New York Times Reader for Mac

I love reading the NYT – but honestly don’t read a paper delivered to the house (the timing of getting the paper off the drive when I leave, and then having time to read the bundled wood-pulp paper seems elusive).  I love reading the online edition, though sometimes struggle with the user interface (UI) at NYT.com.

Hence, the NYT’s new Reader for the Mac is a God-send.  Updates every few minutes, full articles, easy to use UI, and readable offline.

Check it out here.

Horseshoes in central Illinois

My wife grew up in west central Illinois… I spent most of the nineties in central Illinois farm country, going to college, grad school, and then seminary; running a business; and beginning a ministry.

One of the local “delacacies” of central Illinois is the horseshoe – potatotoes, bread, meat (sausage, beef, bacon, etc) more potatoes, or tator tots, or fries… all covered in something gooey like gravy or cheese.

Total health food:)  Anyway, this item was the preferred “after Friday night” food in Macomb were I went to school.  Haven’t had one in years.  And here it is:

Close call

No matter your feelings about the war, we (almost) all agree about the need to support our volunteer troops that are currently in harm’s way.

This shot captures the close call for a young Marine of the 24th MEU. The bullet, which can be seen airborne (upper center), shattered the wall just a couple inches from the Marine’s face. This marine is fortunate enough to have lived, and will have the photo to show his kids…

God, keep all our soldiers, marines, seamen, and airmen safe! And thank you all for your courage and service.

Problem with jeans? Could be genes!

Several weeks ago, I gave a talk at the Orchard in which the Big Idea was that taking care of our physical bodies was an act of worship not vanity… that it is about Stewardship, not Sex Appeal (hear the talk here).

Well, modern science is proving that Biblical wisdom true… seems that no matter your health or fitness level, some people will never have the fat-free, sculpted bodies they are after because of genetics. See the New York Times reports here (a lifehacker summary) and here (a NYT article).

That is not saying we should let our bodies deteriorate… taking care of our health is one of the best ways to worship God, since our bodies are one of His biggest investments in us. But it does mean that no matter what the media tells us, we cannot always assess health by those ripped abs or chiseled legs advertised in the bowflex commercial or the cover of Cosmo. So do not become discouraged because the mirror isn’t showing you what the TV is telling you… just walk/run/bike/lift/dance/train/etc. as an expression of “Thanks!” to God for the wonderful body He did give you!

That’s Quotable

If you are avoiding sin and living morally so that God will bless you and save you, then ironically, you may be looking to Jesus as a teacher, model, and helper but you are avoiding Him as Savior… you are trying to save yourself by following [and living like] Jesus.

Tim Keller, The Reason For God, p177

Dang!  What a great distinction… and convicting.

Nicene Creed

In this age of “Christian Right” politics, “Christian TV”, and “Christian” bumper stickers and T-shirts, it is easy to forget that Following Jesus is an ancient, Eastern faith.

When I need to remember this, I meditate on the Nicene creed. “What is that” you ask? The First Council of Nicea convened in 325 AD, under the guidance of Constantine – the Emperor responsible (mostly) for the explosive growth of Christian faith in the fourth century. This council originally met to resolve early questions about the nature of Jesus’ diety (not IF Jesus was divine, but some questions about HOW). Out of this historic church meeting came some key decisions about our faith – like settling on when to celebrate the Reserrection. But in hindsight, the greatest accomplishment came in the first agreement on the consensus of the doctrines central to following Jesus.

Below is the Nicene Creed…

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.