megachurch_poster.jpg I have to say I really enjoyed this “motivational” poster — and I thought Out of Ur was basically humourless. Anyway, it seemed fitting to include it in the humour files that precede our weekly linkage. To wit:

  • God looks down and notices that Adam is all alone while all the animals have companions, so he decides to create a companion for man as well. He comes to see Adam and says to him, “Adam, you are my greatest creation and therefore, I am going to create for you the ultimate companion. She will worship the very ground you walk on, she will long for you and no other, she will be highly intelligent, she will wait on you hand and foot and obey your every command, she will be beautiful, and all it will cost you is an arm and a leg.” Thinking for a few moments, Adam replies, “What could I get for a rib?”
  • A preacher retired and moved to the country to enjoy life and practice his hobby of yard work. Needing a lawn mower, he headed into town to buy one. On the way he saw a sign advertising a lawn mower for sale. He stopped at the house and a young lad came out to greet him. The preacher asked about the lawn mower, so the kid took him behind the house to see it. The engine was sputtering along at idle speed, so the preacher increased the speed of the engine and mowed a few strips. Satisfied that it would do the job, they settled on a price of $25.00. Later in the day, the young lad was riding his bicycle when he spied the preacher pulling on the engine starter rope. The kid stopped and watched for a couple of minutes. “What’s wrong?” he asked. The preacher replied, “I can’t get this mower started. Do you know how?” The kid said, “Yep.” “Well, how do you do it? Tell me!” the preacher yelled. The kid replied, “You have to cuss it.” The preacher rose up indignantly. “Now you listen here–I am a preacher, and if I ever did cuss –not saying I have– I’ve forgotten how to do it after all these years.” With a wise look on his face well beyond his years, the kid said, “Preacher, you keep on pulling that rope and it’ll all come back to ya.”
  • A man was leaving church one day, and as usual, the preacher was standing at the door to shake hands. He grabbed the man by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” The man replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.” The preacher challenged him, “Then how come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?” The man whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”
  • There is a story about a monastery in Europe perched high on a cliff, several hundred feet in the air. The only way to reach the monastery is to be suspended in a basket and pulled to the top by several monks pulling and tugging with all their strength. Needless to say, the ride up the steep cliff in that basket can be terrifying. One tourist got exceedingly nervous about half-way up as he noticed that the rope by which he was suspended was old and frayed. With a trembling voice, he asked the monk who was riding with him in the basket how often they changed the rope. The monk thought for a moment and answered brusquely, “Whenever it breaks.”

Well then, in accordance with our weekly custom, it’s on to the “random” linkage. I’ve got a few good pieces in here this week, so enjoy — but be sure you get through the whole list, because I’ve put a couple of real good ones at the end.

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever pointed out The Great Aqua Books Campbell’s Soup Incident of 2007, the account of which I highly commend to thee. I enjoy Kelly’s offbeat somewhat sardonic wit as dispensed in his weekly newsletter and on his site from time to time. And the bookstore is a pretty cool place too. Give this one a read, particularly if you (like I) can’t stand large companies who inanely go ape over perceived misuse of their name. Like some anonymous fast-food corporation whose logo is not-so-affectionately known as “the golden armpits.”
  2. How Scholarship Shields us from the Bible
  3. John Stackhouse tackles sometimes-oxymoronic honourariums vs. Fair Payment for Speakers
  4. The Beginners Guide to Christianity: Nineteen Things You Need to Know Right Now
  5. Unfortunately, this how many see Christianity. Now for some, this is hilarious… and for others, it will be downright pathetic.
  6. Zondervan Academic on Scribd — watch for preview chapters and other stuff to show up. See also Zondervan Church Leadership books (on Scribd), an open group where I found Chapter One of The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church, a book I’ve recently taken notice of but have yet to acquire.
  7. The Poetry of Pastoring — a book review by Scot McKnight. I like the idea of the pastor as poet.
  8. Anyone besides me like writing long sentences?
  9. Lessons We Have Learned in Leading Transformation
  10. Those PETA people are nuts… as evidenced by Ingrid Newkirk’s Unique Will, which boils down to a PETA-cheap publicity stunt, since what she requests will be illegal pretty much everywhere.
  11. Ed Stetzer is doing a course on the “Missional Conversation” — I want to know if I can get a credit for already being engaged in the conversation…
  12. Fallen Angel Movie Opens with Randy Stonehill and others: the Larry Norman story by David Di Sabatino
  13. Kathy Escobar summarizes and unpacks some quotes from a talk by Alexie Torres-Fleming at the recent Emerging Church Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  14. Why a Banyan tree is a better metaphor for the missional church than an Oak tree
  15. It’s almost refreshing: an Honest Internet Scammer
  16. Patrick Oden: Liberating Theology
  17. John Frye goes on the edge: USAmerican Evangelicalism: Ritalin* for the Soul
  18. Mark Sayers’ post “The Emerging Missional Church Fractures into Mini Movements” is probably the post of the week. He outlines very well the different streams that are coming together within the emerging church. Some of it looks like disagreement, but it’s not so much a negative thing — see my post from this past October, “Emergent Terminology: It’s Not About Fracturing” which addressed the apparent rift in the movement between those using or not using the term or those starting different networks by suggesting it was evidence of the maturing of the movement. I’m pretty much on the same page as Mark. His post takes the extra step of identifying various “mini movements” within the emerging church. Not entirely sure which “mini movement” I represent though.

For the week ahead, I’m hoping to get back to some further analysis of the evangelical collapse, perhaps revisiting The History & Future of (Consumerist) Christian Theology and the last two items linked above, as well as to publish a couple of book reviews. Hopefully I’ll have more time for writing than I did last week. Either way, keep comin’ back all week.

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