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Posts from December 2006

Emerging Church Blogger of the Year

I cant believe I am giving this to an emerging church blogger who doesn't know HTML, never works in images or video, neglects internal linking, and whose individual posts rank poorly on Google. And rather than being a participant in a wildly experimental emerging CandleLighting-VJProjecting-PoetryReading-MonasticPraying . . [ . . let me . . . catch my . . breath . . ] ExpressoSteaming-CouchReclining-type emerging church, this blogger joins the weekly suburban crowds fighting for parking spaces at WillowCreek!

HOWEVER . . . he has managed to overtake me in the number of permanent links for an emerging church blogger, something that no one has ever done. He is also a braver blogger than I, tackling subjects that I steer away from. And he puts out more and better content than me or just about anyone I know. When he starts a series, he pumps out blog-posts like a machine gun and the whole affair is over in a few days. And his content is so well researched and YUMMY that you would assume he is a university professor. Which, btw, he is. Thus the amazing 1000 blogs giving permanent links to his Megablog.

Yes, a THOUSAND blogs link to him. And I know that permanent links are just one of the many [200+] factors that go into search engine optimization but they are a BIG factor, and permanent links rule on Technorati.

So, I applaud blogger Dr. Scot McKnight of as emerging church blogger of the year. Read on for a little history:

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Missional: I was wrong

A quick correction before we enter the new year. The original usage of the word "missional" is earlier than I said in my post "What I mean when I say Emerging-Missional church". I said it was used first by Charles Van Engen in 1991, which is true, but there are much earlier occurrences of the word.

I found this one on Google books but someone else beat me to add it to Wikipedia. The word "missional" was used in 1907 by W. G. HOLMES in Age Justinian & Theodora II, page 687 -  "Several prelates, whose missional activities brought over whole districts and even nationalities to their creed."  I wont say that was the earliest use lest someone prove me wrong again.

UPDATE: I just found an earlier occurrence of missional - 1814

More on Missional:
Friend Of Missional- The biggest fullest post on "missional" I have found is on Friend of Missional [HT: Boars Head]
- Alan Hirsch's new book "The Forgotten Ways" uses the term EMC which stands for 'Emerging Missional Church'. I have said before that keeping these two words together is a good idea.
- Baptist missiologist Francis DuBose used the word "missional" often in his 1983 book 'God Who Sends'. Interesting connection - In 1996-7 I directed San Francisco's Page Street Baptist Center that Dr DuBose started and Francis and I used to run the feeding program together each week.

The Dark Side of Missional:
I have seen some churches use [abuse] the word "missional" as an excuse for shutting down their intentional cross-cultural or international missionary efforts and replacing them with a local evangelistic emphasis. Sounds to me like they are using their apostolic missions energy to run their local machinery - ie, get more bums on the pews and boost the income. Now I think its great that churches adopt missional thinking and this is vital in our post-Christian environment, but there must be a place for new entrepreneurial work  outside the church borders or the good story will not travel outside our cultural boundaries. Local churches need to be missional BUT they must also be INTENTIONAL about sending their best to places where the name of Jesus is not known. The church should be exporting its blessing to the families of the earth and being "missional" should serve that role, not hinder it.

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When the Darkness Will Not Lift, by John Piper

1581348762When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God - and Joy, by John Piper, is a great little book and I do mean LITTLE. I started it with a hot bath and finished when the water temperature had turned a pleasant warm. Its short and concise and almost not big enough to be a book. But then, who wants to read lots of waffly stories when one is depressed??? And who wants to hand an encyclopedia to a friend who probably does not like to read and will never finish the dang book anyway?

The book is an excellent read and is not a time waster. John Piper shows why he is a perennial favorite across the spectrum of the evangelical world and one of the most referenced pastor/writers in the blogosphere [40+ mentions a day] . .. despite not having his own blog.

Piper surprised me in this book by doing what very few Reformed writers do and by that I mean:
1. Mention DIET
2. Consider EXORCISM (and confess to turning up at one)
3. Quote George MacDonald.

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Grace to Ewe: Our Cruelty-Free Diet

UPDATE: See the latest on our cruelty-free chicken co-operative and what we think of Hugh Fearning-Whittingstall's Chicken Run series right here.

Some of you are asking what i mean by "Cruelty-Free", as in our Cruelty-Free Christmas Feast that we enjoyed a few days ago. I didnt want to post on this right before you started to bake your huge turkey - bad timing - but maybe now is more appropriate.


This is a post i wrote in 2005 which didnt get ANY attention:
There's a lot of confusion about cruelty free diets, and most websites are not very helpful if you are not vegetarian or vegan. So | will briefly describe our understanding of a Biblical, ethical meat eating diet.

I told you at the beginning of the year about our commitment to a cruelty-free diet in a post called "Righteous Men and Meat", and that i had brought the subject up (perhaps unwisely) at a briefing for some Foundations who were asking about the Emerging Church. I also told you that last week I had a weak moment, a lapse of judgment, and am now back on track. But there is some confusion as to what it is we are doing. Maybe I am assuming that everyone knows more than they do. Here is the skinny on our cruelty free diet.

I believe God gave us care of the animals ("govern" is a better word than "dominion") and they, in return, give us food and clothing. We look after each other. It is a contract we have with the animals. under the eye of God. This is why Solomon can say "The righteous man cares for the needs of his animals" Proverbs 12:10

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Thanks to our Supporters in 2006

Thanks to all who supported our family in 2006 to serve God's mission overseas. Some of you gave tiny amounts and others larger but we are grateful to you all. We couldn't have done this without you. Last years image seems to be appropriate enough to use again.

2007 might be tougher for us, in light of the BGCT [Baptist General Convention of Texas] stopping our support as part of their reorganization. Half of our support will be picked up by another organization but we will still be praying for people and groups to help us with the other half. Appreciate prayer for us that what God has called us to do will not be held back by lack of resources. Thanks.

'Swang' and Producer Jason Rey

Here is one of video producer Jason Rey's videos called Swang, which has achieved almost legendary status in the Houston hip-hop scene and is now a standard for other short hip-hop videos. One of the hip-hop artists, Hawk, died tragically from gunshot wounds shortly after this video was taken. Check it out and watch the cars SWANGING down the street. [Did i say that right, Jason?]

Jason Rey [de Leon] has been one of our Christmas guests. His favorite food at our feast, in case you were wondering, was the goose and chestnut/apple stuffing. Despite having his ass kicked by my 7 year old daughter Hannah in last night's karaoke competition, Jason managed to find his groove in one of the hip-hop songs and used his advantage to beat Abigail, who is a few years older than Hannah.

This is Hannah licking a lollipop after humiliating Jason (right) in the Jones's Christmas Karaoke competition, while Jessica plays with our kitten Charlie Chaplin.

I asked Jason about his video "Swang" and what that word means. I have nailed him down to a quasi definition:

Swang is a word given to the sync'd swerving down the street of a groups of "slabs" ie, late 70's/early 80's American big bodied cars. Think 1950's low-rider cruising making it into todays world.
- Rapper Z-Ro from Rap-A-Lot Records uses "swang" in at least one of his songs on Z-Ro vs the World.
- Swang on Wikipedia is not very helpful here, referring to a folk dance from Malwa but the ending sentence alludes to this new word:
"More recently elongated to "Swanging" in the verbal form for a more "hip" and "youthfull" use. For example "I was swanging allnight baby!""
Swang on Urban Dictionary offers some helpful sentences that will help you talk like a native:
"look hear comes some hot whips they'r swang'n"

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Sam got Coal

Samuel was a bad boy and, in true Scottish tradition, he got a piece of coal in his stocking this morning. But he wasnt THAT bad so he got lots of good presents also. Including the t-shirt i made him - check out the red hair on the t-shirt!!!