Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka!

When Jan and I got married in December 2001, we were fortunate enough to honeymoon in Maui, which gave us the awesome chance to spend Christmas in Hawaii.

As an added bonus for about 3 of the following years, we had family living there, so we visited as often as time and the Bank Manager would allow, so we had a couple of Hawaiian Christmases.

Clearly, we fell in love with the place, and there’s barely a day goes by when we don’t make some kind of reference to it in Casa Laird.

One of the huge hi-lights we always enjoyed was a visit to New Hope, the Church our family attended. The guys at New Hope always make Christmas so special, and their Christmas productions were just a joy!

Get a feel for the way they do things on their site.

Mahalo, New Hope, and Mele Kalikimaka!

Thanks for the wonderful memories.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Communitas New Orleans

Isn’t the web a wonderful thing?

A few clicks – a comment here and there – a polite acknowledgement, and a budding relationship forms.

Thanks, Mike, for passing by, and if anyone else is reading, check out Communitas New Orleans’ site.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Heavy Frost

I have to say a huge "thanks" to fellow Salvationist blogger Craig Gaudion, who tipped me off about this staggeringly powerful and challenging preach from Morling College professor, Pastor of smallboatbigsea, and writer of (amongst other things) EXILES:Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture, Michael Frost.

The vid is a couple of mammoth 45 minute slots - 2 preaches from one conference.. but if you can make the time they are well worth hearing....whatever your perspective on life, or wherever you are in your faith journey.

Highly recommended.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rob Bell In TIME

Good to see Rob Bell getting some props in TIME Magazine:

Read the piece here:

HT to the Headphonaught for the gratuitous “me and my buddy” pic with Rob.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Chick on TV

Chick Yuill is getting some air time on the BBC this weekend:

• He is a guest on BBC Radio 2 ‘Good Morning Sunday’ show with Aled Jones – where he will share a thought for the day and take part in discussions between 7.30am-8am.

• On the same day he also guests on BBC1 TV ‘Christmas Voices’ with Soprano Lesley Garrett 10am-11am. He’s not singing(which is a great shame! – but will be discussing topical issues including alcohol.

Check it out if you are able!

Hope08 is an initiative supporting the work of Churches in the UK, by facilitating intensified, united, focused prayer and driving a year of activities, communicating the Gospel through words and actions, creating a lasting legacy of both physical and spiritual change in the lives of communities and individuals.

Supporting Local Churches
across the UK in their commitment to serve and witness to their communities

Encouraging Collaboration
between churches and agencies in reaching out to their communities

Resourcing and Training
local churches to develop their ability to engage with their communities on a long term basis

Impacting Individuals and Communities

with the Gospel through words and actions during 2008.

Chick is Chair of the Hope in Greater Manchester core group. He brings a wealth of experience from 35-years in ministry, including 7-years as head of The Salvation Army in the North West.

His role is to support and encourage churches and ministries across Greater Manchester to work together, discern God's will, and plan and prepare for the amazing opportunities offered by Hope 2008.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


A random response of mine to a portion of Lard’s debut Relevant Podcast has started a train of thought that might be worth exploring.

The podcast, which was introducing Lloyd as a new staff member at Relevant, included quite a lot of banter about Britain and Britishness. It was all very light hearted and funny, but did seem to indicate a bit of a blind spot about what the US-based podcast hosts understood about the UK. One of the guys said most of what he knew about Britain was based on TV reruns of Mr Bean.

I gently suggested that Lloyd was going to have to educate his American colleagues (dontcha just love ‘em?)about what constitutes British culture….beyond Mr Bean. It did make me think, though. What is British culture…I mean what is it, really?

Ruby Murray?
Match of the Day on the telly?

Who knows?

….and is London a country all of it’s own, with it’s own culture, which is distinct from the rest of the UK?

Top fellah, Phil Hoyle offered the following comment:

I mean, living in London, the culture is largely multi-culture. Is that an acceptable summation?
In generic terms, I guess the pub would have to feature. Tea, of course. Roast dinners? Fish and Chips? Reality TV? Binge Drinking? Cynicism? Sarcasm? Irony? Love of the underdog?

