Tuesday, December 21


> Just in time for Christmas -- a new mistletoe, recently discovered in northern Mozambique -- Helixanthera schizocalyx ~ link

Ted Haggard update -- things are looking healthier. ~ link

Restraint should never be interpreted as a sign of weakness -- to the contrary. ~ link

Ichabod moment? If Crystal Cathedral's 'Glory of Christmas' doesn't show, does that mean Christmas is less glorious? ~ link

Google Wave lives on! ~ link

It wasn't overly hard to get the OverDrive software set-up right. I'm now using my Droid to read my first ever public library e-book. If I can do it...

Google has extended the free Google Voice phone calls promotion through at least the end of 2011. ~ link

That's it. I'm giving up water. It's just too dangerous. ~ link

Reading between the lines, it appears that everyone's favorite Malaysian Lutheran, Sivin Kit, is packing up to move to Norway for PhD studies. We definitely need more scholars from his part of the world. And we definitely need more guys like him helping us think through critical issues. But Sivin, Norway is cold and they have this white stuff that comes from the sky called snø. I'm not sure which will be harder -- the transition from parish ministry to academics or that from the tropics to the near-arctic. And, in Norway the amount of daylight varies throughout the year. You're hopping onto an emotional roller-coaster. Oh, the sacrifice!

"...we've actually bent the curve..." -- Roland Hwang, transportation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "After seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth, US gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline. By 2030, Americans will burn at least 20% less gasoline than today, experts say, even as millions of more cars clog the roads." ~ AP

"The Tea Party movement is successful because it taps into the deep American suspicion that all federal government apart from defence spending, is a kind of bureaucratic boondoggle, dreamed up by larcenous conspiracists in Washington to allow them to line their pockets by picking ours." ~ The BBC's Kevin Connolly's guide to American culture

I'd define the Tea Party Movement as the apex of American cynicism.

I'd like a Big Chili Rice bowl, please. A Wendy's restaurant damaged and shut-down by Typhoon Pongsona in 2002 has reopened at the corner of the Agana Shopping Center after an 8-year hiatus. This is the third Wendy's on Guam. ~ PDN

Xuefen Mei, our first MasterPiece Church intern, left for Guam yesterday morning and should be there by the time you are reading this. Mei has one more semester before graduating from Pacific Islands University with a BA in biblical studies. She did a great job and we'll miss her. I'm hoping some more students will want to do a cross-cultural internship with us.

Yesterday was the busiest postal day of the year and the line at the dinky, two-window Laveen post office was out to the door when I was there. But the staff was super efficient and full of smiles. I've been impressed with those people. They do a great job working in less than optimum conditions. The community should get together and build them a new building.


Sivin Kit said...

Thanks for the advice :-) Indeed it's a great sacrifice!! hahahah ..

God is gracious and it's a good chance to detach a bit and pay attention to some areas which has been floating in my mind.

I will start my Phd in February 2011 under "Religion, Ethics, and Society" . It's a interdisciplinary research combining theology and sociology hopefully as grounded as possible in a given context, e.g. Malaysia, which I believe will have wider global implications. More info as time progresses!

Charlie said...

Interesting comment about the Tea Party. Instead of cynicism, I would say the party is driven by realism. The founders believed in limited government because they recognized that all human institutions are broken by sin, and their propensity for corruption and inefficiency increases in proportion to their size. Progressivism thinks that view quaint and sees no reason to limit the reach or the appetite of government. So we are either to become a federalized nation with very limited individual liberty and centralized authority trumping local authority, or a nation where power is decentralized. The Tea Party simply prefers the latter to the former.

Brad Boydston said...

We have lived with the tension between federalism and centralized government from day 1. I would argue that the tension itself is what makes America a grand experiment. However, when I say that the Tea Party is the apex of American cynicism I am not talking so much about politics but the cultural shift that has occurred. While federalist thinking is a component, the movement is fueled by a cynical rage which has come to characterize how we treat each other (and those who are different or think differently). I am making more of a statement about culture and attitude than the validity of the political perspective.