Looking for a Few Good College Students. - Ed. Note: This link will remain at the top of the blog until March 31. Scroll down for new content.
Looking for a Few Good College Students. - Ed. Note: This link will remain at the top of the blog until March 31. Scroll down for new content.
My sister in-law Tara (native New Yorker now a Massachusetts teacher) emailed the following desperate plea for help:
need your help...ok i am NOT a math teacher i teach writing to 5th graders BUT i still have to be part of a 5th grade MATH FAIR..yes math fair...anyway, two boys i paired up are rival NY/Boston fans. funny cause the boston fan is actually from the bronx!!!!! moved here like 4 years ago...the NY fan is from LAWRENCE just loves the yankees. anyway, can u think of some kind of project relating to/ comparing the two teams...something good for 12 year old ...maybe statistics or comparisons ...something relating to math...even probability...lol..SOMETHING..it will be fun for both of them and in the end we will look better no matter what but still fun ...see what u can come up with...even ask jeremy [what's with the "even" part of that?] if u have a chance. HURRY!! HELP. i stink at this stuff.My response follows:
What about... Ratios of: - World Series Championships - American League Penants - Bitter disappointments - Years between chamionships - All-stars and hall of famers - Red Sox has-beens who won championships with the Yankees and vice versa Financial impact of Babe Ruth trade on both teams (short and long-term) Statistical comparison between all-stars at the prime of their careers (Nomar v. Jeter; Jim Rice v. Reggie Jackson; Ted Williams v. Dimaggio; Babe Ruth v. Babe Ruth) and the relationship between individual performance and team success. The amount of pressure released from Red Sox nation when they finally beat the Yankess after 80+ years.Any other thoughts from the blogosphere? Show some love for Mrs. Laboy.
Just in time for spring break: "Why alcohol has become a handy excuse."
MLB decides its finally time to chase away the shadows.
"I have a proposal: Let's do an honest appraisal of teenage sexuality and lifestyle. Let's evaluate how the values of youth are shaped, and what forces are at play to move them in one direction or another. And let's ignore those political blocs that want to utilize vital family issues for their own agenda."Where do I sign up?
Today I go to meet my Maker (not that!) -- this weekend, in Florida, at an Encounter retreat with Word of Christ International Church. I'm the last in my immediate family to take the plunge, with my dad and brothers having gone in January, and my wife and mother and sister and sister-in-law (and a couple of friends) there in February. They all describe the experience with superlatives and extravagant metaphors. Can't wait. Time to rEfOcUs, recharge, refresh, and all the other appropriate re-words. p.s. Thanks to the donors who made this much need respite possible!
Ben wrestles with the educational impact skipping school to protest has on the student activists in California. I posed a question in response, which I'm reposting here as well:
Is there a way for educators to harness the energy of the protestors in the classroom? That is, keep the immigration conversation going, but apply it to particular subjects such as: social studies teachers assigning current event projects; math teachers examining the economics of immigration; literature profs examine the voices of protest and dissent. Many of our struggling students struggle because our schools can’t/won’t engage them about things that matter to them. Obviously the immigration issue has struck a nerve. Hundreds of thousands of high schoolers are now engaged. Does this create an opportunity?What do you think?
"I admit that the Bible does not specifically mention Aretha Franklin. But when it comes to thinking about God, most people's minds are full of all those familiar images and they just get stuck. ... So why not Aretha? She's big, she's bold and you're going to have to listen to what she's saying."- Eric Metaxas, as told to Terry Mattingly, who also writes:
"Metaxas has other skewed takes on big issues. He thinks that using sex for self-gratification makes as much sense as using Rembrandt paintings to line birdcages. He's interested in life's big questions, questions like how the universe _ including all those Chevy Camaros in Queens and Staten Island _ exploded out of something smaller than the period at the end of a sentence. "Is this theology? No, it isn't the way that intellectuals talk in cathedral pulpits and faculty clubs, said Metaxas. But it is the way that ordinary people talk on Friday nights while hanging out with their friends. "'At some point Christians are going to have to use humor and parody because that's the language of the culture,' he said. 'That's what people consider sharp and entertaining and real. ... You can keep serving up tea-and-crumpets moralism and logical arguments and it's not going to matter because people aren't going to listen.'"