What’s your take on it?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


So cool to hear my good buddy Lloyd Kinsley's first podcast for Relevant.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

“I would just like to thank……”

A big thank you to Thomas AKA The Headphonaught awarded me with a Subversive Blogger Award here: I feel like an Oscar Winner!

This meme was initiated by Thomas' buddy Jake Bouma.

Subversive bloggers are unsatisfied with the status quo, whether in church, politics, economics or any other power-laden institution, and they are searching for (and blogging about) what is new (or a "return to") - even though it may be labeled as sacrilege, dangerous, or subversive.

I like it!

Thomas tagged me along with the following guys, who may well be worth checking out, too:

1. Pernell Goodyear - He’s a top Canadian chappie, and one of my blogging faves as well
2. JD Blundell - New to me, but Thomas’ recommendations are normally on the button.
3. Matt Wilson - Ditto
4. Royzoner - I’m an occasional visitor here, and it’s usually interesting

So, in turn, I’m going to tag these guys:
Duncan McFadzean

The rules of participation are pretty straightforward:

1. If you are tagged, write a post with links to five subversive blogs
2. Link back to this post so people can easily find the origin of the meme
3. Optional: Proudly display the "Subversive Blogger Award" somewhere on your blog (images below) with a link to the post that you wrote.

Take the image from the top of this post [courtesy of Josh Brown and Red Cowboy Designs] Download it but... please... upload it to your own server (Jake has another design on his blog

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sutton SA 2.0

The last post I made on the new initiative at Sutton Salvation Army Church prompted the Thomas AKA Headphonaught, self-confessed investigative [nosy] blogger to offer a few thoughts, ask a few questions, and to encourage me to posts a follow-up , so here goes :

Thomas wanted to know if there is a Tariro / Army connection... and who approached who?

Apparently the Tariro thing came about as the first (and only other) coffee shop is in Morden near The Salvation Army’s ALOVE Offices and was used by the ALOVE gang regularly*. In true relational/incarnational style, they got chatting to the owner and developed a friendship. As Tariro are a non-profit making organization and support international development work with their profits there was clearly a lot of common ground.

(*Knowing some of the guys at ALOVE, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve also made relationships with the local Italian, Chinese, Indian & Thai restaurant owners in the area as well!)

When the good folks at Sutton SA looked at their how they wanted to “be” in their community, having a 'proper' coffee house with a shared vision was on the list as one way of ensuring that the buildings are open every day, all day.

In an interesting strangulation of the English language, the Headphonaught asked some questions about footFALL, and a good friend from Sutton responded by talking about their footBALL sports ministry!

Apparently, the football thing was started by some of their sports mad twenty-somethings who were keen to see sports ministry as a part of the church and a way to involve the local boys from the estate with our own kids. Now it incorporates coaches from Fulham FC and the Community Neighbourhood Police team, so that the local PCs can get to know the local boys in a new context and begin to build relationships. The kids train every Saturday at a local park which is a 2 minute walk from The Salvation Army.

Exciting times for Sutton!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sutton SA

In an interesting departure for a Salvation Army Corps (Church), one of our neighbo(u)ring set-ups at Sutton Salvation Army Church are partnering with Fair Trade coffee house Tariro, who have installed one of their franchises inside the Army building as part of the overall refurbishment.

It will be really interesting to see how this pans out, but I - for one - admire their initiative.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On a Mission

This evening my Church's new Mission Team get together for the first time.

Since the days since the Senior Leadership Team have been meeting, praying and working through the process of who should take on this onerous task of Mission, the following passage of Scripture has stayed with me:

God-of-the-Angel-Armies will step in and take care of his flock, the people of Judah.

He'll revive their spirits, make them proud to be on God's side.
God will use them in his work of rebuilding,
use them as foundations and pillars,
Use them as tools and instruments,
use them to oversee his work.
They'll be a workforce to be proud of, working as one,
their heads held high, striding through swamps and mud,
Courageous and vigorous because God is with them,
undeterred by the world's thugs.

