Airport Security · Books · Christianity · Cohabiting · ebooks · Movies · Oscars · Technology · Time · Titanic · Uncategorized

Owl Post 4-16-2012

The link for the stories is now the title. Enjoy!

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage:

What do they call doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? “AT 32, one of my clients (I’ll call her Jennifer) had a lavish wine-country wedding. By then, Jennifer and her boyfriend had lived together for more than four years. The event was attended by the couple’s friends, families and two dogs.”

Will Apple lawsuit mean cheaper e-books?

(CNN) — For consumers, the news that the Department of Justice is suing Apple and several publishers, accusing them of price-fixing, boils down to one kitchen-table question: Will this mean my e-books will get cheaper?

We Don’t Need More Time:

We’re always rushed, always on the move, never having enough time. Almost everyone I know has little room for error in their schedule. Tragically, most people have little time for the things in life that they would say are the most important to them. When we over-schedule ourselves in the belief that we can do everything, we stop being human and try to become godlike—not only impossible but also incredibly arrogant. Most of us are living at a pace that is not only unsustainable; it’s also unbiblical.

A tale of the Titanic tape; Titanic Infograph:

It was one of the most amazing technological feats of the day. A century ago, the most amazing piece of nautical workmanship set sail on a voyage that would be its only one. Today, we look back and think how the ship that couldn’t be sunk fell victim to the now-common term, “user error”.

Why Airport Security Is Broken— And How To Fix It:

Airport security in America is broken. I should know. For 3½ years—from my confirmation in July 2005 to President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009—I served as the head of the Transportation Security Administration. 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore:

I really liked the winner of this year’s Oscar for best short film, animated. Hope you enjoy it too!

Christianity · Matt Chandler · Suffering · Titanic · Uncategorized

100 Years of Titanic Dreams

It was evening, over 100 years ago, in the summer of 1907 when some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people sat in a mansion and started down the path that would lead to the greatest ocean liner of its time. This liner would be the envy of the shipbuilding community, cater to the richest of society and set the standard for everyone else. On March 31, 1909, in the Harland and Wolff shipbuilding yards in Belfast, Ireland, the keel for the Titanic was laid. The hopes, dreams and ambition of many men were poured into this vessel. This ship was a crowning achievement in Victorian engineering, a floating dreamland and a ship that God himself could not sink.

On April 10, 1912, this monument to the ingenuity of man was at full steam on its maiden voyage. On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m. an iceberg was spotted. First officer Murdoch shouted, “Iceberg right ahead.” All engines where thrown in reverse, but it was too late. The ship’s starboard side was compromised and the dream became a nightmare. The Titanic reported her location at 41° 46′ N, 50° 14. On April 15, 1912, exactly 100 years ago today, the mightiest ship of its time, the colossal floating palace, sank and became the poster child for the foolishness of man.

“Everyone has a dream,” Billy Joel sings. There are so many things that we long to do or experience. Like those who conceived and built Titanic, we have big dreams. These dreams are mighty enough to drive much of our lives. They help inform where we will go to school, if we marry, who we marry, where we live, who we are friends with, what the priorities of our lives will be, and what presuppositions we will hold to. The fulfillment of these dreams are what we believe will make us happy and satisfied in life. “Happiness is the driving force behind everything that you do. Anything you do has the desire for happiness at it’s center.”

Inevitably, our ship of dreams runs into disaster. We are forced to abandon them and jump into a lifeboat for safety. We are separated from the protection of the liner and become much more susceptible to the squalls of life. We are tossed around, capsized or just left to drift endlessly. The separation is not just from our dreams, it also from each other. Sitting alone in our little boats we cling to the hope that we will run across land or someone else. We long to join our hearts to something beyond ourselves.

The question for many of us becomes, “What is the purpose of this suffering? Why have my heart’s desires not been satisfied? Is there a chance that this devastation has some meaning?” And we answer these questions by buying, “into the philosophy that what we need to finally be happy is more of what we already possess.”* So we pursue more money, more power, more sex, more things and it leaves us even more isolated and unhappy than before.

“The majority of human beings believe that people and circumstances exist to make them happy. We believe the brokenness inside will be satisfied by things outside.”* God needs to allow us to run to the end of ourselves in the hope that we will stop looking to our dreams and to other people to fill what only he can. God wants us to stop worshiping the stuff he created and reorder our lives. It is by placing ourselves under this divine order that we can truly be free to live life to the fullest.

“God gives gifts to all men. Whether you believe in God or not, you are living, walking, and wearing his stuff. He gives gifts to all: food, drink, work, friends, family. He gives gifts to all, but only the children of God, only those who believe in Jesus, receive the gift of lasting enjoyment. Why? Because if we’re oriented around Jesus, our satisfaction is not tied to anything but him. We can actually enjoy God’s good gifts the way they’re designed to be enjoyed, because they are in orbit around the right sun – not our self, but our Savior.”*

Jesus said,

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:9-11 ESV)

*Quotes from The Explicit Gospel – by Matt Chandler

Books · ebooks · Government · KONY · mbird.com · Movies · Politics · Pornography · Titanic

Owl Post 4-12-2012

Democrat Hilary Rosen Sparks Twitter Uproar With Ann Romney Comments:

The strategist sparks an uproar — and has Dems on the defensive — after suggesting Romney, a mother of five, never worked. Link

Survey finds e-readers are spurring consumers of books in all formats:

It is good to see technology helping ignite a love of reading.”A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey.” Link

Two different links on Titanic’s impact 100 years later:

100 years after the Titanic, we’re still not unsinkable:

A couple of weeks ago, two other engineers and I were given a tour of a late-1920s mansion outside Detroit. To reach the second floor, we decided to take the vintage elevator. As it descended toward us, it sounded like a cage being rattled by a large animal. Our guide cheerfully told us not to worry; the suspect elevator had been well-maintained and was “absolutely safe.”

