Friday, September 26, 2008

Cast my absentee vote for Obama today

I know, no surprise here - but it feels good to participate in democracy - even if it was only at my kitchen table and will conclude with a drive over the bridge to the post office today.

I know this confuses so many of my dear friends - how in the world can they not see what I see and how in the world can I not see what they see? If you love me and are confused please read this, it says it better than even my own words can:

Reframing the Story - why I'm voting for Obama

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The main event


Praying Our Distractions

You can't say about praying: "Practice makes perfect; gradually you will get to be really good, so be patient with the messiness of your beginner's results. In time you will be proud of what you achieve." Instead, the advice might go something like this: "Honey, prayer is God's way of getting you to meet the cast of characters you call your distractions. God knows we spend a lot of time disowning them and pretending we don't know them. They are family. Prayer will always be messy, because they are. Those 'distractions' are our mess. They're the mess we are in. So prayer is our rendezvous with them and God is present to introduce us. Maybe what you call your distractions are really the main event."

Source: Newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Martin Smith

via inward/outward

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Got an idea? Project 10^100

Google is celebrating their 10th birthday by holding a competition of ideas. They will contribute up to $10 million dollars to the winning ideas completion.

"These ideas can be big or small, technology-driven or brilliantly simple -- but they need to have impact," Google said in a news release. "We know there are countless brilliant ideas that need funding and support to come to fruition."

Ideas like the Hippo Water Roller are just the beginning. (which makes me want to jump for joy at the simplicity it brings to the lives of women the world over who are the water carriers)

"By opening the project to anyone -- not just laboratories or universities -- Google is embracing "crowdsourcing," the Internet-age notion that the collective wisdom of mass audiences can be leveraged to find solutions to design tasks."

For more information or to submit your idea go here:

Project 10^100

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just ONE question

The ONE Campaign is asking Jim Lehrer, host of the debate on Friday night to squeeze a question in about global poverty:

Only two questions about global poverty have been asked in the history of modern presidential debates - a shockingly low figure. In 2008, voters need to know what Barack Obama and John McCain will do to end the most extreme suffering in our increasingly interconnected world.

You can help make sure that changes, by signing our petition to debate moderator Jim Lehrer urging him to ask "Just ONE Question" on global poverty at the first presidential debate, September 26th in Oxford, Mississippi.

Sign here:

Just ONE Question Petition

Monday, September 22, 2008

What have I done?

Great meme list (or Heidi finds something mindless to do while she should be doing something else...)

What have you done? (copy & bold your own - I am also italicizing the ones I think I might be able to do one day)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

via Stephanie

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama: The Moral Choice

My good friend Will Samson has written a well-seasoned piece that gives voice to much of what I am feeling today:

Obama: The Moral Choice

"Lying is a sin. So is greed. So is unprovoked violence. So is arrogance.

In our highly sexualized world, we have forgotten that the bulk of moral instruction that comes from scripture does not relate to who you sleep with or what happens in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. Instead, the depths and breadths of lessons on how to act that come from the Bible deal with questions of how to form a moral community. These include instructions like don't provoke violence (Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God, Matthew 5:9), don't lie (Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment, Proverbs 12:19), and don't be arrogant (To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech, Proverbs 8:13)."

Continue reading: Obama: The Moral Choice

Monday, September 15, 2008

Les Misbarack

A inconsistent ethic of life

Pew Forum Poll shows support for torture among Southern evangelicals

"A new poll released Thursday (Sept. 11) finds that nearly six in 10 white Southern evangelicals believe torture is justified, but their views can shift when they consider the Christian principle of the golden rule."

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Man in Black

Other than Lawrence Welk one of my earliest memories of music is Johnny Cash. Today is the five year anniversary of his death. His rendition of Trent Reznor's HURT is one of the most moving songs for me. If you have never heard the song or seen the video with it I highly recommend it. It can't be embedded, but you can see the video here:

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Here he is late in life singing with Willie Nelson one of my other favorite songs by him - Ring of Fire

On a lighter note here's Johnny on the Muppet Show

I miss him and thank him for living such a transparent, spiritual life.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Governor Palin, Put Away Falsehood

As Americans and people of faith from around the country, we were extremely disappointed in Sarah Palin's divisive, sarcastic, and often deceptive address last night at the Republican National Convention. We call on her not only as a political figure, but also as a prominent Christian, to recommit herself to campaigning in good faith, with a strong commitment to truth-telling.

