Archive for January, 2009

A Book Review: the Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight

January 31, 2009

The subtitle for the Blue Parakeet reads: “Rethinking How You Read the Bible.”  After taking a class in Biblical Hermeneutics (the science of the interpretation of the Bible) two semesters ago, I am very interested in this conversation.  The title reflects the main analogy, or parable if you will, that Scot McKnight uses throughout his book to assist readers in connecting the ideas he presents in this book.  The first three “parts” are dedicated to…
                  What is the Bible?
                                 What Do I Do with the Bible?
              and                                 How Do I Benefit from the Bible?


Photo by: Zondervan

In the last partof the book, McKnight uses a somewhat controversial topic to discuss the points he makes in the beginning of the book: The Question of Women in Ministry.  And he does a good job of building a case for the support of women in ministry by highlighting what women did in the old testament and new testament as well as the cultural aspects that are often not taken into account when interpreting the passages where Paul is often said to be silencing women in the church.  Though I think McKnight has great ideas and is able to communicate them in down to earth, practical ways, I found the writing to be very choppy and somewhat hard to follow at times.  It was an interesting book and I am glad I read it.  I think it would be a good primer, if you will, to offer folks who are interested in understanding where folks who support women in ministry are coming from.  While they may not agree, at least they may get a glimpse of the fact that those who do support women in ministry aren’t ignoring the difficult passages in order to do what they want to do.


RevGals Friday Five: Cabin Fever

January 23, 2009
Rick C

Photo by: Rick C

For this weeks Friday Five over at REVGALs, Singing Owl writes…

Sorry for the late posting! My daughter’s car won’t start, and I just returned from driving her to work. I think she made need a block heater. Speaking of that…

Here in snow country we are settled in to what is a very long stretch of potentially boring days. The holidays are over. It is a very long time till we will get outside on a regular basis. The snow that seemed so beautiful at first is now dirty and the snow banks are piling up. Our vehicles are all the same shade of brownish grey, but if we go to the car wash our doors will freeze shut. People get grumpy. Of course, not everyone lives in a cold climate, but even in warmer places the days till springtime can get long. Help! Please give us five suggestions for combating cabin fever and staying cheerful in our monochromatic world?

Well, while the weather guessers threatened it would snow as much as 6 inches earlier this week, we have none.  And since my job would require me to get rid of it from the sidewalks and parking lots of a 30 building facility, I am okay with that.  Very okay in fact.  But none the less, I will do what I can to offer help to those in the more “warmth challenged” areas of the country and world with my five suggestions for combating cabin fever.  I will warn you…some of them are ridiculous.

  1. Trucker night.  Dress up in flannel shirts and ball caps and eat dinner with your hands.  (No offense intended to truckers…it’s just something ridiculous to do)
  2. Breakfast for dinner.  This might help break up the monotony a bit.
  3. Eat dessert first.  ‘Nuff said.
  4. Look through old pictures or boxes of art the kids made when they were small(er).  That is if you have kids.  I don’t, but then again this isn’t for me.
  5. Make a time capsule.  True, you can’t bury it if the ground is frozen, but maybe it can go up in the attic.
  6. BONUS: Purge!  Not sure if this is true of everyone, but getting rid of stuff I don’t need is very energizing.  Granted you would have to take it to the car through the snow, but maybe that wouldn’t be so bad?  *shrug*

Master’s Thesis Survey

January 22, 2009

Hello blog friends  : )

A friend of a friend is looking for folks to take a 15 minute survey about The Personal Attitudes and Behaviors and Work Place Behaviors.   To take the survey, you must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • employed full time (greater than 32 hours per week) in the United States
  • have 6 months or more in your company
  • NOT self-employed

If you fit in that category, please read the info below or click on here.  The survey will end on January 31, 2009.



            I’m in the final semester of my Master’s program and am working on my Masters Thesis and researching personal values and work behaviors. I’d like to ask you for your time to fill out a survey which would be used to complete this research.

            I have included in this email a link to an online survey that will ask you questions about your personal attitudes and behaviors and workplace behaviors. Please only complete this survey if you are 18 years of age or older, if you are currently employed full-time (32 hours per week or more) in the United States, and if you have been working for your current company for at least the past six months. Please do not complete the survey if you are self-employed. If you cannot complete the survey because of this criteria, please forward it to any friends you have that do qualify to take the survey. You just need to forward this e-mail with the link below.

            The survey is completely anonymous and should take approximately 10 minutes of your time. After completing the survey it would be greatly appreciated if you would forward this email on to any one you know who may be willing and eligible to participate. Please contact me if you are interested in the results of the study or if you have any questions about the study. The survey period will end on January 31, 2009.

 Here is the link to the survey. It will take 15 minutes maximum to complete so please take your time to carefully read the questions.

Thank you very much for your help!

Ellen Tsang

Ellen Tsang
Distribution Research
Allstate Research and Planning

Modern Mary

January 17, 2009

Photo by: Hibachirama

I stumbled upon this phenomenal photo today.  This statue was sculpted by Robert Graham and it sits above the huge bronze doors (which he also designed) at the entrance to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.  Apparently it is a bit controversial due to the fact that Mary is not pictured in the normal veil.  In addition, the man who sculpted her usually sculpted nudes. 

I however, think his statue is absolutely beautiful.  This is what the cathedral website has to say about it:

The ornamental space above the pair of bronze doors contains the 8 foot image of Our Lady of the Angels. The modern figure is presented as a woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet” (Revelations 12:1). The halo shaft above her head shines God’s light on her as the sun travels from east to west.

Mary does not wear the traditional veil. Her arms are bare, outstretched to welcome all. Her carriage is confident, and her hands are strong, the hands of a working woman. From the side can be seen a thick braid of hair down her back that summons thoughts of Native American or Latina women. Other characteristics, such as her eyes, lips and nose convey Asian, African and Caucasian features. Without the conventional regal trappings of jewels, crown or layers of clothing, she has a dignity that shines from within.

Originally, two bronzed angels were to be placed one on each side of Our Lady of the Angels. However, the first Spanish name for Los Angeles was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora, Reina de los Angeles. Mary is Queen of Los Angeles, so the people in her city are her angels.

I love, love, love it how the sculptor incorporated all the various ethnicities into one statue.  Absolutely brilliant.  And “her hands are strong, the hands of a working woman” captures something wonderful to me…even sacred I think. 

While I can understand why some people might find this statue offensive, I am astounded by it’s beauty.

CDs vs. mp3s

January 16, 2009

That’s it!  I’m done with CDs!  I have decided that I am not going to buy any more CDs.  I have spent a ton of time this evening ripping CDs to my computer to catch up with all the CDs that I already have, but I will not buy any more!  It’s too much work.  That said, I think CDs are going to become pretty cheap very soon (who knows…maybe not) so if that’s the case, I might buy them to save money.  But other than that, it’s mp3s for me!  Okay…that is all.


Photo by: ArtNow314