Some Shout Outs


Just wanted to pass along two organizations that do good work:

Milton Stanley, longtime friend of this blog and blogger, links to some of the best Christian blog excerpts on the Web over at Transforming Sermons. He has a new publishing company called Transforming Publishing. Milton says, “This new venture has the potential to be a vehicle both for bringing some of the best Christian blogging voices to print and making high-quality Bible studies and commentaries widely available for preachers, teachers, and serious students of the Word.” If you’ve ever considered publishing your Christian writing, contact Milton through his blog.

Sara Wilson of the Fresh Air Fund reminds us that it’s not too late to be a host family for inner-city kids looking to get away to the countryside. As the site explains:

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

As a rural denizen who worked in camping ministry for many years, I think this is a worthy cause. If you want to know more about hosting, please see the Fresh Air Fund Host page.

And I would be remiss if I fail to mention books by two friends of mine:

Joe Lacy’s Mountain Reign, the fictional account of the ascent of a ’50s-era Kentucky high school basketball team, captures the feel of the coal mines and the court like nothing I’ve read before. Joe has a way with a phrase that I envy, and for anyone who loves sports, this would be a fine read.

Wayne Holmes teams with Patsyann Maloney in The Making of a Madam, the true story of Patsyann’s descent into the world of prostitution and her subsequent conversion to Christ. If you’re a fan of a bio well told, it’s a gripping tale.

(Hot) Thursday Thoughts


We’ve had a mild, gorgeous summer here, but today is shaping up to be one of those 95/95 days—95 degrees with 95 percent humidity. Welcome to southern Ohio in the second half of July.

Haven’t had as much inspiration for gut-wrenching blog posts lately. Life is difficult right now, so my energies are being directed elsewhere. Sorry. Will attempt to do better.

So today we get links and various musings on a variety of topics.

Musical Worthiness – Derek Webb is one of the few contemporary Christian artists I listen to. This is slightly old news, but he’s giving away his The Ringing Bell album free at NoiseTrade. You can find other free albums by alternative Christian artists at that site. Heaven knows we need alternatives to Third Day, Casting Crowns, and Mercy Me!

Cautionary-Tale-from-an-Impeccable-Source Worthiness – If you want to hear just how well the Lakeland “Revival” and Todd Bentley travel, William Dembski of Intelligent Design fame shares his tale of attending a Dallas offshoot appearance. Given Dembski’s notoriety, intellect, and the revelation that one of his children is autistic only makes the story all the more worthy of note.

Charitable Worthiness – Reader Sara Wilson alerted me to a 131-year-old organization called The Fresh Air Fund that provides a two-week summer vacation for inner-city kids by placing them with families that live in suburban and rural areas or by sending them to camp. As someone who worked in camping for years and now lives on a farm, sounds ideal to me. If you can host a child, please contact the organization ASAP.

Blog Worthiness – Pastor Michael Newnham’s Phoenix Preacher blog is also worthy of note. Plenty of good linkage there and gripping reading.

A Lesson for Early Adopters – Though always a “wait and see” person when it comes to software updates with new functionality, I threw caution to the wind and upgraded my WordPress software almost immediately after v2.6 came out. I’ve used a plugin that does the upgrade seamlessly, but this time the outcome was a mess and took me about four hours to finally clear up. The plugin choked right at the end, I got locked out of the admin panel, and I could not upgrade the database. A real mess with gobs of scary errors. Sure enough, the next day, a new version of the plugin showed up. Of course.

More WordPress Cautions – If you are using one of the recent versions of WordPress that allows automatic updates of plugins, be very, very careful. The automatic update  feature requires CHMOD settings on WordPress directories that leave them open to hacker exploits. This blog was hacked about a month ago by someone who modified a plugin to a plugin because of the settings necessitated by the automatic plugin update in WordPress. Needless to say, once bitten, twice shy.

Speaking of Messes… – Man, this banking fiasco is a nightmare. Expect more banks to collapse. When the SEC halts shorting of financial stocks, you know we’ve got troubles. It only goes to show you better have your treasure in heaven and not on earth.

Apocalyptic Inflationary Evidence – I live in one of the largest corn and soybean producing states. Many of the farmers around me grow corn; a 1,000+-acre field of corn sits a quarter mile down the road. Yesterday, I was in my local Kroger store and they were selling corn for 50 cents an ear. Never seen a price even remotely that high. I know that many soybean and corn farmers around here had to plant twice because of the deluge of rain we got in spring, but still. I used to buy corn for under 10 cents an ear. I saw a man standing in front of the corn bin in produce shaking his head and muttering. I joined him. He turned to me and said something I’ve been saying to myself a lot lately: “How do people live?” Unbelievable.

The Neo-Apostolic Mashup – Christianity has seen its mix of assaults (postmodernism being the latest whipping boy of apologists), but I’m convinced the New Apostolic Reformation poses a larger threat to the Church globally than postmodernism does, especially if it cannot cleanse out its undiscerning elements. Sadly, I wonder if anything would be left of the movement if the undiscerning elements were purged.

Thank You – Thank you to those of you who contributed to the support of Cerulean Sanctum. I’ve written to those who did. Blessings. A couple contributers typoed their e-mail addresses, though. If you have not received a personal thank you from me, that is why. And for those who enjoy the blog and have offered to support it in the past, you now have the option to do so.

Thanks always for reading. Have a blessed weekend.