Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A few measly hours

Yesterday I missed out on a great real estate deal by a few hours. The sad thing is that this is the second time this has happened. I guess this comes with the territory, but it's still a little frustrating.

If you've been thinking about refinancing...

Now's the time. Rates are dropping like crazy, and here's why.

Mortgage rates plunged after the Federal Reserve announced that it would buy up to $500 billion of securitized home loans.
Read more.

Weekly Links

Jonathan Merritt writes about the shift in political thinking for young evangelicals

Excellent talk from Chris Seay at Q 2007 on consumerism. Check out some of the other talks while you're there.

One of my favorite all-time quotes, and one I need to be reminded of from time to time

Joe Boyd on what it means to be a pilgrim

Seth Godin's Tribes Q&A ebook is available for free download. I haven't read the book yet, but this makes me want to.

The Resurgence has the audio and video from their Shepherding a Child's Heart Conference available for download.

Final resource, I promise…Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost's new book, ReJesus, is out. You can download the intro and chapter 1 here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Does Santa Have to Do with Christmas?

No, this isn't a bashing of Santa Claus. I'm actually a big fan. In fact, we saw him at the mall the other night. He remembered Adam, which definitely was impressive to Adam. When asked what he wanted for Christmas, Adam responded, "the big orange gun and the scary creatures." Santa nodded as if he understood. The back story is that Adam had just decided that afternoon that the big orange gun and scary creatures he saw on the back of a toy catalog were the things he most wanted for Christmas (of course this has changed every other day).

I loved watching Adam's eyes light up as he ran to Santa, and I plan on taking him to see Santa at least five more times. We didn't do pictures this time, since it's been a few months since Adam had a haircut and he's getting the grunge look.

Anyway, that's not what I first intended to write. I wanted to write on the question I posed at the top: "What does Santa have to do with Christmas?" But since I've already written a bit, I'll just share a link with you. I'm a big fan of Ben Witherington's blog, and the following post was written last June. Here's an excerpt:

It is sometimes said that this celebration, and its mythology is not based in the Bible or anything historical or particularly Christian. Some go even further in arguing that Christmas is just an adaptation of the pagan Saturnalia, the reversal festival of the Romans which climaxed on and just after the winter solstice on Dec. 21. This latter claim is false, since Christmas has always been celebrated after the Saturnalia was already over, and in the case of the Orthodox church, long after the Saturnalia was over. But my concern in this post is with the man himself-- jolly ole St. Nick.

Whether you call him St. Nick (short for Nickolas) or Santa Claus ( a barbarization and abbreviation of Saint Nik Claus) we are indeed talking about a real Christian person, Nicholas of Myra.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Xavier Henry chooses the Tigers

This morning Xavier Henry declared to the world that he will play for Coach Cal next year. He is currently the top rated prospect according to ESPN. What's even better is that they have a shot at John Wall, who many believe will be the number one pick in the 2010 NBA draft. As you check out that link, notice who the number 4 pick is (we came really close to getting him last Spring).

Go Tigers!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weekly Links

Mark Batterson writes about Purple Cows

Jonathan Dodson has posted the material for Austin City Life's Partners Class

Matt Chandler on activities that stir up his affections for Christ and activities that rob his affections for Christ

The latest Catalyst Podcast features Dave Ramsey speaking about the economy. This is his talk from October's Catalyst conference. Here's a quote: Our current economic reality is "an artificial low driven by emotion."

From The Resurgence: Matt Chandler writes on the responsibility of being a dad. He says, "I find the fact that my sin directly affects my children to be mortifying."

Mark Driscoll's reflections on the election: "People are longing for Jesus, and tragically left voting for mere presidential candidates."


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Foreclosures in Shelby County

This is also from The Memphis Flyer:

Number of Foreclosures in Shelby County
2005: 3800
2006 5250
2007: 5850
2008: 7100 so far

Property Tax Hike?

If you're a homeowner in Shelby County, you should read this article from The Memphis Flyer. Here's an excerpt:

Property owners will get their new appraisals in early 2009. Appraisals determine how much taxes homeowners and businesses pay. The difference between a house in Memphis appraised at $100,000 and one appraised at $200,000 is $1,822 a year in taxes.

The total value of assessed property in Shelby County, currently $16 billion, is called the tax base. If it shrinks, governments have two choices: cut spending or raise taxes.

Johnson, who took office in August, isn't saying whether the tax base will grow or shrink.

"I'm not ready to call it," Johnson said last week, after saying in an earlier interview that the tax base would probably be stable. The first people to get the news in January, she says, will be mayors Willie Herenton and A C Wharton.

New CD from Fellowship Church

Closer to the Start - New Creation from Fellowship Church on Vimeo.

I've been listening to this CD for the past couple of days. It's definitely in my top 5 of the year. Check out this video.

You can order the CD here. You can also download a free song!