Sorrow into Joy

December 28, 2010

From John 16:21,

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

This is a good reminder for those of us who are having kids.

A Nation of Wusses

December 28, 2010

“My biggest beef is that this is part of what’s happened in this country,” Rendell said. “I think we’ve become wussies.”

“We’ve become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything,” Rendell added. “If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down.”

This statement came after the NFL decided to postpone the Eagles home game due to some snow.

Televangelists Are Evil

December 24, 2010

Televangelist Pat Robertson stirred the pot by condemning the harsh penalties imposed on young people for marijuana possession – comments that delighted supporters of legalizing pot and surprised followers accustomed to his conservative views.

“We’re locking up people that take a couple of puffs of marijuana, and the next thing you know they’ve got 10 years,” Robertson told his “700 Club” audience last week. “I’m not exactly for the use of drugs – don’t get me wrong – but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot and that kind of thing, I mean, it’s just costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people.”

Christmas

December 22, 2010

C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) are two of the most influential Christian thinkers of the last quarter millennium. But what did they think about Christmas? The truth may surprise you.

After reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, one might expect C.S. Lewis to be a big fan of Christmas. After all, when Narnia was under the curse of the evil white witch, it was described as land where it was “always winter, but never Christmas.” But such an expectation might not be completely warranted. It seems C.S. Lewis was not very pleased with the way many who bear Christ’s name celebrate Christ’s birth:

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is?highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers.
– From “What Christmas Means to Me” in God in the Dock

On the other hand, one might expect that Dietrich Bonhoeffer, particularly later in his life, had little to rejoice about on Christmas. He was living under the authority of one of the most evil, unjust, racist regimes since the beginning of time. How was any German citizen to interpret the “good tidings of great joy” which had supposedly arrived with the birth of Christ? Yet, Bonhoeffer saw Christmas in the opposite light: not a confusing contradiction in a word of evil but encouragement for those living under oppression. He wrote,

For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged.
– From God Is In the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

Sequels

December 20, 2010

On the same weekend as Tron’s ’82 sequel premiered, Tron: Legacy, and took number one at the box office, another sequel came about on the frozen tundra of the New Meadowlands. The Eagles of the Illadel came back from a score of 24-3, to defeat the Giants 38-31 in regulation, with a game-winning punt return, with no time on clock.

This sequel will be remembered as the ‘Miracle: at the New Meadowlands’.

“So they will tell ghost stories about this in the next stadium built in the Jersey marshes, just like the old timers still talk about Joe Pisarcik’s fumble in the old place, and how Herm Edwards’ clean scoop for a touchdown reminded everyone that no matter how hopeless a situation appears, you play to win the game.”

Proud

December 16, 2010

This is why I’m proud to be a Phillies fan:

“I don’t know what the fans do to create that much more volume and excitement in the stadium, but it’s definitely something extra [in Philadelphia]. They’re passionate fans. They understand what’s going on. They don’t need a teleprompter to tell them to get up and cheer. ” — Cliff Lee

Read (something good)

December 11, 2010

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

-Mark Twain

A Screwed Up World

December 7, 2010

We live in such a screwed up world.

Take a gander:

If Haynesworth were to fulfill his deal, he would make $14.29 million per year, which is $893,125 per game in a regular 16-game season.

On average, Haynesworth played 25.5 snaps in each of the eight games he played this year, according to Ryan O’Halloran of CSNwashington.com. Considering the average NFL play lasts roughly 5.5 seconds, Haynesworth played for 140.25 seconds each game.

Using those numbers, the disgruntled D-lineman’s 2010 stats break down like this:

For each snap he was on the field, Big Al earned $35,024.51.
Haynesworth made $6,368.09 per second he played in each game.
During the infamous six seconds in which Haynesworth took a nap while Michael Vick found a receiver in the end zone against the Eagles, the Redskins paid him $38,208.54.
And finally, if you were receiving Haynesworth’s rates to spend the average user’s 14 minutes on our website, you’d be receiving $5,349,195.60 … with guarantees!
Just to refresh your memory:

Fb

December 7, 2010

How does fb affect your life?

Part 1: Who’s using Facebook, and how often?

Facebook has more than 500 million members who communicate in 70 languages. If the social network was a country, it would be the third largest behind China and India.

But Facebook usage among members varies widely. Some people sign up and then rarely use it. Others, including a senior citizen interviewed by WTOP, check it every single day — multiple times a day.

Part 2: How do you use Facebook?

Statistics show one out of every two Americans uses Facebook, but different people use it for different things. For some young people, it’s become the main way they communicate with friends. Others use it to talk to far away family members, stay in touch with the news and play games like Farmville.

Part 3: Teens and 20-somethings

You have to be at least 13 to use Facebook, but quite a few kids are lying about their age to become members. A recent study found 37 percent of 10-to-12-year-olds are on Facebook. One teenager we talked to admits using Facebook has affected his grades. A college student who uses it says she gets frustrated trying to explain to her Mom what the social network is.

Part 4: Senior citizens

If you look at the ages of people joining Facebook today, CBS News Technology Analyst Larry Magid says the fastest growing demographic is people age 50 and older. A 69-year-old woman WTOP talked to uses Facebook daily, and more than one teen we interviewed says they’ve either taught a grandparent how to use Facebook, or they’ve been friended by Grandma or Grandpa.

Part 5: Misunderstandings and marriage

Facebook says it helps you connect and share with the people in your life, but it can also lead to misunderstanding and busted marriages. Several users we talked to complained it was hard to express humor or sarcasm on Facebook. Facebook also makes it easier than ever to find and reconnect with old flames.

Part 6: How rude!

Are you the one checking Facebook on your smartphone during a family dinner or a business meeting? Quite a few people will tell you it’s rude. One teen we talked to who’s been lectured about this by his parents once caught his mother checking her phone at a restaurant.

Part 7: Facebook at work

It’s not a good idea to become Facebook friends with your boss or coworkers, says Bethesda-based etiquette expert Cynthia Lett. She suggests you defriend them and reconnect with them elsewhere – perhaps on a site like LinkedIn. Also not recommended: writing negative things on Facebook about your company or someone at the office.

Part 8: Kids, parents and Facebook

Many parents don’t know Facebook has some good privacy protections for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. CBS News Technology Analyst Larry Magid says for kids that age, even if their privacy settings are set for maximum exposure, that means their profile is only viewable by friends, friends of friends and networks – not the entire Internet.

Part 9: Privacy

Lots of people are concerned about privacy on Facebook, but many people on the social network aren’t using its privacy features. If you need help managing your privacy, Facebook has a Safety Center. You can reach it from your page by clicking “Account” in the top right corner, choosing “Help Center” from the drop-down menu, then choosing “Safety” from the menu on the left.

Part 10: Safety tips

Even if you max out Facebook’s privacy settings, you can still get into trouble on the site by posting the wrong things and friending people you don’t really know. One teen we talked to got a friend request from a stranger who claimed to be a new student at her school. Another person has friends who were robbed after they revealed on Facebook that they were away from home.

Part 11: Bullying

Physical fights can often begin on Facebook. Students tell us they’ve seen lots of nasty comments posted on walls, and sometimes students get suspended for things written on Facebook. Dr. Patricia Dalton, a clinical psychologist in D.C., talks about another form of cyberbullying: posting photos of groups to show who’s part of the group and who’s not.

Part 12: Protecting your reputation

Incriminating photos are all over Facebook, and they could hurt you if you’re trying to get into a college or land a job in the future. Photos of young people holding plastic party cups, which could very well contain alcohol, are especially problematic. One teen tells us he’s heard of people having acceptance letters from colleges revoked because of what the school found out about the applicant on Facebook.

Part 13: Facebook addiction

Several people we interviewed told us they think they’re addicted to Facebook. Is that even possible? A clinical psychologist says it is. But how do you know if you have a problem? You might if your Facebook use is affecting your other obligations in life, like keeping up with homework and family. A new piece of software called “Anti-Social” will block your computer’s access to social networking sites.

Part 14: More tips for parents

CBS News Technology Analyst Larry Magid says it’s a good idea to be your child’s friend on Facebook, and there are subscription services that will monitor your child for you if you choose not to join Facebook. But Magid thinks it’s important you tell your child if you are monitoring him or her on Facebook, so there is no breach of trust. Another tip for parents: Don’t post on your kid’s Facebook wall.

Part 15: Facebook vacations and quitters

Some people have no interest in ever joining Facebook. Others have joined and quit. A 25-year-old man we talked to who dropped Facebook says he found out who his real friends are, and he feels more relaxed since he gave it up. Some people also take vacations from Facebook. They stop using it for a while, and then return.

Part 16: Is Facebook making us antisocial?

Many young people we interviewed say they prefer Facebook and texting to phone calls and even face-to-face contact. A 19-year-old says social media is making people socially awkward. Experts say some young people today lack basic social skills like the ability to make small talk or read a person’s body language.

Part 17: Facebook no-nos

Do you have a lot of Facebook friends? You might want to look through them and make sure you know exactly who they are. We’re hearing from people who were burned because they forgot whom they friended, or in some cases, their so-called friends took advantage of them. One example: Someone who talked about their vacation on Facebook, and returned to find their home robbed.

Part 18: Facebook can be good

Most people know using Facebook is a great way to meet people. But did you also know it can save lives? Because of the nature of Facebook, it’s often the way friends find out that another friend is hurting, and suicides can be prevented. A local teacher we talked to was approached on Facebook by a student who was concerned about the well-being of another. Because of this, the teacher was able to intervene and get the young person needed help.

Part 19: Defriending

One college student we interviewed has 1,500 friends, but doesn’t know most of them. Because of that, she’s now defriending, and she’s not the only one. TV’s Jimmy Kimmel recently declared “National UnFriend Day.”

Part 20: The future of Facebook

Facebook is always changing and adding new features. It recently added a location-based feature called “Places,” and it’s in the process of rolling out a new messaging service. And while many people hope Facebook continues to be popular, one teenager tells us she hopes it’s just a passing trend.

-taken from wtop

A Good Reminder

December 3, 2010

This is a good reminder for those of us who are in the world everyday being blast by so many sinful thoughts and words. And to be growing in the Word.

17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.