I had lunch with Eric last week. He's a brilliantly funny, warmly engaging man, and his Everything You Need to Know about God book's on my must-read list this year. Previously, I only knew him from his Veggie Tales classics: Even Fishslappers Need a Second Chance and God Made You Special (two of Judah's favorites!).
Matt called our attention to it. Now Ben and Rudy are exploring the role new (Myspace) and old media (radio DJs) respectively have played in mobilizing the widespread youth activism in response to the immigration issue. Whatever one's political views on the immigration protests (pro/con), it's exciting to see that ideas, virally spread, still provoke action.
"My life is in shambles. It is crazy. It couldn't get any crazier. I'm just trying to stay sane." - Barry Bonds to the AP.
"'All she said was that she was making a turn and the street swallowed her up,' Nieves said. 'All she saw was the water and the pipe . . . It looked like Niagara Falls. She's in excruciating pain. She's grateful that she's alive.'"
This little boy is now an orphan. Four months after he was born, his mother Jennifer died of cancer. Yesterday, two days after turning four, his father Mark died of cancer, at just 30 years old. His name is Micah Palmer. Please pray for him and his stepmother Amy. Two months after she and Mark wed, he received his diagnosis. Just over a year later, she sleeps without her lover. Diana and I read about Micah and Amy yesterday as both Rudy and Tony reflected on Mark's passing. Our hearts broke and we did what we could: pray. Please join us.
From CNN's 360 Blog:
"For years, scientists have been working to find what can kill E. coli. Well, finally, someone found it. It turns out there is a good bacteria in yogurt that secretes a protein that kills E. coli. We know this now because a very smart, hard-working researcher discovered it...at the ripe old age of 13. "Serena Fasano, now 16 years old, earned a patent recently on her discovery, so we thought we'd interview her on '360.' We learned Serena has spent countless hours of her free time in a lab and that she's very, very bright. She's also a normal high school kid with lots of friends. Yet, this 'normal' kid's after-school activities could soon save the lives of millions of children."
A water main break around the corner from where I live suspended subway service into Manhattan, and caused a sinkhole to swallow this car. Thank God the driver was not seriously hurt.
Conservatives love Fox News. And Rupert Murdoch loves conservatives, especially "social values" conservatives, because their loyal viewership makes him lots of money. Rupert Murdoch bought Myspace last year. The children of his Fox News viewers (not to mention children with other political persuasions) use Myspace (66 million registered users at last count). Rupert Murdoch sells "Naughty" adspace on Myspace that exploits those children. Rupert Murdoch is just one of hundreds of business execs who manipulate teens for profit. See for example, Merchants of Cool for a brilliant explanation of how the process works. In the parlance of Murdoch's marketers (and Viacom and WB and others) , teenage boys are "mooks" and girls are "midriffs." Still thinking through the whole accountability thing, but there's gotta be something more than just the shrill fingerpointing of the so-called culture warriors. What do you think? Update: I'm suspicious this is not the answer. HT: Rudy. Nor is this. HT: TallSkinnyKiwi, Bob.
Just because you and your kid were inseperable when s/he was 5 doesn't mean you really know what's going on in his/her world now that s/he's 15. If you've never visited his/her myspace account, do so ... now. The odds are overwhelming that s/he has one. Even more troubling, so do his/her friends (over whom you likely exert little-to-no influence). Be forewarned, however, that what you find there will be disturbing. Resist the urge to explode in anger and issue unenforceable demands about never going online or using myspace again. Use your discoveries to have the kinds of conversations you've long suspected need to be had but might have avoided. Once engaged, remain vigilant. Please, because you love your teenagers, take this warning seriously.
