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Showing posts from 2012

Can you change your heart?

I rarely “hear from God.” And when I do it’s not a thundering voice from the sky, but a nudge that I know is His. Skeptics are welcome to say that it’s my own “internal dialog” and that it just happens to randomly poke me in some incredibly relevant way. That’s fine, but I know in my heart that it’s God. And speaking of hearts, that’s what my last “personal nudge” was. I’m really reluctant to share it here because it’s in a personal context that makes sense to me but means it doesn’t stand alone very well. In fact, taken alone it would form a dangerously incomplete theology that would drive us to become watchful Puritans trying to clean up our lives so we “appear good” without a true change of heart. (Someone really important said something about “whitewashed tombs,” I think…?) But, I know of at least one person who needs to hear this, so I might as well put it out for the world rather than just privately messaging him. All that said, I believe God told me: You’re not in charge of …

Is God where you think He is?

Luke 24:5b-6a NIV (http://bible.us/111/luk.24.5.niv) ???Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" The moment a friend shared this with me, a literal chill went down my back. I don't know what kind of conclusion I'm supposed to draw from it -- plenty I ones could jump to, and they might not be correct -- but it's been a very good reminder to be cautious of "seeking God" in pet theologies or worship experiences or catchy books or well-designed teaching programs or...?

PLNs

edudemic.com/2012/10/35-ways-build-personal-learning-network-online Via Jason Rhode. I sense a Synergia article or such could come from this?

Pondering "Salons"

This idea grew in the 1990s (think Utne Reader) and in the world of MeetUp on the interwebz I think it has interesting potential: http://www.meetup.com/humanism-166/events/84674792/?gj=wc1b_e&a=wc1b_gnl&rv=w...
Come to our TED Talk Salon for a thought-provoking presentation and lively discussion. For the curious world citizen, you may enjoy this video-style book club. (Preparation not required.)
This month's topic:
"There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas."
In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.
Schedule:
3:00...Socializing 3:30...Watch the TED Talk, discuss in groups of 7-8 people 4:45/5:00...Whole group summary/further discussion 5:30...Socializing until the library close…

On volatile topics...

Lots of interesting dialog in and around "Christians can vote ???No???, too. ??? Guest Post by Rev. Ryan Bauers" Note that I'm not even mentioning the topic since I don't want Google to see I'm touching this debate with a 10 foot pole. Not even touching on "the stuff that contradicts the other stuff," as Ned Flanders would say... http://wtfaith.com/2012/11/01/christians-can-vote-no-too-guest-post-by-rev-ry...

Ways to engage people in a project/cause

Random thought: would the tips here help with faculty programs? Think outside the box on this one... www.envisionmn.org/potluck/2012/11/1/10-ways-to-achieve-authentic-participati...

Discovering The Consumerist; my work here is done!

A lot of what this blog is/was dealt with consumer issues -- the little guy against the big companies.  And the little guy against the police.  And the little guy appreciating Kari Byron.  But I digress.  Tonight, even though I'm sure I've read it before here and there, I just bumbled across The Consumerist.  If you ever wanted more than enough detail about the problems out there with companies and how they treat their customers, it's all there!

Books I need to read...

In the "public note to self" from the Podcast Answet Man's episode "281 Leo Laporte Coming To NMX ??? Five Twitter Tips For Getting More Retweets ??? And So Much More" http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/281/ What Books Have Influenced My Business Pursuits?
I have had several people ask me about the top books that have influenced the decisions that I made in my business. In the episode, I give a short description of how each of the following books have influenced me. Below is the list of the books I mentioned in the episode. Clicking on any of them will take you to their page on Amazing using my Amazon affiliate link. - 48 Days To The Work You Love ??? Dan Miller
- How To Win Friends And Influence People ??? Dale Carnegie
- Think And Grow Rich ??? Napoleon Hill
- Secrets of The Millionaire Mind ??? T. Harv Eker
- ReWork ??? Jason Fried
- EntreLeadership ??? Dave Ramsey
- Crush It ??? Gary Vanerchuk
- Tribes ??? Seth Godin

Another random song...

Why not note it here for public consumption? Bullets from Data Romance has struck my fancy: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi371j38wZ0?wmode=transparent] Unfortunately, I don't think I can mail the embed code right into Posterous, so when I paste it here you'll probably just see a mess of HTML:

Jumping pillow at Sever's Corn Maze

[wpvideo N8wnnPX8]

Why the Cross?

John Eldredge in a recent podcast laid out a contrast I'd never heard before: the Cross as atonement vs. the Cross as identifying with humanity's suffering. There's a ton of theology packed in there; "Jesus died for our sin" can be understood correctly... or not. http://ransomedheart.podbean.com/2012/07/03/jesus-view-p1/

An Open Letter to Scoop.it

I'm hearing from more and more faculty about Scoop.it -- a "curation site" that they think might help them assemble resources for their students.

