#12in12: The Tragedy of Soviet Apartment Buildings

Ed. Note: Happy Holidays, Quarterlifers! We’re really excited about QM’s new look; I hope you are as well. In honor of a great 2012 and and even better 2013 to come, we are doing #12in12, a tribute to the twelve best stories of this year. If you have an opinion of what you liked, let us know via Facebook or Twitter.

–Thanks, JS


7. The Tragedy of Soviet Apartment Buildings

by Chris Horst – June 22, 2012

Go figure. A 368 word post on a late Friday morning turned into the most trafficked day in Quarterlife history. Thanks to the help of some loyal Redditors in the economics forum, an average Friday afternoon placed thousands more of their friends on a Christian website. Again, go figure.

Perhaps the most enduring symbol of the Soviet experiment is their architecture. During the spring of 2007, I lived in an oft-forgotten corner of Romania, working to expand HOPE’s work into the country. As with all former Soviet republics, Romania’s cities are filled with massive apartment blocks, exemplified in this picture which was taken from the window of the apartment where I lived.

They aren’t pretty. These concrete, gray monstrosities line every street, each one in a different state of disrepair. Not only do they blight these communities, but it also made navigating Romanian cities a nightmare (try finding your apartment when all the buildings are carbon-copies of one another).

Read more.

Monday Rundown: Wants iPad, White Flag

Monday Rundown

It’s Monday, and if you’re new to Quarterlife Man (welcome), you’re new to the Monday Rundown. The Monday Rundown is a compendium of  randomness compiled over the course of each week. Enjoy…

[As always, if you’ve seen something crazy or have a suggestion, email us or tell us on Twitter (@QuarterlifeMan).]


––White Flag Is Almost Here:

It’s been a long time coming (if you consider two months to be a long time), but the White Flag album from Passion 2012 drops TOMORROW.


Here’s the tracklist:

Not Ashamed (featuring Kristian Stanfill)
White Flag (featuring Chris Tomlin)
Jesus Son Of God (featuring Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels)
How I Love You Jesus (featuring Christy Nockels)
All This Glory (featuring David Crowder*Band)
Lay Me Down (featuring Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman)
You Revive Me (featuring Christy Nockels)
One Thing Remains (featuring Kristian Stanfill)
Yahweh (featuring Chris Tomlin)
Sing Along (featuring Christy Nockels)
The Only One (featuring Chris Tomlin)
Mystery (featuring Charlie Hall)
10,000 Reasons  (featuring Matt Redman)
No Turning Back (featuring Chris Tomlin)
Let Me Feel You Shine (Deluxe Bonus) (featuring David Crowder*Band)
Who You Are (Deluxe Bonus) (featuring Kristian Stanfill)
Jesus, My All In All (Deluxe Bonus)

There will be a live Passion podcast tonight at 9:00pm to celebrate the launch of the album and help kick off Passion 2013. Also, if you haven’t already registered for P2013, do it! The cost of registration is $129 until April 1 ($119 if you have last year’s DAA). The price slowly staggers upward toward January 1 of next year (the start of the P2013), when you can register for $219. DO IT NOW!


––Slight White Flag Sidenote:

You’ll want to listen to as much rap/hiphop/country/rock/alternative/indie/whatever-you-listen-to as you can, because after you get the White Flag album, you won’t listen to much else.


––Video Of The Week: “Baby, Baby” Mashup

Speaking of music and hot jams, check out this cover by MercyMe at the 2012 Rock & Worship Road Show. You’ll recognize a few faces… which sends this video over the top. Enjoy!

(Tweet this and tag it #CTGB)


––“The New iPad”:

It’s March and that means it’s new iPad time. It’s always tough to feel for the suckers who buy the “latest” iPad at Christmas, but I digress (know your yearly launch cycles, people!). On that note, here are the notables:




––Tethering. Boom, Baby:

A long, long time ago (last November), iTether launched a $15 app that allowed you to tether your data to other devices. It was quickly removed from the App Store. It’s back, but in the form of an HTML5 app that circumvents Apple’s App Store entirely.

You can preorder it now for $15/year. After its’ initial launch week, the price will jump to $30/year.

Besides the fact that this is a great solution for someone looking at tethering without jailbreaking their iPhone, might it be a harbinger of things to come? iTether’s CMO, Patrick Hankinson, told this to Mashable:

[box_light]“Look to innovate when the world is pushing you back! There are quite a few great apps that Apple has removed over the years that could definitely be built over HTML5.”[/box_light]

Is HTML5 the future for some web-based apps?


