Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Roots 2007

I'm so pleased that Chick Yuill will once again be speaking at Roots

Chick & his wife Margaret are top folks - completely inspirational - and were the ones who married me....well, they conducted my wedding to Janet.

Chick recently enrolled me into a club (he is a founding member ;-)of men who had the brains to marry wives far better than they deserve!!!

I'm now card-carrying & fully signed up. I didn't even need to sit the entrance exam. Just got nodded in!

God bless them both!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Song for Africa

A good buddy of mine, Nik Pears (formerly of The Rattling) is the Director of the Social Entrepreneurs Project at AIDS Orphan Charity HOPEHIV.

Please do not miss the opportunity to support their work, by downloading the
single 'We Believe'; Song For Africa on iTunes.

If you would prefer to buy the CD single, including artwork etc, please visit Song for Africa

ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of this powerful song of hope, recorded by a massive 400 voice gospel choir,will go directly to support the work of HOPEHIV as they help rebuild young lives devastated by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

PLEASE SUPPORT this fantastic project and incredible charity.

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY - if you don't have iTunes and want to hear a bit of the song,check out Song for Africa's MySpace

(By the way, I guess the artwork is from my blogging mate, and all round good Egg, Lard of Lard Designs & Lardmonkey fame)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Slightly Salvation Army?

WARNING: Sally Army Specific post on the way ;-) (with resonances for other Christian denominations!)

One of my e-mail buddies, Pernell Goodyear, who I'm yet to meet in the flesh has posted a some really interesting thoughts on people's impressions and experiences with church/denomination identification/branding?. Pernell is the main man at The Freeway in Hamilton, Ontario - a small, local church community and coffee house with definite roots in The Salvation Army.

The gist of the post is I guess "how much do we need to broadcast & display that we are part of The Salvation Army"*

*These are my words - not Pernell's.

The whole post is worth a read, as well as the responses.


Here's a bit of mine:

One thing I do worry with about the SA's branding and the message it conveys is what the broader world - most particularly in North America – seems now to understand about our movement. From here, what I see is a huge imbalance which seems to have the general public seeing us as some kind of social service agency that has taken a lurch to the political right. The big corporate picture isn’t really reflective of what we are internationally. Recently I've been reading some secular blogs which have really saddened me and made me want to jump in and say "that's not the Sally Army I recognize or belong to!" Maybe we have to look at ourselves more closely, right some wrongs if they are there and find ways of graciously & lovingly reaching out to those who have such a low opinion of us. Maybe we can only really do that on the ground.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pre Crime Time

Minority Report was a great movie, with one of the best near-future representations of it's time, including the cool touch screen sequence where David Beckham's new best friend, Tom Cruise deftly waves, gestures & air-taps thin air to control the data in front of him.

DJChung has a post where the fantasy meets reality. Check out the cool vid here. It's Pre Crime Time!

DJChung's blog is well worth checking out for a bunch of reasons: Here's the bio:Director of Digital Initiatives and Asian American Church Research at Leadership Network and Executive Director of L2 Foundation — developing leadership & legacy for Asian Americans

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just Stop and Think

Randy Bohlender's post about a short video he had discovered got me interested. Check out what Randy says:

In the film, entitled "Stop and Think", he carries his surfboard toward the beach and talks to the camera. He does not reference scripture by chapter and verse, although he paraphrases quite a bit. He talks about God's laws and how we all fall woefully short. He talks about God's pain upon seeing His Son mercilessly crucified. He talks about God looking to humanity searching for a bride for His Son. And Chan is getting the smackdown for it.

There are a host of bloggers who are frying him for his weak presentation of the gospel. They're accusing him of watering it down, not telling the whole story of propitiation and substitution. They're blasting him for neglecting to mention the exclusivity of the Gospel as opposed to other world religions.

I have never heard of Chan before this morning, but it was a quite moment in our house so I watched the whole film. I think it's ok.

This really intrigued me, so I just watched it, and waited for the big tipping point, perhaps where his theology would come crashing down - the scary diversion into uncomfortable territory that challenged my down the line beliefs - the veering off to a tangent that made me say "whooaa there!"...but it never seemed to come. That's unless I missed it?

I think I agree with Randy: Production is great - message pretty solid - appeal is broad but uncompromising. Seems fine to be.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Randy.

Check it out for yourself at Just Stop and Think

While you're at it you might want to check out the elegant Cornerstone Community Church site too, where Francis Chan - the guy who "stars" in the vid is the Pastor.

Cornerstone is Simi Valley, CA, USA

Peace & Blessings


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


A very good non-blogging mate of mine has been browsing johnnylaird, and remains one of those folks who still don't get the appeal of blogging.

Only thing he didn't like was that I liberally use a lot of Americanisms in my writing. '”What a yankee-doodle-dandy and English Scottish bloke you are” he says

Re the American-isms – I had noticed that myself, and I’m not sure why it’s happening. My buddy(there I go again) is not the 1st person to comment on it, though. My only (albeit feeble) excuse is that I work with Nigerian, Italian, Indian, German, Swiss & French colleagues in the office, spend most of my time in dialog(gue) with Japanese & American suppliers, have just spent 10 days living with my American family, am married to an English girl of Jamaican/St Lucian descent who regularly drops into patois at home, work at the Church with a Leadership Team made up of a Welshman who’s last two positions were in the north of Scotland & Zimbabwe and a South African lady married to an Argentine. I read & comment mostly on American & Canadian blogs, get my daily news from CNN, watch UK TV channel, “Five US” on Freeview all the time (love CSI), live next door to a Palestinian, am still addicted to US mags like WIRED , Dwell & Fast Company and my new neighbo(u)r on the trombone bench in my Sally Army Band is Californian!

Go figure! ;-)

I'll be there for you...

Just wanted to share a pic of some of my friends & family..My family are my friends, and my friends are my family

Friday, January 12, 2007


I've come pretty late to the party with this book, having gotten a heads up from Pernell way back in July 06.

On a recent visit to Salisbury Cathedral I managed to pick up a copy in a nearby Christian bookshop, so I've made a start on it, and it presents quite a challenging read.

There's plenty of good stuff on the web too, to give further background on author, Michael Frost, his community Small Boat Big Sea, and his ideas about the book.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Challenging Rhymes

Sometimes you stumble across something that hits you right between the eyes. Let me share something I found, quite by accident, which has had this effect on me.

Big thanks to Oliva Munn for bringing this to my attention.

Check out the challenging rhymes here

The ‘following jesus’ manifesto

Hat tip to Transitionpete, and in turn to Spitbox via [rhymes with kerouac] for pointing me in the direction of these wise words:

Stop talking about Jesus. Just stop. If we loved the people around us half as much as we say we love Jesus the rest of this manifesto would be entirely redundant.

Live a secret life. Invest the time, effort and vulnerability necessary to delve deeply into the scripture and prayer. Spend long periods of time in stillness. There is no shortcut to this, there is no other way. Without a deep and secret life we soon find ourselves talking about Jesus instead of being like Jesus.

Stop pretending. I’m a Christian, and I suck. So do you. Let’s get that out of the way, shall we?

Give more than you get. There will always be more than enough.

Be present for those around you. Following Jesus has nothing to do with your work, your resume or your income. In fact, nothing that matters does.

Treasure broken-ness. Our broken places are sacred spaces in our heart. Honour them. Value them. In doing so you love the unlovely, publicly declaring the beauty of God’s image in everyone. Greet the broken with comfort and cool water.

Throw a party.

Know Jesus well enough to recognize him on the street. This is rather important, because he can always be found on the street - and he usually looks more like a pan-handler than a preacher.

Accept ingratitude and abuse as a fixed cost. Embrace them, and then go the extra mile.

If you follow Jesus, you will anger religious people. This is how you will know.

Monday, January 08, 2007

My life through magazines

For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve been an avid magazine reader, and have always had at least one favo(u)rite that I’ve been buying month in month out.

Right now, I’ve reduced myself down to just one, which I buy regularly. WIRED is the current mag of choice.

I’ve tried to think, and outline the list of mags that were part of that journey, so - from memory & as chronologically as I can remember– here goes:

Custom Car
Guitar Player
Metropolitan Home
Straight No Chaser

Business 2.0
Fast Company

Grand Designs hono(u)rable mention also has to go to Trailrunner. This is a great mag, but only represents something I aspire to, rather than something I do. My running is limited to the odd mile and a half stagger around Oxted.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Gordon's alive....alive....alive...

My own hiatus was nothing compared to Gordon's at UrbanArmy.

Thankfully he's back, and no doubt will continue to have a lot of good stuff to say.

Gordon was one of the fisrt blogs to really grab my attention, and I love the comprehensiveness (is that a word?) of his profile:

"the thoughts and theological reflections of an insignificant Salvation Army officer trying to show true hope, grace, love and freedom in a significant way. URBANarmy -is a story of Missio Dei driving an all-encompassing grace-centred mission. URBANarmy – is an open compilation of lessons learned from day to day ministry, dialogue and reading."

Sounds good to me

Now I just wanna see Nick start again!

Hiatus over

Most of the folks' blogs I read give good warning of some wonderful & meritous reason why they are gonna take a blog break, but I just ground to a halt over Christmas & New Year.

Fotunately Los gave me a little prod, which I'm extremely grateful for.

Looking forward to gearing up again, and sharing my thoughts..such as they are...with all of you.