Theoretically, the microgrid is simple. Imagine you could go to Home Depot and pick out a wind or solar appliance that's as easy to install as a washer/dryer. It makes all the electricity your home needs and pays for itself in just a few years. Your home still connects to the existing wires and power plants, but it is a two-way connection: You're just as likely to be uploading power to the grid as downloading from it. Your power supply communicates with the rest of the system via a two-way digital smart meter, and you can view your energy use and generation in real time on your iPhone. Maybe you also have an electric car in the garage; the battery serves as backup storage for your house as well. And the best part: Assuming you produce more than you draw, instead of a monthly bill, you get a check.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
We both laughed, and I sat down to begin again. Just then three guys walked past, the lead guy carrying a pizza box.
“Hey bro!” I called. “You going to eat the rest of that pizza?”
The guy stopped, looked from Sam and me to his box of pizza, then said, “Nope.” Shaking his head, he walked over. “You want it?” he asked.
“Sure!” I said, and he handed it down to us.
We thanked him profusely. “No problem,” he said, walking away. “Enjoy.”
Opening the box we found half a pepperoni pizza. “Unbelievable!” Sam yelled.
“This is the good stuff!” I said, grabbing a piece. “Father, thank you for this food!”
We sat there, happily devouring the still-warm pizza. By the time we were down to the crumbs, we were ready for more conversation.
“‘Father, thank you for this food’ means something different out here, doesn’t it?” I said.
“Sure does,” said Sam. “I don’t know if I’ll ever say it so sincerely again after we get back.”
“I hope I don’t change,” I said.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The current health-care system renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million with no health-care coverage at all. (Jim Wallis, Sojourners).
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
We also began having community groups this summer. They've been great. They're messy at times, but also beautiful. My guess is that we've had more people in our community groups this summer than we've had on Sunday nights for our worship gatherings. Definitely something there to consider. Last Wednesday night we began a conversation on how to build bridges within the gay and lesbian community here in Midtown. Over the last couple of months I've probably spent at least 40 hours studying this topic. It's a very emotional topic, for me and for our church, but one that we want to be able to address. We're going to continue the dialog this Wednesday night. Blog posts and internet articles have been my primary resources, though the two books that have been most helpful have been Andrew Marin's Love is an Orientation, and Robert Gagnon and Dan Via's Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views.
Though this summer has been tiring for me, it's also been the best one when it comes to family and community. My time with Mandy and the boys has been great. God has blessed me so much with an amazing wife and two wonderfully charming little boys. They make life better. Adam just started pre-k, and Mandy's at home with Micah this year. She's also working part-time for the church. As to community, our friends enrich our lives in so many ways. Last Friday night we had a CYPN (Cooper-Young Parent's Network) party at our house. We had 40 people in our backyard, which I did not think was even possible. That included 15 kids under the age of 5. I definitely didn't think that was possible. It was such a great time for everyone.
I'm glad that summer is drawing to a close simply because that means it's about to get cooler and the leaves are going to begin changing colors. I love Memphis in the fall. There's such a sense of anticipation within me. It might sound simple, but I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to walking Adam to school. That time is here, and I'm thankful for it.
Though I feel that my mind is a little muddy right now, I know that God has been teaching me so much. He's been giving me what I need when I need it, and for that I'm very thankful.
Tim Chester on the differences between house churches and missional communities
Tim Kimmel, author of Grace-Based Parenting, is coming to Memphis in October. Hoping to take a great group from our church
A month or so ago I started doing a bible study on our identity in Christ. Today I see that Greg Boyd has beaten me to it. This is worth spending some time on. I want to teach on this at some point soon.
A key passage for our Acts series this summer was 1 Peter 3:15, which says that we as Christians should always be ready to give a reason for why we have hope. I remember first hearing Brian McLaren say that this implies that people are asking questions. So what questions are our friends asking?
I just ordered the TK Primer (Workbook). It's a follow-up to one of my all-time favorite books, The Tangible Kingdom, by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. I'm looking forward to going through this workbook.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Why pay? You've already shelled out money for a computer, so there's no reason that what's running on that pricey PC should cost a darn thing. Not in this day and age of amazing freebie software and Web apps. That's why every year PCMag.com presents a look at the best programs you can download or access online at no cost. All are worthy replacements for your ancient and sometimes forgotten desktop applications, and they'll save you thousands of dollars to boot.