Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Pioneer Day!!

Happy what????

Pioneer Day is a Utah holiday. It celebrates the day that Mormons came to the Salt Lake Valley back in 1847.

It just so happens that it is also the day my family came to Salt Lake 4 years ago. It was great to have fireworks going off everywhere on our first night here.

My family moved from the Detroit area along with 35 other folks to start a church (K2 the Church). I actually am amazed that my wife and I made this move. We are both the non-risk-taking type. I spent my first year here perpetually asking myself, "Did we really just move across the country?"

Looking back, it was the smartest move we ever made. We LOVE living out West. No humidity, great weather, beauty everywhere. We could not ask for better neighbors. In addition, our church is planting in the southwest end of the valley, near my home, so we will soon be able to serve at a church in our local community.

It has been a good 4 years.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oops... I was off by a week!

It seems that the Salt Lake Emergent Cohort meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month... not the last Wednesday (It took a fifth Wednesday this month to bring that difference to a practical level for me). Which means our meeting is today, and not next week. Sooooo... if you are in the SLC area, please feel free to come and join us at High Point Coffee on 78th just west of Redwood at 7:00. It is just a casual time to drink some Java and talk about Jesus.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back to Palm (or why I love my Centro!)

I have been using PDAs for about 15 years. My first was a B/W clamshell unit running Windows CE 1.0. It was actually a pretty neat machine for the time; an instant on that ran Windows. I switched to a Palm Vx and stayed with various Palm units for years.

I eventually switched back to the dark side. Palm seemed to be faltering, and the Windows PDA had more robust multi media functions.

But now after about 6 or 7 years with Windows PDAs, I have come back to Palm. I have been carrying two items for too long - phone and PDA. There have been a few models that brought together both that have been tempting, but usually lacked something important or were prohibitively expensive.

However, the Palm Centro rolls in under 100 dollars. I slapped an 8 gig microSD inside and now have my audio bible, seminars, music, TV shows, movies, and books all in one place. In addition to all of the PDA functions, this thing is really a great phone. All that, and now my web addiction can travel with me.

It is great owning a Palm again. I had forgotten how quick and intuitive Palm is. It is not flashy or full of eye candy... but it gets the job done solidly.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Buddy Chad

Pennsylvania is getting one of Salt Lake City's best! My buddy Chad has packed his things and is presently on the road to Pittsburgh to work with the youth of that city. Chad has been an extreme blessing to our church and community. He has a gift for making everyone feel welcome and important.

I am going to miss having Chad's example. His insight into the practical applications of our faith has always been a challenge to me. I can jaw a lot about faith; Chad does it. I have been honored to be counted among his friends and am really going to miss him.

Godspeed my friend. I am sure that there, as here, everyone you do life with shall be blessed!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

George Carlin on God and Hell

I have been listening to a lot of George Carlin since his death; great social and political commentary. However, if you get queasy at the F bomb, you won't last 2 minutes.

George stated in a very succinct way one of the most glaring inconsistencies you hear coming from modern evangelicals.

George Carlin:
And [God Says] if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place...

...full of fire and smoke...

...and burning and torture and anguish..

...where he will send you... live and suffer...

...and burn and choke...

...and scream and cry...

...forever and ever...

...'til the end of time!...

But He loves you. :)

There it is, clear as crystal. On the one hand you will hear Christians state that God loves you with an EVERLASTING LOVE. That God's love is different because, unlike everyone else, His love is UNCONDITIONAL. But if you do not subscribe to certain particular beliefs (which vary from Christian group to Christian group) God will subject you to suffering beyond imagination for eternity.

So which is it? Unconditional love? Or love with the biggest condition the universe has ever seen?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am a Draconian Parent (or why Disney Channel is of the Devil)

My assumption years ago was that anything on the Disney Channel was safe for children. I have found this not to be the case. Disney seems to populate their station with teen dramas targeted to pre-teens. I think this marketing has given us some undesirable results.

I first started to notice it last summer when my daughter was in the third grade. Many of the girls her age spoke horribly to one another and to adults. They were running around trying to stir up drama about who liked who and had so and so kissed you know who yet.

Third Grade?? Where was this coming from?

My wife and I have always been pretty strict with our children's TV viewing. They basically never watch live TV and we encourage them to watch educational stuff or family oriented shows. Kathryn has petitioned for the Disney Channel for a long time, but I have limited basic cable so that is not even an option.

Last summer, I discovered why that is a good thing.

We were staying at a hotel for an out of state wedding. While I played cards with my wife and parents, Kathryn found the Disney Channel. I watched the Suite Life of Zack and Cody out of the corner of my eye. In this episode, the two pre-teen brothers were fighting over a girl. The girl was the "girlfriend" of the one brother but the other was going to have to kiss her for a play. The pre-pubescent boys were ready to go to blows over kissing a girl. The next show had a bunch of pre-teen and early teen girls backstabbing each other over a boy.

After the kids went to bed, I checked out some more Disney shows. It seemed they all focused on teen and pre-teen relationship drama. Few of them offered any redeeming qualities by resolving these matters in a kind fashion. The characters usually only did the right thing once they were forced into it. Many of the young girls in these shows dressed like they were going to a bar. Every adult character seemed to be a complete buffoon or overgrown child.

I still have limited basic cable but if we ever decide to upgrade, for the sake of my kids I will be locking out the Disney Channel.
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