Monthly Archives: July 2007

Ten Years

Maria just handed me a big envelope – it is my Ten Year Certificate of Achievement! I have been at the same company for ten years! Now I get to choose my prize- and this is where my decision-making ability gets tested to the max. Do I choose the telescope, the digital camera, the mountain bike, the golf clubs? The camera would be the practical choice, but I like the telescope. I haven’t had a new telescope in decades. But then they have two cameras – a canon digital Powershot A460 features 5 MP and 4x optical zoom (and photo printer)  or a Pentax Optio W30 Waterproof Digital Camera with 7 MP 3x optical zoom 2.5″ LCD, 21 MB internal memory and SD Memory slot (card not included). What do all those numbers mean?? Its hard to choose a prize in the twenty-first century!


Filed under Uncategorized

My Mother-In-Law is moving here!

My mother-in-law  is moving to Ashbridge Manor in Downingtown on October 1rst. It is in a great location for all kinds of shopping, nice restaurants, and a movie theater – and it is less than ten miles from my house. This is wonderful news! She must sell her condo in Oakland, California.

The main thing this means to me is that I now have roots to this area.  My other relatives live in Boston, Toronto, Guelph, Texas, Kansas, and  one is a world traveller!

My mother-in-law had a fall in February which put her in the hospital for six weeks and she got a new hip bone. After that, she lived in our dining room for three months – and with a lot of help from my wife – her legs got much better, and we found out she was not as nearly as in bad shape as the doctors in Oakland had lead us to believe. She has arthritis in her knees so she walks very, very slowly. I think that if she can get some new knees, she can eventually buy a condo in West Chester! 

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Free the Slaves President, Kevin Bales, on Primetime

UPDATE: Here is my review. First of all, if you taped or TIVOed this, skip to the last 15 minutes to watch this segment. The first two stories is tabloid primetime TV trash – not worth watching and not “60 Minutes” quality. Finally… there is the “Cinderalla” story of a nine year old girl Egyptian girl – Shyima-  who becomes the maid servant of a rich (arab looking) family, the Ibrahims,  in Orange County Ca. There is plenty of videotape of her serving them while they party. Primetime interview this totally beautiful girl who did not go to school, and lived in an unheated, un-airconditioned garage bedroom. Kevin Bale’s “Free the Slaves” organization found out about this case of modern slavery, and freed her. Shyima is interviewed by Diana Sawyers in her high school prom dress, and she rolls her eyeballs when Diana compares her to Cinderalla. The Ibrahims are in jail, and I was wondering what Shyima thought of that. That question was not asked.

My problem with this piece is that Orange County Ca. is far from typical America, and modern slavery is much more common then you would think. Here is a news report about the more usual case in Chester County PA –

ABC has a television show called Primetime – and tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 31, 2007) – Free the Slaves President Kevin Bales will be on it. You can look up when to watch or TIVO it here.

Dr. Bales will talk about modern slavery and how to end it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Slavery, Social Justice

Free the South Korean Hostages

A friend sent me this:

I thought you would like to know about this urgent campaign to free the remaining South Korean aid workers who have been taken hostage by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The Taliban have already executed 1 hostage and are threatening to execute the rest this week, an action that could trigger a mass evacuation of life-giving humanitarian aid from all of Afghanistan.

The situation is desperate, but there is hope. The Taliban are all from the ‘Pashtun’ ethnic group, and observe a strict code called Pashtunwali. This code demands, above all else: “hospitality to all, especially guests and strangers”. There are rumours of infighting among the Taliban over these kidnappings, because they clearly violate the code.

A global outcry for the Taliban to follow their own code would certainly be covered by media in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Taliban are based – creating massive local pressure on them to free their prisoners. But these hostages are living under a 24 hour death sentence. We have seconds not minutes to act. Sign the petition below and then forward this email:

Leave a comment

Filed under Afghanistan, Christianity, Islam, News, Religion, South Korea, War

What is the Mission of the Church?