And I thought it was a great idea.

But there seems to be one fatal flaw.

Scoop.it (apparently) doesn't monitor its user sites for active content.  Yet it assigns topic-based "vanity URLs" that, once taken, are unavailable for others.

So if you have a topic that you want to "curate," you'd better hope that you can find a word related to it that hasn't already been taken by a topic-squatter who's saying nothing about it.

"/religion" is taken... and was last updated in early 2011."/philosophy" is taken... and has only one link to one external page -- either a mistake, disinterest, or SPAM."/fatherhood" was grabbed by a woman a couple weeks ago and she hasn't posted anything at all. (You can tell by the fact I got down to "fatherhood" as a topic that I w…

Monetizing myself

I wonder if there's a model out there for folks to earn money from their intellectual property, other than slapping unread advertising onto a site? Maybe if I had a "niche market" then the usual Google ads would work, but for my world -- which is either a general look at my life, or topics that don't have a "sales" element to them -- I don't think that's a viable fit. So am I doomed to be a "starving (Internet) artist" ...and, if so, would you like to buy a sofa-sized blog post for only $49?

July Thunderstorm Approachig

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"God cannot..."?

Sometimes a statement strikes you as unusual enough that you do a mental double-take and have to dig in to figure out what's really going on. So when I encountered "F.B. Meyer Devotional - Our Daily Homily - Devotional for June 11" (http://devotionals.ochristian.com/F.B.-Meyer-Devotional.-Our-Daily-Homily/061... I had to stop and think at this one: "God cannot deliver us from besetting sin unless we yield ourselves to Him entirely." I agree that deliverance from "besetting sin" requires that we yield ourselves to God entirely. That's good advice in general. But any time I see the phrase "God cannot" I get worried. "God does not" wouldn't bother me a bit. But, proponent of free will though I am, I'm reluctant to say that something is impossible for God unless it contradicts his very character (e.g. it's not a limitation on God's omnipotence to say that He cannot be evil because, by definition, he isn't). T…

What is a Christian message?

While doing a bit of quick "what does the InterWebz think of Alcoholics Anonymous" research, I came across a great quotation: "When a person is not clear about the Gospel, who Jesus is and what He did to save sinners, he is not presenting a Christian message." True. AA, at least, doesn't present a confused message claiming it to be a Christian one; they leave room for members to find Jesus as who He said he really was. A real danger in our Christianity is that we take our own non-Biblical (or extra-Biblical or, worst of all, un-Biblical) opinions and present them as if they were the words of Christ. No matter how sincere we might be, that's still wrong and dangerous. Via http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Other%20Pagan%20Mumbo-Jumbo/...

Attraction Analytics

I need a developer, a statistician, a psychologist and... a cosmetologist.

Why?

For years I've been interested in the "Ginger vs. Mary Anne" question: What criteria do different individuals use to prefer one attractive person over another?

If you walk down a hair-color aisle in the drugstore or leaf through a fashion magazine, you probably find different models more or less attractive. They're all "beautiful people" of course, but don't some seem to be "your type" while others aren't? Why is that?

As far as I know, there aren't studies or tools that address this. There have been projects to determine the "perfect average" of male and female attraction... But I'm looking for something that that ties to individuals with particular preferences.

What good would that be?

1) it's interesting
2) it might be useful in a dating site, to find who you're physically attracted to
3) it might be useful in a dating site, to warn you a…

Did Jesus really mean that?

Okay, this isn’t a theological crisis… but I’ve got an interesting question to throw out to my theological circle. In Mark 8:38, Jesus (in the context of explaining his pending suffering and death and rebuking Peter’s rejection of these facts) says: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” I don’t think you can get more clear than that.  Jesus says other “not so fluffy” things (the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” comes to mind) but this one seems to connect the dots as unavoidably clearly as possible. Fair enough? So, a couple clarifying questions: What did Peter do when Jesus was arrested?What was Jesus’ reaction to him?What was Peter’s future in ministry?And once you answer those for yourself, tell me this: If Jesus said he would be ashamed of someone like Peter yet accepted and forgave him for doing exactly what he warned against, what do we ma…

What does Matthew 20 mean?

