May 31, 2004

peace

I just finished Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger.

If you love good writing you need to read this book. Beautiful.

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post path

The Path for men - the album cover!

Well, 24 hours later I suppose I should say something.

First, thanks to the other 7 guys on the album cover. Up until this point The Path has been for women, so kudos to the guys for being up for the experiment. And what a success it was! I can't describe to you what it was like, but words such as authenticity, honesty and transparency give a clue to the atmosphere.

And thanks to Idelette and Dr. Faith for being the other willing participants in the experiment. I don't know how many of these workshops Idelette has facilitated for women, but it took a lot of courage to step up to the plate with 10 guys sitting there.

I really am at a loss to say much about this sacred event. I don't want to give the impression that I am a believer in that famous non-scripture verse, "The Good Lord helps those who help themselves." I'm not. Yet, I am strongly of the opinion (as our community is sick of hearing from me) that there is God's part, and there is our part. So many of us think the effort ends with conversion. (See Chris' comment and my response in The Conversation for more on that.) I'm of the opinion that God has so much on His table for us (ie. spiritual formation/transformation), but it's up to us to pick it up... and do the work.

I've talked before about my changing definitions for terms such as "calling" and "God's will", among others. When we do the work, God points us in the right direction, in incredible ways. (I should point out that belief is not a prerequisite for The Path. We've had many who do not share our faith attend in the past.)

OK... I'm just rambling now. Obviously it was a very meaningful experience. I can only encourage you to consider attending an upcoming workshop. (There will be at least one more women's Path this year, but dates haven't been finalized. As far as the next men's Path, I guess it'll depend on demand. Visit our site and send us a note if you think you would be interested in coming out to beautiful BC and learning more about your Path.

"To explore and communicate radical faith and connect a community of Apprentices."

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May 28, 2004

live from the path

My mission:

"To explore and communicate radical faith and connect a community of Apprentices."

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May 27, 2004

the conversation

Well, I'm up at Linwood House, but The Path doesn't get going until after dinner and it's raining cats & dogs (and the game doesn't start for another hour and a half or so...) so I have a minute to post.

A couple of days ago I alluded to The Conversation. As Wes and I have talked over the past few months we've discovered that we share similar dreams and similar concerns. (And since Wes and Judy are floating in a boat on the other side of the world right now I'm going to borrow liberally from an email Wes sent to some friends to try and explain what we're talking about.)

To reiterate, I think Jen's comments on Emergent, along with Doug's thoughts, demonstrate exactly the need we see in this emerging culture. Don't get me wrong - I love Emergent. I've been to San Diego both this year and last, and I'll continue to go as long as they'll let me.

Doug said it well:

I am struck by how many people had expectations that could not be fulfilled at a convention, primarily because of the convention nature of conventions - I have understood conventions as a particular animal. They tend to be more of a trade show than a worship event. I recognize that these conventions are not churches where we gather for worship. Conventions are pastor learning/training/ introduction events. Conventions are more of a "welcome to the conversation event" than a place to develop deep friendships.

Notice his use of the term "the conversation"? : )

Here's where we're coming from, and as Wes has put it so eloquently these are the gentle, fluid and ever-moving boundaries of what we are hoping to be about. From our perspective, one of the most unaddressed issues in the emerging church , the ancient/future church, the once & future church, the New Kind of Christian church, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it church, is the crucial issue of leadership development and mentoring.

There are so many important conversations that need to take place, and all will have certain perspectives of intersection - none will stand completely alone. That being said, this is the one we want to start. The conventions do their part, the gurus and their books do their part, but there's this other, vital, critical, missing piece. We want to start talking about it.

I know it doesn't sound like much, and who knows where it will lead and what it will look like. Still, my heart beats a little faster when I think about it.

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May 26, 2004

the path

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Linwood House for the first-ever men's Path Workshop! (Sure the house is pink, but we're cool with that.)

The best part is the facilitator of The Path is none other than our friend Idelette!

I'll be back on Sunday - posting may be light until then.

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shades of green

Here.

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because we can

The full text of the UPenn commencement address given by Bono can be found here.

(Thanks to Si Johnston for putting it up.)

