September 01, 2005

Interdictor: Blogging from New Orleans

"It is a zoo out there though, make no mistake. It's the wild kingdom. It's Lord of the Flies. That doesn't mean there's murder on every street corner. But what it does mean is that the rule of law has collapsed, that there is no order, and that property rights cannot and are not being enforced. Anyone who is on the streets is in immediate danger of being robbed and killed. It's that bad." The Interdictor

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Helping Katrina's Refugees

“It’s just a horrifying situation in New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama . . I know our Texas Baptist people want to respond.” Dr Charles Wade, BGCT, Baptist Standard

More ideas to help the refugees from Hurricane Katrina:
- Church buildings into shelters. Many Texas Baptist churches have already been turned into shelters. More need to open up.
- Operation PotLuck (my idea) If churches on Sunday put on a huge pot luck meal at their churches this Sunday, and took a few van loads of refugees to the meal, it might be a good environment to make new friends and explore opportunities for families to minister to families. If your church is being used as a shelter, then roll out the BBQ's and eat together right there.
- Elijah room. Have a spare room in your house? Maybe its time to open it up for someone.
- Give money this Sunday - I suggest the Texas Baptist Mission Foundation. Link
- Bloggers give space on their sites - for spotlighting acts of mercy, for acknowledging channels of communication and generosity.
- CyberCafe. A BoingBoing reader suggests that Geeks help turn Houston's Astrodome into the world's biggest CyberCafe. It would mean donating old computers.

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August 31, 2005

The Spirituality of Blogging

On Monday I gave a seminar at Greenbelt Festival called "The Spirituality of Blogging". I introduced the topic with "What Bloggers Hear" and "If The Bible was Blogged", as well as some recent statistics on blogging from Kevin Kelly and some thoughts on cyberchurch and blogging from Tim Bednar's "We Know More Than Our Pastors"

Here is the skinny on what I said. Blogging is a spiritual discipline because to blog is to find oneself in a place of:
1. Praise (public acknowledgement) - "publish glad tidings daily"
2. Accountability. (Eph. 5: 21 "Submit yourselves to one another", quote from Athanasias)
3. Vulnerability (Daniel's window)
4, Given-ness (Freely you have received, gift economy, Prov 11:24)
5. Creative Naming (Adam, Neighbors in Ruth)
6. Repentance (editing/deleting/changing our mind in new media)
7. Fellowship (hypertext linking, Koinonia)
8. Evangelism (storytelling, blogging from our lives)
9. Integrity (writing matches our speaking, design reflects reality)
10. Posterity. (store/guard what has been entrusted, writing history)
There was also another one: Watchfulness ("watch and pray").

We did not have time to read "How Shall We Then Blog" but we did finish off with The Bloggers Prayer. Thanks everyone for coming and making it an enjoyable experience.
Other notes: Phil (the most comprehensive), Paul Roberts, Sarah

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If Pat Robertson had a blog . . .

If Pat Robertson had a blog, he might have shared his thought of assassinating Hugo Chavez with a select group of listeners and commentors for feedback. And if that feedback was negative, as I assume it would have been . . . he could have decided to pull out early and change his mind, rather than going public with an untested and potentially divisive idea. And so I said in my seminar on blogging on Monday.

But he didn't have a blog
and he didn't test his idea
and he didn't pull out early.

As for me, I have visited Venezuela a few times and spent about a month of my life there. Its quite a violent place - I have to admit - on arrival to Caracas we got into a fist fight with some guys . . .

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New Orleans Day of Prayer

Governor of Louisiana requests day of prayer

"As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort.
"I have declared August 31, 2005, a Day of Prayer in the State of Louisiana.
"I am asking that all of Louisiana take some time Wednesday to pray. Pray for the victims and the rescuers. Please pray that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild" Link HT: netlexfrance

Also: Stephen Shields suggests ways to give help.

Continue reading "New Orleans Day of Prayer"

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Blog Fast Over

Back online - Fast over - Feels good to purge the blog and nail it to the cross again. I will be back really shortly to catch up on all the news. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts while I was camping out at Greenbelt Festival the last week.

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August 24, 2005

In Search of the Spiritual

Nw Leftnavcov 050829 M10"Whatever is going on here, it's not an explosion of people going to church."