Remind me to re-listen to this one (or perhaps the following week when Micah moved on to Part 2... But I think it was this one...)
GLIMPSE _ PT 1 Micah Witham 7/31/11 Description:Week 1 of a series called Glimpse where we explore parables of Jesus. This week we unearth the context of Matthew 20 and seek to gain a better understanding of what Jesus was actually saying. http://awakencommunity.com/media.php?pageID=15#27

Google's 2012 Valentine Video

[wpvideo LEZhTSNP]
As someone who has spent a career trying to emphasize the customer service concepts of “meet people where they’re at” and “understand and engage the ‘love language’ of the person you’re serving” I have a special place in my heart (no pun intended) for today’s Google.com homepage video. At the risk of incurring the wrath of a fleet of attorneys who want to rile up trouble with DMCA take-down notices, I’m including it here for the simple reason that this post won’t make any sense tomorrow when Google changes its homepage back to the default.  No infringement intended, the video here is © 2012 Google, Inc., etc. etc. etc. (The Washington Post has an interesting article on some related controversy and if I were to mention it I’d probably take it in a totally different direction than they and their site’s commenters do… so I’ll save that for another time…)

So, what is "Dispensationalism"?

Over on one of my other blogs I have a page that jokingly but honestly lists the things I don't care about -- sports, cars, etc. Maybe I need a page like that here, because when a friend mentioned Dispensationalism in passing I realized that (despite brief study of it in a class one summer) it really wasn't "on my radar" as a topic of interest. Maybe I can start with:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism The interesting thing to me is that, unlike the topic of cars or sports, the topic of "God's nature and character" is one that we ought to pursue. Not to the exclusion of other ministries and not as a point of division, but I think one of the spiritual disciplines is a growing interest in and pursuit of God and what He has revealed to us. So, maybe I should study up on Dispensationalism vs. Covenant Theology vs. whatever else is out there...?

The next tricky scam...

So now we have "likejacking" to deal with? And it's been more than a year since it was "discovered" -- it hasn't been blocked yet? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likejacking Seems scary to me that one errant click can push who-knows-what out onto your Facebook page; what's to say that what you click on has anything to do with what you've "liked"? I'm surprised this isn't even more prevalent???

AG planting structure?

I wonder what the story is behind Deep Springs Church being planted next to Stone Church? http://www.mnchurchplanting.com/church-plant-stories/2011/10/24/deep-springs-...
http://stonechurcheagan.com/ Sure, there's more than enough of God to go around, but given that (as I understand it) the AG has some sort of planned distribution of who-has-what-church-where, this must be intentional... Yet they're not sharing the same AG building that Stone Church meets in? Anyone know the scoop?

Structure of mind/will/etc.

I was struggling and struggling to remember where I had heard this and I finally found it!!! Thanks to Google (for prompting the right connections deep in my mind that could be pried out otherwise): http://books.google.com/books?id=ptuGdAmDuqIC&pg=PA82&lpg=PA82&d#v=onepage&q&f=false That'll take you to the right page in Greg Boyd's book with a better pair of graphics than I can represent here. I think there's a lot of truth in this model; gotta ponder it some more??? It was referenced by Rob Ketterling last Saturday in the "re[think]" series at River Valley Church (January 15): https://www.rivervalley.org/default.aspx?page=3706 (starts at 6:50 into the video) Graphic: God's Original Design (top-down): Lord /
Spirit /
Mind /
Body /
World /
Satan Satan's Design (bottom-up): Spirit
Mind
Body
World
Satan

The problem with Calvinism

Every so often over the years I encounter extreme Five-Point Calvinists who aren't content to leave the topic at "polite conversation about a centuries-old debate." I don't think that the nuances of our theologies about an infinite God reflect on our salvation... but I do think that our attitudes about those theologies might be cause for concern. Put bluntly: If you're convinced that you have God's mind all figured out, that's a frighteningly clear sign that you don't. Roger Thompson (of Berean Baptist Church), when speaking on Galatians, happened to perfectly sum up why I get concerned about people who brag about their Calvinism: "A small inaccuracy about the gospel is a lie about God and it steals your oxygen of Grace." He goes on to explain the reasoning behind our shunning of grace: "And we desert Grace for one simple reason: We want to improve God's idea. We believe it's inadequate. It's too simple, it's too op…

Daily Bible by eye and ear

It's been a few years since I've read through the Bible cover-to-cover and I think it's time to do it again. I used to subscribe to the Daily Audio Bible and didn't realize how much I missed Brian Hardin's voice and personality. So, I'm going to try for both; let's see if I can form a habit. Kicking off this year: Podcast Title: 1 Year Daily Audio Bible
Episode: DAB January 1 - 2012
Media URL:
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/dailyaudiobible

Pondering GPS

Given my TeleNav GPS Plus fail (see my review at http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/reviews/56711 for details) I'm now debating between a TomTom and a Garmin. The TomTom has audio speed alerts but they apparently don't trigger until you're violating the speed limit by several MPH; the Garmin has a display indicator at 1 MPH but no audio indicator. I'd lean toward the TomTom since I don't want to be staring at a display while I drive, but the reviews say it takes a really long time to acquire a satellite signal. Decisions, decisions!