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Showing posts from October, 2011

Compendium of Links #16

This week I had a bunch of evening events to cover that were not meetings. Go figure! Well, one of them was a meeting, but it was on the same evening as two other non-meeting-events, so I still count that evening as a weird one.Nathan Busenitz (whoever he is) talks about the “I Can Do All Things” verse that everyone quotes (and that I wrote on my college graduation cap). Contrary to how most people take it, it’s about contentment. And I would certainly not change my decision to write it on my grad cap even after reading this:Out of context, Philippians 4:13 is used as a blank-check promise for whatever is desired. But in context, it is a verse is about contentment. It’s not about your dreams coming true or your goals being met. Rather it’s about being joyful, satisfied, and steadfast even when life is hard and your circumstances seem impossible. [all emphasis original]The BBC reports that an independent study (funded by interests whose goal is to discredit assertions that man’s action…

Life on my own #15: Crock-pot chicken

You know what living by myself means? I can make supper at whatever time I feel like. A very bachelor(ette)-esque thing to say, I know, but when I’m trying to work around a crazy journalistic schedule it’s something I’m highly grateful for!Another great supper-related perk is that I can make whatever I want. Even if it’s an experimental dish….A few days ago I decided to try out my new(-to-me) crock pot (or slow cooker, for the brand-conscious among us). In order to do this, I opened up my fancy-schmancy new (really, new, this time) crock pot recipe book. It’s chock-full of taste-tested recipes and one of them caught my eye: Chicken with Applesauce.Reason 1: It’s chicken.Reason 2: It’s applesauce.Reason 3: It has very few other ingredients.Reason 4: It’s chicken. (This cannot be stressed enough.)Therefore, I spent most of my lunch break that day preparing the recipe—browning the chicken, slicing it up into smaller pieces, and dumping together the applesauce, barbecue sauce, and… well t…

Keats on sharing nature

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep--
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavilioned, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refined,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of humankind
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.—John Keats’ first published poem

Compendium of Links #15

This week, I spent a lot of time on vacation… in Boston. You’ve read about it already, I’m sure, but I had to prevace this installment of the Compendia with that note because it explains why I’ve spent very, very little time browsing the Internet. Now for your feature presentation….An acquaintance from college is nearly finished with the Mystery Can Game. Read that linked post for the introduction, then follow his progress from his homepage.Kate Bolick, writing for The Atlantic (only one of my favorite magazines), thinks American society is moving beyond the ideal of traditional marriage. While I may not agree with her conclusion, the sociological observations she makes are intriguing. (Maybe off, too, but fun to read nevertheless.) In particular, I enjoyed the connections she made between the feminist ideology, the post-Boomer focus on emotional fulfillment, and the dearth of marriageable young males.We’re just crybabies in the Westexactly what I was telling my friends last weekend!…

The autumn woods

About six miles from my apartment, there’s a nature preserve, nearly all wooded.At night it could be freaky, but I find it fascinating. I said as much at a night hike that the local parks district held late last month.Just imagine—at night, the spiders are spinning, the crickets are chirping and the slugs… well, the slugs are doing whatever they do, I suppose. Sitting there and eating mushrooms. No joke, we found a bunch of slugs chowing down on some odd fungal growths on a log. Big critters too—the mushrooms must have been good for them.But the spiders—at night you shine your flashlight to the right and to the left as you slowly traverse the paths, and suddenly a thread of silk catches the light. Keep your beam shining upon it and you begin to see the entire web, in whatever shape the spider has found to fit the niche where it has made its home. Some of the webs are smaller than others. Most surprisingly, nearly all the spiders are themselves tiny, some of them too small to see more …

And it’s back to work

The only bad thing about vacations is that they end!After my wonderful trip to visit my college roomie, now going to grad school in Boston, I had one day to recover—thanks to long experience telling me I wouldn’t be either rested or prepared to go back to work immediately. I spent Wednesday sleeping, doing laundry, and generally taking it easy in order to be refreshed for the short workweek ahead. (Yes, very short.)Then came Thursday. It came early, too, beginning with a 7:30 a.m. meeting I had to cover. Such is the life of a reporter; my time, though flexible, is partly ruled by the meeting schedules of various governmental bodies. I barely dragged myself out of bed, still groggy from losing sleep over the entire extended weekend, and got to the morning meeting of the county park district.Doesn’t sound too enthralling, right? Actually it’s better than it sounds. It’s a good thing for the park district that their meetings are down-to-earth but not meandering! I look forward to coverin…

