The Maverick

Maverick (n.) – an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

If one were to ask some of our most politically minded individuals (or Sarah Palin) to name the first person who comes to their mind after hearing this word, the tabulated answer would probably be this man:

Meanwhile, others who are not so politically wired might name either one of the 2 gentleman here:

Not into movies? Then you might drag Brett Favre into the conversation (I hope the recent allegations levied against him are not true).

As for me, a blogger just trying to get a hit (get your mind out of the gutter), I wouldn’t go with any of the aforementioned people.

Who do I think of when I hear “maverick”? Larry David (below).

I think of Mr. David only because my “maverick” bears a striking resemblance to the Seinfeld (this show is so good that it made me like NYC) co-creator.

My “maverick” (let’s call him “Larry”) rides my commuter bus in the morning. Everyday, “Larry” makes use of our converted charter bus’ ventral luggage compartment by cramming his 10-speed in there.

Inevitably, people stare at him through the whole process. Even people who see him do this day in and day out, I’m guilty as charged.

People from all walks of life stare at him, from the suburbanites cocooned inside the bus to the homeless dudes who gather at “Larry’s” Med Center stop (Fannin at McGregor).

So why’s “Larry” a maverick? Because despite the hushed whispers and incredulous looks from fellow passengers (he makes us all late to work) and homeless people (their “c’mon man!” glares betray the fact that they all think he’s crazy), “Larry” keeps keepin’ on by making his bike every bit the commuter that he is.

So here’s to you, Ler and your maverick spirit, Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban’s got nothing on you.

[this post is dedicated to a true bike commuter, my fellow blogger, Jason K]

NBC: It’s Not Easy Being Green

The wife and I are locked in a perpetual struggle over our home’s thermostat. She wants it above a balmy 78°F while I prefer it to be at 72°F.

Yet as with most things, fiscal responsibility wins the day and the thermostat does not dip below 78°F (the junior Senator from the state of Illinois would be proud).

What Mr. Obama would not be proud of is NBC’s act in Beijing:

Not Green: NBC Beijing Olympic Set Air Conditioned — Outdoors

Whatever happened to this?

Christian Environmentalism: 2 Perspectives

The first comes from Pastor Rob Bell who outlined his stance in an interview titled, “Rob Bell Tells it Like It Is”, from the January/February issue of Relevant Magazine,

Relevant Magazine: Why do you think so many Christians are now embracing this style of living? What is it about faith that lends itself toward being environmentally conscious?

Bell: Well, for our community, this isn’t rooted in the fact that it’s gaining steam in popular culture. It’s always been rooted in the very nature of God. The central Hebrew prayer, Deuteronomy 6, says, “Hear O Israel the Lord your God, the Lord is One,” so we live with awareness that all of reality is one. We are connected with all things everywhere, and I would argue that in the last couple hundred years, disconnection has been the dominant way people have understood reality.

And the Church has contributed to that disconnection by preaching horrible messages about being left behind and that this place is going to burn–absolutely toxic messages that are against the teachings of Scripture, which state that we are connected to God, we are connected to the earth, we are connected to each other. When any of those connections fracture, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Your relationship with God is tied into your relationship with the soil. Go back to Genesis. There are essentially four dimensions to shalom, which is God’s intention for all creation: peace and shalom with our Maker, with each other, with ourselves and with the earth. They’re intimately linked from the beginning. Over and over again [in Scripture], the relationship with God is lived out in relationship with each other and the soil. Nothing we’re saying is actually new at all; it just got lost along the way. The only reason somebody isn’t sensitive to the earth or the care of the earth is because their wealth or their indifference has essentially isolated them.

Here is the other perspective, from Pastor John MacArthur,

So I believe we are charged to treat responsibly all the wonderful resources God has given us. But that, in fact, has very little to do with the environmental movement. The environmental movement is consumed with trying to preserve the planet forever. But we know that isn’t in God’s plan.

The earth we inhabit is not a permanent planet. It is, frankly, a disposable planet—it is going to have a very short life. It’s been around six thousand years or so—that’s all—and it may last a few thousand more. And then the Lord is going to destroy it.

I’ve told environmentalists that if they think humanity is wrecking the planet, wait until they see what Jesus does to it. Peter says God is going to literally turn it in on itself in an atomic implosion so that the whole universe goes out of existence (2 Peter 3:7-13).

This earth was never ever intended to be a permanent planet—it is not eternal. We do not have to worry about it being around tens of thousands, or millions, of years from now because God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. Understanding those things is important to holding in balance our freedom to use, and responsibility to maintain, the earth.

Just a footnote. Though this earth is our temporary home, do take time to enjoy God’s beauty. Take care of your yard. Stop to smell the flowers. Enjoy the forests. God placed those rich resources on this planet for our comfort and His enjoyment. Let us be thankful to Him for that.

(from “Evangelicalism and the Environmental Movement”)

If I read this correctly, according to Bell, Johnny Mac’s words are “absolutely toxic” because well MacArthur points out that yes this earth is going to be laid waste.

The concern perhaps should not be on whether a teaching is “absolutely toxic” but is it Biblically tenable? A cursory look at 2 Peter 3:10-12 actually shows that MacArthur is correct.

“Absolutely toxic” the man’s conclusions might be, but then one will have to extend the same courtesy to the Apostle Peter from whom he got the idea.

Dr. Z: Thanks for the free Houston Chronicle

I live approximately 26 miles from where I work. Not just any 26 miles but 26 miles worth of ghastly Houston traffic which has the potential (if one so chooses) to shorten anyone’s lifespan.

Thankfully, I have the option to use public transportation to get to and from work. That in so doing it reduces my so-called carbon footprint is not my motivation, I just as well not sit in Houston traffic thank you very much.

While I can do a number of posts on the different folks which ride the bus, this post is dedicated to an elderly gent who I call (not to him of course) “Dr. Z” due to his semblance to Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler-Chrysler (pictured below)
dr-z.jpg

This gentleman brings a paper to read on the bus and due in part to his lack of consideration for the driver (who has to clean the bus) leaves his Houston Chronicle behind when he disembarks.

Me being the opportunist that I am, pick up his discarded paper so I can bring it into work so my co-workers and I can have something to read during lunch. Of course the paper being the paper will spur all sorts of interesting discussions on current events, worldviews and most importantly sports. The fact that it helps the driver out is icing on the proverbial cake.

So thanks Dr. Z for your “generosity”!