Archive for March, 2005

Peak Oil?

Peak Oil?


More and more I hear of people selling larger vehicles and buying smaller ones.  There is a growing acceptance that high oil prices are going to be the norm from now on.  We have almost reached peak oil.  That is when world oil supply is just enough to equal demand and the price shoots up.  India and China have substantially increased world oil demand.

 

Saskatchewan will benefit greatly from this because the price of oil is so high that we can afford to upgrade our heavy crude to light crude.  Even with our higher taxes any idiot with a pump and plot of land can make money at $57 a barrel.  Tomorrow we get to hear the next provincial budget. I can’t just imagine how much new spending is coming down the pipe with our visionless NDP government flush with new cash from Ottawa and oil revenue. 

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Do viriginity pledges work?

 

Do virginity pledges work?


“Teen-agers who take virginity pledges – public declarations to abstain from sex – are almost as likely to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease as those who never made the pledge, an eight-year study released yesterday found.”

The survey found that people who took pledges delayed sexual intercourse but they often switched to other forms of sexual activity to maintain their technical viriginity.  When they did that they didn’t use protection.

I think this is another example of how converting people to a mere moral code is a fruitless exercise. 

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Generation 2000: America's New Conformists

Generation 2000: America’s New Conformists


“A new wave of American youth voted for the first time in the Gore-Bush election and is now beginning to assert itself in the US. The apathetic individualism of “Generation X” is being swept aside by these “Millennials.” They believe in security rather than radicalism, political order rather than social emancipation, collective responsibility rather than personal expression. They will come to define the next stage in America’s role as a hyper-power.”

Article here, found via.

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It has been hard to blog

It has been hard to blog


There are so many different things going on in my life right now.  I’ve been thinking lots about the college I work at, the house church, and different relationships.  Some things are good, some things are really challenging and some things are just plain dumb.  There are times when I look at what some people do and think “the gates of hades will not prevail against this?” 

I have wifi setup at my girlfriend’s place.  For years I struggled fixing her net connection and finally realized that I did a poor job of cabling.  Once I put on new ends things went well.

I really like my new laptop.  I’m very proud to say it isn’t a Mac.  Too many people that I care about have turned to the dark side.  I picked up a Dell and so far it has performed really well.  It is very cool being able to have all my apps installed in one place.

Winter came back and that kind of sucks.

Things are going really well with my girlfriend.  She is really good to me.  The last few months of 2004 were really difficult for me.  She has changed a lot in the last 6 months and that has been very good.  I’ve discovered some hang ups I’m just beginning to work through.

I celebrated my mom’s 29th birthday over the weekend.  I did a little power point presentation using some photos she probably hadn’t seen for over 25 years.  It went really well. 

For a design job I started working with Flash.  I find the interface less intuitive that other programs, but I’ve managed to do some simple work with it.  It would be really good to add Flash to my toolset as some of the best web apps like Flickr are doing stuff with it that you could never do with HTML and a scripting language.  I kind of wish it wasn’t so expensive. 

House church was really good for me on Sunday.  We talked about forgiveness.  I had been discouraged by some stuff and it was nice to just talk about it. 

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D.A. Carson is a radical evangelical?

D.A. Carson is a radical evangelical?


This site is too funny.  If D.A. Carson is radical I must be truly out to lunch.  Found via.

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Darfur deaths in the hundreds of thousands: U.N.

Darfur deaths in the hundreds of thousands: U.N.


” The number of people who have died in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region could be as high as 350,000, according to a senior United Nations official. Jan Egeland, the UN’s humanitarian chief, says pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition has killed three to five times the official estimate of 70,000 put out last year by the World Health Organization.”

For more

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StopLandmines.org

StopLandmines.org


You have to see the video. Via Coop and Dan Hughes.

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We don't know as much as we think we do

We don’t know as much as we think we do


It is hard not to look arrogant when experimenting with church.  We have taken our human and financial resources and invested them in something new, something completely different.  In doing so people receive a  message.  That message is “your church is not worth being a part of, you are old, out of date, and out of touch with God.”  I don’t think everyone who is part of a house church or some other kind of alternative church intends to send that message.  Regardless that is what some people hear.

