Archive for January, 2011

Sunday Devotional – Story of the Grandson of Jesus

No, this isn’t some long-lost gnostic gospel promulgating the Jesus Dynasty; rather it’s a whimsically imaginative song by one of my new favorite bands, Cloud Cult. Reflect…and enjoy:

Today is a good day to flex the muscles of the weary
a miracle’s a miracle even when it’s ordinary
we walk on the water even though it seems scary
if someone will show us the way
 

I shook hands with the man who honestly thinks he’s
the grandson of Jesus with the penchant for pinchies
he served us communion of cola and twinkies
guess everyone has their own view
 

He stood on his soap box and told us a parable
of a man with eyeglasses so small they’re unwearable
and the moral of the story is it all looks terrible
depending on what you look through, on what you look through
 

He said “Do unto yourself as you do unto your neighbor
it’s not an eye for an eye, it’s a favor for a favor
and it’s okay if this world had a billion saviors
’cause there’s so many things to be saved
 

“Take my words with a boulder of salt
or blame it on your devil
always the scapegoats fault
we all point fingers when it comes to a halt
can somebody show us the way, show us the way…

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

AND SO IT WAS that I was once again at the mercy of the esteemed Jason Sager, who unmakes and remakes his subjects’ musculature on his table. This is session three of the Ten Series I’m talking about, which is…

The “lateral line” session, Session 3 focuses on the sides of the body from ankle to armpit. This session helps to balance the body from front to back and begins to transition the work from surface to deeper fascial work. Many clients find a feeling of greater length of feeling taller at the end of this session. This is also a good decision point for a client to review how Rolfing is working for them and decide if they wish to continue through the full ten-series.

I did indeed feel taller after this session. I imagine it’s like being on one of those medieval racks of old, except not nearly so unpleasant – though I’ll admit, at one point I cried ‘uncle’ and had to take a short break. But truth be told, Jason is such a pro that he knew he needed to relent for a spell before I actually said anything.

Once more he had me stand up mid-way through our session, after he had only worked me over on my left side. Once again, I felt a bit like I was starring in a real-life V8 commercial, walking askance! But then we resumed, finishing the session, and overall I felt more relaxed, quite literally stretched, and like I was breathing better.

My decision: Let’s keep moving through the ten series! This is just getting good.

Historical Jesus Book Recommendation – Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton

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Sunday Devotional: Love is Love

Hello all you lovers in the blogosphere! Augustine (or was it John Caputo?) once famously probed: “What do I love when I love my God?” And Tom Oord in his Nature of Love: A Theology begins to take seriously, perhaps for the first time in contemporary theology, ‘God IS Love’ as a starting point for theology, spirituality, and practice. I think his project is exciting (you should really check out the book if you haven’t already), and if it resonates, it begs the question: Who do I love? What is love? And how can we explore/express these questions together trans-rationally, devotionally, ecstatically, in song?

Well, if these are questions that matter to you, I’ve got your mystical poetry for absorption into the One this morning. This is Love is Love, coming from post-hardcore band Lungfish‘s visionary, wheel-within-a-wheel frontman, Daniel Higgs. The version that so resonates with me – and with Trinity’s Place, my faith community in Raleigh – is actually a cover by Tortoise, when they collaborated with Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

I use this song frequently – working out on the ROM, and as a prelude to prayer or contemplation. Here it is:

The lyrics are anybody’s guess. Here’s mine:

Love is love in the shape things take

Love is love in the womb of wombs (wound of wounds)

Love is love at the highest height

Love is love at the deepest depth all right

Love is love as the risen rise (as the risen Christ)

Love is love in the sight of creation

Love is love in patterns of light

Love is love at the root of the grave

Love is love in the life of all life

Love is love in echoes through space

Love is love a vigil for this world (a vision for this world)

Love is love in the marrow of new bones

Love is love as above so below

Love is love in the record of events

Love must be love to let time begin

Love is love always reconciled

Love is love in the wind and shade

Love is love – alien and strange

Love is love in truth and falsehood

And, for your added enjoyment, here’s the original Lungfish version. Enjoy!

