Tuesday, October 30, 2007

online bibles

There is nothing quite like a comfortable, familiar Bible--one that you've used for a long time, with notes in the margins, underlines, dog-ears, and maybe even coffee stains. A good Bible can almost become like a good friend. As much as I am into the Internet, I'll always have a favorite "old-fashioned" Bible of ink and paper.

But there are times when an online Bible can be incredibly useful. So here are some links to online Bibles of various translations:
  • Oremus Bible Browser - Includes New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), Anglicized NRSV, and the King James Version (KJV). Allows you to create a page with multiple passages.
  • StudyLight.org - Many translations, including: New American Standard (NAS), New International Version (NIV), Contemporary English Version (CEV), Good News Translation, The Message, King James Version, New King James Version (NKJV), and the Easy-to-Read Version. Also has commentaries linked to each verse. Allows side-by-side comparison of two translations.
  • BibleGateway - Many, many translations. A bit more friendly than StudyLight, but StudyLight has more commentaries, and they're linked in with each verse. Allows you to compare several translations side-by-side.

Monday, October 22, 2007

monday morning musings

It's Monday morning. Time for a few thoughts coming off the weekend.

Watching CNN this morning, I notice that the corner logo for CNN is green. A Google search on "CNN logo color" turned up this Digg for a site called TVNewser. Turns out the logo changed color on Friday. Now I'm trying to figure out if I went all weekend without watching CNN, or if I just didn't notice it until this now...


One of my regular reads, Jay Voorhees' blog Only Wonder Understands first brought to my attention the "outing" of Albus Dumbledore, the well-loved major character from the Harry Potter series. Jay's headline, "I never saw this one coming...", captures my initial reaction.

I'm a pretty big Harry Potter fan, and I have to admit that my second response to Rowling's announcement was a bit of dismay. There are already too many well-meaning Christians who condemn the series based solely on the fact that it's about "witchcraft". Now undoubtedly there will be cries of "I told you so" from those who want to justify their condemnation.

Yup. Here's one early example, from an ABC News report:
One major anti-Potter crusader is Laura Mallory, a mother of four from Georgia, who made headlines earlier this month when she told the Gwinnett County Board of Education that the series was trying to indoctrinate children into the Wicca religion. In response to Dumbledore's outing, Mallory told ABC News that the Potter series has "an anti-Christian agenda," and, "this only further supports that."
I don't agree with Mallory. The Potter series does not have an anti-Christian agenda. Just the opposite, in fact.

What I can't understand is why Dumbledore's sexuality matters. I've read the entire series (more than once, excepting the final book), and it never occurred to me to even wonder about Dumbledore's sex life. I really never saw this one coming.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

advent conspiracy

Via an email from The Work of the People, I found out about Advent Conspiracy, a campaign to restore "the scandal of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption." Their aim is to help people to avoid "being consumed by consumerism" this Christmas, by a fourfold commitment:
  • worship more
  • spend less
  • give more
  • love all
They also ask that participating churches give at least 25% of their Christmas offering to clean water projects. (What a "coincidence": my sermon last Sunday was largely about lack of drinking water and its effects of children world-wide.)

Check out their website for more information!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

blog hopping

I've always been fascinated with maps. So I'm grateful to Coudal Partners Fresh Signals for pointing me to this 90-second animated map of the history of religion.

This one map is interesting enough. But there's a whole bunch more where that came from!

Monday, October 15, 2007


You've got to start somewhere, so that's where I'm starting...

A few weeks ago, I traveled to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection for the 2007 Leadership Institute, along with Pastor Lisa, Linda Geishert, and Danice Loveridge. Also with us was Rev. John Wesley Lee, pastor of Faith UMC in Freeport, Illinois. It's about an 8 hour drive, and with the 5 of us packed into Danice's minivan, we each got a turn at riding in the third row of seats. If you've ever been in the "way back" seat of a minivan, you know that communicating with those in the front can be challenging. Although I did try to keep up with the flow of the conversation, I took some time to begin reading a book called The Blogging Church. This has helped to inspire me to do what I have wanted to do for a while: begin a blog.

This will be a personal blog, with occasional posts on many topics: my musings, current events, scripture, religion, and the events of my life, family, and ministry. Because I'm a United Methodist pastor, currently appointed as Associate Pastor to Poplar Grove, Blaine, and Hunter United Methodist Churches, there will be much about those churches here. I'm hoping that many people will visit: church members, family, friends and strangers. I look forward to hearing from you all.