Fierce competition for ratings continued throughout the campaign and Joe was a major piece to that puzzle. Consequently, Joe became our newest celebrity-next-door.
  • Soon after Joe’s thrust into stardom (if you can really call it that) Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, had for-her-eyes-only background checks being done to see if he owed unemployment compensation taxes, child support, or received welfare assistance from the state. Jones-Kelley was an Obama supporter who made 14 background checks within 48 hours after the final presidential debate. Now surely a state employee wouldn’t immediately abuse their power to dig up dirt on a regular public citizen to hopefully discredit their opinions and assassinate their character for political gain (oops, that last part hasn’t been proven yet…I’ll bet Ms. Jones-Kelley was a McCain supporter all the way, dontcha think? ;-). Dishonest political powerplays with priveleged information….Joe, meet Big Brother. He’s here to tell you a bedtime story that we like to call…Watergate.
  • Joe’s no fool (altho’ time will tell on that one) – he sees opportunity in all of this and so do a gathering crowd of others who are whispering into Joe’s ear about how much big money he can make through all of this (don’t worry, the whisperers will get their self-indulgent cut of the action too). Joe’s planning on sueing the State of Ohio (by the way, isn’t it great that the ACLU protects citizens like this?…..what? they haven’t called for the lawsuits and firings? they’ve only admitted that the Jones-Kelley debacle “raises questions?”….geez, what’s a white, middle-class male to do to get a little back-up here??). Joe’s got a book coming out. Joe’s started his own website, watchdog group, and has inquired into cutting a country music CD and has hired his own publicity management agent.

So what does this all mean? Political gain. Fierce competition. Stardom. Abuse of power. Character assassination. Dishonesty. Opportunity. Lawsuits. Big money. Call me a cynic but if you want to know what real-world, on the streets, and in the board room America is all about, here it is wrapped up in one big story: “Joe the Plumber.”

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 at 6:51 pm

overheard: will leitch

“Say what you will about Barack Obama, but I love him, if just for one reason. When asked about his favorite baseball team, he said, ‘Oh, that’s easy. White Sox. I’m not one of these fair weather fans. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren’t watching the game. It’s not serious. White Sox, that’s baseball. Southside.’ This is exactly what we Cardinals fans think about Cubs fans. Because it’s true. It’s nice to have someone rooting against the Cubs in the White House.” More…

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2008 at 1:58 pm

why i love my job

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 3:25 am

what’s that? wait…oh my god! that’s makua’s music!!!

makua and qwest from ringside entertainment stopped by rectangle today and they made a big splash.

over the last several weeks, rectangle has undergone some difficult transitions and the atmosphere among participants, staff and supporters has been, to say the least, incredibly tense.

little did we know that a little professional wrestling was just what the dr. ordered.

when makua and qwest unexpectedly busted up our monday morning meeting to announce that ringside entertainment, yea-uh, is going to host a benefit wrestling event for rectangle on friday, december 13th in everett, ma, yeah-uh, the room erupted. participants who are ringside loyalists called out to makua and qwest by name, the work floor supervisors had goofy smiles plastered across their faces and long-time, well-cultured managers recanted of their previous inclination to reject the event altogether.

in the midst of that meeting there were tears* shed, high fives slapped and many, many autographs given. after the meeting as i escorted the celebrities to their dressing room i couldn’t help but think that this must be what the celebration of jubilee felt like.

thank you makua, qwest and ringside entertainment for shedding a little light and sharing a lot of love with all of us at rectangle. your support and philanthropy,** especially at this time in our community’s history, means more than you could ever imagine.

* some of which, i am unashamed to say, were mine.
** i mean that in the truest since of the word.

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

schlocky sentimentality

july of 1996 was a difficult month for me. my grandmother was in the process of dying from heart disease, i had just received my fourth alcohol related citation in six months and i didn’t know what i was going to do with my future – though i realized that returning to oklahoma state for a second year of blatant debauchery and academic excellence was not my best option.

during that time i was fortunate to receive guidance and accompaniment from people i knew and loved, such as scott schlotfelt, sean radecki and regina (whitehead) johnston each of whom spent many hours reminding me that, as confused as i was, i was still loved and i had a strong community supporting me.

however, during that time, i was also fortunate to receive encouragement and accompaniment from an unexpected source. namely, the lcc dayspring group. this crew traveled throughout the region that summer singing songs about Jesus, encouraging young adults to attend bible college and blessing those they came across. at sean’s insistence, i helped them unload their gear into the church, i attended their charming, if a little cheesy and formulaic, performance and enjoyed chatting with them after the show.

the next morning sean called me to tell me that dayspring’s bus had broken down* and to invite me to hang out with the crew for a little longer. so i did. as that day turned into half a week, guys like joel craig, david drake, john cassetto and, especially, todd zastrow really blessed me with their friendliness** and they encouraged me to explore the possibility of attending lcc instead of simply jumping ship to another state university.

their encouragement tapped into the odd*** affirmations i had received over the years that i would “grow into a preacher” someday and, as a result, i decided to give at least one semester of bible college a try.****

the first semester really sucked, but i received an unexpected call to preach, i stuck around lcc and that calling continues to orient my life until this day.

why am i tripping down sentimental lane and dropping names? good question…

this weekend i remembered the dayspring week because a sort-of similar group from st. stephen’s university in new brunswick visited the gathering. this group of eclectic, incredibly talented musicians invited us to experience “the filid,” which they described as an experience of celtic liturgy, song, dance, poetry and prophesy.

i didn’t know what to expect from “the filid” crew, but when i realized within an hour of meeting them that several of their members were former l’arche assistants and that the whole crew had been profoundly shaped by the life and ministry of jean vanier and henry nouwen, i had a feeling that we would get along famously.

fortunately we did.

their performance was amazing***** – weaving a “deconstruction liturgy” together with contemplative sculpture, quirky, powerpoint entangled proclamation and soaring instrumentals – and afterwards we lingered over many beers and they joyously jammed out versions of marvin gaye’s “let’s get it on” as well as original tunes such as their bi-lingual, comedic, closer of a love song between canada and separatist quebec.

obviously, i’m too old to respond to their rousing performance by running off to a christian college, but spending time with the st. stephen’s crew reminded me of my roots in spiritual theology, gave me a vision of an engaging, mixed media liturgy and, by the strange miracle of grace, provided a provision of much needed bread for the journey.


* which came as no surprise to that crew or anyone who attended lcc during that time period.
** friendship is probably too strong a term. they were recruiters, after all.
*** odd because my language, behavior and contrarian nature have always made me an nontraditional candidate for ministry in the christian churches, churches of christ.
**** against the recommendations of schlotfelt and radecki who discouraged me from attending for rather superficial reasons (that i will not reveal except to say that the “wish book” was involved).
***** i wish i had another superlative, but, um, there you go.

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

happy haiku friday

around the corner
cringing at every turn
please grab your ankles

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2008 at 2:58 am

overheard

“The emerging church movement is a sustainable church movement and as the country enters recession, as budgets tighten, and as creativity is ignited, the emerging churches have already learned to start off without a budget, without buildings, without paid professionals and can offer the wider church the gift of their experience—which means that the mission of Christ can still go forward and even thrive, despite the economic woes around us.” – andrew jones

ht: steve knight

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