Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Actors... Artists? Hardly

Here's a great post from The Corner about the shallowness of the celebrities who "spoke" at the Obama concert at The Lincoln Memorial on Sunday:

Ashley Judd is very cute, of course, and Samuel L. Jackson was entertaining in Pulp Fiction, but one wonders if these are the best speakers our nation has to offer its new president, who sat kindly through all of it, even the ridiculous leather-panted hooker outfits of Shakira and Beyonce, and showed, as he grooved to Stevie Wonder, that he is likely the first president in American history to know you're supposed to kick it on beats two and four, not one and three.

It was revealing that one of the speeches most worthy of note, from the incomparable Forest Whitaker, was essentially a selection from William Faulkner's Nobel acceptance speech, an uplifting affirmation of art and truth that is at the same time a denunciation of the worst of post-modernism and relativism. What we have forgotten, as unwittingly attested by the voices at this concert (excepting Mr. Obama, of course, who is a first-rate speaker), is that actors are not, in a classical Aristotelian sense, artists. They are skilled, to be sure, but they are empty vessels, to be fitted to parts as suits the real artists, the writers and photographers, the costumers and make-up specialists. This is not to deny the accidental beauty of Marisa Tomei or Jamie Foxx, or the emotive skill of Denzel Washington. But something is strangely out of whack when speeches are to be delivered at the foot of Lincoln, on ground hallowed by King, and the deliverers we choose are none of them thinkers or writers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obama 2.0 -- Scary



Now this is scary. Just what the country needs -- a nationwide expansion of the cancer that is the Chicago Democratic Party machine. He's bringing change all right -- the machinery that he needs to strong arm folks and politicians into getting with the program.

In operating the network, the DNC would work closely with the White House political office, which will be headed by experienced campaign organizers schooled in the Obama tactics of using the Internet to harness the massive network of neighborhood-level volunteers.

Obama's presidential campaign generated a database of 13 million e-mail addresses and tens of thousands of phone bank volunteers and neighborhood coordinators. Strategists believe these assets can grow in the years before Obama runs again.

Concerns about Obama's ambitions are coming from state party leaders as well as from Capitol Hill.

"The party needs to be rooted not just around one individual, but it needs to have a grass-roots base that can survive the times and even endure past whoever may be in office," said Jerry Meek, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "Obama brings a lot to the table, but, on the other hand, state parties exist for more than serving the objectives of the president and are in the business to elect county commissioners, school board members and members of the legislature."

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Prayers for Children

Here's a great post from Jon Bloom at Desiring God blog on what to pray for concerning one's children. I pray for my kids multiple times daily, but I'm not very organized about it. This is a great outline.

That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)

That they will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful, persistent call.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

That their thoughts will be pure.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord's work.

All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)

That when the time is right, they will GO!

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)