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Stimulus bill includes hi-speed rail! But where?

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Not to Iowa, unfortunately (reasonably, though, since Iowa has no multi-million-person population centers). But just imagine the tens of millions of people who could be served! Compared to auto or air, it’s a huge environmental savings.

And on weekends, think of, say, the football traffic on the Chicago Hub Network.

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High-speed rail corridors

High-speed rail corridors

After much clamoring by energy hawks, who knows what it was that finally brought high-speed rail to the stimulus — perhaps a little nudge from ol’ Amtrak Joe? — but it got in, to the tune of $8 billion.
And now the question is, where will the expansion be?
the areas that will get a leg up should be the Federal Railroad Administration’s officially designated high-speed rail corridors
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What possibilities do you see?

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An un-respectable faith (sermon for Sep 9, 2007)

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Henderson Lewelling HouseAnd something you might have in common with this old house.

Proper 18 (23); September 9, 2007
Luke 14:25-33; Philemon 1-21; Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

We sang Forever, Your Great Name We Praise, The Potter’s Hand, and Jesus, All for Jesus

Last week, we watched Jesus at a dinner. Jesus told the guests to take the places of low prestige at the table, and he told the host to revise his guest list, inviting people with bad reputations next time he had a dinner. And why was that such a big deal?

It was a big deal because it was a high-context culture, in which there were many rules for how things were to be done, and failure to follow those rules meant putting one’s ability to get what was needed at risk. Especially, who one knew, who one was related to, who one socialized with was how people determined who was safe to be friends with, to marry, to do business with.

And Jesus told them to break it up and pursue relationships with people who aren’t players – who aren’t influential. You saw him doing it in chapter after chapter after chapter in Luke, touching people whom his world told him he must not touch.

And what was the result of it likely to be on Jesus and those who follow him? Bad reputation. “What kind of church have you got here?” Dads will say: “These are not the people I want hanging around my daughter.” Strangers will say: “They don’t have respectful decorum at that church.” “Did you see that so-and-so goes to church there? What a hypocrite! They just don’t seem to be able to attract good people.” And, “You know, they have people there who just don’t know how to discipline their children, and I have such a hard time paying attention to the sermon.” And, “That strange guy stood and talked today, and just wouldn’t shut up.” And some may leave. And income may be low.

There is a shame to it. It clashes with respectability.
But it says to those our society does not respect: You’re included in the Kingdom of God, just like me. And Jesus promised we’d be blessed for doing so, and then further repaid at the resurrection.

Now, with that as the context, we go on in Luke. How does that background affect your understand of this that happens next? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

September 18, 2007 at 5:16 pm