Dress Down Friday | Facebook Privacy and the Fisherman

Things have been a little slow this week since I am in the process of finishing up the quarter, but I’ve got some interesting links this week. Oh and sorry to flood your inboxes with Twitter, I wanted to have them on my blog as posts so people could comment on them, but not go through my feed, anyways, it didn’t work. I am looking into plan B.

Is facebook becoming evil? With privacy becoming more and more of an issue will Facebook start cooperating? See here as well.

Here are the nine most Badass verses in the Bible (be forewarned some of this is pretty crude).

Are you looking for a new gravatar or favicon?

For all you music fans be sure to check out NPR’s recent All Songs Considered website re-design. They’ve got some amazing stuff on their. I think the coolest feature is the playlist feature where you can select a list of music you’d like to listen to from their website.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the Daily Scribe is up and running again, with some new and old faces in the community. Be sure to check it out.

Have you heard of the Fisherman yet? I think I like the Air Jordan/Rock Climbing version.

Build a cheap solar heater (I wonder if it works).



Article linked to photo – original picture from flickr.

Blog Entries

Mac’s Keynote (on Dual Displays)

One problem I had in class yesterday was a technical one. I use Mac’s Keynote software to put main points onto slides for the class to see. I also typed out all my (behind the scenes) notes thinking I’d be able to read from my macbook’s screen without projecting them on the class screen. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get the two displays to do different things. I thought for sure I wouldn’t have a problem getting it to work, so I didn’t even try it at home, and sure enough, I ate up class time trying to figure it out. A lesson learned for sure. But even more frustrating, yet laughable at this point is that had I looked in Keynote’s help menu and typed “presentation” like I did later that afternoon, I would have seen that the 4th option down was the directions on how to fix the display and notes issue (or how to get it to work in the first place). Alas, reading the instructions do help!

While, I highly recommend using Keynote for your lectures and presentations, not only because is it super easy to use (minus this hiccup) but they look nice as well, I do recommend reading the instructions and practicing prior to doing the presentation – yes I did know better!

Here’s the instructutions just in case:

Picture 2

Uploaded with Skitch!

Here’s to next time.

Blog Entries

Class Lecture Day

Today Ryan gave me the opportunity to lecture in his Church in Mission class (I am the aid for the class). This quarter we have been looking at post-colonial themes and ways of reading the culture, responses to culture from a variety of perspectives including: the incarnation, trinitarian theology, ecclesiology, the emerging church and the like. Since we are now wrapping up the quarter (wednesday is our last class) I talked more about some of the practices the church can do to embody a way of life rooted in an incarnational way of thinking about mission. All that to say, I will be posting what I said in more detail soon. Other parts of my lecture were based on things we’ve been discussing here concerning relevancy and the church’s mission. Overall, it was a lot of fun leading the class through some of this material and getting more practice at teaching.

Something I continue to be surprised by is how much I enjoy the dialogue and questions that come out of the lecture material. In the second half of the class, we turned from lecture-based learning to discussion questions where students first interacted with a list of questions on their own and in small groups, then we reconvened and discussed them as a class. I tend to find this portion of the class period to be even more stimulating then the lecture period because it’s in these moments where we get to learn from each other and wrestle with how this stuff works in our lives and churches. All in all it was happy to have the practice.


Advent and The Gift of Life (Luke 1:57-80)

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.??? They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.??? Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.??? And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become???? For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him (Luke 1:57-66).

Waiting. Waiting for an offspring. Waiting for a voice. Waiting for salvation. We all know what it is to exist in a state of waiting, but what do we expect, and how do we respond? Waiting can leads us in at least two directions: despair or hope. With despair can come the sense of entitlement; I am waiting for what is mine. Hope is situated within the context of God’s ongoing faithfulness.

Elizabeth and Zechariah have spent their lives in wait and at the birth of their son have chosen to remain hopeful – that is see their ‘blessing’ as a gift from God not something they had a ‘right’ to. One way we see their hope is in the way they go about naming their son. In this passage, we see there was an expectation that the newborn be named for the father, Zechariah. When asked the name of the child, however, Elizabeth and Zechariah dramatically relinquished their parental ‘right’ to carry on the family name and the legacy. Because Elizabeth and Zechariah were willing to view their long awaited blessing (to have an heir) within the context of God’s faithfulness, John’s life was freed to be a blessing for all Israel.

Blog Entries

Dress Down Friday | Black, Buy Nothing, Turkey Carcass Edition

Happy Dress Down (Black) Friday, and since it’s Black Friday that also means it’s Buy Nothing Friday, which I am celebrating! And if today is Buy Nothing Friday, then that would also have to mean that it is the day after Thanksgiving, and if that’s the case then today must also be Turkey Carcass Soup Friday!

  • Speaking of buying tons of things, now you can buy crosses at a reduced price.

  • I just learned about the Black Cab Sessions from Simon, who sent a link to the Elvis Perkins’ video as well as the one by Bill Callahan – both are worthy of your time. And since we’re talking about great videos on youtube, why not check out this old standbye.

  • Speaking of standbyes – Eddie Izzard has a new gig (sort of). Check this one too. Oh alright, this one as well.