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May 25, 2004

looking for some streams

Jen has been doing some deep thinking, which is usually followed by some profound statements. This case is no exception.

"it's time for a different kind of information. not the kind that helps us do something or understand something, but the kind that helps us become."

"let our mentors introduce us to the prophets, the little voices that have found a way through our temptations. and when they are done unravelling us, let us find a way to pastor one another, by finding deep meaningful conversation that marks the beginnings of community."

I'm feeling guilty this morning because I've been meaning to to try and put some thoughts into words for the last few days. Ever since Wes and I connected following EC04 San Diego (how ironic!) we have been talking, praying and dreaming about something we've started to call The Conversation.

Wes comes from many years of training, consulting, mentoring and just plain befriending Christian leaders. I come from a considerably shorter background of no theological training but a very real earnest desire to figure out what it means to be an apprentice of Christ in this culture. Together we've celebrated the friendship and mind-altering insights of the gurus, but have also mourned the dearth of mentors.

Who comes alongside and gently encourages after we've returned home from all the conferences and have carefully filed away all our notes? Despite what some have said there is room for leadership in this brave new world. Call it something else if it makes you feel better. And if there's room for leadership, then there is room for (and a desperate need for) mentoring.

I think, though, we are going to need to mentor each other.

OK - I'm off to do the construction gig again today, then our tribe meets tonight. Hopefully I'll continue some of these thoughts tomorrow. Wes and Judy are somewhere in the Mediterranean right now and incommunicado for another few weeks, so I'll try to go it alone...

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passion and truth

From this morning's reading:

"(Jacques) Ellul makes the point that "getting oneself killed for lies and errors doesn't make them true." Nor does zeal make up for a lack of clarity. And active involvement by itself does not achieve much if it is not guided by a vision of God's kingdom and if it is not based on a love for God's truth."

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May 23, 2004

troy

I just returned from seeing Troy.

To call it crap is to do a grave injustice to the word "crap". The people I feel sorry for are:

+ Peter O'Toole. I know, he over-acts, but you gotta love that guy.

+ The father and son duo from Braveheart. They made great Scotsmen but were a little out of place as Greeks. I kept waiting for them to flip their kilts at the Trojans.

UPDATE: One bright spot... we saw the preview for this. Who knows?

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long days

Alex Fraser Bridge

Sunset over the Alex Fraser Bridge... at 9:45 pm.

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streaming video

OK, I need some help from you smart people out there.

A while back I mentioned that we had posted a Quicktime movie promoting our mission trip to Bulgaria on the Global Action Canada web site.

You can find the link to the movie clip if you scroll down the Missions page. It's a large (9Mb) .mov file, and it takes forever to download. How do I set it up so it is viewed as streaming video, and not one big download dump? (Presumably that would shorten the time it takes for the clip to actually start.)

Any ideas, anyone? Thanks.

UPDATE: Don't let the comment count fool you - no one has been able to shed any light on this mystery... so I'm still looking for help!

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May 22, 2004

blessed

I love this - from tomorrow's Daily Dig:

The Beatitudes
Kurt Vonnegut

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

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complexity II

Time for an update. Here's an excerpt from an eMail I've received:

"Brian Stewart, 19, was struck head-on in a car accident last Tuesday by a 47 year-old woman in a Toyota SUV on Mill St. in Naperville around noon. She got "distracted", crossed the center line, and hit Brian in a head-on collision which broke his neck.

The attending neuro-surgeon at Edward's Hospital in Naperville told Bill and Betty Stewart that the odds were 95% that Brian would be a quadrapalegic and would never walk again. He operated Tuesday night to clean out the shattered bone fragments, realign the spine and nerves as best he could, and implant support rods into Brian's neck. He also relieved the swelling and fluid in the area of the bruised spinal cord as much as possible. His diagnosis was grim.

But God has different ideas for Brian than the oddsmakers in the medical community!

Today, Brian can move both his arms over his head, has very good response in his left leg and foot (I saw him laughing and wiggling his toes) and the right leg is just beginning to show response as well. The medical staff at Edward's is calling him "Miracle boy". He is a great kid and has a warm, indomitable spirit. Moreover, the family, friends, and community of faith has been praying and prevailing in the heavenlies for the Lord's healing touch to restore Brian 100%.

We are standing on a full, whole, 100% recovery. Complete and full healing. We believe the Lord is doing it even now! Nothing less. If the enemy wants an inch, he'll have to fight through the blood of Jesus and the prayers of the saints and our testimonies to do it. (which he can't do) Praise God!

Today, with a fighting attitude, a smile on his face, and a Rocky poster under one arm, Brian was transferred to the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute for more aggressive therapy. The doctors at the Institute smiled when they saw him and reviewed his case. They told Bill, "He will walk out of here."

Amen. Not because the therapists say so, but because God says so!"

Amen indeed; what incredible news!

I think my original post freaked a lot of you out. Some expressed concern for my faith. I meant what I said - I am "comfortable" - maybe that's the wrong word - with the complexities and contradictions of our faith. Thi sis the way things are. I don't understand how God works, how prayer works or doesn't work, depending on your perspective or the day of the week.

It's OK.

(Keep praying for Brian.)

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speechless

"The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself.' "
(From Punishment and Amusement, The Washington Post, May 22, 2004)

Chalk up another one for the Christians. I feel sick.

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May 21, 2004

sword drill

I wonder which verse it was...

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May 20, 2004

emerging women leaders

Props to the Emerging Women Leaders Initiative who have a great new web site up and running.

Given the nature of our ministry we have a huge soft spot in our hearts for this group. And I've already written briefly about the incredible experience of attending the Initiative's breakfast at ec04 San Diego. (They're meeting again this week at ec04 Nashville).

Drop by and say hello.

UPDATE: Jen reflects on this morning's breakfast in nash vegas. (May 21)

UPDATE: Jonny Baker has also written about the breakfast.

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go flames go!

As a result of their Game 6 victory last night the Calgary Flames are through to the Stanley Cup final! Out of respect for them I'm filing the Maple Leafs logo until next year ("just wait 'till next year") and giving the Flames sole position of the sidebar.

Go Flames!

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May 19, 2004

in time of war

From Brian McLaren's site:

"Christian Reflections in a Time of War" - Part I -Written after the Abu Ghraib Prison Photos Were Released

"We need to support our brave troops at a time like this, so we shouldn't criticize our government or our president. Besides, our president is doing what Scripture says he is supposed to do: he is "bearing the sword" to punish evil (Romans 13:1-4). If terrorism and insurgency aren't evil, what is? If the degrading of the bodies of our troops and the recent beheading of an American citizen don't deserve strong response, what does? It takes courage and strength to stand up to evil.

The fact is, we were attacked, brutally and viciously, on September 11. We needed to respond strongly and decisively, and that is what we have done. The enemies of freedom want to destroy our way of life and bring the world into chaos and tyranny; even if the rest of the world doesnft appreciate our actions, what we are doing is courageous and good for everyone - even those who criticize us. By fighting terrorists and extremists, we are making the world safer for everybody.

Yes, some mistakes have been made, but our mistakes are few and minor compared to the atrocities committed by our enemies. Emphasizing our mistakes, including the isolated misdeeds of a few prison guards at Abu Ghraib, simply plays into the hand of our enemies; besides, we're dealing honestly and openly with any problems that have occurred. America is a beacon of light and justice in our world.

It's useless to complain that we are losing respect in the world. In the long run, people will respect our strength. Right now, other countries are jealous of us because they are poor by comparison, but it is not our fault they haven't been blessed as we are, nor have they learned to benefit from free enterprise and Democracy as we have. We have to go it alone, because we are the leaders of the free world.

Our president is an evangelical Christian and he applies Biblical principles to his presidency. We should pray for him and defend him from critics - not criticize him. Remember President Clinton? Aren't we grateful to have a godly man like President Bush in office at a time like this?"

These days I hear many of my good Christian friends say things very much like this, and many of our most respected leaders too. They're good people, and I respect them, and I wish very much I could fully agree with them. They're sincere and they're trying to do what's right, and if I even partially disagree, no one could blame them for thinking I'm crazy or deluded. I have little hope of persuading them to see things differently; some are quite set in their ways, and since nearly all of their friends hold similar opinions, the peer pressure against rethinking these matters is very strong.

