November 28, 2003

doodle

I don't feel much like blogging tonight, so amuse yourselves.

(You'll need Shockwave. Link from b-wack at DCB.)

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weather

There's never a dull moment in this province!

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November 27, 2003

creation

A Late November Day in Deep Cove

I've been cooped up all day getting ready for our Board meeting next week. I had to go out to pick up a couple of things at the store, so I threw my camera in the truck and headed for Deep Cove. (FotoPage updated).


Creation
I can breathe sweet spring flowers
I can see deep blue skies
Lord I feel refreshing breezes
Like Your thoughts inside my mind

I like to run through the green grass
Watch the waves crash the shore
Gaze as mountains go higher
Creation can't be ignored

When I see all the beauty of Your creation
Lord it makes my spirit free to worship You
When I see all the beauty of Your creation
Lord it drives me to my knees to worship You

Randy McCoy [2002]
From "I Will Go", Vineyard Music

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unwavering

Another gem from Brennan Manning's journal as recounted in his Fall newsletter...

"Today, I feel weak and vulnerable, unable to sustain even one minute of mindfulness of prayer, the Scriptures are opaque and Jesus is hidden from
consciousness. Yet, by the grace of God, I have an unwavering, unshaken trust
that this is where I am supposed to be. God's love for me and the certainty in
faith that He finds me lovable is independent of any good I may have done
or any good I have neglected to do. Nothing is happening on a feeling level.
I am much at peace with where I am and not questioning if I am doing something wrong and not panting for a felt sense of His presence."

I've been doing a lot of thinking abouty "calling". I've redefined the word several times, and I don't think I even want to use it any more. More thought is needed, but I'm confidant this is a good thing.

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November 25, 2003

peace

What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women - not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

JFK
The American University Speech
June 10, 1963

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counter counterculture

More from Philip Yancey and Rumours:

"Christians sometimes describe their faith as a force that runs counter to culture. I wonder if we have it backwards. Perhaps the city of God is the culture and the city of this world the counterculture. Perhaps Jesus the revolutionary was actually setting out a normal pattern of life on this planet as revealed by its Designer. That he appears radical and got murdered for his beliefs may say more about us than about him...

Several times a year I disengage from American culture, either on a visit to a foreign country or on a hiking trip into the wilderness. Each time, on return, I experience a jolt of re-entry, a psychic adjustment similar to what astronauts must go through physically upon return to earth. I turn on a television sitcom and listen to the innuendoes and sarcastic put-downs and the canned laughter that follows. I watch the commericals promising sexual conquests if I drink a certain beer and professional esteem if I rent from a certain car company. The first day back, modern culture betrays itself as a self-evident lie, a grotesque parody of the day-to-day life I know. The next day my reactions moderate. A few days later I am breathing the air of lust, consumerism, selfishness, and ambition, and it seems normal." (p. 237-238)

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November 24, 2003

goats 'r us

Robert and Lisa have started something in the comments section of the previous post that I'd like to bring to your attention.

Through their Christmas Catalogue, World Vision offers you the opportunity to buy various items for needy families overseas. Last year (while I was still working with World Vision) Robert bought a goat, and badgered a whole lot of others to do the same. We had some fun with it. I think the best part was when Robert called up, told us he had bought a goat on the net, and asked where he could go to pick it up.

So let's go with it. Robert is buying a goat. Lisa is buying a goat. We'll buy a goat. That's 3 so far. Who else will step up to the plate? You can get one through World Vision Canada or World Vision US. I'm sure you can get one through other countries as well.

Buy a goat, for cryin' out loud...

One other thing: If you buy a goat, or anything else they offer, leave a comment and let us know. You'll make Robert's day, as well as a huge impact on the lives of several people.

UPDATE: The herd is starting to take shape! If a goat isn't in your budget, you can go for something less expensive. Let us know!

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world AIDS day

World AIDS Day

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behold

"Behold God beholding you...and smiling."

Brennan Manning
(From His Fall 2003 Newsletter)

God Smiling

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November 21, 2003

now broadcasting

This is very cool.

(Tipped off to it by Jonny Baker, who has ESP when it comes to finding the cool stuff...)

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November 20, 2003

transition

Transition - A Journey

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centred sets II

Jocelyn has expanded on the Bounded vs. Centred Sets concept, and it continues to resonate with me.

She also points us to an interview with Pete Rollins, who is behind Ikon (another very cool site).

