Another catch-up week with lots of links (I actually cut out a few that would have been included in a "normal" week):
Smashing Magazine: How to Make an eBook Don't know what I'd ever write a book about, but I like the whole idea that whole new platforms are opening up to those seeking to self-publish and destribute their ideas.
Haven't checked this out yet, but I like the idea - Fleetly iPhone App turns exercise into a game (via Lifehacker).
Semi-related: John Piper on Exercise. I'm not one to often agree with Piper, but I think he does make a couple good points in this one - I especially appreciate the note he makes that obesity isn't the same as gluttony.
Jen Lemen: 10 Ways to Become the One You Were Made to Be. Also from Jen, 15 Things That Can Happen When You Keep Your Truth In A Hidden Place. Too often I feel like Jen is constantly peeking into my brain.
Upcoming legislation allowing cell-phone robocalls and what you can do about it. (via Lifehacker).
Daniel So: Pastor, Present and Future.
"Cassette Tape" Cut From the Oxford English Dictionary. Further confirmation I'm old.
From the Personal MBA Blog: Are You an Implementor or an Enabler?
Stephen Colbert on God and Hell (taken from a Fresh Air interview):
Dan Dick on Christi-inanity. I think Dan's making a good point, but also I don't think it's quite as "black and white" as he makes it. Do we need to raise the bar on theological understanding and conversation within the church? Absolutely. But when you are dealing with congregations with a wide diversity of age, educational and theological backgrounds it's hard to get good systems in place that can meet the different populations at different points of need. Even using words like "antinomianism" or "theodicy" has to be done differntly when I'm preaching to the university church where a majority are college graduates and many have post-grad degrees versus the rural congregations where less than 10% of the population has a college degree. One isn't better than the other - they just have a different set of demands, and a different style of communication, even if the content is the same. Likewise, I feel like even with my seminary education, I lack a certain amount of critical theological discourse. I know I'm lacking in this area, myself, and yet I know I'm probably better than most in terms of on-going reading and education on these topics. In the midst of all the demands of ministry, reading to stay on top of topics like systematic theology, unfortunately, doesn't fall on many people's priority list. It needs to be fixed, but I'm not even sure where you might really begin.
Semi-related: David Kinnaman on Prodigals, Nomads, and Exiles.
Greg Boyd on Kingdom of God vs. Religion. Greg's work is something I've not very familiar with (another admission of my limited theological depth, perhaps), but I've seen Roger Olson make reference to him on occasion in terms of his take on open theism, and he says some interesting things here, so maybe it's worth checking out:
Teddy Wayne: Occupy Main Street!
For the science-nerd in you: Hubble Telescope Picture of the Center of the Galaxy.
Sherman Haywood Cox II: Naming Your Sermon. I always dread having to come up with titles/names for my sermons, but there are some good ideas is this post.
Budgeting with Cash Envelopes. Great tip that made a big difference for my household (unfortunately we've fallen off the wagon); make sure you check it out, though, because they include a template so that you can print your own envelopes. We had always used the Dave Ramsey envelopes that come with the Financial Peace University kit, and the trouble we'd have is that they would wear out fairly quickly with use - so a nice template to make your own as needed is a good thing.
Guy Kawasaki: What I Learned from Steve Jobs.
Related: My friend from college, Scott Heiferman, went on to make it big in the digital world (he's founder and CEO of MeetUp.com). Here's video of him asking Steve Jobs a question on how technology can change the world. Steve's answer is okay, but I think Scott was hoping for more. Scott's really gotten into the idea of using tech to bring people together in real face-to-face interactions (the whole idea behind MeetUp), and I think he's on to something. Tech isn't a tool in itself, only in it's ability to connect and help facilitate real change to take happen:
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary: Missionary Positions: How a Wife Does It.
Seth Godin: Which Are You? Also from Godin: Open Conversations.
Lifehacker: How to Turn Any Song into a Ringtone for Android or iPhone. I knew how to do this for my old Android G1, but had no idea how to do it for the iPhone. Great tip.
Donald Miller: Intimacy With God Comes When We Accept His Kindness.
Jay Voorhees: Rebuilding Trust - The DS and Bishop Dilemna. I feel badly that this is falling near the bottom of an already long post, because it is important and needs to be read (but I'm also too lazy to move it closer to the beginning). I think Jay is hitting some important points, but I'm also trying to fight my own cynicism around this area. Yes, there is a breakdown of trust especially among clergy, congregations and the Cabinet in the UMC, and it is an "occupational hazard" of the system, but the post seems to suggest that the necessary change needs to primarily come from the Cabinet. Maybe we need to start assuming that they are doing the best they can and everything they can, and instead focus on what we do have the capacity to change about ourselves. Instead of waiting for a DS to set up a regular process for fellowship and conversation with clergy, maybe the clergy need to initiate it and invite the DS into the process. We need to stop blaming and stop complaining and start finding ways to improve the system under our own initiative. (Of course, that is much easier said than done).
Semi-related: Bill Dobbs (assistant to the Bishop in the Michigan Episcopal Area) on The Appointment Process.
Music: The Civil War's covering Michael Jackson.