So what the Big East was 0-3 in the Elite 8. When Cinderella shows up the the ball, nothing else matters. I almost hate to do this (given my stellar prognostications this year) but: here's to Cinderella winning over Prince Charming next Monday night.
Sportscenter turned me on to these guys.
This NCAA tourney's been unkind to my East Coast ego. Even after last week's bracket busting, I still boasted on JT's blog this morning about UConn and 'Nova making the Final Four. Instead, UConn suffered one of the greatest upset losses EVER, and as of 6:05 EST, Nova's down 5 at the half. Speaking of JT: gang related violence this past week at the college where he and Edgar Esqueda and our summer 2005 interns minister, led to two students being stabbed and a third suffering a gun shot wound. Keep them in prayer.
"Today 82 percent of kids are online by the seventh grade, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
"The big finding of a 2005 survey of Americans ages 8 to 18 by the Kaiser Family Foundation is not that kids were spending a larger chunk of time using electronic media -- that was holding steady at 6.5 hours a day (could it possibly get any bigger?) -- but that they were packing more media exposure into that time: 8.5 hours' worth, thanks to "media multitasking" -- listening to iTunes, watching a DVD and IMing friends all at the same time. ...
"But there is no doubt that the phenomenon has reached a kind of warp speed in the era of Web-enabled computers, when it has become routine to conduct six IM conversations, watch American Idol on TV and Google the names of last season's finalists all at once.
For my friend Tracy Ellis Ward and her children, as husband and dad Michael (42) passed away unexpectedly Wednesday night. For Diana's Aunt Mary, who begins an experimental round of agressive chemotherapy in two weeks after a 7 year battle with cancer.
"These seminarians, particularly the young ones, are less interested in making a career of religion than in taking their religion into other careers." Article. Via.
By God's grace, today some dear friends and I experienced Philippians 2. I mean, really experienced it, not just talked about it. What appeared to be fractured and broken was reconciled and restored. Not gonna say much more than that here, but wanted to give God a shout out anyway.
It's been interesting to see the ads Google places here since I signed up for the AdSense program. Supposedly Google's famed algorithm assesses the content of this blog to determine what kinds of ads would best suit my audience. So when they decided to place an ad for an online psychic service (as opposed to the antiquated telephone variety), what does that say about my content? And my readers? Speaking of strange Google-quirks, how is it that "blog," "Google," and "AdSense" all show up as typos on Blogger's spell check (which is owned by Google)?
From the "We Still Have Work to Do" file:
"By 2004, 50 percent of black men in their 20's who lacked a college education were jobless, as were 72 percent of high school dropouts."
"In 1995, 16 percent of black men in their 20's who did not attend college were in jail or prison; by 2004, 21 percent were incarcerated. By their mid-30's, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison."
"In the inner cities, more than half of all black men do not finish high school."
From: New York Times, "Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn," 03/20/06
Contrary to popular opinion, New York was not Billy Graham's swan song. He had another mountain to climb last weekend in New Orleans, where he spoke at his son's Celebration of Hope Crusade. In a controversial blog post, New Orleans street evangelist Troy Bohn imagines what might have been. Be sure to read the comment.
News flash: S-E-X is vitally important to teenagers. Raging hormones, lousy role models, and societal pressures conspire to seduce their fantasies, corrupt their conversation, and tempt their lifestyle. Sadly Myspace understands this and exploits it to no end. Everytime I log on, or just visit the Myspace homepage, ads featuring half naked knock-outs scream for me to meet naughty singles. Even worse, unsolicited cyber-sluts regularly invite me to be their "friends," supposedly because my "happily married" profile makes me attractive. More maddening, while it forbids explicit nudity, Myspace welcomes photos of self-disrespecting teenagers passing themselves off as erotic playthings. With user names like "Radioactive B!+@#," "Suckanut Slut," "Boyish Sex Machine," and "NaughtyXXXAsh," teens (or adolescent adults or pedophiles passing themselves off as teens) boast of sexual curiosities, and real or imagined sex-capades that make locker room braggadocio appear PG. I agree with Tony that we need to engage, but it's infuriating to see kids manipulated so grotesquely. Sorry that this post is more of a rant than a help. Read this, this, this, and this for more constructive thoughts. While I'm ranting, beware the "Next Blog" button on Blogspot. Not every blogger shares the same values, and apparently Blogspot doesn't forbid X-rated content. While the randomization of "Next Blog" can be nice, it can just as easily be naughty.
