Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Re-Making Good

April 5, 2017

If you’re worried about your privacy and the security of your personal information in an interconnected, Internet world, you aren’t alone.  The man who first created the World Wide Web is also concerned.  Fortunately, unlike you and I, he’s the sort of guy who might be able to do something about it.


January 23, 2017

I have never subscribed to a YouTube channel.  I likely never will.  But were I going to, this might be the one.

I really enjoy this guy’s musings on weaponry, particularly the medieval stuff.  I have no idea if he actually knows what he’s talking about or not, but he makes sense.  I haven’t been able to find any hard information about him or about his background, even on his web site.

Until shown why I shouldn’t, I shall continue to find him mildly amusing and potentially enlightening!

How Bored Are You?

January 20, 2017

Bored enough to watch snippets of videos people posted to YouTube without necessarily expecting (or wanting) anyone else to see them?  Here is the site for you!

This web site apparently mines YouTube looking for videos that have very few (if any) views, and are unnamed and definitely unedited.  Mom posting a clip of your volleyball game?  It’s there.  Random snippets of news conferences?  Duly noted.  It’s not riveting watching but there’s something appealing to the idea of seeing glimpses of the complete opposite of 15-seconds of Internet fame!

Unsocial Media

January 13, 2017

What does your social media look like?  Not necessarily which one you use, but who are you in contact with through it?  I don’t Twit, and Facebook is my only social media venture thus far.  When I scroll through my friends, I see a broad spectrum of people.  There are two guys I’ve known since elementary school.  A smattering of folks from Junior and Senior high.  A few from college.  Some from many of the places I’ve worked (other than Burger King…oddly enough I’m not in contact with any of those folks still!).  Some from various educational institutions I’ve either attended or worked for.  Some from the congregation’s I serve(d).  There’s a growing number from the bar pool league I play in.  Finally there a few people that I’ve met in various capacities and situations only briefly.

It’s a diverse group, to say the least.  I take this into account when I post on Facebook – which is rarely.

I’m not sure about you but when I’m with any one of these many people, I don’t feel compelled to shout out my opinions on politics, sexuality, religion, or current events.  I may talk about some of these things with these various people, but there’s always a context to the conversation.  I’ve never had a single conversation where I or the person I was talking to simply announced If you hold this particular opinion on this particular subject, I don’t ever want to talk to you again and I hope you die in a car fire.

But I hear the equivalent from people all the time on Facebook.

I wonder about the diversity of their social network.  How many different people are they around?   Do they expect that every single person in their social network should think and feel exactly the way they do?  Have they forgotten that I’m in their list of friends?

It’s easy to think of the people posting obnoxious, rude, and hateful things.  But I’d argue that there are other people doing the opposite of this and it’s just as weird.  Many of the people I interact with on a regular basis aren’t Christian.  It would never strike me as appropriate when running into them at Costco or over a pool table to just shout out a verse of Scripture.  But I have friends that do this as well.  Are they only friends with Christians?  What must that be like for their non-Christian friends?  I can understand quoting Scripture to encourage a brother or sister in the faith, but does it have that same effect on non-Christians?  My experience has been overwhelmingly that it does not.

What is social media ultimately for?  Is it a platform to express my inner thoughts and feelings, even in a manner that I would never consider doing face to face with another person?  Is it a means of fostering dialogue and contact with a great number of people across the span of my life?  Should it only be for and with people who think and feel exactly as I do on whatever topics I make determinative?  Is it a reminder and celebration that even people who are very different can still find value in one another?

How is it that we’ve come to think of social media as different from our face-to-face interactions, even though it encompasses many of the people we interact with face-to-face?  Is it possible to disparage a particular point of view and have any respect for someone who believes it?  Is that the nature of friendship and relationship, let alone the definition of loving my neighbor as myself?

It’s troubling, regardless.


Knowing Jesus

January 5, 2017

I know Jesus.  At least the Jesus in the Rose Bowl Parade.  We were at Sem at the same time and he serves two congregations about 70 miles south of me.  We see each other about once a month at our pastoral Circuit gatherings.  He endures a great deal of good-natured ribbing for his recurring role!

Thanks to Becky for pointing me to this news article that summarizes some of the responses the float – and Jesus on the float – elicited on Twitter.  I have to say that I share some of the mixed feelings of the responders.  Admittedly I’m not a big parade person and therefore don’t share the same enthusiasm that many others do for this parade in general or the Lutheran Hour float specifically.  But having a Jesus imposter on a float does seem to create more than a little room for criticism or at least confusion.


Belatedly, Halloween

November 29, 2016

A short article with some good links debunking the wildly popular notion that most holidays are somehow ancient pagan celebrations that Western Christianity has plastered itself over.  I was taught these myths as I studied history and read lots of books in my younger years, but scholarship is examining more closely the claims that Christianity is just ripping off older rituals.

I just saw a post on Facebook the other day mocking Christians for celebrating events like Halloween using ancient pagan rituals that were intended as worship for other gods.  It’s good to remember that many of these claims are patently false, and actual historical scholarship rather than Internet memes should be the basis for demonstrating that.

Wet Bar Wednesday – Expanding

August 10, 2016

Well, sort of.

I’ve been invited to become part of a blogging team of pastors and other sundry folks over at The Jagged Word.  While I’d love to say that the invitation was occasioned by my deep theological observations and my skill in finding Gospel themes in current events, it turns out that they like my drinks.  Which is good, because I can’t stand the way they’re dressed in that photo.  No worries, I won’t be emulating that *any* time soon.

Seriously.  I’ll be bartending for a second time for some of them in a month at our annual pastor’s conference.  Others have enjoyed them on other social occasions.  So every Friday I’ll be contributing a cocktail recipe to their web site.  I’ll try to sneak in some theology here and there, but really that’s a stretch I don’t think is too reasonable to make, generally speaking.  I’ll be revisiting many of the drinks I’ve posted about here over the years.  I’ll continue to post new drinks here as I enjoy them, but now there’s another place you can catch my recipes (as well as some very insightful and theologically rich articles by smart people).

My first post there should appear this Friday.


No Microwave

July 15, 2016

We don’t own a microwave, so will somebody else please try this for me and let me know if it really works or not?  It sounds (and I assume smells) amazing!  I gotta believe this would help my dogs fetch better, though I doubt they’re going to return it to me.

Time Sink II

March 11, 2016

Sermon preparation almost demands interruption.  This time, instead of album cover locations, it’s a site dedicated to the premise that almost any movie could end with Dire Strait’s Walk of Life.  Now, I enjoyed this song  a great deal when it first came out, but it’s hardly what I’d call Dire Strait’s best song.  But I gotta admit it’s a humorous concept, and you may enjoy reliving the final two minutes or so of some of your favorite movies.  With a musical change.

Time Sink

March 10, 2016

If you’re looking for a way to waste some time, this little site is great.  The site owner spends time trying to locate famous film and album cover locations in New York City.  The selection is quite limited, but some of them are pretty interesting.  I particularly enjoyed his search for a Billy Joel album back-side photo (The Stranger) that was also a scene in the movie Leon: The Professional from a few years back.