As Christians, we are called to be respectful and loving toward our neighbors, honoring their intentions even if we disagree with their plans. We are also called to "put away falsehood" (Eph 4:25) and to refrain from slandering, belittling, or speaking out of contempt for anyone.

If these are the standards God has set for us in our personal lives, our church communities, and our neighborhoods, how much more so should they be the standards of those Christians who choose to be in the public eye? Shouldn't we also expect our brothers and sisters in politics to speak the truth in love and to extend respect and goodwill even to those with whom they disagree?

Sarah Palin has shaped much of her life around her Christian faith [1]. Indeed, it has been continually suggested that one of the major reasons John McCain chose Palin as his running-mate was her Christian faith and her ability to energize evangelical Christian voters. Thus, it is no stretch to say that Palin has suddenly become one of the most visible faces of Christianity in today’s political scene.

As such, we believe she has a calling even higher than her responsibility to her party's victory in November - a calling to represent Jesus to the rest of the world. This is why her speech at the Republican National Convention last night was so disappointing to us at the Matthew 25 Network.

In questioning not only Senator Obama’s policies but also his motivations, and mocking his career, Palin went far beyond what could be considered acceptable disagreement and into what seemed like open contempt for a political opponent.

To be blunt, we saw very little of Jesus’ love in Sarah Palin's speech last night, as she heaped contempt on those who disagree with her politically, while offering no vision for how to resolve the critical issues facing Americans today like job loss, health care, growing child poverty rates and the war in Iraq.

Moreover, as has been documented by major media sources including the Associated Press [2], Palin spoke falsehoods not only about her own record, but about Barack Obama's record as a State Senator and as a U.S. Senator. As Christians, we are called throughout Scripture to speak the whole truth, to put away falsehood, to bear true witness even when it hurts our own interests. The name of Jesus should never be associated with falsehoods or deception, but last night, in Sarah Palin’s speech, we believe it was.

Therefore, we in the Matthew 25 Network call on Gov. Palin to repudiate her attitude of contempt towards her political opponents and to tell the whole truth, not only for the sake of a more honorable politics, but also for the sake of our Christian witness in the world.

Senator McCain is no less responsible because he selected Gov. Palin and praised her speech, and he claims to be a Christian as well. It is ill-fitting to use Christian identity and language for one's political advantage without seeking to live up to that high calling. Ultimately, as the Presidential candidate, Governor Palin's tone and infidelity to truth reflect negatively on Senator McCain as well.

Brian McLaren
Author and Pastor

Douglas W. Kmiec
Caruso Family Chair & Professor of Constitutional Law
Pepperdine University School of Law

Rev. Dr. Susan B. Thistlethwaite
Professor of Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary

Vince Miller
Georgetown University

Peter Vander Meulen
Coordinator, Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church

Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins
Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Bart Campolo
Urban minister, Founder of Mission Year

Sharon Daly
Former Vice-President of Catholic Charities

Rev. Wilfredo De Jesus
Vice-President for Social Justice, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Delores Leckey
Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center
Former Director of the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Add your name here...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thank you Community Organizers!

Joe Klein: What a Community Organizer Does


My dear friend Deb highlighted a new-to-me blog on her blog today and this quote was enough to add yet another blog to my bloglines - it's heartbreaking to read of her loss and joyous to read of her new baby daughter - and this just says it all:

I may be A Woman With A Troubled Past, but I don’t act the part. I think sometimes we try too hard to fit our lives into the shapes of the stories we know. I doubt we’ll ever really stop doing that, so I believe the best we can do is to make sure there are as many stories out there as possible.

Go read more: Flotsam: Coda.

Monday, September 01, 2008

As far as I get

Back from a wonderful camping trip on the Maine coast with friend. This was the story I found in my inbox this morning and it fit perfectly today:

Thinking the sea is good for not thinking & for some reason,
this is as far as he gets