I find this frustrating.  I’m part of a nearly 80 year old institution that faithfully served God by discipling and training men and women for ministry.  I believe God raised up this ministry but with changing times comes significant challenges.  What this institution does is no longer as effective as it used to be.  In this newer world older institutions have less sense of who they are and what role they can play.  Unless they find a new place for themselves in a relatively short time frame they will disappear like so many others.  For me this is sad, because this particular institution was easily the most positive for me in the all the years I’ve been a Christian.  Even when I couldn’t care less about the church I still volunteered for my old bible college.  I believe in what they do, and if every established institution decided they were going to abandon their current course and experiment everything would fall apart. 

For the bulk of the work of the church I think established institutions do a better job than anything else right now.  I see the need to experiment but I think the innovators on the fringe are going to fail continually.  It takes more than a blog, a few dozen books and an Emergent conference to completely reinvent church.  More and more I’ve discovered how little I know about ministry, how often I screw up, and how much wisdom I get from people in the “establishment.”  It bothers me that some people on the fringe think they have it figured out when in reality we’ve only begun to get somewhere.  We must keep trying and learning and growing because we often don’t know near as much as we think we do. 

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Working through long standing issues

Working through long standing issues


I usually don’t talk about issues that are close to my heart on this blog.  When I started getting enough traffic to attract people who were looking for things to criticize it became more difficult to open myself up.  I watched as people, often Christian leaders, attacked Jordon and his family mercilessly.  It is sad.

Regardless I do want to write something.  Today I think I might have encountered a major healing milestone in my life, which will likely lead to major changes in the not so distant future.  I think I’m capable of so much more in my interpersonal relationships that I was before.  I’m learning that it is ok to let people in.  It is good that I learn how to put others before myself and reprioritize my life.  This whole process is very very hard for me.  If I’ve learned anything from the past few months it would be the following:

  • Be honest with yourself, even when you are confused
  • Be honest with others, even when you seem confused
  • Trust the wise words from friends who truly know you, ignore the ignorant critics
  • Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling
  • Do not set aside the truth, but have grace and patience for all

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US border remains closed to Canadian beef

US border remains closed to Canadian beef


On the radio I heard US farmers saying the border should be closed to Canadian beef because we didn’t join them in the Iraq war.  I am in stunned amazement at this people.  There were a number of reasons why America invaded Iraq and only one has any credibility.  Iraq didn’t have any links to 9/11.  Iraq was not a clear and imminent threat to the US.  Iraq had no WMD.  Iraq was governed by a tyrant who killed his own people. 

Now if the US wants to travel around the world deposing dictators, that is their option.  I really don’t see the need for Canada to join them in every one of these excursions.  We play a significant role in the globe, and just because we refuse to America’s northern sheriff, that doesn’t mean we aren’t supportive friends.  We are peace keepers and to be able to clean up the mess that other countries leave behind we need a good world reputation.

It really bothers me when Americans say that we are irrelevant because we don’t do everything they want us to do.  It also really bothers me when certain Americans they feel they have the moral right to slap duties on Canadian imports and ban Canadian beef because we didn’t buy in to their BS.  We look at the world differently and based on that we come to different conclusions about things. 

Things would have been very different if the average American realized what the rest of the world knew leading up to the Iraq war.  We knew Iraq had no ties to 9/11.  We knew the evidence for WMD was weak. Our media managed to a little bit more than reprint White House press releases.  Your average American wouldn’t have supported the war in Iraq for the sake of the Iraqi people.  If they really cared about people dying by the thousands their would be more action on Darfur.

But now that America has committed to this war many Americans support it because they rid the world of an evil dictator.  I still think the issue is debatable but this is credible rationale.  However this isn’t the kind of rationale that gives you the moral right to attack those that disagree with you. 

That all being said I think it is stupid that Canada didn’t sign on for missile defence.  Whether we do or not makes no real world difference as to whether missiles will be shot down.  We are already part of NORAD which tracks the missiles.  There is no real reason for not opting in other than “the US is evil.”  All we accomplished is ticking off the Americans again. I think we can be better than that.  At the same time I’d say it isn’t easy to look cozy with a country that has Guantanamo Bay, that continually engages in trade protectionism, and that constantly tries to bully us.

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