Keep GMOs Out of ‘Organic’!

This crossed my desk today…take action if you care about keeping the definition of ‘organic’ from further erosion, and keeping Monsanto from creating an even larger agribusiness monopoly than they already have.

Take a stand for organics, tell Secretary Vilsack and President Obama to reject Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa

Keep GMOs out of Organics!

Clicking here will automatically add your name to the letter to Secretary Vilsack and President Obama:

The USDA must immediately ban Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa from the market and work to ensure that the organic industry is protected from genetic contamination and loss of profits and stand up for the basic rights for Americans to know what is in their food and how it’s produced.

Everything you thought you knew about organics is about to change. If the USDA and Monsanto get their way, organic integrity is about to go the way of the dinosaur.
Once again, the organic industry is under assault. This time the USDA is determined to let Monsanto ride roughshod over common sense environmental rules that would protect organic farmers from having their crops contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified (GMO) Roundup Ready seeds.

Last month, the USDA released its position on Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa, stating that the USDA would go ahead and allow GMO alfalfa to be planted in the U.S. despite the fact that is scientifically proven to contaminate organic alfalfa, a crop that organic dairy farmers and organic beef producers depend upon for feed. According to USDA organic standards, GMO crops are not allowed for animal feed.1

If organic and conventional alfalfa crops are allowed to be contaminated by GMO alfalfa, the organic dairy industry stands to lose more than $1.4 billion, as organic integrity is dependent upon GMO-free ingredients and feed.2

Click on the link below to tell Secretary Vilsack and President Obama that you refuse to accept genetic contamination of the organic industry. Tell him it’s time to stand up to Monsanto and the biotech industry. It’s vital that he hear from you today.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/329?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=7

Coexistence and the Road to Continued Organic Contaminiation

In his most recent announcement, Vilsack hoped to be able to offer a “middle ground” on GMOs. The Obama administration’s bright idea calls for a new era of “coexistence” between the organic and biotech industries.

The “coexistence” model – one of the two proposed options – would create “geographic restrictions and isolation distances” between GMO and non-GMO alfalfa fields. The problem with “coexistence”, is that it looks a lot like the past 15 years where organic and conventional farmers have been forced to go out of business or adopt GMOs because the technology is so flawed that it can’t be planted in one farmer’s field and stay there.

No, GMO crops routinely contaminate other farmer’s fields — that is, genetically pollute other crops that don’t contain their patented genes. While prudent, non-corporate scientists have warned against the unknown long-term consequences of genetic contamination in nature caused by GMO seeds and crops, past administrations and USDA bureaucrats have gone ahead and recklessly approved these crops anyway.

Already the biotech industry is throwing a fit about this being a “dangerous precedent”, taken to mean that they could no longer fully dictate the terms of seed planting and approval. 3 But we need to let Secretary Vilsack and President Obama know that if they allow GMO alfalfa to be planted, from this point forward, the history books will write about the loss of the organic industry under Vilsack and Obama’s watch.

Click on the link below to tell Secretary Vilsack and President Obama that you’re outraged that they would needlessly put the organic industry, environment and future generations at risk in favor of corporate profits.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/329?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=9

GMO Alfalfa Not Needed By Farmers, Not Worth the Risk

Unfortunately, rather than provide protection for the fastest growing and most profitable sector in agriculture, the Obama administration is needlessly putting the $26 billion organic industry at risk over a GMO crop that is not needed by farmers.

As a crop, genetically modified alfalfa is entirely unnecessary. Since alfalfa is a perennial grain, it has significantly less weed competition than annual crops where Roundup is normally used. Unlike corn, soybeans and other crops, alfalfa does not have persistent weed problems, therefore Monsanto’s and the biotech industry’s arguments for seeking approval of Roundup Ready alfalfa based on the need for weed control are completely without merit. It would appear that the only thing that Monsanto is seeking is another revenue stream for its failed line of Roundup Ready seeds.

