Archive for May, 2010

yesterday the ny times ran an article the economic impact of the “great recession” on african americans in our beloved city of memphis. they write, 

Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress.

The median income of black homeowners in Memphis rose steadily until five or six years ago. Now it has receded to a level below that of 1990 — and roughly half that of white Memphis homeowners, according to an analysis conducted by Queens College Sociology Department for The New York Times.

Black middle-class neighborhoods are hollowed out, with prices plummeting and homes standing vacant in places like Orange Mound, White Haven and Cordova. As job losses mount — black unemployment here, mirroring national trends, has risen to 16.9 percent from 9 percent two years ago; it stands at 5.3 percent for whites — many blacks speak of draining savings and retirement accounts in an effort to hold onto their homes. The overall local foreclosure rate is roughly twice the national average.

you can read the rest of the article here and we would love to here your thoughts below in the comment box.

more mercy…


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Filed under “sin” not because tats are sinful, but because this illustrates the potent impact of sin on all human faculties…

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In Prince Caspian, the young prince and the Old Narnians wind up in trouble, and they decide to use the magic horn. Trumpkin the dwarf is pretty vocal in insisting that blowing a magic horn is a worthless course of action.

But after the decision is made, even against his recommendation, Trumpkin goes all in and does what is necessary, even volunteering to travel to meet whatever help might arrive from the horn.

“But I thought you didn’t believe in the Horn, Trumpkin,” said Caspian.

“No more I do, your Majesty. But what’s that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. I know the difference between giving advice and taking orders. You’ve had my advice, and now it’s the time for orders.”

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“The gospel is neither irreligion nor religion, but something entirely different altogether.”

This slogan is most commonly associated with Tim Keller, who uses it incisively with nuance and care.

As Keller uses it, the gospel is not religion as construed all over the world (i.e., if I’m good enough, God will accept me).  Neither is the gospel irreligion, the path usually chartered by those who reject religion (i.e., do whatever you want).  The slogan, when used in this way, is really helpful.

But I have also heard it used in such a way as to make Christianity, not “the gospel,” the thing that is neither religion nor irreligion.  Fusing the gospel and Christianity in this way makes for a mess, for the gospel is not the whole of Christianity.  At worst this sloganeering encourages believers to leave off the demands that are implications of the gospel.  At best it gives the impression that Christianity is less concerned about character and conduct than other religions.

“Religion” is something of a dirty word today.  It’s often rejected in favor of the more nebulous term (and less demanding concept), “spirituality.”  Religion is old-fashioned, boring, and constraining; spirituality is new, exploratory, fresh, “outside the lines” and “outside the box.”

But Christians are emphatically called to be religious by Scripture (James 1:26-27).  For years before the early believers’ were called “Christians” and believers in “Christianity,” they were part of a Jewish sect called “The Way” (Acts 9:2, 19:23, 24:14; = “road,” “path,” or “journey”).  The word “way” implies both Jesus’ work as “the way” and the way of life the disciples took up as they followed him as Lord.

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 these guys in blue cleaning the beaches are great but they are not getting to the root of the issue. my friend Bill just had me in stitches going on and on about how aquaman is missing his time to shine as he is probably the only one who can get to the root of stopping the spill sooner than later. where are you when we need you, aquaman? i mean, the month and a half of ideas to stop up the leak recently culminating in, “maybe putting mud in it will work” (something they thought would sound official if they called it “top kill”) have failed us. we need aquaman. where is he? below is jimmy kimmel’s theory. what are yours?

have a great long weekend!

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If a person says

“Here is a new bit of the manuscript that I found; it is the central passage of that symphony, or the central chapter of that novel.  The text is incomplete without it.  I have got the missing passage which is really the centre of the whole work.”   The only thing you could do would be to put this new piece of the manuscript in that central position, and then see how it reacted on the whole of the rest of the work.  If it constantly brought out new meanings for the whole of the rest of the work, if it made you notice things in the rest of the work which you had not noticed before, then I think you would decide that it was authentic.

C. S. Lewis, “The Grand Miracle”

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memphis is a city that has a lot to boast of, be excited about, and strive for. for these reasons i think we should look for any way we can to celebrate our home town and encourage folks to engage the city in beneficial ways. i am not sure tnt’s new “drama” is going to do that. the promo looks like they make a mockery of our city. i mean, jason lee as a leading police officer? really? sure, the national attention brought to memphis will give us more of a household name but it i am not sure it will be the best case scenario. the good news is that, from the promo, it doesn’t look like the show will run for very long. tell me what you think-

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