Monday, November 28, 2005

if you are the praying type

Or really even if you aren't.
There was an earthquake yesterday in China's Jianxi province (where Rebekah is from). 15 people were killed, and thousands are either homeless or living in questionable housing. Neither of the cities we visited (Nanchang and Fenyi - Rebekah's city) were mentioned in the article, but we feel an attachment to that place now and even feel like we have a friend or two there.
Please pray for the safety of everyone in Jianxi, especially the orphans in different places around the province. Also pray for adoptive families who know their children are in Jianxi, but haven't been able to travel yet. My guess is they are going crazy today.
It's wierd to feel your heart living in two different places.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

why buy nothing?

If you haven't seen this video yet, check out the battle between an irate shopper and Wal*Mart security.
The beautiful part to me is this screen capture from the video. Off to the right you can see a sign that says "Only at Wal*Mart".


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

it's that time of year again

Buy Nothing Day

On Friday, just say no to mass consumption. Unless of course it's leftovers.

Monday, November 21, 2005

more from Ehrenreich

Just one more from Nickel and Dimed and I'll move on to other things.

Wherever you look, there is no alternative to the megascale coporate order, from which every form of local creativity and initiative will be abolished by distant home offices. Even the woods and the meadows hae been stripped of disorderly life forms and forced into a uniform made of concrete. What you see - highways, parking lots, stores - is all there is, or all that's left to us here in the reign of globalized, totalized, paved-over, corporatized everything. I like to read the labels to find out where the clothing we sell is made - Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Brazil - bu the labels seve only to remind me that none of these places is "exotic" anymore, that they've all been eaten by the great blind profit-making global machine.

Barbara Ehrenreich is now blogging, you can check it out here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

thoughts from nickel and dimed

if I'm back, that means there will be quotes from books. Just a couple from a non-"christian" source. Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. It's her story on trying to live and work in "low-wage" America.

First, a comment on her work in a restaurant.
The worst, for some reason, are the visible Christians - like the ten person table, all jolly and sanctified after Sunday night service, who run me mercilessly and then leave $1 on a $92 bill. Or the guy with the crucifixion T-shirt (SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO)who complains that his baked potato is too hard and his iced tea is too icy (I cheerfully fix both)and leaves no tip at all. As a general rule, people wearing crosses or WWJD ("What Would Jesus Do") buttons look at us disapprovingly no matter what we do, as if they were confusing waitressing with Mary Magdelene's original profession.

I noted the other night at Jacob's Well that in our culture the things that should characterize followers of Jesus - stuff like love, compassion, generosity, peace - are no longer considered "christian" traits to the world outside of the Church. That seeing someone who lives that way does not cause you to think, "That person is a Christian". Ehrenreich later, in an unrelated story, brings up why that may be.

On her trip to a tent revival for entertainment.
It would be nice if someone would read this sad-eyed crowd the Sermon on the Mount, accompanied by a rousing commentary on income inequality and the need for a hike in the minimum wage. But Jesus makes his appearance here only as a corpse; the living man, the wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist, is never once mentioned, nor anything he ever had to say. Christ crucified rules, and it may be that the true business of modern Christianity is to crucify him again and again so that he can never get a word out of his mouth.

Is it a sweeping over-generalization made by a woman with no love for the Church? Yes. Is it yet another picture of someone who admires and is interested in Jesus, but wants nothing to do with those who claim to follow him? Yes. Is it an accurate enough picture that those of us who claim to follow Jesus should be bothered that it is thought and said? I'm afraid so.

It's a pretty interesting book. By the way, those are the only two spots where she has much to say about faith or God, so don't read it expecting that kind of thing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

the quote of the year

K and I took Rebekah to our favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch today. Our daughter who doesn't know the English or Chinese word for shy was doing her usual routine of entertaining the wait staff and the people seated around us. Next to us was a woman in her late 50's / early 60s who talked to Rebekah and to us several times during the meal. As we were getting things together to leave, the woman tells us how pretty and cute Rebekah is and we are responding in all of the appropriate ways parents are supposed to when the woman then says...

I've been looking at her and trying to decide which one of you she looks like.

Surely she was kidding? No she was not. It was all we could do to get to the parking lot before we broke down laughing.
As to the question, I'll let you decide.

Spittin' image, no?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

pat, shut the $*%! up

How can you claim to follow Jesus and make this statement?
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover [Pennsylvania]. If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there."

Later, in an attempt to clarify his statements...
"God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever," Robertson said. "If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them."

There is no further comment needed.

If you happen by here, please know that this guy does not speak for the God of the Bible. Unfortunately, I must admit that he does speak for a large number of morons who own them.
It pisses me off to no end that I have to answer for this guy.
I have to go hurl now.
I guess this means I'm back.