Thursday, September 28, 2006

Going geek

Today I was at the Web Directions South conference so I've gone geek.

I loaded up Flock to write this post, claimed this blog on Technorati (currently ranked 1,157,502) and started to think about tagging everything I can find with Microformats.

The conference has been great with some excellent speakers on web design, Ajax, and the future of the future of the World Wide Web (”Web 2.0 is so 2005!"). It's all very exciting and it's easy to start thinking that everyone in the world is blogging stuff, loading photos to flickr and working on a Web 3.0 application.

But part of the way through one of the presentations I began to wonder whether the Web can really save the world. No doubt it has changed the world in a very big way, and it's made a lot of information available, connected a lot of people and keeps a lot of us in jobs.

Still it's easy to start thinking that if everyone has access to the right information then together we'd be able to solve all the world's problems. But really it's just a humanist dream. No matter how well we build our sites there's still only one piece of information that people need to know.

But, thanks to the World Wide Web, that's available to anyone with a computer. So maybe there is hope.

This post is 100% buzzword compliant.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Closer to God

At the risk of alienating a percentage of my readers, (OK, reader) I’d like to say that I have always felt close to God.

For the last week or so I’ve been reading Michael Raiter’s Stirrings of the Soul. Apart from an interesting survey of Western spiritual topography (which might possibly include a church out past Dubbo) the book talks about people, even evangelical or ‘Bible-believing’ Christians yearning feeling spiritually ‘dry’, distant from God and yearning for a deeper, more spiritual experience of God.

It would come as no surprise to Evangelicalism’s critics that some Evangelicals have had enough Bible study and want to try something more touchy-feely. Evangelical Christians are sometimes characterised as unfeeling, dogmatic automatons who wouldn’t know a spiritual experience if it landed on their doorstep accompanied by a myriad singing angels. In fact, some people might say, if the angels did turn up they’d be likely to denounce them as being too Charismatic and go back inside to read the next chapter of Calvin’s Institutes.

But I’ve been an Evangelical Christian for as long as I can remember —well over 30 years now—and I’ve never felt distant from God. In fact I’ve found that the more I read, understand and know about God, the closer I feel to him. I even belong to a particular brand of Evangelicalism which is usually characterised as especially book-bound, dogmatic and unfeeling, but I’d have to say that I’ve always been very conscious that God’s love for me, and more so as I’ve learned more about him.

I’m wondering if all this spiritual distance comes about because we take God for granted. We forget or even suppress the truth that we only exist because of God. We forget that it’s his breath in us that gets us out of bed and on the train every morning.

You don’t have to go far in the Bible before you’ve got plenty to thank God for: The world we live in, the beautiful animals, plants and lands, our family, our friends and so on, and so on, and so on. I haven’t even got off the first page and I’m already awestruck by my Father’s love and care for me and I haven’t even begun to think about him sending Jesus to die for me.

Admittedly I live in Australia (which, even if it isn’t God’s own country, is pretty close to it) where we have peace and prosperity and I have plenty to thank God for. But even when times have been much bleaker than they are now, God has always been there, a very present help in trouble. And I know, because Jesus died for me and because the Bible tells me so, that he will always love me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodile hunter, action man

I’ve never been a big fan of Steve Irwin’s, but his death today really shocked me.

Maybe it’s because my kids thought he was pretty great, and now “The Crocodile Hunter” from Wiggly Safari is stuck in my head.

Or maybe I’m sad because he obviously loved Bindi and Bob and now they’ve lost their Daddy, and Terri has lost her husband.

So we prayed for them all tonight.