Friday, December 26, 2008

Africa Needs God: An Article in The Times

My dad emailed me a link to a remarkable article in The Times by an atheist who is convinced that what Africa needs is God.

Matthew Parris wrote:

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

And this is what he said about workers who happened to be Christian and working with a nonchristian NGO:

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man's place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

Lord, I want my life to evoke this response from those who observe it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Walking to Work

After venturing home via the sidewalks yesterday, I decided to walk to work today. I'd been taking the bus because the sidewalks weren't all that clear, especially near the intersections. Taking the bus is an adventure in its own right because it's not easy to wait at the bus stop. Yesterday I waited in the street because the snow was more than a foot deep in the middle of the sidewalk and even deeper on the edge of the sidewalk. Will the bus driver see me? Will he stop in time or slide into and over me instead?

Sidewalks present in a variety of conditions. Some are so clear that only the snowbanks on either side tell you of the recent storm. Others are better suited to navigating on ice skates or crampons. Still others present an obstacle course challenge, the crusty upper layer pockmarked with 8-10" deep footsteps. One misstep and I found myself on my knees with snow cascading over the tops of my boots. I need to find my gaiters when I go to my parents' home for Christmas! The irritating part for me (I've really become much more patient as I've aged, but when it's cold outside and I'm on the move, stay out of my way!) are the people who saunter along the narrow paths, oblivious to anyone approaching from behind. MOVE people! Yes, it may only be 5:40am, but you are not the only person out here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lessons from the First Major Snowstorm

After contending with snow and wind the last few days, here's what I've learned:
1) I like living within walking distance to work.
2) When the commute occurs during a snowstorm, I might want snowshoes or skis to navigate the sidewalks.
3) I want a snowblower!
4) I want my own house so I could buy a snowblower with a clear conscience and not feel like I was subsidizing the landlady who doesn't feel a need for one.
5) When I buy said house, a garage would be nice, but I'm amazed how many homes in New England don't have them.
6) When I buy a house, #1 will no longer be possible, driving in this stuff will be worse, and commuter rail will be less convenient.

On another note, I'm glad I finished my Christmas shopping yesterday so I am not out shopping in today's storm The snow started falling while I was in church this morning. Wish I had taken my camera to capture pictures of downtown with the snow. Another time.