What the Church is Not…….

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Church is not about a few like-minded persons getting together for mutual support; it is about millions and millions of different kind of persons transending their differences so as to become a community beyond temperament, race, ideology, gender, language and background.

–Richard Rolheiser, “The Holy Longing”

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“Uhhh….What I meant was…..”

Rueter’s is reporting that Fox News’ Tony Snow will be taking over the White House Press Secretary duties. Although Snow has been reporting for the conservative leaning Fox News, he’s had a few choice comments for his new boss:

– Bush has “lost control of the federal budget and cannot resist the temptation to stop raiding the public fisc.” [3/17/06]

– “George W. Bush and his colleagues have become not merely the custodians of the largest government in the history of humankind, but also exponents of its vigorous expansion.” [3/17/06]

– “President Bush distilled the essence of his presidency in this year’s State of the Union Address: brilliant foreign policy and listless domestic policy.” [2/3/06]

– “George Bush has become something of an embarrassment.” [11/11/05]

– Bush “has a habit of singing from the Political Correctness hymnal.” [10/7/05]

– “No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives.” [9/30/05]

– Bush “has given the impression that [he] is more eager to please than lead, and that political opponents can get their way if they simply dig in their heels and behave like petulant trust-fund brats, demanding money and favor — now!” [9/30/05]

– “When it comes to federal spending, George W. Bush is the boy who can’t say no. In each of his three years at the helm, the president has warned Congress to restrain its spending appetites, but so far nobody has pushed away from the table mainly because the president doesn’t seem to mean what he says.” [The Detroit News, 12/28/03]

– “The president doesn’t seem to give a rip about spending restraint.” [The Detroit News, 12/28/03]

– “Bush, for all his personal appeal, ultimately bolstered his detractors’ claims that he didn’t have the drive and work ethic to succeed.” [11/16/00]

– “Little in the character of demeanor of Al Gore or George Bush makes us say to ourselves: Now, this man is truly special! Little in our present peace and prosperity impels us to say: Give us a great man!” [8/25/00]

– “George W. Bush, meanwhile, talks of a pillowy America, full of niceness and goodwill. Bush has inherited his mother’s attractive feistiness, but he also got his father’s syntax. At one point last week, he stunned a friendly audience by barking out absurd and inappropriate words, like a soul tortured with Tourette’s.” [8/25/00]

– “He recently tried to dazzle reporters by discussing the vagaries of Congressional Budget Office economic forecasts, but his recitation of numbers proved so bewildering that not even his aides could produce a comprehensible translation. The English Language has become a minefield for the man, whose malaprops make him the political heir not of Ronald Reagan, but Norm Crosby.” [8/25/00]

– “On the policy side, he has become a classical dime-store Democrat. He gladly will shovel money into programs that enjoy undeserved prestige, such as Head Start. He seems to consider it mean-spirited to shut down programs that rip-off taxpayers and mislead supposed beneficiaries.” [8/25/00]

I wonder if Bush even knows about these comments. I’d have to think he doesn’t because hiring someone who has called you “impotent” and “embarrasing” would be a tough pill to swallow. If he actually knows about these comments and hired him anyway, then more power to him. He is a bigger man than I. Either way, these nuggets should make for some pretty fun White House press briefings.

Update–From CNN.com:

“He’s not afraid to express his own opinions,” the president said. “For those of you who’ve read his columns and listened to his radio show, he sometimes has disagreed with me. I asked him about those comments, and he said, `You should have heard what I said about the other guy.’ ”

Looks like in order to get the job, the first person snow “spun” was the president himself. This is too weird. I’m not sure what is worse between Snows very lame excuse or the president’s willingness to accept it. Just when you thought this bizarre White House couldn’t get any more weird, it did.

Rob Bell Tour ’06

Rob Bell will be embarking this summer on a speaking tour across the United States. The tour is called “Everything is Spiritual” and will be taking place throughout the month of July. The first shows that have tickets available are in Pomona at the Glass House. You can buy tickets here and I’d hurry because I don’t think tickets will last very long. From what I’ve heard, this will be something that you will not want to miss, especially if you are a Rob Bell fan. If you don’t live in the SoCal area, don’t worry. There will be around 28 shows in all and the routing spreads across most of the country (rumor is that the Pacific Northwest is out of luck).

*Update– All proceeds for the tour will be going to WaterAid.

Stay tuned for more info…….

Global Night Commute

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On April 29th the good people at Invisible Children are organizing an event in cities all over the world called “The Global Night Commute” . This event is asking those who are concerned with children night commuters in Uganda to participate in their own “night commute” in order to call attention to what’s going on with these children in war-torn Uganda.

What the particpants in this event are asked to do is simply spend one night in the streets on April 29th. There are locations set for each city involved and you can see what the locations are right here on the Invisible Children website. In Phoenix the location will be at Windsor Century Plaza
North Central Ave and East Monterey Way, Phoenix, AZ 85012. So far over 400 people have pledged to be a part of the Phoenix night commute and it’s shaping up to be an epic event.

The team who organized the screening of “A Closer Walk” will be particpating in this as well and we’d love for any of you to join us on the 29th.

We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher!!

D8GU2GI83_preview.jpgYou would think from all of Dick Cheney’s bad-ass, hard-nose posturing that he’d be able to get it to the catcher from on top of the mound. From the looks of this photo, he’s probably giving himself about a 10 yard head start to the catcher. The news reports say that he recieved boos from the crowd. I wonder if it was for his policies or his rag arm?

This brings to light my favorite thing about George W. Bush. That would be the fact that he probably has the best throwing arm of any recent president and, as demonstrated at the 2001 World Series, he can hit the glove from the rubber.

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Just look at that sweet release point!!

I love opening day. In about an hour Holly and I will be enjoying the first home game at the newly named “Chase Field” to watch the Diamondbacks. Play Ball!

Maybe I’m a Mennonite

bookjacket.jpgA few weeks ago during the Futuregen Conference here in Pheonix, I went out for some drinks and appetizers with some very interesting/smart/kind people. There with me were my friends Dan Kimball, JJ Peterson, Zack Newsome and while sipping some ale I had the chance of meeting Shane Hipps (Actually, Shane and I had emailed each other once before but while initially meeting in person, we had no idea). Shane is the pastor of Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, AZ and he’s also the author of the book “The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture”. After hearing some of Shane’s ideas about Church and media, it was fairly obvious that he has an enormous ammount to offer the Christian faith. When leaving the bar that night, two things seemed very clear to me: 1)Read Shane’s book and 2) go to Shane’s church and see what it’s all about.

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Yesterday I followed through with completing both of these items and now that I have, I’m am so glad I did. Unfortunately, Holly and Ava were spending time with family, so I had to venture alone. Before going to Shane’s church I had very little knowledge about the Mennonite tradition. After going yesterday to Trinity Mennonite, I can’t say that I have it pegged still but I very much enjoyed going there and being a part of their worship. The music was refreshingly unslick and void of the “American Idol” factor that so many churches seem to be chasing. Shane’s teachings are always very thought-provoking, insightful, and powerful. I was greeted multiple times by people who seemed genuinely intersted me. I never felt like they were doing so to make me want to come back, but rather to really find out something about me. The only negative is that it’s, at best, 45 minutes away from our house.

I highly recommend checking out Shane’s book and his church. If you don’t live in the Phoenix area, you can subscribe to Shane’s teachings podcast here.