Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Night- Part 3

Speaking of culture, is there, or has there been, a distinctively American culture and what are its challenges?
Have we lost it? Are we losing it? If we are losing it then how do we begin to bring it back?
And how does this mix/clash from a Christian point of view?

A recent review in Touchstone seems to ask a similar set of questions. George Barna, "The Seven Faith Tribes" appears to have written a thought provoking book on confronting the concern that "America is being torn apart by our failure to talk and work together toward a desired set of outcomes, based on a common set of values we possess."
Barna used data gleaned from 30,000 interviews and concludes that the problem with American culture is directly related to the loss of an American experience of community over and above our individual experiences of community.

Barna goes on to identify the existing values shared among the different world views or "tribes" and to build (rebuild?) our common life as a nation on them. He names twenty that can form the basis of genuine civic community according to the Reverand Thomas A Baima who reviewed the book, among them:
"to represent the truth well" (honesty)
mutual respect for human rights

What values do you think are or should be on such a list?

Friday, May 21, 2010

 A few years ago while traveling between San Angelo and Austin, I came upon a stunning field of yellow flowers. Now Spring drives through the Hill Country in Central Texas are known for their wildflower extravaganzas but this was truly special. so much so that it conjured an attempt at poetry.

Today I made that same trip to San Angelo and back on the occasion of my mother's 80th birthday and was astounded at the miles and miles of yellow flowers. While it is true that it has been many years since conditions were right for such a wildflower display but (except for the Rape Seed fields in Britain) I cannot remember ever seeing such a thing in my life.  Not only the roadside and many meadows but often entire hillsides and from the road as far as the eye could see, carpets of yellow broken only by the green dots of oak or mesquite trees. Sections of the road were so crowded on both sides with flowers so as to create a glow inside the vehicle and cause one to squint with its brightness.

And me without a camera.

So I've attached a couple of links of pics which come close- close, mind you, to what I saw today. Go visit the photographers sight 
 My oldest son took some video on his phone toward the end of the "yellow bricked road" but I don't know how well it came out. We'll see.