Monthly Archives: December 2006

John Edwards

I’m not a hardcore partisan at all. In fact, I’ve recently joined a Facebook group called “I am a moderate and I hate the two party system.” Indeed, that statement sums me up nicely.
I heard that John Edwards (Kerry’s VP-candidate running mate) jumped into the 2008 Election. I say, “Good for him!”
And you know what else is Good? He’s big on issues that bolster the lower-class. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding loyally partisan Democrats that don’t like Edwards because of this. Why? Because championing the poor doesn’t win elections. “What about this candidate’s platform benefits ME directly?” Damnit, shut up, America! Pragmatically speaking (i.e. theological considerations aside), a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
To my country’s self-professed liberal Christ-followers, if you’re authentic about being both of those things, I sure hope Edwards’ message stirs something in you. A basic reading of the Epistle of James points out one of the main duties of the Christ-follower (or… “What is true religion?”):

“Anyone who sets himself up as ‘religious’ by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight and guard against corruption from the godless world.” James 1:26-27 (MSG)

Edwards may or may not be motivated by personal conviction as a Christ-follower… I do not know enough about him to make that call. But I would say that this part of his platform is genuinely “incarnational politics.”

More on this topic can be found at the discussion around this post.

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Bottoms (Moderately) Up!

One of the guys on my blogroll, IrishCalvinist, always has a great range of topics being discussed. (And no, I’m not a full-on 5-point Calvinist just because I read his blog, but I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to not jump to that conclusion.) I’ve been poking around his archives on the alcohol issue, and I must say I’m thankful to be out of the Southern Baptist Convention churches I was raised in. IrishCalvinist cites some great primary sources from within the SBC (like one of their seminary presidents) that just sound like Legalism Fest ’06. The sources’ language shoots themselves in the foot, the blogger doesn’t have to “spin” their words at all.

So to provide a little contrast, I ventured over to another blog, Enjoying Beer, (a branch of Wittenburg Hall) to soak in some edifying pro-fermentation literature.

Found this great snippet from Mr. Luther:

“It is possible to tolerate a little elevation, when a man takes a drink or two too much after working hard and when he is feeling low. This must be called a frolic. But to sit day and night, pouring it in and pouring it out again, is piggish… all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one’s pleasure. If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then, if this cannot be stopped by the rulers, you must know that you cannot be saved. For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven (cf. Gal. 5:19-21)… If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling… You should be moderate and sober; this means that we should not be drunken, though we may be exhilarated.”

– Martin Luther, A Sermon on Soberness & Moderation (May 18, 1539).

:P Bottoms (Moderately) Up! :P

Kingdom Culture

I took a quiz about my views on Culture & Our World and the Church and how they are tied to the Kingdom of God. Some of the questions were vague and/or contained logical fallacies, but it yielded thought-provoking results: Continue reading

My little indulgence of materialism.

Those of you who know me know that I’m passionate -nay, borderline obsessive/compulsive- about the pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. I’m not in it for the caffeine (although my parents did think of me when they bought this amusing shirt)… I like this summary on a great retailer‘s site:

“For us drinking coffee isn’t just about getting caffeine pumped into our systems as quickly as possible. It’s about enjoying one of our favorite things in life, and it involves much more than the brew itself.”

I enjoy the glorious bean in all of its preparations… espresso, moka-pot, pour-over, cupped, french press, etc. The thing about this array is that each requires a different grind setting. Those little grinders with the single blade that spins round and round do the trick for a regular coffee machine (which I enjoy most regularly), but most other preparations require an insanely consistent grind that the whirleybirds just can’t produce. I should clarify: to do those other preparations well, to savor them in accordance with their design, you need a consistent grind. What holds most people back from getting a good-quality burr grinder (contrast: whirleybird grinder) is the pricetag. And being a college student for the past few years, I just held off and dreamed of someday having my own commercial-grade burr grinder. Continue reading

Visioneering

I’m getting to the point where it’s fitting to get students in my youth ministry involved in shaping what we do, with the aim of creating ownership and maximizing our programs’ effectiveness. (That sounded dry, didn’t it?)

So I’m in the process of tweaking the preexisting vision, modifying it to fit my ministry philosophy, and being able to share that with the students to help them see what we’re working toward. Below is the 1st draft. I’d welcome any critique, constructive or not :P Continue reading

White Week-Until-Christmas :)

Today, I’m still very much in a good mood from being able to ski for a while yesterday.

We have TONS of snow in town. Well, it’s a lot of snow through the eyes of someone who’s only lived here 11 months… I’m sure the old-timers could grumble how this ain’t nothin’ but at the same time it’s a pain in the arse. I walked to a coffee shop this evening, and the icy sidewalks were quite perilous to navigate… it was definitely easier to stay in the frontyards and get my feet a little snowy.

Also, I got to catch up with an old friend from Monterey… Continue reading

Powder.

I went skiing today. I am happy.