Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jasmine Thai Restaurant (Lincoln City)

If you find yourself in Lincoln City craving a delicious plate of Pad Thai with a tall cool glass of Thai Tea, I highly recommend Jasmine Thai Restaurant.

I went there with my bride during our family vacation a month ago and have been meaning to give them a plug. I have ordered Pad Thai at more Thai restaurant then I can count in pursuit of the best. Jasmine Thai comes in at a close second to a restaurant that is much closer to home for many of you in the Portland area.

Vi Thai (Wood Village, near Gresham) has prepared my favorite plate of Pad Thai no less then thirty times over. Vi Thai has set the standard to which all other Pad Thai is compared. Coupled with great service and a relaxing ambiance, it comes highly recommended.

Worth noting is Vi Thai and Jasmine Thai have comparably delicious Salad Rolls, though Jasmine Thai adds an artistic flair to the plate with some small carved carrots.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Office (Japanese Edition)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chinese Man Throws Bicycle at Thieves to Save the Day (Vid)

What you don't see is a women walking out of a store when her purse is snatched by two men riding by on a moped. The man on the bicycle sees this unfold and:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

On This Christmas Day

"Can I, will I forget how Love was born, and burned
It's way into my heart unasked, unforced, unearned"
-Jaroslav J. Vajda (Where Shepherds Lately Knelt)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"I Was Wrong about Church Buildings"

I love see The Church continue to explore new Gospel shaped forms. Recently Francis Chan wrestling with the "comfortable substitute" that his church has found itself stuck in. And now Dan Kimball humbly confessing his reactionary response to previous forms.

If you are a part of a church, are the engaging this issue? What does it look like in your context?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Africa Performed A Cappella by Slovenian Group Perpetuum Jazzile (Video)

Mind Blowing:



Here's my second degree claim to fame. I have a Slovene brother, Gasper, who knows a couple of the singers and they rehearse in the same building that he works.

I also like this one:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chevy Volt Nearing Production

Chevy Volt will interface to smart phone apps right out of the gate. This will allow for remotely scheduling charging times (to take advantage of cheaper utility rates), receive status updates from the car, research rates from utility companies, notify you if you forgot to plug it in after arriving home, and more.

This is a very positive indication of a culture shift at General Motors that should bode well for the Volt, as well as the rest of their portfolio.

The Volt sounds like a technical marvel all-around.

If you are not suave of the technical features of the Volt, Autoblog has a great review up from their first test drive in a pre-production model with all components of the vehicle functional. My favorite part of the article is the repeated observation about different aspects of the Volt which are "as good if not better" then hybrids currently on the market, to which Andrew Farah's (vehicle chief engineer) always remarked that the team is not satisfied and will continue to improve it before production.

Here's to hoping Andrew Farah and his team can pull it off!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Must Watch Worship Experience (Video)

This guy Carlos is shooting the EPK for his album when a homeless man walks up, kneels, breaks down in tears, and busts our in reggae praise!



Off of Carlos' blog:

"If you listen carefully at the end you hear me saying this to Danny.
“Keep trying to make it man.”
He looked me square in the eye…cocked his head sideways with a confused look on his face…and said,
“Trying to make it? No man. I ain’t trying to make it…I’m making it. Jah puts His soldiers everywhere. Jah says, Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death… So He places some of us, in that valley.”"

LOTR Humor

Barad-dûr was an inside job! And some Lord of the Rings Facebook status updates. This new form of humor has been gaining momentum over the last year. (See also Star Wars status updates.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sons of Day (Music Video)

I'd like to introduce you to the first of two aspiring bands from the Russian community in the NW that I have been enjoying over the last year:

Oceans Deep by Sons of Day:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Comfortable Substitute

After watching (and posting) Francis Chan's sermon "Lukewarm and Loving It!" I have developed a fond appreciation for his ministry and teaching. He has a great article titles "The Comfortable Substitute" that documents the changes his Church embarks on as the reevaluate how they "do church". He provides some stimulating thought in regard to "redefining success" and "killing our sacred cows".

The framework he outlines seems to be a popular trend, at least here in the NW. The idea that he calls a "neighborhood church network" is popping up in a number of church plants across Portland under a variety of different labels.

As I understand it the church model puts "small groups" (cell groups, community groups, life groups, bible study groups...whatever you want to call it) front and center instead of one of many accessories to "doing church". Many established churches that I interact with have been saying for years that "small groups is where church really happens". The difference is actually allowing that knowledge to change your system.

It will be interesting to see how this transition pans out and what the long term impacts will be. The way many talk, it would seem this is the end all be all. I appreciate that Francis Chan at least acknowledges a handful of "cons".

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Kneppraths Kreative Khristmas Tree!

In a nutshell, Elena and I are "making" a Christmas tree with cloth, hanging it on the wall, having kids from the apartments make paper ornaments to hang on the tree. At our Christmas party, we are going to invite our neighbors over to write prayer requests on the ornaments, and then we will put presents under the tree against the wall.

Saves space in our teeny apartment, money on our tight budget, and is a great way to engage our neighbors about the purpose of Christmas.

Where we still need your help:

We are still brainstorming ways to effectively engage our neighbors in the Christmas story at the party. It will have to be a "drop-in" style party so we won't be able to do an organized large group presentation. It will have to engage each person individually through some sort of activity. Maybe connected to writing the prayer request on the ornaments?

