In no particular order:

Black Film Festival starts at my house on Saturday: My wife decided to host a Black film festival and invited people. She didn't ask for my permission or anyone else's; she just called it and pulled it off. Cool with me. First movie up is A Soldier's Story, which is a good one and entertaining. Sometimes Important Films are boring, frankly, but not this one. Let me know if you want in.

Last meeting of the Emergent Coordinating Group: I'm driving to San Diego tomorrow night with my friend Dan Hodge for the last gasp of the Emerging Coordinating Group. Read Tony Jones's good that was then, this is now, here's what's next post to get a handle on the change. I'm not planning to attend the Emergent Convention. Dan and I will literally jump in the car in Pasadena at 5pm, drive to the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, meet, then jump in the car and drive back home, arriving around 3am. I don't want to be away from my family, so I'll be there when we all wake up together. Plus it will be a great chance to spend time with Mr. Hodge, a doctoral candidate at Fuller doing innovative work with hip hop and theology.

Come to the Harambee Annual Dinner: I'm inviting you. For realz. It's on Saturday, March 5. Brad Smith, former CEO of Leadership Network and now President of Northwest Graduate School (Ray Bakke's school), is our speaker. Good times. Show a face. Bring a friend.

"two wrongs have made a right and my moral compass is tired and busted"

This guy is painfully honest, and I respect him for it:
You may think that you have felt dumb before, but let me tell you something: until you have stood in front of a man who knows real pain and told him that you are against your country's alleviation of his country's state-sponsored murderous suffering, you have not felt truly, deeply, like a total f***** moron.
This isn't cheap point-scoring or "i told you so" posting. This is why I read blogs, cuz I don't know if I would have ever read this guy's account of Election Day in Iraq anywhere else.

someone asked me about torture

It's been a tough issue to think about, especially with Alberto Gonzales' senate confirmation vote nigh. Here are some thoughts from Belmont Club that strike me as wise:
We ought to be manly enough to authorize the use of a certain amount force on terrorist suspects, but only to the degree consistent with our deepest national values. To strike a balance between the need to maintain certain principles without paying too much for it in terms of military advantage; remembering what cost in blood must be paid for keeping the national conscience clean. It is a cup that will not pass away. We will be called to account not only for our management of captives but also for whether we allowed them to kill the innocent while they grinned insolently before us. Both the tortured prisoner and the child blown to pieces by a terrorist bomb will accuse us on the Last Day. About the only thing we can do is our best. But there is no weaseling out, no escape from choice.
The last line gets me: No weaseling out, no escape from choice. The difference today is that you and I do not have to actually make a choice about this matter. But 100 senators (who are men and women, after all, as well as husbands and wives and fathers and mothers and sons and daughters and aunts and uncles) must. A president must. An attorney general must. Military commanders must. I was first drawn to an interest in politics during the first Gulf War, when I tried to imagine what it must be like to be President Bush (41), having to make decisions that would cost lives. Talk about between a rock and a hard place. I think Bush and Gonzales both were thinking about the line above - the one that is underlined - when evaluating whether the Geneva Conventions applied to non-state actors, the Al Qaeda terrorists.


Sometimes I just post stuff because it's so dang provocative. Here's the title of a book authored by two guys with an article in Monday's Wall Street Journal:

"The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy"

If that wasn't an Engine Starter for your Inner Environmentalist, read how they conclude the article:
The earth is far bigger than people think, the untapped deposits are huge, and the technologies for separating oil from planet keep getting better. U.S. oil policy should be to promote new capital investment in the United States, Canada, and other oil-producing countries that are politically stable, and promote stable government in those that aren't.
I thought our discussion was about alternative fuels and how soon we can get them in mass supply.

1st annual Evangelical blog awards

Nominate and vote for bloggerz here, at the Evangelical Underground blog.

Man, am I going to be nominating some of you who are on my blogroll (column right, down).

The categories:
Best overall evangelical blog (jordon cooper)
Best designed evangelical blog (hmm, maybe tallskinnykiwi just to tweak 'em)
Best evangelical blog - politics (hugh hewitt, hands down - the guy's a Big Blogger plus he's got a Young Life link at the top of his blog)
Best evangelical blog - ministry (dj chuang's metablog)
Best international evangelical blog (tall skinny kiwi)
Best domestic evangelical blog (uh)
Best evangelical blog - apologetics (theoblogy, though i don't know if tony is defending what they want defended - yet it will be a good fight)
Best evangelical blog - pastor (there is none other than brad boydston)
Best new evangelical blog (combine jeremy and liz and throw in Abner come around April)
Best evangelical blog - humor (este mark riddle)
Best evangelical missionary blog (by definition, not the safest thing to do, but how about Kevin in Bangladesh)
Best evangelical youth pastor blog (sergio does the pastoring in between photoblogging and got-a-test-tomorrow blogging)
Best evangelical group blog (er, maybe the emergent planninmg blog)
Best evangelical teen blog (jason's got a crew - pick one)

Christian Tsunami Aid Groups Withholding "Best Stuff"

Allegations surfaced this week that Christian groups delivering food, water and medicine to survivors of the South Asian tsunami may be "keeping the best stuff to themselves," according to a spokesman for the United Nations.