Read the interview yourself, but I like this:

Be cynical. The original cynics where a dusty group of people who questioned ethics not because they hated ethics but because they loved ethics so much. They questioned God and religion not because they where sceptical but because they where obsessed with God and religion. Questioning God is not questioning God, but only questioning 'God' - in other words our understanding of God. In the same way that Marxism helped liberation theology to find a voice so deconstruction (which is very cynical) will help revolutionise Western Christianity.

For one who tends to look upon cynicism with mistrust (because it's in my DNA... the cynicism, I mean) I find this very liberating. I "question God and religion" because I am obsessed with Him, not because I'm negative, or a whiner, or a complainer. I want to get to the heart of the matter, to the meat.

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November 19, 2003

a change in the weather

Snow on Grouse Mountain

I was out running some errands this morning and tried to get a couple of shots of the fresh snow on the North Shore Mountains. It's been really raining for the last couple of days, and the snow line has crept down far enough that we can see a little of the white stuff. My vantage points weren't very good, but you get the idea. (There's a couple more shots on my FotoPage).

Of course, snow on Grouse Mountain makes for great pictures... but lousy hiking:

"The Grouse Grind hiking trail is closed until further notice due to snow and icy conditions at the top of the trail. Conditions are being monitored and an assessment regarding seasonal closure will be made."

Arghhhh!

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centred sets

It seems I missed a very good Indie Allies Meet up last week. Dang!

Jocelyn has done a great job writing about one of the discussion points - the idea of bounded sets versus centred sets. I got goosebumps as Lisa recounted the conversation to me last night. I've got an idea for a painting growing in my head. Too bad I can't paint.

The idea got me thinking about something I posted way back in February:

So I Stay Near The Door
By the Reverend Canon Samuel Moor Shoemaker, Jr., D.D., S.T.D.

I stay near the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world -
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.

And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it - - -
So I stay near the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door - the door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man's own touch.

Men die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter -
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it - because they have found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him - - -
So I stay near the door.

Go in, great saints, go all the way in -
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics -
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, or sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.

Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening - - -
So I stay near the door.

There is another reason why I stay there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great, and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia.
And want to get out. "Let me out!" they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.

Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
For the old life, they have seen too much;
Once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stay near the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply, and stay too long,
And forget the people outside the door.

As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.
Where? Outside the door -
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But - more important for me -
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
For those I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
"I had rather be a door-keeper . . . "
So I stay near the door.

While the analogy of a building with a door is a cross between a bounded and centred set idea, I still love the sentiment. Perhaps if we add the existence of the front yard in front of the house, the forest beyond the yard, and the world beyond the forest we start to get a truer picture.

I've always struggled with question of "how far inside" I go. I believe we are all called to various "rooms" - some deep inside, and some at the door. All roles are important. As the poem reminds us, even more critical than which room we occupy is the absolute requirement that we do not lose sight of those still off in the distance.

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the webbys

For those of you interested in all things of a "design" nature, the Webby Business Awards were announced today. I love looking at this stuff!

(Relax. I won't launch into another diatribe about how we use more creative juice to sell banking services than we do to spread the word and build The Kingdom. Oooops. Too late.)

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November 18, 2003

fiddling

House-Senate conferees on Monday agreed to increase federal spending on the global AIDS initiative for fiscal year 2004 to $2.4 billion, $400 million more than the Bush administration has requested...

Read the rest here.

UPDATE: Read Frank Rich's review of Angels In America, the scathing look at the Reagan Administration's non-reaction to the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

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Christmas is coming

How many guys does it take to put these lights up, anyway?

I'm just back from a work weekend up at Linwood House, the Global Action Canada Ministries "HQ". Decorating 7400 square feet is a huge task - I think there are 14 Christmas trees in the house! I've updated my fotopage with a few shots for the record.

BTW - I'm still looking for more feedback on the Global Action web site. There's still a little more content to add, but I've added a few more photos. Thanks to those of you who have had a look and provided your input. Anyone else?

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play

You gotta love this creativity stuff...

Play's undeniably playful workplace reflects the company's overall approach to the hard work of creativity. Cofounder Andy Stefanovich, 33, says the basic idea is simple: When you turn work into a place that encourages people to be themselves, have fun, and take risks, you fuel and unleash their creativity. The best ideas come from playful minds. And the way to tap into that playfulness is to play -- together. "Creativity is not a solitary occurrence," he argues. "It's very much a collaborative effort. One person is as creative as the next. That creativity just needs to be discovered within each person. What we're doing is building a creative community -- not mystifying creativity as a special talent of a chosen few."