Zechariah 10:3 The Message

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lard, Becks, Elijah, Taff & Nicky

It feels like it's been coming for a long time, but my good friends Lard and Becks, and their lovely wee man Elijah head off to the sunset for a new life in Florida.

Lard's going to be working for the wonderful folks at Relevant.

Weirdly enough, the follow hot on the heels of another part of my crew - Simon & Nicky - left for their new life in Philly a matter of days ago too.

We'll miss you guys!

I can only echo MrsParker's post here:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My Church is on a journey.

Focussing on ‘OTHERS’ we move from Maintenance … to MISSION and from Programme …to PEOPLE

This weekend, new Mission Team members were announced to help us move forward with this new and exciting initiative.

We’re so blessed to have an amazing group of leaders here, whose global experience should be a big boon to our community.

I thought I’d share some excerpts of the biogs that were used during the initial presentation:

Gordon - Resources

Gordon worships at Croydon Citadel with his wife Pauline, and is an International Emergency Relief Worker for The Salvation Army, with huge international experience. He served with The Salvation Army in Russia (Volgograd, Rostov and Moscow) for two years, as well as working for the SA in Iraq, Uganda and Pakistan. Gordon has attended assessments or other Army work in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Syria and Kenya.

Gordon served for 13 months between 2005 and 2006 in Kuwait with the Iraq Relief Project.

At Croydon, Gordon operated our “soup-run” on behalf of the Corps from 1990 to 1999.

In the UK, Gordon has worked for The Salvation Army’s London Central Division from in the London Homelessness Services, working with Street-homeless people, and from late 2002 to mid-2004 was Manager of The Salvation Army Homeless Services, responsible for the management of London Central Hostels and Homeless outreach units.

Gordon is by nature a “leader” but also has the underlying understanding to know that he is not capable without God and believes he has the flexibility to be able to follow God’s leading - irrespective of how strange the direction at times.

Janet - Discipleship

Janet’s father hailed from St Lucia, and her mother came from Jamaica where she had been a Salvationist. When the couple immigrated to London in the early ‘60s the family retained that close connection with The Salvation Army.

London born Janet, AKA Mrs Johnny Laird has had a 15 year career in teaching, and has just returned to work in a local school in Oxted, after having taken a career break to have her children Mia & Noah. As well as her Batchelor of Education degree, Janet holds a Certificate in Counseling skills. During her first stint of teaching, Janet started an Alpha course in her home with her teacher colleagues.

Janet has a sister who lives in the US. Janet & Evelyn still manage to talk almost daily! ;-)

Janet is passionate about Church in the community, and thinks it’s important that Christ followers make an impact where they are.

Pauline – Ministry

Pauline is married to Gordon, and has a son, daughter, two granddaughters and one grandson. She was a stalwart of our Corps Charity Shop where she worked from 1989 to 1999.

Together with Gordon, she served with The Salvation Army in Russia from October 1999 to September 2002. Pauline also served in Kuwait for all of 2005 with the Iraq Relief Project.

Pauline has a calm and personal manner, and is not prone to excitability and easy to talk to. She is s good listener who is generally diplomatic and normally not prone to taking “sides”.

Anita & Duncan - Fellowship

Anita & Duncan are married with Daisi (5) and Max (2), a rabbit and guinea pig!!

Duncan is the Director of International Development at The Salvation Army's Territorial Headquarters, often traveling to developing countries to support Salvation Army work internationally. Anita works 2 days a week as a PA - also on Territorial Headquarters in the Evangelism Department. During the rest of the week she is a domestic goddess/home-maker, and blogs at MrsParkeratHome.

Duncan spends many weekends of the year leading meetings and preaching at other Salvation Army Corps and churches within the UK. Anita is a staff member of Territorial Music School.

A few years ago both made very personal commitments to be more concerned about people than about programme. Anita & Duncan hope this manifests itself in having more time to be there for others, especially each other, their children, family, closest friends and neighbours.

They traveled together during 1995 and 1996 to the USA where we worked on children’s camps, before Anita found work at The Salvation Army’s US National Headquarters in Washington DC and Duncan ran a family community centre.

