Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Holiness

My latest article for The Journal of Student Ministries is now available for your enjoyment and edification. The subject of the piece is "green holiness."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Closed Until December 2 9

I have a big writing assignment due December 1. For that reason my blogging of late has been sporadic and not terribly thoughtful, and for that reason I will need to suspend all activity on Scrambies until December 2. Talk to you then. In the meantime think about ways to help the Congo. (See below.)

Update: I got a seven-day extension. So I won't be with you again until December 9.

We Should All Be Paying More Attention to What's Going on in the Congo

I've been aware of the mess in the "Democratic" Republic of the Congo for a while, but confess that I haven't bothered to learn more or do anything about it. But this recent article in Slate shook me up a bit. It explains the severity of the situation, its relationship to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, how it could have been prevented, and what we can still do.

If you are unfamiliar with the Congolese crisis, here's a start:

There are now more than 1 million displaced people scattered throughout the province. In the last 10 years of fighting, more than 5 million people have died in the Congolese conflict—mostly civilians who haven't had access to enough food or health care because of the fighting. And let's be clear: That's 5 million and counting.

And this is why we should all feel a little guilty:

Over the years, many world leaders have made the trip to Rwanda to stand before the gravesites of genocide victims and apologize for their inaction in 1994. But if the worth of an apology is measured not in words but in actions, most of these apologies have been rubbish. True repentance for Rwanda has always meant ending the Congolese conflict.

New Music and Worship Ideas for Advent and Christmas

Since Advent is approaching, I figured I should make you aware of Worship Feast Advent and Christmas: Worship Experiences to Celebrate the Season, which I had a hand in creating. The worship experiences are geared toward young people, but church folk of any age may find them meaningful. The book includes a 5-song CD featuring four original Advent and Christmas worship songs and a twenty-first-century version of "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly." I wrote a couple of the songs and a couple of the worship experiences; my colleague Jenny Youngman did the rest. You can buy Worship Feast Advent and Christmas here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Astronomers Glimpse Three Extrasolar Planets

All three are in the same planetary system, orbiting the star HR 8799 (not to be confused with HR 8899). You can see the three planets, along with HR 8799, in the image on the right. Image from Wikipedia.

If You Don't Own De Novo Dahl's Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound . . .

. . . go ahead and buy it now. It's been out for several months, but I've only just now fully realized how outstanding it is, start to finish. I'll even say this: I would rank Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound above The Features' Exhibit A as the best major-label release from a Nashville rock band. Meyer says that De Novo Dahl - Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound - Means to an End"Means to an End" is his favorite song right now. I'd say that De Novo Dahl - Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound - Shakedown"Shakedown" is mine.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Still Here

I just haven't had time to finish a post this week. I'll be around.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Coming to a Zoo Near You: Sabretooth Tigers and Ankylosauruses

Interesting news from

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Japanese scientists have produced clones of mice that have been dead and frozen for 16 years -- a feat that could lead researchers to one day resurrect long-extinct species, such as the mammoth.

All they need is some organic material that has been preserved in ice for millions of years.

I find it coincidental and a little sad that this story broke the same week that Michael Chricton, who brought clones of extinct animals into mainstream American pop culture, died.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Would Have Stopped at "Captain Fantastic"

A 19-year-old in the UK, formerly named George Garratt, has legally changed his name to "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined." "Captain Fantastic" by itself would have been awesome. The litany of superheroes is a bit much for my tastes.

Meanwhile, in Somalia

This actually happened a few days ago, but I was too wrapped up in election coverage to pay much attention. From the AP:

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A 13-year-old girl who said she had been raped was stoned to death in Somalia after being accused of adultery by Islamic militants, a human rights group said.

Dozens of men stoned Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow to death Oct. 27 in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in the southern port city of Kismayo, Amnesty International and Somali media reported, citing witnesses. The Islamic militia in charge of Kismayo had accused her of adultery after she reported that three men had raped her, the rights group said.

The 1,000 spectators is maybe the most horrifying part of the story. I'm not sure how the international community could put an end to such atrocities, but we need to try. In the meantime, we can pray.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'll Be Twittering the Election Returns

For whatever that's worth.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Pictures

I know; I lied about having these up yesterday. Anyway, here are Meyer as Spiderman, Resha Kate as Uniqua from The Backyardigans (actually taken while trick-or-treating), Malachi in his pumpkin outfit, and all three kids on the love seat. (Some of these pictures courtesy of Grandma.)