29 September 2009

Condescending Jerk Merit Badge

I'm sure I've earned mine many times over. I can be a cynical, condescending, judgmental fool all too often. And I hate that.

“In judging others one labors in vain, often errs, and easily falls into sin, but in judging and examining self one always labors to good purpose.” -- Thomas a Kempis

It can be something as simple as one's taste in music or choice of attire. It can be their political or religious affiliation. It can things they don't even have control over. Why do we look down on others? It really all boils down to pride (as I believe most everything does).

The reasons we look down on others are inconsequential. We are called to love. No matter how big or how small the subject at hand is, the answer is unconditional love.

I'm making it a real priority in my life to daily give serious thought to how I treat the socially awkward, the marginalized, and those who disagree with me. I'm trying to expunge the "Us Versus The World" mindset that I have (the "Us" being the church). I want to look past points of contention.

I'm not arguing for a pluralistic or relativistic idealism. I believe there is Truth. I'm just saying that, first and foremost, loving people is what we are called to do.

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor." -- Matthew 7.1-5 (The Message)

Amen, Maranatha, Amen.


22 September 2009

Which TV Shows Are Right For You?

Seriously? This is what we've come to? Which show is right for me? This is a Newsweek headline that came in via my RSS feed to Google Reader.

"Matchmaker, matchmaker, what should I watch? We're so glad you asked, because we've figured out which fall TV show is your new soulmate."

That's a direct quote!? I find it almost unbearably sad. I love a good bit of entertainment as much as the next person, but my soulmate won't be found on TV or the radio, or Netflix, or Nintendo, etc. How much time does the average person spend watching TV each week? I won't bemoan the statistics.

"I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book." -- Groucho Marx


12 September 2009

Microsoft, Grow Up

A quick search for "Microsoft FUD" brings up all kinds of nonsense. Most recently, M$ shipped materials to Best Buy extolling Windows 7 and trashing Linux (with largely incorrect assertions). Ridiculous. I do love that M$ is admitting that Linux is "competition." :-)

If you've never tried Linux, you can do so without making any changes to your computer. You can download an entire Linux operating system and run it via a Live CD. I highly recommend that you try Linux Mint, but there are many other options. There is no shortage of help out there and the Linux community is amazing. So, what are you waiting for? Give freedom a chance!


01 September 2009

Loans That Change Lives

Yeah. Like those student loans changed my life? Pssh....

No, this is actually really amazing. I don't know how I only heard about it recently. I'm talking about engaging in microfinance through Kiva.org (or one of the other organizations out there, though I don't know anything about any of them). Please read more about it here.

The interwebs being used for good!?