September 27, 2005, 11:31 am
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I just got off the phone with my dad. He got back to San Diego yesterday afternoon, after being just outside of New Orleans for the past two weeks. He was with a Baptist relief team, running a kitchen that fed up to 10,000 people per day. During some of the rare down time, he and a couple other workers drove a Red Cross van into the city – around the Superdome vicinity, and then into another neighborhood. He said that all of the pictures we’ve seen in the media do very little to show the extent of damage there. They went to a church, which had a big circus tent in their parking lot, set up as a food distribution center. The water had washed all kinds of debris in. The ground was covered with mud and littered with dead fish that had come in with the water, but got caught when it went away. Eerie stuff.


September 26, 2005, 9:10 am
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Busy week. I know that for that for the majority of the nation this seems really late, but school finally starts this week at UW. So finally, after a couple months worth of build-up, we’re kicking off our ministry stuff. That’s exciting. I’ve been really looking forward to hanging with the students and getting to know them. I think I’ve had my fill of the strictly administrative aspects of the job, and I’m eager to gain some balance through relationship building.

I’ve been reading less than I’d like lately, but enough to keep me thinking. I’d like to crash through about three books by the end of next week. We’ll see how that goes.

Random thought – now that podcasting has become so widespread, I might actually be interested in getting an mp3 player. Though I’ve been a music geek for a long long time, the attraction to being able to walk around with 246,000 songs on an iPod has been lost on me. But the ability to put U2, Foo Fighters, NT Wright, Green Day, NPR, and Switchfoot in shuffle mode actually does appeal to me.

September 23, 2005, 7:13 am
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Someone found a way of combining Google Maps technology with weather tracking technology, and produced this Hurricane Rita tracking tool. Interesting stuff.

I found this link via BoingBoing

September 22, 2005, 6:15 am
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I’m thinking of adding a subtitle to the blog . . . “Spirit Farmer: Morally rebellious since 1996.” And lest I get lonely in my moral rebellion, at least I know I’ve got a life partner to join me. That’s right Michelle, you too are living in sin . . . with your husband.

More proof that I’m not a good Southern Baptist:

The church must help this society regain its sanity on the gift of children. Willful barrenness and chosen childlessness must be named as moral rebellion.

This is from an article by the president of one of my denomination’s seminaries, who is also a blogger.

In the category of not having anything nice to say, and therefore not saying anything at all, I’ll refrain.

O.k., no I won’t. That quote – which, by the way, is very representative of the full article from which it was lifted – is an example of the modern Pharisaism that boils my blood. Maybe I’m just feeling the conviction of moral rebellion, but childlessness is now on the list of societal evils? Look, Michelle and I have been married (need I state that we are a male and female, and both committed to our monogomous heterosexuality and staying married as long as we both shall live?) for nearly nine years now, and the issue of whether or not to have children has always been there for us. We do not hate children. We just haven’t had any for ourselves. We do not reject scriptural references that call children a blessing. We just haven’t had any. In my premarital counseling I do not encourage couples to not have children. I just don’t have children myself.

And for the record, my availability to doing Christian vocational ministry has been directly related to not having children. Michelle and I have always been of the opinion that if children enter our life, it would be a very high priority to have her be a full time mom. Michelle has almost always outearned me – partly because I’ve taken ministry positions at pretty low wages (especially considering my education, etc.). We would survive on my paycheck alone . . . but just barely.

My availability to minister – especially to other people’s children – is due in large part to the fact that I don’t have children. I haven’t had to neglect my own children to stay out late at night at meetings, youth group lock-ins, 70 hour work weeks, etc. And now that I mention it, I know plenty of full time pastors who are apparently more morally sound than I (based on the number of children they have), and who have completely ripped their own children off for the sake of their ministries. I kind of always assumed that having children was only one part of the equation, and that actually spending time with them as parents was also important.

I’m way out of time to be writing this, but seeing this article got under my skin in a big way. I haven’t even gotten to the list of supposedly godly people in the Bible who did not have children. Maybe I’ll work on that for later. For now, I have to go to work (ministry stuff) and attempt to earn back God’s favor.

September 19, 2005, 5:27 am
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So I attended my first ever blogger meetup yesterday. Now, I’ve been to a ton of events at which bloggers were present, but yesterday’s common thread among us was blogging. Rudy Carasco is in the neighborhood for some meetings, and he initiated it. Also there were local bloggers, Justin Baeder and Aaron Ogle (his wife joined us too), who blog over at Radical Congruency, and Ambra Nykol. It was the closest thing to internet dating I’ve experienced. Good stuff, though.

September 16, 2005, 12:46 pm
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Charlie Wear of Next-Wave has posted this article from Jim Henderson, the director of Off The Map. It mentions our good friend, Jason, and what he’s doing to respond to the ugliness that Hurricane Katrina has exposed in our nation.

Jim’s article is harsh. I read it, and I squirmed. I wanted to say out loud, “No, no, no, this isn’t true.” Sadly, I know that the truth of it is screaming at a deafening level right now.

September 14, 2005, 8:54 am
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What an interesting week it’s been for President Bush. As we began this week, Mike Brown resigned his post at FEMA – not likely a post he should have ever had in the first place. Egg on the face of Bush. But then there’s his nominee to the Supreme Court, John Roberts. I’ve heard part of his confirmation hearings over the past few days, and whether you like his positions on the law or not, it’s clear that he is very well qualified for the job.

How can Bush have been responsible for both of these appointments – one so incompetent, and one so stellar?