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Posts from August 2005

The Spirituality of Blogging

On Monday I gave a seminar at Greenbelt Festival called "The Spirituality of Blogging". I introduced the topic with "What Bloggers Hear" and "If The Bible was Blogged", as well as some recent statistics on blogging from Kevin Kelly and some thoughts on cyberchurch and blogging from Tim Bednar's "We Know More Than Our Pastors"

Here is the skinny on what I said. Blogging is a spiritual discipline because to blog is to find oneself in a place of:
1. Praise (public acknowledgement) - "publish glad tidings daily"
2. Accountability. (Eph. 5: 21 "Submit yourselves to one another", quote from Athanasias)
3. Vulnerability (Daniel's window)
4, Given-ness (Freely you have received, gift economy, Prov 11:24)
5. Creative Naming (Adam, Neighbors in Ruth)
6. Repentance (editing/deleting/changing our mind in new media)
7. Fellowship (hypertext linking, Koinonia)
8. Evangelism (storytelling, blogging from our lives)
9. Integrity (writing matches our speaking, design reflects reality)
10. Posterity. (store/guard what has been entrusted, writing history)
There was also another one: Watchfulness ("watch and pray").

We did not have time to read "How Shall We Then Blog" but we did finish off with The Bloggers Prayer. Thanks everyone for coming and making it an enjoyable experience.
Other notes: Phil (the most comprehensive), Paul Roberts, Sarah

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If Pat Robertson had a blog . . .

If Pat Robertson had a blog, he might have shared his thought of assassinating Hugo Chavez with a select group of listeners and commentors for feedback. And if that feedback was negative, as I assume it would have been . . . he could have decided to pull out early and change his mind, rather than going public with an untested and potentially divisive idea. And so I said in my seminar on blogging on Monday.

But he didn't have a blog
and he didn't test his idea
and he didn't pull out early.

As for me, I have visited Venezuela a few times and spent about a month of my life there. Its quite a violent place - I have to admit - on arrival to Caracas we got into a fist fight with some guys . . .

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New Orleans Day of Prayer

Governor of Louisiana requests day of prayer

"As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort.
"I have declared August 31, 2005, a Day of Prayer in the State of Louisiana.
"I am asking that all of Louisiana take some time Wednesday to pray. Pray for the victims and the rescuers. Please pray that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild" Link HT: netlexfrance

Also: Stephen Shields suggests ways to give help.

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Blog Fast Over

Back online - Fast over - Feels good to purge the blog and nail it to the cross again. I will be back really shortly to catch up on all the news. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts while I was camping out at Greenbelt Festival the last week.

Greenbelt 2005: The Skinny

UPDATE: I am leaving tonight to get down to London and then Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham. I will be on a BLOG FAST for the next 4 days while I am camping in my tent with thousands of other happy campers. Looking for me? I should be pitching my tent with the large group of Germans from Kubik (where i preached earlier this year) and the Doxology team.

- Greenbelt attenders are encouraged to place a tag on their blogs and share photos using Flikr for a Greenbelt montage. Details here.

- Best teaching at Greenbelt this year (apart from my seminar "The Spirituality of Blogging" at the Greenbelt TANK - ha ha) will be to hear Karen Armstrong speak on whatever she will speak about. I have two of her books at home - she is really something! She is my only "MUST HEAR" for Greenbelt this year.

- Will there be another roundtable for emerging church like last year's Epicentre Roundtable?
NO - nothing formal planned this year but there are lots of opportunities to do this inside the program. If you know of a time and place where something is happening, please leave a comment below.

Greenbelt Festival (Cheltenham, UK) have me speaking on Monday 29th August in The Tank, the official hangout space of the Geeks. The title of my talk is "The Spirituality of Blogging". Some of you heard me speak last year on "Forward Slash" which was more of an intro to the values of new media. This one will go further in exploring spirituality in and through hypertext, internet, and of course, blogging. I assume it will be recorded, since they did it last year and made it available through their web-shop.

Pre-reading? I recommend downloading Tim Bednar's "We Know More Than Our Pastors".

But I also hope to meet up with more than geeks. It will be good to see old friends (all my friends are now old) and I have a desire to meet up with people who have just recently started up an alternative model of church. Let me know if that is you.
Tag - greenbelt2005

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Our Trip to Eynhallow

Monday was the last day of the school holidays so our family and some friends went to Eynhallow (Holy Island), one of Orkney's many pilgrimage sites. The island is now uninhabited but has the ruins of a 12th Century monastery.

Unlike the pilgrims of old, we took a high powered speed boat and cruised across at a BUTT KICKIN' 30 KNOTTS.!! Eat your heart out, St Colomba! Actually, the seas around Eynhallow are rough and dangerous, and only high powered boats can access it safely. Fiona and Les (who brought their family along also) knew the boat owners so we got a good deal.

The weather was perfect. Some of us walked to the monastery thru the long grass.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster Phenomenon

In case you haven't noticed, The Pastafarian parody religion and their Flying Spaghetti Monster are all over the American blogosphere this week. Their google count this morning was over 68,000 links. You can read about its origins at Wikipedia and follow the conversation by doing a word search at Technorati and making a watchlist for your News Reader. Or add the word "Jesus" and see what happens.

ShirtiwtbFSM is being called an internet phenomenon and was created to poke fun of intelligent design being given the same status as evolution in schools. As for me, my interest is not arguing evolution. But when the blogosphere starts buzzing with a religious conversation, my ears perk up. I wish I could be around to add to the discussion, but alas, I leave tonight for Greenbelt Festival and will be offline for a few days.

I wonder if the folk at will be discussing it this weekend? Justin (from EmergingEvangelism) has been busy blogging about Pat Roberston's proposed "mission trip" to Venuzuela (lets not get on Pat Robertson's bad side!) but he might have some time for it.

Picture 4-8Hey - remember that new quasi-cult called Pastafarians that i mentioned a few days ago. Well the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) bumper sticker is currently being designed. One of the designers, Mark, hopes that readers will "refine it and perhaps submit it to a manufacturer of those footed Darwin Fish (who's population is on the decline as they are gobbled up by jesus fish)". Link HT: BoingBoing More on FSM in schools.

Hell, Tithing and Video Games

I clicked on a religious google add this morning, something that i NEVER do, and found myself reading L. Ray Smith. I read his long article on why Christian Tithing is Unscriptural and the one on a literal hell being "a Christian hoax". And I was thinking to myself about how much information is available to everyone on the internet, and how more educated people are getting. Those who are communicators can no longer assume ignorance on the part of the hearers, as in the days of widespread illiteracy. It might be safe to assume that people have often examined both sides of an argument before they hear a message.
All of this makes Tim Bednar's title "We Know More Than Our Pastors" sound more feasible.

In his book, "Everything Bad is Good for You", Steven Johnson argues that the population has grown much smarter, IQ's have increased, and it is not because of the education system. He says it has more to do with video games, multi-tasking, channel surfing and other things that make us think and react in new ways. I would add that the internet has given us information (not perspective) at our fingertips and we feel more connected to that information and empowered to react to it. Anyway . . .

Kevin Kelly on Blogging

We Are The Web: Kevin Kelly talks on Wired about 10 years of hypertext.

"No Web phenomenon is more confounding than blogging. Everything media experts knew about audiences - and they knew a lot - confirmed the focus group belief that audiences would never get off their butts and start making their own entertainment. . . . Blogs and other participant media would never happen, or if they happened they would not draw an audience, or if they drew an audience they would not matter. What a shock, then, to witness the near-instantaneous rise of 50 million blogs, with a new one appearing every two seconds. There - another new blog!"
" . . . in the near future, everyone alive will (on average) write a song, author a book, make a video, craft a weblog, and code a program. This idea is less outrageous than the notion 150 years ago that someday everyone would write a letter or take a photograph."

Interesting thought - Kelly says the average internet user is 41 years old. Just like me (Am I AVERAGE?) As for his question, "What happens when everyone is uploading far more than they download?", I took a shot answering it in Generation Text.