My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Check it out

If you need a laugh, check this out: You'll find movie classics - preferably horror movies - cut down to 30 seconds and played by bunnies! It's hilarious. I'm not into horror movies, but this is really funny. Thank you, Tracey, for sharing the link! And now, have fun ...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Who's your role model?

Last Monday night at youth group (where I now help out regularly) we started a series on role models. So my friend Sarah, one of our youth directors, asked the teens about their role models. Maybe you can imagine what happened... These are high school kids, so it's important to be cool and to go with the flow ... As soon as one starts with a fun answer, most others will follow, so you won't really get serious answers. That's exactly what happened. According to their answers, role models of today's teens include superman, sponge bob, Pokemon, Homer Simpson, the list goes on. My first thought was: if that's true, our world is in a sad state!
Now I'm very sure that most of them have other role models (there are some in our youth group where I'm even absolutely convinved). Role models that they did not want to share, cause they were "serious" ones, or maybe they were afraid they would be loved at, or maybe after those responses the atmosphere was just not there for serious talk anymore.
But - maybe for some or even most it's true. Just think about if those were seriously their role models! I'm sure that there are some good traits in most of the characters answered - but it is definately not the answer I would want to hear from my kid! And even if it's not true for our teens at youth group, I'm unfortunately sure that there are a lot of kids and teens for whom it is true.
There is nothing wrong with having role models out of movies or books. There are some great role models out there. And it's not necessary at all to have a role model that's near perfect.
Or maybe those kids do just not want to model their life after anybody. Or do not want to talk seriously about life (and being a teen is no excuse for that).
I'm trying to answer who my role models actually are. So I might post about that over the next weeks. One answer's quite obvious, but I'll not go into that in this post :).
So, please post a comment and let me know who your role models are!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Beyond comprehension

I have not blogged concerning the tsunami and the horrendous events in its wake so far. It is such a tragedy and so sad, that I just couldn’t find any words for something meaningful about it.
This post though is a reaction of a discussion (if you can call it one) concerning the relief efforts by the Western world.

It caught my eye when I read a post at the anchoress quoting another blog describing a confrontation between an American, his Hindi collegue and some Europeans. Here is the link to that original post at Varifrank. Please read it and the comments.
Some (in my view inappropriate) comment ridiculing Bush’s reaction to the disaster – sending an air craft carrier – let to an outburst by Varifrank, violently criticizing th European relief efforts. So bush-bashing let to some European-bashing ...
Maybe also read a post at Sweet and Sour Spectator. I could give more links, but it isn't really necessary.

I am not taking sides (neither in the Bush debate, nor the US-European one that seems to be going on). But it made me SO mad. Southeast Asia is facing a major disaster. Something horrendous has happened, hundreds of thousands are dead, injured, homeless, starving – and what do we do? We fight who is the best helper! Can you believe that??
In my view this discussion and the comments on several blogs miss the important point. This is about helping, about compassion, about loving your neighbor. And not some stupid competition between the US and Europe – cause that’s what we’re turning it into. If we cannot overcome prejudices, stupid hatreds and injured feelings between Americans and Europeans in the face of tragedy, our Western world is in a sad state. Especially if we consider us as Christians. Following Jesus is about compassion, about loving your neighbor – and not checking how your other neighbors are doing in the effort...

There’s a lot more I would love to say. I guess I got a little hurt by some blog comments against Europeans ... So I really would love to show how we Europeans (at least I know about Germany) are helping and caring (not just by moments of silence, but by donations in money and goods, by air force hospital planes etc.), but I’m already joining the debate I dislike. It’s so easy to get drawn into it, especially if one feels that all your country has done (be it the US or a European country) is not given its proper value. It would be appropriate and great if we could be glad about everybody’s effort, be it small or big, cause it will help the people in Southeast Asia. And the relief work is about them – and not some version of the “we are better than you” – competition, no matter who starts it!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Recommanded reading

I certainly enjoy surfing the web for "new" blogs to read. It's amazing how many different kinds there are. So I just want to suggest one for now which I check out on a regular basis. It makes me think - I do not necessarily agree on everything, but it defiantely gives me ideas from an interesting perspective. So, have a look for yourselves: the evangelical outpost

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Welcome 2005!

A blessed year 2005 to all of you! I hope it will be a wonderful and exciting year for all of us.

I always want to make serious plans for the new year, but somehow it all stays rather vague. And for all who've been wondering about that question on their blogs or privately, I am not making new years resolutions... Making them up - if they're supposed to be pursued seriously - takes for too much thinking and self-examination for lazy me. I know such a reflection time would be really good for me, but with all the work I had before Christmas and that is coming now, I just don't feel too much like serious reflection over the holidays...

BUT I have two resolutions anyway (they're kind of obvious at the moment):
1. Read through the bible in one year (we started that with a group from church)
2. Finish my PhD - I've theoretically worked on it for so long now, I really want to have it done! And whatever is coming this summer, it needs to be finished.

More vague ideas: figure out what to do with my life - be more persevering at my job, motivated or not - read more (although I read lots already) - stop being stressed out - ...

Some things I'm definately looking forward to:
1. Holding the book we've been working on for more than one and a half years now finally in my hands!
2. Skiing trip with the youth from our church to Bad Gastein, Austria - in less than three weeks, yeah!
3. Vacation with Markus :) and lots of quality time together
4. Something new will start this summer - whatever it may be. I really need something new happen in my professional life!
5. Spending great times with friends and family!

Good things that happened last year (I won't remember all, I know):
1. Markus
2. My god-child Paula was born in january and baptized in April
3. I became a member of the APC, my church here in Bonn, and am on the council since May
4. Lots (!) of vacation - Southern France with Markus and a wonderful time in the US
5. My friend Jess' wedding
6. My friend Karens's baby Nick
7. Meeting old friends
8. My friend Astrid's wedding
9. AICEMEA youth conference
10. Lots of coffee with my friends!
11. Making new friends
12. My first publication
13. Started blogging
14. Grown closer to God (although it's here at no. 14, that's a big one)
15. Did the devotion at Oasis
16. Great concerts (tops include The Dubliners, Third Day and Delirious)