Month: November 2008

Pardon the Interruption – Rob Bell Alert

Provocative book titles quickly get my attention. When Nathan told me about Rob Bell and Don Golden’s new book the title grabbed me quickly – Jesus Wants to Save Christians.

Growing up in a conservative evangelical denomination, a group that would eschew the connection to “evangelical” back in the day for it conveyed something of a progressive conservatism opting rather for the “deeper” commitments to Fundamentalism, “save” was an event that came to “sinners.” “Jesus came to save sinners,” the Apostle Paul wrote. So naturally the title was evocative. Read More

Hungry in America – Perish the Thought!

An article released by the AP was published in The Oklahoman today under the title, “Hunger rising among children.” Had it not been in the “Nation” section I would have immediately thought of the vast hunger problem in developing nations. But, this piece points up the growing number of children going hungry “sometime in 2007.” The number? 691,000! The piece goes on to point out we suffer better than a ten percent rate of hunger to population – 36.2 million in 2007 out of an estimated 301 million.

In the land of plenty, home of the free and brave, we have yet to find a way to vanquish hunger. Somewhere I recently read we throw away about 14% of our food. You do the math. If we could figure out how to “waste not, want not.” We could feed our entire population.

Jon Hopkins – Cold Out There

Jon Hopkins played before Coldplay last night. I could not help thinking of one of the worship experiences at the Soularize event in Minneapolis years ago. Then, a year or two later we caught the same at a conference in San Diego. Some suggest the genre is “New Age.” To me it was an ecclectic mix of sounds emanating from a synthesizer, keyboard, and loop machine. Admittedly I am not up to speed on this, but the music was interesting to say the least.

(De)Human Traffic – Are you watching?

Jonathan and Kari tell a story we should work against. Most often our problem is we are not alert to what is nearer than we know. Consumed with our own little worlds we miss the inhumane worlds of others. Consider,

French police estimate that 90% of the 15,000 to 18,000 prostitutes working in France are trafficking victims. One in four are believed to have been trafficked from Africa. The girls are brought to France and then must work to pay off their travel and living ‘debts’, usually around $45,000. According to a trafficking expert, many Sub-Saharian African prostitutes make as little as 10% of the going rate, sometimes only $65 to $180 per week. Most or all of their earnings are then turned over to their ‘Mama’ in order to pay off their debts.

If you are interested in learning more, why not check out Not for Sale

A Few Days in Wylie

One year ago Trent, Sandra and their two girls moved to Wylie, Texas from Waterloo, Iowa. The difference in driving is significant. I remember when Trent was contemplating the transfer to Dallas. He called and asked, “If we move to Dallas will you come see us?” It was tongue in cheek and serious.

We did not make one trip to southwest Nebraska when they lived there. And, I made one trip to Iowa to help with a roofing project. Both trips were about 10-12 hours depending on your number of stops. We made it to Wylie, taking our sweet time, in under four. It will not take as long on our next trips as we will know where we are going next time.

Yesterday while Trent worked and the girls ran around, I read more than half of Rob Bell’s new book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile. I am finding it much to my liking. I also gathered articles for our Advent Journal. I only lack a few and then we can put the document together and on to the printer.

Today is adult day. We are going to IKEA and a local Mexican Restaurant. The evening will be spent all of us together. It could be Guitar Hero World version. Whatever it is, it will be fun.