Read the entire article here.

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November 17, 2003

i am...

informo

Your brand will be unique because this denotes "quality driven in a tight space"

What brand are you?

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November 16, 2003

revolution II

Geez, my Brother-In-Law Gord is a smart cookie (pun intended). In the comments section of Revolution he's broken down some of the religious parallels, as well as provided some mythology background. I thought I'd post his comments here for everyone to see... (SPOILER WARNING for those of you who haven't seen it yet!)

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make in their understanding of Christian messages in the Matrix is forgetting that in the end this is a big budget Hollywood movie designed to appeal to the masses through fast-paced action and fantasy. If the Wachowski brothers had made a documentary about the great religious and philosophical discoveries, then only a handful of people would go. The Matrix had been aptly described as "the Bible meets Batman"! But any movie that brings millions face-to-face with Big Ideas and is this entertaining and captivating is ok by me.

Another reason you might not get clear Christian messages from the Matrix is that its really a melding together of many of the spiritual ideas from Christianity, Buddhism, Zen, existentialism, Gnosticism, Plato, and other philosophers. The Matrix insists that we are part of a larger living story, that miracles can happen, that individuals can play a part in their own redemption, and that death is not the end.

Then there's the images dripping with spiritual significance ... The matrix itself is an image of organized religion or a system that keeps people asleep, dreaming and docile. The agents are like devout members of religion that can't tolerate thought independent of prescribed religious principles and teaching. Thomas Anderson is an amalgamation of the disciple "doubting Thomas" and Anderson translates to "Son of Man". (By the way, I don't think we're supposed to believe that Neo is Jesus so much as take away some spiritual lessons by thinking of him in a Jesus-style role. Like John the Baptist, Morpheus (the Greek god of Dreams) does not claim to be the One but he knows he is coming and will recognize him. Cypher is both Satan the tempter (booze & bad advice) and Judas. Logos is the fastest ship in the fleet and also the Word of God. The crew of the Nebuchandnezzar are in that world but not of it. And in the story of Nebuchandnezzar, the crazy king of Babylon, there is hope and redemption.

The rejection of the first matrix because of its perfection is the Garden of Eden.
Dodging bullets on the rooftop is like Jesus 1st affirming miracle of turning water to wine. Rescuing Morpheus is akin to Jesus calling Lazarus from the dead. And the miracle of resurrection is shared. At the end of Revolutions, Neo's death at the hands of Agent Smith is his crucifixion where he becomes transcendent and a creature of pure light that bursts Agent Smith apart from within.

And,

Agreed. Neo is not Christ. Anyone who (even sort of) knows Christ could never make that mistake. He's only meant to be a "Christ-like" figure through whom spiritual messages and imagery can be conveyed.

The simplest essence of the messages of the Matrix is ... Belief and Choice. Here the Matrix reflects the same truths as the Bible ... with faith, all things are possible. (Morpheus to Neo ... that once he can rid his mind of doubt and fear, he will no longer have to dodge bullets). (Matthew 21:21-22)

And to go back to an earlier blog comment, I don't think I ever got around to the Oracle. She's cool. Here's why. The Oracle is a reflection of the Oracle of Delphi from Greek mythology. Inscribed at the site of the Oracle of Delphi was the inscription "Temet Nosce" or "know thyself" just like over the door in the Matrix. And the Delphi Oracle was said to inhale smoke which is why we always see the Matrix Oracle smoking. Finally, the Oracle at Delphi sat near a chasm from which "an inspiring vapor rose". Fresh cookies from the oven anyone!?!

She's not really the source of Neo's Wisdom as she is a mirror or guide to the wisdom that Neo has within himself. Even though the Oracle can see what Neo is going to do, Neo is still the one who makes the choices. (She never actually tells him what to do).

One last fun tidbit ... In the engine room of the Nebuchadnezzar, check out the plaque on the nuclear reactor (the power source) which says Mark III no.11 or "... they would fall down in front of him saying "You are the Son of God".

Can we see the gospel in The Matrix? I do, but that's just me. I think many others will. And others still will see deep questions that will stir some level of spiritual questioning that may become the seed for something great in their lives. But my mind goes back to what Neo reminds us of in the end and that is that "Choice is the problem". And belief is an ongoing choice. Commander Lock told Morpheus that "many do not believe as you believe" but Morpheus responded for all of the Christ-followers when he said "My beliefs do not require them to".

"I'm going to show them the truth, where we go with it depends on you".

