90s Christian Music Recovery Group

My latest Internet fixation/timesuck is the "90s Christian Music Recovery Group" Facebook group. From the description: You went to Youth Group in the 90s. At some point, you heard about Tooth and Nail records. In some cases, their bands and others became your life. In some cases, you also were a fan of All Star United. You grew up, and "backslid" into evil secular music. Still, the music of your youth is a part of you. We are here to help you through those times when you remember Plumb and … [Read more...]

Obama’s Bow and the Idolatry of American Exceptionalism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agUx79yG1LoThis ad, sponsored by SOFA (Special Operations for America) has been circulating around the internet. Obviously, context is important. If SOFA was merely trying to point out that one head of state should never have to give fealty to another head of state, then I understand the criticism on some level. From the little I know about the etiquette between heads of state, I think it is standard procedure for such leaders to treat each other as equals. … [Read more...]

Confession of Sin on Twitter?

Twitter is a fun part of social media because it is the meeting ground for possibility and brevity. In 140 characters or less, you can inform folks about your lunch, send your followers to a link you enjoyed, or try to impress everyone with how witty and concise you can be. But should there be limits that go beyond number of characters? Should you expose your soul to the world and come clean for you sins in 140 characters or less? I wouldn't recommend it.There is a community of Reformed Jews … [Read more...]

President Obama and Cultivating Habits of the Heart

A recent Vanity Fair interview with President Obama highlighted how his daily habits produce a routine for the ordinary aspects of his life, freeing him to focus on the important decisions he faces. Maria Popova connects the President’s strategy to psychologist and philosopher William James, in an article posted at The Atlantic: In fact, the same tenets Obama applies to the architecture of his daily life are those . . . William James wrote about in 1887, when he penned Habit (public library; p … [Read more...]

New Mumford & Sons | Babel

When Mumford & Sons first album, Sigh No More, hit the shelves in 2010, there was something so refreshing and novel, yet so timeless about it that immediately hooked me and easily became my favorite album of the year. And I wasn’t the only one; somehow this British folk/rock/Americana outfit was quickly sharing airwaves with Beyoncé and Katy Perry. People couldn’t get enough of these folksy Brits with Appalachian sensibilities. Especially within the Christian crowd: lyrics such as, “It seems … [Read more...]

Fighting Human Trafficking

This week, President Obama issued an executive order meant to work toward the end of human trafficking. The order came in response to a petition with more than 73,000 signatures delivered to the President back in June of this year. (I had the chance and the honor of signing the petition.)In his speech announcing the executive order, the President said this about modern-day slavery: Now, I do not use that word, "slavery" lightly.  It evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our … [Read more...]

Is “Les Mis” Slated to Be Groundbreaking?

A promo video giving moviegoers a glimpse into the forthcoming film version of Les Misérables was released recently. Here's the video:http://youtu.be/wwgQjfg0hZwI'm generally not fond of musicals, but I am quite interested in seeing this production. My attention was caught when director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, 2010) said this about musicals: "You can tell in your bones there's something false or unreal about people singing to playback. . . . [S]inging live has such an impact on the … [Read more...]

Play: Good for Children and Other Living Things

I must admit, I read the article "Is CrossFit Training Good for Kids?" with significant skepticism. It's not that I'm a stranger to difficult workouts; I ran DI cross country and track, I have 18 marathons to my credit, and yes, I can do cleans. To me, these CrossFit workouts sound fun except for the fact that they're taking place indoors.My primary concern is not that the workouts are too hard for kids (though I think that's possible if the staff is not appropriately trained or the workouts … [Read more...]

Be Creative and Live Longer

Exercise and diet are the quintessential factors contributing to good health and prolonged life. They may have some company, after a study found that creativity is another factor that does the body good.Fast Company’s Co.Exist channel reports that: In a study of 1,349 older male veterans, creativity—serving as an indication of openness, the willingness to try new things and accept new ideas—seems to have predicted a longer lifespan. The Journal of Aging and Health study, which followed the m … [Read more...]

How “Star Trek” Can Shape a Life

Writing for Wired, "GeekMom" Jules Sherred explains the importance of Star Trek to her life, and how it shaped her. My first conversation about this new series didn’t go exactly how I had hoped. For the rest of my class, Star Trek: The Next Generation was the first time they had watched Star Trek on television. They had seen most of the motion pictures, but they had no idea what I was referring to when I would draw parallels to Star Trek: The Original Series. Despite being slightly disappointed … [Read more...]