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Justifiable Tasering?

September 27, 2007 1 comment

Out of curiosity, do you think the tasering of Andrew Murphy was justified or not?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about here is a video of the University of Florida events…

Categories: culture, news

Global Warming Evidence, Maybe

September 16, 2007 1 comment

Friday I heard on the news that we had a record low in Minnesota. The weather guy said is was the first record low we have experienced here since 2004. Conversely we have had 11 record highs in the same time frame.

Proof for global warming or proof against it?

Categories: news

Monticello High School Custodian Charged w/ Sexual Misconduct With a Minor

August 18, 2007 Leave a comment

Possibly my biggest fear as a parent is that my kids would, in some major way, be affected by the pervasiveness of sexual sin in our culture; the scale and scope of which is almost beyond belief.*

This morning I was reading the local newspaper online and I came across a sickening story about a male high school custodian charged with sexual misconduct over a 3 year period with a teenage male. If I was more naive I would have thought something like this couldn’t happen in my town; nonetheless the story is sickening and shocking. I have to warn you that the details laid out in the article are quite disturbing and graphic. Read the article here.

As if the report wasn’t appalling enough, take a look at the response of our legal system.

Although the Sherburne County prosecuting attorney described Larson as a “danger to the community” and “a risk to flee” during the time period leading up to his Sept. 19 hearing, Yunker gave Larson the option of $100,000 unconditional bail or $5,000 bail with the following terms and conditions attached: that he have no contact with any individual mentioned in the official court complaint; that he have no contact with any individual under the age of 18; that he remain law abiding and make all future court appearances; and that he inform the court within 24 hours if there is a change in his address.

Reading that made me so freaking pissed. Please excuse the language, but when you read the report of the case, the judges ruling for conditional bail is absolutely ludicrous. This sicko should be jailed until trial and, if found guilty, he should spend the rest of his life there. The psychological damage done to the accusing teenage boy will be vast and long-lasting.

Lord Jesus please protect my kids from evil. Lord God please protect all our precious children from predators and those who would sin so horrifically against them.

– One last piece of interesting information…the following statement in the article would lead me to believe that ‘Dad’ was not in the picture of this poor kid’s life.

It is also documented that Larson discussed with the alleged victim’s mother the possibility of acting as a mentor to the child.

Our world needs DADS more than ever. We need strong men who will protect and nurture their kids, who will sacrificially and faithfully serve their spouses, and who will take responsibility for their homes.

Jesus make me one of these men, and raise up a generation of males who will manifest the Heavenly Father’s love on earth.

*Lest we get too worried that our times are worse than another, it could be argued that today’s sexual sins are not without historical, Biblical precedent, see Leviticus 18

Categories: Men, news, Parenting, Sex, Society

Facebook and MySpace Highlight American Social Class Divisions

August 14, 2007 Leave a comment

I have never really got into the whole MySpace thing. There is something I don’t like about the customization and wallpaper pieces. I think MySpace’s generally end up messy and disorganized and ugly. Plus, I always felt the majority of people who use MySpace are somewhat different than me.

This morning I read an article in Newsweek that reiterated and somewhat validated the thoughts I had.

A few weeks ago, [Danah] Boyd—who has done extensive ethnographic work on online behavior, blog-posted an essay tentatively sharing her (admittedly nonscientific) findings after months of interviews, field observations and profile analysis. Generally, she contended, “The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes and other ‘good’ kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college.” MySpace is still home for “kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school.”

Boyd’s ideas about the two online social networking sites have come under heavy criticism with critics pointing out that many people use both MySpace and Facebook, and in a society that vehemently hates the idea of labeling people groups and classes, Boyd’s findings are risky to document. But I agree with Boyd and my own experience, albiet very non-scientific, confirms what she writes. “What I was doing was showing the caricature, not arguing that everything boils down to one versus the other.”

I have not yet read Ms. Boyd’s entire post but you can access it here.

Categories: Blogs, news, Society, Technology

What the Bridge Collaspe can Teach Us About the Image of God

August 13, 2007 Leave a comment

In the wake of the bridge collapse many people have been retelling the heroic stories of ordinary men and women who helped with the relieve and recovery from the accident. I thank God that people didn’t hesitate to help others in their time of need. In some cases, people have attempted to unite these acts of heroism with the idea that Minnesotans are ‘such wonderful people.’ You have likely heard the phrase “Minnesota Nice.” I like how the preacher today re-ordered such an idea.

His thought (a paraphrase of something another pastor said) is that rather than looking at acts of heroism as some kind of character description of Minnesotans, we should look at it as people stripping away the layers of selfishness and brokenness and acting as God intended humanity to act. As people made in the image of God, horrific situations like the bridge collapse, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina, create the space for people to step outside of their self-centeredness and to function like we were made to.

Doesn’t that paint a wonderful picture of what Jesus is coming to restore? A life where people are ready at the droop of the hat to sacrifice it all for the good of another – even someone that don’t know.

Categories: Bridge Collapse, news, Theology

Video From the Bridge Collapse and Teaching From Piper on Suffering

The folks at Desiring God put some video footage from the scene of the bridge collapse together with a message from John Piper about why there is suffering in the world. A perspective to consider.

The audio is from the message “Where Is God.”

John Piper Reflects on the MN Bidge Collapse

August 2, 2007 1 comment

All the local news stations are reporting on the terrible tragedy that occurred in Minneapolis yesterday when the 35W bridge collapsed. This morning I read a blog post by John Piper that I would recommend to you. In it he recounts the conversation he has with is 11 year old daughter abut the accident before putting her to bed yesterday. I am struck and convicted after reading this by the way Piper always turns things (all things) back to Jesus.

O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1-5. People came to Jesus with heart-wrenching news about the slaughter of worshipers by Pilate. Here is what he said.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.

All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.

The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.