September 18,2003 Alternative Cultural Offerings
We are travelling in to Kentucky for our anniversary next week and I am in search of events of note- Found these so far. And some I am actually interested in...

World Chicken Festival- Filled with "egg-citement", more than 250,000 people attend the four-day event each year.

Bullitt County Demolition Derby... yes that's where I am from. All this wonderfullness and this is what we have to offer back home. Sigh.

Kentucky Folklife Festival- This year's festival will feature seven stages, multiple "jamming" areas and exciting new components such as Community Crossroads and hands-on workshops.

Festival of the Horse at Georgetown. Many traditional activities will be included in this year's agenda including the children's parade, grand horse parade, live entertainment, carnival, and horse show.

Cave Run Storytelling Festival- Enjoy eight of America's best loved storytellers in a beautiful mountain lakeside setting.  Let these talented artists take you away to other times and places through the intrigue of storytelling.

Paducah Barbecue on the River- This year the annual Arts in Action will team up with BBQ on the River and The Lower Town artists for their first Fine Arts Festival.

Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival- Hey- Lardo and Burley, the Moron Brothers will be there!

A Contra Dance at Berea- All you contrarians, checkout the photo pages.

And I'll probably slip across the River for Newburgh Indiana's Fiddler Fest, hosted by the Newburgh Arts Community. Hope to join the fun and kick up our heels for a stompin' good time. Eat some great food and listen to some great music.

It's festival time and the Casey County Apple Festival (world's biggest apple pie) and the Morgan County Sorghum Festival will be going on next weekend as well. Sorry no links to those.

September 17, 2003 Media Alert!



Working on correcting this...and I'm not referring to visiting the optometrist...

Have you seen this one? Drag the browser window to a small size for clarity-a Flash version of PingPong in the Matrix

Here's a song by singing eggplants. Make up your own words and let me hear from you. What are they REALLY singing about?

The spirituality of chiggers. Go ahead you know you want to know...
September 16, 2003 Another Word Picture

The Chinese character for righteousness is composed of two separate characters- one standing for a lamb and one standing for me. When lamb is placed over me- a new character- righteousness is formed. Between me( the sinner) and God,(the Holy one) there is interposed by faith the lamb of God by virtue of His sacrifice, I have become righteous in His sight.

September 16, 2003 the Fall by Camus

In preparation for an upcoming evangelism conference at Southeast Christian in Louisville, I reviewed Camus' The Fall .

Earnie is reading Hope Has it's Reasons- replete with allusions to Camus- and discussions are proceeding from that. In Indelible Ink Becky Pippert tells why the book made such an impact on her.

In The Fall, one of the twentieth century's greatest writers portrays the modern nihilistic notion of the lack of a possibility of redemption. And Camus is also one of the last people on Earth I would want to come to my ideal dinner party.

"I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man : he fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted." -A. Camus

The Fall is a sort of confessional narrative by a thoughtful existentialist that portrays accurately the reality of the lost life. The primary character unscrolls his life in minimalist fashion painting a stark picture of the reality of inauthenticity and faithlessness. The metaphor of the book seems to follow from the egocentrism of the main character's domicile in the last circle of hell- his conscience. It is on this stage that the angst and self examination of the hopelesds life is unravelled.

According to Camus there is no meaning to life. Life is boredom. Life is will to power and even the most altruistic act is self aggrandizement. It reads much like Ecclesiastes notion of life as vanity. The difference is Soloman places before us the alternative- the contrast- that there is life under the sun and life under God and that makes all the difference.

A world devoid of laughter is a world devoid of love; a world devoid of love is a world devoid of transcendence; a world devoid of transcendence is a world devoid of God.

"The Fall" is a book of big questions, questions of existence, meaning and of death, of how we live our lives and of what motivates our actions.The themes of the book borrow from Christianity. The very idea of "the fall" is a fundamentally Christian doctrine of original sin that the book transposes into a notion of lost innocence... discussions about redemption, forgiveness, and repentance fill the pages of this work.

Yet as allusive as it is to the ideas it is devoid of any real aspects of them, because it proceeds from a fundamental notion that there is no God- Actually it is true...if there is no God indeed none of these concepts have meaning. Yet Camus was active in the French Resistance, lived and wrote as if life had meaning- his premises could not actualized in real life. Nihilism is patently undoable because if you are true to it you will do nothing. The book is profoundly honest on this point. If more peoplein the culture at large would face these stark realities it would follow that more would receive Christ's answer to the hopelessness of the situation. But knowing man there would also be an increase in suicides and the degradation of eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Sounds familiar....