Meanwhile, I awaken in the middle of the night (or more often, wake up early with anxious thoughts), thinking and praying about what's happening to our world and our country and our Christian community during this time of war, wondering how I should respond.

Wow. This article is incredible, especially on the heels of this quote. Read the rest here. Thanks to Jordon for the heads up.

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May 18, 2004

linwood life

Caught in the act!

I spent Friday up at Roberts Creek, and caught this guy working his way through Grandma's garden. (If you look closely at his forehead you can see that it is indeed a young buck.)

Grandma is 92 and lives at Linwood House. Everyone who comes to the house is told to call her "Grandma". She spends her days working in the incredible garden, doing all the baking for the house... and reading the newspaper from cover to cover with no glasses. (I've had four eyes since I was 27, so that last part really blows me away.) She's an incredible lady, but I think she's really found her thing with our newer ministry, The Journey. In partnership with 614 Vancouver of The Salvation Army we take prostitutes and recovering drug addicts off the streets of East Vancouver for 3 days and demonstrate God's love to them. You should see the way they take to Grandma, and the way she loves them.

(More photos on the fotopage...)

Linwood Colours

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what's in a name

"Once we classify people as evil it can lead us to do evil ourselves. In fact, we may easily think we are entitled to suppress them."
~ Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations
Speaking at Trinity Institute's 35th Conference, "Naming Evil,"

Quoted in Sister Joan Chittister's weekly column. (Sister Joan spoke at this interfaith conference as well.)

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betray to save

The 21st century prophet is at it again.

Bono Urges West to Fight for Africa
Mon May 17, 2004 02:43 PM ET
By Jon Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Irish rock star and political activist Bono on Monday urged Western governments to fight poverty, AIDS and debt in Africa because that was cheaper than combating terrorism that may breed in such conditions.

In a speech to new graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, the U2 singer said developed countries have the financial and technological ability to alleviate conditions that lead to the deaths of 7,000 people a day in Africa from preventable diseases.

"It's cheaper than fighting wave after wave of the terrorists' new recruits," he said.

The singer's support for Africa and other developing-world causes ranges from the Live Aid rock concert in 1985 to a World AIDS Day 2003 concert in South Africa. He has lobbied Congress and appealed to world leaders to back humanitarian efforts.

After being presented with an honorary doctorate of laws from the university for his work on African issues, he called on graduates to use their Ivy League educations to help.

"Your pockets are full and now you have got to figure out what to spend it on," he said. "If you are going to live up to your ideals and your education, it's going to cost you."

The failure of rich nations to help solve Africa's problems has historical parallels with slavery and racial segregation, Bono said on the 50th anniversary of the U.S. court case that officially ended segregation in schools.

Those conventions were accepted norms until overthrown by those with the courage to challenge them, he said.

"If you want to save the age, betray it," he said, quoting the Irish poet Brendan Keneally. "Expose its conceits, foibles and phony moral certitudes."

"For the first time in history we have the cash and the technological know-how" to solve Africa's problems, he said. "But do we have the will?"

I love the Keneally quote.

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May 17, 2004

real miracles, sensibly priced

Sue and I watched Leap of Faith last night and loved it. (I found it in the $1.99 bin at Safeway last week.)

For those who have seen the movie here are our thoughts. The two "legitimate" miracles at the end of the movie (Boyd's healing and the rain storm) were interesting to watch. Boyd was healed when he sidestepped around Jonas and touched the feet of Christ on the cross. The rain came only after Jonas left town. Sue commented that Jonas could represent the church, and the miracles took place without his help.

There were some powerful images in the movie I may try to use some time.

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May 16, 2004

indifference

lore - wave - small.jpg

(From Lore Brand Comics. Some days this guy makes me laugh, and he looks just like Steve, too...)

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democracy at work

THE BUSH MONEY MACHINE : Fundraising's Rewards
Pioneers Fill War Chest, Then Capitalize

By Thomas B. Edsall, Sarah Cohen and James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 16, 2004; Page A01

GREENSBORO, Ga. -- Joined by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and a host of celebrities, hundreds of wealthy Republicans gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge here in the first weekend in April, not for a fundraiser but for a celebration of fundraisers. It was billed as an "appreciation weekend," and there was much to appreciate...

