girl scout cookie facts...

1. The cookies started out being baked in the ovens of various troop members. The first Girl Scout cookie sale on record took place in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in a high school cafeteria in 1917. At the time, a basic sugar cookie recipe was used and the cookies were packaged in wax paper bags and sealed with a sticker.

2. In 1933, you could buy one package for $0.23 or six for $1.24.

3. The cookies first started being commercially baked in 1934 and the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia were the first to go that route.

4. During WWII when there were shortages of sugar, butter and flour in the U.S., the Girl Scouts sold calendars instead.

5. In 1951, the consumer had only three Girl Scout Cookie options: Sandwich (like an Oreo, I suppose?), Shortbread and Chocolate Mint, which we know as the Thin Mint today. By ’56, they had added a vanilla sandwich cookie as well.

6. Thin Mints are the current best sellers, comprising 25 percent of sales. Samoas (ew, coconut) trail behind at 19 percent, Tagalongs come in at 13%, Do-si-dos at 11% and Trefoils at 9%. The other 23% is made up of all of the other varieties.

7. Elizabeth Brinton is known as the “Cookie Queen.” She sold more than 100,000 boxes of cookies over her Girl Scout career and more than 18,000 in one season alone. She was the first to abandon the door-to-door method and set up a booth in a high-traffic area (the D.C. metro stations). When asked the secret to her success, one of her responses was, “You’ve got to look them in the eye and make them feel guilty.”

8. Girl Scout cookies are kosher.

9. Only two bakers in America are licensed to make the cookies: ABC/Interbake Foods and Little Brownie Bakes.

10. You can make the early sugar cookie version yourself, if you want:

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
-Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.

fun fact.

In 2002, Norwegian McDonald’s restaurants had the bright idea to name a burger after a place where millions of people were facing starvation. Reps said the McAfrika sandwich was based on an authentic African recipe, but that didn’t stop many in Norway from accusing McDonald’s of extreme insensitivity. McDonald’s considered donating proceeds to famine relief, but ended up allowing relief agencies to place collection boxes in participating restaurants. I think that was the same year they considered the McTsunami filet-o-fish.

as we are...

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."
-Anais Nin

agreed. why would we ever think so highly of ourselves, to believe we are right about something above all others?


age of stupid.

while not as noteworthy as i thought it might be, it was still pretty poignant. i'd recommend you viewing The Age of Stupid. had a couple good profiles of people trying to do their part and the barriers they come up against.

found the whole movie online HERE.

through this, i would simply implore you to not contribute to further stupidity and ignorance on behalf of the human race. thanks.

**in related news, checkout my buddy adam at Pomomusings.com and his post on An Experiment in Keeping Our Trash.


the plan in 4 minutes...

thought this was a good compilation and quick summary of the potential healthcare plan...

sound like hitler to you? i thought not...

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fitting for today, being the international day of peace...


moltmann. pt.3

Moltmann’s greeting to us: "Peace be with you – and good theology too.”

Jurgen Moltmann says ‘father’ as Goldmember does in Austin Powers: “Fah-shza”.

And he refers to the Holy Spirit as ‘herself’.

some questions/topics were posed by tony jones. tony recalls a billboard: “unless you confess, God cannot bless.” what does moltmann think of this?
-is God a contingent being? we are Christians by faith alone. the initiative is always on God. we cannot bargain with God – that is pure capitalism.

moltmann talked a bit about is reasoning for his ‘panentheist’ classification (meaning, God’s creator-role and relation to creation).
-before God created the world/the universe/everything, God decided to become the Creator.
-before creating the heavens and the earth, God must have created a space to make room for these created things.
-thus there is a space within God’s being where the heaven’s and earth were created.
-there is a presupposed contract between the finite and the infinite.

regarding God’s creative act, Moltmann suggests that it is ‘creative’ to let another being ‘be’. we can ask ourselves, then, if our attempts to control and manipulate others are decidedly inconvenient?

Moltmann believes that “God wants our response and responsibility – he wants us to come of age.”

on God’s becoming human in the person of Jesus Christ: “God became human being to liberate us from our God complex.”

with regard to evil and unjust things that occur in our world, Moltmann claims that we have a collective responsibility: “Everyone is guilty for everything happening in the world.”

in anticipation of future generations: “we have received life, and we should give life to another generation.”

