Monthly Archives: July 2009

A new way of creating Coffee Latte (just because I like it!)

caffe latte

Origin of Coffee Latte

In Italian, latte (Italian pronunciation: [ˈlat̪t̪e], English: /ˈlɑːteɪ/) is simply the word for milk. What in English-speaking countries is now called a latte is shorthand for “caffelatte” or “caffellatte” (“caffè e latte“). The long Italian form literally means “coffee and milk”, similar to the French café au lait, the Spanish café con leche and the Portuguese café com leite. Caffe latte is today part of the defined international coffee menu, which also includes cappuccino and espresso.

Ordering a “latte” (popular North American use) in Italy will get a large glass of (most likely) hot milk, as latte simply means milk in Italian.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term caffè latte was first used in English in 1847 (as caffe latto), and in 1867 as caffè latte by William Dean Howells in his essay “Italian Journeys”. However, in Kenneth Davids’ Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying it is said that “At least until recently, ordering a “latte” in Italy got you a puzzled look and a hot glass of milk. The American-style caffe latte did not exist in Italian caffes, except perhaps in a few places dominated by American tourists… Obviously breakfast drinks of this kind have existed in Europe for generations, but the caffe version of this drink is an American invention…”

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Svenska Kyrkan – The Swedish Church – Politics as usual! Please: R.I.P

Svenska Kyrkan is top news again (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). In the “dry-spell of news” during the summer a discussion has blown up again about the acknowledgement and praxis of having same-sex-marriages performed with the Church context. It was ignited because of reaction from representatives of the Anglican Church in England who warn against a potential isolation because of this issue.

The large majority of the Swedish church, with the exception of a minority of local congregations, has lost its spiritual identity since many years ago. I remember discussing the process of the separation of Church and State with students from RMI Bergs the renowned commercial communication school enhancing different disciplines. Students of that school were to develop a marketing plan for the separation of Church and State (at that moment in time until the 1990ties, The Lutheran Church was the State Church).

As a number of their students and I were meeting, I suggested that a big advertisement campaign would be launched with photos and text displaying the funeral of the former State Church with the clear message R.I.P. (Rest In Peace). The students of Bergs were quite excited about that idea, but, as they later met with representatives of the Church, the idea was discarded. It was too radical, and it was probably too painful to admit that the Church needed a death to be able to resurrect.

RIP

The problem with the Swedish Church is that it never was separated from the State… It was done in name only and it is therefore that political powers and lobbying organizations like the RFSL do everything within their might to push their political and social agendas. (RFSL—The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights).

I personally look forward to an isolation of the Swedish Church! The Church with an agenda run by politicians and lobbying organizations needs to be isolated from the rest of the “Body of believers” to not spread its unhealthy unbiblical message poisoning the rest of Christianity. You don’t need to be a prophet to be able to “predict” where the Swedish Church is heading… and although there will remain a remnant of faithful and Biblically sound pockets of believers in the different congregations and fellowships, the Church as movement needs to undergo the long awaited and necessary funeral to be able finish the grieving process so that the ones who are still alive will be able to move on.

Without a death and funeral there will be no resurrection and new life! We will continue to see the rise of discussions, dissensions and frustrations as long as we don’t acknowledge the true state of the Swedish Church (and, let me add the spiritual state of many of our other churches as well!) Without that recognition we will continue to use the spiritual arena to fight our political and social battles. Jesus once said to people who were wondering about paying taxes (and fulfilling the obligation as a citizen): (Mark 12: 17) “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

For me, the idea of being an errand-boy of the State is far removed from my call to be faithful to God as His child, His son and His servant. I am for the implementation of keeping marriage sacred between one man and one woman… and to keep it as sacrament within the church where it belongs. Other, legal and juridical matters should be where they belong; in the hands of our government.

That’s the Way I see it!

John


The ends of the world as we know them – suicidal tendencies of our civilizations.

So many articles (here, here, here, here, here, and here) try to address the main questions in our world today. The many attempts to explain what is going on in our day and time is really like treading water in an empty pool… in 2005 the editors of the New York Times choose to promote a book written by Jared Diamond called “The ends of the world as we know them.” Later on Diamond won the Pulitzer prize for his non-fiction book, “Guns, Germs, and Steel.” In 2005 this same Diamond published “Collapse; How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” (Check his lecture at the University of CA) which became like a historical bible for many students helping to describe history in a new perspective.

I came across some of this information as I recently started to read (again) about the decline of civilizations. Because let’s be honest; we are in the middle of the decline of our (Western) civilizations… and, to quote a real expert on that: “There is nothing new under the sun!” Ecclesiastes 1: 9-10 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time”.

civilization

The fact is that history repeats itself… Therefore we need to learn from history. We are on the verge of a total new time of transition and will have to learn to deal and live with new facts and new life about, and in our world. Why? Because the worlds as we now know them will not be there in the near future…

During my MA in Intercultural Studies I was interested in researching the upcoming and fall of cities and societies. The main expert on this I found to be Arnold Joseph Toynbee (April 14, 1889 – October 22, 1975) Toynbee was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, “A Study of History”, 1934-1961, was a combination of world history, a meta-history based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline, which examined history from a global perspective.

Toynbee argues that “self-determining” civilizations are born (out of more primitive societies), not due to racial or environmental factors, but as a response to challenges, such as hard country, new ground, blows and pressures from other civilizations, and penalizations. He argues that for civilizations to be born, the challenge must be a golden mean; that excessive challenge will crush the civilization, and too little challenge will cause it to stagnate.