Life on my own #14: Photography in Boston

One of the many perks of being young and carefree: I can go pretty much… anywhere.That is, anywhere I can afford. But to be honest, most people have concerns other than financial that keep them in one place for most of their time. Me, all I have to worry about is if I have extra bucks in the budget and extra vacation time to use.I had some of both—and a very dear friend living about twelve hours away—so I took along a college chum and we drove to Boston from Ohio, stopping at my chum’s house on the way there (and back) for sleep. We had a glorious time visiting my college roommate. And to top off the wonderful vacation, my roomie took me to see the sights…And por supuesto, there are many more photographs, but that was a brief selection from our early wanderings. Besides sightseeing, we held a crazy hair and make-up party in order to record video of ourselves doing very silly things—all that in honor of another dear friend who is currently teaching English overseas at an international …

Missions in the context of worship

“Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” –John PiperThis week is missions conference at my newly adopted church. The featured missionary in yesterday’s morning service started by saying that the reason for missions couldn’t be as superficial as “Jesus said so in the Great Commission.”(And at a Christian and Missionary Alliance church as missions/Commission-focused as mine have been, that’s a weighty declaration.)Sure, he said, it was a command Jesus gave, but that couldn’t be the only basis for such a large-scale project. This missionary to Kosovo had wondered about the real reason for missions, the reason behind the mandate, even as early as his first months in college.But—what was the answer? It begins with this: Jesus calls us to be missionaries, each in his own way, for one purpose: To bring more people into the knowledge of God, to make them his worshippers.The purpose of all of life, reiterated the missionary, was to worship God, to give him glory in everything we do. Worship,…

Life on my own #13: Lost keys

A common misconception among the general public is that losing your keys is a subtle sign of dementia.It has to be the other way around—at least in my experience, it’s the lost keys that cause the dementia!Back at my parents’ house, there’s a message board hanging in the foyer of the house. Its importance lies not in the irrelevant shopping receipts and smudges attached to it, but in the four hooks at the bottom edge, from which all the house and car keys hang. Those hooks have prevented many a headache.At my little apartment, I have no such message board and certainly no such hooks. I really shouldn’t need them, should I? Young as I am, with no one else in the house to “move my cheese,” my keys are always right where I left them.In theory, that’s a perfect solution to the problem of lost keys. In practice, that’s as relevant as a pink buffalo. (Come on, when was a pink buffalo ever relevant to anything?)Many mornings, I’ve awakened rubbing my eyes and racking my brain for where I lef…

Compendium of Links #14 (Question edition)

This week I realized that half the random links I view are actually e-mailed to me by my editor. Who knows where she finds these things, but they’re oddities for sure. Like the first one…What would you do for five bucks? Would you do a video while speed drawing any funny character with a personalized message in the speech bubble? Would you send me five origami dresses? Would you crochet a small octopus? I am not making any of these up…But the real question is: Would you cheat on a test? An infographic from Wired Academic says most young people would. (Via @PaulGlader)Another good question: Does information really want to be free? Well, you could call it getting a free ride—and it just might ruin the very information (and music, or video, or whatever) it seeks to transmit. Or so says Robert Levine in The (U.K.) Observer, and he makes a good case for it:Technology executives aren't exactly shedding tears for companies such as EMI, saying they just can't compete online. But much …

Compendium of Links #13: Church stuff

Ah, yes. This old series with which I’ve had trouble because one, I don’t spend nearly the time browsing the internet that I used to, and two, what browsing I do accomplish is mainly job-related—thus I am reading about the local park district, city council, drug-related studies, anything but the sort of links I used to fill this segment with.But I had a few saved up in my open tabs (Firefox is wonderful for tabs). Most of them were gleaned from Tim Challies’ A La Carte posts, to be fair, but a few of them came from elsewhere.Now to investigate how much it might cost to get internet at my apartment….On music and worship in the church:Contemporary Music: The Cultural Medium and the Christian Message, an article in Christianity Today by one D. H. Williams who visited a Protestant megachurch:In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education commentary, Timothy Beal observed that "a hallmark of American evangelicalism, at least since the 1940s, has been its ready willingness to adapt its theo…