“we must respect the image of God in every person – in a murderer, in a terrorist. it’s difficult, i know.”

with respect to ‘science vs. nature’, Moltmann says that we need a hermeneutic of nature that asks: “Do we really understand what we know?”

also, that “the struggle between theology and science is better than [just] regular science.”

over the time, the hierarchy of the trinity that has been created by certain theologies (ie, father as head, son as next in power, and holy spirit on the bottom rung), has aided in our human hierarchies (ie, God to Pope to Bishop to Priest to congregants). this is an unhealthy view of the trinity, that creates an unhealthy dynamic for human beings.

when asked about the hinge-pin issue of homosexuality, and whether he has an issue with it: “This is not a problem in Germany, because the Gospel is not about sex.” an interesting, simple answer. he also backs his opinion with the fact that we come to God on faith alone – not by our actions or orientations or behaviors. “homosexuality is neither sin nor crime – how can [we] not bless a union between two humans?” Moltmann puts it in perspective by saying: “We should care more about war and peace.”

with regard to war and peace, there are 3 options:
a) we can change our swords into Christian swords and conquer.

b) we can leave the swords to non-believers and let them fight, and we as Christians can take up our plowshares.

c) we can change our swords into plowshares – change our weapons manufacturing industries into food distribution facilities: to engage in making peace, and removing swords.

“we prepare the way for [God’s] Kingdom by anticipating the peace and righteousness of the Kingdom.”

with regard to the Church – the Church is the Body of Christ and the People of God.

there is a mission of the Risen Christ: ‘whoever hears you hears me’. this is the mission to spread the Gospel.
there is also an invitation of the Risen Christ: ‘whoever visits them visits me.’ this is the mission to spread the Kingdom of God as a result of our own hands.

Moltmann believes in an open Lord’s Table: “At the Lord’s Table, we do not celebrate our theories of the Lord’s presence, but [we celebrate] the Lord’s presence.”

he was asked what is the future of the congregation? he responds that there is power in the face-to-face community. Moltmann talked in reference to ‘cyber-churches’ and ‘technological connection’. he asked us to think of what senses are engaged. internet and technology only stimulate sight and sound. Moltmann makes a distinction between far-reaching senses (sight and sound) and near/intimate sense (smell/taste/touch).
**this is an interesting thought – thinking about our churches and our worship experiences in light of our senses. are younger generations gaining over-developed far-reaching senses? are they lacking development in the intimate senses? this should be an aspect of church and discipleship that we ALL should consider.


moltmann. pt.2

thursday morning began with Jurgen Moltmann heading to the chancel to share with us. i felt a hefty emotional impact as this man came into our presence. Moltmann began by sharing with us his life story to begin. this man is extraordinary. his journey with God began in his teenage years when he was drafted into the german army. his first questions of God were raised when friend who was standing next to him was killed by a bomb that was dropped on the city of Hamburg. Moltmann instantly asked the questions: “Where is God? Why am I alive?” these were the beginnings of his journey, which continued soonafter in a POW camp, where the sight of a blooming cherry tree and kind scottish camp servants were some of things that shone the glory of God to him. an army chaplain at one point passed out bibles to the prisoners. and, as Moltmann describes, Christ found him in the dark pit of his soul and his situation.

as Moltmann began his schooling and his pastoring, he was noticing what things were and weren’t close to the experiences of life: like trying to preach academically to a congregation of farmers, or talking about God inside the confines of a lecture hall. an experience at Duke University lifted his view of amercian christianity during particularly dark times in the US:
in the midst of a time when the US saw an active KKK, and many african-americans mistreated and degraded, Moltmann was giving a conference when MLK Jr. was assasinated. the conference was dismissed prematurely, and in the midst of this national tragedy, 400 students at Duke staged a sit-in – for 4 days and nights to mourn the loss of a man who was seeking to embody God’s truth.

as he moved from personal history into discussion, Moltmann touched on a number of significant areas within Christianity. he talked a bit about the difference between one-ness and same-ness – as in the difference between Christ and God being “one” or “one in the same”. unity is in one-ness, not necessarily in sameness. he went on to talk about near-ness and far-ness with relation to God: God as ABBA (daddy, loving father) vs. God as ‘Our Father WHO IS IN HEAVEN’.

