Friday, January 28, 2005

looking for a few good blogs 

Much to my surprise, Joe Carter did me the favor of posting a question I posed to him in an email on his website. You can read his post here in the "outtakes" feature of his blog.

I am currently looking for a few good blogs about the teaching profession or philosophy of education to read and thus gain some perspective on a field I'm considering exploring. The primary goal of this query is K-12, but I would accept higher education blogs as well. If you have any blogs to recommend, please feel free to email me or post them in the comments section below.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Thanks and Gratitude 

Over the past two to three weeks, my wife and I have been exposed to the profound and deep mercies of God. He has provided us a church home that has nourished us spiritually and most recently physically. This post is an online thank you card to the members of my church who brought over food, spent time watching our children, helped clean up the apartment we live in and prayed for us. I cannot begin to express my heartfelt gratitude at the love, kindness and generosity that this particular body of believers has shown when we needed it the most. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

The Lord has provided for us in our time of need. His praises have been and will be proclaimed. It has been the tender mercy of God Almighty that has carried us thus far.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Quick take 

One of the blogs that I read on occasion is Patrick Ruffini's blog. He was the man at the center of the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign's use of technology and ran the campaign's blog. He is very bright, talented and worth reading when it comes to analyzing election returns. His site is chock full of good content and has a new look. Check it out and enjoy.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Lessons in political naivete 

Doug Wilson is at it again. In this post about the president's inauguration, he complains once again, about the President's "religious syncretism". He then complains about evangelicals taking pastors, academics and the like out to the woodshed for this kind of "syncretism" instead of the president, demonstrating a lack of theological backbone. A number of reactions:

1. I wish that evangelicals could take some of their own out to the woodshed more often and with greater effect. I think the boundaries of orthodoxy could be better defended if we did so (i.e. the "openness of God" debates among many others).

2. Wilson has never seriously addressed what he would like to see done with the many different religions and adherents to those religions in our midst. Maybe I'm being a dense former sorter operator and missing something he has written but I have yet to see it. The last time I checked, the president was the leader of all Americans, not just a certain sect within our borders.

3. I'm not sure either what his vision of proper inauguration ceremonies and speeches would look like, but then again, one doesn't have to think too hard about these sort of these things if one is a distant backbencher who has shown no inclination in deepening his political thought process.

4. On one very important note though, he is right. The day after the inauguration, the president and other government officials didn't need to have an interfaith prayer meeting at the National Cathedral with representatives from different religions participating in a prayer service in a Christian house of worship. It would have been refreshing (TAKE NOTES MR WILSON. This is how a person finishes what they start.) to have seen a broadly Christian worship service or even a more evangelical or even Methodist service done. Seeing as how the president is an evangelical and a Methodist, it would have been appropriate or at least OK to start excluding other religions from participating in a public civic religious service. If past presidents could choose to have a chaplain start the inauguration ceremonies with a prayer, then I think the president should be able to have some say in how the day after the inauguration would be celebrated as well. The president is a Christian and as I stated earlier, I would see no problem with his wanting a Christian prayer service the day after the inaugural festivities.

Mr. Wilson's comments, though they may be right in a vacuum, nevertheless are breathtakingly naive in the real world. He expects better of the president. I expect better from him in return.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Extreme Makeover....to what end? 

I have seen a couple episodes of ABC's reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and have found the show compelling viewing despite some drawbacks that could make the show even better.

The basic premise of the show is that the lives of good families who have to deal with adverse circumstances are changed when the cast of the show and several hundred workers completely rebuild and remodel their house in the span of seven days. The show's premise and execution are great ideas. Each show is self contained (making for easier syndication) and is a "reality" show where people are actually uplifted and helped unlike other "reality" shows where the contestants are the beneficiaries of the fame and attention. The idea of showing spectacular acts of charity and mercy is one that the other mainstream media (and even cable networks) ought to look at copying.

The houses the design team transform are ordinary units to begin with and usually the houses are too small for the family or are in VERY bad shape and in need of major repair. The transformations are spectacular, bold, and very thoughtful and creative and dare I say it?....inspiring. It is amazing to see very creative minds create custom beds for kids or to see the design team match needs with great taste. For example, in this episode, Mr. Wofford was given a new office for chiropratic practice and an elegant master bedroom suite that was designed for a manly man raising a large family. That was one example of getting it right and a demonstration of the show at its best.

The show does have its drawbacks though. The first criticism is the eerie Truman Show-esque placement of Sears products. I know that sears is a corporate sponsor of the show and all, but to have the appliances, furniture and interior decorations from one general source is a little off-putting. The next criticism of the show hits at the show's strong suite: the design of the kid's rooms in the house. Without fail, the design team usually goes overboard in designing a room based upon a child's taste and wants. Therein lies the rub. While I have no problem with designing a room that appeals to children or has good taste, I do have a problem with letting the kid's wants and tastes dictate the design of the room. For instance, on one past episode, a young boy's room was made with a New England Patriots theme. The only problem is that the boy was located in southern California. Perhaps he has always been a Patriots fan, but I doubt it. The question that my wife asked is relevant: "What happens to the room when the kid's tastes change?" That question of timelessness is also my largest criticism of the show.

Even though the makeover of the houses are complete and often very spectacular, I have to wonder whether the show would be better if they concentrated on a common vision for what would make a house a home and how the house would blend in with the surrounding neighborhood and the natural world around the house. I have my doubts as to whether or not the houses redone on the show will be studied and photographed the way Frank Lloyd Wright's houses are studied? I think the show could be sooo much more than what it is if the design team were allowed to stretch and push themselves to think creatively and to ponder timelessness in what they are doing. The cast pursues after instant gratification and a "wow!" factor when their considerable talents could be poured into pursuing truth and beauty instead.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Take notes, Paul.... 

In a long but funny post, VodkaPundit, proceeds to cut up New York Times columnist/hack writer Paul Krugman. It's worth reading for a good chuckle if nothing else. Paul Krugman is a partisan hack which is the norm in the Times' halls and in academia, two places Mr. Krugman occupies. Whether he's right or not, he's a very partisan writer and a year or two ago, Donald Luskin, linked to a media bias website that tried to objectively track undue partisanship in opinion writing and Krugman was near the top of the list. Remember, if you send your kids to Princeton (where Mr. Krugman teaches economics) then the hackery displayed here will be the icing on the cake.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Three Cheers! 

Larry Kudlow, a former Bear Stearns analyst and current co-host of Kudlow and Kramer, has a blog up and running here. Larry has taught me virtually everything I need to know about supply-slide economic policies and economic philosophy. He is articulate, bright and worth reading every day.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Just Push Play (and fastforward) 

On Wednesday December 29 at 8:34 in the morning, little Natalie Rose Goldsworth was born in Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was delivered via c-section because she would have been a breech (butt-first) birth. She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz at birth and was measured at 20.25 inches in length. She is a beautiful little girl and I consider myself blessed beyond measure. I hope and pray for direction from God in raising Natalie and her older sister Anastasia. I have been given a humbling charge from God to be responsible for the spiritual and physical and emotional health of my family. It is only by His grace that I will be able to do so. Any bits of advice or support (or job openings) would be appreciated.

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