Death & The Neo-Politics of Bad Guys in Post 9/11 America

So, what do we celebrate when a social villain is killed? I got the news on my phone while I was running around Chuck E Cheese (A local video/ mini-amusement restaurant) with my four year old: Osama Bin Laden Dead; Killed by U.S. Forces. My initial reaction was nothing. What could I feel? A man, who had allegedly done all these horrific things to our country, was now killed. What did that mean to me? Not a damn thing. During the Vietnam war era, hundreds of African Americans carried signs that stated: No Vietnamese Ever Called Me A Nigger!” I have to, in context, say the same thing in regards to Bin Laden: What did he do to me? The nine police officers that brutally murdered friends of mine during the late 80’s are still alive—and well I might add. The police officers that shot and killed a bi-polar elderly African American man because he wouldn’t come down off his roof are still alive and were never brought to trial. The people and entities who brought crack cocaine into my neighborhood and addicted millions for decades to come…are still alive. Therefore, what should I celebrate? The death of an entity? That ideology is still very much alive and well. Moreover, part of that ideology was created in the “heat of passion” when the U.S. was making love with members of guerilla Afghans who would in turn, kill the infidel Soviet Union soldiers, so that we could avoid World War III during the late 70’s and early 80’s and still flex our military muscle—using Bin Laden and his merry men as grunts.
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When the Will of God is Scary

True or false? “God yearns to rescue people so that they know God is good.”

Awhile back I visited a mini conference in the Los Angeles area with Gary Haugen as the speaker. Gary Haugen is founder and president of International Justice Mission, a DC based organization that works in a number of countries to combat slavery and ultimately wipe it out completely.

Immediately following the quote above, Gary said, “We are called to help rescue people.” I agree with Gary. As I continue to seek in the Bible what God would have of me in this life, I am more and more convinced that it is the work of justice. In fact, God doesn’t even want my offering and worship to him if I’m not obeying his commands to care and serve those in need. Read Isaiah 58 and you'll see what I mean.

Would Jesus Use a Plastic Water Bottle?

Would Jesus Use a Plastic Water Bottle?

(I know -- not possible – but just go along with me…)

One of my good friends runs the Surfrider Foundation (Jim Moriarty – you can find interviews with him on this blog) and he has been on the disposable water bottle issue for years.  In fact, ever since I met him he has been an advocate for stopping the use of single use plastics.  I agree.  Surfrider recently published this page that gives a pretty good explanation of why.

  

But I got to thinking about whether Jesus would have used a plastic water bottle or a snazzy SIGG aluminum jug.  The short answer is there is no way of knowing, but I had a couple of stray thoughts:

 
  1. Jesus seemed to like nature (His nature) quite a bit.  He lived in it, taught in it, and used it as the subject of many of his parables.  He really did think a lot of it.  Strike against single use water bottles that pretty much do nothing good for nature.
  2. Jesus was a minimalist.  He didn’t carry a heavy load around and it appears he may have been one of the first hyper-light backpackers.  So a reusable bottle would probably have been a good thing.  Why would he want to carry a case of water every day?
  3. Jesus did like new wine skins.  Not really on point, but kind of a funny thought.
  4. Jesus was more interested in pure water (the living kind) than lots of water (see 40 days in the barren waste land).
  5. Jesus never really supported the idea of destruction – except for himself as the temple.
  6. Jesus did not like wasting his time and it seems like making lots of bottles to hold water and then making them over and over and over again because we use them once and toss them is a big waste of time.
  7. Jesus cared more about people than stuff – even nature – so that probably cuts in favor of a single use bottle if that is all they had around.
  8. Jesus walked on water – not an island of plastics in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.
 
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God's Plan for Justice is You

When I was 19, I wanted to work at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca. My aunt, who was an employee at the time and still is today, allowed me to put her name down as a referral on my application. She even made a phone call on my behalf to the casting department which helped me get an interview and eventually led to employment as a cast member of the magic kingdom. (After working there for awhile, the magic kingdom morphs into the tragic kingdom).

