Monday, September 24, 2007

Starbucks in the forbidden city forced to close its doors

Apparently the Starbucks that had been located in China's ancient Forbidden City, where the emperors once lived, has been forced to close by a long line of protests and restrictions imposed by the pressured Chinese government. It was accused by a protest-leading local radio personality of having "undermined the solemnity of the Forbidden City and trampled on Chinese culture."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

working in reverse

In my brief stints as a youth minister (once by title, once by default), I was frequently asked "what is the problem with kids behavior? They go to church, why do they not believe differently than their peers?"

It's a valid question. I think over the past few years, largely under the guidance of living mentors who helped me articulate it, but also under the spiritual guidance of the saints of old, I have come up with a beginning to solving the problem. It may seem like "duh", but here it is: Being disconnected from our foundational doctrine of salvation, which was basically martryiology (the one who gives their life confessing Christ is the paradigm of the saved one). It was thought that as a natural extension of accepting death to this world, that the person would then behave accordingly. Hope of the resurrection frees you from the demands of this world, so that you can then behave in obedience only to Christ.

The problem is that we tend to work in reverse. We tend to want people to behave their way into a life of servitude. But we end up with the same problem that many medical cures face - we treat symptoms while the disease remains.

But of course it's more difficult to treat problems at the root. It's like paying off the national debt. It seems insurmountable, so instead we try and "manage" it. The Church ends up like a constant source of aspirin, constantly numbing the effects, and just waiting for the pain to flare up again, at which point we up the dosage. This process leads to a kind of numbness... a lax life built on a regimen of sedatives that gradually increase in potency. When aspirin will no longer suffice, then we go to morphine or opium, and so it continues. But how to get at the cancer itself?

Friday, September 07, 2007


Madeleine L'Engle is dead :(

So many hours I spent with her late in my elementary school career. Such a beautiful pen. It's cool, my emotions aren't piqued much, but it's always sad to have one less beautiful person in the world.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Bow hunting is no joke

I spent most of yesterday sighting bows and a crossbow for the upcoming archery hunting season. Let me tell ya, I've got some experience with guns, but bows are a whole different level, especially if you use Recurve Composite bows instead of composite bows. You gain an appreciation for people who hunted with more primitive bows. Not the easiest thing. It's also interesting because shooting it roughly on target is mildly natural, while shooting it dead-on is quite difficult. It's along the "seconds to learn, a lifetime to master" line of skill sets.

Sigh, I've really liked being home alone over this weekend. I forget, after living with others so long, how much I enjoy a place to myself. It really frees the spirit. So much so that it could be dangerous. Of course, the place isn't entirely to myself. I have the dogs here, but that makes it even more fun. Ace is especially good at sleeping. Well-behaved dogs do wonders for sleep with their cuddliness.

This song, by this band, is pathetic

I'm not sure that it gets certifiably lamer than "Alchoholin' Ass" by the talent-deprived band Hellyeah. If you don't want to take my word for it, then look it up on youtube. On the other hand, if you don't want to make yourself temporarily suicidal (a normal result of multiple-minute exposure to no-talent-not-quite-metal rock) then just take my word for it and hate it on principle.