Sunday, August 30, 2009

Faith: SOF on Bonhoeffer

I enjoy listening to Krista Tippet's Speaking of Faith via podcast.

I recently heard an episode about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who tried to lead resistance against Hitler but ultimately was hanged by the Nazi for collaborating in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

Moments from the episode that really convicted me:

An excerpt from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together.

"On the ministry of listening: The first service that one owes to others in community consists in listening to them. Just as love for God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives His Word but also lends us His ear. …Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and, in the end, there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words."


Also, this exchange between Tippett and Doblmeier (made film about Bonhoeffer's life):

Ms. Tippett: I want to talk about something that is deeply troubling in the story of Bonhoeffer, and it came at me full force again in watching your film, which is these good, noble Germans, like Bonhoeffer and his friends and family, who are risking their lives to assassinate Hitler, and there is one failed attempt after the other. I mean, you know, objectively speaking, you could look at this story and say God was on Hitler's side ... It's very puzzling, because, you know, it could almost make you lose faith. They didn't win. The good guys did not win.

Mr. Doblmeier: But I think the call isn't really the call to win. I think the call is to be faithful. And that's the fundamental difference. I don't think for Bonhoeffer it was about winning. I think for him it was about being faithful.

Non-profit of the Month: August 2009 - Think Cure!

The Dodgers are a business.

They are far from a perfect organization but Angelinos can point with pride that they do try to give back to the community. One of the ways they do I have supported this month is Think Cure!

Its a straightforward charitable organization:

We aim to find cures for cancers by funding innovative research projects at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. An objective, peer-based panel of expert doctors reviews two-year grant applications once a year and funds are awarded to the most promising collaborative and cutting edge cancer research projects that can involve other top cancer research hospitals.

Disclaimer: As a lab bench medical researcher, I do support funding of medical research! Please know, however, that I am not employed by City of Hope nor Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

UPDATE: To find out more of what else the Dodger organization is doing in the community, go here to the Dodger Dream Foundation information page.

LA Scene: Fire fighting continues ...

A message on Facebook from one of the members of our church with a home in the frontlines:
The helicopter pilots that water-drop are unbelievably accurate. Chopper #734 may have saved our home this morning. Neighbors where incredible.

Have the TV on and the reporter is saying some of the areas are so remote that it could burn for over a week because some of the areas have so much fuel.

The key thing to watch for is winds. The only "good" news so far has been that the winds have been mild. If they were to pick up and blow in the wrong direction, whole communities could be engulfed.

Besides checking the coverage on the regular media, see LA Observed. Roderick links the following:



A time lapse ... see below...

Time Lapse Test: Station Fire from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

Hats off to the firefighters who have been on the line for so many days and condolences to the families and friends of the two who died today in the line of duty.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Travel: Grimsholmen Bed and Breakfast






Have been a bit busy the last few weeks.

Can say that Mrs. Rambling and I highly recommend Grimsholmen Bed and Breakfast!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Politics: Health Care Reform - Concern or Control?

There is no perfect health care system.

Is the push for health care reform of the variety being discussed growing out of genuine concern for the people or about seizing more control?

Its hard to know the motives of people so the best we can do is take a look at both sides.

Here is an essay on the side that says the health care we have in the USA isn't as bad as the picture painted by those who want massive reform. (HT: Jude at HH)

Might it be possible to fix up the broken parts without breaking the parts that work?

Ideas I have heard:
(1) More usage of non-MD health care professionals for primary care. I wonder how many percent of the cases your typical family doctor takes care of can be treated by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant?
(2) Establishing more community clinics to deliver care to lower income patients who have lower budget insurance plans or who are uninsured.
(3) Level the playing field between those who get insurance through work (premiums are pre-tax) and those who have to buy it on their own (premiums are post-tax) by removing the tax differential between the two groups.

Might some of these more modest (though still costly) proposals be better than a massive overhaul?

UPDATE: Thomas Sowell has an essay with a similar title "Care Versus Control."