On the Concept of Fragility

fragile_image

I’ll admit it… I am a news junkie. I’m not sure where my attraction to random facts and stories comes from but I suppose that part of it is that I just like to know what going on in other places besides the immediate area that I live in.

Technology and the Internet has gone a long way to feeding this addiction. I have, over the years collected a set of links to various blogs and publications that I read on a regular basis. This list is always being re-invented and re-ordered as my interests change and is always accessible to me on all my devices in a nice concise form using an application called Netvibes.

Part of the benefits of my digital wandering is that I sometimes run across fascinating concepts and ideas that can (or should) be adopted and applied to situations other than the situation where I first found them. Read the rest of this entry »


Justice One Drop At A Time

I remember some years ago, someone telling me not to try and “boil the ocean” and set yourself up to do an impossible task all at once.

And so it is with acts of justice.

It’s easy for us to think when we read of hungry people, displaced families, or a low-functioning legal system, that the best way for us to restore justice is by executing on a large, integrated plan involving lots of people and lots of money.

That’s why some see problems related to injustice and absolutely impossible to solve. They see the solution as impossible.

But, just like a journey that begins with a single step, so, often does justice.

If that’s the case, then an effective way to proceed is one small step followed by another — all moving toward the same goal. Want to combat the injustice of hunger? Start by providing a meal for someone in need. Want to combat the injustice of prostitution and sex slavery? Find a local shelter and volunteer one day a week.

It’s when all of the single small tasks are combined toward a larger goal that justice gets done and the world becomes a better place.

OK!!


Mile 0

The entire Venture Expeditions Midwest Tour team in Downtown Minneapolis

Every journey, they say, begins with a single step — or in this case some serious training about how to ride and how to build a community with a group of 13 other people.

I thought at first that this whole adventure was just a ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. I’m finding out really quickly that it is much, much more than that.

Sure, a part of these first days is some important training we will need one our ride but another, more important aspect of these first two days is building a community of people who are passionate about doing something, in some small way to restore this world back to the way that God intended it to be. It’s called justice. Read the rest of this entry »


T Minus One

Anyone who watched the Apollo launches will remember the phrase “T Minus”. It was used along with a number that indicated the number of minutes / seconds until the Saturn V Rocket along with the Apollo capsule perched on top started it’s long, slow climb to space.

Today, I’m at T Minus One. One day to go. If I am not prepared now…. well, I’ll never be prepared for next week’s adventure ride from Minneapolis to Chicago with 13 other people who I have not yet met.

A countdown is a sequence of backward counting to indicate the time remaining before an event is scheduled to occur. NASA commonly employs the term “T-minus” during the preparation for and anticipation of a rocket launch, and even “E-minus” for events that involve spacecraft that are already in space, where the “T” could stand for “Test” or “Time”, and the “E” stands for “Encounter”, as with a comet or some other space object.

Other events for which countdowns are commonly used include the detonation of an explosive, the start of a race, the start of the New Year, or any anxiously anticipated event. An early use of a countdown once signaled the start of a Cambridge University rowing race.

The first known association with rockets was in the 1929 German science fiction movie Die Frau im Mond (English: Woman in the Moon) written by Thea von Harbou and directed by Fritz Lang in an attempt to increase the drama of the launch sequence of the story’s lunar-bound rocket.(Wikipedia)

I only know most of the rest of the team  I am spending the next Read the rest of this entry »


Close To The Street

Long ago, in my senior year of High School, I took an elective class with the somewhat meaningful name of L.E.A.P. Taught by a somewhat radical (for the time) teacher, the acronym was a perfect fit not only for the teacher but also for the purpose of the class itself. LEAP stood for “Learning and Education through Active Participation”.

The whole purpose of the class was to move the classroom… well out of the classroom and into the city where we lived. One of the basic philosophies that the class centered around was that the structure of the city itself, built around the car and freeways, prevented you from really learning about the city, its places and the people who live there. A significant part of the class involved getting us off the California Read the rest of this entry »


On What I Learned About Long Distance Biking

There are very few absolutes in this world, so in the interest of sharing wisdom, here are a few things that I have learned while doing long distance training:

    Badger State Trail

    Badger State Trail

  1. Every hill has a top and eventually, every hill has a downhill. This is true even in the event that someone, someday climbs Mt. Everest on a road bike. (Believe me… it will happen!)
  2. Some days it’s going to rain, some days it’s going to be hot and some days it’s going to be cold. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather …. only bad clothes. This holds true not just for cycling but also for hiking and for enduring the long (long) Midwest winters.
  3. While riding, the “music of the spheres” * always trumps the “music of my iPod”.
  4. Long distance touring is very different than (and is not) a race. The goal of long distance touring is to get from here to there with peace and enjoyment. The goal is NOT to get here to there as fast as you can. Slow down and enjoy the experience.
  5. Flats happen. (Need I say more?) It’s all part of the experience. Smile and go on!
  6. Every ride….. is a good ride!

* MY FATHERS WORLD

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Text: Maltbie D. Babcock
Music: Trad. English melody; adapt. by Franklin L. Sheppard
Tune: TERRA BEATA


More Resources

Presented at the 2013 Gala to Celebrate Hope. A good idea of where your support dollars go.

 

A Collection of Articles about the Myanmar/Burma Conflict:

Myanmar Poor Go Without Care After Ban on Doctor Group – NY Times March 2014

Myanmar’s Rich Biodiversity Hangs in the Balance – Bloomberg Business Week – March 2014

 


Great News … In Balance

So What Shall We Say Then…. Shall We Keep On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? Romans 6:1

The Gospel is great news. Period. Regardless if you believe that — or not — the Gospel is probably the one set of facts in history that has had the most  lasting and profound impact on humanity for over 2000 years. It has done more to shape how the human race sees the universe than any other truth ever has.

At the core of this good news (Gospel) is grace – a concept that has been applied to us by God so that we have the opportunity to have a relationship with God our creator even though we, in ourselves, Read the rest of this entry »


Design and Concepts and Consuming

I recently finished the annual Fast Company “Design” issue that is published about this time each year. With the ever present Jony Ives gracing the front cover, it was obvious that this issue was going to have something to say about Apple and their philosophy of design. (Spoiler alert — the Apple design process is so secret that the only sources that Fast Company could rely on for the article were people who used to work at Apple and could legally say something about the Apple design process).

What I expected and what I got from these articles were two completely different things. Read the rest of this entry »


Turning It Down

In America, we’re not used to living smaller. And it’s no wonder given that we live in the land of “super-size it”, SUVs and “bigger is better”. It’s the way I and my fellow Baby Boomers were raised and to us, it’s as natural as breathing.

hummer-h2Recently though, there are a lot of us Boomers (and Post-Boomers) who are thinking that maybe we’ve taken this “more is better” thing a bit too far. We’re realizing that there is a price to pay for all this growth – a price to the environment and our community and a price to our sanity.

My wife and I realized this about 7 years ago when work (or a sudden lack thereof) circumstances and financial circumstances forced us to consider how much we had and how to get by with less. Before our downsizing, we were happily rattling around on two acres of land (most of which needed to be mowed each week)
and living in a 3800 square foot house with two late model cars and lots (and lots) of stuff that we had accumulated over our 12 years of marriage.

Read The Rest …