Thursday, January 31, 2008

Closer in a Virtual World

If you're reading this right now then no doubt you own (or at least have access to) a computer. Which in today's world, logically follows that you probably have at least one email address, a couple of instant message accounts, and maybe even your own blog. To say nothing of your cell phones. The advance of technology has closed the distance between people all over the world.

Case in point - I live in New York, I work in an office that has sattelite offices in Dehli, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Amman, and Washington D.C., my family lives in Los Angeles, my two best-friends live in St. Louis and Birmingham respectively. Today, (it's noon here) I've talked to people in all of the above mentioned places via my computer and cell phone. Once school is over my dream job would be to work as a consultant so that I could "live anywhere I wanted" and still work at the job I love.

Seems I'm not the only one.

However, as Tim Harford so kindly points out in his recent article in Wired, "If distance really didn't matter, rents in places like London, New York, Bangalore, and Shanghai would be converging with those in Hitchcock County, Nebraska (population 2,926 and falling)."

Trust me - rents are certainly not falling in this city.

Harford argues,

Technology makes it more fun and more profitable to live and work close to the people who matter most to your life and work. Harvard economist Ed Glaeser, an expert on city economies, argues that communications technology and face-to-face interactions are complements like salt and pepper, rather than substitutes like butter and margarine. Paradoxically, your cell phone, email, and Facebook networks are making it more attractive to meet people in the flesh.

This shouldn't surprise us. Email makes it quicker and easier to reach your colleagues — you don't have to interrupt them, and messages are easy to process. But email doesn't stop you from wanting facetime, too. Just the opposite: By enabling us to maintain productive business relationships with more people, it encourages more face-to-face contact. Have you noticed business travel dying out? Neither have I. Air travel is at record highs.

I'm not sure I agree about it being attractive to meet total strangers (most of you know how I feel about on-line dating but that's a personal thing) but I can see how technology and face-to-face interactions compliment. When I worked for the law firm, we used an IM service in-house to communicate with the just about anyone in the building. It was faster than email, allowed a response even if the person on the other end was in a meeting/conference call/etc. and were a lot less messy that Post-It Notes.

In big cities, our communication tools are especially helpful because they keep us from getting lost in the crowd (which is not something you worry about in a one-street town).

This is oh so true. And not only in big cities. The smaller the world becomes the more crowded it becomes and the more important my technology links become in keeping me from being swallowed by a sea of humanity. If you think I'm being dramatic you should see what happens when I can't find my cell phone. It's not pretty.

OH, and as a perfect footnote to this discussion . . . Hello Sis. Allard!! I haven't been able to figure out how to get to your blog and post a comment yet but yes, this is the same Denelle from WAY Choir. Hope all is going well and I'll figure out how to talk to you soon!

Misery Loves Company

Do you feel a call to missions?  Do feel like God wants to do great things in your life?  Do you feel like God has gifted you in a special way to help people, but you do not know where you can utilize this gift?


Why not move to one of these cities?  Forbes has come out with a list of the top ten most miserable cities in America.  And of course miserable cities need Jesus.  Unfortunately, the entire Christian movement, and evangelicals in particular have a real problem with being present in urban centers of cultural formation.  But if you want to be one of the creative missionaries that our fearless leader wrote so eloquently about, urban centers provide a host of opportunities. 


Jesus said in Matthew 11 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  This list provides future missionaries with ten cities desperate for that soul-rest.


Photo Courtesy of Downtown Detroit Partnership


Josh R

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Security or Freedom?

British political leader, David Cameron is calling for a nation-wide ban on “preachers of hate.”  Recognizing the danger posed by Islamic radicals and terrorist supporters, he is calling for an effort to keep them out of the country in the interests of national security.


Is this something that could ever happen in the United States?  7 years ago I would have said no.  But since we were attacked on that infamous Tuesday many Americans have seen fit to trade their freedom for their security.  On the surface, I’ll admit, it does sound good to expel or ban those who would want to attack us.  But calling for a ban on all “preachers of hate” is much broader than that.


In the current cultural climate, preachers of hate are those who would attack western countries, but how long before the climate shifts?  What could preachers of hate be in the future?  Who determines who is preaching hate?  “It’s clear for reasons of our security that we must expel or refuse entry to those who preach hate, pit one faith against another and divide our society,” claims Cameron.  Is it any great stretch of the imagination to see this same rhetoric used against Christians who proclaim God’s Word as absolute Truth?  Proclaiming that there is such thing as a sinner is a very unpopular stance to take even now.


One of the things that makes America such a great nation is the freedom enjoyed by her citizens.  Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are crucial to this country maintaining that greatness.  Because these freedoms are so ingrained into our way of thinking could we ever give them up?  Security, it seems, has been the price tag for freedom in the past.  Let’s pray that it doesn’t hold true in this case as well!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Interested in Writing? Save $!

Here's a little love to one of our sponsors - the Pentecostal Writer's Institute.

This is your last week to take advantage of the early-bird deadline. Don’t procrastinate.
Save $50 by signing up now. Early-bird special ($99) is only available until this Friday, and hotel rooms are booking up fast.

Ken Gurley, Dayle Shockley, and Ann Frake will be featured, though there are many others sharing their insights and expertise!

Make your reservations now to attend PWI!

WPF: Tulsa Pix & News

If you're seeking information from last week's Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship meeting in Tulsa, OK, you can got to The Apostolic Contender blogs for reports and pictures. It offers some solid coverage.

Tolerating Themselves Right Into Slavery

Once upon a time, in my former daily salvos as a satirist, I submitted the following satirical sendup: (click on the image to see the partial screen capture):

Now it seems the "dumb, refusenik dogs" (European version) of Isaiah are using their remarkable inability to lay blame at the correct doorstop. Looks like they just can't figure out who's actually responsible for killing the gays over there. Stunning how the same people that can portray any attempt to link eternal purpose to human life as a retroactive attempt to imprison Gallileo cannot see the obvious.

Of course, fear will do that to you.

Me? I'm about ready to start investing in Burka-Wear. Actually, I'm ready for Jesus to pull the plug on this anthropological freak show, altogether.

Exit, stage North.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

The More I Hear, The More I Agree

I vacillated trying to pick a topic to write about this evening. I wrote a post on politics and deleted it. I wrote one on religious politics and deleted it too. I contemplated writing about Heath Ledger but couldn't find anything positive to add to a sad situation and decided against it. I thought about commenting on the economy but that was equally as depressing. Finally, I stumbled across this . . .

I'd say this about covers them all.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just My Opinion. That's It.

I have no intention of turning this into a political blog. But being that the election season is upon us, it stands to reason that I, as the sometimes polemical entity that I am, should thus wax. Feel free to debate. That’s one reason why this country is better than any other.

The more I study the current election landscape, the more and more I can see myself supporting only one man left running in the race. And that’s not because I’m thrilled about him.

And no, it’s not that rodeo clown, Ron Paul, Either. It’s Mitt Romney. I’ll write more about him, later, if one needs an explanation.

But I will say this, in the wake of Fred Thompson’s day-old withdrawal: if Romney does not become the nominee, then my tacit electoral inaction will most likely help exalt the appalling Hillary Rodham Clinton to her Scepter of Destiny.

Seems Mike Huckabee polls rather strongly with the Dobson circles. And he did at first with me too, especially with his answer to what was supposed to be media sandbagging over faith during an early debate—one that backfired on the moderator.

But ask yourself something. Why does the same American media, who normally engages in an out and out Manchurian bloodletting of anyone who sticks up for both unborn babies and the Genesis account, seem to be trying to front-load the Republican ticket with a guy who coincidentally has a last name that, unfortunately for him, doesn't sound presidential. hate to say that, but we're a shallow country, too.

Just think about it. Do you not find it odd? Or are they sitting on a guaranteed “smart bomb,” one that guarantees a Hillary presidency—and an unopposed one—with one piece of information that will nuke his chances outright. I for one, think they do. But that’s just my instincts talking.

But what about a presumed McCain/Clinton primary? What IF it comes down to them? Do I simply vote for a man who is a perfect fusion of American patriot and ideological traitor, just to ensure that Hillary has to continue running to and fro in the earth?

Me, I’m not so sure anymore. McCain has repeatedly thrown his base under the bus time and time again. Whether he’s stifling the 1st amendment with his alleged attempts to reign in campaign improprieties, or fomenting the socialist agendas dressed up as concern for carbon emissions. It was McCain who helped form the infamous “Gang of fourteen,” a self-emasculating move that masqueraded as bipartisanship. All it did was make it more difficult for the President to pick a judicial nominee that didn’t have repulsive, totalitarian instincts. The list of things that place him in a position far removed from anything remotely associated with conservative values is very, very long.

Then of course, you have amnesty. Or, as it has been referred to in the blogosphere, shamnesty. He can backpedal, spin, twist, parry, and tap-dance around his positions on sticking a fork in the country’s economic interests, but it all remains there. And the fact that he still seeks accolades from that uber-milquetoasted Lindsey Graham nearly solidifies it for me. I could care less if you spent a summer in the Hanoi Hilton, having bamboo barbs hammered up your cuticles. You’ve sinned against my principles. Seems I’d rather have the Clinton juggernaut catch the blame for the whirlwind both seek to bring anyway.

I just don’t know yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh, And Neithzche Is Dead, Too, By The Way

I have to admit. I quite enjoy it when our "skeptics" and "rational" thinkers get all gooey and start rubbing their hands every time NASA starts implying there may be evidence of water on mars. I mean, it's just swell watching them so fervently contend for the possibility of something they can't prove. Cause you just know the whole "water to support life requirement" is something THEY discovered. Genesis notwithstanding, of course.

Yep. That faith's wonderful thing, aint it?

So yesterday, I open my computer and head over to FOX News. Oscillating across the ticker was a bright orange banner that had an elaboration on this story about the Mars Rover having potentially photographed a Human-like being on the red planet. Along with it came the following picture:

So I decided I was going to blog about it today. Unfortunately, the piece on the Fox News website was unretrievable. At least by me. And I think I may have an idea why. Seems we've been down this embrassing road before, and it involved a guy in an ape suit, standing in a pose curiously remniscent of the one above:

Come to think of it. Maybe that guy actually went to Mars.

God: 1, Atheists 0. Again.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

NewWorldSon Sings The Gospel With Oldschool Finesse

Sadly, a number of supremely-talented apostolic musicians continue to undergo a sort of "pirates curse," one where the moonlight of secular noteriety wipes away all identifiable origin.

But that doesn't mean that modern Christian music is completely devoid of musical consecration--it just seems that it has to come from outside--from those who have not yet seen the fundamental truths that set us apart.

If you haven't heard NewWorldSon, it's just that you haven't heard them--yet. Described various ways, I personally find them to to be an amazing amalgam of blues, r&b, with an old style hip-hopped Frank Sinatra.

Not beholden to the trappings of modern performance demands (i.e., state-of-the-art keyboard patches, click tracks, overcompressed bass and guitar, etc.) They simply set up, and play. With real instruments.

And do they ever. See their website video rendition of "Do Not Pass Me By."

Their complete album is due out in February.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sarai Designs

We need to give some love to Sarai Designs, an Apostolic business that's advertising w/90&9 but we (90&9) are having problems getting their ad on the home page.

Basically, this is an elegant, modest source of female clothing designed by an Apsotolic trained in the design business. My wife "oohs" and "ahhs" about the choices and you might also.

Take a look, won't you?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Welcome to the New Collideoscope

As many of you have probably noticed we've had some changes around Collideoscope lately:

David, has become a daddy again and is getting ready to make the leap across the pond and head to Ireland;

Ron, has graciously joined Collideoscope in an effort to keep you all from being subjected to me alone; and,

I, have been trying to arrange things in my life to make the transition to full-time student. Yes, that's right. In two weeks I will be unemployed, doing a part-time internship and going to school full-time. I'm very excited and completely terrified.

We're all very excited about 2008 and what it has in store for Apostolics everywhere. Be sure to check back in often to get your latest Apostolic news, commentary on culture, music, politics, etc., and exciting interviews with Apostolics who are making a difference.