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Another Rob Bell NOOMA videa.

Saying “I’m sorry” is saying “no” to our false self or who we want others to see us as.  It’s tearing down the facade of perfection, allowing vulnerability.

I’m currently reading through “The Year of Living Like Jesus”- My journey of discovering what Jesus would really do – by Ed Dobson.  He wrote the book after hearing A.J. Jacobs on NPR talking about his book “The Year of Living Biblically”.

So far I’ve been struck by a couple things.  First, Dobson brings up the outrage some in the Christian community express when a courthouse or other public place refuses to display the Ten Commandments.  He thinks it somewhat humorous that petitions would be signed and marches organized, when most every Christian breaks one of the Ten Commandments every week – the whole “keeping the Sabbath” thing.  Is that a valid point?  Are we just cherry picking the Commandments that are easiest to keep?  Shouldn’t we be more concerned with keeping the Ten Commandments instead of displaying them?

Secondly, prayers and liturgy.  I’ve kinda grown up thinking that all prayers should be spontaneous and free-flowing, otherwise it wasn’t really me talking to God.  I didn’t often read a prayer, write a prayer or much less recite an ancient prayer.  Dobson addresses this when after growing up with said “free-flowing prayers…I soon realized that most people generally said the same thing over and over again.  Even though we were against liturgical prayers, our free-flowing prayers ended up being pretty liturgical themselves.”

I’ve really enjoyed the last couple years at Vox Dei and stepping out of a comfort zone I didn’t really know I had.  There is something about the liturgy and ancient prayers that calms me and reminds me that I don’t have it all figured out.  I don’t have all the right things to say.  Millions of people for hundreds of years have said the same prayers and they didn’t have it all figured out.  There is a measure of freedom in that.

 I humbly concede that I do not have it all figured out by any means, but I do appreciate an article that will look at research articles from both sides while holding to the premise that this is not a black and white issue.

 

There was big news last week in the heated debate about whether childhood vaccines cause autism. The 1998 study in The Lancet, which largely launched the vaccine-autism imbroglio, has been officially retracted. Its lead author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, has also been discredited by Britain’s independent regulator of doctors for his “unethical” and “dishonest” actions in conducting the pulled study.

But Wakefield’s deeply flawed paper is not the only study that has fueled the anti-vaccination movement. Led by celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy, the movement continues to vehemently oppose mainstream science’s overwhelming consensus that vaccines do not cause developmental disorders.

Some of these papers championed by the anti-vaccination camp have serious problems of their own. Others muddy the waters or hint at conspiratorial efforts by governmental health organizations and vaccine-profiteering pharmaceutical companies to hide the truth about autism’s genesis.

Here’s a look at several of the key studies that the anti-vaccination movement has either embraced or lambasted in furthering its perspective. These studies have already fueled the controversy and will likely remain at the epicenter of future clashes over vaccine safety

Continue reading full article 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health_medicine/4345610.html?page=1

A 2 minute video Rustin shared with us describing the difference between traditional church and a missiona church.

 

Here’s an interesting set of photos this guy put together, then placed on a website for people to rate their attractiveness.  They aren’t pictures of actual people, just digitally altered faces.  The subtle differences don’t seem to drastic, but really make a difference with what our culture thinks is “beautiful”.  Check out his website here.

Attractive Face Scale by manitou2121.

Recently I posted a response to a comment on the vaccine issue (recent scientific studies show no statistical link between immunizations and autism).  I hypothesised that there were many other factors that needed to be considered for the possible causes of the rising autism rates.  One I failed to mention was television.  Cable TV, VCRs, and specialized children’s programming became very popular about 1980, just the time autism rates began to increase.  A new study by Cornell University reports what appears to be a link between children younger than 3 years old watching TV and autism.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended that no child under 2 years old watch TV, this is the first study to link TV watching with a serious complication.  Growing Families International has also warned parents that TV can over-stimulate infants and toddlers who have trouble just focusing on their own hand, a single toy, or a sibling moving around the room, much less the crazy jumble of colors and rapidly changing images of most TV shows.

The findings seem to point to the 2 dimensional objects on TV causing the brain to have abnormal activity in the visual-processing centers (consistent with findings in most autistic children).  While it may be an easy babysitter, Teletubbies and Baby Einstein might not be helping your child that much after all.

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