My wife's father's family is Irish, but as he passed away when she was young and she wasn't particularly close to his relatives growing up, she never really celebrated St. Patrick's Day. But her heritage means our son is 1/4 Irish (and 100% American with equal parts Italian, Puerto Rican and Norwegian). We took advantage of the day so I could cook with Guinness (Extra Stout), a first for this aspiring chef. Thanks again to Emeril, the lamb stew and baked cabbage was kicked way up a few notches. Bill, Boom2's boyfriend and our resident expert on all things Irish, raved about it saying it brought back fond childhood memories. We also took the occassion to teach Judah about St. Patrick, hero to church planters, emerging church types and missional Christians everywhere. Again we turned to Bill for insight, and he shared the story in wonderful detail. What I love most about St. Pat was his model for engaging the unchurched on matters of faith. His method has been called The Celtic Way of Evangelism and is described as:
The picture, I mean. I have no idea if the game shot actually went in. UPDATE: Apparently it did, as this guy (Juan Felix) buried eight three-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points for 10th-seeded Alabama as they upset Marquette, 90-85.
An 8th grader in my son's school was hit by a car this morning. Initial reports were stable, with "just" a broken leg. But now the doctors have detected some internal bleeding. Please pray for her.
East Coast arrogrance cost me on Day 1 of the NCAA tournament. The bottom line: 8-8. Loser picks included Syracuse (Finals), Seton Hall (Sweet 16), Iona, Marquette, UNC Wilmington, Utah State, Nevada, and Oklahoma. Better luck (and maybe a bit more humilty?) next year.
Nationwide, there are:
That means 3 churches could adopt every 1 school. Why they should.
- Ed. note: I was recently asked to critique four youth ministry resources for a national organization. Here are my thoughts in order of preference.
- Ed. note: I was recently asked to critique four youth ministry resources for a national organization. Here are my thoughts in order of preference.
One critique applies generally to all four: none of them relate their respective teachings to urban youth ministry. The stories that are told come largely out of a suburban cultural context, and there isn’t a discernable attempt to assess whether the principles are transferable outside of that context. They also seem to assume a paradigm of paid, full-time youth workers, while bivocational volunteers comprise the youth ministry ranks in most inner cities, and, for that matter, mainline congregations. In an era of repopulation back into urban centers and disproportionate cultural influence by cities, youth ministry needs to be reimagined. 1. Helping Teenagers in Crisis is a refreshing, if challenging, change of pace for youth ministers tired of cliché answers to complicated, real-life issues. Teenagers confront an inherently tumultuous world filled with hormonal changes, identity questions, and family and relationship drama, even before the jarring impact of crisis. Writing out of their own extensive experience, Van Pelt and Hancock offer a useable framework for how to approach ministry circumstances that take readers beyond more limited experiences. They ground the theoretical and prescriptive with compelling anecdotes that explore the good, bad, and ugly of crisis intervention, while offering hope that even if we get it wrong sometimes, that’s usually beside the point. 4 Big Apples 2. Do They Run When They See You Coming? asks the question begging for scrutiny behind the walls of many of our evangelical enclaves: Why is so much of what Christians do irrelevant to the people Jesus commissioned us to lovingly reach? Even better, it does so in a non-threatening way. If HTIC ratchets up the intensity by digging deep around a focused subject, DTR is more like Sports Center – a collection of highlights that give a feel for the action without all the gripping drama of the play-by-play. It offers enough sound-bites to tell the story without all the overtime nail-biting. On the whole, it’s an excellent resource to provoke youth ministers to rethink how and why Christ still calls us to be fishers of men. 3 Big Apples 3. Am I good Enough? makes the subject of Luther’s “grace-not-works” epiphany and Paul’s “righteousness as filthy rags” lament approachable for teens. While there’s nothing particularly new here (even borrowing from C.S. Lewis’ timeless “Liar, Lunatic, Lord” apologetic) it provides a readable context for young people to understand Christ as Savior, the cross as redemptive, and the resurrection as real, relevant, and personal. 2 Big Apples 4. While the producers of the The Gospel Journey should be applauded for attempting a multimedia training tool for teens to reach their peers, this product is flawed. On the whole, the teaching is fine as a primer on the gospel, and Greg Stier again demonstrates his skill as a communicator. But the mountaintop setting feels contrived; the attempted “reality show” dynamics feel less real than primetime alternatives; and the characters come across as stereotypes. The text-only tracts are even more disappointing as small font size, no white space, and generic graphics are unlikely to lure teen readers. Great concept; good teaching; unsatisfying results. 1 Big Apple
These people think so. Is this just copycat Christianity, or do you think tools like this are helpful?