We are also trying to think of some creative ideas for some form of presents we can give to neighbors who stop by.

Ideas?

This is our own little spin on the Advent Conspiracy.

We'll post pictures later.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Anticipation for StarCraft II...

This is the type of stuff that makes nerds sleep peacefully at night:
...We are trying to make this game complete – like if nobody buys any other product, this game needs to be awesome. Like if Blizzard gets hit by a meteor tomorrow and we all die, at least StarCraft II was awesome – that's what it needs to be.

After a decade of anticipation, I am quite content with how the product is coming together. There's some juicy content in the interview, especially if, like me, you are interested from a design standpoint.

If you are interested in SC II, and haven't already, you must check out their Battle Reports.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Russian Missionary Murdered

I first read about Father Daniel Syosyev's death on TallSkinnyKiwi and my ears were perked again when I saw an article on www.persecution.org (I found this site after my many conversations with our new neighbor Mong, a persecuted Christian refugee from Burma)

It appears Father Daniel Syosyev lived a radical life. He led at least 80 Muslims to Christ and had received 14 death threats. I can understand why the competing kingdoms of this world had a problem with his presence on earth.

The latest article I read states "He wrote about what other people think but are too afraid to say."

It makes me wonder what kingdoms in America are competing for our attention that too few Christians are afraid to talk about.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Free Concerts! Join me!

This Sunday and/or Friday evening.

Sunday: Four Russian Christian bands (but songs will be in English). You can see the details on the facebook events. It's at 10pm but super close to our apartment. If anyone wants to hang out at our place before hand and play games.

Friday: Future of Forestry, 7:30 at Solid Rock. They will be playing a Christmas set. I was listening to their Advent album today and it's shaping up to be my favorite Christmas music of 2009. Details on Myspace page.

Let me know if your are interested in either.

If you are wondering, I am done with Spanish (FOREVER!...in an academic setting.) and looking forward to enjoying life a little.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Make it a Man Card

...Because guys have feelings too.

A friend of a friend makes these. They are great! Handcrafted by a man for men! Classy and artistic in a masculine sort of way.

Consider ordering a few for some manly men in your life this Christmas season!

hint hint.

If you are on digg (if not, make an account!), log in and give it a click!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Snow Leopard Tip: Gradient on Mouse-Over in Stacks

This is a greatly little trick that makes stacks even more enjoyable.

Open terminal and paste: defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean YES;killall Dock;killall Terminal

Hit enter. Terminal will close and dock will flash.

Voila!

Puppy Vs. Praying Mantis













































More scenes from the encounter. Let's just say it didn't end so well for the praying mantis.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NT Wright on Blogging

Since you are reading this on my blog/twitter/Facebook status, this quick video has some good content for you to consider.

NT Wright imparts some ideas on the dehumanization of communication that are worth chewing on:

NT Wright on Blogging/Social Media from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Why Do Palin Supports Support Palin? (Video)

Spoiler: They don't know why. I'd rate this video somewhere between scary, sad, and hilarious:


Disclaimer: I don't post this video to knock "the right" and in turn imply support for "the left". I don't believe the simplistic, black and white, that the media paints that affirms a destructive two party system is healthy or helpful for the well being of our nation.

I believer that if you take the time to get to know me, you will find I don't fit in either mold, and maybe you will find you don't either.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How To (Accurately) Estimate Church Attendance

"It's a complex thing to measure church attendance but here are a few pointers on arriving at an accurate number based on the attendance figures they give you.

- 50% if its a Pentecostal worship service because they count the legs and forget to divide by two.

- 30% if its a Baptist church because they count members on the roll and not all of them are still living.

+ 10 if its a Vineyard service because those rugs on the floor were actually people!
+ 20% if it's a fundamentalist church because they don't count the people they didn't want there.

- 30% if it's an Anglican/Presbyterian/Methodist church because the number they gave you is from their huge Easter service.

+ 15% if it's an ethnic/non-western service because all those people coming late missed the counting.

- 10% if its a megachurch because the worship team and welcome team got counted during all 5 services.

- 520% if its a Catholic church because they count the parish, not the church attendance.

+ 20% if it's an emergent service because those having a smoke outside were not counted.

- 25 % if its a Reformed church service because they count the people who SHOULD have been there.

- 15% if it's a house church because the neighborhood kids playing video games in the back room somehow managed to get counted with everyone else. So did the guy delivering pizza."
Courtesy of Tall Skinny Kiwi.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

LinkedIn...To What? (Video)

This would seem to be a hilarious knock at LinkedIn, except it is utterly false. Do not let these ideas prevent you from making a profile and developing your LinkedIn network. I will explain later.

While your at it, check out my profile. :P

Fresh Hot Wave Invites

Let me know if you (or anyone you know) is interested.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tea w/ A Persecuted Christian from Burma

Wow.... Elena and I just had an amazing 2 hour conversation with a brother in Christ from Burma. We met last week when I was going door to door inviting our neighbors to our Thanksgiving potluck. I gave him a call yesterday and invited him over for tea and cake to connect deeper.

He moved in to our apartments 2 weeks ago and has only been in America for 8 months. After spending over 5 years in prison being tortured (1999-2005) he fled with his church to Malaysia and Thailand before arriving in America. Powerful story of love, persecution, purpose, joy, injustice, pain, peace, fear, and forgiveness.

We invited him to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with Elena's family. I'm super excited to continue growing deeper in this relationship.


Video Footage of San Francisco in 1905

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Google Wave Invites!

I have a limited number of Google Wave invites. Give me a good reason why I should invite you and it's yours - until I'm out.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Experience An Epipheo Recently?

I've posted so many videos BY this guy in the last two years (like this, that, this, and even this), I might as well post the one that he made ABOUT what he does:

Friday, November 20, 2009

People of a Second Chance

I recently had a discussion of emotion vs. choice in love. There is a great interview with Ted Haggard and his wife. Gayle's words towards the beginning of the interview are profound evidence of the power of choice in love.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Google Chrome (The OS, not the Browser)

Since I posted the video about Google Wave I found out that I have a second degree connection with the guy who made it (Epipheo Studies, the same guy behind Advent Conspiracy videos).

It turns out, Google caught wind of the video (most likely through my blog), flew him down to their headquarters, gave him a standing ovation, and asked him to do a similar video for their upcoming Google Chrome operating system:



Cool huh?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thoughts on Elitism

"Don't let your experience turn you in to an expert". This is a healthy reminder to keep your ego in check. To keep you from rambling on being divise to the purpose of collaboration and unity.

However, if you find yourself being dished up lavish amounts of elitism, it seems there are two instinctual responses. You can join in the affirming rounds of high-fives and enter in the elite circles or you can repulsively turn your back in defiance.

The challenge of humility introduces a third option. Just because someone is being elitist does not mean they don't have something valid and important to contribute. In humility you are tasked with the responsibility to "de-elite-ify" and sift out the gold from the river bed.


Thanks Milan, for the quote and the stimulating conversation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Colby the Christian Robot...?

I don't know if I am more frustrated, confused, or freaked out after watching this video:

Did anyone encounter Colby the Christian Robot in their childhood? I am eternally grateful that I did not. I came across an article by a man who was scarred for life by his experience.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)

Anyone know of anywhere I can get, or would anyone be interested in creating, a piece of art depicting "Agnus Dei". I'm looking for something like this:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Gorgeous "Tilt-Shift" Perspective Manipulation (Video)

If you don't know what tilt-shift perspective manipulation is, you are in for a treat with this video! Especially if you like miniature scale models.

Watch here: http://appleguru.org/createamazing.html

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Clean That Coffee Maker!

Consider this a friendly reminder to clean that coffee maker of yours to ensure you aren't brewing mineral deposits and nasty old oils into your next cup of the miracle drink.

There's a lot of overly complicated and excessively thorough instructions on how to do it properly.

  • Simply brew 1 part vinegar* with 2 parts water.
  • If you feel it's been awhile, repeat.
  • Then brew a pot or two of water to rinse.
*If you don't have vinegar, lemon juice works well too.

With that fresh pot of coffee tasting better then ever, be careful not to let your addiction to Le Café get out of control.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

MacHeist nanoBundle (6 Free Apps!)

This is a no brainer for any Mac user. Download 6 free apps in the MacHeist nanoBundle! Only 5 days left, and we have to hit 500,000 participants to unlock the 6th app!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Family on a Mission of Crazy Love...in an RV (Video)


I was intrigued, visited their website to learn more (About Crazy Love In Action), and ended up bawling when I watched the following video:

I was particularly interested how Francis Chan (which I recently posted a blog about in regard to "why we live where we do") and a mission trip to Africa shook up their world.

This emotionally packed web-journey was the result of link clicking, which all started after reading this post (About a missionary family of 7 living on the road in a camper in Europe) on a blog I have been following for years - TallSkinnyKiwi.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Spiritual Canticle: Songs Between the Soul & The Bridegroom

I was previously captivated by the work of Fray Luis de Leon, tonight another Spanish mystic has caught my attention - St. John of the Cross. His Spiritual Canticle is another beautiful work of Spanish literature.

The stanzas begin with a person's initial steps in the service of God and continue until the ultimate state of perfection is reached, which is spiritual marriage. They refer, consequently, to the three states or ways of spiritual exercise (purgative, illuminative, and unitive) through which a person passes in advancing to this state, and they describe some of the characteristics and effects of these ways.

Songs Between the Soul and the Bridegroom:

Bride
1. Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
You fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.

2. Shepherds, you who go
up through the sheepfolds to the hill,
if by chance you see
him I love most,
tell him I am sick, I suffer, and I die.

3. Seeking my Love
I will head for the mountains and for watersides,
I will not gather flowers,
nor fear wild beasts;
I will go beyond strong men and frontiers.

4. O woods and thickets,
planted by the hand of my Beloved!
O green meadow,
coated, bright, with flowers,
tell me, has he passed by you?

5. Pouring out a thousand graces,
he passed these groves in haste;
and having looked at them,
with his image alone,
clothed them in beauty.

6. Ah, who has the power to heal me?
now wholly surrender yourself!
Do not send me
any more messengers,
they cannot tell me what I must hear.

7. All who are free
tell me a thousand graceful things of you;
all wound me more
and leave me dying
of, ah, I-don't-know-what behind their stammering.

8. How do you endure
O life, not living where you live,
and being brought near death
by the arrows you receive
from that which you conceive of your Beloved?

9. Why, since you wounded
this heart, don't you heal it?
And why, since you stole it from me,
do you leave it so,
and fail to carry off what you have stolen?

10. Extinguish these miseries,
since no one else can stamp them out;
and may my eyes behold you,
because you are their light,
and I would open them to you alone.

11. Reveal your presence,
and may the vision of your beauty be my death;
for the sickness of love
is not cured
except by your very presence and image.

12. O spring like crystal!
If only, on your silvered-over faces,
you would suddenly form
the eyes I have desired,
which I bear sketched deep within my heart.

13. Withdraw them, Beloved,
I am taking flight!

Bridegroom

Return, dove,
the wounded stag
is in sight on the hill,
cooled by the breeze of your flight.

Bride

14. My Beloved, the mountains,
and lonely wooded valleys,
strange islands,
and resounding rivers,
the whistling of love-stirring breezes,

15. the tranquil night
at the time of the rising dawn,
silent music,
sounding solitude,
the supper that refreshes, and deepens love.

16. Catch us the foxes,
for our vineyard is now in flower,
while we fashion a cone of roses
intricate as the pine's;
and let no one appear on the hill.

17. Be still, deadening north wind;
south wind, come, you that waken love,
breathe through my garden,
let its fragrance flow,
and the Beloved will feed amid the flowers.

18. You girls of Judea,
while among flowers and roses
the amber spreads its perfume,
stay away, there on the outskirts:
do not so much as seek to touch our thresholds.

19. Hide yourself, my love;
turn your face toward the mountains,
and do not speak;
but look at those companions
going with her through strange islands.

Bridegroom

20. Swift-winged birds,
lions, stags, and leaping roes,
mountains, lowlands, and river banks,
waters, winds, and ardors,
watching fears of night:

21. By the pleasant lyres
and the siren's song, I conjure you
to cease your anger
and not touch the wall,
that the bride may sleep in deeper peace.

22. The bride has entered
the sweet garden of her desire,
and she rests in delight,
laying her neck
on the gentle arms of her Beloved.

23. Beneath the apple tree:
there I took you for my own,
there I offered you my hand,
and restored you,
where your mother was corrupted.

Bride

24. Our bed is in flower,
bound round with linking dens of lions,
hung with purple,
built up in peace,
and crowned with a thousand shields of gold.

25. Following your footprints
maidens run along the way;
the touch of a spark,
the spiced wine,
cause flowings in them from the balsam of God.

26. In the inner wine cellar
I drank of my Beloved, and, when I went abroad
through all this valley
I no longer knew anything,
and lost the herd that I was following.

27. There he gave me his breast;
there he taught me a sweet and living knowledge;
and I gave myself to him,
keeping nothing back;
there I promised to be his bride.

28. Now I occupy my soul
and all my energy in his service;
I no longer tend the herd,
nor have I any other work
now that my every act is love.

29. If, then, I am no longer
seen or found on the common,
you will say that I am lost;
that, stricken by love,
I lost myself, and was found.

30. With flowers and emeralds
chosen on cool mornings
we shall weave garlands
flowering in your love,
and bound with one hair of mine.

31. You considered
that one hair fluttering at my neck;
you gazed at it upon my neck
and it captivated you;
and one of my eyes wounded you.

32. When you looked at me
your eyes imprinted your grace in me;
for this you loved me ardently;
and thus my eyes deserved
to adore what they beheld in you.

33. Do not despise me;
for if, before, you found me dark,
now truly you can look at me
since you have looked
and left in me grace and beauty.

Bridegroom

34. The small white dove
has returned to the ark with an olive branch;
and now the turtledove
has found its longed-for mate
by the green river banks.

35. She lived in solitude,
and now in solitude has built her nest;
and in solitude he guides her,
he alone, who also bears
in solitude the wound of love.

Bride

36. Let us rejoice, Beloved,
and let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty,
to the mountain and to the hill,
to where the pure water flows,
and further, deep into the thicket.

37. And then we will go on
to the high caverns in the rock
which are so well concealed;
there we shall enter
and taste the fresh juice of the pomegranates.

38. There you will show me
what my soul has been seeking,
and then you will give me,
you, my life, will give me there
what you gave me on that other day:

39. the breathing of the air,
the song of the sweet nightingale,
the grove and its living beauty
in the serene night,
with a flame that is consuming and painless.

40. No one looked at her,
nor did Aminadab appear;
the siege was still;
and the cavalry,
at the sight of the waters, descended.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Christ-Mysticism (Fray Luis de León)

I stumbled across this quote as I was doing research for a comparative Spanish literature essay (in Spanish) of Fray Luis de Leon (15th century Spanish Mystic) and Thomas Merton (20th century English Mystic).

Fray Luis de León spoke of the theopathic life in terms of Christ-mysticism:
“The very Spirit of Christ comes and is united with the soul—nay, is infused throughout its being, as though he were soul of its soul indeed.”

Has anyone read "The Names of Christ" by Fray Luis de Leon? It is written in dialogue form about three friends who discuss fourteen of the Scriptural names of Christ. The setting of the book is the countryside, and it takes place over two days. The predominant theme is the centrality and universality of Christ.

I'm adding this to my "after-I'm-finished-with-Spanish-college-classes-forever reading list".

Medvedev blasts Stalin defenders

It's tempting to distort history into an idealized caricature when you are discontent and disillusioned with seemingly insurmountable problems of today. I applaud Medvedev for taking this stand. I anticipate he will receive a lot of nationalistic resistance.

Medvedev blasts Stalin defenders: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hits out at those seeking to rehabilitate former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin."

But how easy is it for me, an American, to Applaud Medvedev for seeing Stalin's story from my point of you?

It's easy to look at another culture, but how are we guilty of this in America? What historical events have been idealized? Which historical actors have been romanticized? Where are we guilty of turning a blind eye to the repercussions of "better times"?

Better yet, why do we as human have such a tendency to distort our realities in such ways? Why are we so inclined to romanticize and turn a blind eye?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm Alive!

After four days of being bound up in our apartment, courtesy of the flu, with the worst body aches I have ever experienced - I am back out in the world!

Up by 6.

On the MAX by 7 studying Spanish.

Class from 8-10.

Then, bundled up on the MAX (Trimet, Turn the heat up on your new trains! They are colder then the old ones!) on my way from PSU to work while I was reading through Ephesians I found myself crying out "I'm Alive! I'm Alive! I'm Alive! Take my hand I give it to you. Now you own me, all I am. You said you would never leave me. I believe you, I believe. I can feel you all around me, Thickening the air I breath, Holding on to what I'm feeling, Savoring this heart that's healing."

All Around Me*
David Crowder Band

(Verse 1)
My hands are searching for You
My arms are outstretched towards You
I feel You on my fingertips
My tongue dances behind my lips for You

This fire rising through my being
Burning, I'm not used to seeing You

(Pre-Chorus)
I'm alive, I'm alive

(Chorus)
I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing

(Verse 2)
My hands float up above me
And You whisper You love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place

The music makes me sway
The angels singing say we are alone with You
I am alone and they are too with You

(Bridge 1)
And so I cry
The light is white
And I see You

I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive

(Bridge 2)
Take my hand, I give it to you
Now you own me, all I am
You said You would never leave me
I believe You, I believe

*I'm aware this song was original done by Flyleaf, but the David Crowder Band rendition is infinitely better for worship.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"You live there? Why?"

My wife and I get this question all the time. We live on the corner of 188th and Burnside in the heart of Rockwood. Why would we live in an apartment complex that has a police officer assigned to it? Why would we live in an apartment complex where there has been 3 homicides in the last 10 months? Or better yet, why would we live in an apartment complex that has the ugliest kitchen cabinets you have ever seen!?

It's pretty easy to describe "what" we are doing here. It's a little bit harder to get at the heart of "why" we are doing it.

My brother-in-law recommended a video titled "Lukewarm and Loving It!". Elena and I were about 10 minutes in when I knew this was going to be a great message to capture "why" we live at Barberry Village.

I encourage you to watch and reflect on the prayer at the end:


He has a book on a similar note to this sermon: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Compassion Connect Video!

My wife and I have been a part of the "Housing" segment of this video (with the Apartment Complex Initiative) for the last year:




God has taught us and stretched in more ways than any other experience in life. We are so thankful for this opportunity to serve.

Check out http://barberrianvillagers.blogspot.com/ for updates from our Apartment Complex Initiative site here at Barberry Village Apartments and http://compassionconnect.com/ to learn more about the non-profit.

Big thanks to Dan Johnson (PandaMotion.com), for the awesome work on this video.

Two of My Favorite Creative Minds Collaborate

Trent Reznor and J.J. Abrams.

Trent Reznor Makes Fringe Even Creepier [Fringe]: "

Nine Inch Nails frontman and all-around rock god Trent Reznor is remixing his own 'Zero-Sum' for J.J. Abrams' Fringe. And in keeping with the show's nerd-overload, the whole thing is full of geeky Easter Eggs and hard core Fringe references.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Reznor will be mixing William Bell's on screen dialogue with his 07 track 'Zero-Sum,' voiced by Leonard Nimoy, naturally. Reznor became involved when Fringe used a clip of his song in a previous promo, and was reached out to, to see if he would be interesting in collaborating even more. But the real question here is, will Reznor make a cameo on Fringe? I'd like to see him as an observer or a before-the-title 'freak of the week.' Series exec producer Jeff Pinkner told EW:

"If he wants to come act on the show, that's not tit for tat — that's an open invitation, and we made that known to him," says Pinkner. Any ideas on what he may play? "Well, his head would probably end up exploding," deadpans Pinkner. "There'd be some uncomfortable biology in there one way or another."

Here's a sneak peek of Reznor's official promo and the entire thing will air Thursday during the American League Championship Series.




"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chernobyl Ukraine (Black and White Photography)

This is the type of photography that sets my creativity on fire!


Pripyat, Black and White: "Pripyat, Chernobyl


One more set of photos from Chernobyl place in Ukraine where the atomic station blew up twenty-three years ago.

Things there, streets, things inside of houses etc. are probably the only place on the territory of ex USSR where it looks untouched since USSR. Some kind of travel back machine. read more.."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture Performed by 1000 Cellphones/2000 Text Alerts (VIDEO)


The Making of Part 1:

The Making of Part 2:

The Church and the Halloween Alternative Party

This is a fun one to through out to all my Christian friends who are no doubt engaged in the classic Halloween vs "Halloween Alternative" debate.

The Church and the Halloween Alternative Party: "

holy_pumpkinOkay, so color me one of those people who doesn’t get the Halloween Alternative Party that churches throw.

Some call it a Harvest Party/Festival, which is particularly amusing when it happens in churches in the cities or suburbs, both of which are famous for their agricultural base, right? Such references to fecundity also leave me scratching my head. How many see the connections with Christian “harvest festivals” and the various pagan festivals that also celebrate the fertility of the harvest? I mean, if we’re working that hard to distance ourselves from Halloween, enough to throw a distinct celebration, why are we linking ourselves to another pagan festival?

I’m not a fan of Halloween. That it has become big business and an opportunity for adults to wear risqué clothing only makes it worse. I mean, when I was a kid, Halloween was about as scary and wicked as Charlie Brown getting nothing but rocks during his trick or treating.

I’ll admit, though, that Halloween is more focused on shock value than it once was, and that kids are more likely to dress up as zombies with their livers hanging out than fairy princesses or “sheet ghosts,” so the trend IS downward. (Though I also will add that a downward trend marks most everything in our culture, even in the Church.)

If you’re in a particular denomination that fancies itself highly attuned to the spiritual world, you’ll likely hear church leaders offer reasons why your denomination/church eschews any association at all with “the devil’s antics” on Halloween. You’ll hear the obligatory history of Halloween. You’ll have the associations clearly drawn for you. You’ll drink the Kool-Aid. And you’ll feel the compulsion to ensure your kids avoid the pathway to hell that is Halloween.

And thus is born the Halloween Alternative Party. Like everything in modern American Christianity, the idea that we Christians might be left out of secular “fun” just doesn’t sit well with us. No one wants to be a party pooper, while at the same time that burning American Christian need to Christianize secular activities compels us.

The only problem, as I see it, is that the Halloween Alternative Party still looks and feels a lot like Halloween.

HalloweenHalloween Alternative
A fun time with othersYesYes
CandyYesYes
Tainted CandyNoNo
Other treatsYesYes
Elements of the harvest (pumpkins, etc.)CommonlyCommonly
Other themed decorationsCommonlyCommonly
Scary/evil elementsCommonly, but varies widelyLess commonly, unless the church sponsors an evangelistic “Hell House,” and then all bets are off
The majority of participants purposefully celebrating the demonicUnlikelyNo
Kids in costumesYesYes
Adults in costumesCommonlyCommonly
“Noticeable” teen or adult females wearing costumes highly noticed by teen and adult malesUnlikely outside of adult partiesOh, the stories…

So yes, I’m baffled. If there’s a genuine distinction between the two, I’m missing it. If it comes down to one being a slightly less scary version of the other, is that enough to distance ourselves from what are being sold as the genuine dangers of Halloween itself?

The comments are open. Please set me straight.

ke everything in modern American Christianity, the idea that we Christians might be left out of secular “fun” just doesn’t sit with us. No one wants to be a party pooper, while at the same time that burning American Christian need to Christianize secular activities compels us.

This feed is from Cerulean Sanctum (http://ceruleansanctum.com), a blog by Dan Edelen that covers issues facing the American Church."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Things I'm (REALLY) Excited About


I got my invite (courtesy of the borkificator himself)! Google is running a tight ship with this one. Months ago you had to make your pitch on why you deserved to be an early adopter - I didn't make the cut. But those who did, get a limited number of invites. Unlike the early days of Gmail, if you are lucky enough to get invited, you don't in turn get invites. So don't ask.

The potential of Wave is still unraveling before my eyes. Think: "Unquantifiably epic amounts of collaboration and efficiency power being unleashed at your finger tips". Here's a great video (one might say even better then Google's own) that gives a glimpse of what I'm talking about:



Mint.com:

I first got intrigued by Mint after seeing the beautiful info-graphic they put together on Student Loans.

Elena and I have been doing really well with are budget, having paid off all debt (including student loans), but knowing there is always room for growth had been working on keeping a budget. After coming across another one of their info-graphics (brilliant outreach method!) I decided to make an account and check it out.

Within the first minute I realized the potential. I spent the next 10 minutes linking it up to all of my bank accounts. It tracks and categorizes all expenditures into a beautiful and intuitive budget in real time, ensuring that payments are made and giving you warnings to prevent fees.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Web Design in Russia

This is a great article showcasing the current state Russian web-design. They will be showcasing Ireland and Brazil in the coming weeks.

I recommend Smashing Magazine if you are in to web design/development. I spent some time perusing, and they have rich content. I imagine this will be my only plug because although web design (and design in general) is in my sphere of interest, it falls outside of my sphere of abilities.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Changed (Off the Soundtrack of My Life)

I'm listening through my itunes top-rated playlist and stumbled across a song that struck me a couple years ago. It resonated with the deepest yearnings in my heart as I shouted it at at a Good Shepherd worship service.

Now more then ever I see how the lyrics to this song make it an excellent candidate for the soundtrack of my life over the last 5 years.




I wrote a letter today
And what I wrote
Was my own obituary
Cause from the graveyard of self
You have resurrected me

I sing Jesus
You have changed the way I do everything
You have changed the way I see everything

With You I begin
Everyday the same
And I’m gonna drink deep
That is why I came
Cause truth is a river flowing
Renewal for your mind
Let it set your heart free
The way that it did mine...

Looked in the mirror today
And what I saw was not the same as yesterday
Cause more and more You’re Transforming and rearranging me

You have changed the way I do everything
You have changed the way I wear my wedding ring
You have changed the way I treat my family
You have changed the way I see all my friends
You have changed the way that I spend my time
You have changed the way that I use my mind
You have changed the things I spend money on
You have changed everything I ever thought was mine
You have changed my emotions
You have steadied me
You have changed my eyes and what I let them see
You have changed the course of my history
Thank God You’re still changing me!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Foster Indy Mart Open Saturday (SPREAD THE WORD)

This is an awesome local grass roots economic development initiative that could potentially impact you as a consumer or a producer. Please look this over and consider checking it out and spreading the word.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

QuickPost Quickpost this image to Myspace, Digg, Facebook, and others!

The Fun Theory (Part 2)

I posted the first video on Saturday. Less intricate, but equally fun:


Here's a teaser for part 3:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

World wide web's creator says sorry for the slashes

Oddly enough, I had never once been bothered by the forward slashes, but now that I know it could have been avoided I find it quite hard to extend my forgiveness to Sir Time Berners-Lee.

World wide web's creator says sorry for the slashes: "The forward slashes in web addresses could have been avoided says world wide web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Community of Love and Care

A beautiful poem written for the Barberrian Villagers blog by my beautiful wife:

Community of Love and Care:

"Community of love and care
The shell speaks don't you dare
But underneath the intimidation
Is a beautiful creation.

Underneath the hurt and struggle
There is a small bubble
Of hope that's been plagued with rejection
Even filled with infection
Is there someone who can heal?
Who can peel
The layer of destruction
And fill it with God's love and grace?

It is an enormous challenge that man cannot face alone
When the human heart, when the bubble is turned into stone
The power and love of the Holy Spirit comes in the form of hug
And then begins to melt away the pain
Holy Spirit comes as rain
The tears are flowing
The light is showing
Rainbow.

Love comes in many colors, love shines.
It is divine.
Christ love is what changes stones into love.
Christ love is what changes infection into perfection.
Christ love comes
And builds
A community of love and care."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flu Trends

Google is at it again - aggregating and brilliantly harnessing search queries related to the flu from millions of users in a region and accurately tracking (compared to Center for Disease Control numbers that come in 2 weeks later) real time changes in flu levels (How it works). This data is published on Flu Trends.

We are in the midst of a abnormal spike in the United States. You can drill down by state, and things aren't looking good for Oregon. In fact, Oregon looks like it is in the worst shape.

What's more interesting is that most countries being tracked are largely keeping to average trends. One anomolie was a massive spike in Scandinavia (Norway/Sweden) through September, but are now back to normal levels. Australia is the only nation being track that is actually keeping below their seasonal trend for the last 5 years.

Google never ceases to amaze me in how they are harnessing data to provide tools that were never imagined possible.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stars Wars in Concert!

3 Days and counting until Elena and I are going to Star Wars in Concert at the Rose Garden with her youngest brother Daniel. The idea is to further spark his passion and talent for music - though I'm sure it will do the same to his passion for Star Wars.

Daniel wrote a blog post expressing his excitement. My anticipation is building even more after reading this CNN interview with George Lucas.
"George Lucas: I've seen some presentations of, you know, live orchestras with "Star Wars" clips, and that sort of thing. But this is so much more than that -- it's so much more emotional, because what they've done is taken the emotional content of the score ... one is obviously the Imperial March, one is obviously romantic ... and then they've cut all the pictures around that from all the movies, so that you get this really wide range of visuals going with the music, and it really is quite powerful when you see the depictions of all of the various Imperial shenanigans that were going on over the Imperial March."

I Yike Yike Bikes!

I really hope this catches on. Infinitely more practical then the Segway and looks 10x cooler.


Learn more at www.YikeBike.com


Friday, October 09, 2009

Summer Setting On The Horizon


Elena and I enjoyed this last push of sunny weather by having a KFC picnic dinner (Can you believe that's the first time she has tried KFC?). It sparked some reflection on this last summer. It has been thrilling and full of changes.

I inched ever closer to completing my bachelors at PSU by polishing off two ethics classes over summer term. It resulted in some interesting summer reading combinations between the two of us. Many times Elena and I laughed at eclectic mixes of literature.

Being married has been the best experience of my life! On top of my two classes and both of us working full time at the same office (Impact Northwest) we found time to invest in and enjoy our community at Barberry, as well as spontaneous retreats to the Columbia Gorge and Oregon Coast.

Fall brings many new exciting adventures!

Why Consider Mentoring? (Video)

The Mentoring Project - Elephant Musth Cycle from The Mentoring Project on Vimeo.



The Mentoring Project has the potential to be a huge tool for many churches to engage their community and transform lives.

BMW gets back into the leaning trike with SIMPLE concept [w/VIDEO]

Looks like something from Star Wars. Would be so much fun to drive!

BMW gets back into the leaning trike thing with SIMPLE concept [w/VIDEO]: "

BMW SIMPLE concept - Click above for high-res image gallery



BMW has been rumored as of late to be pursuing everything from a so-called '0 Series' range of cars to a revival of its Isetta microcar brand, but the Bavarian automaker remains essentially mum on plans to diversify into the microcar market. Stoking the fires, however, is the new Simple concept, a leaning trike that is geared toward the 'professional commuter' - that is, an urban dweller who travels alone.

Continue reading BMW gets back into the leaning trike thing with SIMPLE concept [w/VIDEO]

"

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Lord Save Us From Your Followers (National Release)

Lord Save Us From Your Followers is finally being released in markets all across the country, and the response has been great. Read some of these reviews coming from all different perspectives:

“Heartfelt...an effective call for greater understanding.”
Los Angeles Times

“Admirably bold…It would take a hard heart indeed not to be moved.”
Variety

“The overarching message is desperately needed and winsomely voiced. Most impressive is that this film manages to speak to two separate audiences at the same time.”
Christianity Today

“(a) fascinating and powerful documentary…see it sooner rather than later”
Seattle Gay News

“Major points for the great liberal/conservative Family Feud experiment…and what an ending!”
Instinct magazine

“…an entertaining, humorous and inspiring documentary.”
http://www.facebook.com/l/75640;About.com

“…fair, positive, and non-judgmental…a potent combination of conviction, empathy, and redemption. The laughter makes the lessons linger. Challenging and thought-provoking, Lord, Save Us is a witty whirlwind.”
http://www.facebook.com/l/75640;Crosswalk.com

“Provocative, funny, and redemptiveI laughed and I cried. I can’t remember the last time I was so moved by a movie.”
Michael Hyatt, Leading With Purpose blog

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"Pepsi to Cease Advertising"

The Onion is a fascinating website. At worst, it is good for a soft chuckle; at best, it is a brilliant social commentary using irony and satire to its fullest potential in order to communicate the sad state of humanity.

I found myself reading a recent article on Pepsi's decision to cease advertising and felt as if the world had been completely flipped upside down. When the upside-down world in the fictitious Onion makes so much sense you want it to be true, one starts to wonder if something is wrong upstairs, or is something terribly right?

Just read the article and see for yourself.




Saturday, October 03, 2009

Quick Look For Folders (For Mac Users)

Quick look is one of my favorite leopard features which I use daily. This is a super easy and useful modification to increase Quick Looks functionality even more by giving you a preview of the contents of folders.

TUAW Tips: Get a better view with Quick Look: "

Filed under: , ,

Quick Look is such an awesome feature of Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6, making it really fun and easy to view files and folders from anywhere on your Mac. But what happens when you have a folder with multiple items and want to get a better idea of what's inside? Well, you could always just open the folder in Finder, but there's a cool modification you can make to get an even quicker view.




You can get this working on your Mac in a few simple steps:

  1. Quit/Relaunch Finder using the Force Quit menu

  2. Open Terminal

  3. Paste (or type) the following command: defaults write com.apple.Finder QLEnableXRayFolders 1

  4. Relaunch Finder


The contents of the folder will now be shown when you use Quick Look. In true Apple elegance, the files will even fade and cycle through the contents.

[via Mac OS X Hints]

TUAWTUAW Tips: Get a better view with Quick Look originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Fri, 02 Oct 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Student Loans by the Numbers (Must See Info-Graphic!)

This is a story of student loans that is not often told (but needs to be!):

Force Snow Leopard's Dictionary.app to reuse definition window

A useful 10.6 tweak for the dictionary.

Force Snow Leopard's Dictionary.app to reuse definition window: "

Filed under:

The Dictionary.app in Snow Leopard has been driving me nuts. If you use LaunchBar or Spotlight (or probably any other method of sending a word to Dictionary.app), it opens a new window. And then another. And then another. This might be handy if the window bar was updated to show the word that you had looked up, but it doesn't, meaning that the extra windows are just clutter.


Before 10.6, Dictionary.app reused the same window for each new definition. If you wanted to go back to a previous word, you could simply use the 'Back' button. As we've heard countless times, Snow Leopard has been about subtle refinements, but this was a step backwards to me. I was surprised that there isn't a Preference setting to reuse the same window or open a new one.


In a fit of frustration yesterday, I posted a bounty on Twitter and asked Rob Griffiths to see if he knew of an answer. Rob is the proprietor of MacOSXHints.com which I consider essential reading for Mac users (I have even submitted a few tips of my own over the years). I knew if anyone could find an answer, it was Rob.


Well, it turns out they don't call him Rob 'The Hints Guru' Griffiths for nothing. Not long after my cry for help, Rob figured out how to Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window. As you might expect, it involves entering a command in Terminal.app while Dictionary.app is not running:


defaults write com.apple.Dictionary ProhibitNewWindowForRequest -bool TRUE

Voilà! Dictionary will now revert back to the 10.5 and earlier behavior of using one window for all definitions.


Rob must truly be credited for discovering this gem, because (as of this writing) Google comes up 100% empty when looking for 'ProhibitNewWindowForRequest'. When was the last time you tried to Google something and came up completely empty? That doesn't happen often anymore!


Turns out that Rob used another tip from his site to find hidden preferences (something else which has gotten more difficult in Snow Leopard). It's the circle of life... or at least, tips.


Thanks again, Rob. Now where do you want me to send your Ferrari? (You'll have to read Rob's post to get that joke. It also explains how to undo this change if you decide you want to revert to the standard 10.6 behavior.)


TUAWForce Snow Leopard's Dictionary.app to reuse definition window originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, 30 Sep 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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