Monthly Archives: April 2009

Instead of a Show

This is Jon Foreman going prophetic. The song is on the Summer EP – which is the best of his four season EPs. Jon Foreman is the lead singer of the Christian band Switchfoot.

Here are the words:

I hate all your show and pretense
The hypocrisy of your praise
The hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show
Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stomp on my ears when you’re singing ‘em
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Your eyes are closed when you’re praying
You sing right along with the band
You shine up your shoes for services
There’s blood on your hands
You turned your back on the homeless
And the ones that don’t fit in your plan
Quit playing religion games
There’s blood on your hands

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show
I hate all your show

Let’s argue this out
If your sins are blood red
Let’s argue this out
You’ll be one of the clouds
Let’s argue this out
Quit fooling around
Give love to the ones who can’t love at all
Give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
Stand up for the ones who can’t stand at all, all
I hate all your show
I hate all your show
I hate all your show
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show
I hate all your show

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Filed under Christian Music, Christianity

Join the Two Futures Project

The world needs to choose the future of no nuclear weapons/war. We need to fulfill the vision of Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev  and get rid of all nuclear weapons for the survival of the planet. Countries that are developing nuclear weapons should stop – but also countries, like the United States, should get rid of theirs.

It has been endorsed by many Christian leaders including Ron Sider, Leith Anderson, Rob Bell, Bill Hybels, Lynne Hybels, Miroslav Volf, and John Stott.

Here is a Christian initiative to do that:

and you can order a free DVD from them – which I did this morning.

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Filed under Christianity, Iran, Life, News, Social Justice, War

Don Quixote in Philadelphia

This looked interesting…
Broad Street Ministry and Stillpoint Productions Create Exciting Reimaging of a Classic Work with
Opening Night—May 26th!
Tickets cost $15
Student/Senior Discounts available
For Tickets call:  1 800. 838. 3006
Or visit:
With an intrepid ensemble of four professional actors and 30 non-professional community members spanning the broad cross section typical of Broad Street Ministry  (professionals, people suffering from homelessness, activists), director Lear deBessonet creates a compelling reinterpretation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote.  Set in a richly imagined anachronistic world where 16th Century Spain meets center city Philadelphia, featuring puppets by Emily Decola and original music by gypsy-punk band The Psalters, Quixote asks the question, is it insane to believe in a more just world?
Part muse, part fantastical setting, and part laboratory–the Broad Street Ministry community provides Quixote a community context.  And not just any context–a place where social justice is practiced rather than given lip-service and the power structures of society hold little sway.  Quixote is saturated with the community’s motivations–it lives inside Broad Street Ministry’s commitments to transform their corner of the city–it is made special by the peculiar genius/madness of its communal character.
Thursday May 21- 7pm
Friday May 22- 7pm
Saturday May 23- 7pm
Monday, May 25- 7pm
Wednesday, May 27- 7pm
Friday, May 29- 7pm
Saturday, May 30- 3pm AND 7pm
Tuesday, June 2- 7pm
Wednesday, June 3- 7pm
Thursday, June 4- 7pm
Friday, June 5- 7pm
Saturday, June 6- 7pm
Sunday, June 7- 3pm

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Filed under Philadelphia, Popular Culture

Together Through Life by Bob Dylan

update: I got the album off of iTunes and agree that his voice has turned into what he could merely imitate earlier in his career. This bluesy recording central theme is that what makes life worth living is the relationships we have – even though says “its all good” he doesn’t really mean it. We live in a pretty trashed up place.

Bob used Gotta Serve Somebody as the opening song in Copenhagen on March 29 and Saarbrücken on April 5. This is a song from his Slow Train Coming album which is from his gospel tunes period. I hope he plays it in Allentown PA where I plan to see him in July.

He sings:

“I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver and I’m reading James Joyce/Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice.” I feel a change coming on

but I am listening to Bob Dylan on the train into Philly, while the slow train travels through the ruins of urban decay and sadness.  5 Stars.

end of update

Bob Dylan is releasing his new album this week – “Together Through Life”. Rolling Stone magazine gives it an excellent review (4 stars) and says:

Dylan’ throat has neve been anyone’s idea of clear and soaring. But as a young folk singer, he strained to sound older and more sorely tested than he was, as if he had known Charley Patton, A.P. Carter and the Great Depression first hand. He’s finally there, with an authentically pitted instrument ideally suited to the devastating settings of these songs and the rusted desert-shed production…

Bob Dylan is now 67 years old and improving with age!  The other good news is that Bob Dylan has announced his tour dates. He is playing minor league baseball stadiums with Willie Nelson. The seats are $67.50 general admission, but each adult ticket entitles you to one free child’s ticket (14 and below).  If you get them at the presale on, you are allowed to go into the stadium half an hour early at 4:30, for the 5:30 show. I am considering going to the Allentown PA show with Ben, my 14 year old, in July.

You can also follow Bob Dylan on twitter at, so I am doing that too. I checked to see if I could follow Jesus Christ at but he speaks Spanish.

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Filed under Bob Dylan, music, Popular Culture

Susan Boyle – Mega Super Star!

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Delara Darabi’s execution has been postponed

Update: Delara was executed on May 1, 2009, 10 days after I posted this.

There is some good news about Delara Darabi, who is an Iranian Artist who is on death row in Iran for a crime her boyfriend committed and she took the blame for WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.  Her execution has been postponed for two more months. Here is an update:

Here are my previous posts about Delara:

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Filed under death penalty, Delara Darabi, Iran

Makoto Fujimura in Philadelphia

Gretchen and I are planning to go to the opening reception of the art of Makoto Fugimuro this Friday. The White Stone Gallery is located in the Manayunk area of Philadelphia. I will venture forth using public transportation from downtown Philly, while Gretchen will drive in from West Chester.

From the artist’s blog (which is a beautiful blog!):

Makoto Fujimura Solo Exhibit, Olana-Psalms of Ascent will open at White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia
April 3- June 21st, 2009

Opening Reception: Friday, April 17, 7-9 pm

I will be exhibiting devotional works never before exhibited, such as the “Olana – Matthew Six” piece shown above.

Special Offer: I have prepared special, handmade bookmarks to be available as a gift, only to those who purchase Refractions: a journey of art, faith and culture at the gallery!

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Filed under Art, Christianity, Philadelphia

The Stations of the Cross using the Bible Experience

Track Christ’s final journey with The Bible Experience for Easter. The selections below are a variation on the Stations of the Cross known as the Scriptural Way of the Cross. Follow along by listening to the audio clips, reading the passages of scripture, and then taking a moment of quiet reflection with each accompanying prayer. After experiencing Easter through the world’s most celebrated audio Bible, you’ll truly understand why hearing is believing. Use the roman numerals below to begin your journey. Start Here

Stations of the Cross

Also referred to as Via Crucis, Via Dolorosa, or the Way of the Cross, the Stations of the Cross provide a journey of prayer and meditation focused upon scenes of the suffering and death of Jesus. St. Francis of Assisi started the tradition of the Stations of the Cross as a chapel devotion. Today it is most commonly practiced on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent, although it can be practiced at any time.

Scriptural Way of the Cross

The Scriptural Way of the Cross was introduced on Good Friday in 1991 and is a popular variant to the traditional versions. The variation of the Scriptural Way of the Cross above is designed for personal meditation and prayer. It includes a fifteenth station for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

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Filed under Christianity, Easter

623,805 international students attend US Universities

…and this is an all-time high.

This number is up from 7% last year. In 2003 this number was 572,509. In 1971 it was  140,126

61% are from Asia (#1 India, #2 China, #3 Korea, #4 Japan)

Double digit increases over last year are happening for India  (up 13%) China (20%) and South Korea (11%)

The University with the most international students is USC. The state with the most is California, and the city with the most is New York, NY.

Students from Saudi Arabia made a huge jump in the past year (up 25%) because of a investment of scholarships by the Saudi Arabia government. Saudi Arabia is now back on the list of ten largest sending countries at #9 for the first time since 1982/83.

Nigeria is the largest sending country from Africa, replacing Kenya.

The United States beats out China in  number of students, China has 200,000 international students. The top 3 sending countries to China are Korea, the United States, and Japan.

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The best Virtual Telescope on the Web

Here is a new way to see the universe telescopally without light polution and trees in the way and frustration! Microsoft and NASA  have teamed up to allow web surfers to see the heavens virtually at without the bother of going outside.

I was able to preview the the Worldwide Telescope Web Client – and it is cool. You can take tours of the Apollo missions and check out the moon landing locations, and the stuff that was left behind. There is also a tour that shows you the lights at night on Earth. A bright light usually represents a city, and the tour zooms you around the earth. One cool thing is to see the Nile lit up- apparently most of the cities in Egypt are right along the Nile River. There are many tours of galaxies, planets, and constellations. They did a very good job- similar to google earth.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
       the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1 (NIV)


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