At least, some use it for evil...
"Eighty percent of the women were sexually assaulted by pimps via sadistic sex; 71% of pimps use drugs to control the women; and 34% of the women received death threats from pimps personally or to their family." -- Raymond, Hughes, Gomez, “Sex Trafficking In the United States, Coalition Against Trafficking of Women Study,” March 2001Yet Three 6 Mafia would have us believe that, "It's hard out here for a pimp," and Oscar voters apparently agree. More on why it's hard out there for the pimped, here.
Rudy thinks this is funny. I agree.
“Everybody he slapped on the forehead did a tongue, but I was at a loss for words. Until I remembered Tim Duncan’s slam dunk. Then I went for it with a, ‘Hallelujah Manu Ginobili.’ I heard everybody around me saying ‘yes Lord,’ so I figured I had the Holy Ghost. Then I let loose with a ‘Hallelujah Manu Ginobili Hedo Turkoglu,’ and it was on. Everybody started jumping up and down. I thought ‘Oh yeah? Take this…’ and I fired off a ‘Hallelujah Manu Ginobili Hedo Turkoglu Slava Medvedenko! MEDvedenko! Whoooaaa MedveDENKO!’ It felt like a tongues triple-double.”Reminds me of the old Carman lyric:
"Untie my bowtie, who stolla my honda?"
Ten years ago, 13 young people, primarily high school students, started an organic, grassroots organism we call Generation Xcel. I was one of them. Three years ago I returned to Xcel as its first director with the goal of seeing if the organism could transform into an organization while preserving its indigenous "by youth for youth" DNA. That remains to be seen, as the transition has been marked by more than our share of growing pains and financial challenges. But today I had one of those aha moments. Actually, I had a similar thought about six months ago, but without someone with whom to share it immediately, it evaporated almost as quickly as it appeared. Today it returned, only this time I had four NYCUP volunteers (InterVarsity students from NYU and Rutgers on a spring break mission trip) with whom to dream, a grad student and three undergrads. The basic idea is fairly simple (or maybe not?). Just as thirteen inspired, but totally unqualified and unskilled teenagers took the idea of starting a youth center and ran with it in the face of impossible odds (no money, space, equipment, or paid staff), and it materialized five months later; is it possible that college students could take their $100K educations and career aspirations, unite them around a common purpose, and help shape a "by youth for youth" organization that can carry Generation Xcel into the future? Call it fanciful, but could we assemble a team of 7-10 students majoring in, say, strategic management, marketing/public relations, film, graphic design, social work, education, programming/web development, accounting, entreprenurship/finance, and journalism (or any combination thereof, with a dozen or more other possibilities thrown in) for, say, 2-4 semesters, who would treat the organizational development process as seriously as our 13 cofounders did, to build a truly by youth for youth organization that lasts? (Wow, that sentence is ridiculously long!) Could it work? My ad hoc market research suggests that it could. So does my gut. (Or is that indigestion?) Something to explore further with my campus ministry friends. Interested applicants can email resumes here.
So said a friend after reading a MySpace profile posted by a 16 year-old girl we both know and love. She attended our youth group for a year or two before her mom pulled her out of the church over a misunderstanding three years ago. We haven't seen her since then, but she found us online and invited us to be her "friends." Apparently now she's living in LA (with mom?) and caught in a web of ... . More to pray for.
Xcel Board member Rick Edrich announced this afternoon that his film production company,
"Spot has teamed up with IFC and Tourism Australia to bring 'Inside Oz,' premiering Saturday, March 18 at 8 p.m. on IFC! This half-hour long special produced, shot and edited by Spot Creative, Inc. gives you front row seats to the annual 7-day celebration of Australian art, commerce, culture and history held in LA known as Australia Week, or 'G’Day LA.' We had a blast producing the bit, having the chance to chat it up during interviews with huge Aussie celebs like Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, and Olivia Newton-John, as well as John Travolta, who hosted the big Penfolds Icon black tie gala dinner. We even got to talk to Steve Irwin, 'The Crocodile Hunter.' "The show also highlights almost everything Australia, from fashion, wine, film, arts, and lifestyle to indigenous culture and tourism. So sit back and relax as we take you 'Inside Oz' this Saturday on IFC. It might even inspire you to take the long trip Down Under!"In addition to its commercials and corporate video work, Spot's award winning independent features, documentaries, and short films can be seen on IFC, Sundance Film Channel, and coming soon to a theater near you. My personal favorites include the Family Portrait music video (co-produced with Generation Xcel) and a 20th anniversary documentary on my parent's ministry.
At my Flickr account. Samples: Judah's Bowl-a-Thon, 03/11/06 At the Manhattan Children's Museum Subway actor Uncle Jon and Elsa Cousin Jesse and Coral Cousin Seth-let The Charmer
Work finally commenced on the Ground Zero Memorial today. The politicking continues, however.
More drama from the neighborhood...
"A grieving Manhattan mother whose teen son jumped into the East River is being tormented by a heart-wrenching question: Did relentless bullying drive him to take his own life?" Story.
Over at Microsoft, where young blood is hard to come by.
That's what the good people at the NCAA should rename March Madness. Just because I can: I'm picking U Conn over Syracuse in the Finals, with Pittsburgh and Villanova rounding out the Final Four. More madness: Why Oral Roberts might be the best 16th seed ever. My cousin James Kruse would be proud!
"If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town." Matthew 10:14-15
"What's countercultural is the elements of their faith, why they're not living the lifestyle of MTV, trying to attain the superstar status with cars and chicks, but working on community and healing."
"One by one, the athletes we are most drawn to, the ones most able to make us marvel at their ability, also make us cringe at their lack of character." OJ. Kobe. Rose. McGwire/Sosa/Palmeiro. Bonds. They've all failed as heroes. Only one never fails.
"Five boys who posted a fake profile of a 15-year-old girl as an Internet prank helped police arrest a 48-year-old man who tried to meet the fictitious teenager for sex, authorities said Monday."Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident:
"Two men were arrested last week in what prosecutors said were the first federal sexual assault charges involving MySpace. The unrelated cases involved Connecticut girls who were 11 and 14, the FBI said."
Forget the asterisk. Bad Boy Barry joins the ranks of Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe as disgraced baseball icons destined for infamy. Bombshell revelations here, including:
"Beginning in 1998 with injections in his buttocks of Winstrol, a powerful steroid, Barry Bonds took a wide array of performance-enhancing drugs over at least five seasons in a massive doping regimen that grew more sophisticated as the years went on.... "[B]y 2001, when Bonds broke Mark McGwire's single-season home-run record (70) by belting 73, Bonds was using two designer steroids referred to as the Cream and the Clear, as well as insulin, human growth hormone, testosterone decanoate (a fast-acting steroid known as Mexican beans) and trenbolone, a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle. ... "Bonds gulped as many as 20 pills at a time and was so deeply reliant on his regimen that he ordered Anderson to start 'cycles' -- a prescribed period of steroid use lasting about three weeks -- even when he was not due to begin one. ... "The authors describe how Bonds turned to steroids after the 1998 season because he was jealous of McGwire. Bonds hit 37 home runs in '98 -- a nice total and the fourth most of his career at that point -- but he was ignored by fans and the media who were captivated by McGwire's 70 home runs and his duel for the record with Sammy Sosa, who hit 66 that year."