Thanks Gord.


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good morning, vietnam II

Reality doesn't take a holiday just because its my blog day, I guess.

17 Soldiers Die as Two U.S. Helicopters Crash

I wonder how much appetite most Americans have for this... whatever it is. Apparently the war ended in May.

Any comments?

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one year later

Today is November 16, which means that yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog. How's that for tardy? I missed my own anniversary!

November 15, 2002
Let's journey together...
This is where I'll be sharing my thoughts on being a Christ follower in a postmodern world.
I hope we can talk! More later.

Thanks for journeying with me this far.

We've only just begun...

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November 14, 2003

o canada

Bono spoke at the Liberal convention in Toronto tonight...

Bono in TorontoBono thrilled the crowd at the convention and took full advantage of the television and radio exposure, urging Canada's politicians to increase their aid to Africa and the developing world. "Paul Martin thinks he likes me," said Bono, "but I'm going to be a real pain in the ass."

I love it.

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November 13, 2003

revolution

Pete, Rob and I saw The Matrix: Revolutions tonight. I liked it. We prepped for it by watching the first two movies again over the past couple of days.

I know there's been a lot out there lately about just what messages can be gleaned from the movie. Some say there's a lot of gospel messages, and some say none. Now, those who say there is little there have turned against those who disagree.

Here's my 2 cents worth: I don't care what messages were intended. If you can't see the Gospel everywhere out there, then something is wrong. God's fingerprints again.

Open your eyes and look around.

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room

Richard pointed me to the Daily Dig from Bruderhof:

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups, take your wife out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."

PS. Yes, Robert - Kokanee.

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one good thing

The Preacher is at denominational meetings. Do I need to say anything else?

The organization of people who want to do good things for Jesus grows until it can only be run by professionals and insiders who operate in a very tight, "good old boy" network. A person could make a career just learning how to negotiate this network, learning which hands to shake and which votes really matter. Soon, regular church people cannot comprehend the complexity of the organization, but they foot the bill for it. In an effort to keep the money coming, the insiders turn more and more of their efforts toward marketing the organization to their own people.

And later...

I think - and I'm just talking here, just talking behind a little curtain, just wondering and asking - I think maybe I'd like to do just ONE good thing for Jesus. You know, just one good thing and give all of myself to it.

Maybe writing Real Live Preacher is my one good thing; I don't know. I know that I don't really care about thousands of good things done for Jesus. I just want to do one good thing and do it well.

I wonder what would happen if everyone found one good thing to do in this world. I'm talking about regular people now, not organizations with videos and budgets and all of that. Just people; just you and me.

I think the Preacher is talking about what I was feeling in The Future.

My One Good Thing. That's what I want to do.


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what the heck...

... everybody's doing it.

churchsign.jpg

Check out the Church Sign Generator at A Boy And His Computer.

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November 11, 2003

in flanders' field

faces_old_young031111.jpg

Lest we forget.

In Flanders' Fields The Poppies Grow
Between The Crosses Row On Row
That Mark Our Place, And In The Sky
The Larks Still Bravely Singing, Fly
Scarce Heard Amid The Guns Below.

We Are The Dead, Short Days Ago
We Lived, Felt Dawn, Saw Sunset Glow.
Loved, And Were Loved, And Now We Lie
In Flanders' Fields.

Take Up Our Quarrel With The Foe,
To You From Failing Hands We Throw
The Torch : Be Yours To Hold It High !
If Ye Break Faith With Us Who Die
We Shall Not Sleep, Though Poppies Grow
In Flanders' Fields.

Colonel John McCrae

poppies_HP2.jpg

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November 10, 2003

the future

I've been thinking a lot about calling, purpose, mission and passion the past few days. I've never been so restless about where I'm at, yet sure about where I'm going, and excited about the possibilities.

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November 09, 2003

groan

Two questions for you:

1. Did I mention that this house we're staying at for the weekend has more Halloween candy in it than the local Walmart?

2. Would you agree with me that Rockets are the greatest candy known to human kind?

I have some pictures, but they have to wait to be uploaded until I get home.

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November 08, 2003

bliss

Sometimes I have to laugh at the circuitous routes we take to get to places right next to us.

Last year I returned from Emergent with my suitcase bursting at the seams with all the freebies we received. One book, The Blessed: A Sinner Reflects on Living The Christian Life I gave to a friend. It looks like a treatment of The Beatitudes. Well, Sue and I are staying at their place this weekend and watching their kids while they take off for a break. There was the book sitting on the coffee table this morning, so I picked it up and started to read...