Duncan & Anita think their gifts lie in interaction. They love spending time with people and just chatting. An ideal evening for them is to sit with coffee and food and chat with friends and family. Duncan & Anita are great hosts - They certainly enjoy being generous with our time and with their home. Anita is exploring her musical writing skills, recently having one song published, and Duncan thinks his gift is getting things done and an ability to upset the apple cart!

Duncan talking about Anita:
'Anita was the worst cook in the world when we first married but is now awesome. Her special gifts are that she can organize everything, everyone and anything and she is a great administrator to an annoying perfectionism! Her best gifts are that she can make me laugh and relax even after the toughest day, and can juggle crazy timetables for the kids, herself and me and still make sure the home is running properly.'

Anita talking about Duncan:
Duncan's only weakness in life is being unable to say no - when he takes on a task he refuses to stop until the job is done with 110% effort. When at home, Duncan loves nothing more than to be with the kids, do stuff around the home and coffee - lots of coffee. Whether it be work, health and fitness or a spot of DIY, Duncan strives to be the best at everything (something he tries to pass on to Daisi for her sports day!)

Duncan loves being a family man.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


...was 2 this weekend...

Blogging's been slight as I've been a little under the weather lately.

The boy has recently been shorn of his beautiful curls, but somehow, now that he's two it seems appropriate.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


It’s time I had a shuffle, and updated the blog roll.


In comes Darren Plummer, Pastor of Mosaic Community Church in College Park Maryland, and Peppermint-Filled Piñatas Group originator on Facebook.

I’m also going to include Duncan McFadzean’s next door neighbour-but-one, Duncan MacLaren just because they must deserve some kind of recognition for living so close, and both having aesthetically pleasing missional-stylee blogs, and remarkably similar names to boot!

I’ve been meaning to include the wonderful brace of blogs from Self Confessed Septuagenarian, Joe Noland - Slightly Irreverent and Slightly Irregular. Joe is a California based retired Salvation Army Commissioner, which kinda means he’s a bit of a deal in our little Sally Army world. Jim’s two blogs are refreshing, challenging, funny, progressive & pretty inspirational. Plus, I have to thank Joe for the funky-as-anything shot accompanying this post.

Chris Hinton stays, but in his Council of War guise.


Sad to say, but I’m going to remove a few dormant blogs:

Chris Parker goes because his blog ground to a halt after his trip to Africa. You should start blogging again, Chris. I’m sure you’ve got lots of good stuff to share

Glenis at Pocket Mummy has succumbed to the Facebook disease, and seemingly abandoned the blog! ;-)

Tim’s blog seems to have given up the ghost, but Mrs Tim AKA Lucy is going strong, with regular thought provoking posts.

If you are lurking, and would like to be included on the blogroll, just bounce me over a comment, and I’d be happy to oblige.


Roots 2008: Going public

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bellshill visit

The visit to Bellshill I blogged about went like a dream. As I anticipated, it was so cool to reconnect with Thomas & Olly, finally meet up with Dan & Carol-Anne, and hook up with all the good folks at Bellshill.

Both Thomas & Dan have given a much a much better impression of the weekend than I could manage, so go ahead & check their posts here and here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Alba gu Bràth!*

I’m looking forward to traveling to Bellshill tomorrow with the Band, and more importantly hooking up again with Thomas & Olly and the girls. I hear, too, that Dan Rous is going to make a visit, so it will be good to finally meet another blogging buddy in the flesh.

Bellshill can call itself home town to a remarkable array of stellar figures….Man U's Sir Matt Busby, Rangers legend Ally McCoist, Scotland captain Barry Ferguson, Sheena Easton, intermittant blogger Mrs Parker, Chick Yuill…..and MY DAD!

It will be good to spend some time in Scotland again – if only fleetingly.

*It feels good to add some Gaelic to my blog – lends a certain authenticity & celticness.

To be honest, though, I wouldn’t know how to say it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Biblical Living

HT to Doug Pagitt for alerting me to this interesting - and funny – piece on an agnostic guy who tried to live by the rules of the Bible for a year….religiously.

A few select quotes from the article:

“There’s a lot about gratefulness in the Bible, and I would say I’m more thankful. I focus on the hundred little things that go right in a day, instead of the three or four things that go wrong.”

“…during the experiment I wore a lot of white clothes, because Ecclesiastes says let your garments always be white, and I loved it, so I look like Tom Wolfe now. Wearing white just made me happier. I couldn’t be in a bad mood walking down the street looking like I was about to play in the semifinals at Wimbledon”

…made me smile….

I might just buy the book, although I think you’ll find THE Book a lot more useful.

Having had a chuckle, it has really made me think about those who call ourselves Christians….and/or followers of Jesus… sometimes struggle to live a life that falls into line with what we learn about in Scripture, and most specifically one reflects the teachings of Jesus. So often, we get so wrapped up in our systems & rules & regulations that the simple words and wonderful life of that Man, born in Bethlehem, get shunted way down the list of the things that make us who we are.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


...been reading Luke 14 in The Message:

"When you're invited to dinner, go and sit at the last place. Then when the host comes he may very well say, 'Friend, come up to the front.' That will give the dinner guests something to talk about! What I'm saying is, If you walk around with your nose in the air, you're going to end up flat on your face. But if you're content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself."

Then he turned to the host. "The next time you put on a dinner, don't just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You'll be — and experience — a blessing. They won't be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned — oh, how it will be returned!— at the resurrection of God's people."

Wise words:

HT to Shane Claiborne for reminding me about this passage, when he writes about it in his massively challenging book, The Irresistible Revolution. I recommend the book - go and read it, but I would avoid it if you want to stay comfortable.


Janet surprised me with a little unBirthday present (or early Christmas present, whichever way you look at it) when I got home from work last night.

She managed to pick up a copy of Jamie Oliver’s latest tome for me, which was very welcome indeed, as I’ve just started to really enjoy his latest TV show. Some great bedtime reading with this chunky book!

For my money, Jamie’s a top fellah, and an inspiration to us all.

(Probably more of an inspiration than is healthy, if you read this old post from the Headphonaught who very flatteringly describes our house as a
quintessential Naked Chef-style contemporary English farm house with the huge kitchen come dining room with a range cooker and a large, sturdy table.

Now, that I’ve got also just got a shed, constructed with the very able help (I helped, he built it) of a local buddy, I guess I'll have to get out there, start pottering & grown me own veg! :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just cause I want to

Just cause I want to put a picture of my wife on my blog... you, Baby!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sally Bash

I've blogged before about those times when my tribe gets hauled over the coals in the media.

Although I don't go searching for this kind of stuff, I've stumbled across this tirade, titled "We need salvation from this greedy army" which is pretty hard to swallow.

The Salvation Army is described as "right-wingers in uniforms" and "homophobic religious fundamentalist".

Now, I'm not sure what response - if any - a piece like this should demand. I'm short on facts about the specific cases discussed. The article has been written with the broadest of brush strokes, with....and I'm guessing here....only a limited knowledge and experience of The Savation Army as a global movement. As is so often the case, it's also written from a very North American perspective.

However, as I said in my original post...

we’re not beyond criticism – we do wrong things. Lots of them….and often! Let’s be humble – take the criticism on board when it’s justified – and be gracious in our response when it is not. Sometimes it’s good to be metaphorically hit square between the eyes, just to keep you alert and awake.

For the record; I am neither right-wing in my political views, or homophobic.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

All member ministry?

Although this post is heavily weighed towards my own tribe, if you’ve got an opinion, I’d love to hear it.

I’m rolling around some thoughts, which are not necessarily mine, but are worth consideration:

What do we actually understand by “all member ministry”, and can we take it that this is still our position of The Salvation Army as a movement in reality?

In the early days of The Salvation Army, converts were quickly employed in service. Their testimony and their involvement in the mission were powerful weapons in the sharing of the Gospel.

Over the years has this changed? Has our theology over the place of each believer altered? Have we developed a different concept of the place of Officers? (Full time pastors)

If we were to assume and believe that God has given The Salvation Army all it needs today to move our mission (whatever that is) forward today , what action steps would need to be put in place to more effectively promote the concept of all-member ministry?

Any thoughts?

(HT to The Salvation Army Youth - Western Territory, USA site for the pic)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Told you...

Told you I've gone grey/gray.

Hey! It works for Mr Clooney! ;-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Today my little baby started school for the 1st independent, funnny, beautiful little lady has started on her journey of full time education, so I figured I'd celebrate with an old pic to remind me of the early days.

Man, my hair's gone so grey since then! ;-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Birthday James!

My nephew James hit 17 today.

Happy Birthday James.

Now you are a man!

Nunkle J :-)

I'm blessed with THE BEST nephews & niece a man could have.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What a time to visit Scotland

Blogging buddy, and MOSAIC Pastor Eric Bryant is visiting Scotland next week.

Here's the schedule

If any of my Scots blogging buddies are able to make it, tell Eric I sent ya!


Get in!!!

My word, what a result!!

France 0 Scotland 1

..and top of the "Group of Death", with World Cup Finalists France & Italy in our wake. It's almost unbelievable.

You made us proud, boys!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

“The thing I love about The Salvation Army is that it is peculiar”

Having previously posted about Shane Claiborne, and his visit to Roots next year, it’s good to be able to read a little interview with Geoff Ryan of the 614 Network at theRubicon*

*theRubicon is an independent, volunteer-driven online magazine. We are Christians with our roots in The Salvation Army. We are doers who have learned that we need to think deeply, rigorously and critically about what we do, why we do it and why there are things we don’t do. “Contemplative activists,” is one way of putting it, or “field theologians.”

The piece was originally written for The Salvation Army in Canada’s Salvationist mag way back in June this year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th

Time for me to revisit this post, and remember those who died..

Friday, September 07, 2007

Gerroff the table!

ASBO Jesus

A lot of the guys & girls on my blogroll have been directing me to a cool - and very insightful - little blog called ASBO Jesus.

'Toonist Jon Birch gives a helpful explanation:

for the non british among you… an ‘asbo’ is an ‘anti-social behaviour order’… the courts here award them to people who are deemed to be constant trouble in their neighbourhoods… presumably according to their neighbours!

Vox Veniae: 1 year on

Just over a year ago I blogged about a new ministry in Austin, TX, which had grabbed my attention.

Vox Veniae have just celebrated a year together, and it's been quite a story.

They've updated their site, so remain on the cutting edge, with a aesthetically pleasing look that I love.

Check 'em out.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Hat Tip

I want to share this post, not to take a pop at a particular congregation, or to heap specific criticism on my own tribe, but simply to hi-light that sometimes in Church we are so easily tempted to get hung up on all the wrong stuff.

Check out what spasmodic but hard-hitting blogger Matt Little has to say about the time he went to Church wearing a hat.

Books for the last part of the year

I treated myself to a bit of a blow-out on books this weekend. This should keep me in reading material for the train ride to the office...probably until the end of the year.

Here's what I picked up:

Adventures in missing the point
- Brian McLaren & Tony Campolo
An Emergent Manifesto of Hope
- Doug Pagitt & Tony Jones
God is Closer Than You Think
- John Ortberg
Intelligent Church
- Steve Chalke with Anthony Watkis

The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne

Looking forward to some serious reading.

Do you having any books you are planning to read soon?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CCAT in The Guardian

Good to see Croydon Community Against Trafficking getting a mention in The Guardian in this piece.

Stop The Traffik!


I’m loving these new Tees from The Salvation Army in Australia’s new youth department, 2love which I guess has been influenced by ALOVE in the UK. (The department…not the tee shirt)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

…the best of times…..

Just once in a while you have a near perfect weekend.

Last weekend we hooked up with some friends from way back….to catch up, eat some wonderful food in beautiful tranquil surroundings, laugh together, and revel in each others’ company.

…the best of times…..

Who cares if it rained nearly all day!

Peace & blessings


Friday, August 17, 2007

Emerging in the news

Thank you to Andrew Jones AKA TallSkinnyKiwi for hi-lighting this piece in the Austin Statesman.

