Monday, July 26, 2004

Jason Birchfield and Andrea Sinders be gettin' the Hester House this Saturday!

I am magnificently stoked for this celebration. I can say that in 14 years of ministry, I have never been a part of something as uniquely sacramental and communal as this. Right here, in our house, in our living room and backyard, a young man and woman will matrimonially take one another in the presence of God, their families and their community of faith. Two families and one church will come together and pretty much spend the entirety of the evening as participants in what isn't really a "service," but in the continuity of serving one another. For the respective families involved, such goings-on will seem rather peculiar and foreign and we are taking that into consideration. Our number one aim is to minister to and show hospitality to the respective extended families of the bride and groom-to-be and it has been fun to sift through all of the angles we will work to acheive this as a house church.

The simplicity that will mark this celebration this Saturday perfectly represents who Jason and Andrea are and hope to become. As some of my readers know, Jason did an internship with us last year and he and Andrea facilitate another house church here in Oxford. The potential of this couple is astounding and they are so far ahead of the curve now that it ain't even funny (especially when I look at where Cathy and I were 12 years ago). They haven't seen anything yet.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Okay- so I'm in my chartered bus today, along with 14 other buses and we're on Miami University's campus loading up hundreds of mid-to-upper teen Indian girls and boys for a trip to King's Island. Very well behaved and mannered soon-to-be young adults boarded my bus and I thought of how pleasant this was going to easy 15-hour work day.

And it really was. No glitches. Just a massive culture clash is all. For one thing, insert into the equation first and foremost a university catering to this Indian subculture by going all out to host this national youth gathering in an obvious (to me) attempt to garner their parents' funds for their education AND hoist their image to the loftier heights of "diversity."

It was obviously a Hindu youth gathering based on Hindustani (Classical?) music cuz their tee shirts said something about "taal....many beats- one rhythm". Taal is a fundamental element of Hindustani classical music. It was apparently obscure, the intricacies of their religious devotion and their current tasks at they interacted (or didn't). None of the girls/women could ride the bus with the boys/men. They took time to pray (to whom, I know not) after they rode The Beast.

What got me was everytime they got on the bus....any group on ANY bus....they ALL broke out in a Hindi song, a capella. I sensed it was a prayer song, although I do not know to whom it was directed. The seemingly impromptu song lasted about 1 minute and then it was as over and normalized as a green shiny fly on cow dung. Except I and 13 other drivers were simultaneously wondering, "what were they singing?" Mine were undoubtedly singing something like, "Look-at-the-bald-headed-cod-ger, won-der-ing-what-we're-say-ing......ha-hah-ha-hah-hah."

And then I got to drive in circles around Oxford in the rain as 3 different Indian men instructed me in authoritative and very broken English to go to 3 different places to drop off my girls.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Well, while we're talking about it, you starting to get a wee bit miffed whenever officials come out to "warn" us of impending terrorist attacks?

Whatever you do REMAIN CALM, because this site's for you....

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Fahrenheit 911"

Does It Bite?

A Munkebite Review

1 Out Of 5 Bites

Suffice it to say, if what you are expecting from “Fahrenheit 911” is a scathing expose based on all new, startling facts and information with (perchance) a prescription for genuine change, then go back to sleep.

If, on the other hand, you anticipate a self-important almost two hour long infomercial for the Democratic party, then it’s money well-spent. In classic Moore-ish “look-how-much- I-care” tactics as he preys and panders on people in real pain whilst bashing Republicans in man-on-the-street surprise confrontations, this could have easily been “Bowling For 911.” In this vein, he does succeed in making emotional drivel out of their world of hurts.

Moore is quickly establishing himself as the pseudo-independent voice of “reason” for the Democratic regime (at least by default) and is making quite a stash from it. The partisanship is so blatantly obvious that the only negative attention that Moore, a registered Democrat, gives to the Democrats are a few passing video shots of Sen. Tom Daschle voicing support for the war in Iraq. That’s really about it. Moore’s vitriolic and blinding bent toward Bush are revealed as he exposes Bush’s buffoonery, not the motivations (more than simple greed) behind his policy and the more meaty reasons for why Bush may be the “puppet” that he is. The movie relies more upon caricaturing Bush and his ilk to severe comic-book proportions that any substantive critiques beyond that are lost. This is simply because when he does approach substance, it is nothing new.

Perhaps some may find his presentation revolutionary if they are new to the "they-let-it-happen-on-purpose" tack that Moore approximates. If Moore were to fully and honestly account for all the available resources regarding 9-11, he would have to stumble across the evidentiary conclusion that “they-MADE-it-happen-on-purpose”.

Michael Moore is a rip-off artist here. Even the New York Post’s Richard Johnson in his Page Six column points it out. In fact, Alex Jones has been “out there” detailing the collusion between the Saudis and the Bush’s et al, and government foreknowledge regarding 9-11- albeit with much greater accuracy and for a lot longer time period. Jones indeed predicted the likes of 9-11 on-air in July of 2001. Moore makes big time dough on his flick while Jones practically gives away his documentary, “The Road To Tyranny,” allowing people to copy it and give it away in an attempt to educate the public.

