Friday, November 30, 2007

The world as a village of 100 people

Statistics made easier to grasp.

Friday Five: Grumpy Holiday Edition

I’m not a member of the Revgals, but this meme caught my attention:

Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey?
Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols?

Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stic
k it? (Lights please.)
Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.

Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....

1) dessert/cookie/family food

Least favorite: fruit cake and other breads with the hard little “fruits.”

Favorite: Cookies, any kind without nuts. Yummy! Especially if they have almond flavoring.

Christmas morning: Grapefruit with special sweet rolls.

How about taco salad on Christmas eve? It is an easy, colorful supper to have half prepared before attending church.

2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...)

I don’t drink enough to have developed a favorite, although I like white wine anytime. Eggnog even looks bad to me.

Warm spiced cider is always comforting, especially when coming in from the cold.

3) tradition (church, family, other)

Biggest pet peeve: The common question asked in early December, "Are you ready for Christmas?" Well, yes, I am ready for Jesus. No, I haven't started any of the shopping, decorating, or cooking.

Dislike: being too too busy in December, so that we don’t even have anyone over before Christmas.

I love attending church together on Christmas Eve. Singing hymns on Christmas Eve.

I love the sun pouring in the windows on Christmas morning as we gather with the family around the tree.

I like having only a few presents/person, but savoring opening them and sharing meaning rather than “things.”

4) decoration

Don’t like: early decorating, I like to get at the decorating slowly, then savor it until at least Ephipany.

Wanting to buy some new decorations but seeing how commercialized Christmas is in the stores.

I like: A real tree we cut ourselves from the woods, a Charlie Brown tree on which you can really “hang” the ornaments so that they show. Remembering who gave me some of the ornaments.

Looking at the Christmas tree without my glasses on! Hey, when you are this near sighted, you take your jollies where you can find them!

5) gift (received or given) I’m happier with a simple gift that shows a connection between the giver and me than with something that costs a lot.

BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it.

I don’t listen to commercial radio during the Christmas season if I can help it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Royal College of Kamuli, Uganda

I just started a new blog about the secondary school we visited in Uganda called The Royal College of Kamuli. Royal means "The Royal Reign of Jesus." I'll be posting about the school on the new blog and more general posts about my trip to Uganda, East Africa, on this blog. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Personality Profile

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.

Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.

In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.

You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.

And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Safely Back!

We have returned, safe and happy, with much to tell, but too tired to write and reflect right now. I met people of great faith, and I was inspired. I’m looking forward to some time to organize my thoughts and share my pictures. Thanks for your prayers!

May God richly bless you this advent season. Check back in a few days for some of my “travelogue.”

Friday, November 02, 2007

a Trip

Tomorrow I fly “across the pond” and then I’ll fly to the Equator by Monday. Once there, I’ll be working and learning with other people on a Global Village house build (see map at link). After seeing a national park and the source of the Nile River, I’ll be visiting an email friend at a Christian secondary school, then home with a stop in London. I hope I can post some pictures and commentary at the end of November.

Please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Civilian Deaths During War

In my previous posting, I was recalling, from memory, a retired government official I had seen on TV who stated that the military had a policy that it was OK to kill a certain number of civilians to get at a specific enemy person. Reader SO questioned me, was this really the "official policy?"

Since I couldn't recall the name of the official and I haven't been able to pull up specifics on a 'net search, I shouldn't really be making that bold of a statement. The context of the interview I saw had to do with the inevitability of civilian deaths during war, and how many might be "acceptable."

I have done a search on Google, CNN, MPR, and ABC without finding the specific reference I wanted. If you put "civilian casualties" in a search engine, you will see larger numbers than you might imagine. One website, the IBC claims to have crossed checked numbers.

Maybe we could think of this as though we were in the Iraqi or Afghani shoes: How many incidental deaths would we think are acceptable when caused by someone who is supposed to be helping us?

Of course, there are complex happenings and causes in many of the situations. But a dead person's relatives grieve with real tears.