Huge Newsweek article on America's search for spirituality, pentecostalism, paganism, christianity, wicca and much more.
Blogs discussing this.
Hat tip: Fritz Kling

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Greenbelt 2005: The Skinny

UPDATE: I am leaving tonight to get down to London and then Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham. I will be on a BLOG FAST for the next 4 days while I am camping in my tent with thousands of other happy campers. Looking for me? I should be pitching my tent with the large group of Germans from Kubik (where i preached earlier this year) and the Doxology team.

- Greenbelt attenders are encouraged to place a tag on their blogs and share photos using Flikr for a Greenbelt montage. Details here.

- Best teaching at Greenbelt this year (apart from my seminar "The Spirituality of Blogging" at the Greenbelt TANK - ha ha) will be to hear Karen Armstrong speak on whatever she will speak about. I have two of her books at home - she is really something! She is my only "MUST HEAR" for Greenbelt this year.

- Will there be another roundtable for emerging church like last year's Epicentre Roundtable?
NO - nothing formal planned this year but there are lots of opportunities to do this inside the program. If you know of a time and place where something is happening, please leave a comment below.

Greenbelt Festival (Cheltenham, UK) have me speaking on Monday 29th August in The Tank, the official hangout space of the Geeks. The title of my talk is "The Spirituality of Blogging". Some of you heard me speak last year on "Forward Slash" which was more of an intro to the values of new media. This one will go further in exploring spirituality in and through hypertext, internet, and of course, blogging. I assume it will be recorded, since they did it last year and made it available through their web-shop.

Pre-reading? I recommend downloading Tim Bednar's "We Know More Than Our Pastors".

But I also hope to meet up with more than geeks. It will be good to see old friends (all my friends are now old) and I have a desire to meet up with people who have just recently started up an alternative model of church. Let me know if that is you.
Tag - greenbelt2005

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Our Trip to Eynhallow

Monday was the last day of the school holidays so our family and some friends went to Eynhallow (Holy Island), one of Orkney's many pilgrimage sites. The island is now uninhabited but has the ruins of a 12th Century monastery.

Unlike the pilgrims of old, we took a high powered speed boat and cruised across at a BUTT KICKIN' 30 KNOTTS.!! Eat your heart out, St Colomba! Actually, the seas around Eynhallow are rough and dangerous, and only high powered boats can access it safely. Fiona and Les (who brought their family along also) knew the boat owners so we got a good deal.

The weather was perfect. Some of us walked to the monastery thru the long grass.

Continue reading "Our Trip to Eynhallow"

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Flying Spaghetti Monster Phenomenon

In case you haven't noticed, The Pastafarian parody religion and their Flying Spaghetti Monster are all over the American blogosphere this week. Their google count this morning was over 68,000 links. You can read about its origins at Wikipedia and follow the conversation by doing a word search at Technorati and making a watchlist for your News Reader. Or add the word "Jesus" and see what happens.

ShirtiwtbFSM is being called an internet phenomenon and was created to poke fun of intelligent design being given the same status as evolution in schools. As for me, my interest is not arguing evolution. But when the blogosphere starts buzzing with a religious conversation, my ears perk up. I wish I could be around to add to the discussion, but alas, I leave tonight for Greenbelt Festival and will be offline for a few days.

I wonder if the folk at will be discussing it this weekend? Justin (from EmergingEvangelism) has been busy blogging about Pat Roberston's proposed "mission trip" to Venuzuela (lets not get on Pat Robertson's bad side!) but he might have some time for it.

Picture 4-8Hey - remember that new quasi-cult called Pastafarians that i mentioned a few days ago. Well the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) bumper sticker is currently being designed. One of the designers, Mark, hopes that readers will "refine it and perhaps submit it to a manufacturer of those footed Darwin Fish (who's population is on the decline as they are gobbled up by jesus fish)". Link HT: BoingBoing More on FSM in schools.

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Hell, Tithing and Video Games

I clicked on a religious google add this morning, something that i NEVER do, and found myself reading L. Ray Smith. I read his long article on why Christian Tithing is Unscriptural and the one on a literal hell being "a Christian hoax". And I was thinking to myself about how much information is available to everyone on the internet, and how more educated people are getting. Those who are communicators can no longer assume ignorance on the part of the hearers, as in the days of widespread illiteracy. It might be safe to assume that people have often examined both sides of an argument before they hear a message.
All of this makes Tim Bednar's title "We Know More Than Our Pastors" sound more feasible.

