Monday, September 28, 2009

International Readers Sound Off

I've noticed that this little blog has acquired a few international readers. Go ahead and sound off in the comments section to say hi, and to let everyone know where you're from. So far, there are readers from-
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Brazil
  • Japan
  • Peru
  • Australia
  • Netherlands
  • Canada
  • Turkey

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rich Mullins (October 21, 1955 – September 19, 1997)

It is weird to miss someone you never met. Rich Mullins died twelve years ago this past week. He was a musician, poet, writer, and modern-day Franciscan. Through his music he touched and inspired thousands (millions?) allowed many of us to feel like we knew a man that we never even spent time with or spoke to. If you are not familiar with him, take some time to listen to his music, read some of his articles, or read through his biography.

Here are some things he wrote/sing/said-

"There's a wideness in God's mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God"
"Nobody tells you when you get born here
How much you'll come to love it
And how you'll never belong here
So I call you my country
And I'll be lonely for my home
And I wish that I could take you there with me"
"But when I leave I want to go out like Elijah
With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire
And when I look back on the stars
Well, It'll be like a candlelight in Central Park
And it won't break my heart to say goodbye"
"I had a prof one time... He said, 'Class, you will forget almost everything I will teach you in here, so please remember this: that God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and He has been speaking through asses ever since. So, if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself. And, if on meeting someone, right away you recognize what they are, listen to them anyway'."

"The thing about being forty is it's not as surprising to me as it used to be. I used to think about death a lot, and it was always a little bit intimidating to think about. Now I know a lot of dead people. It's not as big a deal as it used to be, but maybe because I'm not the one who died. I'm the one who's still living. I think I always grew up with a good attitude about it. You know, that's the advantage of coming from a large, extended family."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Watch Your Wallet

I came across an interesting article regarding money problems for retired NFL players. This article cites a report by Sports Illustrated which states "78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce." Given the ability of really rich guys to waste their money, I found a sermon given yesterday at Redeemer Presbyterian (Lynchburg, VA) to be particularly insightful. Given that tough economic times make people reflect more on their finances, I would encourage you to take time and listen to this sermon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Advertisers- Pay attention

Commercials that will cause me to turn off my radio or change the TV station without even thinking-

  1. Furniture sales
  2. That annoying girl from Progressive Auto Insurance (her name is Flo)
  3. Anything with Sally Field
  4. Nutrisystem
  5. Subway- I won't buy their footlong sandwich if it is $0.05
Consumers have changed, but advertisers refuse to change with them. We are smarter and better informed, so stop treating us like children. Take a week, read some Seth Godin, and then try again.

What commercials would you add to this list?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Worthy Read

From Amusing Ourselves to Death (pg. 68-69) by Neil Postman-

What steps do you plan to take to reduce the conflict in the Middle East? Or the rates of inflation, crime and unemployment? What are your plans for preserving the environment or reducing the risk of nuclear war? What do you plan to do about NATO, OPEC, the CIA, affirmative action......? I shall take the liberty of answering for you: You plan to do nothing about them. You may, of course, cast a ballot for someone who claims to have some plans, as well as the power to act. But this you can do only once every two or four years by giving one hour of your time, hardly a satisfying means of expressing the broad range of opinions you hold. Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into- what else?- another piece of news. Thus, we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.