Thursday, June 21, 2007

Watch Out For The Chipmunk

What does a conversation with God sound like to you?

For me it is odd because it is a talk in my own head with my own voice. So now if I hear something did I think it or did God place it there... and no God does not say thee thou and use kings english, I have had responses to my questions as 'yea dude' and 'rock' IE it is in my own voice, my own words. And as I already hold conversations with myself knowing the difference takes great discernment.

Are you worried yet about Ryan being crazy? I am! That is why I try to test what I hear via 1 John 4.

I took the opportunity yesterday to go behind the house and walk through the woods. My main purpose was to pray. For myself, my future, India, Growing Opportunity staff and clients, those that are supporting us. I reached a place where I was just standing praying by name for people that I should call about our needed support. "...and for John."
"Watch out for the chipmunk"
A deer 50 feet behind me snorts and runs off snorting again and again... not to happy to see me in the woods
"that was not a chipmunk!" my heart racing now
"yea if I said deer you would have freaked out"

And that is my most recent conversation with God... what was yours?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Column vs Row Thinking

This is an interesting video on talking about why we need to do something about global warming.

See all three of his videos here:

I think that this important to think about But the theory behind his argument is what I like. Column vs row thinking. I am developing an idea I call 'Living theology'. I guess Living Theology is the action a person takes, but true theology is debating the rows.

If this same method was used for Jesus, what would the results be?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wisdom From Mom

One of the things I remember from my mother is that she used to always joke about when her birthday was. Like many women she would be off by a couple years. But unlike most it was not that she said 39 at 50 but 60 and 50. By doing this she tended to look 10 years younger than her said age.

I was thinking how the same is true for clothing. To many people chose to wear something one size smaller than they are. The result... yup they may be proud to be wearing a size smaller but everyone looking on sees growth. By wearing something slightly larger the assumption is then that weight is being lost.

In each case you did not change, but because you changed the frame of reference you were able to sell yourselves in good light.

Now when I talked to Nancy about this she was not happy. It is her opinion that a person should be real, say their real age, admit their real size, be real, let the false marketing be done by the marketers for those products we buy.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

God's Interaction

A discussion on Bungi's site about luck got me thinking. I went sleep last night trying to figure out how active God is in our lives.

When good things happen it could be attributed to luck or blessings, depending on how responsible God is in what happens to us.

But is God that directly involved in our lives? Does God have to be there for all good things to happen? God there when all bad things happen or is he not there?

I think God is around me always. But is he guiding every move like a many stringed marionette?
No. If that was true we would not have freewill.

For example lets look at how I interact with Anna, who is 30 months old. I do not guide her every step, I do not catch her every fall, I do not place every M&M on the table that she finds (though I do place some.) For God to be responsible for all our luck he would have to be the one placing each M&M for us to find. But I do not think he does, some of it does just happen.

Now the challenge:
If luck happens and we thank God for it - that is good.
If blessing happens and we attribute it to luck - God may not be happy with our ignorance.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


A week ago Dave gave me his list of news and blogging websites he watches via Google reader. Instantly I went from reading updates from six sites to 156. About 200 posts or more a day.
This was to many sites, 1000 posts a week or more. So this week I cull the sites, the first 25 were easy, It took a lot of work to get down to 100, then I was on a roll and deleted left and right to 60. Then slowly last night I looked at past posts for those sites with the hand on the delete button, Now I am down to 50 sites.
I had no new items to read last night at 10pm. Now, 18 hours latter I checked again, there was 24 updates, they took me 1 hour to read, even skipping several of them.

So over this week of reading what was important? A couple things were funny, a couple things were cute, and a couple were thought provoking. And I remember about 5 things of the 1000 updates from the week.

(Guess what Google reader does not have search capability on the reader site! WOW! else there would be 5 links right here.)

The most important of those five for me is an article talking about choosing each morning which 3 productive things you WILL accomplish that day. It is kinda like Randy Carlson always says, live an intentional life, think ahead and do the right thing. It is so easy to just let life happen to us.

Would I place spending 2 hours on a website reading on my to do list?
Will I now delete all the rest of the sites?
I am going to cut down the list so that I can read it in about 1/2 to 1 hour a day. The rest will go into a file for checking occasionally.

What are the primary goals of my life?
1) India
2) regrade the side of my in laws house
3) intentionally interact with Anna, teaching her things

What are your intentional goals for life?

Friday, June 08, 2007


Now this is very cool.

