Monday, September 26, 2005

Brian McLaren in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Press has an article about Brian McLaren, author of "A New Kind of Christian" and one of the leaders of the emergent church movement. A biography of McLaren can be found here, on his website.

Arjay Stevens has this posting about the GRP article. As you can see, Arjay is not a fan of McLaren. Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You ministries, has written on his views of the emergent church (as well as other fads of Christendom), which you can read here and here.

Confused as to what constitutes the emergent church movement? Click here, here and here.

Update: When I was writing the last bit with the links, I didn't realize that I made a Freudian slip and spelled 'emergent' as 'emergency.' I wonder what that means...

Update 2: I didn't do this post to get "blogspotted," Phil, but thanks!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

"Lewis never intended the Narnia books to be evangelistic tracts."

The Internet Monk has a great post on the upcoming film "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and its possible marketing strategies in the church.

I've seen the trailer and it looks very exhilirating. I will certainly pay my ticket to see it. The movie's official site is here.

Update: John Rush from Tennessese (where my paternal grandparents are from) voices his concerns as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," episode 1

If you are a (a) reality show junkie or (b) fan of Martha Stewart, then you no doubt caught last night's premiere episode of "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." It has basically the same formula as the original "Apprentice" - the contestants live together, they are split into teams to perform various tasks, the losing team goes to a room to face the consequences of its failure, and a contestant is sent off each week. What I find fascinating are not the similarities between the Donald Trump and Martha versions, but the differences.

In the premiere, every effort has been made to show that Martha is a different person than Donald. Martha has been known (or at least rumoured) to be quite tough with and very demanding of her employees. The smallest details are phenomenally important, and she expects no less than perfection.

However, we don't see that aspect of her - at least not in last night's episode. Martha is much more caring, more personable, less hostile to the losing team than Donald ever was. She trades the commanding imperative "you're fired" to a more relaxed and passive "you just don't fit in." She wrote a farewell letter to the person sent home. Etiquette is of utmost importance here, but wouldn't you have been surprised if it wasn't? Martha's first task for the teams (creative Matchstick and corporate Primarius) was to write a children's book - see, Martha cares about children's development - whereas Donald's first task in the first season was to sell lemonade.

The conference room meeting with the losing team was very interesting. Several contestants attacked each other and Martha didn't know quite what to make it. I couldn't tell from the editing whether Martha was really reacting to what was happening, or if her reactions had been taped later and she was told to "look as if someone is saying the craziest thing ever." The project manager Jeff was sent home packing, primarily for being a "control freak." (You can't have two of those, I guess - Martha is enough for one company) Personally, I would have sent home the creative writer who wanted to shush everyone while she worked.

Next show promises to be more intense, with someone threatening to leave the loft and Martha telling a female contestant that a businesswoman shouldn't cry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Move, Satan, move on out of my way."

I work in the crisis department of a hospital in Indianapolis. I frequently see people who are either depressed and/or suicidal, or people who are psychotic. Tonight I saw a woman who repeatedly screamed the title of this post. I didn't know why she'd be screaming this over and over or what to really make of this.

I decided on a whim to google her words and I discovered that she was actually quoting the lyrics to a traditional spiritual. She obviously had mental problems, because the police found her screaming outside in the middle of the night while wearing only underwear, but she didn't come up with the phrase on her own.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rachael Ray

Who would think that Rachael Ray would inspire such devotion - and such venom - in people? I like her shows on the Food Network - she has four now, which means she's fighting with Emeril Lagasse for control of the network. She's always very upbeat and perky on her shows - and yes, I'm putting it mildly here. I would probably find her more than slightly annoying in real life, but I can take it on the TV. She has stressed in the past that she has grown up cooking with her family and as a vocation but she is not a chef.

Newsweek has an article about her. Read it here.

There's a website that is solely devoted to hating her. (I won't type in the name of the site because it's not very polite.) If this person hated Rachael so much, why not just ignore her? Why obsess about her? Momma always said there's a thin line between love and hate.

Monday, September 5, 2005

"More Power to Ya"

So you were sitting in your living room/kitchen/den watching the "Concert for Hurricane Relief" on NBC last Friday night. Tim McGraw came on and sang a song you've never heard of. It mentioned something about "they that wait upon the Lord," but you can't remember the rest of the words and you didn't catch the title.

Here are the lyrics to "More Power to Ya," words and music by Bob Hartman. The song was originally performed by the band Petra, a legend in Christian music, for their album of the same name, released in 1982. It is based on Isaiah 40:31. (McGraw also performed this song at the Country Freedom Concert in October 2001.)

You say you've been feeling weaker, weaker by the day
You say you can't make the joy of your salvation stay
But good things come to them that wait
Not to those who hesitate
So hurry up and wait upon the Lord
More power to ya
When you're standing on His word
When you're trusting with your whole heart in the message you have heard
More power to ya
When we're all in one accord
They that wait upon the Lord, they shall renew, they shall renew their strength

Jesus promised His disciples He'd give strength to them
Jesus told them all to tarry in Jerusalem
When they were all in one accord
The power of His Spirit poured
And they began to turn the world around

So be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
Put on all His armor and fight the good fight
In all of our weakness, He becomes so strong
When He gives us the power and the strength to carry on

If you have yet to do so, please give now.

Kiki or Booba?

Fun with synaesthesia at Wikipedia.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

an intriguing question

My wife flew down on business to Miami yesterday. The corporation where she works has offices across the country, including three in Florida (Orlando and Tampa are the other two cities). She said that she didn't see any real damage from Hurricane Katrina while driving through the downtown area. While on the phone with her last night, she said something that stopped my heart a little.

"There may be a job opening in Chicago soon. Would you be opposed to moving back there?"

We lived in Chicago from October 1997 to August 1998. Before we moved, we had very romantic ideals about living there: walking around downtown at night, going to the theatre, eating at great restaurants, living in a chi-chi apartment, and the like.

Once we moved there, we ran into the most blunt (or would you say that bluntest) reality: the commute. We lived in Oak Park, which is only ten minutes (with no traffic back-up) from downtown Chicago. When we tried to get to work in the morning (she worked inside the Loop, I worked just north of the University of Chicago campus), it would take an hour to get there, and a little less to return to our apartment. We survived a partial autumn, one winter, one spring, and a partial summer before we had to move out. We couldn't stand the commute, and we deemed the city unfit to live in with kids. And so April was able to transfer from the Deloitte & Touche Chicago office to the Indianapolis office (she no longer works there), and I left my job to start anew in a different city.

After being away for several years and having made many return trips to Chicago, we both have said, "You know, I wouldn't mind living in Chicago again... even with kids."

And now, a possibility.... Stay tuned!

Update (9/9/05): The job will not be posted. So no Chicago - at least not for now - one never knows what the future holds...