Sermon on the MOUND

Sermon on the MOUND by JSDavis82
Sermon on the MOUND, a photo by JSDavis82 on Flickr.

I had the idea to make this pic using sections from one of the most famous sermon on the mount paintings after hearing someone on a radio show mispronounce "mount" when referring to the sermon on the mount from the Christian Bible.

My Pictures of the Nashville Flood

If you’re somehow still in the dark about the historic 1,000 year flood that took place in Nashville last weekend, here are some of my photos from the Hermitage/Old Hickory/Donelson area, with a few shots from Downtown/1st Ave thrown in.

If you’d like to help, buy a We Are Nashville t-shirt from Cool People Care (and read the “We Are Nashville” article that inspired the shirt). All $20 of the purchase price goes to Nashville disaster relief, and the t-shirt is 100% organic cotton.

Click the pictures to make them larger, see their descriptions, and view them in a slideshow.

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We Are The World 25 For Haiti – Official Video

The new “We Are The World” video. What do you think of it?

Just Imagine

What every religion in history has tried to accomplish…and what they have (and will continue to) failed to do. The question is, “Why?”

Imagine – John Lennon

“Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”

Know Thyself, Maybe You’re Not Who You Think

What is Truth?

Mmm, a quintessential question of human existence…yet one often muddled by foolishness of many varieties.

Time for some audience participation, b/c these questions are NOT rhetorical.

  • Is Truth something that you come to know intellectually?
  • If it is, can one person come to an understanding of Truth in its fullness?
  • If not, why would a person seek it?
  • What if Truth were something that we are all expressions of?
  • What if it it wasn’t represented more fully in one person than another, but all energy, realms, and created things make up it’s totality?

The aphorism “Know thyself” has been attributed to a host of great Greek thinkers, from Heraclitus to Socrates.

If Truth were something that we are all an expression of, how could we come to view that saying?

Know Thyself…you are an expression of Truth.

Would that change anyone but me?

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8 Ball, Side Pocket


Originally uploaded by JSDavis82

Here’s a pic from a great time last night on a full moon lit greenway bike ride downtown for some dinner in East Nashville and pool shooting at Buffalo Billiards.

Fun stuff.

If You Want to View Paradise…

For the last three months or so I have NOT been able to get a song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory out of my head…


That’s a long time to have a tune stuck in your head. I’ve just been randomly breaking into song with (and in my best British accent–for some reason):

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it…[forgotten line]…there’s nothing to it.”

Yesterday, however, FINALLY brought some insight into this madness. I was pondering some recent conversations I’ve had with some friends just before the wife and I headed for lunch at Cinco de Mayo when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Here’s what I realized…and it’s not all that dissimilar from the actual lyrics themselves.

Everything in life is a choice. No, scratch that. While many things are not choices…like cancer, death, etc…the way in which we react to them is always a choice.

That said, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it…there’s nothing to it”.

In reality, there is one thing to it…a decision. A decision to not let our well-being, self-worth, identity, etc be wrapped up in our circumstance. At any moment, at any given time, in any given circumstance, we can choose to be in paradise.

Maybe more on that later…

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The Mighty Crash

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and realized that everything you’d believed and constructed your entire life on wasn’t entirely true?

Would it change the way you lived? Would your entire world come crashing down around you? Would you feel betrayed by those who led you into those beliefs in the first place?

For many of us in the western world, the answers to those questions would be “yes”…but is that evidence of an erroneous paradigm all together?

Most of us today have been brought up in a foundationalist paradigm. Foundationalism is just like what it sounds. It is any epistemology (theory of knowledge) that has a foundation of basic beliefs on which all other beliefs are completely dependent.

The potential problem therein is the possibility of a faulty foundation. If we realize that one (or more) of our foundational beliefs is faulty, the structure on top has no choice but to fall.

Doesn’t leave much room for growth, does it? Perhaps you’ve sub-, semi-, or fully-conciously felt like you’re captive to your own beliefs…this could be the reason.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimension.” But alas, when our feet are firmly set in the stone of our hardened belief system, such a stretch is not only impossible, but wholly inconceivable.

It is true, a foundational argument will generally always lead to Agrippa’s Trilemma, ending in either “an infinite regress, dogmatic stopping point, or a circular argument”.

What then might a solution be? Is there still a way to hold a few core beliefs without the rest of them being dependent on them? What would the benefits and drawbacks of such a paradigm include?

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Make Starbucks Play Fair

This morning I found in my inbox the following email from my friend Lacey:

Each year, coffee companies make billions of dollars. Starbucks alone earned almost $5.8 billion in net revenues during the first three quarters of 2006.

Yet, for every cup of coffee Starbucks sells, poor farmers in coffee-growing countries like Ethiopia earn only about $.03.

Even worse, while Ethiopian farmers grow some of the finest name-brand coffees in the world – think Harar, Yirgacheffe, and Sidamo – they don’t see the premium profits those names command among consumers.

Oxfam and a coalition of allies are asking Starbucks to sign this agreement. According to one coalition member, control of the name brands could increase Ethiopia’s coffee export income by more than 25 percent – or $88 million annually. This money could go a long way to help lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty.

So please, help us convince Starbucks to sign this agreement with Ethiopia. Poor farmers deserve a fair share of the profits.

This email came because Lace had it sent to me via, a site devoted to bringing about fair trade for medicines, impoverished coffee growers, and more. So if you’re a big coffee drinker, like myself, go on over and sign the petition. Also check out the Fair Trade Federation to learn how screwed the growers of our beloved coffee actually get.

And just for the record if there were at least a half way decent non-franchise (or at least a local franchise) within five miles of my house, I’d abandon Starbucks altogether. However, this is currently not the case…well, actually there is one in Mt. Juliet, but it closes at 5:00 pm. :-/

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The Shula Saga

ESPN reports this morning that AD Mal Moore dismissed coach Shula late last night. My response? BIG MISTAKE! I know he’s 0-4 against Auburn and finished 6-6 this season but come on! He just came off a 10-2 season last year!

Ok, ok, I know that his combined record against Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU, and UT is only 2-15 (yikes), 3-15 against SEC teams with winning records, 4-13 against nationally ranked teams, and is 0-19 in 4th quarter comebacks…but still. I think, given the circumstances, he’s done a hell of a job. He took over a young, hurt, and talent depleted team in their last year under the NCAA death penalty AFTER spring practice and after one coach was fired due to scandal and the next one walked out quick.

He’s definitely had some coaching struggles, himself and those around him, but given the circumstances, I think he’s done ok–not great–but ok. Definitely not poorly enough to lose his job.

Sorry Shula. I liked ya man. Want to come help me coach my little league NFL flag football team in Mt. Juliet, TN?

UPDATE: Tide players respond, Coach Shula’s statement, Mal Moore press conference video, and Interim Coach/Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines’ video statement.

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