Wednesday, December 15

Random

> "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." Richard Holbrooke's final words before entering surgery

Our mid-70's weather in Phoenix is nice -- although we're going to drop a couple of degrees each day this week. Sometimes, though, I miss the mundane winter weather pattern on Guam -- very predictable, day after day, after day, after day.
"College at my own pace – what’s wrong with that?" ~ USA Today

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It took me six years to do a bachelor's degree, four years to do a master's degree, and seven years to complete a doctorate. And I'd do it all the same today -- although I'd definitely do some, if not all, of it online. I'd probably seriously consider doing the BTh degree offered by South African Theological Seminary. Students have so many more options today.

Comparing American attitudes during the Great Depression with those during the Great Recession:
However, the most striking difference between the 1930s and the present day is that, by the standards of today's political parlance, average Americans of the mid-1930s revealed downright "socialistic" tendencies in many of their views about the proper role of government. ~ Pew Resarch
Is leadership "biblical"? David Fitch lists five reasons to say, "no." ~ link

I'm not really ready to jettison the word "leader." The Bible is full of leaders -- some of them pretty good leaders. But biblical leadership will always be seen by the non-believing world as unconventional, at best, or at worst, as insanely indifferent to practical realities. The problem comes when Christian leaders start taking their cues from the conventional leaders -- and practicality, as defined by conventionals, slips into the driver's seat. All wisdom is God's wisdom but not everything which appears wise actually is -- at least in God's scheme of things.

The issue is not whether leadership is a biblical concept -- rather it is a matter of embracing God's paradoxical leadership style.
We lead by following. We influence by relinquishing control. We find ourselves validated in the lowliest of positions rather than the highest. The people in Jesus' world had trouble with his concept of leadership, too.

Oh, and Fitch, in spite of his almost tongue-in-cheek question, totally gets it.

The preschooler who believes in Santa (against her parent's advice) but finds the Christmas story unbelievable, isn't so far off. Which is harder to believe -- that some guy in a red suit, white beard, and sleigh pulled by cute reindeer brings presents to children or that God sent his beloved Son into the world to save the human race from the grip of sin? If we don't believe in sin we don't see the need for a Savior -- especially when it involves squeezing divinity into humanity. And if presents show up under the tree for everyone -- well, that proves the existence of Santa. The simplest answer is always the correct answer, right? ~ link

Make due with less water!
With Lake Mead falling and the drought showing no sign of abating, it's time for the Southwest to start doing more of less: Do more to cut water use instead of simply chasing new supplies for thirsty cities and farms. 
That's the conclusion of several researchers in a special presentation in a national journal on this area's problems and future concerns with water supplies, growth, drought and climate change. ~ AZ Daily Star
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