Hey lookit what I found in my Desk Department
My first Charger Card from the Future...back when they were rationing personal electricity.
September 16, 2003 Words from the World for the Church

"It was night-time and He was alone.

And He saw afar-off the walls of a round city and went towards the city.

And when He came near He heard within the city the tread of the feet of joy, and the laughter of the mouth of gladness and the loud noise of many lutes. And He knocked at the gate and certain of the gate-keepers opened to Him.

And He beheld a house that was of marble and had fair pillars of marble before it. The pillars were hung with garlands, and within and without there were torches of cedar. And He entered the house.

And when He had passed through the hall of chalcedony and the hall of jasper, and reached the long hall of feasting, He saw lying on a couch of sea-purple one whose hair was crowned with red roses and whose lips were red with wine.

And He went before him and touched him on the shoulder and said to him, 'Why do you live like this?'

And the young man turned round and recognised Him, and made answer and said, 'But I was a leper once, and you healed me. How else should I live?'

And He passed out of the house and went again into the street.

And after a while He saw one whose face and raiment were painted and whose feet were shod with pearls. And behind her came, slowly as a hunter, a young man who wore a cloak of two colours. Now the face of the woman was as the fair face of an idol, and the eyes of the young man were bright with lust.

And He followed swiftly and touched the hand of the young man and said to him, 'Why do you look at this woman and in such wise?'

And the young man turned round and recognised Him and said, 'But I was blind once, and you gave me sight. At what else should I look?'

And He ran forward and touched the painted raiment of the woman and said to her, 'Is there no other way in which to walk save the way of sin?'

And the woman turned round and recognised Him, and laughed and said, 'But you forgave me my sins, and the way is a pleasant way.'

And He passed out of the city.

And when He had passed out of the city He saw seated by the roadside a young man who was weeping.

And He went towards him and touched the long locks of his hair and said to him, 'Why are you weeping?'

And the young man looked up and recognised Him and made answer, 'But I was dead once and you raised me from the dead. What else should I do but weep?'"

[Oscar Wilde, 'The Doer of Good']


September 15,2003 Joy for the Journey from my Journals

The words for joy, grace and gift are related. Chara,charis, charisma. It can be the condition you're in if you are the gift receiver.. It can mean the emotional response to being in a gifted state of grace. It can be the practice of celebrating our corporately graced condition together.

Joy is NOT: Happiness, which might be described as wanting what you have or contentment which is not wanting what you do not have. It's not pleasure, that positive sensation that something conforms to your aesthetic sensibilities. Joy is not fun. Joy is not delight or cheerfulness or optimism.

Christian joy is not very American. You don't have it at your discretion. It is a grace gift. You cannot corner the market on it. You don't choose the gift or have it all to yourself. It is not a commodity. We don''t get to choose a bunch of nifty people to experience it with. The thing that ties us together- the most important human glue is the realization of one anotherness by virtue of our common experience of God's love. That is joy.

Media Alert!

If you only see one video this year of a wild bear being shot with a tranquilizer, falling onto a trampoline, bouncing up into the air and landing face first on a lawn make it this one!

Chickens in Christian History

September 15, 2003 Pilgrim ways

1) one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives 2) a stranger 3) sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner 4) in the NT metaph. in reference to heaven as the native country, one who sojourns on earth The word parepidemos appears a number of times in the Bible. It is translated differently in various texts appearing as; pilgrim 2 times, stranger 1 time; for a total of 3 appearances.

Becoming too comfortable in Babylon is problematic. We are called to do business like the exiles with Jeremiah as in Jeremiah 29 but not to become entrenched in a way that would keep us here given the choice. As we travel in the land of the seen we will never feel quite at home if we are citizens of heaven.

"A Pilgrim and a Stranger, I journey here below; Far distant is my country, The home to which I go. Here I must toil and travail, Oft weary and opprest; But there my God shall lead me To everlasting rest." Paul Gerhardt, 1666

Happy Birthday Jonny!

Jonathan Edwards will be 300 this year! There will be a national symposium at the Library of Congress October 3 celebrating Edwards' works.

Here's one way he's being celebrated with Os Guinness and Chuck Colson.

Here's another with Piper and Packer in Minneapolis.

October 5th is the big day...

Mr. Edwards is a solid, excellent Christian. . . I think I have not seen his fellow in all New England. -George Whitefield




From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @