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Posts from February 2008

America's Most Sinful Cities

Interesting graph on Forbes that lets you click on one of the 7 deadly sins and see how the cities measure up. HT: Tim Wright.

Lust, anyone?
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Hmmm . . . Houston makes the cut. And Seattle.

What about Gluttony?
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Well hey you'all in the Bible belt! Ummmm .. . love that southern cooking!
And San Francisco - no wonder with all those great restaurants!

Hey, it would be interesting to see what sins characterize the various cities and then let the churches in those cities determine if they are doing well in presenting a different story. Kiwi John Dawson suggested something similar in his book "Taking our cities for God"

Arab Printing Press


I picked up a 1870's Arab printing press this weekend. Heavy thing. Thanks to the guys at City Press in Brechin for helping out. The printing press will be used as part of our Co-op in Orkney. All it needs is some ink and some new roller cores, for which I am hunting around right now.

Pressmovie-1The Arab treadle press was one of the most common presses a hundred years ago. 40,000 were made and they are considered the best of their kind in the world. We are totally buzzed to have it and cant wait to start treadling.

Problogger Darren Rowse owes me a coffee!

Darren Rowse, of the ridiculously popular, owes me a coffee. After discovering my blog in 2002 and starting his own, he went on to make half a million dollars, pay off his mortgage and start one of the world's biggest blogs. I reckon he owes me a coffee.

Pro-Blogger-TmIn this mornings postings, Darren writes about his 6 defining moments as a problogger. Discovering my site was the first and the other 5 don't really matter because my blog put him on the right track. He owes me a coffee!

Problogger is voted Technorati's number 2 favorite blog in the world, coming right next to BoingBoing. I have voted for both blogs in the past, but have a special spot in my heart for Problogger, since its a damn helpful blog but also because there is some lineage to my poor humble tallskinnykiwi blog, producing a familial parental urge to vote for it. Darren bloody well owes me a coffee!

And i will be in Melbourne in a few months at the Forge Grassroots Festival to collect it. I think Darren will also be there. Or so he told me. Make that a latte, Darren . . . extra large!

One of Darren's choices as a blogger was to be vulnerable and honest about how much money he was making, despite the Aussie tendency to hide success and punish it when you see it happen to others (tall poppy syndrome). Quite risky, actually, for Darren to go public but a good choice and thousands of bloggers are grateful. I know a lot of bloggers have been helped along by his advice, including some young people in India who are involved in Christian mission.

Darren also has a blog called The Living Room, which explores his community's journey as a part of a spiritual movement embraced by a lot of young people [but vilified by others] called the Emerging Church. If i lived in Melbourne, I would probably check it out.

Related: More on the Grassroots Festival (Say hello to me if you see me)

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Brechin, Scotland


I took the ferry down to Aberdeen and went south to Brechin yesterday, to pick up a printing press. There is a fantastic old Cathedral there built where a Celtic monastery stood in the 900's. This round tower was built around 1100 and is one of only two of its kind in Scotland. I had a nice quiet time there and a walk along the creek.

Tony Jones: The New Christians

New ChristiansThe New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones is a new book that gets released this week to an eager audience. Tony is the National Coordinator for Emergent Village in USA and has been a friend for a decade. I found his book to be a meatier step forward from his earlier Postmodern Youth Ministry and an enjoyable trip through many events that I participated in over the years. To read the book is to understand where Tony is coming from, that middle ground between fundamentalism and liberalism that Lesslie Newbigin pointed to in his classic book Proper Confidence. It is also to get a feel for Tony himself and to a large extent, the flavor of Emergent Village and their many conversations and conferences. And for those reasons, I really like the book and recommend it.

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Euthanasia of Mission

I have been wrestling with the issue of sustainability for emerging church projects. I know others are also thinking through these things and some of us are creating social enterprises, co-operatives, and other forms of sustaining what we are doing. Henry Venn had some good advice in the mid 19th century. Here is a snippet of a recent article of mine that deals with Henry Venn's ideal for the euthanasia of the mission and how sustainability can be accomplished through co-operative micro-business enterprises. This is a continuation from my post "Fourth Sector and emerging mission"

"Venn saw the objective of a mission to be the establishment of a “Native church under Native pastors upon a self-supporting system”. Passing on leadership to nationals signalled what he called the “euthanasia of a mission”. He was often misquoted as suggesting the euthanasia of the mission society itself, but, as Max Warren made clear, Venn believed a self-supporting national church would free the mission society to continue its ministry by shifting its focus to the “regions beyond”.

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Willy Wonka Party

This is a record of our Willy Wonka birthday party last week and in particular, the media, food and games we created for it in the few hours before the party. Maybe it will be helpful to others doing the same thing.

AndrewaswillywonkaThats me on the left, dressed up as Willy Wonka. I welcomed people at the front door with a rolled out red carpet. This was the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory themed birthday party for our daughter Elizabeth, who turned 15. It was a great time and exceeded expectations. It was done on a budget and done quite well. So . . . I thought I would blog some of the links that were helpful, the games we invented, and, for non-geeks,  some of the hacks I used to get Willy Wonka media like fonts, .mp3 and video into our home. I use a Mac, btw and cant really recommend the best tools and programs to PC users.

There are plenty of Willy Wonka video clips out there (youtube, etc) but importing and reusing can be a challenge. I download them with the Video Downloader 2.0 which is an add on to my Firefox browser. Then I open them up with MPEG Streamclip as a Quick Time movie, or, as DV footage for iMovie. If you can find some movies in .mov or .mpg format, (I search for them on Google) then you can download them directly as QT movies and use them as fodder for your video wallpaper. Some of my downloads needed editing to get the credits and words out of them which i did in Quicktime Pro (costs a little but its worth it). When you are all done, make sure the movie is in "loop" mode and play it on your TV or, if you have a projector, shoot it on the ceiling or a wall.

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To Tony Jones: I do not still live in the 80's

It was brought to my attention this morning that Emergent Village Coordinator Tony Jones, rambling on about nothing on a recent Nic and Josh Podcast (the wayne/garth podcast) accuses me of still living in the 80's.
In my defence, I want to strongly deny his accusation as untrue and slanderous. And besides, I had my mullet cut off last year.

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I will remember his insult later this week, be it ever so severely, when i review his book The New Christians.

Related: The Mullet I never had
Esther: 7 parties and the old guy with a mullet