Lights out

Ontario law doesn't allow utility companies to cut off customers who are behind on their payments from October until spring. Utility companies, who usually try to work with those who are behind, face a choice. Either cut off a customer now while they can, or else they're stuck with them all winter. That means a customer who's behind $100 can be shut off today. I used to be pretty hard nosed about this, but life is never that simple. The reality is that many don't have heat or light tonight, and now that they have to pay a security deposit and reconnection fee they're even further behind. In many cases, it's the result of poor choices. In other cases, it's not.
This is the kind of fast day Iím after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What Iím interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. Youíll call out for help and Iíll say, ëHere I am.í (Isaiah 58:6-9 The Message)

Cookbook Christianity

This post is from the defunct blog "Dying Church"

The people I spoke with showed extreme antipathy toward formulas and "packaged" Christianity. In their experience, it was downright misleading to try to reduce spiritual growth to a handful of steps. Likewise, they rejected as simplistic any attempts to explain complex truths through proof-texts and clever diagrams. Almost every time they spoke about the various prescriptions they had been given, their voices lapsed into sarcasm. They had tried what they regarded as "cookbook Christianity" and it failed miserably. (William Hendricks, Exit Interviews p. 261)

If you see or hear this bird, please call

From The Salt Lake Tribune:
A fire-and-brimstone preaching parrot is on the lam and his Alberta owner is praying for the bird's return. Dale Doell's prized African gray parrot, Solomon, has a 2,600-word vocabulary with an evangelical Christian message. "He preaches a full-scale sermon out of the Word of God, just like John the Baptist," said Doell, who is a born-again Christian. The bird has been missing since Aug. 3 when it escaped Doell's father-in-law's home in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains while having its picture taken. However, Doell has learned a radio station in the town of Rocky Mountain House broadcast a tip from a caller last month about a parrot being found. The tip has given Doell, who lives in the southern Alberta city of Medicine Hat, the best lead yet that Solomon may be alive and squawking. "I'm so encouraged," said Doell, 51. "I'm going to wait a little bit. I'm going to have a little bit more patience to see what the Lord is going to do."
Now I wonder why that bird would want to escape?