But what is the mission of the church? N.T. Wright says it is God’s transformed people for the world, the peculiar people who implement Christ’s victory over sin on the cross and in Easter by actively anticipating the New Heaven and New Earth that is coming: God’s agents of new creation. And Rob Bell says it is “God’s countercultural insurgency that actually thinks the world can be turned rightside up.”That is what grace is for. And glory to our Father above that it is out of love! I am elated to tears that my God, our God, loves me and you and everyone so much that he hasn’t given up on us. He is graciously making us new creations with delight and love. That is good news indeed.

So let’s stop excusing ourselves from mission, from the “take up your cross” aspects of being transformed by grace. Let’s stop worrying about works-salvation and actually start to reflect our savior to this sin-stained, war-torn, addiction-addled world. Anything less is a cheap and small grace indeed.

This is how the article ends. For the rest goto

Clean Water for everyone! The end of Poverty! The end of Disease! The end of War! Clean air! The end of slavery! Social Justice! The end of Oppression! A place where everyone loves everybody else! A place where radical discipleship is lived and there is no hypocrisy! Maybe even the end of death!

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Emergent Christianity, mission, Religion

US Mint plans to have re-enactors exchange coins at Jefferson Memorial to introduce $1 Jefferson Coin on August 16


Here is the schedule for the event at the Jefferson Memorial:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Presidential Quizzes by “Thomas Jeffersons”:     10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

United States Mint News Conference:               11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

                        Jefferson $1 Coin Exchange:                             11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 

The Thomas Jefferson golden Dollar is about to be released (August 16, 2007), as the third coin in the presidential $1 coin program,  and the mint is having a quiz at the Jefferson Memorial to see how many people can name the presidents in the order that they served, given by Thomas Jefferson re-enactors. If you answer their questions successfully, you win a free dollar.  Just remember – Washington’s Army Jogged Many Miles and Jogged Very Hard to Philadelphia! The first letters of stand for Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe etc. I was watching the teen summer tournament on Jeopardy! and the answer was “The first president who was photographed and had a middle name”, the super smart teenage girl thought about it for a second and guessed correctly “Who is John Quincy Adams?”, and Alex Trebbick said “Oh good, I thought you were counting most recent on down!”, and she corrected him. So learning the order of the presidents is practical – especially if you are in Washington DC on Aug 15 (for a free Jefferson dollar). Or plan to be on Jeopardy!

The Mint also has free screensavers that are pretty cool!  I just got the Presidential $1 one which is well done. It works with PCs only (no Macs).

While I was checking out the US Mint – I also checked out The Royal Canadian Mint where you can buy Canadian Wild Moose Droppings and the Mexican Mint which was established in 1535 – the oldest mint in the Americas. They have an english page – but its under construction. Of the three mint web sites, only the US one is in English only.

1 Comment

Filed under America, coins, free, history, Jeopardy

Pray for the South Korean Christian Hostages in Afghanistan

Friday July 27 Update:

 Blaming the Victim: South Korea’s anti-missionary backlash


42 year old youth pastor Bae Byung-kyu, the leader of the trip, was martyred with 10 bullet holes in his head, chest, and stomach. I am not seeing too much coverage of this story using traditional news sources – just enough to make me think that it is really going on. Apparently, they were on a short one-week humanitarian trip from their evangelical church.  There was a demonstration for their freedom by Afghanistan villagers.

South Korea Evangelical Christian Hostages

Please pray for these courageous humanitarian young Christians. They are from South Korea -18 women and 5 men who were giving  free medical and educational help to Afghanistan villagers and were sent out by their church pastored by Rev. Park Eun-jo. All of them are in their 20s and 30s.  They have been kidnapped by the Taliban. The deadline to start killing them was Monday – but it was extended. Then it was Tuesday – then it extended again. There is a breaking news story that the Taliban is reporting that they just killed one of them – one of the men. Please pray for a peaceful resolution – these are guests who have been helping the poor in Afghanistan.

