28 February 2011

Looking forward to 2012

Thoughts?


27 February 2011

The Sesame Street Effect (Norah Jones)

(Part 5 of a series...) Weird things happen when you have a kid. Namely, you start feeling fondness and appreciation for people who appear on Sesame Street to help teach your kid. We'll call it the "Sesame Street Effect".

26 February 2011

The Sesame Street Effect (Adam Sandler)

(Part 4 of a series...) Weird things happen when you have a kid. Namely, you start feeling fondness and appreciation for people who appear on Sesame Street to help teach your kid. We'll call it the "Sesame Street Effect".

25 February 2011

The Sesame Street Effect (Tilly and the Wall)

(Part 3 of a series...) Weird things happen when you have a kid. Namely, you start feeling fondness and appreciation for people who appear on Sesame Street to help teach your kid. We'll call it the "Sesame Street Effect".

24 February 2011

The Sesame Street Effect (Feist)

(Part 2 of a series...) Weird things happen when you have a kid. Namely, you start feeling fondness and appreciation for people who appear on Sesame Street to help teach your kid. We'll call it the "Sesame Street Effect".

23 February 2011

The Sesame Street Effect (Katy Perry)

Weird things happen when you have a kid. Namely, you start feeling fondness and appreciation for people who appear on Sesame Street to help teach your kid. We'll call it the "Sesame Street Effect".

For example, Katy Perry doesn't seem to me to be the ideal role model for my little girl. And somehow, despite her bizarre outfit, I find myself nodding along just because Elmo is involved. Weird...

22 February 2011

Two Bicycles and Hopeful Signs

The other day I was sitting in the Brown Coffee cafe, getting some sermon prep done while nursing the city's best cup of coffee. From espresso-steeped silence, there was the sound of chain banging against metal.

"Someone is trying to steal your bike," said the shop owner dryly.

"Good luck," I replied, thinking fondly of the 9lb Kryptonite chain lock choking my bicycle frame.

"I guess it is possible," he considered out loud, "that someone else is chaining their bike up next to yours."

And so it was.

The coffee shop that only seats 8 now had two bicycles chained to the pole. That's a pretty good ratio. Too many more show up and we'd need a bigger cafe. And that would be a very good problem for the Deco District, which is still very much in the starting blocks on the race to revitalization.

We could use a sandwich shop, a bistro, a dry cleaner, a healthy church, a pizza joint, a live music spot, more vertical housing, a bakery, a mixed-use development, an old-school ice house, a streetcar, a BBQ place...really anything other than another tacqueria, convenience store, or payday loan shop.

When you're hopeful for the future and you can envision the day that the neighborhood is again a place for wholesome and holistic living, every little sign of progress is a big deal.

For now, one more bicycle chained to the pole will do.

21 February 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The curtains are not really curtains. They are Mexican blankets cinched at the bottom. The walls are bright yellow, the refrigerated Coca-Cola is most definitely from across the border, and the offerings on the menu range form the mundane (tocino y huevos) to the maniacal (tacos de ojos).

It is La Bandera Molino and it is our version of comfort food.

So, when entering my 4th straight day of feeling like a human snot-factory and virus incubator and my second straight day of single-parenthood (Stef was out of town), I decided that it would be a great idea to go be comforted by Mexican blanket-curtains.

It was indeed a great idea.

The tacos were wonderful, the child was behaved, and the Coke was oh-so-refreshing. For just a few minutes, before I got home to the once-again whining child and pounding ears and head, there was some peace.

So what if the curtains are not really curtains.


19 February 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy)

It is the weekend and you have a few hours to kill. Watch this film. Or just the first few minutes here.

15 February 2011

The People are the Leverage

Somewhere within me lies a protester, a radical, a contrarian. Within me I wonder if I shouldn't have been black in the 50s so as to use this latent aggression towards something meaningful for society.

Protesters fire me up. Passionate people stoke me no matter the cause. I love documentaries of people fighting power, attacking Goliaths, and rising up for the socially marginalized.

All that to say I watched another such film this week, "30 Frames a Second", a great first-hand look at the WTO meetings in Seattle in 1999 from Rustin Thompson.

I have the strangest urge to go buy a gasmask...


14 February 2011

Read This: Triumph of the City

Mind = blown.

Someone has finally articulated all of the things that city-lovers and city-dwellers have felt to be true.


11 February 2011

Red Bowl

video

http://www.gracepoint.org/redbowl

09 February 2011

Of Discipleship


I posed the question to my College gang last Sunday night:

"Who are you discipling?"

Like, if Jesus left us asking us to make disciples (that Great Commission thing), that meant that he really wanted us to make disciples. Like a rabbi did. Training people in the Way.

So why don't we do that? And why, when it actually happens, is it so haphazard?

Jesus walked up to dudes and just straight asked them. "Hey, follow me?"

Do we lack the confidence that we'll actually be leading people in the right direction? Or are we so proud as to think that we don't have to ask...that people will just flock to us? And when did relational, rabbinical instruction get morphed into large-scale teaching via microphone and video projector?

If I picked three guys that I felt like I needed to lead, do you think they would agree to follow me? To challenge me and learn with and from me? Would I stick with them when they flake out or buck up? Would I spend years with them, know them for who they really are, and love them for who they're not?

And then what would I even do with them? Book study? Weekly meals? Rabbi Jesus spent 24/7 with his posse. I would get a couple hours a week? And a few reTweets from Twitter?

We've lost discipleship.

And yet I challenge my college students to lead, to teach, to disciple...

...without having hard evidence in my own life of true rabbinical discipleship.

I guess we march on, figuring it out together. What does discipleship look like in 2011 America?

07 February 2011

Kindle-ings: Evangelism as Radical

"Kindle-ings" is a title given to posts that come from my reading. I will post excerpts here that provoke thought, require reflection, or simply amuse. From my Kindle to you, I hope they kindle something worthy of our time.

"Evangelism is the most basic and radical ministry possible to a human being. This is true not because the spiritual is more important than the physical, but because the eternal is more important than the temporal."

From Generous Justice by Timothy Keller

03 February 2011

Beautiful Things

Sometimes you just have to share Truth.

01 February 2011

Faster Than a Speeding Yaris


I mentioned my Saturday neighborhood bicycle adventure in this space yesterday. What I didn't mention is just how much fun it is to be faster than cars.

What?!?

Well, the distance from Jefferson High School to Chris Madrids Hamburgers is about 2 1/2 miles. I rode my hipster, single speed bike and Stef drove our (hipster, single speed) Toyota Yaris. And I beat her there. I puffed up a bit, seeing as how I would probably join the Tour de France after this incredible display of cycling prowess, but I left it at that.

Besides, I was pretty sure that she just couldn't get Bella buckled in the car seat or something and that gave me the victory.

Then, something magical happened after lunch.

I beat her home. I beat her home, locked my bike up in the shed, and came out to greet her as she pulled up.

Boom. Truth bomb. So, in theory, it would be faster for the people in the picture above to hook the Yaris to the back of the bicycle and let it do the pulling.

Well, maybe that is taking it a bit too far, but...

...I'll see about looking into that Tour de France thing after all.