Thursday, November 11, 2010

Scala & Candlewyck played on Coverville

Coverville hit another one out of the park with Episode 719.

Brian started off playing 4 selections from Scala / Kolacny Brothers. Scala is a Belgium girls chorale which has recorded popular songs. The Kolacny Brothers are the conductor and pianist for the group. You can watch "With or Without You" below.

My favorite that for that set was a Phil Collins cover of "Solsbury Hill".

The show was finished out with a cover medley of Kansas' "Point of no return" and Rush's "Spirit of the Radio" performed by Candlewyck. Candlewyck is a bluegrass band (or as one music source put it nuGrass). Since I've liked both Kansas and Rush as well as those song in particular, this was a hit with me.

You can listen to the show on the embedded player from the link above.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Do you walk your dog or does your dog walk you?

10/365: Walking humane society dogs at lunchtime.Dog Walk '06
The photo on the left shows the "proper position" for walking dog. The photo on the left, while not extreme like some I've seen, shows the dog walking the owner.

We take our dogs out for a walk nearly every day (at least week days). Let me chronicle our routine.
  1. Before leaving the house, the dogs must sit in the doorway to the laundry while we get ready and wait to have their leashes attached.
  2. We head out the door. The dog must wait for the owner to go out first. It's a pack behavior that we want to instill (we are the "alpha").
  3. We have rituals that the dogs have learned. One such ritual that we do for their safety is to stop and sit on both sides of the street.
  4. Sometimes we let the "play". When we walk by an area which isn't owned by a neighbor, such as a park or an empty lot, we let the dogs explore to the end of the leash.
  5. After a "play" we call them back to "heel". Keva will slow, sometimes imperceptibly to allow me to catch up with him.
  6. Sometimes we work. One of the most difficult things to teach a dog at first is to "down", that is to lay down on the ground. The reason is that down is a submissive action and also, in the outdoors, a dangerous one. We will sometimes do a "down in motion" where we have the dog do a down while we are walking. While the dog is down, we will continue, sometimes to the end of the leash, sometimes much further. At some point, we either return to the dog or call the dog to us.
  7. Walk time is, of course, one of the times the dog can "do their duty". We clean up after them.
One of the most satisfying times is during those walks where the dog is focused on me. Where he senses what I want him to do. I'll look down and see him looking up at me.

I started this post a couple of days ago and have let it age a bit before completing it.

About a year and a half ago, I posted "What my dog teaches me about God". Looking at the list above, I am still learning. Is God "walking me" or am I attempting to "walk God".

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I may have watched the Orphan/Often scene (below) from the Pirates of Penzance too many times.

Others may say I am a bit pedantic at times (definition 2 here).

I flipped on the TV and heard the contestant on "The Amazing Race" yell to his father...
"Run like you've never run before"
I grinned! Why? I knew he meant to have his father running as quickly as possible but the following picture popped into my head...

The picture of a grown man trying run for the first time.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day -- Yea!!!

It's election day! November 2nd!

Why am I excited? It's the last day of calls throughout the evening that I don't want to hear. It's the last evening of advertisements on television and radio that annoy me. I'll get less junk mail as well!

The bad part of the end of the election process? Each one of those things I mentioned above is a shot in the arm for our economy. As much as I dislike the advertisements, the printers will have less to do, the postal carrier will have less to do, the media will also have less income.

Scott McKnight talked about "The Eschatology of Politics" on his Jesus Creed blog today. He wrote:
This was published at Out of Ur blog; it is now edited for a new day.

Somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, Central Time, on November 2d, 2010, the eschatology of American evangelicals will become clear. If a Republican (or a Tea Party candidate) wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical has an eschatology of politics. Or, alternatively, if Democrat wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical too has an eschatology of politics. Or, we could turn each around, if a more Democrat oriented evangelical becomes depressed and hopeless because a Repub wins, or if a Republican oriented evangelical becomes depressed or hopeless because a Dem wins, those evangelicals are caught in an empire-shaped eschatology of politics.

I can’t imagine 1st Century Roman Christians caught up in some kind of hope whether it would be Nero or Britannicus who would succeed Claudius.

Where is our hope? To be sure, I hope our country solves its international conflicts and I hope we resolve poverty and dissolve our educational problems and racism. But where does my hope turn when I think of war or poverty or education or racism? Does it focus on my political party? Does it gain its energy from thinking that if we get the right candidate elected our problems will be dissolved? If so, I submit that our eschatology has become empire-shaped, Constantinian, and political. And it doesn’t matter to me if it is a right-wing evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Republican wins, or a left-wing evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Democrat wins. Each has a misguided eschatology.

Now before I take another step, it must be emphasized that I participate in the election; and I think it makes a difference which candidate wins; and I think from my own limited perspective one candidate is better than the other.

But before I take the next step I’ll say this: if our candidates lose won’t make one bit of a difference for our obligation to follow Jesus today. Not one bit.

Participation in our election dare not be seen as the lever that turns the eschatological designs God has for this world. Where is our hope? November 2 may tell us.

What I hope it reveals is that:

Our hope is in God. The great South African missiologist, David Bosch, in his book Transforming Mission impressed upon many of us that the church’s mission is not in fact the church’s mission but God’s mission. Our calling is to participate in the missio Dei, the mission of God in this world. So, at election time we can use the season to re-align our mission with the mission of God. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God. God’s mission is gospel-shaped. Some today want to reduce gospel to what we find in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, while others want to expand it to bigger proportions, we would do well at election time to re-align ourselves once again with the gospel as God’s good news for our world. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates God’s people. God’s gospel-shaped mission creates a new people of God. In fact, the temptation of good Protestants to skip from Genesis 3 (the Fall) to Romans 3 (salvation) must be resisted consciously.

We need to soak up how God’s gospel-shaped work always and forever creates a gospel people. The first thing God does with Abraham is to form a covenant people, Israel, and Jesus’ favorite word was “kingdom” and Paul was a church-obsessed theologian-missionary. Herein lies the challenge at election time.

We are tempted to divide the USA into the good and the bad and to forget that the gospel has folks on both sides of political lines. Even more: we are tempted to think that the winners of the election are those who are blessed by God when the blessing of God is on God’s people. God’s gospel-powered mission creates a new people, the church, where we are to see God’s mission at work. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates a kind of people that extends God’s gospel to the world. Chris Wright’s big book, The Mission of God, reminds us that election is missional: God creates the people of God not so the people of God can compare themselves to those who are not God’s people, but so that God’s people will become a priesthood in this world to mediate the mission of God, so that all hear the good news that God’s grace is the way forward.

Our hope is in God’s mission in this world, and that mission transcends what happens November 2d.