handshake I was in Duluth earlier in the week, though it shouldn’t have been noticeable thanks to future-posting in WordPress. I avoided reading my RSS feeds while I was away and came back to well over 1,000 items to sift through (yikes!) but was mostly caught up by Friday evening. In the latter part of the week, I was able to connect with two different emerging/missional bloggers who happened to be in Winnipeg, so that was cool. Thursday evening I spent with Bill Kinnon and his wife Imbi: it was a rich friendship-building conversation. On Friday morning, I had a nice breakfast with Dwight Friesen — we’d never met before, but he happened to be staying just a few blocks from where I live. Dwight’s brother-in-law came along for the ride — in the “small world” department, not only had he worked with my brother in IT a few years back, but he lives in my neighbourhood, has been involved with a house church for a few years now, and hangs around St. Ben’s from time to time. Next thing you know he’ll be blogging under a pseudonym stolen from a Monty Python movie. I love the “small world” kind of connections. Turns out that Dwight and I grew up about an hour in opposite directions from a little summer resort town in a national park in Manitoba.

Some time in the past week, I hit a milestone, of sorts — I clocked up more than 1 Million visits to the site in the past 12 months (over 3 Million pages served) — traffic has doubled in those 12 months. Where the heck do you people keep coming from? Don’t you know I’m not that bright? A bit odd, perhaps: it appears that my Technorati rating is lower than a number of folk who get less traffic. Keeps me humble, I guess! T’rati is based on blog links, so maybe I just attract non-bloggers.

And on with the weekly linkage!

  1. Glenn Hager went and started hisself a “syncroblog,” delving right in with Things I Learned From Church That Didn’t Prove True And What I Am Learning Lately (link is to the participating posts). Entries by Sonja, Erin (on “agapeology”), and Cindy. Yes, wow, and ouch. A number of really good posts are listed, and Glenn summarizes very well. I feel like I’m un/re-learning a lot of what I thought I’d learned about the church. Maybe if I un/re-learn again all the stuff I’m un/re-learning now, I’ll like it more.
  2. Speaking of different perspectives of church, anyone whose past church experience includes the phrase “Touch not the Lord’s annointed” should read Steve Sensenig’s “Context Is Essential.” Yes, it is.
  3. Iraq Timeline: The Broken Record on “the Next Few Months” (via Jordon Cooper). Looks like at any time since 2003, Iraq is “at a critical point” and will be determined “over the next six months” — but “we’ll know more [in two months’ time].”
  4. Who are the most influential thinkers in Alan Hirsch’s life? (Blame Newbiggin and Bosch.) In your own life?
  5. Harry Potter and the Christian Allegory: a pagan blogger’s perspective is that it’s the same level of allegory as The Narnia Chronicles. (HT: Matt Stone)
  6. Amos 5:21-24, paraphrased by Eugene Petersen and by Stephen Said.
  7. Those boys who play with matches have added more emerging/demotivational posters to their set, and in my mind they are turning nastier… at least I could laugh at the first set as at a good-natured jab. No link for you! Instead, Bob Hyatt adds a few of his own.
  8. A lot of people are saying you can’t be a Christian and not be in a community — by which they mean a local church. This week it’s Maggi Dawn. Yes, maybe a Christian is indeed intended to be in a community… I’ve no major beef with that notion, but nobody has yet proven that such “community” must be structured and organized as a local church after the fashion of the inherited (or traditional or institutional) church as we know it today.
  9. Reformed resources for missional work — a list by Tim Keller courtesy of Darryl Dash.
  10. Missio Dei - in the crisis of Christianity Bill Reichert reviews Fred Peatross’ new book, Missio Dei – in the crisis of Christianity; he calls it “an excellent primer on the ‘missional’ call of the church.”
  11. It’s better to be a kind kind of Christian.
  12. A Former Leader: The Good Fruit of NOT Tithing …I enjoyed this one, and could easily relate. Does this paraphrase sound familiar? “The Lord does not love those who aren’t cheerful givers.” Hmmm, we’ve had a lot of bad teaching on tithing.
  13. 10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Brain (via FTM). Perhaps some brains are more mysterious than others?
  14. Jason Zahariades announces a new site, MissionalStew. He says, “Over the last several months, I’ve had an idea of creating a new website. As the idea has matured, I realized that I wanted to create a family website that articulates our attempts at being a missional family.” I dig the name.
  15. I saw a good quote this week: “One can not speak of God simply by speaking of man in a loud voice.” — Karl Barth.

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