Titanic: The reality:

BELFAST, Northern Ireland—Here, where Titanic, the massive White Star Line luxury liner, was built—the joke for years has been, “It was fine when it left here.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship “Not even God himself could sink. …” And the centenary is being observed in diverse ways.

Should God be obeyed? Should the government?

This post is not something I completely agree with, but it was though-provoking. “Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly doubts humanity’s worth. We see these misgivings in the book of Genesis, when God decides to kill nearly all of humanity in a great flood because of our evil proclivities. Or when He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because of their residents’ sinfulness. Or in Exodus, when God resolves to kill the Israelites, whom He has rescued from slavery in Egypt because of their idolatry of a golden calf, until Moses persuades Him otherwise.” Link

The Staggering Demand for Pornography:

Though many people want to argue that technology is neutral and what matters is how people choose to use it, I have always thought this viewpoint naive. A simple overview of the history of pornography in my lifetime shows that the development of new technologies which enable people to access sexually explicit material has completely overwhelmed our human ability to say “no” to such temptations. Link

The Monarch, the Mirror: Why Root for the Evil Queen?

Say what you will about Mirror, Mirror, the newest rendition of the Brothers Grimm’s 1812 tale of Little Snow White, the first of two Snow White films to come to theaters this season (the other is the Charlize-crowned Snow White and the Huntsman). There’s plenty of bad writing in the trailer, as well as an odd tonal choice,  and yet there’s also some of the most beautiful designwork imaginable. Take all that with a grain of salt, The Atlantic’s Snow White piece by Elizabeth Greenwood is an exceptional write-up, less about the movie and more about the psychological lore, and this treatment’s success at bringing to the fore the audience’s exceptional relatability of the Evil Queen rather than to the heroine Snow. Greenwood’s review isn’t necessarily shining, but more so an honest take on what elements of the Grimm tale we’re able to swallow today, and what we’re not, particularly our passivity before the force of death and aging. We quickly settle for the story we spin for ourselves–the glory of “You go girl!” and not the fleshy depravity “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…” Link

Mission From God: The Upstart Christian Sect Driving Invisible Children and Changing Africa:

For Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, stumbling into Uganda’s one-time civil war wasn’t an accident; it was a divine calling.

While the rest of the world laughs at or ponders the psych ward-ridden creator of Kony 2012, the unlikely Internet video sensation that brought both himself and a vicious Ugandan rebel instant and overwhelming fame, the mystery of his inspiration and success only grows more curious. Link

Church · Mad Men · Movies

Owl Post 3-21-2012

A few links, sorry there are not more; just got back from Italy.

Hungry for Love: Dystopia, Genesis 4, and The Hunger Games:

Will I be at the midnight showing of The Hunger Games this Thursday? I hope so! Back in 2009, Mockingjay- er, Mockingbird- contributor JDK wrote a fantastic piece onGeorge Orwell and Law/Gospel, noting an important link between dystopian literature and life after the fall. The genre has proven to be a fairly bankable one in Hollywood (from Total Recall and The Matrix to I Am Legend and The Walking Dead and everywhere in between), a trend which shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. Indeed, the latest high-profile dystopian fantasy to hit the silver screen is the most hyped movie of the year thus far. I am talking, of course, about The Hunger Games, the adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy, and heir to Twilight/Harry Potter teen sensation throne. With the first book devoured in one sleepless night, and parts two and three on order from Amazon, I thought it might be timely to revisit the dystopia genre in relation to the gospel. Link

Unseen Titanic: New images of wreck reveal entire ship for first time:

If you are a Titanic enthusiast like me then check this out. “New images of the wreck of the RMS Titanic reveal for the first time ever the full stretch of the “unsinkable” boat — sprawled silently 12,500 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean.” Link

The Christian Movie Establishment vs. Blue Like Jazz:

This is a great look at the politics of “Christian” films and a sad reflection of how Christians can be their own worst enemies. “The website BoxOfficeMojo.com is full of useless statistics that I check regularly. One of its most fascinating and terrifying features happens when you click on ‘Genres.'” Link

The Foreign Language of ‘Mad Men’:

With Mad Men’s return on Sunday comes the return of the paeans to the show’s attention to period detail. By various reports, Matthew Weiner devours half-century old letters, dresses actors in period undergarments, and even throws out suspiciously attractive fruit to ensure that nothing dispels the perfect illusion of the 1960s. Link

When the Good Do Bad:

It’s always interesting to read the quotations of people who knew a mass murderer before he killed. They usually express complete bafflement that a person who seemed so kind and normal could do something so horrific. Link

A Call to Humility for Megachurch Pastors:

It is an amazing privilege to lead a large and growing community of faith. We love the church, have given our lives to its expansion, and now find ourselves in one of the vanguards of its expression. Link