This is a video I came across addressing the persecution of the church in India. This is not unlike persecution in other parts of the world, but it’s pretty jarring when you see it in a real life situation. This was very difficult to watch and I pray I’d face this like they do, for the name of Christ, I pray I’d endure. I don’t honestly know whether or not I would. Please be aware, this video is graphic, but I do think it’s important.

***WARNING, THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT***

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This is from Mark Driscoll’s trip to Haiti last week. It is a preview of the documentary he will be presenting on Sunday to his congregation.

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I think it’s time I come back to the blog-o-sphere.  It’s only been, what, 8 months since my last post? 

There’s been a lot happening lately.  The Haiti quake has raised a lot of questions in my mind and heart over the past week.  As I wrestle with those I can’t help but ache for the pain suffered by those in the small island country.  One of my favorite pastors I listen to on-line frequently is Mark Driscoll.  He started an organization just after the quake called Churches Helping Churches.  They’re putting together a documentary of their trip there last week and will be presenting it on Sunday.  I’m expecting it to be great and extraordinarily difficult to watch. 

It’s been gut wrenching and encouraging to hear from those we’ve interacted with for those of us who have been there.  At Grace, we’ve been getting constant updates from Dony and El Shaddai in Las Cayes as they keep us updated on how to pray and what is happening as they try to dig out from the rubble.  The stories of lives lost and families destroyed crumble the heart.  The stories of the power of the Gospel and the love of Christ bring life and encouragement.  The juxtaposition is striking.  I don’t know what to do with these feelings most of the time.  I’ve been struck often this week at how difficult it is for MY heart to break when I see and hear this.  The calloused nature of my heart is more apparent every day.  Oh, Lord!  How I need the gospel in my life.  All I can do now is give a little spare change and pray a lot.  I ask you do the same if you haven’t already.  There are many worthwhile places you can do that.

I leave you with this quote from C.S. Lewis that John Piper posted on facebook this morning.  I struck me deeply when I read it.

You will certainly carry out God’s purpose, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.

I pray it’s more like John.

I went to India last summer, that’s where my image from my top banner comes from.  They just had some massive elections which will bring in a shift in power.  Don’t know what that means yet for the country, but I’ve seen some hail it as a victory for religious freedom there, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  That being said, there were several candidates who have committed severe persecution on Christians. A couple did win, but overwhelmingly, they didn’t so that is a good thing.

There is a great photo set on the Big Picture, there’s a lot of fingers with ink on them.  Be sure to check out #36.  It features one of the best mustaches I’ve ever seen.

Keep praying for India and the Christians there.   The Hindu’s still have power there, the Caste system is still alive and well and the Gospel is still moving.  I’ve got some friends going there soon, I wish I was going with them.  It’s an exciting, captivating place.

First off, let me say, I didn’t play well.  I made a couple of stupid plays.  Not my best effort.  I don’t like to make excuses for losses.  In the end, we didn’t make the plays when we needed them.  That being said, I’m struggling to figure out how to react reasonably to several calls that were as obviously wrong as any I’ve ever seen.  I don’t want to be a nag, but is it unreasonable  to file a complaint? These weren’t close plays and could have made the difference in the game.  Ultimately it’s just a rec league, softball game, but they were seriously that bad.

Joe Posnanski is one of the greatest sports columnists out there.  And he has a blog.  He recently, might have been yesterday actually, wrote about a mission he’s set himself out to accomplish. It is important and worth your attention.  He has set out to find the next Snuggie.  You know, you’ve seen the infomercial about this thing.  It’s a blanket er robe er I’m not really sure what it is but hideous.  Ok, really, it’s not that important but I did have probably the best laugh I’ve had in a while.  I don’t usually audibly cakle while I’m reading something but there were moments where I was doubled over and had to step away from it while I was reading.  I’ll post a few snippets  but it’s fairly lengthy so I’ll let you read on your own time.
His premise:

I have spent the last couple of months trying to find the next Snuggie …

The genius of the Snuggie is that it is an entirely useless product that solves a problem that did not exist. There is a lot more in that single sentence than meets the eye. Lots of infoco products are useless. In fact, I’ll just break away from generalities and tell you that they’re all useless on some level. Some are entirely useless. Some are mostly useless the way that Westley was mostly dead. But they’re all useless.

He thinks the Flowbee and Body Snake have a chance, but alas, they fall short.  Then he finds the MicroSmore!

First, you need to ask this key question: Do you love Smores but hate how long they take to make?

No. Of course not. Seriously, this is very much like hating blankets because they prevent you from answering the phone in precise time. Is there anyone, anywhere, who loves Smores but has been troubled by the preparation time? We’re not talking about preparing a 16-pound turkey here. In the oven, smores take roughly 90 seconds. Maybe. Over an open fire, even less. In a microwave, it’s more like 40 seconds. Smores may have their drawbacks,* but cooking time isn’t one of them.

“Smores are gooey, melty, tasty fun,” the narrator in the commercial says. So true. Gooey. Melty. Tasty. What could possibly make them better?

“What could POSSIBLY make them better?” the narrator asks, even though I just asked the same question. Then, he gives an answer in the form of a question: “How about your favorite Smore in 10 seconds?”

Well, how about it? Is such a thing possible? Has mankind triumphed? Has American technology really created a device that can make Smores in 10 seconds rather than the 40 seconds it would normally take?

It is possible. How? Well, I cannot explain. Fortunately, the narrator gives us the technical answer: “The fusion technology of the patented Micro Smores cooker heats up quickly! And then smooshes everything together.”

Brilliant! This may be my next lit night selection.

I went to a photo seminar this weekend.  I had never been to one of those before.  I’m not going to lie, it was a little overwhelming on several different levels.  It was a fantastic time though.  I was able to learn from some of the best photographers in the business and catch up with some of the best in the state, many of which I worked with when I was working at the Daily Nebraskan.  I felt a bit like the odd ball being a photographer who doesn’t take pictures.   There really was one main reason for me going though.   A photographer, Lane Hickenbottom, one of those I had run into while at the DN and one of the best wedding photographers in Omaha right now gave a seminar on how to develop a photography business, rather timely given the current state of shambles the news industry is in.  I’m looking at doing something kinda like what he’s doing.  Not become a wedding photographer, I ‘m not planning on doing that, I’d just refer you to Lane if you did, but I am looking at getting something else going.  Kinda similar, I’m not ging to give a lot of details at this point, because I don’t have a lot of details yet.  He covered a lot of stuff that I never would have thought of.  That’s the information I’m going to remember and there was a lot of good stuff.

He gave us a little home work assignment, which I think I’ve taken care of up in here, but I need to get on to some actual homework for my class this week.

I’ll post some of the links from the other photographers later this week, there’s some stuff you guys need to see.  Really powerful stuff.