January 31, 2004

and the winner is...

I spent a lot of time yesterday wandering around looking at a lot of displays from a lot of missions-oriented ministries.

About all I want to say right now is this:

We should ban the use of the phrase "winning souls to Christ", or any of the many variations out there.

Posted by mike at 01:20 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

January 29, 2004

prayer

I've been thinking a lot about prayer the last few weeks. My spiritual director is coaching me on the ways of contemplative prayer. I've been trying to observe the daily offices for the past several weeks. (Well, to be specific, I'm usually good for morning prayer, anyway.)

I said to our (home church/small group/community/whatever) the other night that I've been challenged by my own hypocrisy - I claim that God is everywhere, indeed, His Holy Spirit is in me, yet I pray like I'm placing a long distance call to someone on the other side of the country.

"Hello, God? It's me. Got a second?"

I don't want that. I want to revel in His presence at all times. (That's what our "whatever" group is going to work at, BTW. Spiritual transformation through the practicing of spiritual disciplines. I'm looking forward to it.)

Back to prayer and my hypocrisy.

Last week while up at our ministry house (where there's usually at least 100 emails in the InBox), I saw one (of several) asking for prayer. Bob is on the mission field and is ill, and in need of prayer. Timmy fell down a well and needs our prayers. Please pass this email on to everyone you can think of so they can pray for Bob and Timmy too. You know the type I'm talking about. Spiritual spam. Chain prayers. Thank goodness Bob fell ill in the age of the internet, 'cause now there's be so many of us praying for him that God will have to heal him. Somehow I don't think that's the way it works.

On the flipside, today I was driving through one of the more questionable parts of Vancouver. I had picked up a supply of prayer journals (how's that for ironic) from our publisher to bring with us to Missions Fest tomorrow. As I waited at a red light a young girl carrying a baby crossed the street, and I started to pray for her. Nothing fancy, mind you. Just that she would have a good day, that whatever her circumstances were perhaps God would show Himself to her in a real way, that she wouldn't fall down a well - that type of thing. I felt good doing that.

I'm not sure I'll ever understand how it works. Regardless, I want to get to the point where I'm speaking with God throughout the day, as we travel together. As God and I drive through East Vancouver I'll point some folks out to Him. Who knows, maybe there's room for Bob and Timmy too.

UPDATE: I finished this post and stumbled upon ThursdayPM, which looks to be my new personal favorite. Here's what Rachelle has to say on the subject:

I once took a course on prayer with Eugene Peterson. When he came to our small group, I told him that I thought my prayers were just worrying in front of God. (I had read something by Richard Foster which indicated this was a no-no so I was... worried.) Eugene's face did this wonderful thing where all of his skin instantaneously gathers upwards towards his temples in an all encompassing smile. Then he said, "Worrying in front of God. I like that. Well, thatfs just fine. Just. Fine. But one thing you can also do is ask what the Trinity is already doing for the people you are worrying over. Ask what the three of them are cooking up and see if you can get in on it." That is a big phrase for Eugene "get in on it." He's always encouraging us to pay attention to stories, ours and God's, and make sure we're aware of how we're in on it.

Wow. (Anybody who once took a prayer course from Eugene Peterson is instantly a friend of mine!) Read the rest of the post here.

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not deceitful... just stupid

I've been reading about Tony Blair and his WMD fiasco.

Over at signposts Phil's been posting here and here, and Fred Clark, aka the slacktivist, cuts to the chase in his usual manner here. (If you're not reading Fred regularly this is just more evidence that you should be.)

It's embarrassing that being proven an idiot instead of a liar is vindication in politics. (Fred's theory of Reagan's bind is dead-on in this regard.)

Posted by mike at 06:28 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

rest in peace III

I wanted to follow this story through...

Cpl. James Murphy

Solemn ceremony as soldier killed in Afghanistan returns to Canada

TRENTON, ONT. - The flag-draped casket of Cpl. Jamie Murphy arrived at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday.