For achieving their fundraising goals, Pioneers receive a relatively modest token, the right to buy a set of silver cuff links with an engraved Lone Star of Texas (Rangers can buy a more expensive belt buckle set). Their real reward is entree to the White House and the upper levels of the administration.

Of the 246 fundraisers identified by The Post as Pioneers in the 2000 campaign, 104 -- or slightly more than 40 percent -- ended up in a job or an appointment. A study by The Washington Post, partly using information compiled by Texans for Public Justice, which is planning to release a separate study of the Pioneers this week, found that 23 Pioneers were named as ambassadors and three were named to the Cabinet: Donald L. Evans at the Commerce Department, Elaine L. Chao at Labor and Tom Ridge at Homeland Security. At least 37 Pioneers were named to postelection transition teams, which helped place political appointees into key regulatory positions affecting industry.

A more important reward than a job, perhaps, is access. For about one-fifth of the 2000 Pioneers, this is their business -- they are lobbyists whose livelihoods depend on the perception that they can get things done in the government. More than half the Pioneers are heads of companies -- chief executive officers, company founders or managing partners -- whose bottom lines are directly affected by a variety of government regulatory and tax decisions.

When Kenneth L. Lay, for example, a 2000 Pioneer and then-chairman of Enron Corp., was a member of the Energy Department transition team, he sent White House personnel director Clay Johnson III a list of eight persons he recommended for appointment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Two were named to the five-member commission.

It's a long article, but disturbingly informative.

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May 13, 2004

complexity

"The paradoxes of life at least prevent us from coming up with easy answers that do not fit life's complexity."
~ Charles Ringma

Paradox, contradiction, complexity , and even outright conflict. Choose your favorite flavour. I've bragged before on this screen that I'm very comfortable with those terms as they relate to my faith. And I meant it. Some days I hold that reality with little or no effort. Some days I cling to it by my metaphorical fingernails.

Today is feeling like the latter.

There are a lot of things I could say about our last few days in Colorado Springs and a lot of directions we could take the conversation. Today however, I want to put all that aside and talk about contradiction.

First the facts. Over the past few days about 40 of us were gathered from Global Action and affiliated organizations. As well as the U.S., we met with friends from India, Sri Lanka, England and El Salvador, while three of us made up the Canadian contingent. We shared what we were doing at each of our ministries, how we could support and leverage each other, and strategies and direction for the future.

It was an interesting time for us. We would strive to identify Global Action Canada as a "postmodern" ministry (which means we struggle to describe what we do and have an even tougher time raising funds to do it) and yet we find ourselves affiliated with a modern, Evangelical (note the capital "E") organization. Some of the expressions of faith I saw and heard are ones which no longer work for me personally. Upon reflection our being in that circumstance is not a contradiction or paradox, but simply complexity that we've decided we are comfortable with.

We met on Monday and as is often the case in ministry the conversation came around to development, which is a fancy way of avoiding the word "fundraising".

[Sidebar 1. For possible future consideration: One response to our "postmodern claim" was the assertion that you can't get ministry support from postmodern culture because they are "lousy givers". I'll leave that one alone for now.]

You can say what you want about fundraising for Christian ministry, but there can be no disputing the fact that it's one of the hardest jobs in the world. And so we gathered in a circle and prayed over the development team. Bill, Stan, Dave, and Suzie stood in the centre while we laid hands on them and prayed. I was pushed toward the middle too; apparently I'm supposed to be raising funds in Canada. Now they tell me.

[Time Out: I'm writing this from Cates Park, and I need to move. Contrary to my original assumption the tide is in fact coming in. They say no man is an island, but this boulder I'm sitting on is about to become one.]

The praying was earnest and heartfelt. "Crying out to God" would probably be a good description, although that's language I try to avoid. At one point someone felt led to redirect the prayer to focus on the children of those present.

We had already spent some time praying for the various health concerns of a few different family members. God's will, an attack of the enemy, or just plain bad karma... who knows? Regardless, these were obviously concerns that could, and were, keeping some from focusing on the issues at hand.

So we continued to pray, me with my right hand on Bill's shoulder as he stood just about exactly in the centre of the circle. That was Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning Bill received a phone call telling him that his 19-year old son Brian had been in a car accident and was laying in a Chicago area hospital, paralyzed, with a broken neck.

WTF? Can somebody please tell me what we're supposed to do with that?

Better yet, don't bother. I don't want to know.

Don't get me wrong - this doesn't shake my faith, at least not in a "What kind of a God... Screw it, I don't want to believe anymore" kind of way. On the drive back to the airport in Denver from Colorado Springs Gwen, Sue and I had a chance to talk it out. We're confused, and speaking personally I'm a little pissed at God. This is the downside of shooting off your mouth and saying you're comfortable with paradox and contradiction. Every once in a while God jams a big piece down your throat and all you can do is swallow.

The bottom line is I don't understand how God thinks or works; which brings me right back to Ringma's quote. Nobody knows, and if you think you do - well, you're wrong, so spare me your comments.

"It was God's will." Bullshit. Don't insult this young man, his family, or God for that matter.

"The miracle is he wasn't killed." Great, a consolation prize.

"All things work together for good..." Yeah, I know. Right now it just doesn't seem to matter.

All we can do is continue to pray. When we left Colorado yesterday the latest report was that Brian had some tingling in his arms and one leg, but the doctors were fairly certain the paralysis would be permanent. He underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and insert some hardware into his spine.

Did I mention I don't understand prayer either? God doesn't need us to point stuff out to Him like some kind of nagging personal assistant. I don't believe that God grants wishes like a fairy godmother, if we pray hard enough. What's hard enough? And what if we stop just short of it? And yet He tells us to do it, and I know from personal experience that good things can happen when we do, Monday afternoon's example notwithstanding.

There are some benefits to not understanding. As long as I have no clue how this thing works I'm going to plead ignorance, shoot for all the marbles, and pray for a miracle.

They happen, you know. I believe that.


[Postscript: I'm laying it all out in the wind here, but believe me when I say I'm not making light of this tragedy, nor am I arrogant enough to believe it's about me. Please pray for Brian and his family.]

Posted by mike at 05:09 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

sway

PREFACE: I once commented to someone that every time I start talking "politics" on the blog I end up regretting it. Every time. No doubt this will end the same way, but I'm doing it anyway.

(The word "politics" is in quotations for a reason. I've talked about this before, but I could care less about politics for their own sake. What I care about is the Kingdom, and building it. My interest lies where the two intersect, and having a "Christian" - there's those quotation marks again - in the White House provides a lot of opportunities to consider that intersection.)

Thomas Freidman is someone I respect. I don't always agree with him, but I admire the way he gets to the point, asks the tough questions and does not allow himself to be moved off the topic. His piece in the New York Times today is brilliant. (I can't remember if you need to register to read it - if so, it's worth the trouble.)

"It is time to ask this question: Do we have any chance of succeeding at regime change in Iraq without regime change here at home?

"Hey, Friedman, why are you bringing politics into this all of a sudden? You're the guy who always said that producing a decent outcome in Iraq was of such overriding importance to the country that it had to be kept above politics."

Yes, that's true. I still believe that. My mistake was thinking that the Bush team believed it, too. I thought the administration would have to do the right things in Iraq — from prewar planning and putting in enough troops to dismissing the secretary of defense for incompetence — because surely this was the most important thing for the president and the country. But I was wrong. There is something even more important to the Bush crowd than getting Iraq right, and that's getting re-elected and staying loyal to the conservative base to do so. It has always been more important for the Bush folks to defeat liberals at home than Baathists abroad. That's why they spent more time studying U.S. polls than Iraqi history. That is why, I'll bet, Karl Rove has had more sway over this war than Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Bill Burns. Mr. Burns knew only what would play in the Middle East. Mr. Rove knew what would play in the Middle West..."

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regress

I'm in the middle of reading The Pilgrim's Regress, by C.S. Lewis. I love old books, and this one is the Erdmans Pocket Edition (1958) that I liberated from my father's library before we moved last year. (The image on the sidebar is the only one I could find online, and is from a much later edition.)

Anyway, the book is a real mindblower... sort of like a Christian acid trip.

Posted by mike at 09:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2004

peace

Heaven on Earth, we need it now
I'm sick of all of this hanging around
Sick of sorrow, sick of the pain
I'm sick of hearing again and again
That there's gonna be peace on Earth

Where I grew up
There weren't many trees
Where there was, we'd tear them down
And use them on our enemies

They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

And it's already gone too far
Who said that if you go in hard, you won't get hurt?
Jesus, can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line?
Peace on Earth

Tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth
No who's or why's
No one cries, like a mother cries
For peace on Earth
She never got to say goodbye
To see the colour in his eyes
Now he's in the dirt
Peace on Earth

They're reading names out over the radio
All the folks, the rest of us won't get to know
Sean and Julia, Garreth, Ann and Breda
Their lives are bigger than any big idea

Jesus, can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line?
Peace on Earth
To tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth

Jesus, in the song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won't rhyme
So, what's it worth?
This peace on Earth

Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth

U2

UPDATE: Jon's been thinking the same thoughts, as have others. Beth's been tracking the use of these lyrics to reflect how some are feeling.

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a little good news

Bono and Paul

Canada on Monday pledged $72 million to the World Health Organization's 3 by 5 Initiative, doubling the total amount of money pledged so far for the program, the Boston Globe reports (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 5/11). The 3 by 5 Initiative aims to provide antiretroviral drugs to three million HIV-positive people worldwide by 2005. The plan also calls for training 100,000 health care workers, refocusing 10,000 clinics in developing countries to treat HIV/AIDS and using common antiretroviral drug combinations to treat people. However, the plan does not provide the drugs or subsidize their cost (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/12). WHO's $5.5 billion plan needs $200 million in funding over the next two years (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/4). Even with Canada's contribution, funding for the initiative remains $70 million short of what is needed to fulfill the goals of the program by the end of next year, according to the Globe (Boston Globe, 5/11). U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis said that the agency thus far has "pull[ed] together" roughly $60 million from "its own sources" and a $7 million contribution from the British government, according to Toronto's Globe and Mail.

...Irish rock star Bono, who founded the debt, AIDS and trade organization DATA, in a statement lauded Martin, saying, "This is real leadership. I hope Canadians will know what this means in the rest of the world" (Globe and Mail, 5/11).

From yesterday's Kaisernetwork.org daily report.

Check out The Toronto Star's coverage as well.

UPDATE: Also be sure to tune in the CTV coverage. Thanks to Beth (who has a better grip on Canadian news than I do) for pointing this out. She's been tracking the story and postcript closely.

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burning, burning

I look not only at tongue and speech;
I look at the spirit and the inward feeling.
I look into the heart to see whether it be lowly...

Enough of phrases and conceits and metaphors!
I want burning, burning...

Light up a fire of love in thy soul,
Burn all thought and expression away!

Moses, they that know the conventions are of one sort;
They whose souls burn are of another.

Jelalludin Rumi (1207-1273)

From yesterday's Daily Dig.

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May 11, 2004

pikes peak from the hotel

pikes - small.jpg

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May 10, 2004

colorado springs sunset

Sunset in CSprings

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shhhhh II

I'm blogging from Colorado Springs. I'm looking out my hotel window at the Focus on the Family enclave. Oh Boy. We're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

We had a fantastic time with Wes and Judy yesterday! What a privilege.

Gotta run!

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May 08, 2004

shhhhh

The blog may be quiet for a couple of days. (Yes, Robert, I know... you'd say it's already been dormant for several days.)

Today a bunch of us are getting together to celebrate David's last weekend as a single guy by playing golf and eating. (I like to do both, but I'm much better at eating.) Then, early tomorrow morning - very early - Sue, Gwen, and I are off to Colorado Springs until Wednesday. We're meeting with our ministry's sister organizations from all over the world.

I suspect, however, that the highlight of the trip will be lunch with Wes and Judy at their place tomorrow! Wes and I made contact following Emergent. (Even though we were both there, we didn't connect until after.) We've started to talk about a conversation, The Conversation, that needs to take place.

More later!

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May 07, 2004

tats

Over at one small barking dog Barry Taylor has written a great piece on the increasing popularity of tattoos and body modification. (I've heard Barry speak at emergent, and always liked what he had to say. He's the curator for the Spiritual/Global column over at osbd, which should make for interesting reading. As his bio says, Barry is a "former sound engineer for such bands as AC/DC, a lecturer in media and culture, author, song writer for feature films and lives in Los Angeles.")

The proliferation of tattoos and other forms of body marking; piercings etc. seem to point towards a cultural need to make the body a place of remembering and identity. "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus...henceforth let no man accuse me." So said the Apostle Paul many centuries ago whilst addressing his accusers and detractors. He demanded that they "read the text" of his life, read the hardship and suffering enshrined in his body as the result of his commitment to his life's work. I think tattoos today can be read in much the same way. They carry the hopes, fears and dreams of the emerging global soul. And the use of certain fonts and type faces, in particular, gothic and more eastern-looking letterings, suggest that the postmodern soul is attempting to find some sense of history and continuity, some coherence. The body is becoming an embattled arena in our time. Sexuality, gender, fertility, cloning etc. are all topics of urgency and importance to many people today. But the body is also becoming the new ground of identity and individuality--ethics and morals adorn the flesh, not just the soul, and the markings provide clues to where the person might be on their life's journey.

UPDATE: Thanks to Steve for reminding me about this site.

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May 06, 2004

liberty

Some good words from Ozzie today. Thanks to Lynne for pointing them out to me... I haven't been swinging by Ozzie's place very often of late.

Liberty and the Standards of Jesus

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free...
~ Galatians 5:1

A spiritually-minded person will never come to you with the demand - "Believe this and that"; a spiritually-minded person will demand that you align your life with the standards of Jesus. We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals (see John 5:39-40 ). We are called to present liberty for the conscience of others, not to bring them liberty for their thoughts and opinions. And if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty - the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.

Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never Godfs view. There is only one true liberty - the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don't get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you - with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, "Go... and make disciples..." ( Matthew 28:19 ), not, "Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions."

Strong medicine from Mr. C today.

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May 05, 2004

abu ghraib

Read what Fred Clark has to say about this house of horrors.

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r.i.p.

I never thought it would come to this...

Go Flames.

Sigh.

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May 03, 2004

don't let them

No, nothing makes sense
Nothing seems to fit
I know you'd hit out
If you only knew who to hit
And I'd join the movement
If there was one I could believe in
Yeah I'd break bread and wine
If there was a church I could receive in
'cause I need it now

To take a cup
To fill it up
To drink it slow
I can't let you go
I must be an acrobat
To talk like this
And act like that
And you can dream
So dream out loud
And don't let the bastards grind you down

From Acrobat, U2 (Thanks Gord)

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May 02, 2004

mayday

My new friend Jennifer (of Seattle Adventure fame) has got some good thoughts on the big "Mayday for Marriage" rally held in Seattle yesterday.

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the block III

This may not be the cure for my ills, but it's definitely good treatment...

Now, she can write...

UPDATE... Now Playing: Jimmy Shand Jnr Invites You to Come to the Dance

UPDATE... For those who have asked - no, it's not my house, but it is our ministry house, and yes, it's pink. (We did buy a pink house once, but we painted it brown.)

UPDATE... I can't believe that nobody commented on Jimmy Shand. Nobody!

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introduction

From this morning's Aidan reading,
Celtic Daily Prayer

"What I believe about Jesus could not be contained in a thousand books. I believe in Jesus more than I believe in the pen with which I am writing these words. I cannot, however, expect you to believe my beliefs. Imagine you meet me in a cafe and I introduce you to a friend. I say, 'This is Jesus.' I do not then give you a list of things you must believe about His family and a thick book to memorize before I let you speak to Him. I don't ask you to believe in Him - because you can see Him for yourself. I ask you only to trust Him and to get to know Him."

Aidan Clarke

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May 01, 2004

new media

Andrew Jones is starting a new series... Recycled Spam.

"We will explore the internet, new media, blogging, digital storytelling and the place of the emerging church in all of that."

Very cool - I'm looking forward to it.

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