Friday, February 25, 2011

It's hard to complain when it looks like this....

I work in a basement office area, so when I leave for lunch is is generally my first look at the outside world in several hours. The heavy wet snow I saw then continued the rest of the day and alternated with sleet and freezing rain and finally turned to all snow overnight. Columbia Public Schools freaked out and decided to cancel, even though they are now running a deficit of snow days.

This is what things looked like from our deck:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Main Page - - a semi-definitive Wiki of Christian hymns, MIDI files, composers and authors.

Main Page - - a semi-definitive Wiki of Christian hymns, MIDI files, composers and authors.:
"Hymnopedia is free for you to use, learn and contribute.

Use your Facebook account to Login get recognized for your contributions &receive your own bio and talk page (this approach also cuts down on pesky spammers). Oh, and don't forget to join our Facebook Group Page! ..."
This is still a work in progress, but I look forward to seeing it develop.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Son and the Crescent - Christianity Today magazine -

The Son and the Crescent - Christianity Today magazine -
"Last year, representatives from several prominent mission agencies, both national and expatriate, met to compare notes about the progress of their respective ministries in one Muslim-majority country. (The country's name is withheld for security reasons.) The representatives rejoiced that more than 1,000 'fellowships,' as they call them, have been established for people from Muslim backgrounds. In fact, many of the fellowships had already planted new fellowships, and those fellowships had planted still more. Many thousands of Muslims in this nation alone, then, had found faith in Jesus.

Several of these fellowships can be traced back to small networks of Muslims who had encountered Christ and in turn began sharing with family and friends what they had discovered. In one case, a middle-aged working mother had inductively studied a new translation of the Bible for a few years. Among other language choices, the translation she used did not refer to Jesus as the 'Son of God,' due to confused and angry reactions from Muslims who mistakenly believe this phrase means that the Father engaged in sexual relations with Mary. To avoid this misunderstanding, the new translation called Jesus 'the Beloved Son who comes (or originates) from God.' ..."
I have some mixed feelings about this.

On one hand I believe the Scriptures need to be translated accurately and they should be a standard against which all theology is measured.

On the other hand, I remember the story of Apollos, who had heard the Good News and was preaching in the synagogue. His theological understanding was not quite what it could have been. It was Priscilla and Aquila who privately taught him "more adequately" what the Scriptures had to say. The result was that Apollos became an important leader in the first century Church, as well as a colleague of Paul.

It sounds like this translation may remove a major stumbling block to the hearing and understanding of the Gospel in that part of the world. There are still many factors that inhibit the preaching of the Good News, but it seems that small groups of Christians are spreading in these countries, much like the spread of the early Church.

There will be time enough to teach these new Christians more adequately, but in the meantime is the "Beloved Son who comes from the God" so inadequate that these people would be better off not hearing the Good News? I don't think so.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Magnetic Polar Shifts Causing Massive Global Superstorms - Salem-News.Com

Magnetic Polar Shifts Causing Massive Global Superstorms - Salem-News.Com:
"(CHICAGO) - NASA has been warning about it…scientific papers have been written about it…geologists have seen its traces in rock strata and ice core samples…

Now 'it' is here: an unstoppable magnetic pole shift that has sped up and is causing life-threatening havoc with the world's weather. ..."
Anyone who reads topographical maps has ween the diagram on the bottom edge that points to true north and magnetic north, and if you are like me, have maps of the same region that are 40 years apart in their publication dates, knows that true and magnetic north are not equivalent in most parts of the world. And they also know that the difference between the two has changed over the years.

Close to 40 years ago, in college, I took a number of courses in geology, and one of the many interesting things I learned was that the magnetic poles are constantly shifting and have actually reversed many times in geological history. The recent acceleration of the shifting of the magnetic pole suggests that a reversal may be on its way.

What is more significant is the effect the the Earth's magnetic field has on weather patterns, and the increasing chances of "super storms" and climate changes of regions of the world.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

'A religious revolution' -

'A religious revolution' -
"These times we live in have been called a lot of things. But perhaps the most surprising description came Sunday from one of the country's leading religion scholars.

'The most exciting time in Christianity ... since the 1st century.'

Yes, even more thrilling than the Protestant Reformation, Philip Jenkins told about 75 people at Charlotte's Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The reason: The staggering growth in the number of Christians in Asia, Latin America and especially Africa - a phenomenon he called 'a global religious revolution' and one that 'reverses a trend that people had been used to for several hundred years. ..."
Philip Jenkins has written extensively on the growth of the Church in what is referred to a "The Global South". Many see the center of worldwide Christianity moving rapidly away from the western world and into Africa.

Jenkins points out that Christians in such places as Africa are often to the left of the Democrats when it comes to social issues, but significantly more conservative than many US Christians when it comes to theological and moral issues.

The Christian message resonates with those who have been oppressed or who live in poverty -- much like the Followers of Jesus in the First Century A.D.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011, Part 2

The view from outside, before we started to clear the snow.

We are effectively snowbound, since the plows treat our street as third tier on the priorities.

The University is closed for the second day, which is pretty rare. Only "situationally critical" employees are in today, and they are mostly the snow removal crew.
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The Blizzard of 2011

The view from the living room.

... Or as one of the local radio announcer put it, it had better be; otherwise another is on its way.
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