Under a partly cloudy sky, eight grim-faced pallbearers slowly carried the casket to a waiting hearse as guards of honour gave the body its proper salute.

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you're welcome, jeff

Amazon was profitable last year for the first time in it's history.

I think I know why.
2 words:

Mike

Todd

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January 28, 2004

rest in peace II

Murphy 2.bmp

Canadian soldiers pay tribute to fallen comrade

KABUL - Canadian soldiers gathered under falling snow at their main base in Kabul on Wednesday to pay tribute to Cpl. Jamie Murphy.

Canadian soldiers in Kabul salute the flag-draped casket of Cpl. Jamie Murphy, who was killed by a suicide bomber on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

Murphy was killed in an attack by a suicide bomber on Tuesday while patrolling near the Afghan capital.

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January 27, 2004

higher

On my list of things to do today was burn a CD for my wife Sue. She wanted a "driving disk", and was quite clear about the type of tunes she wanted on it. Everyone who knows Sue knows that she is timid and meek behind the wheel, so she wanted a compilation that would get her heart rate up.

I can't even type that with a straight face.

Anyway, Track 1 on Sue's Road Rage CD is Higher, from Creed.

When dreaming I'm guided to another world
Time and time again
At sunrise I fight to stay asleep
'Cause I don't want to leave the comfort of this place
'Cause there's a hunger, a longing to escape
From the life I live when I'm awake
So let's go there
Let's make our escape
Come on, let's go there
Let's ask can we stay?

Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets

Although I would like our world to change
It helps me to appreciate
Those nights and those dreams
But, my friend, I'd sacrifice all those nights
If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same
The only difference is
To let love replace all our hate
So let's go there
Let's make our escape
Come on, let's go there
Let's ask can we stay?

Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets

Up high I feel like I'm alive for the very first time
Set up high I'm strong enough to take these dreams
And make them mine

(Written by Tremonti/Stapp Published by Tremonti/Stapp Music)

Amen, boys.
Amen.

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one house

I've just added Karen Neudorf's excellent blog to my Fellow Travelers Roll.
"An exploration of the contemplative life"... Karen, you're talking my language!

(Karen is also the editor of Beyond magazine, which has a cool site too.)

Posted by mike at 03:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

rest in peace

Murphy.bmp

Family grieves lost son in Afghan bomb blast

CONCEPTION HARBOUR, NFLD. - The parents of a Canadian soldier killed in a bombing in Afghanistan say they had been looking forward to their son returning home to Newfoundland after his six-month tour of duty.

"We were counting the days, and so was his father, on the calendar," said Alice Murphy, mother of Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy.

The 26-year-old soldier from Conception Harbour, Nfld. was killed Tuesday near Kabul when a suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body reportedly jumped on one of two Iltis jeeps carrying six Canadian soldiers on patrol.

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January 26, 2004

the city

I've recently come across Rick's fotopage. He lives here in Vancouver and takes incredible shots. Check him out.

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the passion

As the release approaches, I'm looking forward to seeing this movie.

The Passion of The Christ

It would be an understatement to say that I've never seen a movie that has caused such a stir, even before it is released publically. Everyone has an opinion. Even my own little post on the movie from last year still gets the odd comment... and I emphasize the word "odd".

Here's a couple of excerpts from an email a good friend of mine received recently. The writer will remain nameless (because I don't have permission to reproduce the email), but some of you would recognize the name if I told you. What makes it even more moving is the fact that the author is from the heart of Big "E" evangelicalism. (Go ahead and ask me what I mean by that comment if you need to.)

"This movie changed our lives forever. The room was full of the sound of weeping and loud sobbing, including our own."

"The room was silent as the movie ended and even as Mel walked down the aisle of the chapel people remained completely stunned by the film. After he was formally introduced, everyone stood and applauded him loudly. He so graciously answered each question, and was very candid with us. It was very apparent, though there was a huge absence of "christian lingo" coming from his mouth (breath of fresh air...thank you) that he has a deep relationship with God, he believes that Jesus is the Messiah, and that he's coming back to get his people."