The article features - for the most part - the ministry of Vox Veniae, and the personal journey of lead Pastor, Gideon Tsang and his family, as they
sell their spacious North Austin home and move into a modest 800-square-foot house in an East Austin neighborhood.

I've kind been interested in the ministry of Vox Veniae for quite a time now. Looks like they are doing some great work down there.

In a cool little piece of synchronetic frisson , one of Pernell Goodyear's Freeway buddies, Kev Chen is heading to Texas to work with Vox Veniae, as mentioned in this post.

I like the quote from Gid at the tail end of the piece:

The message of Jesus that is preached in church services means nothing, he says, "if it doesn't change how we live seven days a week."

HT directly to Gideon for the pic. It's him! He has a hugely impressiveFLICKR collection.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Church website story

...if you are involved in the web for Church, you could do a lot worse than checking out this post at Drew Goodmanson's blog.

...really interesting to read about the evolution of Kaleo Church's web presence.

Top work, Drew! (..and thanks for the pic from your blog)

BTW - any Facebookers out there, might also want to check out the Blogging Church group.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Shane Claiborne coming to Roots

It’s way,way...way off, but it’s exciting to hear that Shane Claiborne will be speaking at The UK Salvation Army’s Roots conference next year. The theme for 2008 is “Going Public”

I’m yet to have read his book The Irresistible Revolution - living as an ordinary radical, but Shane sounds like the kind of guy that should be given a hearing at Roots, so I’m pleased he’s going to be there.

For more on Shane Claiborne & his ministry, check out The Simple Way

If you were planning on going, it’s best to book early, as there are usually is a “sooner you book, the less you pay” deal in place.

Other speakers will include Nims Obunge and Jeff Lucas.

Friday, August 03, 2007


I’ve been meaning to share this beautiful bit of flash about LivingHomes that I picked up via WIRED over a month ago. Check it out.

The whole eco-architectural project is exciting, and there’s some pretty fine & elegant Flash work on the site too.

Take the tour….makes you wanna put down a deposit, up sticks & move there!

Things & saw and did on holiday…in no particular order:

Hung out with Janet & the kids


Bought some more books in addition to the ones I already had bought to read (Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope & Brian Bailey & Terry Storch’s The Blogging Church ) , and started to read them too.

Worked on the garden….

Enjoyed a ruby with Mr & Mrs Parker

Started to watch Heroes…finally showing on UK terrestrial TV.


Discovered the joy of sitting down in a Krispy Kreme Restaurant for breakfast


Went to the beach at West Wittering

Barely blogged at johnnylaird, but lurked a little on some of my favo(u)rites

Hung out with friends…and usually ate with them

Succumbed to the notion of getting a Blackberry. My Curve arrives any day now

Finally gave into Mac lust, having visited the Mac Store at Bluewater…I want one!


Did the Brighton thing – nearly lost one of my prized Ocean Minded flip-flops/slippahs to the crashing waves on the beach.

Had lots of late evenings, and lazy mornings.

Saw Bob the Builder with the kids at The Science Museum


Visited Winston Churchill’s old stomping ground at Chartwell.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

U2 Yahweh

HT to Danielle for reminding me about this vid.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Time to read

...just kicked into a couple of weeks vacation time at home.

No schedule, no plan...just time with my wonderful wife & kids. Time to kick back & relax, time to READ!

I hooked myself up with a couple of new books to delve into: Brian McLaren's The Secret Message of Jesus, and Tom Wright's "Simply Christian"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

He’s on a roll….my blogroll

A little while back – in April 07 - I became intrigued by a conference that was being held in the States called Q, and blogged about it here:

One guy, who as far as I can figure out, had clocked whatever info was around about it before the event, and took himself over from Scotland to attend Q in Atlanta, Georgia.

So, Duncan McFadzean clearly is a resourceful guy, so worth giving some of your blog reading time to you his blog What’s Your Point Caller?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Now …that’s a cup of tea!

I’ve just been given a beautiful cup of African Amber tea from Mighty Leaf Tea to try, and this is a premium tea experience.

