Thursday, October 21, 2010

Unequal Contributions to Society

This year my boss, Joe Boyd, published a book and released a movie. Two people on my team, Brad Wise and Isaac Stambaugh, shot a feature-length film and are preparing for another next year. Charlie Hines just got back from Pittsburgh where he performed on live TV for one program and recorded another to be shown later. Me? I've been writing an endless stream of 3-6 page papers full of drivel for college classes. It seems as though I need to do a little better here!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Google's Got Me

It kind of crept in at first. Like just about everyone else, I've used Google for searching on the internet almost since its beginning. Then I started using Google Calendars because we have some church-wide calendars at work that are on Google, and I found them useful for some of our own departmental needs as well. Admittedly, I've had a few scares when my calendars disappeared for an hour or two at a time, but they've always reappeared eventually, and I've given them the benefit of the doubt. After all, it's very convenient.

Somewhere along the line I started blogging. Using Google Blogger, of course. Next, Vicki and I created a shared Gmail account and began putting some documents online that we both need access to from time to time using Google Docs. Then we decided to finally get rid of our land line phone at home, but we wanted a number we could give out to people that wasn't one of our cell phone numbers. Google Voice came to the rescue. Now I have a personal Google voice number as well. Why? Well, because I can!

Then we took the big step. Android phones. All of this Googly goodness wrapped up in the palm of our hands. Well, not really because we got the Droid X and it's too big to wrap up in the palm of one's hand, but you get the idea. Now when Vicki and I want to chat and not use up texts (we're too cheap for the plan with unlimited texts), we use Google Talk. Because it's there. I'm also beginning to work on a website for sharing Bible resources for a class I'm helping teach in the fall for Vineyard University, using Google Sites (what else would you expect?).

So now I look around and a significant portion of my online life is tied to Google one way or another. And you know what? I'm pretty OK with that. Google is cooler than Microsoft without being as controlling and expensive as Apple. I just hope we don't wake up tomorrow to find out it's been a ginormous hoax all along, that Google really doesn't exist, and that the great Google computing cloud has been blown out to sea, never to be seen again.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Vacation is for blogs

I love vacation for all the obvious reasons. It's great to avoid working for a week. I love getting to spend extended time with Vicki, including the time we spend driving and the time we have with no particular agenda. I just like hanging out with her. And it's nice to see new sights or revisit favorite places- something we do both of every time we come down here to Emerald Isle.

But I also like vacation because it lets me catch up on some things, like reading my friends' blogs. I have some immensely talented, creative and articulate friends and I love getting time to read their ideas. It's unfortunate that I don't keep up with them as steadily as I would like to. But I keep reminding myself that I'll graduate next May, and then I'll have all the time in the world to read and write only the things I want to read and write about.

I prefer blogs over Facebook and Twitter, although admittedly each has its place and FB and Twitter are easier to keep up with. But a blog gives the writer time to expound upon something- anything- and gives the reader a window into his or her mind. Facebook and Twitter, not so much. Blogs make me think. Sometimes they amuse me, sometimes they enlighten me, sometimes they even can make me change my mind about something. I guarantee a Facebook post will never make me change my mind about anything substantial.

All of this to say, if you're a friend of mine and you blog, keep it up! You're making people think, and there can never be too much thinking in the world. Besides, you're giving me something to do on vacation that doesn't require sunscreen.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sports

I got into an interesting conversation on Facebook the other day after I posted an update that said, "Kentucky loses. It's a good day." A friend called me a "hater" because of my happiness at Kentucky's loss. Unfortunately, my reply is too long for Facebook, so I thought I would post it here.

Just so everyone knows, I don't "hate" any school or their athletes. I'll quote from one of my favorite theologians, N.T. Wright. "One of the reasons for the abiding popularity of watching sport is that we know from the start who's who. We emerge from the murky world where we live most of the time into the artificially bright light of a straightforward dualism. We support this lot; that lot are the enemy...That's what we want life to be like. We watch sport because it allows us the luxury of a clear-cut dualism in a world where, for the most part, things aren't that easy." (Following Jesus, p. 85).

In my world, "this lot" that I support includes the Reds, Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Xavier and Duke (basketball), OSU and Notre Dame (football) and Hendrick Motorsports (NASCAR). "That lot" which are the enemy include the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Kentucky (basketball), U. of Michigan (any sport), Roush-Fenway Racing, and pretty much any team from the state of Florida.

I don't even know how some of those teams ever got into one lot or the other, but there they are and there they will remain. I frequently admire teams in "that lot," although I refuse to root for them under any condition, and seeing them lose makes me smile. I've personally hired a rabid Kentucky fan and a Washington Redskins fan. One of my best friends is a Steelers fan. I don't hate any of them, but the teams they support fall into "that lot," and that allows for some good-natured dualistic fun from time to time.

Go Duke.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Who are these people, anyway?

My class at CCU this term is called, "The Life of Christ." If there's one thing that has impressed me thus far with CCU, it has been the quality of the teachers, and this class has only reinforced my feelings. It's being taught by Tom Thatcher. He's a brilliant guy and a great teacher. And in case you're wondering, he doesn't even know this blog exists, so there's no chance I'm getting any brownie points here.

The reason I bring this up is twofold. First, if you're ever thinking about maybe going to college for biblical studies of one sort or another, I'd highly recommend CCU.

But second (and this is what the title of the post is about), I had to do some research on some of the Jewish folks that were around during Christ's lifetime. People you've probably heard of: Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, elders, people like that. And I realized during my research that I've been reading about these people for years, but I never really knew a ton about them. Pharisees and Sadducees aren't anywhere to be found in the Old Testament, and then you get to the Gospels and they're everywhere without much explanation of who they are or where they came from. And it's easy to develop a pretty narrow understanding of them based solely on what you might read about them in the Gospels.

So, over the next few days, I hope to put up some posts giving a little background into some of these folks- where they came from, what role they played in the society of Jesus' day, why most of them tended to be in opposition to him. I found it interesting. You might have a different opinion.