This one feels more random than some… can you have degrees of random?

  1. Robbymac’s Elder and Younger are out for a beer again… another good conversational post, talking about flattened leadership structures. I really enjoyed the parts when they get down to the idea of the Third Space.
  2. Photography, you say? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Some great images of the World’s Most Interesting Bridges; and of course some photographers will do Anything for the Perfect Shot! How about photos of photographs of sewers, drains and tunnels taken by urban spelunkers?
  3. Signs of Emergence: A Vision for Church That Is Always Organic/Networked/Decentralized/Bottom-Up/Communal/Flexible/Always Evolving (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) Scot McKnight’s post Analogies to “churchâ€? discusses Kester Brewin‘s book, Signs of Emergence: A Vision for Church That Is Always Organic/Networked/Decentralized/Bottom-Up/Communal/Flexible/Always Evolving.
  4. Kester is also interviewed at The Ooze. Opening question, “How do you define hospitality to the stranger?” I like how he defines the church near the end. Simple.
  5. Speaking of Kester Brewin, he advises, Keep Your Relationship Together: Remain in the Gift while Tara Hunt considers the impact of The Gift in an entirely different context. I tend to agree with Kester on the practice of gift-giving. My wife and I have in difficult times prohibited gift-giving on occasions… but more often than not when we have, we each snuck off and procured a gift for the other person anyway. Now that we’ve got kids around, we’re less likely to forgo gift-giving between each other, as it’s important for the kids to see it happen. We might limit expenditures, but not ban the actual gift. Kester’s takes an application into worship, and Tara takes one into business and the Gift Economy.
  6. Eldership. If there were a list of global “elders,” who would you put on it as people to whom we need to listen? Would it be a list like I read Nelson Mandela’s quoted mandate for the group and thought it would be a great aim for church elders — or any group of leaders for that matter. Beautiful: “Out of deep concern for the challenges currently facing all of the people of our world, Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu have convened a group of leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackling some of the world’s toughest problems.” We need elders like these: Listen.
  7. More about lingo: The Sinner’s Prayer …which is also about perspective. Is conversion an event? Does your heart really have a door?
  8. Losing your groove, and getting it back… a beautiful Wynton Marsalis story at Jazz Theologian… yes, I’d have loved to have been there. There’s genius in staying in your groove, or regaining it; no small feat, but there’s a beauty in a groove regained that isn’t seen in one that’s never been lost. Have you ever lost your groove? How is it been made richer in the regaining?
  9. It’s tempting to say that Frank Pastore’s connection between Al-Qaeda and the emerging church is too outlandish to dignify with a response, but Steve Knight’s thoughts on it were worth the effort for his getting down to the heart of it.
  10. Sonja offers good thoughts on idolizing community, which lead off with a great funny. Where she’s right about idolizing community is in the fact that community is meant to be a by-product, not an end in itself… in relation to the health of a church, the nebulous “community” or “fellowship” is more thermometer than thermostat. Too bad that doesn’t keep people from trying to adjust it.
  11. Still on community, Hamo posts Relating to Strangers Keeps Society Strong, a scan of Hugh Mackay’s Saturday column in the West Australian. “‘Community’ is a tricky word: it can be used to make us feel good about the herds and tribes we belong to, while blinding us to the needs of our neighbours.” Excellent: community is not tribalism.
  12. Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of Jesus Wherever You Live (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) Fred Peatross reviews Will and Lisa Samson’s Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of Jesus Wherever You Live.
  13. Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2007 Results — the contest is to create the absolute worst opening sentence imaginable for a novel. I like the winner in the “Adventure” category… some of these are downright painful!
  14. Apparently Wikipedia will list anything. List of acquired tastes. It’s okay, they posted a notice: “This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.” Yes, there’s still a List of prominent figures in the emerging church movement, which still has all the Canadians removed (probably fine by us). It’s marked for potential deletion as not actually having established its notability.
  15. Poetic. A 1921 Model T speedster versus a 2003Hummer H2 in a race up a 475′ hill… Hummer loses. Sure the Model T was “modified”, but it still only had 1/3 the horsepower.
  16. A new study says that apparently we’re happy to do with less… as long as our “less” is still more than the next guy: yes, we’re only happy if we’re ahead of the Joneses. Sad.
  17. LA Times: There’s no place like home, these Christians say. “Although they disagree on whether it’s a good thing, proponents and detractors say that going to church in a home has the potential of forever changing the way Christians worship.” Well, at least both sides “get it.” Hmmm. “Throughout history, there have been lots of efforts to get away from the formally structured church. What often happens is that they eventually become larger organizations with more routine and structure. A number of nondenominational churches began as eight people meeting in someone’s living room; eventually they evolved into what they are today.” Yeah… how do we stop doing that?
  18. Book titles for which I’m still waiting …including, What Was I Thinking? by Benny Hinn and other amusing titles.
  19. What if we had a “jazz-shaped” faith? Well, I like it.
  20. Do you believe in coincidence? Check out the 20 Most Amazing Coincidences.
  21. The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus
  22. Darryl Dash reviews Bruxy Cavey’s The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus. “God hates religion. He even the Christian religion.” and “According to Cavey, we have forgotten that the Bible is a ‘holy hand grenade’ which points to the coming of Jesus, who put an end to religion and leads us to a ‘non-institutional, deeply relational approach to Scripture.’ The End of Religion is written for skeptics and seekers who are tired of religion but would like to connect with God.”
  23. Sally makes mention of “Missional pneumatology,” which is good — somebody needs to. Watch for lots of such talk coming up in the August 15th 2007 edition of The Porpoise Diving Life.
  24. Matt Stone has collected a series of YouTube videos — Tim Keller on Characteristics of a Missional Church. Helpfully, he has a summary-quote for each one… I confess I don’t like watching my computer that much. I prefer to read: I’ve found it’s pretty hard to skim a video!

And now for the week’s quizzes:

Mingle2 Internet Quiz - How Much Do You Know About the Internet?
93% — I couldn’t recall who started MySpace.

Is that all? Probably deserve higher, but I answered “drip” because they didn’t have the right options… in reality, coffee should always be perked or made in a French press. Philistines.

You Are Animal

A complete lunatic, you’re operating on 100% animal instincts. You thrive on uncontrolled energy, and you’re downright scary. But you sure can beat a good drum. “Kill! Kill!” — The Muppet Personality Test

(via) Odd, I was expecting either Statler or Waldorf.

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