[box_success]Thanks for reading. Check back next Monday for more of the Rundown and, as always, tweet us (@QuarterlifeMan) if you have any suggestions![/box_success]

Yours! Yours! It’s All Yours!

Miscellaneous Stuff

Abraham Kuyper once said:

There’s not a square inch on planet earth where Jesus doesn’t say: “Mine!”

True. True. #True.

I heard this originally from John Piper… and in the midst of the setting (Passion 2012), I found myself thinking about everything that Jesus calls “Mine!”

The oceans, the trees, all 44,000+ in attendance, the door holders, the floor sweepers, the sick and broken, the poor and homeless, the birds, the stray cats, the lions in the zoo. They’re all His. I kept going on and on because, well, how can you stop when everything is His anyway?

There was not one thing I thought about and said, “Nope, sorry Lord, this isn’t yours.”

Read with me, as I look at 1 Chronicles 29:14-19 (MSG) [bold emphasis mine, italics from translation]:

[box_light]14-19 “But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.”[/box_light]

[box_tip]Extended Passage: 1 Chronicles 29[/box_tip]

Our lives are mere shadows in perspective of the great I AM.

In thanking God for the materials to build a temple for the Israelites, David’s prayer acknowledges God’s generosity in the midst of our quick nothingness. We are mere shadows compared to the everlasting God, so the provisions that the Lord has made (for the Israelites, and us) are really all his anyway. It’s like his gifts to us are just one giant love loan.

When you think about your life as merely a shadow, does that change your perspective on what God has given you? If you’re covetous over an iPhone or laptop, how does your perspective change when you realize the nothingness of yourself or the thing you possess?

I tend to think about it like this:

First, it’s all his anyway. Second, in the grand scope of time, I am but a speck on the biggest of timelines. And third, if I am worried about a some meaningless possession, I am going crazy. Five years ago, did we even have iPhones? If I am a speck, the point where worrying about something like an iPhone carries weight is a microspeck (if we’re lucky). It’s simple math.

When we realize that we are mere shadows, we can focus on being great stewards of his generous hand.

Back at Passion, I left the Georgia Dome that night while walking to my community group (#GlitterGold!) in the most peculiar mood. As I walked, I took my earlier thought to a new level and reached for a personal-high on the weirdness scale. With each step, I would find something (or someone) and point: “Yours!”

That rock? “Yours!” That street sign? “Yours!” That gorgeous heated convention center? “It’s all yours!”

Can you imagine having that frame of reference unceasingly? Our lives would never cease to be an outpouring of praise!

We can try though, right?

[box_help]Discussion: What is the one thing you’re holding onto? Let us know in the comments. Also, acknowledge God’s presence and his ownership of that “thing.” Maybe he doesn’t want you to give it up, but instead exercise thankfulness for his generosity.[/box_help]

Week In Review: January 22–28, 2012

Welcome to Week In Review, a featured post that we give you every Saturday.

Feel like you’ve missed something? It’s okay. We’ll post everything that’s gone onto the website over the course of the week, including other items, like:

  • Funny/interesting links
  • New items on the ‘Need To Read List’
  • Embedded videos
  • Tumblr microposts

…in reverse order. Sounds good to me. Let’s see it happen, week three:[divider]

Sabbath: The Art of Saying No
Published: Friday, January 27, 2012 | Contributor: Matt Wells

The Comparison Trap
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012 | Contributor: Aliza Rosen

The New Social Diseases
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | Contributor: Matt Wells

Top 5 Places I Want To Travel
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | Contributor: Jayson Schmidt

“Passion: White Flag” Album Cover Chosen!
Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 | Contributor: Jayson Schmidt

Monday Rundown: Calling All Shrinks
Published: Monday, January 16, 2012 | Contributor: Jayson Schmidt

Design The ‘Passion: White Flag’ Album Cover!

Have you ever wanted to design an album cover? Here’s your chance.



[From Passion:]

1. We obviously want the cover to interpret/portray the idea behind the song White Flag…. namely that we are a generation surrendered to Jesus.

2. You’re not going to have a month to do this. You’ll actually only have 5 days. Starting at noon EST on Jan 11, 2012 and ending at noon EST on Jan 16, 2012.

3. Your design must include the following:

  • The word: PASSION placed large, across the entire cover.
  • The title WHITE FLAG listed smaller.
  • The Passion logo: click to download

4. All submissions must be created in 300dpi and 6″ x 6″ dimension.

5. We have enclosed a folder of images frmo passion 2012 to use, BUT you are NOT limited to these images in your design. (Enclosed images are the property of Passion Conferences and may not be used for other commercial/event designs).  click to download

6. Send your design as a flattened JPEG or TIFF to whiteflagdesign@268generation.com (Please be sure to save a layered version)

Visit this link for full information and to enter.

Passion 2012: ‘The Faith That Welcomes Healing’ (Beth Moore)

Beth Moore

[Editor’s Note: These notes are from the Passion 2012 conference. They are from the perspective of the speaker. Enjoy them, and check out the other sessions from Louie Giglio (opening), Christine Caine, Francis Chan, John Piper, and Louie Giglio (closing).]

We are literally witnessing defined history in the making, for the ages.

He will not force it on you, but He invites you to join him.

Read: Luke 8:40-55 (43-48, emphasized)

[box_light] 40-42On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.

 43-45In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

   When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”

 46Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”

 47When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

 48Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”

49While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.”

50-51Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.” Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents.

52-53Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.

54-56Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”[/box_light]

What we are studying is a narrative in a narrative. In this particular scene we have a holy interruption that is accounted for in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

In Scripture, this woman has been hurting. Twelve years has dragged by; an eternity for her pain and isolation.

We all have our own circumstances inside a greater narrative, a greater story. We think there are so many big things going on that this infinite God has finite compassion and resources. God is not a consumable commodity. You cannot use him up.

[box_light]47When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.[/box_light]

You are incapable of going unnoticed by God, even in this crowd of thousands. There’s something freeing about knowing we’re not hidden.

The beauty of the passage is the uncomfortablity and awkwardness. Even to talk about it. For most of us, the greatest need we have for healing is intensely private. We’re as sick as our secrets. We have a tendency to hide what needs most healing. A habit … wrong … crime … weakness … addiction.

It’s in that secret… that area, that we need the most healing.

Back to the story: The woman’s trauma was physical/spiritual/relational. She was defiled. Is there any other word?

[box_light]Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”
–Numbers 19:22 (NIV)[/box_light]

If she went into public and touched somebody, it would make them unclean. To go in public was to risk making somebody else unclean.

We are called to be clean people in a very unclean world.

[box_light]“…and I live among a people of unclean lips…”
–Isaiah 6:5 (NIV) [/box_light]

The full impact is this: the woman was going to risk making anyone unclean. Including Jesus.

You can not be unclean enough to mess Jesus up. Jesus Christ is clean enough for both of us.

God made her clean.

[box_light]“But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’
–Acts 11:9 (NLT)[/box_light]

Jesus came so he could be touchable, not just reachable.

Do you have faith enough to reach up and grab on?

There is enough hem to go around to everyone here.

As long as you feel unclean, you’re not going to let him do what he’s going to do. As it says in 2 Peter 1:9:

[box_light]But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.[/box_light]

When I have an awareness that I’ve been cleansed in Christ, the last thing I want to do is go roll in that mud again.

But she touched him. And she was healed. We cannot explain how Jesus works. But once we know how something works, we seek to master it.

And then she fell before him and it was her public profession: she had to say that she was unclean. That is the humility that is inherent in the gospel. It was the faith that drove the touch that welcomed the healing.

You cannot consume him, but he can consume you. Let him.

Passion 2012: Pre-Session Crowd Surfing [VIDEO]

Crowd Surfing

Passion 2012 has been tremendous.

At last count (yesterday morning), our giving had already eclipsed the $1,000,000 mark.

[Editor’s Note: The final total at the last session was over $3 million. Wow.]


God is using this generation of young people to change the world.

From tonight’s evening session, the last evening session of Passion 2012. Crowd surfing:


Passion 2012: Crowder Band Sings Bluegrass Worship [VIDEO]

David Crowder Band

[Editor’s Note: The notes from January 2nd’s opening session will be online at some point tomorrow. Our expectation was to have a better connection than what AT&T can provide for their share of the 44,000+ people in attendance. We did not, though, so bear with us.]

In the late nite session tonight at Passion 2012, the David Crowder Band played their final performance… ever.

It was pretty great.

They played some new songs, a bunch of the old stuff, and even a small bluegrass set. The bluegrass set was something to behold, including this medley of I Saw The Light and I’ll Fly Away. No apologies for the iPhone quality. Enjoy:

Tomorrow night’s late nite session is Hillsong United. #bang #passion2012