Saturday, February 17, 2007

goodbye Chief

The University of Illinois has decided to retire Chief Illiniwek after his last halftime dance Wednesdays final men's basketball home game. This will immediately end the NCAA ban on the illini hosting postseason games.

If the basketball team ends up in the National Invitation Tournament, which is now owned by the NCAA, it will be able to play home games.

For me feelings are mixed. I grew up with the tradition. Chief Illiniwek visited our school when I was younger and taught us not only about the Chief Illiniwek tradition, but also about the native american culture.

So while I adore those memories and tradition perhaps it is time for the Chief to retire. Certainly the university has more to hang it's hat on than a mascot, and if it is something that is ultimately seen as offensive rather than respectful, then perhaps it is time to not use a race of people as an image for athletics.

However, as with anything, it is the hypocrisy of the situation that I find most disturbing.

So far two Illinois teams have been impacted by the NCAA sanctions. The men's tennis team was forced on the road last spring, and the women's soccer team had to play outside Champaign last fall.

Ironically enough, the soccer team ended up losing at Florida State. The Seminole mascot has dogged NCAA sanctions.

Here are some other mascots to consider; Fighting Irish, Rebels, Aztecs, Gauchos

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

It seems like I have seen a lot of Mac Hammond lately. Not intentionally, but it seems like every time I turn around he is there.

For those of you that might not know (I didn't until not that long ago) Mac Hammond leads a megachurch in Brooklyn Park (outside the twin cities) called Living Word Christian Center.

Mac Hammond seems like a sad case to me. If you ignore the at best fishy, at worst illegal financial transactions, the blatant politicing from the pulpit, endorsing political candidate from the pulpit and the "name it, claim it" gospel, the thing that really makes Mac Hammond seem like a sad character is he believes that without wealth the gospel cannot spread.
"It takes wealth, folks, to establish God's covenant on this Earth. You and I will never get so spiritual that we don't need money to get more influential in the world we're in."
Pastor Mac Hammond

It is amazing the people who were able to change the world without Florida vacation homes and Porches. There was Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi and, oh yeah, Jesus.

I think maybe the worse thing to happen to Christianity is it's success with political power. When you work from a position of wealth and power you really don't need God's help. A lot of people in the name of a lot of things besides God can get listened to with wealth and power.

But without those things, then God can really shine and show His strength.
"But his answer was, 'My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.' I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weakness, in order to feel Christ's power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So fly your private jet to your vacation home in Florida wearing your designer suits to meet with your political friends, but please don't pretended that it is actually needed by God to spread His message.

Monday, February 12, 2007

strange brew II

This message is NOT endorsed by Quarry Community Church, it's leadership or members

This is an idea I had last year. I talked to some people but didn't want to try to start anything right before the holidays kicked in. Now it is almost the middle of February and it may be time to start if there is interest.

What I want to do is get a group of guys (I say guys because that was my original idea, but I am open to changing that if people think it would be better) to get together regularly for Friday happy hour. I want to go someplace local, JPs has been suggested to me. I am thinking of maybe every other week. I want to go to one place where we can become regulars.

My idea is two fold. One is to fellowship and grow together as a group. To support each other, learn from each other and have a community of believers. I want to do this in a public setting to also meet people and start to make connections with them and grow relationships there as well.

So if you are interested, drop me an email I will set stuff up. If you have other ideas let me know.
"The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!
Luke 7:34

Saturday, February 10, 2007

my wife is amazing

There are more times than I would like to admit that I become selfish. Times where I think, "I need a break." It is easy for me to get wrapped up in the issues of "my" world.

Today is another one of those reminders for me just how amazing my wife is. This weekend she is on call. She left the house early this morning, was home for about an hour this afternoon, and is still gone now.

Besides just the time element there are all the people she has to deal with, some of them not so appreciative of what she is doing.

It is another reminder that in our marriage I truly got the good end of the stick. So tonight I am especially thankful for that, for her and the sacrifices she makes for our family.

public service announcement

It seems like I see a lot of studies presented and then people take a correlation and extract from that a causation.

For example, ice cream sales and shark attacks may be correlated. That is when ice cream sales go up shark attacks also go up. But this does not mean that ice cream sales cause shark attacks. There may be other variables in play, in this case for example, they both go up in summer.

This is a simplified example, but just because there is a correlation between two things does not imply causation.

Correlation does not imply causation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, February 08, 2007

crazy thoughts about church

Alright, I have been having some crazy thoughts about church. Mainly questions, I guess.

What if Sunday was the least important day in the life of the church? What if Monday-Saturday was where the real work of church was done? What if the majority of resources didn't go into a Sunday service? What could we do then? What if we break out of the model of "come to me" and we lived of model of "going to you?"

What if you have already learned enough? What if Jesus' yoke really is easy, and we have spent a lot of time making it harder? What if the Christianity can really be boiled down to, "love God, love others?" Do we need more teachings, or do they just take us off task?

What if what people are really looking for is community? Starbucks has built an empire on the sense of community. What could we build if we had the real thing? What if there were a group of people you met with every day? Can you build a community without time together?

These are just the things running though my head right now. I don't really have a lot of answers, mainly questions, but I certainly get the sense that somehow I am missing the boat.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

more stupid web tricks

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!