I am very impressed, if I could have a wall like this in my house I would have an expensive wall in my house.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Other Side Of Outsorcing

Thomas L Friedman and
The other side of Outsourcing

This video was found on (also found at you tube

It is interesting to see how these low wage jobs are growing the economy in India, did you know that soon these job will move to other countries with even lower economies.

The notes were written as a countdown timer

45m India’s way of life unchanged for generations
44m outsourcing from America jobs are going to Bangalore
43m how is the outsourcing affecting the traditional culture
42m British colony for 200 years, so middle class speak English
42m Bangalore first with satellite
42m call centers the how America talks to India
41m call center workers earn more than they ever needed, and they have free time
40m sales calls
40m hang-ups so you have to be able to take rejection
39m tech support
39m Indians are competitive because how many people there are you must fight to stay alive
37m accent neutralization… sound like who you are calling
35m they talk to us and imitate us how does that affect them
34m India coat of living is 1/5 of USA
34m Call center make 200 per month
33m America has been exposed to India for decades but now they can actually become America, before it was just a fantasy
32m a 21 was getting married or studying, but now they work
31m now becoming more materialistic
31m Call center people are becoming brand conscience (becoming a mini America)
31m the future is very good for India
30m the base on the guru is falling the new is Bill Gates
29m ‘my god is immortal for me’
29m older people respected their parents now they think independent they may say ‘no’ to your parents
28 m family bond is very strong still though
27m 54% of the Indian population is under the age of 25. 555m young people
26m is globalization to look more like USA?
22m they talk about traditions and the importance and the pictures tied to Hindu worship
22m [traditions are important, but why do something that was done? WHY? Yes we need to know what was done but we need to be smart about what we do don’t just do it because it was done but have a mind behind what is being done]
21m “glocalize” use what is best locally, and still be global
20m Changing traditional skills to the new world sculpting to digital 3d… that way the skills do not die
18m a 26part series about Krishna is being made for the world market, with American actors, American writers, and Indian illustrators
16m ‘the outsourcing is a tip of the iceberg, there is much more going to be done’
15m India middle class is 300million people a big marketplace to sell to
14m innovations is the future of America in America
14m globalization has to be two-way traffic (American money was gained at the expense of the rest of the world in the past)
13m Infosys campus is like a resort not a business.
12m almost all American corporation use Indian for an integral part of their livelihood
11m to make the world a safer place the *stans countries need access to this global market if they do not have it they will fight to get it. [Economics can stop wars]
9m only a small % of the Indian population is touched by the IT boom
9m 10% of India lives in slums
8m though they do work construction of IT buildings for 1-2dollars a day they live in slums without water children not going to school migrating from villages
6m local villagers make incense sticks for 5-10 rupees a day as a cottage industry; a corporation does it mechanically taking away whole villages of jobs [yunus says this is the next global activist for industry to support other people at the cost of a little bit of profits]
7m globalization must be good for everyone to work if the poor are left behind there will be problems.
5m do we let the poor village move to the city, or cherish them and figure out a job they can do in the village that is global
4m ‘quality of life… where is it all going?’ TL Freidman
3m it must be made good for all people
3m there is examples of the ‘ideal’ that is good untouchable kids learning computers at a young age.
2m an Indian who made it big in America using his money to help the poorest children of India
1m the poor are just as smart as anyone given the chance they can be as good as anyone1m the high tech segment in India is only 3million people today

The Story We Find Ourselves In

The story we find ourselves in –brian mclaren c2003
Book two of a three book series
A New Kind Of Christian
The Story We Find Ourselves In
The Last Word And The Word After That
This book has a pretty good idea, but the foundation and acceptance of evolution being right poorly skew most of the foundation arguments of the book. (After the many science articles I have read about evolution there is, in my opinion, more faith required for this scientific theory than is needed to believe in the easter bunny.) So by trying to base the arguments on evolution the result is very unsound theology. And while some ideas sound plausible in the short term when they are brought out into eternity (the same amount of time available for evolution) the conclusion is awry.

The largest of these theologically is it is assumed that as time continues that Christianity will take hold and the world will evolve towards the perfection of heaven on earth. Yet why then do we even need Christ, why over and over again is it said in the Bible that the world get worse for followers before it becomes renewed?

I have not yet decided if I am for or against the idea that the sin of man was gradual vs. starting with a single event (eating an apple.) Did Adam and Eve sin small while their son committing murder larger? Then the reasoning behind the sin in the book… God intended people to be dependant on him by following animals around, hunter gatherers. But when Cain settled down on land and owned it he killed his brother for using ‘his’ land. The conclusion is that God wanted us to be dependant on God by being dependant on roaming around. Why then is the future heaven described as a new City of Jerusalem?