"I fell in love with Jesus on Monday night. Either for the first time, or all over again. It is so amazing that the same King who endured that cross and was broken for me, lives inside of me! I am in Him and He is in me."

Posted by mike at 05:32 PM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

January 25, 2004

life imitates art

I went walking through Deep Cove and Cates Park this morning, and took my camera along. (I put a few more on the fotopage, which I've been neglecting...)

Sometimes I can be dumb as a stump. I took these shots because I thought they were poignant. Then I got home and realized they reminded me of a certain someone's blog.

No Lifeguard2 (small).jpg No Lifeguard (small).jpg

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blogtalk

blogtalk

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January 24, 2004

women

There's been some great conversation going on the past few days around the issue of women in ministry/leadership, particularly within the context of the emerging church.

As some of you know, this hits close to home. In our work with Global Action Canada we address the issue of suffering women, down the street and around the world. What we have found, somewhat to our surprise, is that a lot of our time now is spent working with the church. As we looked to the church to be the place of safety and healing that it should be, we found instead that it was part of the problem, not the solution. Go figure.

Maggi Dawn has a couple of good posts on the subject, and points to some of the others that are carrying on the conversation.

BTW - For one of the clearest articles on one of the most "problematic" scripture passages, read through Gordon Fee's The Cultural Context of Ephesians 5:18 - 6:9

Posted by mike at 08:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

liturgy

For those of you in the Vancouver area who may be interested...

Fairview Church and Vancouver Arts Network present
Arts Liturgy & Contemplative Liturgy

Saturday Feb. 7 @ 7 pm
The Troubles I've Seen: The Spiritual Life of Suffering
with blues singer Ruth McGillivray & guitarist Sheldon Bradley

Saturday Feb. 21 @ 7 pm
Meditiations from St. John of the Cross
with musicians from the Vancouver Arts Network

Saturday Mar. 6 @ 7 pm
The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of Henri Nouwen
with Steve & Jeff Imbach

Saturday Mar. 20 @ 7 pm
Meditations from Eugene Peterson
with musicians from the Vancouver Arts Network

Saturday Apr. 3 @ 7 pm
Embodied Prayer
with dancer Celeste Snowber and music improvisations

Saturday Apr. 17 @ 7 pm
Meditations from Brother Roger of Taize
with musicians from the Vancouver Arts Network

Fairview is located at 1708 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver. 604-731-3211

Posted by mike at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

things to come

I have a bad habit that I'm trying to kick - reading too many books at the same time. That being said, I've just finished reading the first chapter of The Shaping of Things to Come, by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch.

I read it so I could legitimately recommend that you download the first chapter, which the publishers have made available. I'd heard enough about the book from several bloggers out there, especially the ones Down Under, to know that I would enjoy it, but I wanted to be sure.

Download it and read it. The book looks like a serious read, but I have a feeling it is going to be worth it.

Yeah... the missional church. That's a church I want to be a part of.

Posted by mike at 09:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 21, 2004

dreams

I Have a Dream...

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adventures

I'm really enjoying Adventures in Missing The Point by Campolo and McLaren. And why wouldn't I? The authors are two of my favorites, and oddly enough, I've had a little personal interaction with both of them.

Last year I posted on how I invited myself down to Spencerville, Maryland for lunch with Brian McLaren (which I wrote about here, here and here.) As I read over those posts it strikes me as odd that I didn't write about the most overpowering memory from that lunch that remains with me today. One of those posts listed a couple of questions I had for Brian, but there were a lot more. As I fired them at him, he got more and more animated.

"Yeah, yeah! Now you're talking!"
"You're getting at the important questions now!"

