Safranitis and other crap

The whole John Safran exorcism episode sure has got people hunting for explanations.

This normally quiet blog with a fairly select readership (yes that’s you!) has been off its nut the last week as people have been googling for Safran.

Last year I made the mistake of posting about A-strali-an Id-l and every man and his dog rolled up to hear my completely uninformed observations. (I have left blanks so I don’t pull another crowd!)

I’m not sure how google works things, but every now and then I seem to land at the top of the google pile for better or worse.

The Safran one was interesting because i think it is something we ought to be able to speak to. The range of reponses indicates a readership beyond those I normally target.

BTW – those I normally target are highly intelligent, discerning, open minded, articulate thinking adults… but people like Gareth also read it. 🙂

Actually if I were to describe a target audience it would be those who are doing the same kind of stuff we are in planting churches, re-imagining church and mission, and exploring spirituality in a post-christian world.

The blogs I normally read are:

First – local – usually people who live in my own city – I guess I’m just a nosey bugger and like to know what’s going on around me.
Second – for want of a better term, those who are also in the ’emerging church’ scene both here and overseas.
Third – Nope… there isn’t a third category!…

I actually read much more than I comment on, which I imagine is the way for most people. Comments are made when I am inspired, angry or suitably motivated.

Anyway if you’re read all this then you are obviously bored today because I have been rambling inanely!

Testosterone Overload

Yesterday Stuart and I went out for a bash in the 4WD’s up north of where we live and then today Mark and I did the same.

Its all of 400m to bush tracks so it makes for easy access and a lot of fun.

It struck me again just what a blokey activity 4WDing is! Climbing dunes, bouncing over tracks, racing down the beach, attempting the same hill climb 4 times just because you so badly want to do it…

Funnily enough there were no girls out there bashing around – but lots of blokes – just one person per car but each with a mate, all enjoying the day and using up a fair slab of testosterone while they are at it.

On Dec 16 we head off for a week to Margaret River with Stu and family and one of the things I’d love to do is make the trip to Black Point – a 4WD only surf spot about 50kms from there. Its a legendary spot and I have surfed near it once, but never had the right wheels to get back there.

Loving being a bloke!

That’s all…

On the Money

Its not that hard to know what we are called to do. Its in the book and spelt out a number of times.


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asks Willard’s question:

‘Can your church group put a sign out the front, or an advertisement in the paper saying, “We teach people who have chosen to follow Jesus how to do all He commanded them to do?” ‘

Its just not that hard is it?…

Just Life

Today I’ve had some really inspiring conversations and met with some fantastic people. I’ve also had some disturbing news and as a result the day has felt really heavy. Good friends struggling with the crap of life sure outweighs some big wins on the work front.

I feel like we are in the middle of some significant spiritual attack at present. That’s about all I can say, but its not real enjoyable.

‘Heavy’ is a good word.

Then again its just ‘life’ in all of its joys and struggles…

Could it Be?…

Recently I have been reading Alan Jamieson’s thesis from which he wrote ‘A Churchless Faith’, a book in which he explores why normal, clear thinking, unembittered people have given up on church but not on God.

I am only half way thru but here’s where I sense he is heading”

He has unpacked Fowler’s six stages of faith alongside Keniston’s modal development levels and seems to be suggesting that most evangelical Pentecostal churches rarely move people beyond a stage 3 level faith – that they draw strong black and white lines, have fairly clear behaviour codes and rarely challenge people to really grapple with faith.

They are predictable self perpetuating environments.

As such when people move to the higher stages of faith development, church as they know it can be an inhibiting factor. It can seem to be a ‘been there done that’ kind of experience.

While it is a significant generalisation I think there is some merit in his thesis. Maybe those with a churchless faith would belong to a church if ‘church’ engaged with them in meaningful ways.

Kick Telstra’s Butt

One of the things that really sucks about living in Brighton is that we pay long distance rates for all of our local calls outside of the immediate area. It makes for humugous phone bills.

So here’s a thought”

Why not ditch the landline altogether? We have access to cable internet so most of us can survive without it (unless you need a fax”)

Here’s how it could work:

Buy 4 Telstra mobiles on a $20.00 contract and with each mobile choose the ‘my hour’ option which will give one hour per day of free calls up to 20 minutes in length (to any phone anywhere in Aus). That means there will be four hours of the day when all calls will be free.

If the bulk of phone calls can be made in the free time then the $10.00 of included calls per contract can be used for those emergencies outside of those times.

Use one phone as your primary number for incoming calls and the others for outgoing only.

Currently our landline with AAPT is around $130.00/month and we have two mobiles, one on a $30.00 plan and one on a $20.00 plan. It makes me mad that we pay $180.00/mth just for phone calls!!

But” if we ditch the landline and this system works then we could reduce that by $100.00/mth or $1200.00/year.

Even with 5 or 6 Telstra mobiles (sounding silly doesn’t it) its still a lot cheaper. Of course it’d be a mess with 6 phones sitting around and you’d need to remember which one was for which hour – but it could be a way to beat this ridiculous system.

I know some people have been thinking about it, but the question is ‘Can we do it? Will we regret it?’

The only thing that holds me back is the fact that my friends would have to pay mobile rates every time they called me.

I’m such a thoughtful guy 🙂 (sigh)

Just My Two Bobs Worth

At last week’s round table meeting with the Church of Christ youth pastors we discussed the whole thing of planting an ’emerging church’ and I sensed the need to clarify that its not for everyone.

In fact its probably not for lots of people…

Just as planting a typical church is not for everyone I would suggest there are some character qualities that enhance a person’s chances of success and some that would be less desirable.

Perhaps the top of my list is what you might call being a ‘self starter’, or an ‘initiative taker’. So far no one has come to my door and asked me for information about Jesus… No one has invited me to join a community group, and no one who I hadn’t met first has asked me into their home.

Hmmm… tell you something?!

I’d suggest that if a person isn’t prepared to make the first move then it’ll be a long, lonely and possibly disillusioning experience. I sense the ability to grab the bull by the horns and take initiative in meeting people is for me possibly the single biggest quality a church planter needs.

Alongside this would be the ability to live with chaos, ambiguity and uncertainty cheaper by the dozen 2 download free beowulf grendel divx movie online . This is pretty hard at times as we come from well established and ordered systems that have been part of our lives for a long time.

But in an emerging missional setting we are ‘building the bridge as we walk on it’, learning as we go and changing as we need to. We are an experiment in progress and those seeking stability and predictability will be disturbed by the lack of familiarity. Ultimately there needs to be some systems established as no organism can live in a constant state of chaos, but these will take time to form and may even mutate regularly as the church evolves.

Clarity of vision would also be very high on the list of important qualities. It can be easy to get distracted from the main game or to be swayed by the opinions of other strong people. While you may not need to have filled in all the blanks, a well distilled concept of who you are and what you are doing is essential.

The longer I do this the stronger my own sense of calling to being a missionary becomes and the stronger is my committment to leading a team of people who also see themselves as urban missionaries. I don’t want to preach good sermons or run great Sunday services. I will do these things if they are what missionaries do, but I won’t be chasing them in themselves.

Have I forgotten qualities like love, patience, sense of humour, etc etc?…

Nope – there are many essentials – some I would take as ‘givens’ – but my observation of how we have planted churches over the years would suggest that others need to be spelt out a little more clearly!

Just my two bobs worth