Six Flippin’ Years???

Advent I Seems hard to believe, like it’s been forever but also like it was only a year or two ago at most. Yet six years ago today was my first post here at Subversive Influence. It’s not the six years of blogging that seems so unbelievable (particularly given my lack of consistency over the past year), but the events that precipitated it and the changes in our lives since that time. It was just over six years ago when the pastor I’d been working with for ten years on a in the church I’d been part of for sixteen showed up on my doorstep shortly after I’d gotten home from church one Sunday morning and gotten my kids some lunch. I stepped out onto my driveway to speak with him while he had his wife and kids sitting in the van, and he proceeded to blow a gasket, not only yelling at me and telling me my contributions were no longer welcome, but throwing some of my own vulnerabilities in my face and asking how I dared critique anything they were doing when they were serving? I’d say it was the beginning of the end, except the beginning had really come some years before that, creeping up on us unawares. Instead, this was the proverbial straw that did the camel in.

Musings of the Day

team-canada-hockey-gold.jpg This evening is in a way a day of closings. It’s the end of the week, and the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I think our television has been on almost nonstop for 17 days now. And it’s been good seeing our Canadian athletes doing so well. 14 gold medals, more than any country has ever won in any winter Olympics. I think the early glitches of the games were pretty much forgotten as we showed the world how we party at home. People in the street spontaneously singing the national anthem? That’s pretty remarkable for any country anywhere, I’d say. And of course, we made sure to remind the world that hockey is our game. I might have over-tweeted that point, but there it is. Here we are being Canadian… thoroughly proud to the core of all our athletes who scored a podium finish, and feeling sorry for those who didn’t, whether those others are Canadian or not.

Just Clearing my Head

refugeecamp-heartcity.jpg I was going to post this earlier this morning, but none of it had happened yet. This morning I was groggy-headed and bleary-eyed staring at my computer monitor. I had nothing to say and was too tired to say it… don’t know why, really. so I had a nap and then went out with my wife to do “errands”. You know those miscellaneous days when you both have odds and ends to get done?

  1. Returned library books and picked up one that was on hold; the waiting list was two months.
  2. Bought dog food.
  3. Washed the car.
  4. Listened to the news on the radio, with the lead story being about gas prices… which were going up 15¢/litre overnight on fears of Hurricane Ike. We found a station that hadn’t put their prices up yet, and after using our coupon, we filled up for 15-19¢ less than the going rate. The guy on the radio was giving away jerry-cans of gas.

Monastic Discipleship, Spiritual Formation… and the Jedi

Children, Monks I’ve been thinking about the spread of Christianity in China for some time now. China fascinates me… I was there in 1987, and have ever felt some kind of pull back there. Presently some good friends are in China for a year, teaching English. We were only half-serious when we talked before they left about visiting them sometime in the spring of 2008, but I haven’t half given up on the idea even though it’s really a long-shot. I blame Alan Hirsch for getting me thinking about China again this morning, with his two posts, latest take on china and lastest take on china II…through rc eyes. Quite some time ago, I mused about the underground church, and what we could learn by observation about Structures for Church Growth. I’d been musing along these lines for a couple of years already when I put them down briefly here — and then Alan Hirsch’s book, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church dove into some of these same waters, with essentially the same conclusions (but with more research to back it up). It was good to discover that either I was on the right track or I at least had good company on the wrong one. I’m pretty sure it’s the former though.

Busy Weekend

It started out slow, but as this weekend approached, it turned out a lot of things we had in mind to do all converged.

  • Doors Open Winnipeg (Saturday & Sunday) is a cool concept where a whole bunch of buildings throw open their doors and give free tours. Mostly heritage buildings, several not normally open to the public, including the Vaughan Street Jail. 53 buildings participating this year — the event has been building gradually over the past three years, and we’ve managed to make it out to a few sites each year so far.
  • Public Works Week Expo 2007 (Saturday) is where the city hauls out all their biggest and coolest machines and lets kids climb all over them. A couple of other companies get involved as well so there’s no shortage of things to see. We’ve done this a few times, always had fun… though last year was a bit too chilly of a day for it.

The Perils of Complexity

I’m not sure if understanding this post is really dependent upon whether or not you remember such things as rotary telephones and carburetors, Sean Connery as James Bond, or generally, the 60’s. And maybe remembering all these things as being new would drive home the point.

When a vehicle breaks down or won’t start, guys will tend to get out, open the hood, and look inside. Ladies know we won’t be able to do anything, but they entertain — or pretend to entertain — the notion that we’ll perhaps be able to spot the problem and fix it. The truth is, if we’re old enough, there was a time we could have poked around and actually done something to get the car running again. Guys, those of you who are old enough, you know what I mean — because you remember the first time you looked under the hood of “one of the new cars” and asked yourself, “Is there really an internal combustion engine in there someplace?” The first time you had it in for repair, you complained about the cost and about the fact that for some reason God only knows, they had to put all this computer and extra crap in there, and it only meant a man couldn’t fix things himself anymore. A racket is what it was, just the big car manufacturers grabbing more of your money. Admit it, you’re smiling. You remember.