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November 2006
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Posts from December 2006

Amazing Grace Trailer, Wiki, Website and Blog

Freakstock2006 Roundtable 2-2The Amazing Grace project seems to be picking up speed. Walden's Bob Beltz tells me the official website has been revamped - and it looks really good! A nice trailer is floating around. Its a lot shorter than the trailer Bob showed us earlier this year at Freakstock but it still captures the heart of the movie. Amazing Grace the movie project is now on Wikipedia. The Amazing Change suggests some ways you can get involved. And Erik Lokkesmoe (project manager for Amazing Grace) has started a simple blog called Grace Notes that I expect will keep up with this movie's progress and how people are using it to bring freedom in the various levels of life where slavery and oppression still rule.

I was thinking about throwing some parties and seeing who else wants to throw a party around the release date of the movie (23rd Feb and 23rd March, 2007). These could be coordinated globally with not much effort - a bit like the Firefox 2.0 release parties. Anyone up for that? Now here's that trailer:

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Our Cruelty-Free Christmas Feast

Christmas2006I am not a man given to boasting, but if i must boast, let me boast in the Lord's bountiful provision of game, seafood, grass fed beef, and the many culinary blessings of the Orkney Islands. Especially around Christmas time. We have been working on our Christmas feast since summer and are really excited about bringing out our best for our guests - six of whom are flying in from USA.
Here are some of the highlights:
Goose with rowan jelly made from rowan tree in our back yard, ducks from Orkney's St Ola Island, Orkney crabs [which nearly bit me yesterday with their huge claws, Orkney herring in a sweet marinade, venison sausages with chocolate sauce, London Broil from a cow down the road that had a bad leg. I bought the back quarter of it from the farmer. Poor old cow. But I dont think we will be feeling sorry for it as we eat my delicious beef and rosemary sausages [i really did make my own sausages on the MIGHTY Kenwood food processor and sausage making attachment, but thats another story]


CrabAll the meat was killed humanely and we know most of the farmers who killed our birds and beef. And I popped the crabs in the freezer to put them to sleep before boiling them - although i was tempted to taunt that big horrible one and get him back for scaring me!

Breakfasts will include gingerbread waffles and crepes.We have German stollen and pepper gingerbread. Friday night pizza will feature a special Christmas pizza - complete with ham, pineapple and cherries. Tonight we will have my beef and mushroom pie cooked in homebrewed stout.

What's to drink at the Jones Christmas Feast?
To accompany our white and red wines, and the mandatory Orkney Highland Park 12 year, I will be offering something closer to home this year. Our homebrewed stout and dark ale and .. . most importantly, our CelticMonk-inspired Heather Ale with heather that we picked in Stenness. I have also made a Christmas mead and a gooseberry wine from our gooseberry tree. It has been aging in my wine cellar for about 5 months. Oh . . and we have some bottles of German gluhwein [mulled wine] for the cold evenings.

And my Christmas Ale? Ahhhh . . just when i was on a roll you would have to ask that. Well, the truth is my glorious Christmas Ale, inspired by Trappist monks in Belguim, and brewed in late summer to give plenty of time for maturation, actually turned out to be total CRAP . . ghastly stuff!! . . if evaporated to half its size and is practically undrinkable. I think the temperature on the first fermentation was unstable and too low so it messed up the whole process. Oh well.

Anyway, I hope your Christmas is also filled with good friends and good food.

Related: Righteous men and eating meat

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House Churches: 1% to 9% in a decade

When our family worshipped in a house church in 1996, in the living room of our house in San Francisco, we were part of a movement that made up only 1% in the USA. Today, that number is 9%, according to recent research by Barna. Or to say it a different way, in 1996 I knew of a few hundred house churches. Today there are thousands and its now impossible to count them all.

A good article [HT: Rudy] released today on Religion Link has the skinny and a goodly amount . . . yes . .  i said 'goodly' . . . its a word, you know . . . a GOODLY amount of links to house church resources and organizations, both USA and UK. And some good words like this . ..
"House churches are a part of the post-modern trend in Christian worship that is marked by the breaking down and re-imagining of traditional forms of worship. The house church movement – and the broader emerging church movement – has the potential to reshape the mainstream way of doing church." Link.

And don't forget that Richard and I are working on a website/resource to help pull together resources and create new spaces in the UK. So let me know if you are starting a house church, or missional cell and tell us how we can help.

Related: George Barna's Revolution

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Covenant for the Church of England

Cartoon from Dave Walker.

On Dec 12th a "Covenant for the Church of England" was presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was signed by the CEEC President. Bishop Tom Wright is not impressed. He doesn't think it is really a covenant and quite a number of groups (including Alpha) were not involved. But it looks to me like the beginning of a conversation. Maybe "covenant" is too strong a word to use at this stage in the process?

HT: Richard White, who says that CMS have not signed the Covenant
Others on the subject: BigBulkyAnglican, Dave, Paul Roberts

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Top 5 Blog Posts in 2006?

UPDATE: Bob Carlson wants us all to submit our Top 5 blog posts to him. [Remember last year??] A $5 donation for submitting 5 posts will go to a New Orleans charity - check out Give5Now. Here are my Top 5 for 2006. They may not be the highest rating but i enjoyed writing and reading them.

1. Losing my Religion in London Part 1 [Part Two, Three, and Four]
2. The Drama of Domain Mapping My Blog
3. Sometimes I Dress Like a Pagan
4. The Emerging Church is NOT White Middle-Class Males
5. Carrying Your Dad's Dumbbell

I also liked the post for my wife - brain(spirit)storm [top secret] but it was too techie for many readers {clue: you have to SELECT the text to read it . . like invisible ink - i don't think many people got that one}

ORIGINAL: Bill Dahl of Purpoise Diving Life has published his list of "2006 best" and this has inspired me to ask a question that has been on my mind for a w hile:
What was the best single blog post in 2006 regarding the emerging church?
Not the best blog SITE - that is soooo early millenium. But the best blog POST - lets find it . . . it should be recognized because the new blogosphere is more about individual posts and how they perform [their google-ranking, long tail, reach, artistic quality, etc] than it is about how many permanent links or daily visitors or how cool your blog looks.

Another question - what was the BEST post you wrote in 2006? Your Favorite? Your highest Google Ranked? Your most commented on? I think my favorite blog post, out of all i wrote in 2006 is called "The Drama of Domain Mapping My Blog".

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AYA Festival for Emerging Leaders

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AYA Festival, KL, Malysia, Feb 2-3.. I wont be there which is a BUMMER coz I always enjoy my trips to Malaysia. One of the speakers, Daniel Ho from Damansara Utama Methodist Church was on my Logos team in 1985. Good to see him still equipping emerging leaders after all these years. If you get a chance, attend the conference. Early bird registration until Dec 22.
HT: Keeping Sane who knows one of the bands

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Blog Silence

UPDATE: Thanks - up and running again.
ORIGINAL: A few mandatory days of silence. This blog is getting turned off for a while - until I come up with $13 to pay for the next month. Its that time of the month when we usually go broke. But early next week I should have some travel reimbursements coming through and then we should get going again.
Have a great weekend.

Video Gamers Grow Up

There's a good article called The Gaming Generation on gaming and parenting. It has made me remember my long history with the joystick. Its been nearly 30 years since i pushed my first pixel across a TV screen. What a rush!!! After a lifetime of watching pixels dance on a TV screen, its a MIGHTY POWER RUSH to take control over the screen and make a pixel do something . .. in this case, bounce back over to the other side. That was Atari. That was 1977 on a brand new machine that some friends had brought home from America. I am still pushing pixels across a screen.

I first fell in love with my wife on a video game. She was good. Very good. She almost beat me. Maybe she did beat me but my brain refuses that memory.

One day, I am going to find an old Atari and play bricks or pong on my TV. THAT will be cool!