  • For those of you on wordpress, check out the Defensio plugin for fighting spam comments (It seems to be working pretty well so far), and don’t forget to download the Absolute Comments plugin also.

  • Miro’s this great new open-source video platform for easily viewing digital media. It’s super easy to use and kind of fun too.

  • Oh and check out Walkscore, it’s a site that shows you what is all within walking distance of where you live.

Happy Dress Down, Black, Buy Nothing, Turkey Carcass Friday!

Blog Entries

Blog Awareness: Mockingbird’s Leap, Advent Conspiracy and Jesusland

Here are a few blogs I think you should check out this week.

Be sure to take a look at what Glenn Jordan of Crooked Shore is up to for the Advent season. He’s invited a bunch of his friends to join him in the practice of attention as we prepare for Christmas.

Glenn writes,

This is a special project for the Advent season. It is a short-term but intentional community of friends and connections from many places who have agreed to practice attention in the run up to Christmas Day, so that we can learn to appreciate the many ways we have been gifted.
We live with the awareness that often the busyness and commerciality of the season leads to inattention, so that we are constantly in danger of not noticing. Maybe this year, if we are intentional about attention, and then blogging about what we see, we might be better prepared for the advent of the Christ Child, the great Gift of God.

Here’s a list of people who will be joining him in the project, I am happy to be a part of it as well.

Chris Mohr sent around a link to this site (and the next one) which looks to unmask the idol of consumption at Christmas and instead offer compassion as what Christmas should be about. They say,

Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption.

You can find out more about what they are doing and how you can participate in making Christmas a day that’s focused on worshipping the living Christ through compassion not consumption this year.

Finally, Revolution in Jesusland promises to be provocative and enlightening in a (non-Enlightenment sort of way) as it calls:

…Is a plea to the progressive movement [in American politics], to take another look and get to know the diverse and complex world of evangelical Christianity in its own terms. Here you’ll find interviews, commentary, analysis and other dispatches from all over “Jesusland.??? This tour will explore everything from the workings of the local church, to the evangelicals’ vibrant, decentralized national leadership training infrastructure to theological questions such as, “How in the world DO they read the Bible literally???? and “Do they really think I’m going to hell????

Here’s a post that introduces some of the ideas that are going on with the Jesusland blog, but it’s basically encouraging a broader view of evangelicals in America. Yes there are evangelicals who oppose the war, work for justice, care for the poor, and challenge the powers of consumerism and American politics all while taking the Bible very seriously. This blog will help you find out who they are, and what they’re up to (see about page).

Blog Entries Quaker

A Day Trip to AAR to Have Theological Discussions on Quakerism

I had the chance to have a little road trip and drive down on Friday to San Diego and go to AAR (American Academy of Religion). I went down because of the Quaker theological discussion group that met from 4-10pm. I had a really great time meeting tons of new faces and Quaker scholars I’ve heard about (and often read) but haven’t met. I was really pleased to meet Paul Anderson, Corey Beals, Carole Spencer and Robert Gonzalez, among others. Oh, and it was really fun seeing Margery Post Abbott again as well. There were two sessions for the night. The first was called “A Quaker Sacramentology,” and while all the papers that were read we really interesting and put together well, they seemed to mainly present classic Quaker arguments for why historically we have the particular perspectives on the Sacraments we hold. But, to be honest, I found the criticisms more interesting and exciting then the papers themselves and would really like to see some of these criticisms fleshed out better (something I’ve attempted to begin in my Quaker Life article, “Sacramental Living, Redemptive Practices and Convergent Friends,” March/April 2007.)

Blog Entries Green

Goodbye Lexan Nalgenes

Emily and I have been tugging around Nalgene water bottles for the past 8 years (as long as we’ve known each other), and have been really happy with their usefulness. Yes, we must love to keep hydrated or something! Well, we recently learned about how harmful the Lexan-made Nalgene bottles are leeching bad chemicals into the water they carry and since it was my in-laws who (also tote their Nalgenes happily) turned us onto the new research they graciously sent us some money to replace the bottles (thanks mom and dad).

There were our old bottles, the big green one I’ve had for at least 6 years now.

bad nalgenes

All these, once bright and clear, water bottles are made with Lexan plastic which as it ages leaks unhealthy chemicals.

So we went to our local outdoors store and picked up a few new Nalgene water bottles that don’t use Lexan.

good nalgenes

There are four great reasons to get these “UVPE” bottles instead: they are way cheaper, they are number 2 plastic which means they can be recycled (the Lexan ones are number 7), they won’t look scratched up when they start to age, and they don’t leech bad stuff into your tasty drinks.

Blog Entries

Readers of Gathering In Light on Facebook

Facebook | Gathering in Light Blog

While running the risk of being completely shameless in blog promotion, I decided to start a “Readers of Gathering in Light” facebook page. I know a number of you are already on facebook so it seemed fitting, plus this is a way for you to give feedback about the site and its content, share ideas, and for me to send all of you secret messages. This will be helpful especially for when I look to do guest articles, plan blog parties, sell used furniture, find baby sitters, or whatever (I’m kidding about the babysitters, I think..). Anyways if you’re not interested no problem, but if you’d like to join the readers group please do.

If you’ve got pages of your own let me know below. Also if you read my site and haven’t made me a friend on facebook go for it!