Showing posts from March, 2011

Trains in India

If you thought they were joking on the TV show "Outsourced" about how people ride on the outside of Indian trains, check out this photo from India. By the way, India's population has now passed 1.2 billion. India's population will be the largest on the planet within the next two decades.

"The Professionals" Returns to the Big Screen

Word has it that work will soon start on a movie version of the 1970s TV show "The Professionals." This BBC hit show starred Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins. The producers of this new film are Callum McDougall, producer of 007 films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Richard Whelan, producer of Captain America.

Click here for a story on this from London's Daily Mail.

I've seen many episodes of the series. As long as this film doesn't go the direction of Starsky & Hutch or Miami Vice remakes, it might be okay. The production team is certainly a promising sign.

Mountain Lakes

Our nearby mountains are currently covered with snow. Some areas got nearly 2 feet just in the past couple days! This is beautiful to behold from the Valley floor where we get no snow but can see the snowy peaks on clear days.

Here are a few pics of the family & friends back in late summer up at gorgeous Huntington Lake. The lake is around 7,000 ft in elevation and sits at the base of our closest ski resort, China Peak. The last picture was actually taken at Shaver Lake, elevation 5,000.

Fresno Seminar with Larry Osborne: Advocate vs Attendee

In a recent post, I referenced a seminar with Larry Osborne. Several of us from the College Church spent most a of day with 250 of our closest "friends" at a workshop. This was on the campus of Fresno's major Christian university, Fresno Pacific.
If you want to dig into what Osborne really thinks and believes, you should read a couple of his books. He's a great communicator and organizer. I wouldn't describe him as revolutionary or avant garde. He seems pragmatic, intelligent and a stickler for details.

One interesting thought was his comparison of Advocate versus Attendee. He described an Attendee as someone who attends your church. This may be a person who is deeply involved and really feels that this is their church. On the surface, most churches try to make people into Attendees. We as church leaders usually view ourselves as successful if we get a new person to commit and become an Attendee.

Osborne encouraged us to set a different target. He suggested that w…

Christian Response to Japan's Disaster

Several reactions: First, I can't believe the horror of what has happened to northeast Japan. This is beyond tragic. It's unspeakable. Tens of thousands dead. A sophisticated society reduced to the remnants of pre-modern existence. The universe contains more power than any of us can fathom.

Second, most news programs disappoint me. I wish the major news channels were less concerned with the "drama" of the events and more concerned with just giving us real interviews and analysis. The reporting of this tragedy is perhaps just another sign of the "dumbing down" of most American media sources and (tragically) of our broader society.

Third, debt restricts one's ability to respond in an emergency. This applies to individuals, corporations and countries. Japan's national debt is one of the highest in the world. The government owes 200% of their annual GDP. This is huge. The Japanese national government has been living beyond its means for more than a deca…

Recovery of Sight for the Blind

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

This passage from Luke 4 is no throwaway text. It is crucial for understanding the entire message of …

Colonel Gadhafi, the Hip Hop Artist

I'm sure you know a good bit about the uprising in Libya and Colonel Gadhafi's hard-line response. For 42 years, he has ruled this nation in Northern Africa. Most people think of him as a madman, a perception perhaps validated by his bizarre behavior in recent days. He went on national TV to rant about his enemies and promised to root out all "enemies of the state" alley by alley.

An Israeli musician and DJ named Noy Alooshe heard Gadhafi's speech and thought it was entertaining -- in the sense that it belonged to the theater of the absurd. He took some of Gadhafi's speech and mixed it to produce a song that has gone viral. Many across the Arab love it. Of course, some changed their minds when they discovered that a Jewish man has mixed the song. Others have decided to like the song in spite of that fact. Still others simply appreciate the parody for what it is. (FYI: There is a 2nd video version that features inset video of dancing girls. That version has ha…