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Posts from June 2009

TallSkinnyKiwi BLOGIVERSARY, and I am taking a break.

Tallskinnykiwi is 8 Years old today. Well, it was actually June 3, 2001 when I shifted from Andrews Tea Salon (1997) to Tallskinnykiwi, but whose counting? Thanks to everyone who has been receiving my feeds and popping over occasionally to this blog to see what's going on. Normally I do something special on these blogiversarys, like hosting games or taking a retrospective look back at TSK through the years.

Today, I want to celebrate by stopping the blog for a while. A few reasons:

1. This blog has 2,777 posts and most of it is buried deep under much rubble. TSK has become too unwieldy and its probably time to wrap it up or at least sum it up. I will be doing some posts over the next month or so that add some perspective to what I have been observing over the past 8 years of TSK blogging. But what I will NOT be doing is trying to stay updated with all the current events. Plenty of other bloggers are doing that now.


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2. Another reason to cool it off for a few months is because of our heavy travel schedule. We leave today, from the most western point of continental Europe (near Lisbon, Portugal) and start heading east, sweeping across most of Europe (and perhaps some of North Africa) until we reach Turkey in October. A lot of the time we will not have WIFI and we will not always have electricity. If you are interested in following our family's journey, you can watch us at a new blog that will launch in about a week called Jonesberries.com This blog will be a way for our whole family to blog about the food and countries and cultures we experience as we travel the world in a 20+ year old truck named Maggie. But it will NOT be a Christian blog about the global emerging church.

3. Many of the people we are in contact with right now are spending time in countries where it is not safe for national believers in Christ to practise their faith. I dont want my blog to endanger anyone though name-dropping or having their faces in photos. Which is why my blog has been a little less personal recently. My monthly emails, sent to those who pray for us and support us, are far more detailed. I probably need to prune my email list and rebuild it. Let me know if you want to be on it.

If you are interested in supporting our family in our missionary journeys, please send an email to tallskinnykiwi at gmail dot com and we will send you details of where to send your support. In case you were wondering, our support is less than we were expecting due to the recession and we have cut back significantly so that we can stay on target to fulfil what we believe God is asking of us. A big part of that is mapping out what God is going in the next generation around the world and helping to support and encourage those movements. If you want to partner with our family in that way, please let us know.

So, expect a few conclusive blog posts in the near future. And thanks for being a big and wonderful part of our lives.


Remembering GM

General Motor's bankruptcy is close to home for us because my father-in-law, who lives in Oregon, is retired from GM and we are not sure how this will affect his pension. Sounds like the government is stepping in to help which is good for us while we are traveling overseas.

Don Dunavant explores what the SBC can learn from the demise of GM

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Best GM car was the Corvette. My favorite as a kid was the early 70's Corvette because it looked like a shark but I think they look a bit tacky now. I actually preferred both Ford and Dodge to GM. What about you?

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Twittering in Church: Is It Really New?

Time Mag has an article called Twittering in Church. The trend sounds pretty new, at least to Time and a Christianity Today writer who credits the use of twitter in church to a pastor in Michigan.

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Funny. That Twitter bird doesn't look anything at all like a DOVE!

Actually, the use of participatory media in church has been around at least 20 years. When I was an associate pastor at Glenwood Community Church in Vancouver, Washington, back in 1989, one of our congregants was a Christian geek named Paul Miller who had created a Bible language software program that would work with his pocket PC. So when I and the other pastors preached, he would be tap tap tapping on his gadget to check up on us. How INTIMIDATING! But also reassuring to know that we were accountable and could have others adding their knowledge which was obviously more than our own.

Interestingly, the program Paul created was called Gramcord and it became the basis for other Bible language software programs.Well done, Paul!

Later on, it was WiFI in church that linked up the geeks on the back pew who dared to sit through church with their laptops. Praise God for the power points on the back wall! My first WIFI experience in church happened in Japan, in 2002. I later posted a blog called The Wifi Enabled Church and made 10 predictions about how an internet signal would or could change the way we do church. It was pretty controversial but well received. Actually, it has probably changed the seminary classroom more than the church experience.

Today, with phones, ipod touch and other mobile devices, and Twitter, its quite easy to be a Berean to check up to see if the preacher is correct and what other people might say about the topic. Easy, but not new.

And for some of us, church is a place to get away from technology rather than resume our addiction to it. But sometimes it is a bit of both.


Book: The Rabbit and the Elephant

the rabbit and the elephantNice cover! New book called The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small is the New Big for Today's Church, by my good friends Tony and Felicity Dale of simplechurch and house2house. George Barna also throws in some thoughts and corresponding numbers to back them. The title reminds me of the Starfish and the Spider, or the Lexus and the Olive Tree. And it reminds me of my blog post on a similar subject entitled "Tiny is the New Small"

The Dales have been a part of the emerging house church movement in USA for many years and have a lot to say. I have enjoyed many conversations with them about house church at their home in Texas, which is where I blogged "Thoughts on House Church from a Spa of Ill Repute."

More Than Cake has some good thoughts on the book including a summary on why the Dales value simple church:

1. Jesus ministered in homes, and much of the Gospel narratives takes place in homes...
2. New Testament Christians primarily met in small group or home settings...
3. It is difficult to obey the commands of the New Testament in groups that are too large...
4. Jesus entrusted his ministry to ordinary untrained men...
5. Most aspects of ministry are better in a small setting...
6. Simple churches multiply more quickly...
7. Simple churches allow all the members of Jesus' body to be fully functioning.

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Hope the book does well!! Buy it today here on Amazon and make a big splash.

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Related: It was written in 2002 but my House Churches Have No Sex Appeal is still circulating.

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Who loves TSK?

This months banner is a photo taken last week in Lisbon, Portugal. My kids noticed graffiti with the initials "TSK" all over Lisbon. I am not condoning graffiti, but I do appreciate the advertising for the TallSkinnyKiwi blog.

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We will be in Portugal for a few more days and then start our journey north, gradually winding our way through the European countries until we get to Turkey by the end of the summer. One of our main goals is to map out what God is doing in and beyond this continent. If you know of a new Christian movement that is seeing new churches start, please send me an email and some contact details.

Portugal has been a fantastic time. We have had loads of people visit us in our campsite, including Dutchman Marc Van der Woude, Nuno and Sara Soares (below), and of course many families of missionaries living in Portugal, and we have met many who launch out from here to North African countries where life is not easy for Christians - which means that I cant say who they are or where they go, in case I jeopardize the security of national believers in these countries. I hope you will forgive me for not telling my best stories on the blog but I am sure you understand.

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Nuno and Sara and their daughter are part of a house church movement in Portugal that is not always understood by the traditional church. You can pray for greater understanding for them and others who are trying to figure out the way of Jesus in today's Portugal. Nuno found a mechanic who put our windows on our motorhome. Thanks Nuno. See you at the Roundtable in Poland.