for Moltmann, truth is to be found in unhindered dialogue. thus, he breaks the mold of a typical ‘systematic theologian’. he believes systematic theology sees the need to be ‘perfect’ and ‘all in order’ – but he sees theology as an exploration and a conversation: something to be sought and discovered, rather than something that is organized and tied up with a bow. it was interesting to hear him comment about Barth in this regard: “the Dogmatics is 8000+ pages of doctrine and systematics: can the truth be that long?” he also commented how Barth was (self-proclaimedly) not good at dialoging with his contemporaries. Moltmann is a conversational, dialoging theologian: “we have a starting point: Jesus Christ, and a life-giving Spirit. and we have a universal horizon.”

tony jones asked him about his uniqueness in that he grew up in a secular family: that he is not tied to a particular heritage/tradition – asking if this plays into how his theology plays out. his reply: “Reformed tradition is my heritage, and the ecumenical church is my future.” his open-minded outlook is profound – especially in our world where so many people hold so tightly to their personal convictions. moltman: “don’t become so narrow-minded to only defend your own denomination. Christ is more than one’s own denomination.”

on “scriptural inerrancy” – moltmann makes a number of claims as to where he stands. “i read the bible with the presupposition of meeting the Divine Word in humans words.” as a man who has been exploring the gospel for many, many years, this is a profound statement. i can imagine that a lot of us (myself included sometimes) ‘worry’ about how seriously we take the bible. especially in the midst of the homosexuality debate and the “leviticus says this” / “jesus says this” throwdown. moltmann’s measuring stick in hermeneutics is this: using the scriptures to decide what is closest to Christ. he uses paul’s claim on women to be silent as an example: “if women were to truly remain silent, we would have no knowledge of the resurrection.” a simple but significant observation to support that some of paul’s commands are of a ‘cultural’ nature rather than a ‘divine’ nature. his comment on fundamentalist christianity got a bit of a rise: “I would ask them: ‘Do you really read the Bible? And do you really understand what you are reading?’”

“Pray with open eyes!” he says. he tells us that the NT calls us to not only to pray, but to watch – to look around at the world in which we live – to see what is in contradiction to God and his coming kingdom.

Moltmann offered a great reminder that there are two crosses that people subscribe to – the actual cross of Christ on Golgotha, and the cross that Constantine implemented: the cross of imperialism.

on being asked as to whether he would call himself a universalist, as he is sometimes labeled, he responded: “I am afraid that I am not a universalist; there are a few people that I would not want to see again [in heaven].”


these were the highlights (from my point of view) of day one. day two will follow at some point...


moltmann. pt.1

it's hard to put into words where i'm at right now. i'm in chicago -- at Libertyville Presbyterian Church. and Jurgen Moltmann is here for a couple-day 'conversation' mini-conference. Jurgen Moltmann. here. speaking to us. speaking with us. i can't even explain how honored i am to be here. so excited to savor his words - as they come our of his heart, through his mouth; and through my ears and into my soul.

last night was the opening session. Moltmann was not present for this. but a man by the name of John Franke -- a theologian and professor in PA. he gave some opening remarks that were pretty spot-on. John talked about the job of theology: that this job is to ask the question "What is God doing?", and to meditate on this and put the findings into action. asking questions is key. and asking questions leads to a plurality in the things that we as Christians think. he posed the perplex picture of how easily and readily Christians disagree with each other -- and asked, "How do we make sense of that?" his answer, as a result of many years of wrestling, is that we as a Christian body, are characterized by this vast diversity -- we are characterized by a plurality of truth.

franke went on to talk about this concept as an irreducible entity -- this plurality is one that cannot and should not be reduced to "this is how it should be"s. that the vast and complex nature of it is a gift from God to the church. this is an interesting concept -- because in my experience, this plurality of opinions and thoughts often leads to arguments and divisions rather than a loving community. so it is particularly interesting to think about this plurality as something that could in fact be just the opposite of my suppositions and experience.

franke is firm in his opinion that theology is not about the journey toward one right system of doctrine. rather, it is about a plurality of truth: about the multiplicity of ways that God works/is at work. the obvious question is begged: then does ANYthing go? as obvious the question is the answer: of course not. we need to be after what is on track with God's truth. his prayer in this regard is this: "LORD, don't ever let my theology keep me from seeing what you are doing in the world." this is humble prayer of guidance in seeking after God. and his insistence in his seeking is that it takes the whole church to paint the picture of the gospel. and it is with these thoughts that we begin our time with Jurgen Moltmann over these next couple days.


and in related news...

good stuff.

Trash the diatribe; mull the ideas.


great article. says what my mind has been thinking for awhile. a related post will come soon enough...



hope there wasn't a tree in front of him...

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