Unfortunately, if Vilsack does go ahead with his decision to deregulate GMO alfalfa or opt for “coexistence”, things are about to get a whole lot worse for farmers. Not only will the organic industry have to deal with massive genetic contamination, but farmers everywhere will have to figure out how to deal with the further spread of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready resistant superweeds which have already spread to at least 10 species of weeds and have infested millions of acres in 22 U.S. states since 2000.4

For farmers the rise in superweeds leads to an increased usage of herbicides, which not only contaminate our rivers and streams, but also decreases profits for farmers and creates unknown potential human health problems. Already, farmers across the U.S. are being forced to use 2 or even 3 toxic herbicides to keep superweeds at bay.

Click on the link below to tell Secretary Vilsack and President Obama to stand up for organic integrity and that organic farmers and consumers have a right to eat food that is not contaminated with Monsanto’s patented GMO genes!

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/329?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=11

Thank you for participating in food democracy, your action today may help save the organic industry.

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team

Sources:

1. “USDA Announces Final Environmental Impact Statement for Genetically Engineered Alfalfa” United States Department of Agriculture, Press Release, December 16, 2010.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/326?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=13

2. “DeFazio Wants Rules on Genetically Engineered Alfalfa”, Natural Resource Report, July 3, 2010.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/180?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=15

3. “Biotech alfalfa restrictions would be ‘dangerous precedent’”, Dairy Herd Management, January 7, 2011.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/327?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=17

4. “Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds”, The New York Times, May 3, 2010.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/328?akid=284.53115.g1Of04&t=19

Five Questions About Moolala

Last week I started hearing all over the Internet about a promising new social media startup, Moolala. I was seeing it pop up on pretty much every channel – blogs, Tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn, and via several friends in my Inbox. And then – small world the Web is – it turns out that one of my friends, Jon Dale, is a co-founder! Jon’s a brilliant guy, consultant extraordinaire, Alt.MBA apprentice of Seth Godin, so I figured I’d better pay attention. Jon took some time away from managing the gangbusters-like growth Moolala’s experiencing to fill in the blanks for me. Here’s what we talked about…

So. Moolala…what on earth is it?

It’s daily deals meets Facebook plus a rewards system.

How does it work?

On one hand we’re just like the big daily deals sites out there.  We offer people phenomenal deals on things they love to buy.  But that’s just the beginning, we also offer rewards on every purchase you make, your friends make, your friends friends make…and on for a total of 5 levels. This handy video pretty much sums it up:
So I can get paid to use & refer Moolala? Like, cold hard cash? From ‘pay matrixes’? That sounds like some kinda ponzi scheme. Can’t you get locked up for that sort of thing?
Ponzi schemes are clearly illegal.  The important thing to understand is that it’s completely free to sign up and you don’t have to buy anything.  But we think when people see the deals we’ll be offering they’ll grab them really fast.  And when people buy the deals we pay out rewards.  We’re taking the same money that most companies spend on marketing and sharing it with the people who help us build our membership.
That makes sense. What kind of daily deals can I expect to get?
We’ll be running both national and local deals.  Restaurants, salons, spas, entertainment options, clothing stores, we’re talking to lots of companies that your readers know and love.
Delightful. What inspired y’all to create this?
I wrote a blog post about that.  You should check it out.
# # #
I did check it out, and I’m giving Moolala a try. Jasmin has saved us a pretty penny from Groupon and Living Social daily deals in the past year, so if I can support a similar service that actually shares its profits with the people, I’m all for it. Plus, being in the word-of-mouth publicity business myself, I can really appreciate their business model. Rather than spending dough on advertising, they create a service with integrity and ask people like us to share it with our social networks. Makes sense to me. I signed up for free; if you’d like to join me in trying this out, click here – and don’t forget to invite your friends. : )

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  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
    God's Ultimate Passion: A Trinity of Frank Viola interview on Next Wave: Part I, Part II, Part III
    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
    Church Planting Chat from Next-Wave
    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave

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