I’m used to raving about quality coffee, so to bang on about tea is something of an oddity for me.

At nearly six quid for 15 bags, it ain’t cheap, but as a one off generous gift, I’m happy to partake.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I’ve been dreaming of having a home office for some time, and for the moment it remains a dream fueled by sites like Web Worker Daily.

As part of that dreaming process, I’ve been checking out The Garden Escape for inspiration.

Skimming through the links page led me to a little nugget of a magazine, which is rammed full of beautiful design ideas to appeal to the aesthetes out there.

Check out Square Magazine…’s a wonder to behold!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


OK. I’m going to nail my colo(u)rs to the mast.

I love America. I’m not American – I’m a “Scot with an English Accent” - but I do think the America is a truly great country. It’s not so hip to say so in Europe right now, but I just did. I said it.

So, to all my family & friends in the USofA I say “Happy Independence Day.”

For BBC Reporter, Alan Johnston, today really is an independence day - a day to celebrate his freedom after 114 days in captivity in Gaza. I caught a few minutes of news before I headed for the train station this morning, and it was just great to see some good news coming out of the Middle East. Alan seemed remarkably together for someone who has been in captivity for so long. The guy’s a hero and a credit to his family who have displayed similar courage and dignity throughout the period he’s been away. Alan & his parents are inspirational, and I expect I’ll be keeping a close eye on what he gets up to in the future.

For me, the 4th of July marks six years to the day since I asked Janet to marry me. Thankfully, she said “yes”, and continues to be my love, my rock, my inspiration.

God Bless America!

Some words about Freedom:

Galatians 5:13 (The Message)

13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mahalo! Love nice Hawaiian Tees….

I love nice tee shirts, and I love Hawaii, so it’s good to see that the Revolution Hawaii blog seems to have lurched back into life again after a long hiatus and includes a post about a sweet new tee shirt which has just become available Stateside.

Hopefully they’ll keep up to date on their work with postings now.

The Revolution Hawaii site was one of the most elegant Salvation Army sites out there when it debuted, but the content was slow in coming, so I’m encouraged to see some new stuff on their blog.

The shirt comes from the same stable as the Sayrevolution range of tees & sweats.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Link Love

It’s time for another jig of the johnnylaird blogroll.

Some folks have very kindly added me to their blogroll, so it would be churlish not to reciprocate:

In comes….

Dan Rous
Mel Cooke
Vicki Adams
Victor Estrada
Yucan Chiu

Thanks guys!

Some have become blogs I read, on the basis of knowing the bloggers personally:

So, in comes….

Craig’s blog was one of the first I started to read, but he had not been posting for quire a time. He’s started again, so he’s going on the blogroll.

Jon-Mark used to play in the Sally Army Band with me, and is currently working as a sound engineer on cruise ships in the Med.

Richard & Ann are married Salvation Army Officers (Pastors), running a Church in Romford, England.

One comes in on the basis of having a great blog, and the blogger being courteous enough to respond each & every time I post. Welcome Eric Bryantan elder, speaker, and navigator overseeing the leadership team at the innovative Mosaic community in Los Angeles, CA.

On top of that I’ve added a few mags I read, which you might enjoy too… Dwell, Fast Company, Leadership & WIRED.

Check out the links – they’re invariably more interesting than the stuff I post here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eco Campervan

Huge hat-tip to the wonderful Dwell mag for pointing me in the direction of this funky & eco-friendly update of the classic campervan.

It’s worth a few seconds of download time to watch the super cool animation trailer for this object of desire, with hard-core green credentials.

For more eco-friendly stuff why not check out

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mr & Mrs Headphonaught

When I blogged about Headphonaught & Olly’s visit, I knew we were going to have a good time on their visit to Croydon, but I’m not sure I really expected to hook up with such a really great couple. Thomas & I have so much in common it’s scary, and Olly is just a darling, with a voice that far exceeds all the expectations I had based on various posts on the nanolog.

My little girl Mia sobbed uncontrollably when they left, so they made an impact there.

Good to spend time with you, my friends.

Here’s to the next time!


R U ready to start blogging again, Olly?