"Spelunking for a deeper understanding of the word bliss resulted in my sense that at its root it's about largesse and suggests fullness and satisfaction, maybe a bit like the satisfaction an infant feels having been nursed and burped, ready to settle in for a peaceful little postprandial nap. It further suggests a sort of completion and integration, wholeness. Blessed are you. Filled. Satisfied. Whole. And free from worry. At rest and unaffected by the judgement of the people around you regarding the way you choose to live. It's been my experience that the real challenge of living in Christ is in doing so in a world that thinks you've lost your mind, a world that hears the word Christian and recoils at the caricature of a smarmy televangelist bilking widows out of their Social Security checks. I hate that. Frequently, after identifying myself as a Christian, I want to snag the person I'm talking to by the collar and quickly explain all that I am not before he beats a hasty retreat, presuming I am no doubt eager to return to work on my "I Hate Homosexuals" home page while I pitch aluminum cans into the nearest landfill. No one likes to be on the receiving end of prejudice, not even Christians."

This resonates for a couple of reasons. The petty reason is I think I've found a friend in the C-Word debate!

More importantly, it also brings to mind Eugene's comments regarding an "aggressive attentiveness" and apathy. We're supposed to be apathetic to "the judgement of the people around you regarding the way you choose to live." I love it!

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November 07, 2003

two worlds

Today I'm working at Global Action Canada's "headquarters" in Roberts Creek, which requires a brief ferry trip to get to. As well as the priviledge of watching the sun come up, I got to spend a few minutes with Philip Yancey and Rumours.

"The key, I have found, is to think of myself as an amphibian living in two different environments at once, physical and spiritual. In one, I breathe without thinking. In the other, I must set my mind to the task. It takes no effort to notice a gorgeous specimen of humanity or a neighbour's new sports car. It takes continuous effort to pay attention to a homeless person with a hand-lettered sign asking for food or a single mother with a disabled child who lives down the block.

Those who believe only in the visible world have a single proving ground of worth, and for this reason they celebrate beauty, success, wealth, talent - the values on prominent display at the magazine rack. The winners who excel get an ample reward in our celebrity culture.

On the other hand, if I believe in two worlds I will look on the same values differently. With gratitude I accept the grace of athletes, the beauty of supermodels, the talent of successful people as God's gifts. God is, after all, the creator and sustainer of all good things on this earth. At the same time, I ask that my eyes be opened to a different kind of beauty, one that lies beneath the surface, as manifest in the Elephant Man. Those who have no chance for success in the visble world may, after all, lead the way in God's kingdom."

It occured to me as I looked out the window at the majestic mountains rising out of the sea that perhaps I had a slight advantage. Surrounded by this beauty surely it must be easier for me to see "both worlds".

Then I realized that was a platitude - a cop out even. I can say that, and still go through my day relecting the values of the visible world instead of the unseen.

I too pray "that my eyes be opened to a different kind of beauty, one that lies beneath the surface..."

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November 06, 2003

I can see clearly...

Bob Carlton down on The Corner gave me my morning smile today - Actually, he made me spit my coffee out - so I thought I'd pass it on...


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November 05, 2003

mike yaconelli III

Youth Specialties has a wonderful "sub site" honouring Mike and his work. There are a few more details on the accident, articles and a look at what others have been saying.

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o praise Him

God's Fingerprints From Mount Seymour

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Allelu-u-ia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in heav'n along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

(I took this shot about 2 hours ago up on Mount Seymour. Check out my fotopage for a couple others.)

Posted by mike at 06:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

introducing global action canada ministries

It's time to come out of the closet... so to speak.

Many of you have been asking us about "the ministry" that brought us out of our former lives back in Ontario and out here to Beautiful British Columbia. Well, our web site (one of the many things on my list of responsibilities) is now in sufficient enough shape to give you a peak.

LT, Jeb and Jordon at Prairie Fusion have got us up and running, and I have enough of the content loaded that I'm comfortable giving you a peak and asking for feedback.

So, without further delay I give you Global Action Canada Ministries.

You'll note right away that there are still some gaps in the content. That being said, I'd like your reactions to what is there.

Does it give you an idea of what we're about?
What questions does it raise?

So, you can leave a comment here or send a note to mikeATglobalactioncanadaDOTorg.

Any and all feedback appreciated.

Posted by mike at 12:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

"i'm going mobile..."

