25 August 2009

Donald Miller Is Overrated

Naw, I'm just kidding. Well, he probably is, actually, but I'm reading Through Painted Deserts and really digging it. So far it's a great travelogue with a lot of beautiful imagery and provocative thoughts. It's the first book I've picked up by Miller. I wanted to start with his first.

I'm pretty sure I'll be picking up his second book before too long. It may not be the heaviest or most solid theology, but TPD has made me laugh, cry, and take pause for serious reflection and I've only just finished the second chapter. Not bad, eh?

I'm too damn busy. Need more time to read. Grrr....

[mccracken]

19 August 2009

Grocery Store Adventures

Meg and I were strolling through our local United Supermarket a couple of days ago when we saw two men by a small table. The table had sausages and bottles of hot sauce on it. The men had on well worn cowboy hats, aprons, pearl snap shirts, blue jeans, and well worn cowboy boots. One immediately introduced himself as E. Z. Earl Greiner. He asked us if we'd like to sample his award winning Blazin'-Hot Sauce. We did. He signed a bottle for me and we bought it straight away. Damn fine stuff. E. Z. Earl drove all the way down from Washington to Texas just to sell his hot sauce. It felt really good to talk to someone about their product and then purchase it from them. I don't think many people believe in their products these days. E. Z. Earl, and men and women like him, will always have my business.

[mccracken]

18 August 2009

N. T. Wright On Beauty

Sorry for the big upcoming block quote, but I found this very inspiring and Bishop Wright says it better than I can.

[Another] feature of many communities both in the postindustrial West and in many of the poorer parts of the world is ugliness. True, some communities manage to sustain levels of art and music... which bring a richness even to the most poverty-stricken areas. But the shoulder-shrugging functionalism of postwar architecture, coupled with the passivity born of decades of television, has meant that for many people the world appears to offer little but bleak urban landscapes, on the one hand, and tawdry entertainment, on the other. And when people cease to be surrounded by beauty, they cease to hope. They internalize the message of their eyes and ears, the message which whispers that they are not worth very much, that they are in effect less than fully human.

Part of the role of the church in the past was--and could and should be again--to foster and sustain lives of beauty and aesthetic meaning at every level, from music making in the village pub to drama in the local primary school, from artists' and photographers' workshops to still-life painting classes, from symphony concerts... to driftwood sculptures. The church, because it is the family that believes in hope for new creation, should be the place in every town and village where new creativity bursts forth for the whole community, pointing to the hope that, like all beauty, always comes as a surprise.

I've taken these excerpts from Surprised By Hope which I'm still working through. I don't agree with Bishop Wright on every point, but he has opened my eyes to some new ways of viewing several areas of my faith. This chapter, which the above quoted material only begins to touch, on the mission of the church really resonated with me. I'd recommend this book to all.

[mccracken]

17 August 2009

Quiet Time

I woke up this morning adamant about starting a renewed, regular devotional time at the start of each day. Sleeping in is for chumps. I feel refreshed and re-energized having spent some time this morning with my Creator.

[mccracken]

13 August 2009

Less Sex, More TV

No, I'm not advocating what this post's title exclaims, but India's health and welfare minister is.

On World Population Day this year India's new health and welfare minister came out with an idea on how to tackle the population issue: Bring electricity to every Indian village so that people would watch television until late at night and therefore be too tired to make babies. {CNN}
...


I weep for the future.

[mccracken]

12 August 2009

Lobbyists Cost Too Damn Much

How much cheaper would my AT&T bill be if they cut out their lobbyists?

:::RAGE:::

[mccracken]

09 August 2009

Pathetic

(Click the image to enlarge.)

Wow... This is the knowledge that people are seeking? Just... wow...

[mccracken]