I'm an M.O.L. because...

..because I link to pages like this when I find them. Thanks to Liz for tipping me off by emailing me.

The definition of M.O.L. is not for the faint of heart - but you should know that the man coining the term considers himself an M.O.L. as well (wouldn't that make you King M.O.L., buddy?). Plus I'm on a distinguished M.O.L. lists that includes Tony.

this looks legit

Here's the official CNN link to an Anderson Cooper 360 transcript. Cooper interviewed a man who stopped the tsunami wave, briefly, using the name of Jesus Christ. I've heard about this from a few sources, searched over at CNN, and found the transcript. I don't think it's an urban legend. The meat of it:

COOPER: It bears repeating that each night, we've been moved by the stories of people, people who have literally reached out and saved strangers' lives. Daylan Sanders is a U.S. citizen who sold his townhouse near Washington D.C. 10 years ago, and moved back to his native Sri Lanka, to build an orphanage, the Samaritan Children's Home. When the waves came on Sunday, he gathered all 28 children, put them in a boat, and raced the waves to safety.

He joins me now on the phone from Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Thanks very much for being with us, Daylan.

You know, we talked to a lot of people, and when they first saw the waves, they instantly thought to run to higher ground, but not you. What made you think your best chances were at sea in a boat?

DAYLAN SANDERS, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, SAMARITAN CHILDREN'S HOME: Because there are no words in human speech to describe what we saw. It was a 30-foot wall of sea, just bearing down on us like an angry monster. And it was coming at us at such speed, I knew that there was no place on ground where we could be safe. So I knew -- there was something in me that told me that instantly, that we've got to get on top of this wave if -- to stay safe.

COOPER: So how quickly -- how quickly...

SANDERS: So I came out, I called out for the children. They all came. We rushed. We had just 10 seconds to get into the boat, and that day the outboard motor stayed hooked to the boat. Usually, we take it off every night. And we got into the boat -- you know, it had rushed in. It has -- it just demolished everything that stood in its path. It came with such force. It just hit both of the garages. The garages just splintered in every direction. It lifted up my Toyota pickup vehicle, my Mitsubishi L-300. We had a three-wheeler, a motor bike. Everything -- it just pulverized.

And then when we got into the boat, it was just a few -- I would say about 15 feet away, and we were eyeball to eyeball with the wave. And immediately, a scripture popped into my mind. It said, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against it."

And I know from there, I got the courage. I just stood up in the small boat, and I lifted both my hands and I said, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ, on the strength of the scriptures, that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him. I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to stand still. And I thought I was imagining at the time that the massive wall of water, it stood. It -- I'm not one given to exaggeration. I saw, as if something holding back, some invisible force or hand. It just stood.

And -- this was confirmed, because later on, when I met some of the villagers who had climbed on top of palmara (ph) trees and coconut trees and had survived this onslaught. They told me -- they called me father. They said, Father, we didn't stand a chance because the sea, when it got down to the beach and it crushed into the village, it came with the same speed and the same furry, and it just wiped us all out.

But when -- ours is a four-acre complex. We have a boys section, the girls' home, the staff section and everything. But when it got on your land, at one point, it stood still. It just slowed down. And that gave you the chance. What made it? Was it the density of the trees or the buildings? I said, there was no power on Earth that could have held it back but the power of God. I said, I called upon God, and I commanded it in the name of Jesus, who 2,000 years ago he commanded the waves, and they obeyed. He commanded the sea, and they obeyed. And this is the very same God did the same to us and gave us those precious few seconds that we needed to stop at the first yank, at the start, the engine just sputtered into life.

COOPER: And Daylan, I know your gamble paid off. You were able to take your boat really directly through the wave and rescue all the children in your orphanage.

SANDERS: By the way, they came up to us, and I told them that, you know, it's going to catch up with us and if it caught up...

COOPER: It's a remarkable, remarkable story, Daylan. Able to save 28 of the children in the orphanage. The orphanage itself, the buildings, the structures destroyed. But it's a remarkable tale. Daylan Sanders, thanks for joining us.

i'm also tech support

In urban ministry you wear a lot of hats. One of my hats is network and computer tech support. I'm blogging from an eMac that Harambee got a hold of for $200, not a bad deal considering that it's almost new and was rarely used by the previous owner. I transferred the data from a G3 that one of our admin ladies uses, and she will have this on her desk come Monday. I transferred the Airport card from the G3 to the eMac, but had to access the Apple web site for instructions.

You know what? One of my neighbors got wi-fi for Christmas, because I see a "linksys" access point on my list of wireless connections, and I ain't be got no linksys router. Which means that this neighbor can access my own unsecured Airport Express base station. So today, for the first time in four years, I've put a password on my base station.

I think this eMac is just about ready to go. I've installed software, transferred files, etc. Just one of the hats I wear.

Right now Kafi and Sam and I are going to the theatre to see The Incredibles. We will swing by and pick up Michelle, Monique and Nyaesha, our nieces, and bring them with us. Micah might join us in the theatre, and cry her head off, or we'll see if Kafi's aunt wants to keep her. Either way is fine with me.

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