And as I sat there eagerly awaiting "the answers", he went back to his burritos. Then it hit me: he wasn't going to give me the answers. In fact, it was the questions that were more important. Man, that was quite a lesson. I've been trying to spend more time on questions and less on answers ever since.

Tony Campolo is also a fascinating person. As some of you know, I worked with World Vision Canada for a year prior to moving out here to Vancouver. It's kind of an odd thing - in the US Tony does some work with Compassion, and doesn't have a relationship with World Vision US. (I have a feeling he's a little too "liberal" for them, but I could be wrong.) But in Canada he's a good friend to World Vision, and he speaks on their behalf 6 or 10 times a year.

In 2002 I traveled to several of these presentations. Tony is one of these unique personalities who is dynamic, entertaining and captivating on the stage, and an incredible introvert off it. I remember driving with him to a church (I think we were in Calgary), and asking him questions. He was polite, and actually funny in is responses, but he just stared at his feet as he talked. I've met a few people like that. Clearly his gift is speaking, and it takes a lot out of him.

The other memory I have is of his intelligence, and his study habits. While in some other city (don't ask me which one), my boss and I met in the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Tony was sitting at a table by himself across the room, and so engrossed in what he was doing that he never looked up. He was eating his breakfast, and had 4 books open and spread across the table. We already knew that he was in the middle of writing 3 books at the same time, and he was feverishly reading and scribbling notes. His personal time was very important to him - we all knew better than to go over and talk to him.

Back then Tony kept a travel schedule that would kill a normal human being. It was during that year that he had a stroke, and had to slow down. We joked about his new schedule - how for him it was greatly reduced, but it would still be too much for most "normal" people. When I think of the impact that "story" can have, I think of Tony C. He's an incredible man, and his thinking on the "social gospel" has helped to change my views considerably.

Posted by mike at 12:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 20, 2004

24

Darren is off and blogging on his 24 hour blogathon. Swing by and maybe take him a coffee...

Posted by mike at 09:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

faith

Faith's power and certainty does not lie in the strength and persistence of our belief, but in the faithfulness of God.

Jack Ellul

Posted by mike at 09:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

that's a lot of big macs

Salvation Army's golden arches
Estate of McDonald's heiress to donate $1.5B in one of largest charitable gifts ever.
January 20, 2004: 10:56 AM EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The estate of McDonald's Corp. heiress Joan Kroc will donate more than $1.5 billion in cash to the Salvation Army, in one of the largest individual charitable gifts ever, the charity confirmed Tuesday.

Posted by mike at 08:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 19, 2004

follow

Len is posting about a great conversation he recently had with his daughter.

"Dad, why do we emphasize what we don't do in order to be a christian ... instead of what we DO do..?"

"I'm tired of hearing, "read your bible pray every day and you'll grow, grow, grow," anymore. It's important, but it's not the heart of it is it?"

And listen to this:

Richard Rohr, in "Hope Against Darkness," comments that Jesus never called us to worship Him; He called us to follow Him. We can quibble about the distinction.. I quibbled the first time I read Rohr. But his point is that we love to gather and have religious experiences.. we are less ready to take those religious experiences into the world of dust and matter and smell. We are less ready to stop by the side of the road to help the broken of the world. To this day I am basically self-centered and protective of my space. I am too slow to sacrifice myself to make a difference.

That one really made me stop and think.

(No permalinks. Checl out his second Monday, January 19th, 2004 post.)

Posted by mike at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

how do you spell relief?

Since when is an NGO (non-governmental organization) an arm of the US government?

On May 21 in Washington, Andrew Natsios, the head of USaid, gave a speech blasting US NGOs for failing to play a role many of them didn't realise they had been assigned: doing public relations for the US government. According to InterAction, the network of 160 relief and development NGOs, Natsios was "irritated" that starving and sick Iraqi and Afghan children didn't realise that their food and vaccines were coming to them courtesy of George Bush. From now on, NGOs had to do a better job of link ing their humanitarian assistance to US foreign policy and making it clear that they are "an arm of the US government". If they didn't, InterAction reported, "Natsios threatened to personally tear up their contracts and find new partners".

What's even more pathetic is the fact that Andrew Natsios is a former "vice president of World Vision". Knowing their hiring habits as I do, I'm fairly confidant in saying that Natsios is a Christian.

Sigh.

(Link from JJ)

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off the map roadtrip

I'm going to driving down to Seattle next month for the Off The Map Roadshow. Anybody else attending?

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resources

Top 10 Open Source Tools for eActivism

Some of these may be of use to some of you.

Posted by mike at 03:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2004

a quick break...

...from "working". In addition to being the mission house for Global Action Canada, Linwood House also serves as a place of retreat for various church groups.

This weekend we're serving the youth staff of Tsawwassen Alliance Church. It's hard to describe - a lot of work, and a blessing too.

OK - back to work.

Posted by mike at 02:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 16, 2004

refuse

Take out the trash!

You know you're in the country when this is what they mean when they ask you to take out the trash.

Posted by mike at 08:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

God sings

Your GOD is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.
Zephaniah 3:17

I love that verse - God sings over us!
Yes, even me!

Posted by mike at 05:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

what?

I'd say this was a bit of a surprise... but you'd expect that from me.




"[To] serve God properly we must learn to give up our own wills, thoughts, and desires. Why?
Because otherwise we will be wise in our own conceits and will imagine that we can serve
God with this or that, and thus spoil everything."
You are John Calvin!

You're the most intellectual and thoroughly intense theologian on the block. You know what you're talking about and you recommend people to ignore you at their own risk.
Yeah, baby, you know your stuff. You speak in riddles and confuse people for fun. Still,
this hurts your social skills a lot... and you end up always appearing arrogant and rude.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

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debate

The beginning of a debate
by Jim Wallis

We were quite overwhelmed with the response to my December 28 Sunday New York Times op-ed, titled "Putting God Back in Politics." The Times ran several letters to the editor, it created a vigorous dialogue in their chat room, and we received hundreds of e-mails ourselves - the vast majority positive. Nearly 20 other newspapers have either reprinted the piece or quoted it. We've learned it was discussed by several Democratic candidates and their staffs, and a dialogue with them has already begun. We also heard from the White House. Obviously, the topic of religion, moral values, and the election struck a nerve.

Since then, other media outlets have taken up the "religion question" and begun pressing candidates on their views. I've done several talk shows, and, in an interview on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor," I was amazed to hear host Bill O'Reilly concede that poverty and the environment were issues with religious dimensions. Beliefnet has helpfully published profiles of the religious backgrounds and perspectives of all the presidential candidates, and a debate is beginning on what all that does and should mean in this critical election year.

What I am saying in interviews is that the particular religiosity of a candidate, or even how devout they might be, is less important than how their religious and/or moral commitments and values shape their political vision and their policy commitments. If one's religious and ethical convictions don't shape a candidate's (or a citizen's) public life, what kind of commitments are they? Yet in a democratic and pluralistic society, we don't want to evaluate candidates by which denomination or faith tradition they belong to (and only vote for the candidate in our group) or how often they attended church or synagogue (like a tally of votes missed by a member of Congress), but rather to understand the moral compass they bring to their public lives and how their convictions shape their political priorities.

There are already positive signs. While Howard Dean's initial forays into religion were clumsy at best (surely someone on his staff must have known that his "favorite New Testament book" of Job was, in fact, in the Old Testament), his concern about losing our "sense of community" in America is a deeply moral and religious one. Perhaps knowing what is contained in the books of the Bible is ultimately more important than knowing where they all are! Dick Gephardt is talking in Iowa about health care as a "moral issue," and John Edwards is sounding like a preacher when he declares that poverty is not only an economic concern, but is "about right and wrong," and that "poverty reduction is a moral responsibility." Joe Lieberman seems to be regaining his religious voice when he speaks about the poor, and John Kerry is talking about a "broken value system," and not just his war record. At least a few journalists think that Wesley Clark seems to be more comfortable than some of his colleagues about relating his faith journey to social justice. Dennis Kucinich has spoken of his moral values all along, and of course, Rev. Al Sharpton speaks like the Pentecostal preacher he is. All this is good. When George Bush starts campaigning in earnest, he may also have to be more explicit about how his personal faith applies to those same social issues.