The books does show the process of how and why a person would still want to accept Christ as a personal savior, and rightly struggles with why / how Christ dying on the cross can really work to get us in alignment with God.

My notes while reading the book:
Pxiv The goal of this book is to help ‘nonreligious be spiritual’ people discover how their lives in the context of this new old story, while helping modern Christians re-imagine our story beyond the grid of its modern telling.

Pxv do not accept the answers as right, but challenge to develop your own view that is better than this book has. [and I have / am if you look at my other posts]

P14 ‘then the bible was read aloud… then two questions were asked, what did you notice? what struck you?’ … followed by How does this relate to your life?’

P17 ‘Carol and I have been in pastoral ministry and around death and dying long enough to know that the best thing to do at times like this is not to offer assurances, but just listen. “I’m sure you’ll be just fine’ is intended to cheer up the person in pain, but it also give the unintended message ‘your not allowed to talk about death.” Dying is hard enough, but dying and not being able to talk about it – if you want to and need to talk – is harder still.’

P20 he was totally devoted to God, but not religious about his spirituality, it is like ‘he discovered a whole new way of being a Christian’

P30 ‘let there be…’ God created something that is outside of himself. My personal example would be a model railroad designed to complete detail in my imagination, then the real one made created, and able to exist when my thoughts change. To build my railroad I used stuff that existed, when God created he made the stuff that exists.

P33 ‘for me [genesis] is a story that gives us in-formation a story that forms us inwardly with truth and meaning.’ It is not a facts story but an illustration story just like the Native American Indian stories are about their stories. But as it fits closer with science somehow it all needs to become science.

P37 God intended for people to have relationships, with people animals and Himself.

P40 God created us in his image to be partners in what he created,

P49 every thing is both supernatural, and everything is natural, God is involved in all we know and he is apart from all we know.

P52 God made the world good not perfect / ideal

P52 the evil of humanity does not erase the goodness of God

P54-55 the ‘fall’ sin of man is tied to physical and technology advancement if evolution is true [to me there are large enough gaps to say it is as true as if God was like a prolific artist making drawing after drawing each one slightly improved.] Adam and Eve had more knowledge than they could handle morally this lead to awkwardness
Hunter gathers dependent on the world must travel light developed language etc
Herders traveled with the animals in their care, must travel light
Crop growers can stay put have lots of stuff own land etc
Cain a crop grower killed Able a herder in a field (maybe over land use dispute?)
[I could see this for Cain and able but not Adam and eve, I think they were influenced]
p57 the next technological advance cities and bricks

p56 human beings intellect grow beyond their moral wisdom and self restraint

p56 if you live in a city you do not feel much need for God

p62 gods in Abrams time were territorial, on a river the next a plain, a mountain… if you lived somewhere you tried to appease the nearby gods because they could tend to get mean

p62 [the book seams not to acknowledge that God does interact with us like Abram realized on his own there is only one God]

p66 God wants his people to be a blessing to others that is why he blesses them

p82 The bible is a book that does not tell you what to think but how to think

P101 the world is real separate from god (it is not in Gods imagination)

P102 a theory is like looking out a window at the sky you cant see it all but with different windows you can get a fuller picture

P113 conversations don’t all need to be deep / spiritual

P117 we need to see Jesus relative to when he lived [Jesus would have done different things if he lived in 2007 Chicago.]

P121 Jesus was master to the disciples as a master craftsman has his students.

P127 A new kind of Christina called together to learn from Christ then sent out to be an example and teach others the same way of life.

P147 we see it all as the past event makes the next event happen… what if we are being pulled to a goal the final needs the event before it to happen etc. [God is not fixing a broken world as much as he is making the steps for a final complete world, like baking a cake has many steps before it is good]

P160 what Newton called laws seams more like language, less important than what they make possible. Just as grammar is less important than the conveyance words allow.

P165 Jesus was not about creating a new culture but about showing how all the current ones are part of God’s story of history.

P165 the ‘blocks’ of understood religion are good it is just they need to be rearranged.

P167 [Is heaven eternal a steady state bliss like a happy rock? Or is it a story, active, real, changing?]

P169 to the middle classes it is not good to make a little bubble of good family values but include the poor in what is good.

P187 On the Galapagos Islands animals are not afraid of people because humans care for them as what they are, not how they could be exploited.

My Conclusions:This book does exactly what it says it would, I do not agree with most of it, but it is making me take the time to think through what I do think.