If you haven’t learned this about me by now, you should know that I am intrinsically averse to the concept of replacing one-on-one connection with organizational participation. For example, when a Jesus follower gets to know a neighbor and begins to truly care about the status of their neighbor’s soul, the default solution is to invite the neighbor to church. What the caring person has unwittingly done is to bypass the expression of their personal care and instead attempts to introduce the recipient to an organization of people who have spent zero time getting to know her.

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TED.comThanks to StumbleUpon, the most enjoyable social media/bookmarking site thus far (and the official choice of ADHD users everywhere), I was introduced to TED.com last month. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED began in 1984, bringing together the best and brightest from those three industries and thought groups. Since the '80s, TED has evolved into an annual invitation only conference where the most influential and/or innovative thinkers present the talk of their lives (limited to 18 minutes). TED.com makes the best of these talks available for free online.  

Once a year, 50 speakers share with more than 1,000 visitors in Monterey, California. Topics cover business, science, the arts, music, and global issues. The best TEDTalks are provided online via streaming video at TED.com.

Granted, the majority of speakers appear to be atheistic proponents of evolution. This is somewhat disappointing, though not entirely surprising. Past speakers have included the likes of Billy Graham, so it's fair to say that the organization is open to most ideas as long as they are presented in the proper fashion.

The recorded TEDTalks are worth watching. Some are more mentally stimulating than others (check out the talks on memes and, surprisingly, Tony Robbins). 137 presentations are currently available online. Additional talks will be released on an ongoing basis. 

TEDGlobal is a conference held every other year at various locations worldwide. The basic format is the same, but these conferences tend to focus more on development.

The TEDPrize is an annual prize awarded to three individuals who receive $100K and the granting of "One Wish to Change the World". The winners unveil their wishes at the annual conference, and the TED community comes together, pooling their resources, to grant each wish. Visit TED.com to learn more about past wishes granted. 

For those of you accustomed to the collegiate Pew / Paideia society or other philosophical and sociological communities, these talks will resonate along the lines of cultural examination of what is, what has been, and what could be.  

The only question remaining is, how does one get invited to TED? Send me an invitation. I'm in. 

GodTube video site

I will acknowledge the truth that parents need a place for their children to learn, to engage, and to socialize that will not scar them or taint their innocence. I wouldn’t want my kids listening to what I listen to or watching many of the films I watch. Since I am a P.I.T. (Parent in Training), my opinion might not be the most valid… but it is popular.

It all started when I left MySpace the first time in January 2006. I was sick and tired of the half-naked chicks everywhere via True ads. After some brief research, I found MyPraize, a Christian MySpace alternative. MyPraize is censored like there’s no tomorrow. It’s like youth camp and KLTY (boring Christian radio station) mixed together. Sorry, not interested. I set up an account, browsed around for 20 minutes, and then left (never to return).

My encounter with GodTube today was just the straw that broke this camel’s back. Seriously? GodTube? Why is it that Christians are always mimicking secular ideas? Christian musicians make music that imitates the sounds of secular artists. Christian television is seriously sub par. And now we get a whole new wave of sub-parness injected into web culture.

Am I anti-Christian? Of course not. I am a Christian. But I find isolation to be every bit as unrealistic as atheism. Why not just post your videos on YouTube? Why not use Facebook or Virb if you want to avoid the advertisements? At least you won’t only be online with Christians. My primary concern is this: beware of the bubble. It is the chief concern of American Christians to create protective bubbles in every sphere of life in which they can be “Christ-like” with each other but not have to encounter any of that nasty sin stuff.

Well, thanks but no thanks. From an adult non-parental viewpoint, I’d rather be relevant to the world than isolated from it. Now, when it comes to my children, I may sing a slightly different tune. Time will tell.

Want to know what kind of Christian resources I actually like? Why not!

BibleMap is a seriously cool site. Just type in the Bible book and chapter, and you will see where the action took place on a map of the Middle East. For all those times when the names and dates hold no significance to you, this helps you get a little more historical / human perspective of what was happening.

BibleGateway is my favorite site for reading the Bible. You get every possible translation for every verse in two dozen languages right at your fingertips, and the search function is easy to use. Search by book, chapter, and verse or by keyword.

EarlyChristianWritings is an excellent resource of writings from the early Church. It’s sorted by date, which helps you to get a sense of the maturity and development of Christian thought over the first two and a half centuries after the birth of Christ.

There are hundreds more tools and sites out there. My general rule of thumb is this: if it’s a useful tool, use it. If it’s for isolating yourself from the rest of the world, don’t waste your time.

As some of you know, Lennard Darbee was my grandfather. He had his flaws for sure, but his radio show and traveling healing ministry reached hundreds of thousands over the span of his lifetime.

I received the remaining print and audio materials from his ministry after he and my step grandmother both died. I am amazed by the paper saving abilities of that man! He wrote sermon notes on the back of every conceivable advertisement, napkin, church bulletin, and unused letter.

I’ve had these materials for eight years now, and it’s time they were put to more efficient use. That’s why I will be opening a new website to make streaming audio and/or downloadable versions of his radio sermons available to the public. It will take me some time to make them all available, seeing as there are hundreds of them.

A donation button will be located on the site. Please feel free to contribute whatever you feel is appropriate to assist me in the time and effort it will take to make these sermons and other materials available to the public.

Look for it soon at LennardDarbee.com!

Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, a 61 year-old Puerto Rican, is claiming to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. Get real. A recovering heroine addict and an ex-con? Seriously?

Despite his outlandish claims that millions of followers and 30 countries acknowledge him as god, only 100,000 followers can be verified by the press. But do the numbers really matter? Sure, a number in the millions would be more likely to cause some people to pause and consider why so many have believed. But this guy is far from the image of the Son of God. It’s more than laughable. It’s “Springer does religion”.

I heard a televised statement made by Miranda this morning. His exact words were: “Jesus of Nazareth, on a scale of 1 to 10, he’s a 2. I’ve performed many many more miracles.”

Wonderfully unfounded and unproven. And honestly, even if he people were healed around him, that is no verification of godhood.

Scripturally speaking, this is just a case of yet another false christ. He tries to undo the Scriptures and start from scratch.

God is not mocked. Wait and see what happens.