He argues that civilizations continue to grow only when they meet one challenge only to be met by another. He argues that growth is driven by “Creative Minorities,” those who find solutions to the challenges which others then follow.

While Diamond in his book from 2005 emphasizes the need to fight the environmental factors (which I don’t want to minimize) he agrees with Toynbee that “civilizations die from suicide, not by murder” when they fail to meet the challenges of their times.

I find these thoughts very challenging and provoking… It is like waling the tightrope; too little challenge will lead to stagnation, too much will crush us! However, the point of interest for me is to be part of the “Creative Minority” which finds the solutions to our challenges today!

Looking back throughout history (His Story = God’s Story) makes me dare to believe that the people of God, the Christians can be those minorities… as they have been throughout the history of our world. In so many ways and in so many cases history writers (most often male and part of the ruling majority) have silenced and hidden the accomplishments of the remnant of God’s people in their societies who were part of laying foundation and proposing structures and values which carried whole civilizations through the transitions of challenge and change.

I appeal to sensible women and men of God who are willing to pay the price to be part of this “overwhelming minority” which somehow, some way will be used to bring hope to a fallen and suicidal world as they in humbleness and soberness live out the fullness of life through Jesus Christ in this dying world!

That’s the Way I see it!

John

Michael Jackson coverage

Although I have written about Michael Jackson (English here and Swedish here) together with millions of others (here and here) , I couldn’t resist sharing this cartoon. Dark media clouds have passed over… Media people looking for the next victims of their never ending “news thirst” to sell yet another issue, show or concept.

michael jackson coverage

I wish there was more reports of Good News… Actually I might dig into that and use this blog to give you some sunshine stories too!

God bless,

John

Neverland – ingenmansland

Follow the link to read the Swedish version of Neverland which was published today in “Världen Idag” Other media have written their parts: here, here, here and here.

“Alla försöker att utnyttja hans död men få försöker redovisa en ärlig bild av en man vars liv präglades av brustenhet, identitetskriser och udda utspel”. Läs mer: länk.

Be in touch! John

Michael Jackson died a long time ago… the reality of Neverland!

Thousands of shows, newspapers and articles (here, here, here, here, here, here and here, here and  here)are reporting that 1.6 million people have signed up to be part of the lottery which gives the opportunity to get one of the 11,000 tickets available for the memorial service of Michael Jackson at the Staple Center Arena in Los Angeles tomorrow.

Quite an interest for someone who died a long time ago! The fact is that the Michael which people called the “King of the Pop” was nothing more than a mere empty shell of the true Michael Jackson.

Documentaries, special programs and whole weekend editions in papers and magazines are spend to evaluate Michael’s whereabouts, his accomplishments and his history. Sad to say, but besides his great accomplishments in the music industry, his life has been a gathering of chapters filled with clutter, odd and empty attempts and material describing his (re)creation of his life. In that process of self-re-invention the real Michael got lost and the world has run after an idol which had no life left.

It’s a sad reality when the A, B, and C celebrities of our world become the locus of so many people and their own ambitions and dreams. They are all like lost dreams in paradise, the reality of Neverland! The Neverland’s of so many shattered dreams, desires, and ambitions.

There is a truth in the fact that we become like the idol that we worship; who are you worshipping, or what are you worshipping? Whom or what are you becoming? Michael Jackson died a long time ago… his life has only been an empty shell for many years…

Maybe you and I, and so many more, are indebted to creating that kind of life for celebrities like him whose lives are formed by the very people who worship them…

It is hard to be an idol… It is hard to remain truly human. Maybe we were never intended to ever become objects of worship. Maybe we should worship Him to whom all worship belongs with all out strength, all our hearts and all our souls… to truly become whom we were meant to be. His name? King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ!

That’s the Way I see it!

John

Är inte Immanuel 153 en församling?

Idag läste jag en artikel i Dagen som reste några frågor… Jonas Eveborn från Immanuel 153 ”lämnar sin tjänst för att bli församlingspastor”. Han lämnar sin tjänst som pastor för att bli församlingspastor…???

Kanske har mina frågor att göra med min oförmåga att kommunicera på svenska men är inte Immanuel 153 en församling? Citat: ”153 som en gemenskap som vill vara både inåtriktad och utåtriktad, liturgisk och karismatisk på en och samma gång, och som bygger en gemenskap som inte enbart räcker ett par timmar på söndag eftermiddag. – Vi vill vara en gemenskap som är bärande och där vi bygger relationer samtidigt som vi gör något gott”. Är detta inte en församling?

En annan fråga som kommer upp genom artikeln är hur 153 kan fortsätta… Även om jag själv inte har besökt 153 har jag fått veta genom olika vänner hur viktigt 153 är och hur många har hittat ett andligt hem i denna gemenskap. Immanuel 153 omfattar 250 personer… Varför kommer då frågan upp om man kan bära ett ekonomiskt ansvar för 153s pastor(er) eftersom Immanuel kyrkans ekonomi är ansträngt? Ursäkta mig, men om man betjänar 250 personer ska inte dessa ta ansvar för sina pastorer? Enkel matematik… om 40 av dessa ger sina tionden kan man utan problem avlöna en pastor på heltid… även om alla skulle vara studenter som ger sitt tionde skulle 50 personer räcka till en heltidslön.

Eller är givande i församlingarna ett problem? Jonas Melin på sin blog anser det tror jag… Jag tycker att Immanuel ska bekräfta det som händer i 153 genom att frigöra ännu mer resurser. I en tid som denna där få av våra visioner blir verklighet ska vi lyfta fram det som Gud gör bland oss och stödja det med alla våra möjligheter och resurser!

Så ser jag på det!

John