The Whole World by Jill Carattini

When I was a small child singing of the God who had the whole world in his hands, it filled me with awe. The whole world, after all, was a big place. It included grandma’s house in Cincinnati and grandpa’s cottage in Pentwater–the two farthest points on a map I knew. As I grew older, the world as I understood it grew as well. I discovered Florida on a family vacation and learned about Chile as we sponsored a little girl named Juana. We saved our money as we learned about poverty in South America. We prayed for peace as we learned of trouble across the world. With each day or newscast, the world grew in scope and depth.

Unfortunately, my awe for the one who held it all in his hands did not always grow along with it. In fact, it often faded. As the world grew increasingly bigger, so my anxiousness for the world increased. In the shadows cast by a looming globe, God’s hands seemed somehow smaller. I did not see the expanding world as an opportunity for expanded faith.

At times, this is still the case for me. While the need for God’s hands is heightened with news of each developing war or suffering community, this is usually not the first analysis that comes to mind. In times of uncertainty, the world begins to seem much more than a handful–for me and perhaps even for God. An editorialist for the The Atlantic Journal expresses similar sentiments:

“The world is too big for us. Too much is going on, too many crimes, too much violence and excitement. Try as you will, you get behind in the race in spite of yourself. It’s an incessant strain to keep pace… and still, you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world is news seen so rapidly you are out of breath trying to keep pace… Everything is high pressure. Human nature cannot endure much more.”

His words express the difficulty of living in a world marked by modern momentum, where advances in media and the influence of globalization keep us hyper-informed but exhausted by the sheer number of newsworthy events. “The whole world” is a different place today than it was when I was a child in awe of God’s embrace. Or maybe it’s not that different at all. Ironically, this editorial was first published on June 16th, 1833.

It is perhaps much easier to sing of a world that in his hands when the world is calm and at rest. But that is not the world into which Christ came, nor the world that God carefully holds in his hands. “In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus told his disciples. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Bob Dylan – Modern Times released today

This is Bob Dylan Week.
So far I’m liking the new album.
Can’t not like the “Workingman’s Blues 2″

Got my tickets to see him Friday.

Yesterday, got my Rolling Stone in the mail, guess who’s on the cover.

I feel like a kid on Christmas.

"Be brave and dare with a holy boldness." – Teresa…

“Be brave and dare with a holy boldness.”
– Teresa of Avila

“Character is what you are in the dark.”
– Dwight L. Moody

Empty Legacy – MTV Turns 25 by Chuck Colson

Empty Legacy
MTV Turns 25

August 28, 2006

MTV turned 25 this month—but with uncharacteristic modesty, the cable channel isn’t doing much celebrating. It’s been left mostly to the news media to honor MTV’s many accomplishments.

“Without MTV,” the Associated Press points out, “you might not have reality television. Commercials wouldn’t have vertigo-inducing quick cuts. Musicians wouldn’t need to look like models to survive. Kelly Osbourne [of the reality show The Osbournes] wouldn’t have gotten near a recording studio. And only seamstresses would know about wardrobe malfunctions.”

If that were my legacy, I’m not sure I’d want to call attention to it either. But that’s not really the reason MTV is playing down its anniversary. As the Associated Press says, “When your average viewer is 20 years old . . . perhaps it’s wise not to mention you’re 25. MTV wants to be the perpetual adolescent.” The Washington Post puts it more succinctly: “At MTV, it is always about the now.”

Perpetual adolescence and living only for the moment are just a couple of the twisted values that MTV has foisted upon us over the past twenty-five years. There’s also exhibitionism, voyeurism, promiscuity, greed, and a host of other vices. Through its style as well as its content, MTV has done all it can to promote the cheap, the vulgar, and the flashy over the good, the true, and the beautiful.

I’m not saying that MTV has added anything to the culture that wasn’t already present. All these elements have always been part of sinful human nature. Where MTV distinguished itself was in glorifying these things—moreover, glorifying them for a young audience.

Me Church

Me Church

For those who thought that there is an absence of…

For those who thought that there is an absence of spirituality in Hollywood, I suggest seeing “Talladega Nights, The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”

“Help me Allah … Help me Tom Cruise, … Help me Opray Winfrey …”
and the prayer to Baby Jesus at the dinner table is something too funny to be sacreligious.

Some told me that this isn’t as funny as “Anchorman” but whatever, it’s in the same league. Go see it if you need to laugh.

Snakes on a Plane – Terrible but Not So Bad

Snakes on a Plane. Wow, what can I say? It’s terrible, but not so bad.
Snakes on a Plane Review by Kurt Lorder (linked to title)

The Art of Being David Bazan

An interview with the always controversial Pedro the Lion frontman.

Groundbreaking Recording Artist/Author David Crowder Releases Second Book, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die: Or (The Eschatolo

“Death does not win,” David Crowder writes. “It is only the beginning.” In his second and highly personal book, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die: Or (The Eschatology of Bluegrass) the groundbreaking musician explores the relationship between death, life, grief and community—a quest that was compounded by the sudden, accidental death of his friend and pastor, Kyle Lake. Co-written by band-mate Mike Hogan and following Crowder’s critically acclaimed first book, Praise Habit, the book is a journey of embracing the importance of living fully, grieving deeply, all while focusing on the future hopes of God’s promises.

Pat Robertson on Global Warming

“And it is getting hotter, and the ice caps are melting, and there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the air. And I think we really need to address the burning of fossil fuels. If we are contributing to the destruction of this planet, we need to do something about it.”

– Pat Robertson, admitting on his television show, The 700 Club, that recent heat waves have convinced him of the reality of global warming.

The rumor (that I just started) is that Robertson will make a cameo in Al Gore’s upcoming sequel, “False Actualities”.