Wednesday, January 9


~ After a four hour plane trip we're back home at 13 degrees north of the Equator -- and we're technically back to winter -- although it always feels like summer on Guam. There was a significant welcoming party at the airport this morning. Of course, they weren't all there for us. Hiob was arriving from Palau and the PIBC mission team to Yap was arriving, too -- all at about the same time. Laura drove us home and we were in bed before 7 am -- then Clyde, the neighborhood rooster, stationed himself just outside our window and began to welcome us, as well. We're definitely back on Guam.

~ Another welcome home gift -- while we were gone the price of gas jumped up 8 cents on Guam -- now at $3.82/gallon. It's still cheaper than what petrol costs in Australia -- where it is about $4.65 (USD)/gallon. -- Link

~ John Cassidy is predicting a 50+% drop in oil prices. -- Link

I'm skeptical that it will drop that much in the US. The oil companies are going to want to maximize profits. Furthermore, state and local governments benefit from higher taxes on petroleum sales -- so they're not going to pressure the system in anyway to drop prices significantly.

~ I had trouble getting accessible (i.e. cheap and readily available) Internet while we were in Cairns -- but in a final redeeming moment I discovered that the Cairns airport has free Wi-Fi in the International terminal.

~ Returning to Guam means that we're back in the land of endless soft drink refills at restaurants. In Cairns the only place in the food court which provided customer access to the fountain was Subway -- and we didn't eat there (we get that at home). Everywhere we went soda was as outrageously priced as gasoline.

~ Cities that read -- Minneapolis, Seattle, St Paul, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Washington, DC -- Link

~ Review of Kurt Fredrickson's doctoral thesis which explores how Bonhoeffer's "missio-ecclesiology" paves the way for engaging "multicultural postmodern North America" -- Link

~ Notre Dame has started a PhD program in peace studies -- Link

~ Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity continues to grow in number in the US, says pollster George Barna -- 36% of all Americans embrace the designation -- including 36% of all Roman Catholics. A quarter of all American Protestant churches fall into the category. -- Link

~ The rift in Habitat for Humanity continues -- Link

~ The conversation continues -- Howard Snyder reviews Becky Garrison's new book Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church, which "explores the interface between the emerging church and traditional, liturgical churches." -- Link to CT review / Excerpt from the book

~ Publishers Weekly has 15 publishing trends to watch in 2008 -- Link

~ The cost of living on Guam is up -- up -- up. In the last year: meat +19.7%, gasoline +25%, rent +14%, home purchase +4%, power +14%... -- Link

Are others of you experiencing such drastic increases where you live, too?

~ Dave is in Hawaii, working on a deal that would expand PIBC's presence into Fiji, Tonga, and Hawaii. -- Link

~ Harvard ($35 billion in endowments) and Yale ($22.5 billion endowment) are under pressure to spend more of their endowment income on research and to lower student costs -- instead of increasing tuition. They're trying to ward off congressional action. -- Link

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