Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Calendar

I don't know how many of you growing up had those little calendars with the little doors that you opened to reveal a Christmas surprise. Seems we had them with themes from the Nutcracker, Santa, and the Jesus story. Now you can do a similar thing, but better... with an Advent Calendar featuring daily Bible readings and meditations, provided by Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. (As a product of the sisterhood, the calendar has a few preliminary comments with respect to Mary and such that are not my own, however the strong grounding in the scripture makes this a rich place of preparation as we ready our hearts for the celebration of Messiah's birth.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Radio

My kids know all about these things, but to me on the down side of 40, I am amazed by the new ways of listening to music. The following sites allow you to access music you may never hear on regular radio.

Pandora: allows you to set up individual stations, then sow a "seed" song or two. Pandora then builds a station around your selections showcasing similar styles. I have built several stations:
Dust and Diesel, given to gritty folk, alt country and a touch of blues. Blue Jesu, given to a blend of rock'n gospel, sanctified blues, and largely female folksters. John Michael Talbot Radio, given to sacred music of John Michael Talbot and the likes of Frank Ortega and Michael Card. And finally Wind, War, And Chicago - a station given to groove rock with Chicago, Earth-wind-and Fire, and War as my seed bands. Go here to listen to my stations.

It appears that Paste Radio, the means by which I discovered Accuradio, is in a state of suspension given licence issues for playing music over computer. However, the larger Accuradio is still in full swing. Accuradio allows you to pick one of hundreds of stations or substations given to different themes. This is a great source for all the music that is hard to find on the radio: Classical (over thirty substations), Celtic, jazz, gospel, British rock, reggae. You name it, you'll probably find an Accustation playing your stuff.

Finally, for those with an ear for music from the Jesus Revolution (before the "Contemporary Christian" genre was damaged by commercial success) here are links to some stations that play music you'll never hear anywhere else.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Voices of Black Dissent

In the Wake of the pigment-barrier breaking election it is interesting to find people in the African American community who are not on the Obama bandwagon. Here are a few voices of dissent. (I do not know that all of these have commented on the Obama specifically, however, the following generally take positions that put them at odds with national black leadership.

Eric Remond


Star Parker

list to grow

Thomas Sowell

Shelby Steele (who will have to eat crow after writing a book stating the Obama was unelectable.)

Alan Keys (who lost a body of legitimacy in my mind given his anitcs years ago when not given space at some of the Republican debates.)

Phrase finder (Cool Find)

A friend of mine asked what "Pushing the envelope" meant. I knew its meaning by use, but not the relevance of the phrase. So we looked it up. It was not what I thought.

So take a guess... then check yourself against

and for a thousand other odd idioms see the phrase megasite:


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prayer and Parody

The links in this post are a tad late, and are certainly incongrous. Prayer and parody often pull in different directions. I present these links given the diverse nature of folks I call my friends. It may be that we need to pray, even as we wince.

This first post features the thoughts of Pastor John Piper, posted before election night (who probably votes like an elephant), nonetheless has things to say to fellow Christians of any political persuasion who would place their confidence in a political process.

See: http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1473_thoughts_on_voting_and_politics/

Or for a response see

Justin Taylor responds generously and critically to John Piper's thoughts on voting and politics.

Beyond that, here is a site given to political parody. I do not care for profanity (even the bleeped kind) especially when employed as humor. However, this public service ad by the Liberal activist group Move On Org. shows a clever way to motivate Democrat non-voters.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A note

Pam...I am enjoying strange emotions this evening. As a Republican with an appreciation of limited government I am apprehensive. (I gave my vote to a third party candidate.) As an American who has longed to see the pigment walls come down, I'm thrilled.

Blessings to you on this great night.

Kirk (who just watched the McCain concession speech and is waiting to hear from my new president.)

* I use "great" here in an older sense of the word -- A sense, that blends the ideas of monumental and historic, with a touch of uncertainty and even foreboding. Foreboding in that the sense that we are a nation with unbent knees.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Arkansas' Artists

This is a post that I will be updating routinely as I meet Arkansas' Artists and post new links

Ariston Jacks: Mixed Media, mural painter, etchings, photography: I was blown away by the skill of this relatively young artist who creates works at the intersection of African and American culture. Look for repeted themes of African masks and American currency.

Matthew Lopas: Mattew not only likes to paint in his house, he makes his house and its varied rooms his primary subject! Check out Matthew's 360 wrap around perspective as applied to big murals.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Daily Bread

Start your day right with some meditations in the Spirit.

The Beauty of His Face17 October 2008Hamilton, VA

The beauty of men shall vanish in old age, all former comeliness is wiped away with grief.The radiance of Christ's face, lovely before all things, is more to be desired than the frail flower of flesh.

- Columbanus, Poem on the World's Impermanence, Irish, 7th century

You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants. As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your goodness.

- Psalm 17.14, 15

For the devotion which follows, and a daily devotional in your mailbox go to
http://myparuchia.com:80/ and check out the "Crosfigell"

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Carl Warner photographer: For some of the weirdest and most delightful of food scapes (food and such arranged to look like fairytale landscapes) go to the orange square on English Photographer Carl Warner's site. Simply Amazing.

Cake Wrecks: a site given to cakes gone horribly or hilariously wrong (though I rather liked this Van Gogh cake.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sarah Palin Baby name generator

To find out what you might have been named if Sarah Palin were your mom, check out:


Thursday, September 18, 2008

The best music in the world

A growing master list of my favorite singers, song writers, and musicians. (in no certain order)

Phil Keaggy: master guitarist

Mark Heard: Gone Home - folk rock hero, brooding Psalmist

Jeff Johnson: Ambient Celtic, sonic sojourner

John Michael Talbot: Franciscan troubador

Randy Stonehill: veteran Jesus folk rocker. you know its a broken world, when this guy's music is hardly found.

Jill Phillips: Baladesque, Christian folkster (and hymn singer)

VOL/Bill Mallonee:

Jan Krist: Detroit Folkster

Wynton Marsalis: American, Jazz trumpeter extrodinere

Bob Bennett: intelligent balladesque folk

Bruce Cockburn:

Iona: Modern Celtic sacred-apocyliptic-jazz fusion.

Dannibelle Hall: Now Home - lush motherly Gospel

Cynthia Clawson: perfomance singer spanning classical to Bayou worlds.

Daniel Amos: simply the best alt-Christian band in the world. (though they sometimes confuse me.)

Ashey Cleveland: Knockout guitarist and righteous blues

Buddy Greene: Santified Blues/Cajun/ Country harmonica Hymn singing folkster

Bela Fleck: Brilliant Banjo-ist spanning classical to grass

Mo Leverett: Blues Preacher-prophet

Charlie Peacock: Sophisticated Pop, wizbang urban producer, Jazz preacher

Annie Moses Band: In a class by themselves, power classical (Home school?) blue-grass fusion

Blind Boys of Alabama: Chicory and Rum Black Gospel

Take 6: smoooth acappella (sp?)plus

Michael Kelly Blanchard: life changing story singer

Sarah Hart: Sacred Parish Feminime folk

Sarah Laughing: they don't appear to have a real site (anymore) but this "righteous groove" band, owns the genre.

Sarah Masen: frail to stalwart, feminime whimsical folk

Sara Groves: introspective piano to melodic pop

Emmlou Harris: Americanna sister of the wounded soul

Liz Story: Deep poetry piano

Amy Shreeve: Harpist, some of the most beautiful music ever made on the face of the earth

Michael Card: Creative theologian, folk w celtic, hebrew, and gospel touches

Lamb: Messianic worhsip, folk, dance

Paul Clark: Vetran Jesus-music fusion jazz rocker

Kemper Crabb: Sacred old-world madrigal (sp) accoustic

Keb Mo: back porch blues

Kerry Livgren: Cellestial Rock (formerly of Kansas)

Pierce Pettis: frenetic folkist, Lyric Laurette

Fernando Ortega: Sacred Pop, keeper of the hymns.

Margaret Becker: Blue Eyed Soul, Neoceltic, open heart

Moya Brennan: Ambient Celtic

Laurie McClain: whimsical, feminine folk

Night Noise: this band and several members are no longer with us, but if you find their work, savor it or send it to me.

Buddy and Julie Miller: sacred neo-grass, what country was supposed to be.

Alison Kraus:

Switchfoot: When I dabble in volume


Johhny Cash:

Johhny Cox:

Jars of Clay:

Miles Davis:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Democratic Convention condensed

Republican Convention condensed

* Note: I found these two links within my fair-game sense of satire, however, some of the other offerings on this site are not fit for viewing. Family-view Caution.

This post from the *ONION, appeals to the paranoid secret conspiracy part of my being. It closes with an element I wish they had left out. And while I clearly see this as hyper-parody, there are those times when I wonder....


Monday, September 8, 2008

Politics I

Folks who know me will understand why I take kind of middle of the road approach to politics. In part, because my political sensibilities really are kind of centrist with a libertarian twist. As it is, I hold an non-political position with the state of Arkansas, and have worked for the executive leadership of both political parties.

All in all, I am far more interested in the Kingdom of God than any political movement. While I seek to be politically informed and do indeed hold political opinions, I am of the thought that Political parties, like nations ...and gold... and personal ambition are headed for the dust bin of history. Don't get me wrong. I think public policy is important and can be either good or bad, holy or unholy, freeing or bureaucratic. That said, I think think the manner in which we conduct ourselves politically is often as important as the positions we advance.

With that in mind, here is a select and growing list of political blogs I sometimes visit.

(this is incomplete, I will be adding a much larger list)

Top Ten Conservative, Top Ten Liberal blogs.

Town Hall : Mega site for the best in conservative thought with dozens of daily editorials. (This site is made all the better for the diversity and breadth of conservative thought)

Mathew 25 Network (social activism, focus on Christian ethics and truth telling, liberal framework)

Tdad's Roar and Purr (I came across "T-Dads" site in a special way. In linking though Blog-spot profiles I discovered we love much of the same music -- with over 80% common ground on our favorite music lists. That said, we think less alike politically, though I deeply respect his tone and concerns.

World View Weekend (Brannon Howse)

WVW is not a political blog per say but rather a forum for applied biblical thought (conservative reading) --with many political applications. I find I differ with its contributors routinely (in both content and tone) and find its graphics, tragic -- but look to it to keep me honed.

Sojourners (comments to follow)

Pam's Coffee Conversation: (Christian writer, pretty critical of Republican politics, but she likes my pictures.)

Grassfire.org: A group started by a family friend - Steve Elliot, given to stirring political activism among those given to biblical (and conservative) values.

Steve Johnson's World (thinking outloud)

Steve Johnson, best man at my wedding way back in 89.

I am not sure what differentiates an arm-chair theologian/philosopher from a "pro" but Steve ranks as a full time Christian thinker with a deep social conscious. Over the years I have watched him apply his mind and heart to a variety issues, spanning borders to origins. His thinking, both political and religious are somewhat hard to label as he takes positions that are at once conservative then radical, orthodox then inventive. As is, Steve's physical life truly does straddle realms. He lives in Texas but spends much of his time in Mexico, and is given to seeing certain works of Christan theology translated into Spanish. Beyond that, Steve currently takes positions in the origins debate that are not my own, as he advocates comprehensive evolution -- with God at the helm.

http://thinkingaloud99.blogspot.com/ (Primary blog)

Related interests:

http://www.dryander.com/ (Site given to Spanish translations of Christian works.)

"but addressing the needs of the Reynosa shantytown communities remains my long-term vision. I stumbled across a YouTube video this morning that conveys very well the situation and needs of these people. I would urge you to view it at http://www.stephendevriesphoto.com/chronicles/?p=220.
It is produced by some folks from Alabama who came and stayed for a time with one of the shantytown families. Their ministry is called Bedouins International."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Arkansas - Events

The following links should help those in Little Rock, or the larger Central Arkansas area discover what to do with all the time that none of us have!

Amanda Galiano: About.com: Little Rock

Arkansas Events Calendar (AR Department of Tourism)

KUAR (Host of National Public Radio) Events Calendar

Capture Arkansas

In the summer of 2008, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette held a contest in which hundreds of photographers submitted depictions of the Natural State. In the course of the contest I made a few friends and came away deeply impressed by the depth of our photographic talent, often at the hands of weekend photographers. Here are the sites of some fellow photo enthusiasts, ranging from serious hobbyists to full time pros.

Rodney Steele: Human interest, AR scenics - Conway, AR
Bob Shull: Stylized "nature" studio, portraits, Arkansica - Rodgers, AR
Karla Hall; Exploring Arkansas: AR Scenics, travel diary- Conway, AR
Mike Hall; Enjoying Arkansas; Scenics, fishing, outdoor diary - Conway, AR
Zack Jennings: Fine Art B&W, street candids, illustration works
Alex Kent: B&W, Fine Art, Wilderness - Little Rock, AR
Emily Jones: Journalist, fine art, family life - Little Rock, AR
Danny Harris: Portrait, Free-lance, nature
ML Baxley: Commercial, Fine Art portrait, Editorial - Little Rock, AR
Chris Burns: New pro, stylized portraits, weddings, editorial - Conway, AR
Dixie Knight: Stylized portraits, pets, editorial - Little Rock, AR
Bill Patterson: Conway AR community sports and human interest.
Rex Lisman: Sylized portraits, Street candids, fine art
Carolyn Wright: scenics, flowers, fall color - NW AR
Deb Carter: travel, scenics, flowers
Gary Felker: World Travel, Wildlife and Bird expert - Fort Smith, AR
Rusty Wood: landscape, cityscape, birds
Richard Ryerson: Commercial, portraits, studio - Conway, AR
Wendy Dunn: Portrait studio, nature - NW AR
Chris Phillips: Nature, Weddings, Environmental portraiture - Rodgers, AR
Julia Noble: experimental, fine art - Fayettville, AR
Kerry Guice: Innnovatitve weddings, art - Little Rock, AR