Well, it finally happened - I'm blogging from the balcony!

We just got the wi-fi gear we brought with us from Ontario hooked up (thanks Bill!). We even cheated a little. The wireless router is hooked up to the desktop, and I've got the little USB adaptor we used on the second desktop hanging out of the back of this laptop. It ain't pretty, but it works!

So here I am watching the ships go by. It's a little chilly right now, but the sun is so bright I'm getting a sunburn sitting here. Yeah - this is going to be good.

For those of you who were thinking that we already had it too good... well, we just kicked it up a notch!

The Raven Woods Office

Posted by mike at 11:45 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 04, 2003

Christian ethics

I've been feeling a little uncomfortable since posting Good Morning, Vietnam 2 days ago.

Almost immediately I felt like I needed to add an explanation - not because of the content of the linked article, but because of what my posting it represented - a shot at the administration that lied its way into this mess. Despite appearances (and a degree in Political Science) I have no desire to be a "political pundit" blogger. If that's your thing, then great - go crazy. Besides, there are plenty of good ones out there already. When I post on political issues its (usually) for a specific reason. And the last few days I've felt very strongly that I've needed to share that reason with you. This morning Fred Clark points us to an article that very clearly articulates my feelings and, I might add, contributes to the discussion Robert has beed fascilitating at Robert On The C-word.

In Matthew 5:13, we find this: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

I would be less pained by the Bush administration if it did not profess to be Christian, called to restore morality to the White House and, in the recent words of a much-quoted general, placed in office by God himself.

Other writers can talk about how policies of the Bush White House starve the hungry, harm the widow and orphan and discomfort the prisoner. That is not my aim today. I am simply trying to teach my son to tell the truth, and I'd appreciate it if the president of the United States would give me a little backup.

(You can read Telling Lies in a Christian White House by Greg Garrett over at Ethics Daily.com)

So there you have it. The reason I am all over GWB is because in my humble opinion he's a lousy poster boy for Christians. Is that being judgemental? Probably. Is it being fair? Probably. I am not interested in politics for politics sake. (There goes 4 years down the drain...) I am somewhat interested in politics as the subject relates to the ongoing building of the Kingdom "on Earth, as it is in Heaven." I am tragically interested in politics when the politicians in question thump their Bibles and loudly proclaim themselves "Christians".

Just as I'm about ready to throw in the towel and accept the label "Christian", I read about some other mutation of the Gospel coming out of the White House.

Posted by mike at 01:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

on top of grouse mountain

I took my camera with my this morning as I went out to do the Grouse Grind this morning. (It was -2C on top, but a beautiful morning.)

I've updated my fotopage with the images, but thought I'd show you this one...

000_0009a.jpg

Yep, nothing between me and this 600 lb brute (and his 400 lb friend) but 20 feet of open space. Oh yeah... and an electric fence.

Posted by mike at 12:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 03, 2003

the grains of sand

Wow - this is a mesmerizing 9 minutes. Is anyone familiar with the soundtrack?

(Thanks to Rachel for the link)

Posted by mike at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

C-word II

For those of you who may have missed it, Robert has a great conversation going on down at Robert On The C-word. Make sure to swing by and put in your 2 cents worth.

Posted by mike at 04:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2003

if...

If My people, who are called by My name,
· will humble themselves, and
· pray, and
· seek My face, and
· turn from their wicked ways,

then will I
· hear from Heaven, and
· forgive their sin, and
· heal their land.

(2 Chronicles 7:14)

So why doesn't it happen more often with me, with you, with all of us?
One word, 2 letters:

I f.

Posted by mike at 09:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

good morning, vietnam

This makes me want to cry...

At Least 15 Killed When U.S. Helicopter Shot Down
Troops Bound for Leave From Iraq When Attacked

By Tini Tran
Associated Press Writer
Sunday, November 2, 2003; 11:10 AM

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Insurgents shot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter over western Iraq on Sunday as it carried troops headed for R&R, killing 15 soldiers and wounding 21 in the deadliest single strike against American troops since the start of war....

Posted by mike at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 01, 2003

make me whole

You're the keeper of my soul
Through every drought and storm
When life leaves me worn and cold
You shelter me and peace flows

Breath of God spring new life
Spirit move through my bones
Holy love embrace me
Stir my heart, wake my soul
Bring new life and make me whole

You're the light in my dark
Through seasons all alone
When my strength wanes and fails me
You carry me when I can't walk

Rachel Milstead

Posted by mike at 11:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack