Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Friday, January 16, 2009

Article: The Radical Faith of John Perkins

Just returned from a wonderful CCDA board meeting in Cincinnati. Just made it out before the snow and frigid cold. Boy, do I love the Bay Area!

You HAVE to check this out. here is a wonderful article on Dr. John Perkins called Radical Faith: The Revolution of John Perkins that was in the Jackson Free Press. It's a wonderful read... especially in light of the upcoming inauguration of President Obama. I'd love to hear your comments.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Wow - Beatle Flashbacks, Dude

I found this interesting record by The Fireman  yesterday named "Electric Arguments". This is essentially a disguised Paul McCartney record.

As my regular readers will know I listen to a lot of music from diverse styles (from opera to speed metal). I'm not wowed by a record very often, this one did for me. To be honest, I've been less than impressed with Paul's solo work. There are bright spots like the records 'McCartney', 'Ram', 'Band on the Run'and 'Flowers in the Dirt' - but for the most part his solo career can't compare to wonderful and transparent Lennon records like 'Plastic Ono Band', 'Double Fantasy' and 'Mind Games'.

However, this record really grabbed me, starting with the searing blues on the first song, "Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight" and the transcendent "Sing the Changes" with the repeating lyrics (is there a faith influence here???):
"sing his praises as you're sleeping
see the changes any wonder
feel the sense of childlike wonder
sing his praises as you're sleeping
see the changes as you're sleeping
feel the choir in the thunder"
Not every song is a winner - and the record kind of fizzles into electronic music. But there are some very great moments. Paul is now pushing 70 - but he reminds us that he is still a Beatle. You can buy the record here or any of your favorite locations.

By the way - here are my favorite releases of 2008:

Cardinology - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
Little Honey - Lucinda Williams
In Rainbows - Radiohead
Electric Arguments - The Fireman

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! 

I'm back now after a few weeks off. I needed some down time. Meliisa and I intentionally spend lots of time together over the holidays. It's a season to reconnect and remember that we're friends. We had a great time, saw family, ate a ton, watched movies and worked on our house. This time around in home ownership I seem to be enjoying  the experience more. We owned (and still do) a house in Modesto when we lived there 9 years ago (yes, it's been 9 years since we moved to EPA!) - but working on the house seemed much more a drudgery. I guess I'm older and slightly more patient.

We're looking forward to 2009 - and I'm certainly glad 2008 is over. However, in spite of the turmoil we personally and with NCUD had a prosperous and successful year. We bought a house, had a credit union grand opening and saw it grow and succeed, expanded and further developed our youth programs and watched Samuel continue to mature into a fine young man. Oh yea, we also adopted a slightly crusty and needy German Shepherd. NCUD continues to thrive in spite of the challenges, Melissa's job, New Creation Home is likewise thriving thanks to God's grace and Katie Fantin's leadership. We ended 2008 full of thankfulness and hopeful.

I also wanted to give a few reviews of the movies I watched over the break. Here are my suggestions:

Yes Man: Skip it. I was particularly offended by a rather graphic and somewhat degenerate sexual situation. It's kind of a shame - it has a good story and theme - the referenced scene is superfluous.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Good, but a little slow. I enjoyed the theme, acting, special effects. Great adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Worth seeing - might be a better rental.

Gran Torino: LOVED IT - Go see it now. Great story of redemption and restoration set in the backdrop of urban life in a Hmong community.

Frost / Nixon: Great movie. Admittedly I'm a sucker for anything historical, especially dealing with the Cold War or Nixon years. Great acting. I must admit. I'm a history buff - I totally enjoy the History Channel - so I can be a bad judge of how good these types of stories can be. Melissa, while loving history as much as I is a good judge of a story and how overly detailed and boring these things can be. She also loved it.

Here's some recent pictures: