Archive for July, 2010

from Cole-Slaw by Neil Cole

For years missional leaders have repeated the refrain articulated by Dr. C. Peter Wagner that “The best means of evangelism under the sun today is church planting.” I myself have even quoted Dr. Wagner in some of my earlier resources. This statement has become a banner for church planting in the US for the past 20 years.

The reason given for this statement is that new churches tend to be hungrier, evangelistically speaking, than their more established sisters. The very survival of the new church depends upon her outreach ability, so the people are more motivated to do evangelistic work. Statistically this is proven to be true as well. New churches do win more converts than long standing ones, but does that make the quote right? (read more)

Young Americans Don’t Know Their U.S. History   Twenty-five per cent of Americans don’t know that the United States won its independence from Great Britain according to a poll conducted by Marist University this last Independence Day weekend. The Marist poll asked just one question: "On July 4th we celebrate Independence Day.  From which country did the United States win its independence?" And though 74 per cent of Americans were able to give the correct answer, a disappointing 26 per cent did … Read More

via anniegirl1138

Washington – — While the BP oil spill has been labeled the worst environmental catastrophe in recent U.S. history, a biofuel is contributing to a Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” the size of New Jersey that scientists say could be every bit as harmful to the gulf.

Each year, nitrogen used to fertilize corn, about a third of which is made into ethanol, leaches from Midwest croplands into the Mississippi River and out into the gulf, where the fertilizer feeds giant algae blooms. As the algae dies, it settles to the ocean floor and decays, consuming oxygen and suffocating marine life.

Known as hypoxia, the oxygen depletion kills shrimp, crabs, worms and anything else that cannot escape. The dead zone has doubled since the 1980s and is expected this year to grow as large as 8,500 square miles and hug the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Texas.

As to which is worse, the oil spill or the hypoxia, “it’s a really tough call,” said Nathaniel Ostrom, a zoologist at Michigan State University. “There’s no real answer to that question.”

Some scientists fear the oil spill will worsen the dead zone, because when oil decomposes, it also consumes oxygen. New government estimates on Thursday indicated that the BP oil spill had gushed as much as 141 million gallons since an oil-rig explosion and well blowout on April 20 that killed 11 workers.

Corn is biggest culprit

The gulf dead zone is the second-largest in the world, after one in the Baltic Sea. Scientists say the biggest culprit is industrial-scale corn production. Corn growers are heavy users of both nitrogen and pesticides. Vast monocultures of corn and soybeans, both subsidized by the federal government, have displaced diversified farms and grasslands throughout the Mississippi Basin.

“The subsidies are driving farmers toward more corn,” said Gene Turner, a zoologist at Louisiana State University. “More nitrate comes off corn fields than it does off of any other crop by far. And nitrogen is driving the formation of the dead zone.”

The dead zone, he said, is “a symptom of the homogenization of the landscape. We just have a few crops on what used to have all kinds of different vegetation.”

In 2007, Congress passed a renewable fuels standard that requires ethanol production to triple in the next 12 years. The Department of Agriculture has just rolled out a plan to meet that goal, including building ethanol refineries in every state. The Environmental Protection Agency will decide soon whether to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline blends from 10 percent to 15 percent.

A 2008 National Research Council report warned of a “considerable” increase in damage to the gulf if ethanol production is increased.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/05/MNF91E84SL.DTL#ixzz0t8ovbUAg

By GEOFF PENDER – glpender@sunherald.com
BILOXI — University scientists have spotted the first indications oil is entering the Gulf seafood chain — in crab larvae — and one expert warns the effect on fisheries could last “years, probably not a matter of months” and affect many species.
Scientists with the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University have found droplets of oil in the larvae of blue crabs and fiddler crabs sampled from Louisiana to Pensacola. The news comes as blobs of oil and tar continue to wash ashore in Mississippi in patches, with crews in chartreuse vests out cleaning beaches all along the Coast on Thursday, and as state and federal fisheries from Louisiana to Florida are closed by the BP oil disaster. (read more)

Can We Be Offended?

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Non-violence

from Post Christian Blog

Who among as at some point has not felt ‘offended’? Someone says something rude to us, something to belittle us or make fun of the way we look – or does something just to make themselves feel superior by making us feel inferior. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Think of the people in your life who must always be correct, have the last word, or elevate themselves by being seen as the wise teacher (even though everybody else just thinks they’re a fill-in-the-blank!).

Recently someone did this with me – it wasn’t as much what they were saying as much as it was something I felt they were projecting – giving me ‘credit’ (of sorts) for thinking something I wasn’t even thinking. And so the more I thought about what I wasn’t thinking about…well, the more offensive to me it became. And as this person has been a friend for some time, there was ample baggage I could heap on the issue. I wanted to tell this person, as a roommate of mine in college used to say, ‘Hey, don’t throw your muck in my backyard!’ I wanted to say ‘deal with your own stuff but leave me out of it.’

Subsequently, I was offended. Royally offended! (read more)

article from contactmusic.com

RINGO STARR has a dream in which fans all around the world chant for ‘peace and love’ on his birthday.

The rocker has been asking fans to take a moment to throw up their V-signs and ask for peace and love at noon on his birthday since 2008 – and this year he’s hoping there will be an extra special effort, as he celebrates his 70th.

He has already made his plea in a video on his website, but he’s really hoping the idea catches on and there’s a global plea for peace and love.(read more)