Unfortunately my mom’s van died this evening as she was driving home from my little town’s Christmas celebrations. As she was driving. So, she pulled into the parking lot of a township garage and called me for a ride the rest of the way home. I figured that, since I’m back at my parents’ house anyway, I’d take advantage of the wi-fi there!
Tim Challies wrote a loooong blog post about how to go about reading Scripture for a congregation, be it a congregation of five or fifty thousand. He’s got a lot of good stuff to say. One of my pet peeves is hearing Scripture read without any inflection.
Sentimentality and pragmatism are the one-two punch which has the American Church on the ropes, while a generation of church leaders acquiesces to the demands of our consumer culture. The demands are simple: tell me something that will make me feel better (sentimentality for the churchgoer), and tell me something that will work (pragmatism for the church leader). Yet it is not clear how either one of those are part of what it means to be the church.
….The fundamental problem with the one-two punch of sentimentality and pragmatism is, of course, the church's job is not to affirm people's lives, but to allow the gospel to continually call our lives into question.
My little town has a community chorus that’s performing Handel’s “The Messiah” tomorrow—and I’m in it, too! I’m using CyberBass’s online MIDI files to practice since they have each part highlighted in separate files as well as the general files with all the parts at equal volume.
Speaking of “The Messiah…” this is how not to do it. (HT: Challies again… apparently his posts are all the online reading I’ve been able to get to lately!)
And for your video this week: First, background information…. this guy flew through the Alps for 11 hours in a glider, without a motor. James Fallows discusses how. The video below shows the beautiful mountains the guy saw. (The video text appears to be in Italian and it sounds like that’s what he’s speaking. I was proud to be able to make out a little, based on what I know of Spanish.) About ten minutes into the video is the only shot that isn’t taken straight on from the plane’s cockpit. A map at the end of the vid shows the flight path.