14 November 2008


My friends Em and Alan over at UrbanEx have just launched the new site.

I can't speak highly enough of them or the vision they have. If you are involved with youth that want to stretch their horizon, or want to have your own life challenged the site is worth checking out.

From the new site... UrbanEx is:

..an active-advocacy organization for justice and dignity for all mankind that educates, empowers, enables, and mobilizes others in practical and effective advocacy that will actively meet the needs of any urban community by addressing the relief of poverty, awareness and appreciation of cultural and lifestyle differences, and our individual and corporate responsibilities to our communities through intentional actions with measured results that benefit individuals as well as the entire urban community.

In different ways Em and Alan have both influenced the way I think. I wish them nothing but the best in their on going ministry. And I hope the stories just grow and grow and grow

Am I the only one who wants to follow the rules?

So at Sara's Place we have been trying to shut off the TV and play some games. Monopoly has been the choice a few times and I have come to a solid revelation.

No one plays Monopoly by the rules.
No one I know at least.
Growing up, I was taught the wrong rules, and have always thought I was playing by the rules, which leads me to believe that no one ever has read the rules.
For example:
1) Free parking is only free parking - no money, not even $500

2) You don't have to go around the board once before buying stuff
3) When someone lands on a property and doesn't buy it, it goes up for auction and anyone can buy it
4) You can build houses on any property once you own it.... you don't have to own all the colours

(edit, Matt has quickly pointed out that I was wrong when I was attempting to get the rules right - hats off to Matt)

It is amazing how many times I have discussed this with people over the last few days and I have yet to find someone that knew all four three of the above rules. I'm not saying that no one does, but if you do....

Want to play?

11 November 2008

The Highway of Hereos

Sometimes I feel like we get sprayed with American patriotism, so it is kind of nice to see a major network notice and report on how we respond to our killed soldiers coming back. Admittedly I don't often think about the soldiers that are fighting and on a day like today, Remembrance day it is good to remember.

My grandfather, Gordon Good was killed in WWII. I never knew him, but I'm glad that people go to such lengths to honour the families of the soldiers that died in serving.

From Dan Cook over at the Globe and Mail

9 November 2008

God's Will in an Election

Tim over at Burnside has some great final thought on the election from a theological point of view - jumping off and interview between Sara Palin and James Dobson,
But let's say Dobson's interpretation of God's will is correct, that God's perfect will was for McCain to win. Does that mean we, the people, have the ability to, and in fact did, thwart God's will? If this is the case, then does this limit the power of God or our view of God's power and will in other areas of life and politics? This is a slippery theological slope, but not one that hasn't already been expressed by humanists and liberal Christians. But could this be why Dobson and others called for intervention or a miracle in the election because they felt we, the people, were about to thwart God's perfect will?
I can't quote the whole thing here, but his final statments were very good.
God will do the right thing each day, and we can be a part of that no matter what party we register with or what ballot we cast. In fact, until we separate God's will from the will of "we the people", it may not be possible to see what God is already doing. It matters not who is president, but it matters completely who we serve.
I'm Glad the elections in both Canada and the US are over now we can get back on the topic of Christians working in GOD'S Kingdom right here on earth.

6 November 2008

Glug glug glug

That is my way of saying I feel like I am over my head.   Not in a desperate, the world is bleak, kind of way - Just a "wow, I wasn't expecting all this" kind of way.

So to quickly review:
1) went back to school in September, and am just hitting crunch time in the semester when things are due
2) moved in to a new home to start a live in job as house parents.
3) jumped from family with no kids to having two teenagers that I we are responsible for.

Ok 2 & 3 are really the same thing, but I didn't want my list to be 2 things - feels bigger than that.

I know there are a lot of people that balance family and school.  I now apreciate what they have done/ do more. 

But at this moment I know I need to trust God and lean on Him.   Funny thing is that wasn't my asnwer when I started writing this post.

Who says blogging is a wast of time

31 October 2008

Friday Links

I debated skipping posting links, because I have not been online this week.   but I did see one think that was of interest.   One of my favorite Authors - Shane Hipps has 3 new podcast posted

So that's it for this week.  I'll try to make it up next Friday... enjoy the sun (assuming you live between the east and west cost of Canada - I didn't pay attention to the rest of the world this morning)

30 October 2008

I'm not totally M.I.A.

So, we are moved to Stratford and will begin the new role of house parents on Saturday.  There have been a few glitches in the moving process (not counting the things that delayed the move in the first place) the biggest being.... I will not have internet until Tuesday November 4th.

Thankfully I have access to the computers at EBC's library and the public library in Stratford.

