Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Medium is Message

Shane Hipps, author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church, maintains that not only is the message profoundly affected by the medium, but also the recipient of that message. Like Marshall McLuhan, one of the first voices to equate medium and message, Hipps notes the power of media inherent in its form, irrespective of the content. In the first section of his book, he provides a way to perceive the actual effects of technological mediums through insightful analysis of past Western engagement with the media of its time. Then he unpacks the possibility of intentionally, rather than blindly, utilizing technological medium for the purposes of the kingdom of God in community, leadership and worship. He offers a descriptive and a prescriptive, context and counsel, for operating as the body of Christ in our media drenched culture. Definitely recommended.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Celebrating in Estes Park, Colorado my parents' 50 years together....blessing generations!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I have it again...which doesn't surprise me anymore, but does bring some guilt. Because I know my life is easy...really easy in fact. Especially compared to females under the Taliban (Hosseini's gripping 2nd novel) or friends in my close circle who've lost mothers and spouses and health.

But I'm not the only one...it's endemic in our culture, despite the constant choices presented to us every minute. Maybe partly because of those. Maybe our youth have it because they are not allowed to have freedom and responsibility (see previous post).

There are those who definitely have more extreme cases than others...the types that Jon Krakauer writes about. They climb very tall mountains. They sell all to live alone in a remote land. Some of us just start a blog.

I've noticed that after about a couple of years of college, right around 20, it often shows up. My oldest has it. So on a whim I bought her Erik Mirandette's The Only Road North. I knew nothing about it, but because it had to do with adventure and Africa, I thought it might appeal. Did it ever.

He writes about his service in Africa, his choice when restlessness descends on him after two years at the Air Force Academy. He chronicles about his naive, yet heartfelt response to the destitute refugees in Morocco and his strong desire to see the countries from which they were fleeing. This compulsion led him and his brother and best friend on a journey by dirt bikes through the heart of Africa. A riveting account of persistence, adventure, joyful comraderie and almost unbearable pain and grief, the book deals with hard stuff without giving easy, canned answers. Some of the difficult questions Mirandette asks:
Would he choose differently had he known the outcome? Why did he feel so alone when facing death? Where was the God of "the valley of the shadow of death"? Was the cost worth it? And knowing who he is (an adventurer at heart) would he be satisfied with any less? Does restlessness have something to do with purpose? Is the cost greater if the restlessness or call is ignored, anesthetized?

Friday, July 20, 2007


Read a controversial article (at least in education circles) here. (Thanks to Wittingshire). The concept of adolescence being a relatively new phenomenon is something I first came across in homeschooling circles years ago.

My current experience with high school students (generally most turn 16 sometime during the school year) is that once they get a license there's a marked change in their maturity...especially if they have to hold a job to pay for gas and insurance. Suddenly they can relate, even if it's just remotely, to JeanValjean's struggle to sacrifice.

Which brings me to a related topic regarding the huge shift in the way 21st century students learn. But more on that later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Medieval Help Desk

Check out the you tube video (thanks to Per Caritatem). Kind of how I'm feeling as a new blogger...

Monday, July 16, 2007

This Blog

I have lots of words that run constantly through my mind. Doubts and questions. Trying to make sense of the rapid changes in technology and how my very thought process is molded by it. So my oldest daughter, her blog, got me into the blog scene where I hope to post some of those thoughts and process the questions.

Fallback words are powerful. They are the words that remain in my mind when nothing else is there, the words I fall back on almost subconsciously, the words that speak back what I believe on an elemental level about God, myself, the world, and my place in it.

Usually they are the words we've lived with for a long time.

My grandmother, when she was in the midst of chemotherapy, heard a man's voice sing hymns in a rich baritone over and over in her mind. She called him Buddy. Some say he was her angel. Maybe. But she had lived with those hymns most of her life..."Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,..." "Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart every word." Her fallback words.

Lauren Winner says in Girl Meets God that through "sitting with liturgy," her habitual prayer, that "words of praise to God are becoming the most basic words... they are becoming the fallback words."

The most fundamental word can be and will be ultimately His...or...Him.