Thursday, November 28, 2002
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
You blow like the wind in a thousand paddocks
Inside and outside the fences
You blow where you wish to blow
I met for lunch with Paul yesterday. It’s a growing relationship that started in blogosphere. One of the recurring threads of our conversation was how our lives are enriched by the blog world. It’s part of the Spirit’s good gift to us. We are enriched by each other and by a new range of conversations we are part of and we listen to.
To rephrase Baxter
Lord Holy Spirit
You blow like the wind in a thousand blogs
Inside and outside our virtual world
Thanks be to God, and to each of you.
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
one curious thing happened to me that is probably worth recounting. i had a train tciket from odense to copenhagen to return to the airport and it was a resreved numbered seat. it turned out that a danish pastor, dan was on the same train as me. he also had a resrved seat number. when we looked to see where each other were sitting it turned out that we were next to each other. that was a really nice moment of feeling god was with me even in the small detail....
Saturday, November 23, 2002
I had a great time having lunch with Spencer Burke today. Most of you know that Spencer and Dave Trotter co-founded the ooze. They met with Next-Wave's founding editor, Rogier Bos, in 1999 when we were all beginning our adventures in cyberspace....As Next-Wave and the ooze begin their 5th year, Spencer has been busy doing some great stuff, Soularize, Soularize worship CDs. the ooze community with nearly 10,000 registered users, and about 75,000 visitors a month, Seed Stories, Etrek and much more to come....When I got the idea to start Next-Wave I was discouraged, thinking that not much was being done to foster missional churches to reach the emerging culture...It didn't take long to figure out that there was nothing to be discouraged about, God was busy raising up leaders and building his church....It's been fun to see Him at work and it will be fun to watch what He does in the years ahead....
Friday, November 22, 2002
I met with Jackie Sewell yesterday. After many years working with Anglican Youth ministry, she’s pursuing a new dream.
She wants to start Amaze, an arts and spirituality space for teenagers. It will have safe prayer space, workshops to enhance creativity and spirituality and offer referral services as need me. A focused prayer space for teenagers.
We dreamed together and explored how our dreams overlap in terms of art and spirituality and monastic movements, and how they differ in terms of her focus on youth, while Graceway started out as 20-30’s and as people grow and join us, as proved to nourish people across the spectrum.
Pray for Jackie. Its a cool dream and a lot needs to happen for her. I offered to build her a simple website. When that happens, you’ll be able to drop in and say Hi and encourage her.
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Bonnie Weatherall, 31, was shot and killed this morning as she opened a Christian prenatal health clinic in Sidon, Lebanon. The story here is from ABC News. Here is the Christian and Missionary Alliance site report.
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Another image from the history of the Church:
From Cyprian (who said "The example of living is given to us in Christ.")
taken from his treatise "On the Advantage of Patience":
But what and how great is the patience in God, that, most patiently enduring the profane temples and the images of earth, and the sacrilegious rites instituted by men, in contempt of His majesty and honour, He makes the day to begin and the light of the sun to arise alike upon the good and the evil; and while He waters the earth with showers, no one is excluded from His benefits, but upon the righteous equally with the unrighteous He bestows His undiscriminating rains. We see that with undistinguishing equality of patience, at God's behest, the seasons minister to the guilty and the guiltless, the religious and the impious-those who give thanks and the unthankful; that the elements wait on them... And that we may more fully understand, beloved brethren, that patience is a thing of God, and that whoever is gentle, and patient, and meek, is an imitator of God the Father; when the Lord in His Gospel was giving precepts for salvation, and, bringing forth divine warnings, was instructing His disciples to perfection, He laid it down, and said, "Ye have heard that it is said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and have thine enemy in hatred. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them which persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven, who maketh His sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and raineth upon the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward shall ye have? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye shall salute your brethren only, what do ye more (than others)? do not even the heathens the same thing? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Maybe patience is one way that we point to a "story that is bigger than our own"???
Pray for Prague, that through the decisions made here this week, the King of all the earth will be able to do right, to establish peace, to enable equity, to allow justice, to soften hearts towards what is pure, to turn opinions towards the true, to silence lies, to stop the flow of fear, to transform pride into humility and a nation by nation calling of God's favour.
Monday, November 18, 2002
"Ah, who will ever count the centuries examined in the margins of our books?”
This is a quote from the Jewish poet/writer, Edmond Jabes, and it forms the central inspiration of my book, “Living in the Margins” (appears to be out of print).
“…To live in the margins of tradition is to live in a vital space of interpretive activity that keeps the "book" living, growing, expanding with new commentary and enlivening questions. Many small Christian communities occupy this marginal space, living on the edge of tradition -- in the margins -- attending both to the claims of the tradition to which they belong and to the claims of new, unexpected situations. In a sense, marginal Christian communities are both "inside" the book and "outside" the book, with the margins of interpretation mediating between these two spaces…”
Terry A. Veling (Aussies and Kiwi’s will find an essay distillation of the above book in his essay – “Margin Writing and Marginal Communities: Between Belonging and Non-Belonging” – Published in Pacifica 9 / February 1996.)
Not an easy read, but who knows who reads this, and what they like reading, so, for an on-line example of his writing see: "Levinas and the Other Side of Theology." He has some good things to say.
(In academic circles, Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) is recognised as one of the most important philosophers and religious thinkers of this century. His work has significantly influenced many "postmodern" thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Maurice Blanchot, Luce Irigaray, Paul Ricoeur. He has also influenced Jewish and Christian leaders and educators, including Pope John Paul II. However, his
thinking is not generally well known to a broader audience.)
Saturday, November 16, 2002
We kicked off Xpressions last night. It was a great night of creativity and community through storytelling. Great to have some fellow theo-blogians turn up - rachel and paul although it should be noted that neither told a yarn.
I've had a first draft go at a theology of storytelling on my blogspot and the possibilities of storytelling as a communal and mission tool amongst the emerging culture. I'd appreciate any feedback. The other thing I still have to get my head around is the link between local narrative and God's big narrative, but there's always tomorrow. Thanks for all the prayers. Continue to pray for the non-christians who turned up.
Friday, November 15, 2002
we do not do as our Fathers did...." (Johann Hinrich Wichern).
Thursday, November 14, 2002
Gary Ginter chairs a cool organization called Intent that seeks to network professionals who are already working or who desire to work throughout the world in their field of expertise as conduits for Kingdom blessing.
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
andrew, where are you stopping on your trip to the States? maybe we can have a beverage.
Matt. The Weeping Jesus Tour is absolutely top secret and no one is supposed to know about it!!! Details will be revealed as time gets closer. And anyway, since the plan is to hit 15 cities on the west coast and over to Texas, I dont think we (all 15 of us) will make it up that far. Maybe next time.
Connecting our stories with God's story is an essential postmodern way of being. We ran a storytelling workshop here in Aotearoa New Zealand in September. 3 churches, linking together. Thursday we go public. We've hired a bar, sent out the invites. We're telling stories, of life, of love, of God, casting them to the wind.
Pray for us.
Monday, November 11, 2002
Photo at right is of Eminem in middle school
Update: It was a bunch of little Mexican guys who were really excited about the movie. I gotta go figure that one out. Especially as the film distributors estimate that 20% of the audience was Latino.
Sunday, November 10, 2002
At the time of Jesus unity prayer in John 17, not one of his disciples had a NT bound between two pieces of leather…it would be years later when Peter, Paul and John, Mark, etc would write their epistles and gospel stories. There was no NT. Jesus wasn’t praying that all believers would unify around a position but it was a prayer and call to unify around a Person.
The Gospel is clearly delineated for us in 1 Cor 15:1-4. When Paul said, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- “ Paul was directing his thoughts at the Jewish legalist who were aggressively teaching and binding the old rituals and laws of a by gone era. This was a different gospel; it was a Jesus PLUS religion (Jesus + circumcision = salvation). Paul condemns them for such! (Gal 1:6)
Our denominational party lines (fences) have spawned more denominations than they have united. There’s an interesting passage in 1 Cor 1:10-12 where Paul encourages us “to speak the same thing” as opposed to shouting our different party slogans from across the fence. The phrase “speak the same thing” is a political term describing “unity of allegiance.” Our allegiance is not to a thought or a doctrine. These are the materials that build fences. Our allegiance should be to the Person of Jesus Christ. He’s the rally pole. He’s the One unity is built upon. It’s only right that Xians “speak the same” slogans of allegiance to Jesus alone. Jesus was crucified for all believers. He’s not divided. He is the common bond and He alone deserves our undivided allegiance. I thank God I am not saved by my logic or my hermeneutic, I am saved by Jesus’ perfect living and dying.
Have you ever noticed that when someone attempts to dismantle any section of the fence, he is either vilified or venerated?
" . . . Americans are less likely to attend religious services than 10 years ago but that the remaining faithful are turning to conservative Protestant, Catholic and Mormon churches.
Nationwide, Catholics remain the largest religious group in the country, with more than 62 million "ahderents" -- a category devised to reconcile differences in the way denominations count members.
The Southern Baptist Convention is second with 19.8 million adherents, followed by the United Methodist Church, with 10.3 million; an estimated 6.1 million Jews, observant and non-observant; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 5.1 million; Mormons, 4.2 million; the Presbyterian Church (USA), 3.1 million; and the Assemblies of God, 2.5 million."
andrew and all thanks for the invite to the blog, i look forward to participating with you all. lately i have found it hard to find to post let alone read other people's blogs. this last week though i found some time and was saddened by the general level of stress and down i felt around the web. lots of people struggling with deep issue this invite was a bright spot. i continue to enjoy how the internet connects and enlivens our conversations and relationships. anyway i publish a internet rag called seven and blog at life with kids and god i have eight kids soon to be twelve now, we are adopting four kids from ethiopia and that has us pretty wrapped its been a long and eventful process this time. i am also interviewing for a student ministry position in cincinnati, ohio my hometown, (we are the place with the worst team in the nfl and a pension for riots of the racial variety). the church i am interviewing with is very modern traditional worship but open to a broad theological discussion and may be ripe for a little postmodern missionary work. i will know by the end of the week about it. so thanks again and i will actually try to read and post with regularity.
1. Christmas colours to celebrate the season. Thanks to Jim for his great painting
2. New bloggers. You will read their entries and will see links to their blogs in the right column next week.
2. I dumped the archives and opened up the entire history of the site, all the way back to the first blog entry in April. You can now read the whole conversation and watch it develop. Where we're going, we dont need . . archives!
3. I added a Google search engine.
4. I added a comments section, on the advice of Jonny B who got it from Paul Prodigal Fromont.
- Can someone please help me out. Go to comments and donate $14 to entation.co.uk - Pay Pal will not let me pay at the moment because they do not recognize Czech Republic - which means all my Pay Pal money (and I do have some) is locked up in their system and making them all rich off the interest - all because I happen to be in Prague and not Portland or Preoria. If one of you does this, all our readers will not be hit up for a donation - and I do want to keep the site commercial free. Thanks.
As you read through the site, please feel welcome to add comments and links.This way we can extend the conversation out into other countries, contexts, narratives, etc. Lets build out this site laterally as well as chronologically, or synchronically as well as diachronically (to apply Saussurean linguistitic theory) . . .or . . . in other words . . .
AM I MAKING ANY SENSE?
OK . . how 'bout . . . . just go ahead and enjoy the site. Yeah!
I've read some good books in the last month or so: Steve Sjogren's The Perfectly Imperfect Church, Bill Hybel's Courageous Leadership, and Michael Slaughter's Unlearning Church.
I always like to read Steve Sjogren's stuff. Steve is the launching pastor of Vineyard Community Church. His efforts at "servant evangelism" and his willingness to share his ideas, have given a number of church leaders a simple way to express the love of Christ in their communities. A few years ago, when I was really having a tough time personally I heard Steve speak at a conference. His topic "Six things I learned when I almost died." I can't remember the six things right this second, but I do remember that I was impacted by the idea that we should do the tasks that God has put in front of us. For me, at that time, my ministry tasks were to be the defense attorney for the skating ministry at the Ranch, and Next-Wave web magazine. Steve's book is refreshingly simple and practical, a must read for church planters.
One of the things I read between the lines of Bill Hybels' book is that leading a megachurch and an association of churches can do some damage to a person's psyche and family life. I guess that's why Hybels writes about "courageous" leadership, the kind that comes with a price. For a guy who's mission in life has been "to turn atheists into missionaries", he has survived the journey long enough to have some important things to say on the subject of leadership.
I first heard Michael Slaughter at a seminar on breaking the 800 barrier in church growth about ten years ago. He is an engaging speaker. At this stage of his life and ministry he has set aside the discussion of church growth barriers to address the changes that face church leaders in the light of the postmodern cultural shift. I was challenged to renew some individual spiritual practices. I was challenged to think about what church might be like 10 years down the road.
What's interesting about each of these books is the vantage point of the authors. All "successful" pastors who have done well. All who have wisdom to share about the journey for church leaders. There is a lot to learn from these writers.
Saturday, November 09, 2002
Suprisingly in a pagan dominated city of Missoula, their is an all city gathering of Churches. While it is all protestant and includes a network or family of house churches. I see a lot of growth potential for this.I plan on working with some Orthodox and Catholic Churches to help bring them into the fold. I am excited to see it grow and work with the existing ministries to show that us "outsiders" or house churchers aren't really on the outside. We just are a little strange and consider ourselves aliens in a foreign city.
Been off blogging for awhile while I develop a new eministry for the folks who have left church, are leaving church, or are just looking for a safe place to leave religion behind and just cling to the Jesus of the New Testament. It's called The Journey. I will keep you all posted and you are all in my prayers.
Isn't life better with a Mac?
Cyprian's Third Testimony
This piece is 120 theses describing the Christian community. Some will sound peculiar to our sensibilities, but most are pretty intense.
A thought from my blog:
God is using kitchens. "Fellowship Bread" for the ladies in Australia and "Kitchen Table Training" in Russia. More info at Tall Skinny Kiwi
Friday, November 08, 2002
Monday, November 04, 2002
Sunday, November 03, 2002
Saturday, November 02, 2002
"Friends, it's been over a month since I have come here...it has been a real hard month for me and my family.
I have resigned from my role in Dawn Ministries, the organization that serves the movement that I have promoted for the last 20 years.
I will take a six months sabbatical.
I have left Egypt (the place of refuge) and I'm now in the desert. It will be a tough time but I expect to meet God in a way that I have never known Him before.
I plan to share here my journey towards my land of promise.
"House party in Lausanne extravagant! The mansion-the Mercy Ship Y-Wam base- surrounded by vast fields of whispering cow bells...Bryce had filmed the front of the house and was projecting it onto the house at the same angle he filmed it, creating an eerie virtual effect which you walked through and into. Into a house with many bands, VJs and DJs doing their thing in an electrically alive manner, and all the while the Presence of The Almighty hovering. Truly a blast-and we all felt like stars! Seeing Andrew's house in Prague being sampled from, and our lives being mixed as part of the international celebration of being Christ followers transnational, transdenominational, transcendant-in short, it rocked! Isn't it just good to line up in this great and funky army of The Almighty! " A longer report is at Tallskinnykiwi