 

Since it was her referral that got me the job, I wanted to be a good, dependable worker so that her referral was not made in vain. If I had been a lazy, unreliable worker, one, I would have made my aunt look bad and two, the casting department could have lost trust in her abilities to bring on good workers to the resort. My actions had a direct relation to her reputation as my referral.

 
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God and natural disasters

Of all the types of suffering we see in the world, sometimes the most difficult to comprehend is the tragedy of natural disasters. With the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we are once again reminded that nature has the power to unleash unimaginable destruction, causing loss of life and suffering on a scale that’s difficult to comprehend.

You can’t help but feel a sense of helplessness when such disasters occur. Because their origin comes from this planet we call home, we all feel the sting when the earth convulses. And we wonder: Can we trust this life-giving sphere that is usually so good to us? It all seems rather capricious, especially when those who are least able to handle the terrestrial smack of earthquakes, typhoons, and floods are often hit the hardest.

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The fulfillment of Revelation 18: Iraq's current pursuit of wealth

Two days ago in the Wall Street Journal an article was written titled “The Great Iraqi Oil Rush” under an add for the CEREWEEK 2011 energy conference.  The writer is Bhushan Bahree and is the HIS CERA Senior Director whose job is to focus on global oil markets, OPEC, and the Middle East. This was written as a heads up for what will be discussed at the energy conference in Houston, Texas this week.  I found it fascinating because the writer presents Iraq’s aggressive plan to produce and export their oil.  Why is this so interesting?  Because of what the book of Revelation says about Babylon in the time of tribulation.  I am specifically referring to Revelation chapter 18 where it speaks of Babylon, located in modern day Iraq, being a powerhouse in economic commerce.

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CNN Announces Launch of The Freedom Project

Tony Maddox, CNN International Executive Vice President and managing director was quoted today saying, “It’s our journalism-based assertion that this [human trafficking] is the greatest uncovered news story of today, and CNN plans to rip the lid off.”

 

CNN’s effort to “rip the lid off” begins with the official launch of The Freedom Project. The site will include regular features such as tracking the numbers of people currently enslaved, solutions to the issues and success stories of survivors and organizations committed to ending the world’s problem of human trafficking.

 
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GAD? Update 2_20_11

Sorry it has been so long since you have heard from us,  we have been focused on doing test screenings of Give A Damn? and our composer Ian Perry is hard at work creating an original score for the film. Its sounding awesome!

There has been a lot of waiting to hear back from festivals. We did not get into South by Southwest, and are waiting to hear back from Tribeca, Hot Docs, & Sheffield. We plan to submit to Silverdocs and the Los Angeles Film festivals. From there, we will start expanding to enter into a wider array of festivals. If you are the praying type, we could definitely use some help in this one!

We have done more than a dozen test screenings with some awesome results. I have attached a picture from one of our screenings. If you would like to be apart of our next screening or organize one yourself, just shoot us an email. The picture we attached were some friends who contacted us and took the initiative to get some folks together. On Feb 27th, we will have one of our largest test screenings at a coffee house out in Pacific, MO at 6pm. Let us know if you are interested!

I am a Human Being

There is a lot of crap in the world today, no doubt about it. Sin is everywhere and people are hurting. There is no denying it. Tonight I gave a presentation on Human Trafficking to some cool local college students. As they discovered, this issue is dark. The only hope I see in it all, is the light of Christ which reveals itself in those who know Christ on the personal level. As Moses' face radiated after seeing God, so do Christ's followers radiate light where there is darkness. This video is what light looks like when shone over the dark. I am a human being. I am loved. I am a work of art. I am precious. I am created with purpose. I am no different than any other person God has created. Here is a man who gets what it means to be a created human being and live with purpose. It's awesome really what one person can do. This guy could be you. 

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