Leave a comment

Filed under Afghanistan, Christianity, mission, Religion, South Korea

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Somehow, I have managed to see the latest Harry Potter movie AND have started reading the book. We got it by in a special Amazon box saying that it was delivered by an owl on Saturday. It was actually delivered by a mail person. Everyone in the family seems to be reading it at the same time. Josh decided to re-read the previous book and Hannah has dibs. The part I have read so far I really like! I work with an intern who finished it on Sunday (she slept 4 hours but didn’t eat anything).

There is a good review of it in Christianity Today –

The Gospel According to J.K. Rowling

which is a glowing review for Harry Potter.

The reviewer says:

Rowling begins to reveal that, like Narnia, her world has a “deeper magic.” Love, expressed as substitutionary sacrifice—choosing to lay down your life for your friends—has a power that Lord Voldemort, like the White Witch before him, is blind to. That blindness becomes his undoing—with the help of Harry and his friends. 

and he quotes C.S. Lewis:

When C.S. Lewis started out to write The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he didn’t have Christianity in mind. “Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something abut Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tales as an instrument, then collect information about child psychology and decided what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them,” Lewis once wrote. “This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way at all.”

He notes that something similar seems to have happened to J.K. Rowlings. She started out writing about wizards and quidditch – but “somewhere along the way, Christ began to whisper in the story”.

Heres to “deeper Magic”!






Filed under books, Christianity, Harry Potter, Religion

Taylor Crane

Update: Memorial Service for Taylor Crane

A memorial service for Taylor Patterson Crane, 16, of West Chester, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, August 5,  at Greystone Hall, 1034 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester.

Important Updates:

Here are some good links and clarifications on this tragedy:

Does anyone Know how Taylor Crane Died?

scroll way down to get the answer from his uncle and his father


Teen who died in Mexico mine didn’t know about shaft, father says

This is what happened:

Christopher Crane, Taylor Crane’s father, said in an e-mail message to newspapers that his son fell to his death Friday while playing tag with children. Taylor Crane jumped on a thigh-high wall as part of the game, the father said.

“What he didn’t know (and what the staff and others also didn’t know) was that there was a mine shaft there,” his father wrote. “As he lost his balance and apparently realized his predicament, he tried to jump to a tree that was growing out of the other side of the wall. He never made it.”

End of update

A good friend of my daughter Hannah (fellow artist, Henderson high school student and truth seeker) died last week in a freak accident in Mexico. Taylor fell down a mine shaft, and the searchers are having a difficult time finding his body. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

According to our local newspaper:

MEXICO CITY — A 16-year-old tourist from West Chester fell 1,000 feet to his death at an abandoned mine in central Mexico, and rescue workers were trying to recover his body on Saturday.

Felix Velazquez said about 40 searchers have been working on the recovery effort, which has been complicated because the mine is flooded with water that “has a lot of arsenic and lead, and that makes it hard to breathe down there.”

Crane was a student at West Chester Henderson and would have been a member of the class of 2008. According to his MySpace page, he loved music and played many instruments, including the ukulele, piano and guitar. He was also interested in Buddhism and zen philosophy.;jsessionid=GKpgGkRJ0HS6HsPbnJf33B18pmhZQPKJztT0vthNvmjFYGnQ4X5H!1036499402?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FDLN%2FHome&r21.content=%2FDLN%2FHome%2FTopStoryList_Story_532747

Leave a comment

Filed under RIP, West Chester

Opening my Fair Trade Grocery Store!

The To The Moon Fair Trade Grocery Store is here!

This is a very early version of it. Please comment on how it can be improved so you can use it better. I will make it better looking and add more fair trade products later.  I plan to give 100% of any money generated to the community fund of my church (Cornerstone Christian Fellowship) which helps the poor and homeless in the borough of West Chester, PA.  I will also fill you in on what fair trade is and why it is important later on!

The Fair Trade Grocery Store

Thank you


Filed under Uncategorized