A couple of months ago, the Madison WI utility folks showed up on my street, dug some holes, brought in several shiny new poles, and next thing we knew, we had a half a dozen new streetlights – including one right outside my bedroom window. These aren’t just any streetlights – they are the latest LED technology, and easily bright enough to read by, while consuming only a fraction of the energy of the older ones. It appears these brilliant additions use less electricity than one old-fashioned 100 watt bulb, but make those older sodium lights look like bathroom nightlights. Signs of progress, yes? Maybe… Read more »
Just over five years ago, Kenyans went to the polls. As in other countries, the election results were far from clear cut – but instead of taking to the airwaves or to the courts, Kenyans took to the streets with machetes and gasoline cans. More than 1000 people were killed, the country came to a standstill for months, and thousands were displaced from their homes and farms. It’s election time again in Kenya…
S0 I’m asking you to pray for this beautiful piece of God’s creation this week, that God’s peace will descend on it. Things are different this time: While the electorate remains ethnically divided, the major ethnic groups have chosen different partners – like the second half of an evening of bridge. Where the Kikuyu and Luo were aligned last time against the Kalenjin, in this chapter it’s Kikuyu and Kalenjin against Luo and Kamba, with a fifth group, the Luhya, in a position to decide the election.
Confused? So are some Kenyans, according to an excellent write up in the New York Times today: Read more »
The John Brown Mural hangs in the Kansas Capitol Building. That is a Bible that the crazed abolitionist is holding in his hand.
by guest writer, Lowell Bliss
The next time you hope for some plain-speaking legislation to come out of your state legislature, you may want to take a moment and be careful what you wish for. This is the story of three environmental bills recently introduced in the Kansas statehouse. I live in Kansas. We’re generally known for being plain-spoken.
Our governor Sam Brownback says he has an “All of the Above” energy policy. I do not consider that plain-speaking any more than when President Obama uses the same phrase. “All of the above” means that an executive can throw a sop to renewable energies without threatening the continued exploitation of fossil fuels. And thus we have our first bill, House Bill 2241, which wants to give our state utility companies a break on the Renewable Portfolio Standard. They will no longer have to get a certain percentage of their energy requirements from renewables by the original deadlines – 10% by 2010, 15% by 2016 and 20% by 2020. Surely these deadlines aren’t onerous for America’s second windiest state. Even our name is a Native American term for “People of the South Wind.” The bill also grants vague exemptions for “firm transmission” (i.e. standards don’t go in effect if there aren’t transmission lines available) and “excessive costs.” There were a couple of occasions last summer when the nation of Germany reached the 50% mark in obtaining its electricity from renewables. Germans are the largest ethnicity designation of Kansas citizens. Perhaps we could take some inspiration from the Old Country. Read more »
Headlines from November, 2010: Carnival Splendor finally reaches San Diego dock; passengers begin to disembark.
and from February 15 (today), 2013: Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship: ‘Blessed’ Passengers Return Home With Stories of Horror
Jesus rebuked people in his day who were able to predict the weather but unable to understand the signs of history right in front of them: “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Perhaps it is time we learned to interpret some of the parables that are right in front of us. You think? Read more »
After a long hiatus that has included many activities besides writing blog posts (including bringing a new book When Heaven and Nature Sing to publication), I’m back and happy to be posting again. Enjoy!
There’s an old parable I use from time to time to remind friends or colleagues (or myself) of how easy it is to try too hard or schedule too much and thereby to fall further behind. The story goes like this:
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