"But on reflection, I realized that motivated teens need more than motivation. They need good managers who will assess their weak spots and help them to grow into success. I thought all my guy needed was motivation and an opportunity to go with his talent. I was wrong. He needed someone to instill in him a work ethic."I can relate.
Bill Dahl offers "Reality for the rest of us or picking up where purpose-driven peters out" over at the "Porpoise-Diving Life" website. Be provoked by a husband and wife who have "been called to work with pods of the the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized as they navigate the seas of life." Bill published the Adopt-A-School article here. While on the subject of shout-outs, check out the Youth Ministry Exchange for interesting articles and heated discussions, and the Christian Post and Next-Wave.
"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
Time magazine thinks that, "Evangelical boosters find revival everywhere," including the rise of house churches. What do you think?
Top Ten Father Facts
It's not surprising that a video featuring a rock-and-roll singer and strippers might surface. But when the singer is Scott Stapp, who, as the former lead singer of Creed has walked a very public faith journey for over ten years, the revelations are embarrassing. Scott spoke candidly about that journey to Christianity Today in August 2004:
The video was filmed during a "wild year" following his divorce. Pray for grace as he deals with the consequences of those actions.
"What had triggered those spiritual changes in your life?
Stapp: A lot of personal things. I was hurt and beaten down. Five years ago, I had a divorce that I didn't really want. I was so busy with Creed that I don't think I ever really dealt with that emotionally. She [his ex-wife] elected not to be involved in my son's life, leaving me as a single father, and I was really worried about my little boy [Jagger, who turns 6 in October]. And there were other things that came along in the trappings of fame, things that hurt some of my relationships. So when I finally had time to reflect on everything, I was broken down to the point where I had no other way but to look up. I couldn't handle it all. I was asking a lot of questions—of myself, of God—looking for answers.My dad always said I was hard-headed, that it would take something like that to wake me up spiritually, and I guess it did. My heart had gotten so beat up that I didn't have anything left to give. I was emotionally and spiritually dried up, so I was just searching for God. I reached out to my pastor and my father for some guidance. I was really soul searching and, I guess, on my path to coming home spiritually. And once that process began—and I'm still going through that process, and probably will for the rest of my life—that's when things started changing in my life. I started making some proper decisions, getting things in order. " Article.
The Hip-Hop Generation has $500 Billion Spending Power.
"Hip-hop culture began in New York ghettoes in the 1970s, but has now spread across the country. Today, one in three hip-hop consumers lives outside the country's top 100 metropolitan areas."For more on why hip-hop has revolutionized pop culture in the last 30 years, read: "WWJD (What Would Jay-Z Do): Engaging Youth Culture."
That's the plot in "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," the first video game adapted from the blockbuster books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. (HT: Jose) What's so freaky about this, other than the obvious cash craze, is that the game is set in New York and features New Yorkers left behind by the rapture. When was the last time Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins bothered with New York, except as a plot device?
NYU's Business School is sponsoring this conference for the third year. I went last year and had a great time. Recommended for social service practitioners of all stripes.
"Playing a video game together allowed Redick and Morrison to blow off some steam, escape hoops talk for a while and, perhaps most important, save a few bucks on cell-phone bills. 'It's so much better,' Morrison emphasized, 'because it's free long distance.'" Link.
"Turntables, rap albums, oral histories and costumes will one day occupy display space in the same Washington, D.C., building that houses such national treasures as the Star Spangled Banner, the desk on which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and Dorothy's ruby red 'Wizard of Oz' slippers." Link.