Monday, March 7, 2011

Blogs that get you Thinking - Video Edition

Let's face it, blogs work because they are often short snippets of much bigger conversations. They are accessible - unlike larger books and articles. In the busy lifestyles that dominate our culture - small is big. So it should be no surprise that short videos would be so popular on the internet. But if you've ever surfed YouTube for "good" videos, well you've probably been more disappointed than encouraged. I want to mention a couple of video sources that I have found helpful.

First, TED talks. These short videos are so consistently good that I actually subscribe to them as a podcast (I'll post more on podcasts later). TED is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting ideas out there. Their original focus on technology and design has broadened considerably over the years - and although the talks happen in expensive conferences they are so dedicated to the idea of getting the ideas out there that they make them freely available online! Plus they are all fairly short - under 30 minutes and sometimes under 15. What is really helpful about TED talks is that they often capture ideas that have mainstream traction in our culture.

Second, 30GoodMinutes. This is an inter-religious video and sermon archive, with the focus on inspirational messages in a well-organized website. You'll find the full range of voices from Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, speaking about stuff that matters like hope, endurance, getting along with each other, and faith. Speakers you might recognize are Randall Balmer, Robert McAfee Brown, Rodney Clapp, and Joan Chittister (a radical Catholic sister that I've grown to appreciate).

I know there are many other great sites out there. Some even oriented specifically to evangelical Christians. But I felt these sites might be ones some of us had missed and that are definitely worth visiting when we need a quick bit of inspiration or mental stimulation. Enjoy.

Frank Emanuel, Freedom Vineyard, Ottawa.

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