In his book, "Everything Bad is Good for You", Steven Johnson argues that the population has grown much smarter, IQ's have increased, and it is not because of the education system. He says it has more to do with video games, multi-tasking, channel surfing and other things that make us think and react in new ways. I would add that the internet has given us information (not perspective) at our fingertips and we feel more connected to that information and empowered to react to it. Anyway . . .

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August 23, 2005

Kevin Kelly on Blogging

We Are The Web: Kevin Kelly talks on Wired about 10 years of hypertext.

"No Web phenomenon is more confounding than blogging. Everything media experts knew about audiences - and they knew a lot - confirmed the focus group belief that audiences would never get off their butts and start making their own entertainment. . . . Blogs and other participant media would never happen, or if they happened they would not draw an audience, or if they drew an audience they would not matter. What a shock, then, to witness the near-instantaneous rise of 50 million blogs, with a new one appearing every two seconds. There - another new blog!"
" . . . in the near future, everyone alive will (on average) write a song, author a book, make a video, craft a weblog, and code a program. This idea is less outrageous than the notion 150 years ago that someday everyone would write a letter or take a photograph."

Interesting thought - Kelly says the average internet user is 41 years old. Just like me (Am I AVERAGE?) As for his question, "What happens when everyone is uploading far more than they download?", I took a shot answering it in Generation Text.

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Willam Wallace Anniversary

Somebody shout . . . "FREDOM!" William Wallace died exactly 700 years ago - executed by those bloody English on Aug 23, 1305. Source: Wikipeida.

AndrewanddougbravesmallThis is Doug Pagitt (mentioned a few blog posts back) and I at the William Wallace Memorial in Stirling, Scotland. Apparently, William Wallace really was taller than the pair of us, and bore an unusual resemblance to an Aussie actor named Mel. Image taken from a story about Doug and his wife - Buffy The Backside Slayer.

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August 22, 2005

To Do: Make A Mag Cover

When i get a free minute or two, I want to make my own magazine cover using flickr. Link. HT: boingboing

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Off To Eynhallow

We are just taking off for a ferry to EynHallow (Holy Island), a deserted island in Orkney where a monastery once stood. The ruins are still there but not much more. 12 of us are renting a boat for the afternoon to get to the island.

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Emerging Leaders Gathering

26-29 August 2005, Prague, Czech Republic
The DNA of Jesus for the post-matrix generation

I am really bummed that i cant be in Prague next week for Connect Europe. This is one of the most exciting emerging networks in Europe and has been growing fast since kicking off at Herrnhut 3 years ago. Marc Van der Woude will have the details. I will be at Greenbelt Festival in UK instead, but I really hope Connect Europe rocks next weekend.

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Pagitt on Emergent


" . . . they are not called to do “cover versions” of other generation’s faith with their own spin. But they are called to be living theological communities who articulate and generate understandings of God, life and faith. " Doug Pagitt, Unraveling Emergent.

Emerging Churches, according to Doug:
- Strive to be positive about the future.
- Are committed to God in the way of Jesus.
- The Kingdom of God is a central conversation.
- They value communal life – living like family.
- They seek to live as missional communities.
- Friendship and hospitality are transformational pieces.
- They value theology.

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August 21, 2005

Creative Archive

VJ's listen up. BBC is opening up its archives of video. Its called the SuperStar VJ area of the Creative Archive and I heard it was UK only. Thanks Jonny.

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All Things Mobile

Image001One billion people are signed up to a GSM network. Thats a lot. I am trying out WINKsite and have set up an account for those of you who want to get my text only RSS feed to your phone. My Wink ID is 10434. Let me know what you think.

[UPDATE] Sasa Flek (from the video post below) began a daily SMS devotional feed to his congregation in 2002 and then others around Prague and Czech Republic requested a feed. Soon it was a community of 300 people getting their daily bread on the phone.
Also, I see Emergent Kiwi (Steve) is blogging this morning on Mobile stuff, and has a good link to Mobile Theology.

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Blogging and Great Bible Passages

I read Charles Spurgeon's Morning By Morning devotion this morning and I was thinking again about blogging.

“He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” --Proverbs 11:25 We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered.“

When I am blogging, Bible verses like this often come to mind and influence what I say or how I say it. Or how I respond to the comments. I guess there are about 20 Bible verses that keep looping in my mind. Many have something to do with publishing or giving away. Like Spurgeon's verse this morning, and this one . . .
What Bible passages have been meaningful to you in your blogging?

Related: What Bloggers Hear, If The Bible Was Blogged, 3 Internet offenders.

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August 20, 2005

Sasa Dedicating CD (Vlog)

MoraviaJust remembering a great evening of worship and fun. Sasa Flek dedicated a new CD for a band called Philidelphia in the east of Czech Republic - dedicating it to God and sprinkling some white wine on the CD - dont worry - it had a cover on it. You can see my kids dancing and also Derek Chapman. The QT video is a tiny 330k [horray for dial up!!!!] because i made it back in 2002. (2001?)

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VOGMA: A Video Blog Manifesto

Adrian Miles gives a good video blog manifesto:

"vogma: a manifesto [ in no particular order ]

1. a vog respects bandwidth
2. a vog is not streaming video (this is not the reinvention of television)
3. a vog uses performative video and/or audio
4. a vog is personal
5. a vog uses available technology
6. a vog experiments with writerly video and audio
7. a vog lies between writing and the televisual
8. a vog explores the proximate distance of words and moving media
9. a vog is dziga vertov with a mac and a modem
10. a vog is a video blog where video in a blog must be more than video in a blog"

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Europe Trip Last Week

As you know, I stayed home with the young kids last week while the rest of my family was driving through Europe. ooo000OOOOOHHHHHhh the dishes I washed
. . . . oooo00OOHHHHHhh the clothes I washed
anyway . . . MumJones (my wife) has just posted a an account of their trip last week through England, France and Spain to pick up Elizabeth and Cindy. Cindy's sister, Julie went along. So did my 9 year old daughter Abigail. Along the way, they made it to

the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain . . .

and Monet's garden in Paris.

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August 19, 2005

The Cult of Pastafarianism

Link: Boing Boing: Pastafarianism: Flying Spaghetti Monster cult grows.

The FSM cult now has a Wikipedia entry, with details that indicate that followers of His Noodliness -- Pastafarians -- are growing in number, like so many meatballs accumulating on a plate of linguini.

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We survived 10 Years of Emerging Church!

Our family are working on a book that captures the moments of our last 10 years of trekking around the world, seeing what God is doing, and sometimes being involved with building foundations for new things. The book will be handmade and will have much of our poetry, stories, recipes (pizza) and our best images.
Want to buy the book? It will be around $10 - send me an email


Last night we were ripping up old boarding tickets and receipts from all kinds of countries, to be mashed up into a rough pulp and used for the cover of the book. My kids are really into it. They started immediately after we talked about it last night - writing songs and collecting the best of their poems.

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August 17, 2005

Taize Founder Stabbed to Death.

 From BBC: The 90-year-old founder of the French-based Taize Christian ecumenical community has been stabbed to death at a prayer service. HT: Sasa who was there a few months ago.
UPDATE: Read Prodigal Kiwi on Taize's success.

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Family Back From Spain

Debbie and two of my daughters got back late last night. Long trip from Spain - car, trains, ferries. But they are back in one piece. Elizabeth did extremely well, walking across Spain in a month. One day she walked 48 kms - not bad for a 12 year old.
Photos coming later.
Debbie got to touch base with friends along the way which was great.

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August 16, 2005

Passing of Blogger Dwayne Harms

37 year old Pastor Dwayne Harmes of DHJourney passed away this morning. He leaves a wife and two children, and a legacy. His struggle with cancer was chronicled in his blog. Thanks Jordon.

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Top 500

Top500-2005-08-1 I made the Top 500 blogs this month (Number 381) so I am adding this symbol to my sidebar. Thanks Darren Rowse for letting me know. I haven't checked Feedster before so i don't know if its my first time there or not.
Congrats also to Tim Challies who also made the list (490) and is just getting home from his vacation to find the good news.
Am I bigheaded?

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Absolution, by Muse

“and it's time we saw a miracle
come on, it's time for something biblical
to pull us through . . . ”
“ . . proclaim eternal victory
come on and change the cause of history
and pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end
of the world”
(Muse, Apocalyspe Please, from Absolution)
MuseI need to say it. Muse is a great British rock band. My son has been playing their music (Absolution) and they have really grown on me. In fact I am almost converted. I think the two of us will need to track them down and see them live sometime.
Lyrics to Absolution. Review. Wikipedia. More on the band.

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