Over two years ago, Jones interviewed David Schippers on his radio show who told the story of his interactions with Jayna Davis, an investigative reporter for an NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City (you might remember that Schippers, a prosecuting attorney from Chicago, was the Senate’s lead prosecutor in the impeachment case against William Jefferson Clinton). Davis had uncovered solid evidence of a Middle Eastern/Iraqi connection with the Oklahoma bombing case in 1995 and she has at least 12 signed affidavits to back her claims. Her discoveries led to her losing her position at the NBC affiliate there. She was coming across FBI field agents who were investigating leads into several Middle Eastern subjects who were admitting that there was a large attack being planned somewhere for Manhattan island, perhaps in 2001. However, these agents were turned off of their cases routinely by their supervisors anytime there was a chance to probe deeper. In essence, as she ran into barrier after barrier, she finally contacted Schippers and offered the mountain of evidence to him that pointed to the fact that if there would have been a thorough enough investigation into OK City then that would have pointed us toward the WTC calamity. Even as Schippers began to take up her cause- going all the way to Attorney General Ashcroft's office in July of 2001 and getting the runaround- his cries about the impending attack on Manhattan would also fall strangely upon deaf ears. But you can find this out on your own. Incidentally, Davis' book has been released this year.

Why didn’t Moore indicate any of this?

Because he would have us to think that this is all a war between the Democrats and Republicans….between the principled and the unprincipled. Between the politically supported haves and the oppressed have-nots. And he bases his premises off the fact that we’ll sink our teeth into the falsehood that there are real differences between these two parties. Any perceived differences are ultimately fiction and a necessary cog in the wheel of the Establishment, who are essentially funding and distributing this blather, ready for consumption by their useful vidiots.

So what possible alternatives does Moore offer in light of his bashing critique of the limp and dim-witted Bush and his handlers? What truly novel ideas does he lay before his audiences that will serve to eradicate the excesses portrayed? None. He speaks of none but to oust the present king. And the subtle alternative is a false one. The alternative Kerry/Edwards ticket is no less untouchably rich, no less concoctions of their big corporate sponsors who have them in their pockets. Is Moore to have us believe that they are no less beholden to the secret interests of these multi-national corporate conglomerations?

In fact, for the first time in our history, we have two presidential hopefuls who will square off who are both members of the elitist, occultic Skull and Bones from Yale. (For more info on Skull and Bones, check into Sutton, Milligan and others’ book Fleshing Out Skull and Bones). Their allegiances to Bones is so secretive that none can comment on it. Even Edwards’ performance at the secretive June Bilderburg meeting was touted by the NY Times as propelling him to the fore as the VP selection for Kerry. And if you’ve got a wild enough hair, dig around and ask why are some of our world leaders going to meet in secret from July 16th through August 1st in California at Bohemian Grove and why they do so yearly. It wasn’t until after the Grove meeting in 2000 that Cheney emerged as Bush’s VP. Why aren’t we privy to the goings on of these groups, if indeed policy decisions are being dreamt and made there? Why doesn’t Moore point these things out? Is secrecy and elitism germane only to the Republican party? Why doesn’t Moore continue to ask “why?” Why doesn’t he or won’t he go deep enough? Either he’s ignorant of the angles or he’s in collusion with the Establishment by negation or willful intent.

Moore’s film is a distraction from a truth that dangles right before our eyes. To say that we are given “sanctioned” forms of half-truths would be to intimate a deeper, darker more sinister causal relationship at work here. Are we, in our skepticism and laughable familiarity with conspiracy-theory kookism, hindered from going deeper because of the fear associated with being branded as such? Why is it so hard to accede to the fact the people/groups do indeed conspire against one another? Why is it a sham to point that out? Why can’t we sustain inquiry long enough to arrive at a freeing truth?

Michael Moore is not the one to point us in that way.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Sunset illuminating the underbelly of the blown-off top of a mesoscale convective complex (which was in southern Indiana at the time).

Ha ha! Storm damage and we weren't in the storm! Had a 44mph gust here at the house tho. Pretty good for the outflow of a system hundreds of miles away.

Friday, July 09, 2004

There's gonna be a new outpost for at least one of the Veritas home communities.

This will be our (and many other people's) "new" home come October 1, 2004. The sellers accepted our 2nd offer at about noon today. So, in effect, it's the first home we will own outright. It's hard to believe we have gone 8 years renting and 3 years in a parsonage (in Kentucky). There is more than twice the room we have now and a full basement we will soon finish. There is also at present room enough for a guest bedroom and for an intern or two (not counting what we will finish in the basement). Included is a party deck in back in a secluded-like, tree-covered backyard which we will put to good use. We are in a suburb- not quite as close to the main Mile Square as we would have wished. However, there were no run-down, fixer-upper, assumable houses in said area for under 300,000.

There are some nice duplexes nearby that are rented to families. While some might frown upon the presence of duplexes for resale of one's own home, we are somewhat excited about the ministry potential to that demographic.

There is a queer mix of excitement, emptiness, fright, remorse, euphoria and the general curiosity (and look) of a calf at a new gate. Now comes the gritty detail and paperwork. I would rather lop off a digit and say we're done, but banks aren't into that (yet). What the heck have we done?

And you know what the cool thing is? It's almost like we're starting over....jumping into an uncharted sea of permanency. Yet we get to bring our people.....our community of Christ-followers. That definitely eases the gnawy newness.

Have any of you types that lead simple communities in homes ever make a move to a new location and bring your people with you? Any commentary on the dynamics of such a transition would be welcome.


When I get nervous, I stick my hands under my arms and I smell them. It's gross because they smell so bad. It's dirty and bad.

....and for the Forty-Footed, Lord of All Jays who will inevitably NOT "get it," you can go here O' Dull One.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Just looked at 4 new houses on the market. One was ratty, and the other three were distinct possibilities with great ministry potential. Leaning less and less toward building cuz the doggone market is just a-whoring after blood platelets, arms, legs and your firstborn. If you are so inclined, please pray that we do the thing God wants us to.

Monday, July 05, 2004

If anyone ever again asks me how Veritas is "going," I may never ever be able to say so better than this.

I am rapt with joy.