I think my Google Reader is over 1000 posts to catch up on.... so between reading and posting I will have a lot to catch up on once the tubes are reconnected.

23 October 2008

The Video Venue Church article

Collide Magazine is doing an cover article on the pros and cons of the video venue churches.
We organized a debate between two pastors, one of whom is against the idea of churches video venues and the other of whom is the campus pastor at a video venue: Bob Hyatt and James Harleman, respectively
If you have been reading my posts you know that I am working through the less than obvious drawbacks, some of the comments are all over the map... worth checking out.

Was it something I said?

It seems that for the last few days commenting was not working on this site.

Umm....yeah.... I think that was my bad.

Over the last few months I have been tweaking the site in different ways, and apparently that caused the comments to not work right. (I wanted them to show at the end of the post, not a pop up) but when I discovered that even I couldn't post I figured that maybe others had had the same problem.

So if you wanted to post a comment and could not... it should work.

Or nobody cares.

22 October 2008

Friday Links

Here a few links that might be worth your entertainment time

God doesn't like girls who play football (via BWB)
How Holy is you church logo
Heck while we're rating stuff What's you Twitter Score


The Mentoring Project

Donald Miller has founded what seems to be an excellent venture to link kids in families without dads with men who want to be mentors. It's called the Mentoring Project and I hope it will be quite successful. There is also a promo video over at Donald's Blog that is worth watching if you are more interested.

I think this hits close to home for me right now as Brea and I get ready to be the house parents of Sarah Place (a maternity home for girls). I have been thinking about the fathers that have a role in each girl that will come to live with us. Who is guiding them? Who are their mentors? I'm not sure how much I will be able to be an influence, but I see more and more the big role of mentors in our society.

So best wishes to Don and his team.

Analog to digital

I can't tell you how many conversations I have had about digital TV and the end of analog.

Props to BWB for the link

20 October 2008

Video killed the house audio technician

I don't feel like writing another blog post about technology today. So here is the link and the short description.

Tim Stevens has a post in defense of a 100% video church service.

gosh... I think the thing that bugs me on this one, is they are propping it up as being all in the name of saving money.... umm how about doing smaller churches? or house churches?

Someday soon I am going to start discussing these posts in the virtual voices of Marshall McLuhan, Shane Hipps and Frank Viola
(and yes I linked to them all because I want them to see this)


I think it is great thoughts from a website that by nature promotes the use of tools (technology) in communication.
If ever there was a buzzword for the past several years that the church--myself included--has been in love with, it would be the word "community." And rightly so because community is so desperately lacking these days. People are lonely and isolated. Today, 1 out of every 4 households in the U.S. has just one person living there. In 1950, it was 1 out of every 10. So while we may be more connected than any other generation, we're more detached than ever before.

Sure, Facebook an the like have the illusion of Community - their not all bad either, but it is great to see balanced coverage of the effects on our communities, one that is not "EVIL" and one that is not adopt everything because it is there.

Thoughts on the Meeting House

The Gig had a farewell for us two weeks ago, because we were supposed to be living and working in Stratford by now. As we had said all our goodbyes we felt a little strange going there on Sunday morning and also thought it would be a great chance to check out another church community in Kitchener. So we decided to check out The Meeting House. I thought maybe I would post on my thoughts about my first time being a part of their Sunday morning gathering. First I have to say is was good to see so many familiar faces - looking over the staff list there are a lot of friends from the past (even an old roommate) - I think that they are all striving to do good work so I hope my criticism is not taken as an attack on what they are doing, more this is my analysis of how I think they are heading in the wrong direction.

First, the things that thought were good. The elements were all very good - worship music and presentation. It's all very coordinated and smooth. Bruxy Cavey was on his usual game as an excellent laid back teacher. I can see why people come out, the product is very good.

So what is my problem? well if you read my last post or have been following my thoughts on technology and the church you would know that I'm trying to look at the bigger issues than just what happen on the Sunday morning. One of the problems with the video venue is what it is saying (this is a medium is the message type thing) about who can speak to the church. Bruxy is an amazing speaker - no contest. But the meeting house just keeps adding sites. When you look at everything else, the meeting house is just about the same as many other churches, except they all watch the big screen to see a common message. So if you extrapolate the vision or goal - eventually you would have a Meeting house in every city or town. Or maybe the end expansion would (or should) be that every church is a video extension of Bruxy's teaching. I'm not saying the Bruxy shouldn't teach a lot of poeple, but what does it say when we enforce a message that only one voice is good enough to teach? Is there no person in all of the Golden Horeshoe or Western Ontario (and coming to Ottawa) that is a good enough speaker to teach the public? I think people would deny this as a statement, but you have to see this is what the "medium" is sending as a message.

What if Bruxy isn't the best teacher - what if say Rob Bell is a better speaker? The Meeting House had defined its existence on transmitting the best teacher they can find. Maybe they would have better results if someone else what the teacher and we could double the churches because someone like Rob Bell would draw more people (sort of sound like celebrity doesn't it?) do the people that come out care about who as long as it is deemed good? The motion is towards all sites digesting whatever come on the screen as truth. Whatever the Great OZ says is truth. There is the potential for the thing to get so big that only those at the top really have any control over what is said or preached. Right now, I assume there are good checks and balances in place, but how big does it get to be out of control? What if no one thinks it is out of control?

I'm not saying that the Meeting House has no checks and balances. I'm not saying that the teaching is wrong, all I'm saying is that they seem to think that growth by more sites is unlimitedly good (we cheered a new satellite location) But is this the type of growth that is good for the church? That we all tune in for directions? I think this is what the Protestant reformation was all about. Rome told people what their religion was about and they did not have a voice. I think the Meeting House model moves the average person in community farther away from having a voice or being a part of conversation.

I believe more and more in raising up new leaders, can you do this in a model where only the very best is heard? Is there room for learning and training - especially if you expand the method to it's extreme?

I hope that the Meeting House is making a difference in the community. I hope lives are change and Jesus is the centre. I also hope it doesn't ever go where I think it could.

16 October 2008

Mostly a plug for Shane Hipps

I have been doing a lot of research on the effects of technology on culture (both church and everyday regular life) I happened across an article in Slate about video venues and mega churches and was happily surprised to find that Shane Hipps was quoted:
Using video goes against a critical tenet of Protestant faith: the priesthood of all believers. Instead of a real experience, it offers a mediated one that inherently puts the pastor in a position of greater power over the masses. "It's actually undermining their theology,"
in his book Shane has written about the effects of video - not necessarily the separate venue site, but certainly it pertains. The above statement is pretty strong, but I think it needs to be. While I have been expanding my thoughts on media through other authors (Postman, McLuhan etc.) I strongly recommend Shane Hipps as a place to start to become aware of the influence of media on our culture. (I think I have to steal my book back from Rob)

I want to write more on the things that I am learning and thinking, but they will have to wait - check out the article in the meantime.

3 October 2008

Patrol Magazine

Just discovered Patrol Magazine

and the scanner
I'm not sure how to describe it just yet...but man I like what I see

1 October 2008

You know you want to.

Not having enough fun googling yourself in real time

now you can see how you googled in 2001


excellent fun...for me the page didn't exist anymore but the description reminded me of old times

More stuff on "stuff"

Jonathan Brink writes

The coolest thing I heard today was while reading, “The Tangible Kingdom.

“We have to remember that the ancient faith communities that set a course to change the world did so without church programs, without paid staff, without websites, and without brochures, blogs or buildings. They were lean! The point of going without all the stuff is simple but profound. When you don’t have all the “stuff,” you’re left with a lot of time to stpend[sic] with people.”

I liked that quote, I think that is very in tune with how I feel lately, but the statement does seem to indicate that everything we do is bad. Frank Viola (and others) would certainly agree that we need to return to a first century way of doing things... but then we admit that we don't mind having some technology to work with. I don't think we want to return to the days before the printing press, which the ancient faiths did not have their own personal bibles for study. I doubt the author above was including bible studying as "stuff" that get in the way.

I agree our "stuff" does get in the way at times - but it is more than a soundbite to agree on what "stuff" is good and what is bad.

22 September 2008

Pro Life - All Life

I watching American politics and some of the usual controversy over the abortion issue. I wondered to my self about all the issues that come into play if every unwanted child were kept...what would our society do with them. Sometimes we don't know what to do with Single mom or their kids.

As usual other have said it better:

Take Will Samson:
I started paying attention to how both scripture and the Church define life, this thing that we are all in favor of. Life, from a Christian perspective, is the unborn child in the womb. But it is also the child born in poverty who desperately needs a community to help raise her. From the perspective of both the Bible and the Church, life is the 18 year black male whose only perceived choices are illegal activities or joining the military to fight in Iraq. Christian social teaching rejects the simplistic definition that sees life only as the first nine months, the time in the womb.
We have, to our own discredit, conflated being pro-life to being pro-anti-abortion legislation. Has this made life more sacred? Has this improved the conditions for those most likely to have an abortion, the economically and educationally disadvantaged?
Some day soon I'll come up with some more concrete thoughts of my own



I know somewhere - probably not too far away, someone has it worse.

But, tonight I feel like crap.

First, Brea is gone for 10 days. So aside from the obvious that I miss her... I'm not eating very well.

Second, I was somehow squeezed out of playing bass at the college. I don't even understand how really other than I think it was a big case of bad organizational structure. I was so looking forward to being part of one of the groups at school...now I just feel like and kid watching the party from outside.
I think my bass is older than the girl that got my spot.

Third, today I felt really old and irrelevant. (Giant kudos to anyone that has gone back to school after something like 15 or 20 years.) Not just because of the bass thing.... more because I suddenly feel like people walk around me like the strange guy in the hall. I used to know everyone or would get to know them...but something changed.

Ever try to get rid of all the things that define you only to feel like maybe you were better of being defined by them?

18 September 2008


I know that some people think I'm crazy already.
Some people think I'm crazy because I am a follower of Christ.
Some people think I'm crazy because I quit a perfectly good job to go back to school.
Some people think I'm crazy because I have a collection of frog stuff

So that being said, I have been doing a lot of reading of Jesus' teachings lately. Do you know how many times he said to sell everything and give it to the poor? I don't have the number right in front of me but it was a lot.

Take Luke 12:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?....Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

And later in Chapter 18
A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"
"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.
there are lots of other places Jesus said the same types of things...go ahead look it up, I won't be offended.

So the question is.... was He serious?
I'm sure I could finally read the book that someone gave me by one of those Christianity = Blessing guys and blessing guy would explain that Jesus didn't mean EVERYTHING.

That would be crazy. There is likely some rational explanation to explain this strange code that Jesus is using when He says "Sell it all"

hmm... But what would the world look like if all Christians did this? Call me a crazy idealist.
Ok forget everyone else. Do I have the faith to sell everything and trust that God would take care of me?

I'm not there yet.... just in case you pass by my house and see the for sale sign.
But maybe I'm getting there.

edit - after I posted - I read this... striking evidence that I have it wrong

Promises, Promises

From Dan Cook - Globe & Mail

April 4, 1990 — Liberal MP Paul Martin: "I would abolish the GST.''

Sept. 14, 2008 — Paul Martin: Tories' promises worthless.

I love when they do that.

17 September 2008

What would Bobby LaBonte do?

Lots of people stick things to the back of their cars. I think I could do a whole series of post on thought I have driving (or sitting still) in traffic...maybe I will.

Some people like to stick those little Fish stickers on the back of their car. You know the ones that are based on the Ichthys. I guess the reason is to identify themselves as Christians and must think such a prominent display on their back tailgate will announce to the world their personal beliefs. Unfortunately, I think most people are worse drivers than they know. We've all cut off someone when we suddenly realized be are about to miss our exit... even the most religious person makes mistakes. (I'm not a deep theologian, but I think speeding is even considered a sin) So then there goes on them Fish-y Religious people cutting people off and driving like a blind man

As a person that does identify him self as a follower of Christ, I would hate to sour fellow commuters to the idea of Christianity simply because at times I might like to pass on the right (but that is likely your fault) or simply be a little brain dead that morning.
So no fish for me.

At times I have thought a little about some reverse psychology - you know maybe throw the Darwin fish on to make the Atheists look bad... ah but then I would have to explain to little old Christian ladies that I don't really think Darwin had all the right ideas. I tend to avoid aggressive Christians with purses.

So that leads to what I have on the back of the van. My NASCAR friends tell me it is a Bobby LaBonte number 18 sticker*. It was there from the prvious owner. It is obviously a NASCAR sticker you know how they look... stuck right there in the left hand corner of the back window. I think this is the perfect solution. When I drive like a jerk, people see the sticker and think "Oh a NASCAR fan, no wonder he drives like an idiot" - Real NASCAR fans will not feel guilty by assosiation because they will say "Look that guy is trying to drive like Bobby" and I think it is ok.... unless maybe I was turning right, because I don't think NASCAR Drivers are allowed to go that direction.

*Because my friends that love NASCAR, to my knowledge, do not have web pages I will simply list their names so that when they figure out the web and Google their names they may find this post: Trevor Belec, Roger Lichti, Brant White - It should also be pointed out that apparently Bobby LaBonte has change his number, so I have his old number... which is good because I will only offend people that used to be Bobby LaBonte fans

15 September 2008

Better words than mine.

I pass on these words of Mother Teresa posted by Brad Culver. Means a lot to me today.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

Kind words may be short... but their echoes are endless.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

Good works are links that form a chain of love.

God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.

I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.

Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus.

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home.

8 September 2008

Higher Education

Today is my first day back to school. Over that last few weeks I have had many conversations with people about my (and our, Brea and I) plans. I explain that I previously graduated with a diploma from EBC, but those two years were also the required classes for the first two years of a Bachelor of Religious Education Degree. If this year goes well, I will graduate with my BRE. Upon explaining all of this the question I next get is, "and what are you going to do with your degree?" (the exception being my friend Denny who exclaimed "you not going to be a Pastor are you!?)

It's amazing how tied education is to a goal of a job. Did I just miss this the last time I went through school? What if I'm just going back to school to push my brain? Granted, I am going to get a degree, which requires taking specific classes and involves some structure. I could have just hung out in Chapters for a year. I know that a degree could come in handy - but not any more than the experience I already have. I have yet to land a job using a resume, let alone be hired on my education.

I've been reading Robert M. Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" in it the main character experiments with his students - going a semester with out handing out grades. An attempt to have them learn for learning sake, to not just regurgitate what the professor wants to hear, but think their own thoughts and to make a statement .

That's what this year is for me. I chance to continue being stretched as a person
Actually I guess that's what I want life to be

30 August 2008

And so it begins....

Friday was my last day working for Yake Engineered Systems.
For those of you who don't know me outside of this blog (or just didn't know me that well) Yake Engineered Systems is a company that for the most part works with churches on audio, video and other technical media related stuff. If you know me even a little, you know I love the knobs and wires, so working through some of the little and big technical issues was fun (most of the time)
The last little while - say the last year or so - I have started to reevaluate what life should be. Things like:
How have I let my identity be defined by my career?
What kind of real impact do I have on my world?
What are my goals?
Does living in a true Christian world view involve goals?
Does technology play too big a role in church/religion/worship?
Can you do ministry while selling products?
Have most churches gotten too big or too much like businesses?

There might be some other variations, but that is a good starting point. They are all thoughts that I would like to develop farther and love to read other thoughts on. So over the next little while, if you stay tuned will see stuff on those themes or links to similar thoughts.

So what is next? I'm actually going back to school. It's not that I feel I need more education to get somewhere, but I really feel like I am in a place where God is pushing me to grow. I guess I could do that on my own, but sometimes being pushed by academics is a good kick in the pants. So as of September I'm back to student life.

What else is next? Glad you asked, because I almost forgot. Brea and I are taking a position in October with Stratford House of Blessing as the house parents of Sara's Place Maternity Home. We attempt to stand in the mom and dad role for up to three women ( likely age 16 - 24) while they transition into the role of being a mom. Brea will be the one that works with the girls during the day in the various programs that are necessary. My role will be to be the father figure - encourage, enforce the rules and hopefully get to know the fathers, if they are still in the picture. It's a big step for us... Excited is the word I use most - but scary is exciting too.
I'm not sure how much I will ever blog about that, I would never want to compromise the privacy and security of the home - but I expect that it will be a stretching experience.

28 August 2008

1 Good Read....200 Bad reads

So I saw that Donald Miller had a first post at his new blog

as with most things Donald Miller writes, I laughed. It's worth the read. Go read it before you read the rest of this post..... no really.


So I scrolled to the bottom of the comments and wrote a witty reply.... after which after I read some of the other comments I realized something.... Everyone thinks that Donald Miller could be their close personal friend.... I think somewhere in my delusion I thought, "oh maybe he will read my comment and then know that I exist" Wow sometimes celebrity is so goofy.

I hope Donald Miller continues to write short posts on his blog - but gosh, if it were me I think I would just eliminate the comments section. (Some people are mean too...wow American politics!)

Oh and just in case Donald Miller actually reads my post, clicks on the link here.... wanna have coffee some time?

A review of Rob Bell's new book

If you are a fan of Rob Bell, he has a new book coming out in October - Jesus Wants to Save Christians, by Rob Bell and Don Golden

Ben Witherington has a review of it. I'm a big fan of Witherington's reviews - but be warned it is a long one... but worth the read for sure.

27 August 2008

With the right marketing anyone can be smart.

I sometimes marvel at how companies can spin things to make their products seem better than everything else - when usually most of their competitors product works equally well. Yes, I'm aware that is the most basic priciple of marketing, but sometimes the end result is just goofy.

I the world of sound system there are a lot of great speaker, amp and processing companies - not matter what you read, there is no one company that will sound good no matter what. Each system requires a talented designer to choose the right componets.

So that being said here is a quote that I read.

"I've been in a couple of hundred rooms, and, to me, this is the best-sounding system in the best-sounding room I've ever been in. In so many other rooms, the first thing I would notice as a sound engineer is the system. But here, the first thing I hear when I walk in is the band jamming, the vocalist singing, or a pastor whispering into a mic. Ever musician is communicating directly to me and every word is crystal clear"
- Chris Gille, Audio Department Head
Willow Creek Community Church

First - I'll let you in on a trade secret...every Audio guy that walks into any room will analyze the system. My wife still cringes when I'm critiquing the audio system during a wedding or at any event we are visiting.... so Mr. Chris Gille is no different. What is different is the craziness that the system at Willow Creek is beyond analysis, that in that room, with that system - you just hear the sound.

That is like saying my car runs so smoothly that when I get in I just zoom down the road forgetting I am in a car - while everyone else in the world is aware they are in a car.

OR My forest is so great - I don't even notice it has trees.

Sure he doesn't notice the system ANY MORE. But this is an add using Willow Creek to sell line arrays to churches that would be better off using traditional speakers (my own oppinion).... but if the Mecca of Willow says do it, the clones will follow (ok, that is a different rant)

The reality is every company markets like this to some extent...this one jumped out at me.

25 August 2008

I never have the words

So I've read a few people writing about how they haven't blogged much lately. I get that...

For me it not that I don't have a lot of great thoughts rolling around in my head.

Brad Culver spoke at The Gig on Sunday, so now I've been thinking about being call "Christian" vs things like "Follower of Jesus" He made some great comments on how NOT calling ourselves Christian so that people can't assume they know what that means. Been kicking around in my head today

Thanks to Kamp Krusty I found out Frank Viola has a new book out. I still have to comment on his last one

I've also been thinking lots about Technology and how much we really need it. Been selling off some of the tech toys that I have acquired over the last few years (don't ask what I have - the good stuff is gone)
Why do people think I'm strange for moving to a paper calendar... maybe I'll talk about that some time.

Throw in some Identity stuff that seems to continually be a working process right now and that should give me lots to write about....but not tonight.

Hey did I mention 4 days till I'm done my job?....

21 August 2008

Knowing and Being Known

Brad Abare has an interesting article in Catalyst

First, Everybody Knew Everybody
For thousands of years, communities were made up of interdependent individuals that knew everybody within their vicinity. Lacking long distance communication and the ability to travel far, you didn’t know anybody else except the people in front of you. Everybody knew everybody.

Then, Everybody Knew Somebody
As travel and communication increased, we moved away from everybody knowing everybody to everybody knowing somebody. As cities increased in population and as people spread out, it wasn’t possible to know everybody in your world because your world was getting bigger. As long as we knew somebody, life would still be livable.

Next, Somebody Wanted to Be Known by Everybody
Enter the dawn of pervasive marketing and celebrity, especially post-1800. P.T. Barnum immediately comes to mind as a master of publicity. Revival preachers were also good at positioning themselves publicly so that people wanted want they had. It was no longer possible to know everybody, and knowing somebody was a given. It was now time for everybody to know me. The more people knew me, the more I would be associated with wealth, influence and fame. Yes world, you need to know me.

Now, Everybody Wants to Be Known by Everybody
With the immediate and permeative nature of communication, we’re now living in a period where everybody in the world wants to be known by everybody in the world. The Facebook population alone is as large as the fifth most populated country on earth. Facebook’s entire premise is to be known by everybody. Why else would people spend so much time updating, uploading and upchucking everything about themselves? Yes folks, we want everybody to know us. We’ve come full circle because this is how it started. Everybody knew everybody. Only this time our world is in the billions, not the barrios.

This seems to resound with the type of thoughts I have been thinking.
How many people to I really need to know? the world seems to be focus on quantity not quality of the relationships that we have. I don't know if I have something so interesting to say that I need everyone to know....he writes on his blog ;)

18 August 2008

Donald Miller speaks , wish I was there.

Tim Stevens took notes at the recent Echo Conference where Donal Millar Spoke on the power of story. Some of these are great quotes, mind you I tend to find anything he says compelling...or at least better than I could have said it.

- My friend said, "Life is meaningless." I said, "No, life is fine. Your life is meaningless." It's the story my friend was writing with his life that he didn't like.

- Very seldom are humans happy. They only look back on a moment and think they were happy, even though there weren't. They also look forward and think they'll be happy when they get something or do something. Humans are happiest in the past or future but rarely in the present.

- I think the reason that God made it difficult for men and women to communicate is because he wanted to introduce conflict in the story. Because when it works, it is a beautiful thing

- If you are working in order to fund a better story, that's great. But if your working is your story, then I'm not sure that will be very satisfying.

Church or Football?

I got started reading Good Magazine because of the name similarity...but they do have some really interesting stuff...and every so often something really king of fun

Every Sunday during football season, rabid fans gather to root for their team. That same day, people are going to church to pray. This is a comparison between attendance at megachurches and attendance at football games in the five states with the largest megachurch attendance.

View Section 3, Pew 16

Just as a side note, I'm not really a fan or mega churches or football.

Hint hint

I love when they track this type of stuff......

Dan Cook (Globe and Mail) Posts:

December 2, 2006
: "You have before you a Liberal dream team. Stephen Harper, we are counting the days to the next election." — Liberal Leader Stephane Dion

November 30, 2007: Dion hints there could be a spring election

December 23, 2007: Opposition hints at 2008 federal election

February 10, 2008: Dion hints budget might be election's trigger

July 23, 2008: Dion hints at possible fall vote

August 16, 2008: Liberal Leader Stephane Dion criticizes Stephen Harper's election hints

15 August 2008

To Gear or not to Gear

Matt at 37 signals writes:

Years ago I read a book about guitar effects pedals. Something the author wrote in the intro stuck with me: “Tone is in your fingers.”

He went on to explain: You can buy the same guitar, effects pedals, and amplifier that Eddie Van Halen uses. But when you play that rig, it’s still going to sound like you.

Likewise, Eddie could plug into a crappy Strat/Pignose setup at a pawn shop and you’d still be able to recognize that it’s Eddie Van Halen playing.

Sure, fancy gear can help. But the truth is that your tone comes from you.

I often think of this story when people fixate on gear over content. You know the type: Wannabe designers who want an avalanche of fancy typefaces and Photoshop filters but don’t have anything to say. Amateur photographers who want to debate film vs. digital instead of what actually makes for a great photo. Startup folks that worry more about software and scaling issues then how to actually get customers and make money. They all miss the point.

Aspiring podcasters consantly ask Gary V about the tools he uses. He responds:

It’s not the camera that I use, it’s not the blogging software, it’s not the widgets, it’s not the SEO. It’s the two C’s: content and community…There are so many crap podcasts out there with billion dollar cameras and editing tools for days. It’s about giving from your heart with content you really understand and, more importantly, giving back to the community that supports your show.

Figure out what you have to say that’s interesting and then unleash it. Use whatever tools you’ve got already or what you can afford cheaply. Then go.

It’s not the gear that matters. It’s you and your ideas that matter. Tone is in your fingers.

Crap - gotta go sell my bass gear again.

Want the good news or the bad?

Sometimes the bad news is the good news. So it is with the report that retail sales are down by 0.1 percent in July, the sharpest drop in many months.

Why good news? It means that consumers are starting to cut back. They could be going into less debt. They might be saving more. They are being more careful about long-term plans pending short-term trends.

I don't know if people are really learning anything - or if things are just so bad that something has to change....sort of reading the manual after you have spent hours claiming you "know what your doing" reading it once dosen't mean you will pick it up the next time you open the Ikea box.

The article isn't actually annoucing that any big change is happeing, but more challenges the way we somtimes interpret data. It caught my attention because I sort of hope that maybe people will start to change the way they spend money.... well I can hope right?

14 August 2008

Direction of the Spiral?

I’m reading this morning and something hit me.

Beneath the subtlety of religion (which is a system of performance) is the lie that I’m not really broken, that secretly I’m okay. And that if I just learn the right thing, know the right material, read the right book, do the right thing, or pray a certain way that I will be okay. Nobody will notice my indiscretions. And the very nature of the lie is to convince me that it is true, and because I’ve believed it I hold out hope that the lie is actually true. The search for those things leads me down the spiral to captivity, yet to admit the truth is to let go, which I don’t want to do because then I will have to admit I am broken.

Just thinking out loud.

I think that is me too. I seek knowledge to enhance my faith, but the knowledge leads me to rely on knowledge not faith. The question is - can that become a cycle of growth and not a downward spiral?

Better and faster at meaningless

Jordan Cooper posts:

"We can talk on the phone as we eat fast food while using the ATM. Not only are we better at multitasking and becoming more productive and efficient, along with the increased pace, more is required of us. And so we hurtle through life faster and faster, becoming busier and busier. The result is that in our busyness we are becoming increasingly efficient at leading meaningless lives."

Don Whitney, professor, Midwestern Seminary

Yep... that's what it seems like.

6 August 2008

The Junky Car Club

I came across the Junky Car Club today... This seems like a neat idea to me
Junky Car Club members are learning to live with less so we can give more. We're a bunch of happy drivers who are politely rebelling against consumerism by driving junky cars. We encourage our members to use their dough to support social justice causes instead of making fat car payments. We believe in environmental stewardship and hanging onto things a little longer. Junky Car Club members sponsor kids living in poverty through Compassion International.
I ride the bus for a similar reason. We switched to a 2000 mini van as part of our on going goal to just spend less on "things" If junky cars, saving money and donating to the poor can become cool - I think I'm in favour.


3 August 2008

iThoughts and cool culture

I have been thinking about technology and consumerism a lot lately. It plays into my decision on why I am quitting my job at the end of the summer* There have been a number of great post on it in the last few days.

Empire Remixed has thoughts on media interviewing people people that slept out side to be the first to have an iPod
Why is it that we celebrate those who sleep on the street in order to consume, and yet shun those who sleep on the street because they can’t afford to be anywhere else…what is wrong with us?

Jordon Cooper takes on the culture of cool.
Culture and coolness is local. It’s all local. When I am in rural Saskatchewan, a leather John Deere ball cap is cool and a very important part of culture. Yet when I hear people in the church talk about culture, we talk about “emerging culture” (there is no such thing), or global culture (sorry, culture is awfully localized). The thinking is what is cool in San Francisco or New York is going to be cool in Saskatoon or Calgary is incorrect. I always cringe when I read my blog as being listed as an important blog to read for understanding culture. That is totally incorrect, you don’t understand culture by reading a blog about culture, you learn about culture by observing it or living in it. Now there are those that are completely oblivious to popular culture but they aren’t trying to be cool anyways.
I've been walking through this sort of stuff and should really get my thoughts down, but for now others continue to give me good things to think about

* Sorry if you haven't heard the news on the job change, I should really get around to writing about the eh?

31 July 2008

I'm being tracked

I've been noticing the content of the user specific ads that appear all around us - Google, Gmail, Facebook etc.

Today on Facebook I saw the following Ad title

"Is someone tracking you?"

umm...yeah.... Facebook

28 July 2008

Please think of your reading public

Public Service Reminder to the People that blog


I read you blog for the tech/theology/wit/knowledge/whatever. I love your blog and that's why you're on my RSS feed. One picture was nice - now.... stop.

......hmm do I link to the offending web site? sure

6 June 2008

Because I have yet to say something cool.

I have yet to read much (ok, anything) of G.K. Chesterton, But I have read many quotes from him in my reading of Marshall McLuhan - So in the interest of the "sound bite" here are some excellent quote that I stumbled on...

Happy Birthday, G.K. Chesterton! «:
"Here are a few of my favorite G.K. Chesterton quotes:

- “The point of an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid.”

- “Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”

- “The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs.”

- “By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.”

- “The aim of good prose words is to mean what they say. The aim of good poetical words is to mean what they do not say.”

- “You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion.”

- “It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.”

- “All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead; but the darker secret of why he is alive.”

- “There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.”

- “These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own"
Maybe I should go to the library tonight... and try to find some of these.

4 June 2008

Stoopid Stoopid Stoopid

I should know better than to leave chocolate covered almonds on my desk before I eat lunch (maybe just in general too)

I think I just ate a half pound.


3 June 2008

Turn up the Computer

I just recently was told I should tell people about some of the little things that I use on my computer that "normal" people don't know about.

If you like music.... never have enough new or old tunes check out LAST.FM

It plays music based on an artist or a style you tell it you like and it does a great job of learning your tastes. I started with U2 and was not surprised that it found a bunch of similar music - Sting, REM, etc. But, when I went back to my obscure tastes it found knew - The Prayer Chain... and suggested other music that I loved back in the 90's

You don't have to create an account to test it out, but if you do it starts to remember you tastes and make your own stations. I think I'm going to add the Facebook app.

2 June 2008

Robotic Arms of the Present

It is not often I see a video clip that impresses me. The following link has clip of some of the robotics work that will help people that have lot/never had arms. It is really cool to see where technology is at.
I'm too lazy to embed the video myself - click through to enjoy.
Dean Kamen's Robot Arm Grabs More Publicity | Gadget Lab from Wired.com:

(For the McLuhan fans... this is a case of a technology being a literal extension of man.)

14 May 2008

A new message on this old medium

So look here is a post.
I'll give you a minute to recover.

It's been a long time since I've written ANYTHING. Not here - Not anywhere.
It's not like nothing has happened. umm let's see.

Got Married. - could have written about that eh?
thought I should at least write about that. I will keep Brea's mentions to a minimum because she like to keep a low web profile.

But - I am back wanting to write. I think, what I care about has changed, or is in the process of changing.

It started with a book by Shane Hipps and his thought on media, faith and the church - but also his focus on the writings of Marshall Mcluhan on the laws of media. I've started to look at how the church adopt technology with out much thought as to the effects. It has really caused me to think about how we use technology in our faith - in our lives - everywhere.

I don't want to say that this is the beginning of some new blogging experience. Been there done that But I do want to start some conversations about how I think we are just buying into the flow of technology and consumerism (yeah, I'm on that pony too)

Not sure what that is going to look like yet... but here we go.