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For a Good Future

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We all have a part to play in the creation of a good world, a fair and just society - all for the emerging generations that are coming after us.  To be selfish, to be self-centered, to be arrogant in our assumptions that all revolves around "me" or "us" or "our generation" or for only "our people" or even for "our specific time in history" is ridiculous. It is self-deceptive and in the end self-defeating - as individuals, as a culture, as a people.

There is much to indicate that things are bad and getting worse.  If we learn from history and receive the wisdom of tradition, we know that this has always been the case.  What makes a one people different from another is, perhaps, that one dwells on the "bad and getting worse" and one dwells on "what can be." Another difference might be this - if a people reside within a collective hubris or whether within a collective humility.

While I do not believe the locus of "salvation" rests with human endeavor, I do believe that the way humanity works and believes and behaves will certainly lead to either a good or a terrible end.  Such potential in the faces of our young people, but we as adults have an obligation and a call to make sure that the potential is realized not for ourselves or for the here-and-now, but for a good future!

The Future is Ours from Michael Marantz on Vimeo.

Finding love...

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Code/Space, Story Telling, and Artificial Intelligence - we all just want to find love. :-)

A presentation by James Bridle at a recent Lift conference entitled, "WE FELL IN LOVE IN A CODED SPACE"

From an airport check-in space (just a warehouse with angry passengers if the software fails) to the fact that most of our culture and literature now abide/live in "coded spaces."

After giving a "canonical" example of an airport check-in space being turned into "warehouse of angry people if the software fails," James Bridle goes on to say:

I want to push the metaphor... I suggest that most of our cultures lives now and particularly our literatures are lived in code spaces.

We live in a world where we increasingly outsource our memories and experiences to the network; which is fine and good but it has these intensive consequence for us. Our time is spent in negotiation with the network in order to understand these memories and experiences that we have. Our experiences are co-created with these repositories of memory experiences and so on online and on.

Fun.: Some Nights

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Good song from Fun., I do think.


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Another Spoken Word video poem from Jeff Bethke:

I really like the line, "...if our dollars were honest they would say, 'in pleasure we trust.'"

Yes, it is true, this is what many a New Yorker says.  I have to admit, I say these too many of these very things and too often!  This is one of the best "Sh*t [people] Say" videos!

I think this is rather humorous!  Not that I'm taking sides, mind you, although I certainly do have an opinion.  So, give a look, and realize what most of the world must think of us as average citizens in what is supposed to be the "greatest country on earth."

For some reason, Yahoo! doesn't allow this video to be embedded.

Migration by Chance

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Here is a stunning video of migration - a group of Starlings.  As the videographer wrote, "A chance encounter and shared moment with one of natures greatest and most fleeting phenomena. "

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

This song is beautiful and marvelously tells the story so many of us have experienced and too often hidden in our hears.  The announcer does a wonderful job introducing Adele.  The song, she, certainly does bring up memories and heartaches. This is a true performer and artist - she is able to bring the lyrics to life.

Go Beyond The Cover

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Judging a book by its cover... What is real and what is not?  This is a commercial, but "Zombie Boy" or "Rico the Zombie" or Rick Genest is absolutely real.

I find something very compelling about this guy.

There is something about this song!  Truly, "we will never be the same!"  One encounter... one taste... nothing is ever the same again.

James Vincent McMorrow

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I'm sure plenty of people have already heard of and either like to dislike (or perhaps are ambivalent toward) James Vincent McMorrow, but I just discovered him and think he is just great.  Take a listen to this song - along with the video.

A Year in New York

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RIP Steve Jobs

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I've been a Mac aficionado since the early days.  I used an Apple II when I was in college.  Then, my roommate Nick, who in 1984 worked for an educational entity that enabled him to buy the very first Macintosh at educational pricing, brought one home.  We were all amazed.  The product lived up to the commercial hype.

Harkening back a little further, to, say, the 1960's and the computer of the visionary film "2001."

I was in charge of technology support for Undergraduate Studies at Kent State at the change into a new millennium.  I was the Y2K guy.  And, well yes, I do like my Macintosh best.

Steve Jobs, who was not perfect by any means, not a prophet and all that, was a visionary.  He was capable to understanding what was needed and how to do it.  I do think he will be remembered as one of the greats!  Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

Absolutely beautiful setting for Evensong!

Stop the hating...

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This is a great little video by Gungor.... has a should very similar to Sufjan.  Hum.

glee DDAO

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Nice little video, along with great lyrics and music, from M. Ward.

There is nothing new under the sun - we all share, to one degree or another, the desire to know - why!  A broken heart, a long night, and how do we stay in the light?  Good questions all - questions the beg for an interior life that is so hard to find in our day. Quit, stillness, calm - the attitudes for and the results of being present with God.

Get Ready

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Great song by "Fatty Gets A Stylist"

At the end of the video, the uniforms worn by the marching band are the same as the uniforms we wore in high school marching band.

Here is another one! I am just amazed at what some people have to endure, and yet come to such places.  Then there are others, who seem to suffer little, yet come to nothing. What enables some to do such as this young guy and others to come to nothing or realize not a hint of their potential?

You go girl(s)

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Stereo Mike

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I came across this '90's song and video.  I like it! It is one of those songs that gets into my mind - it has that hook effect.  I love the voice of the black woman singing (don't know her name).

The old electronics - cutting edge back then - could fetch a bit of money these days for the nostalgia effect.  Too bad their drinking in LA got a little over done and led to the smashing of that bitchin' Mac laptop (before the OS went all Unix) they were using to make their cool groves.  The song is from "Bran Van 3000," a group out of Montreal (I think).  By the way, they have a new album that came out in 2010.

Official website:


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Increasingly, this is our reality...

via: Nick

Oh, the technology

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How's this for an experience of "special music" in a church service?  I love that there is a zeal and freedom to use the technology in creative ways.  This from North Point Community Church's "iBand." 

Too Much

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A new video for the song "Too Much"  from Sufjan Steven's "The Age of Adz"
Here is an article from the New York Times by Marci Alborher entitled, "Blurring by Choice and Passion," in the "Small Business" section on job shifting.  She begins by writing about growing up and the blurring that seemed to take place between the life and work of her parents, who owned a string of shore-side motels along the Jersey shore.

She then writes about her shift in careers from being a lawyer (as a protest against her parents' blurred lifestyle) to being a journalist, and finds that she has returned to the "blended" or "blurred" work/life lifestyle.  As she writes, as a blurring or blending takes place, it has a lot to do with how much you enjoy your work - seems obvious.

She writes:

"But somehow, I have found my way back to a life with few boundaries. And I rarely complain about it. Whether you see yourself as a workaholic or as someone who merely blurs the line between work and play has lot to do with whether you like your work... Could it be that blurring and blending are the new work/life balance? ...In addition to entrepreneurs like my parents, blurring is rampant among those who fashion a career out of a passion..."

Yet, I wonder how an effect balance is reached and kept that mitigates against burnout or obsession?  It can be hard to keep oneself balanced, at least that is what I find in my own life.

Yes, my work and life are just about completely blurred and blended.  Perhaps that is the nature of being a priest, where the passion for God's people and Kingdom is blatant.  I find recognizing (really recognizing, not just knowing about) that place of healthy work/life balance and staying there is really tough. That became painfully clear during my self-evaluations during my recent CREDO experience.

I just finished watching a video from 60-Minutes on the Millennial generation and their life/work habits and attitudes, entitled, "The Millennials Are Coming." From this video piece, it could be argued that the whole generation (in the aggregate, of course) has developed a work/life blurring/blending lifestyle.  I wonder what the percentage might be among the whole population of those who are actually able to do this sort of thing?  Consider, also, that this video what shot before the economic downturn.  I wonder what might be said, now?  Extended adolescents and moving back home with the parents may only be compounded.

But, I want to pick up on this idea of life/work blurring and blending.  I'm wondering how this might transfer over to our efforts in finding new ways of translating the enduring Faith to emerging generations and the emerging culture.  The concept of blurring life and faith - one's everyday life experiences with the reality of one's faith/religious life - might be something to consider and expand. If this kind of concept caught on, there might be fewer attempts to compartmentalize one's life, thus alienating huge parts of one's life - actions, thoughts, and beliefs - from what goes on any given "Sunday morning." The reality of the Life in Christ, the ability to live out as fully as possible Christ with us, should reflect a complete blending and blurring of life/faith.

If the trend of life-work blurring and blending is the new norm, will it be easier to convey the life-faith blurring and blending that really is a better understanding of the Christian life?  After all, such passion certainly is a descriptive of those whose lives reflect the image of God in profound ways.  To be the imago Dei, how could there not be a blurring and blending of life, work, faith, play, relationships, and all else that we encounter?

The CBS, 60-Minutes video from 2007:

On Social Media!

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On Social Media. This is the reality, where are we as the Church in the mix? Do we understand (I mean honesty, really understand) the fundamental shift that is happening and the right and good role the Church can play in both the digital and tactile worlds? For the Cure of Souls? For peace? For an alternative?  How can we be the imago Dei among all of this?

Alright, here is "Coming Up Close."  IMHO, one of the best songs ever written.

'Till Tuesday

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I loved 'Till Tuesday - the name, the music, the look, the album covers.  I've followed Aimee Mann long after the band broke up - have all her albums.  She has been referred to as the "last of the tortured artists" and an "artist's artist".  I remember in the mid-1980's sitting in the studio working on my graphic design projects listening to this album.  "Coming Up Close" is easily the best song!  New Wave, female vocalists with low voices... I had a platonic crush on Aimee Mann.


Well, she really needs to have a guitar in her hands in this video - not so good at free dancing.  This was when MTV had "VJ's" and actually played videos - all day!  Then, of course, there was the keyboardist.

In the "Inventive Age"

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Here is the quote:

"I think there is something much bigger going on than finding a niche market and asking how should we position this product of the gospel so that those people will appreciate it, and will like it, and will accept it. We're really asking a deeper question about who we are in a changing cultural environment when it comes to the way think, the values we hold, the tools that we use, and the aesthetics that are meaningful to us." -Doug Pragitt (describing the concepts behind his new book, "Church in the Inventive Age")   Pagitt is the pastor of Salomon's Porch Church.

This is the melee in which I desire to be and where the Imago Dei Society has a real place within the greater arena of Anglicanism. Well, actually, this whole way of considering and thinking has had a place within Anglicanism, but to understand how we continue to do this thing called Anglicanism (this Christianity) in emerging cultures and with emerging generations are the questions we need to continually ask!

I came across one of the ministries that has as its purpose (or its obsession) the condemning of the "Emergent" side of the Church as being heretical. I don't know whether it is simply their inability to understand enculturation and that we are all raised within a cultural system that forms us in the ways we collectively think, the way we understand the world around us and our place it in, what we consider to be aesthetically pleasing or appropriate, and even what we consider to be moral and ethical.  I don't know whether they are simply ignorant of disciplines like anthropology, sociology, etc., or what is really going on within them.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the divine Logos do not change, but we certainly do, our cultures certainly do, and what we consider to be self-evident truth certainly does.  So, groups like this, I suppose, either honestly not to understand, are being willfully ignorant (and as a former teacher, this is an astounding tragedy), or are intransigent in their beliefs - fundamentalists, in other words. 

What is this particular ministry, you might ask?  Apprising Ministries.  I don't know anything about this, really, and perhaps much of what they do is really good, but with regard to Emergent stuff, they have a thorn in their craw!  So, make up your own mind. 

Derek Webb

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"What Matters More" by Derek Webb... considering the controversy surrounding Jennifer Knapp and her coming out.  I understand why some consider this song "controversial," but again it simply comes out of the camp that gives no quarter to anyone who disagrees with them on their interpretation of Scripture, God's will, and homosexuality.  Good song, me thinks.

Julian Plenti

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I heard this song on the new "Stargate Universe" episode that premier on May 7th.  It is entitled, "Only If You Run" by Julian Plenti - yet another singer/songwriter with connections to Brooklyn (where else?).  This song is on his premier album, Skyscraper.

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I've been thinking over and through aspects of "contemporary" Evangelical worship practices.  This past Sunday, I was home in Ohio for Mother's Day (I surprised my Mom - and she was!) and attended the church my sister and her family attend.  It is a growing Church of God (Anderson, IN) with a new building and all the "spiritually correct" stuff that is supposed to draw large crowds.  It was a fine enough service.  The band was very good.  The worship leader was a young guy and I could tell that he really enjoyed what he was doing - his personality was infectious.  As I watched the crowd, they were actually singing.  In many of these kinds of worship services, I've noticed that a large majority of the people simply stand and watch the band rather than interring into the worship experience, so I was glad to see that there was more going on than just a "spiritual concert."  The preacher gave a good sermon.  Babies were dedicated - it was Mother's Day after all.

North Point Ministries is a very large mega-church.  They've done a parody video of themselves, as I understand it, and it captures the new wave of doing church that is supposed to be the "relevant" and "contemporary" thing to do. This too, shall pass.  Not that there is anything wrong with it if it is done well and within context, but if, as is happening, everyone jumps on yet another bandwagon that is supposed to save the church in America, then it once again becomes inauthentic and just another passing fad, a puff of wind.

Here is the video parody:

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

By the way, my sisters church service was a whole lot like this - including the cool video with relevant questions.  I don't get the impression that the pastor thinks he has all the answers, however. 

Part of me really liked it - it was fun being back in that environment, even without the all encompassing Charismatic-Evangelical aspects that are not part of the Church of God, Anderson theological belief concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Yet, I'm not there any longer.  To me, it smacks of religio-entertainment.  People come to God through it, people grow in their relationship with God and one another in the midst of it (if the pastor preachers well, that is), but I would rather be involved in a "full-bodied" experience that I've come to know in Catholic worship in its Anglo-Catholic form.  We all participate and we all do the work of worship and liturgy together. 

Sounds like English?

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Ever wonder what English sounds like to an non-English speaking Italian?  Whether it is gibberish or not, I like the song... lots of energy!

An Italian singer wrote this song with gibberish to sound like English. If youve ever wondered what other people think Americans sound like, this is it. -- cernuto - December 29, 2009

Tablet computing

Notion Ink's "Adam" tablet computer. A real competitor to Apple's iPad. I may even be drawn to it if Apple doesn't add such things as a camera or external port options.

A report of a speech by a Google's European boss John Herlihy forecasting the future of information/computing devices, as reported on

Google believes that in three years or so desktops will give way to mobile as the primary screen from which most people will consume information and entertainment. That’s according to Google Europe boss John Herlihy who said that smart phones enhance Google’s mission to make information universal.

Speaking at the Digital Landscapes conference at UCD, Herlihy said that the cloud-computing opportunity will make sure that every mobile device will be capable of doing rapid-scale applications.

“In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs,” Herlihy told a baffled audience, echoing comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the recent GSM Association Mobile World Congress 2010 that everything the company will do going forward will be via a mobile lens, centring on the cloud, computing and connectivity.

Newsboys - Something Beautiful

Newsboys - Something Beautiful Lyrics

I wanna start it over
I wanna start again
I want a new a new beginning
One without any end
I feel it inside
Calling out to me

It's a voice that whispers my name
It's a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something's beautiful

I've heard it in the silence
Seen it on a face
I've felt it in a long hour
Like a sweet embrace
I know this is true
It's calling out to me

It's a voice that whispers my name
It's a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something's beautiful

It's the child on her wedding day
It's the daddy that gives her away--Father
Something beautiful
When we laugh so hard we cry
It's the love between you and I
Something beautiful

Work, at work? Really?

Why we seem to never get anything done at work... and then have to do it all at home.

Three-dimensional thinking

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave the Presidential address to the Church of England's General Synod, yesterday.

Of particular interest, aside from his more balanced thinking on the whole LGBT issue and of the troubles within the Anglican Communion, of particular interest to me was his explanation of the distinctiveness of the Christian understanding and definition of freedom and liberty. (this starts around the 17:51 minute mark)

I also find very interesting his presentation of the concept of "three-dimensional thinking." In many ways, he is presenting something that should be natural for Anglicans - really it is a re-presenting of the Via Media extended beyond the original middle way between Roman Catholicism and the Continental Reformation.

"Seeing something in three dimensions is seeing that I can't see everything at once: what's in front of me is not just the surface I see in this particular moment... So seeing in three dimensions requires us to take time with what we see. It may help us look more critically at solutions that seek to do too much all at once; and perhaps to search for structures that will keep open the ability to learn from each other." (Source)

This is something I want to thank more about.

In the name of Christ, supposedly

I don't know how many people have heard or read about the gay-bashing of a 49 year old man, Jack Price, in Queens a couple weeks ago. You know, sitting here in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan and having this story all over the news in all of NYC, I just realized that the incident barely registered on my radar. I don't quite know what that says about me - too busy, too expectant of gay-bashing incidents even in New York City, hardness of heart towards or numbness for victims, cynicism about whether our society will ever get beyond such things (and I mean really get be on them, not just having Political Correctness forced upon too many people that brings nothing much more than a shut down in honest dialogue and real education than the changing peoples' hearts and minds) - I just don't know.

Well, here I am, and over in Queens a guy had to be put into a medically induced coma in order to survive.

A brief article in the NY Times.

I was going through some old photos on Sunday and came across some old Web addresses. One of them was for a website started and operated by a guy I met years ago through Soulforce, so I tried to see if it still existed. It did, and on the splash screen was an update on the guy attacked in Queens entitled "Idiots for Christ." Here is the picture from a channel 7 (ABC-NYC) news segment that was posted on the website. Watch the full video of the news piece, with the interview of this guy.


What in the world would possess a straight guy in New York City to be tattooed with this verse? This guy, Gelmy, was defending his friend, one of the guys arrested for beating Jack Price. Why would someone get that particular verse tattooed on his arm? Alright, he may have a thing against gay people, but to go to the extreme of permanently tattooing such a thing on your arm where it will be exposed often is beyond me.

And, yes, this is the natural outcome of all the anti-gay Religious Right rhetoric that has been going on for the past 20 years. When you scape-goat a population, that population gets screwed. As much as the Religious Right organizations and leaders want to claim that their anti-gay stuff is all about saving souls and society, it is about power and money. There are those who have real theological positions opposed to homosexuality, but the Religious Right groups are unprincipled and dishonest and are not made up of these people.

The attack was caught on a surveillance video.

God and Dog

After a rant concerning the passing on the faith to the next generation, this:

Hat tip to: Simply Massing Priest

July 2012

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