~ The hottest spot on the Internet this week is the new TSA blog. They're brave -- enabling the comments -- a chance to blow off steam regarding America's third most favorite agency (right after the IRS and USPS). Be kind -- they're mostly doing a great job -- especially when you consider the magnitude of the operation and the haphazard nature of security before 9-11. People just get frustrated by the lack of consistency between airports and the apparent arbitrary manner in which rules are developed. -- Link (via)
~ It's been a good week for dealings with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Yesterday I mentioned that Jens and Karin Schulz have received a work visa so they can return to PIBC from Germany. This morning we got word that our friend from Hong Kong, Daisy Ho, former pastor of the Guam United Methodist Church, and currently serving a church in SoCal, has received her "green card," which will allow her to stay in the US. I think her next step is to apply for citizenship.
~ Also from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, our PIBC colleague from Ecuador, Marisol Farnsworth, received a letter informing her that she is scheduled for her citizenship interview, English test, and US history test on Wednesday, April 9th. I'm confident that she'll do extremely well. -- Link
~ On the downside -- the new rule requiring US and Canadian citizens to produce a passport or a driver's license along with a birth certificate at the border has gone into effect. -- Link
The driver's license has been required for long enough but now they want a birth certificate. The problem is that in the US birth certificates are not uniform. Every county does it in their own way and of all government documents they are the easiest to forge. Criminals have no problem producing forged documents. This rule will only hassle ordinary people and provide an unnecessary obstacle to free movement.
~ Fresh expressions of church in England -- Link
~ Another look at the global lay-led house church movement -- Link
I think the house church movement is great. But it's interesting that this grass-roots lay phenomena seems to have so many theologically trained PhDs and missiologists pushing the train.
~ I can see the sign now as I'm entering Modesto -- "Distinguished Winner of the 2008 Forbes Most Miserable American City Award" -- There are some surprises on the list, which I wouldn't take too seriously unless you're in Stockton (just kidding).
~ An inside look at Mormon missionary training -- Link
~ Online elementary schools proliferating and causing much debate -- Link
~ I like to travel and it looks like February will be a busy month for that. I have two trips scheduled -- one to Chuuk to meet with our faculty down there and one to Honolulu as PIBC continues to discuss our emerging relationship with Hawai'i Theological Seminary, a Hawaiian teaching facility for our undergrad program, and the possibility of establishing a PIBC teaching site in Tonga. It's a good thing that we have a 29th day this February!
~ We had a meeting this afternoon -- six of us on the Guam campus, and Jens in Germany, and Steve Stinnette in New Jersey -- free Skype conference call. At the end of the hour-and-a-half meeting, Jens went to make his Friday morning breakfast and Steve went off to bed for his Thursday night slumber. The rest of us just went back to work in the office for a few minutes or home for our Friday evening supper.