And Another Thing…

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New Presentation

Because I was sick of the text requiring a magnifying glass to read. Hope this is more reader-friendly.

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Why I don’t trust big business or tort lawyers

Once you read this story, you will no doubt be appalled at Wal-Mart’s actions, and rightly so. However, take a moment and calculate how much the family won in the lawsuit and how much they actually collected after legal fees were paid. Yep, I love me some tort law.

The irony here is that Wal-Mart bills itself as a family-friendly organization. What’s more, they fund a scholarship program at my Alma mater, Harding University, that provides qualifying students from Latin America with a full-ride. I guess they are family-friendly for any family that doesn’t work for them. Typical.

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Playing it again: radio commercials

I’ve shared this before, but now that I have a few more readers I thought that this might be a good time to dust it off again.

The Greatest Radio Commercial Ever

Also, my Disorders professor sent me this one. It’s not real, but it should be.

Have a laugh.

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Edumacational Interlude for March

Last night at school we had an outstanding presentation for all of the policy classes on issues in social work with veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  The speakers were two ladies who work for non-profit agencies which assist service personnel and their families. The third and best speaker was a career soldier with combat experience and a PhD in social work.  He talked about issues in treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stabilizing families while a member is on deployment, and the difficulties of reintegrating veterans into non-active posts or the civilian life. He spoke movingly of some of his own experiences on deployment. He also described some of the horrors he has seen during his time in other countries.  Finally, he addressed a challenge that continues to be a serious issue for soldiers trying to reintegrate into the civilian life: stereotypes and false perceptions.  He said that the popular stereotype of soldiers as “bloodthirsty Rambo wannabees” is one of the greatest barriers to peace time adjustment.  Frankly folks, we owe everyone who has served this country in uniform better than that.

Dr. Sunshine showed her rear again last night. She returned graded assignments that we had e-mailed in but didn’t have anything to return to one of the members of my research team. Sunshine claimed that my classmate had not turned it in. My classmate went to the computer lab and printed out the message from her “sent” file showing that she had sent the completed assignment on the due date. Sunshine then started asking her questions indicating that she (Sunshine) thought that my classmate had somehow forged the printed message in the 5 minutes that she was gone from class. Nice, huh? There are few things more odious than somebody who cannot face it when they are wrong. 

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Cheesus Saves

A youth pastor in Houston, TX, has a 2 year old Cheeto that reminds him of Jesus. His kids call it “Cheesus.”

When I read things like this, it reminds me of John’s prayer in Revelation 22:20, “Come Lord Jesus.” Except I want to add, “…so that idiots will stop seeing your likeness in french toast, cinnamon rolls, and processed snacks.”

To see Cheesus, click below.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t Underestimate 80s Nostalgia

So I have been under the gun for a few days and consequently, absent from AAT. While I have been gone a 4 month old post has been getting the most action of any post I have ever put on here due to Google searches. What is that about?

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“In the midst of life…

…we are in death.”

Book of Common Prayer, The Burial of the Dead, First Anthem.

I don’t like to dwell on death any more than you do, I suspect. But this past weekend it has been unavoidable.

Saturday afternoon I attended a memorial service for a classmate who took his own life. He was 33 and had struggled with health problems as well as alcoholism. I have never stood in his shoes, and it is not my place or my interest to judge him. I have never attended the funeral of someone who committed suicide, but to go out that way compounds the agony of those left behind. His parents, siblings, and wife all looked completely defeated. Like all of the other attendees I shook their hands, muttered something about how sorry I was and how much I liked him, and left the meeting with a numbness in my heart. I hope that all of us can learn to keep our eyes and ears open and see the broken around us, and offer the helping hand that might make a difference. Believers, please remember this family in your prayers.

His sister read the lyrics from the Grateful Dead song, “Ripple.” I’m not a Deadhead (although I know quite a few) but something about this song has always stirred my heart. I have reprinted the lyrics below.

 

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

 

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

 

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

 

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

 

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

 

But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

 

Lyrics by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia

 

I received word this morning that Bob, whom I have mentioned before (here and here) passed last night after a brutal battle with bone cancer.  Words fail me at this point. However, I will say that I am grateful that the leadership of our congregation is finally willing to engage the doubts and struggles that this is raising among us. I pray (and ask you believers who read this to join me) that nobody will fall away over this.

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On an unrelated note, I won’t be around much in the weeks to come, if at all. Things at school are heating up as I try to knock out my research project, assignments for other classes, and line up my internship for next year. I will return, but probably closer to late April or early May. Till then, be well.

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Madonna Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, art form pronounced dead on the scene

The Associated Press
Monday, March 10, 2008; 11:00 PM

New York – Rock and roll was pronounced dead tonight immediately after the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie, better known by her stage name of Madonna, the alleged singer and actress.

One of the few truly American art forms, this once vibrant musical genre was born in the 1950s from a merging of rhythm and blues, gospel, and folk music. Early practitioners included Chuck Berry, The Delta Cats, Les Paul, and Elvis Presley. Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed is credited with coining the name. The musical form is credited with giving voice to American teenagers and providing a soundtrack to 20th century American life.

Rock and roll continued to thrive in the 1960s, as it became a medium of protest against segregation and the Vietnam War. The British Invasion (lead by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones) brought new influences to the mix and broadened the scope and reach of the music.

The genre experienced its first significant challenge in the mid-to-late 1970s with the rise in popularity of disco. Rock and roll survived this era through the rise of the sub-genres of punk rock and heavy metal. However, attacks on the integrity of the music would continue, including the rise of MTV, hair metal, techno, and bubblegum pop.

Rock and roll managed to survive as long as it did through the commitment of a minority of artists to it’s roots and their insistence on writing their own songs, playing their own instruments, singing without modification to their voices, and not substituting asinine behavior for talent. However, performers as diverse as Madonna and Marilyn Manson pressed on as they were determined to liberate the genre from the “tyranny of talent.”

Doctors say that exhaustion from being over-hyphenated and neutered is the cause of death. Investigators are not ruling out conspiracy theories in their search for the culprit(s) who delivered the fatal wound. Executives from MTV, the producers of American Idol, and the board of directors of Clear Channel Communications are all being questioned as of this writing.

Rock and roll is survived by its sister genre of country music, which has experienced it’s own poor health of late.

Filed under: Music, , ,

News of Note

Consider this headline. As if we didn’t have enough sins to struggle with. Gotta love the Vatican.

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dw.jpg  Dawn Wells, forever in our hearts as Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island, apparently got caught with weed.  Which makes me wonder if the Minnow was actually shipwrecked due to rough weather.

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Now I will admit that being a man, I have read my fair share of newspapers and magazines while sitting on the porcelain throne. However, this lady puts me to shame.

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incrediblehulk20080312_067.jpg  This is what the new Hulk design looks like for this summer’s The Incredible Hulk movie. Despite the mullet, it looks a little cooler than the “Shrek on steroids” look from the 2003 Ang Lee-directed Hulk. One can only hope that this time we are spared the hulk-poodle and any Nick Nolte-esque overacting. [H/T Comic Book Resources]

 

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Attention Ministers

The congregation I attend is attempting to implement a new staffing model. We are at the beginning of the process. We currently have 4 positions to fill (Administration, Worship and Discipleship, Outreach and Involvement, and Youth).

I am curious as to what do’s and don’ts would be recommended by people who have been on the candidate end of this. I have some of my own from past experience, but I want to hear from others. What do you recommend that we do or don’t do in this process? Any feedback would be encouraged.

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