In the midst of this discussion, former Christian Coalition leader and 700 Club host Pat Robertson sailed into the fray by telling his television audience: "I think George Bush is going to win in a walk. I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord that it's going to be a blowout election in 2004. The Lord has just blessed him. ...It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad; God picks him up because he's a man of prayer...."

Robertson and his comrade Jerry Falwell have become dependable media sources of outrageous or just plain stupid remarks about religion. Neither has deliverable constituencies anymore, but they have become ludicrous foils for those journalists eager to discredit religion. Having once claimed to control the direction of a hurricane and that liberals and feminists were the ones truly responsible for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, Robertson's powers of discernment regarding the outcome of this election may cause some to doubt his certainty. More important, the public conversation about religious and moral values in this election year might have the potential to be a serious and thoughtful discussion, leaving the Robertsons and Falwells as the humorous asides they deserve to be.

(via SojoMail 1.14.2004)

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people doing what they can...

... and some can do a lot!

U2 Sermons is posting about the U2 tribute CD In The Name of Love, which comes out later this month. 50 cents from each CD is going to a village in Zambia through World Vision.

Some can sing, some can buy goats...

(BTW my sister picked up a copy of the book in Toronto yesterday for me - it's on it's way!)

Posted by mike at 08:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

shhh II

Unquestionably, part of our failure today is religious activity that is not preceded by aloneness, by inactivity. I mean getting alone with God and waiting in silence and quietness until we are charged with God's Spirit. Then, when we act, our activity really amounts to something because we have been prepared by God for it....

A.W. Tozer
Faith Beyond Reason

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January 15, 2004

brrr

I just received an eMail from my sister Lynne talking about the snow that fell on them yesterday and last night.

Gord at work...

That's my brother-in-law Gord manning the snowblower. Geez Gord, at least you've got one! I should point out, for the uninitiated, that Lynne and Gord bought their home in Oakville, Ontario from us when we moved out here to Vancouver. I shovelled that driveway by hand last winter, hence the limited sympathy from me! Just kidding. Looking good, Gord!

January 15 in Oakville, Ontario

This one is a shot out the front door of the house. Don't let the blue sky fool you - I can almost feel the cold!

Almost.

January 15 in Roberts Creek, BC

Sorry - I couldn't resist. We just ran outside (I'm at our ministry house in Roberts Creek for a few days) and took this shot for comparison purposes.

Have a good one - and keep digging!

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shhh

I do not believe it is stretching a point at all to say that we will most often hear from God in those times when we are silent.

A.W. Tozer,
Christ the Eternal Son

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radical or recreational

Steve points us to an article called Is Your Christianity Radical or Recreational?, and while the article itself was focused more on the Big "E" than on Kingdom living, the thinking it generated was challenging.

rad·i·cal \ra-di-k&l\ a 1: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground b: of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root c: of or relating to a mathematical root d: designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue

(UPDATED: Here's a better definition from the American Heritage Dictionary, compliments of Jocelyn:

Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme: radical opinions on education.
Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions: radical political views.)

recreational \re-krE·fA·shen·al \ a of, having the nature of, or providing recreation

rec·re·a·tion \re-krE-fA-shen\ n 1. refreshment in body or mind, as after work, by some form of play, amusement, or relaxation 2. any form of play, amusement, or relaxation used for this purpose, as games, sports, hobbies, etc.

And here's a great line:

Too many in the church today have turned Christianity, which ought to be our greatest passion, into a pastime.

Posted by mike at 08:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 14, 2004

the lost message

In my surfing yesterday (no, not that kind of surfing), I came across church.co.uk (love the mouse on the wheel), and read chapter one of The Lost Message of Jesus.

It looks like Mr. Amazon Man is going to be paying me another visit as soon as this one is out. Do yourself a favour and download chapter one for a quick read. The message isn't new, but I find it so encouraging to hear.

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January 13, 2004

my blog cards...

...are here!

Waving Or Drowning? Cards!

This was a truly global collaboration. As I pointed out a couple of days ago, Rachel (Auckland, New Zealand) created the Waving image some time ago. My good friend Brandon (Kingston, Canada) completed the design of the card and printed them for me.

Time to start flashing these babies around town.

Posted by mike at 06:53 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

the knowledge of God

From tomorrow's Tozer piece...

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
--Hebrews 5:12

Probably the most widespread and persistent problem to be found among Christians is the problem of retarded spiritual progress. Why, after years of Christian profession, do so many persons find themselves no farther along than when they first believed?...

The causes of retarded growth are many. It would not be accurate to ascribe the trouble to one single fault. One there is, however, which is so universal that it may easily be the main cause: failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God....

The Christian is strong or weak depending upon how closely he has cultivated the knowledge of God....

Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.

"Lord, I'd like to devote the remaining years of my life and ministry to the 'holy task of cultivating God.' Help me to know You first, and then out of the overflow of that growing knowledge can come whatever ministry You choose to bless me with. Amen."

A.W. Tozer - The Root of the Righteous

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this...

moose.bmp

...happens all the time in Canada.

(Link from Bene Diction)

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blogathon

Darren is going to blog for 24 hours straight for a worthy cause. Swing by and show him some love!

Posted by mike at 08:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

still more goats

The hits just keep on coming. Darryl sent me an email today letting me know that someone at Richview Baptist purchased another goat, a rooster and two hens (good odds) through World Vision.

I think Richview is going to rezone for livestock soon. Way to go!

Posted by mike at 06:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

screening II

While we're on the subject (sort of), I just came across this letter from Monica to George. Anyone care to respond in George's place?

Link via Signposts.

Posted by mike at 02:03 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

most americans

If you're not swinging by Fred Clark's blog on a regular basis you really should. Lifeboats For First Class Passengers caught my eye, especially given my previous life in the investment business.

Most Americans have more debt on their credit cards than money in their mutual funds.

Crenshaw's article -- like the majority of "business" and "personal finance" journalism -- seems utterly irrelevant for a nation in which this is true.

Most Americans have more debt on their credit cards than money in their mutual funds.

A tax-cut plan that increases 401(k) contribution limits beyond the means or dreams of the majority of workers is irrelevant and regressively redistributive in a nation in which this is true.

Most Americans have more debt on their credit cards than money in their mutual funds.

Write that on postcards and send it to your representatives and your local paper. Scream it back at the television. Spraypaint it on a wall.

Posted by mike at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

mayhem moments

Jeremiah Smith has posted his notes from Mayhem over the weekend. Looks like it was good!

Posted by mike at 08:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

shark dolphin

Surf's Up?

Robert sent me this photo that's been making the rounds. It's an amazing shot - can anyone think of an appropriate caption?!

(I can't tell if that's Hamo on the board or not...)

UPDATE: What - no bites? : )

Posted by mike at 08:32 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

screening


The Grand Seminaire de Montreal, a Catholic seminary, this fall will begin requiring all men who apply to study to become priests to take an HIV test, the Montreal Gazette reports. The Rev. Marcel Demers said that a positive HIV test will "sound an alarm bell" that an applicant could be a man who has sex with men, according to the Gazette. HIV-positive applicants will be asked how they were infected, and if they say that they were infected by having sex with a man, the seminary "will try to see what really is the person's calling," Demers said. Demers added that MSM would not be "automatically refused" admittance to the seminary, but he said that their chances for acceptance would be "slim," according to the Gazette. "It's not that Jesus wanted homophobia," Demers said, adding, "But we also realize that this profile doesn't lend itself as well to what we require of a priest." Demers added that the church believes MSM "have a harder time" remaining celibate than men who do not.

(Link via kaisernetwork.org)

Posted by mike at 08:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 10, 2004

bye bye bike

I still have blogger's block (to call it writer's block would be a gross exaggeration of what I do here...), but I'll try to piece together enough one and two syllable words to tell you about my "loss". TCR 2.bmp

Yesterday I answered a knock at the door to find out that our storage locker downstairs in the underground parking lot was one of 10 to be broken into. 3 cars were also burglarized. I went down with the caretaker to find that nothing had been taken from our locker. Not even my mountain bike and racing bike (pictured above)! Woohoo!! Others weren't as fortunate, although it seems they couldn't take anything large - skiis, snowboards and bikes were untouched. The police showed up and dusted for fingerprints.

Skip to 2 am this morning when Sue and I got home from a late night with friends. As we drove through the underground I actually took a quick look at the door to the locker room. Nothing unusual.

Skip to 6:30 am when my friend Rob picked me up for a day of construction. Last night he picked me up a new padlock for our locker while he was out at Home Depot, so while he waited outside I ran down to the locker room to put the lock on.

Guess what?

Two nights in a row, and this time my beloved racing bike was gone.

I loved that bike. It may sound goofy, but God and I had some good quality time on that bike.

Man, that sucks.


Posted by mike at 07:31 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

January 08, 2004

our princess robert

January, 2004 012.jpg

Even without writer's block this defies description. Except to say that he is very blessed. (That's Robert in the middle...)

Posted by mike at 07:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

why i go to church

But can you drive it through the eye of a needle?

According to the Houston Chronicle, Kelly Haskins, a member of Abundant Life Christian Center, won a $17,000 Plymouth PT Cruiser at the church's New Year's Eve service in a drawing designed to encourage church attendance. Another of the church's 4,000 members won a $9,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

(Link via Sojourners)

Posted by mike at 01:55 PM | Comments (35) | TrackBack

January 07, 2004

still here

So I'm sitting here staring at this thing, thinking I should write something. Except I can't think of anything. The well has run dry. Talk among yourselves until I get back!

Posted by mike at 07:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

emergent 2004

Woohoo - just booked the hotel for Emergent 2004. I am getting excited!

Who else is planning on going to San Diego?

Posted by mike at 12:56 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

nothing else to say

blog cartoon 1.bmp

Posted by mike at 09:19 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 01, 2004

flicks

Sue and I are just back from The Last Samurai. I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan, but he was very good. The scenery was incredible. (It was also violent, for those of you with weak stomachs.) We loved it - redemption is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Also, we ushered in the New Year last night watching Whale Rider, which was fantastic. I think we need to see that one again - what a powerful story.

Posted by mike at 07:03 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

change II

Speaking of change, I've been messing around with the sidebar a little today.

We've retired the goat campaign for another year, so the photo is gone. (Keep in mind though the great work that World Vision and others are doing!) The Vancouver weather has moved down with the CBC News.

Rachel gave me the great Waving or Drowning? image that now rests at the top of the sidebar. I've kind of wrecked it by putting the text in it, but I wanted to find a better way of giving you my eMail address. If I knew what I was doing I'd remake the whole template with that imagery - I love it. Thanks Rachel!

I've added the Daily Office, as provided by the Northumbria Community. Since getting my copy of Celtic Daily Prayer from Bill Bean I'm trying to make it a practice.

I think it's going to be a good year.

Posted by mike at 01:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

change

"Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future."
Kathleen Norris

"Every moment of one's existence is growing into more or retreating into less."
Norman Mailer

Posted by mike at 01:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack