Archive for September 2008

Keeping my day job

Yeah, so, Michelle is contemplating a new tattoo, but wanted to play with size and placement.  My way of “helping” was to bust out a cone of henna, and do a quick mock-up of something similar to what she wants to have done.  Here’s the result: I’m guessing my future as a henna artist – check that – ANY kind of artist is in serious question.  Those things in that circle are supposed to be horses . . . or eels, you know, whatever works for you.



Beautiful Day – Compassion Unleashed

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce my blog audience to a good man, named Jon Talbert.  My life immediately got better a couple of years ago, when I met Jon as a member of my doctoral cohort at George Fox Seminary.  I shared a hotel room with him in downtown Portland, walked the streets of that amazing city with him, and got a chance to see him in his “other” profession – you see, he’s a “pastor by day, and a stand-up comic by night.”  I’m sworn to secrecy on the actual events of the open mic night he performed at, but I’ll just say that he’s got a great act.  He’s got a special gift of engaging any group of people with a genuine caring demeanor, and an ability to make people smile and laugh. I wanted to bring him to your attention for two reasons.  First, […]



Personal Responsibility & The Empire of Greed

Almost as soon as I hit the “publish” button on yesterday’s post, I was already thinking that I needed to write a follow-up.  So here goes. First things first, I’m big on citing my sources, and I just wanted to say that when I write things that refer to consumerism as patriotism, that means I’m ripping off my good friend Jason Evans.  He’s a really good example of how I try hard in life to surround myself with people that are smarter than me. Speaking of people smarter than me, my dear wife, Michelle, commented on yesterday’s post with some of the very same thoughts I had in mind for my follow-up, so let’s jump in now.  Among other things (some of which she and I may have to agree to disagree on), she noted that we have participated quite heavily in this financial empire, and we’ve certainly benefited from […]



The Empire of Greed

It’s nice to know, in the middle of a presidential election campaign, who/what is really in charge around here.  The almighty dollar.  For years, we’ve been told to drink from the fountain of never-ending economic expansion – “buy more houses and cars and HDTVs for more money, but with less money. Don’t quit spending, whatever you do, because (wait for it, you know what’s coming . . .) if you stop spending money, the terrorists win.  Those nasty fascist religious wingnuts hate our consumeristic decadence, do they?  Well they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  We’ll prove exactly how much more consumeristic and decadent we can get.”  Why?  Because it’s the patriotic thing to do.  “I”m proud to be an American* / Where at least I know I’m free**.” I sat in my car today yelling at the radio as the Speaker of the House gave an absolutely idiotic interview blaming all […]



Still on the fence re: The Born Again Church Tour?

I just got the following word from the good folks at Off The Map: Want to come to Off The Maps Born Again Church Tour in Seattle on October 10-11th ? Waited too long to buy a ticket? No worries! Since you’ve been to other Off The Map Events we’re guessing you’d really like to come. Now you can! Here’s a special offer just for you. Buy one Get one free – (good until this Sunday at midnight) Buy one full price ticket for $99 and you will receive a second ticket for free/nada/zip/zero. Hey split the cost with your friend and you pay only $49.50 each. What a deal! Buy your ticket(s) here Offer expires this Sunday at Midnight Pass the link around – Let your friends in on the deal – Take advantage of us. That’s a crazy good deal . . . you might just want to […]



Willful ignorance

I’m feeling really out of touch right about now.  With the start of the new school year at UW only a week away (which means move-in for inter::mission only two days away), I’ve been sprinting to get lots of last minute projects and details done.  Good meetings with students and staff, heaving furniture up The Purple Door’s tight and winding staircases, getting keys cut, and plotting out our fall series of teach-ins.  While all that’s going on, my parents flew in for a quick visit over the weekend.  It was the most time Michelle and I have had with them in a long, long time, so we enjoyed it.  Oh, and I’m still buried in my dissertation these days. All that has added up to me almost completely ignoring the fact that the world is moving along rapidly without me.  Other than seeing Twitter updates from people who lost power, […]



On being a pro-life voter

Over the past couple of weeks, paying even a little bit of attention to the political conventions, speeches, vice presidential nominations, etc., I have done an unusual amount of thinking about the whole abortion debate.  Especially since one candidate’s running mate, in particular, seems to have been chosen based largely on this issue, it’s been in my brain. I’ll say that in all of my political thinking that’s shifted around a bit in the past ten years or so, one of the bigger reasons I’ve maintained a soft spot in my heart for conservative politics is because of this issue.  I won’t go fully into my position on “when life begins,” because, well, it’s not anything you haven’t heard before.  Let’s just say that with advances in medical technology that push the age of viability of premature babies earlier and earlier, I’m pretty opposed to ending that life.  Oh, and […]



Telling God what God should be doing – when, where, and how

I seem to be completely hammered busy these days – so much so that I am having a hard time coming up with my own words to blog . . . my words are being spent on other writing projects at the moment.  So in place of my words, here are some that are better anyway.  I read the following just now, and almost laughed out loud, because it very closely describes an effort by one of my denomination’s mission agencies over the past seven or eight years – tens of millions of dollars has been spent on some special targeted projects in North American cities.  They still do this stuff.  The funny thing is, Roland Allen wrote these words over 80 years ago! Our love of organization leads us to attempt to fix the place where, and the time at which, and the men by whom, a spiritual movement […]



Recession Preparedness

Last night, Michelle and I had the pleasure of attending a brainstorming session hosted by the Mustard Seed Associates.  It was an experimental session to creatively bring people together around the issue of the economic recession.  From the handout we were given: “One of the surprising positive side effects of the devastation of [Hurricane] Katrina three years ago is that numbers of churches and denominations have developed very sophisticated disaster preparedness strategies.  In fact, surprising numbers of churches were ready for Gustav.  But we haven’t been able to identify any churches that have developed recession preparedness strategies as we head into uncertain economic times . . .” This is an issue that is increasingly important with rising costs of food and fuel, as well as the mortgage crisis taking place.  More and more people at all economic levels will experience difficulty.  Even people who are in comfortable middle class, seemingly […]



Control Freaks Celebrate!

I was reading some juicy bits from Roland Allen’s genius work from nearly a hundred years ago.  He’s got the control freaks of Christendom pegged in a big way.  Sadly, we’ve not made much progress. Speaking of spontaneous movements of people choosing to follow Jesus, he writes: By spontaneous expansion I mean something which we cannot control. And if we cannot control it, we ought, as I think, to rejoice that we cannot control it. For if we cannot control it, it is because it is too great not because it is too small for us. The great things of God are beyond our control. Therein lies a vast hope. From The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It.  Available as a web page here.