Saturday, October 31, 2009

"How To Worship" (Video)

The "sincerity" segment really got me:

As seen on TallSkinnyKiwi.

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

I'm alive, I'm alive

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 for updates from our Apartment Complex Initiative site here at Barberry Village Apartments and to learn more about the non-profit.

Big thanks to Dan Johnson (, 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
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 (, 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:

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

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

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

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:

“ effective call for greater understanding.”
Los Angeles Times

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

“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.”;

“…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.”;

“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 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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