What does your Wordle look like?

March 1, 2009

I’ve been blogging again for a little over a month.

A couple of weeks ago I found a pretty cool little website that searches the code of any site and compiles the commonly used words into a picture.

Wordle

Here is what it created with my site:
wordle1

I think it is an interesting way to see what you blog focuses on the most.

What is the focus of your blog/website??


Busted a Scam – Worldwide Subscriptions Corp.

February 28, 2009

Today was a fun filled day.

Met some people.

Did some shopping.

Busted up a scam operation at a local BP Gas Station.

You know…

Typical day.

Andrea and I stopped to refill the gas tank when a guy (early 20’s looking) approached my girlfriends car motioning to me to roll down my window. Being the nice guy that I am, I did. Smelling of gas and alcohol, He said was in a contest with all of the people with him (6 other very shady people approaching other customers). “Mike,” or whatever his name is, was studying to become a radio DJ and was trying to get enough points to get to Paris by selling magazine subscriptions, or to attend Radio School in Vegas, or trying to overcome his shyness (he used many excuses during our time together). He had to win “points” by selling the magazines so I bought into his story just to see where it would go. As soon as he brought up the idea of me handing over the money upfront, I have had enough. I told him I wasn’t interested and He then focused his attention to Andrea.

He told us that we could sign up and have them send educational magazines to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (using children with cancer… classy). Andrea bought his garbage (since she has a big heart for kids) and decided to buy a subscription.

She only had a credit card so he “needed” her to go to the ATM and take the money out. She gets out of the car and asks me “Are you coming in with me?”

My response:

“HELL YEA!”

I just need to say, thank you God for putting the idea of the iPhone in someone’s head because it has been a trusty friend.

As we were waiting to use the ATM, he was making small talk with Andrea and I noticed his “receipt” pad with the name: Worldwide Subscriptions Corps. I pulled out the trusty iPhone and googled the name.

The second result was from…SCAM.COM!

Story after story was from people who fell for the scam.

By this time, Andrea was catching on to what I was doing and she figured a way out of the situation by saying she didn’t have any money in her account. We started to walk back to the car and left.

Driving away from the pump, I decided to google “non-emergency 911 number.” I got the number for Altamonte Spring PD and spoke with a dispatcher about our fiasco (We didn’t want anyone else losing any money).

The response time for the policeman was incredible. I wasn’t even off the phone with dispatch and he pulled up right next to us.

As we drove away, we could see flashing lights.

Justice Served.

Has anyone fallen for a scam before?


Are You a Christian Hipster?

February 27, 2009

I think I fit into this category.
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As you know, I’m writing a book about Christian hipsters and “cool Christianity.” It’s coming along, but many people have asked me: what exactly is a Christian hipster? Am I one? Are you one?

Well, first of all: it’s just a funny label, and we all know that hipsters hate labels. So if you are still reading this post, eager to know what it all means, chances are you are not a Christian hipster. Or maybe you are, and you’re just intrigued by the whole thing (like I am!). In any case, the following is an excerpt from the last chapter I completed (Ch. 5: “Christian Hipsters Today”), and perhaps it will give you a bit of a better sense as to what Christian hipsters are all about…

Christian Hipster Likes and Dislikes (By No Means Exhaustive… Just a Sampling)

Things they don’t like:
Christian hipsters don’t like megachurches, altar calls, and door-to-door evangelism. They don’t really like John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart or youth pastors who talk too much about Braveheart. In general, they tend not to like Mel Gibson and have come to really dislike The Passion for being overly bloody and maybe a little sadistic. They don’t like people like Pat Robertson, who on The 700 Club famously said that America should “take Hugo Chavez out”; and they don’t particularly like The 700 Club either, except to make fun of it. They don’t like evangelical leaders who get too involved in politics, such as James Dobson or Jerry Falwell, who once said of terrorists that America should “blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” They don’t like TBN, PAX, or Joel Osteen. They do have a wry fondness for Benny Hinn, however.

Christian hipsters tend not to like contemporary Christian music (CCM), or Christian films (except ironically), or any non-book item sold at Family Christian Stores. They hate warehouse churches or churches with American flags on stage, or churches with any flag on stage, really. They prefer “Christ follower” to “Christian” and can’t stand the phrases “soul winning” or “non-denominational,” and they could do without weird and awkward evangelistic methods including (but not limited to): sock puppets, ventriloquism, mimes, sign language, “beach evangelism,” and modern dance. Surprisingly, they don’t really have that big of a problem with old school evangelists like Billy Graham and Billy Sunday and kind of love the really wild ones like Aimee Semple McPherson.

Things they like:
Christian hipsters like music, movies, and books that are well-respected by their respective artistic communities—Christian or not. They love books like Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider, God’s Politics by Jim Wallis, and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. They tend to be fans of any number of the following authors: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, John Howard Yoder, Walter Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Henri Nouwen, Soren Kierkegaard, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Annie Dillard, Marilynne Robison, Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, or anything ancient and/or philosophically important.

Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic, even if they are thoroughly Protestant/evangelical. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina, Lent, and timeless phrases like “Thanks be to God” or “Peace of Christ be with you.” They enjoy Eastern Orthodox churches and mysterious iconography, and they love the elaborate cathedrals of Europe (even if they are too museum-like for hipster tastes). Christian hipsters also love taking communion with real Port, and they don’t mind common cups. They love poetry readings, worshipping with candles, and smoking pipes while talking about God. Some of them like smoking a lot of different things.

Christian hipsters love breaking the taboos that used to be taboo for Christians. They love piercings, dressing a little goth, getting lots of tattoos (the Christian Tattoo Association now lists more than 100 member shops), carrying flasks and smoking cloves. A lot of them love skateboarding and surfing, and many of them play in bands. They tend to get jobs working for churches, parachurch organizations, non-profits, or the government. They are, on the whole, a little more sincere and idealistic than their secular hipster counterparts.

By Brett McCracken


Ode to Beards

February 26, 2009

Because I can’t grow one but I wish I could.


Ash Wednesday [or] Lent 2009 part 2

February 25, 2009

ashcross-300x199jpg
Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent and occurs forty-six days (forty days not counting Sundays) before Easter. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial—for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is one of those traditions of the church that has been either lost or set aside because it’s intitial intention was distorted in some way or another. However, there is massive potential for each of us in this Lent season, not to earn anything from God, but rather learn greater dependancy and find deeper intimacy with Him.

So, at our staff meeting today, we decided to begin this Lent season by challenging each other with this question:

“What, if removed from your life for a season, would give God more of your attention?”

What is it for you? Are you willing to trust God with it and let go?

[post taken from Buckhead Church Blog]


Lent 2009

February 24, 2009

taco-bell-lent_0preview

Well, tomorrow is Lent and though I don’t connect myself with the Catholic Faith, I really do like this part of the year.

Lent is basically a time where you give up something dear and draw yourself closer to God.

The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial—for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

46 days of silence.

What am I giving up??

The first thing is Facebook.
I spent way too much time on there.
more to come…maybe.

As tomorrow quickly approaches, I wanted to see what others will give up? Or do you even participate during this time?

funny-pictures-cheezburger-lent-cat


Music Monday — Week 2

February 23, 2009

Discover…

Ashton Allen.

I found him in a add in one of my favorite periodicals.

Paste Magazine.

From the add: “his whispery, folk-rock sounds resonates with heartfelt harmonies on a blend of tracks that are both mellow and upbeat.”

What do you want the world to hear?