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August 2010

Posts from July 2010

Are bloggers just a bunch of pajama-wearin' coffee-sippin' armchair-theoblogians

An apology to my readers: I am REALLY REALLY sorry my blog has sucked recently. For the past few months I have been lucky to post once or twice a week.

The reason?

Well, so much has been happening, in so many different places (we have been to about 12 countries in the past 3 months) and SO FEW WIFI SIGNALS, or at least so few wifi signals without passwords, and so little time to blog.

The moments when my life is really exciting and I have plenty to blog about are the EXACT SAME MOMENTS when I am not able to blog because I am in weird countries without WIFI or have no time to write down what is happening.

And the moments when I have plenty of time to blog and surf other blogs are the EXACT SAME MOMENTS when nothing much is going on.

So, in conclusion, whoever said that bloggers are just a bunch of pajama-wearin' coffee-sippin' armchair-theoblogians who need to get a life and move out of their momma's house . . . was actually not far from the truth.

When your advertising pop-ups say more than you do

Some blog posts are just funny and when the wrong advertisements pop up, the message gets distorted and things can get absolutely hilarious.

Here's one today called "Emerging Church Exposed and Defined" that has two advertisements (at least here in Germany) for a body scanner that EXPOSES people and reveals their underwear. It adds a whole new slant to the subject material which was exposing the emerging church's supposed Biblical weaknesses.

I was reading it because one of the criticisms of the emerging church was that they "dont conceive we crapper undergo Absolute Biblical Truth" and i was wondering if they were using insider language that only a few enlightened people would understand but NOT those who dont have ears to hear. But then I saw the ads and things got interesting. Funny. Not sure if I should be blogging it  . ..  but . . I'm in a festival mood so here is the screenshot of the 'exposure':

And if you think that is too revealing, I wont even tell you about the ad that popped up the next time I looked.

SUGGESTION: If you cant control your ads, perhaps its time to remove them.

Interesting People: Philip and Sari Shorey

Here are some really interesting people I met at Slot Festival this month.

Philip and Sari Shorey are from Steiger Ministries in Minneapolis but right now they are taking their very Retro-Carnie looking Suitcase Sideshow around Europe. Last week a few people decided to get their lives right with God after their show - fantastic! This week they will be performing at the Polish Woodstock which gets, I heard, about 500,000 people.

Europe Mission Update: Steiger is moving into their new base in Krogis, near Dresden, Germany. Actually, a number of new ministries are popping up in the Prague-Dresden circle which makes me think that a new ministry base is in fact taking shape, one that is peopled primarily by a younger generation and one that will replace the older Budapest-Vienna circle that more established mission organizations used as a platform to launch out into central and eastern Europe.

Freakstock Festival 2010

Next week we will be at Freakstock Festival in Germany. The theme this year at Freakstock is "Beine in Die Hand" which means "LIFT UP YOUR FEET".

Our kids are volunteering this year since the number of volunteers is down and they could use some help. [HINT HINT].  And musician Daniel Benjamin is looking for 100 guitarists to help him for a mega-improv.

Me?  I will be spending time with many of the leaders there who have invited me to chat to them on some key issues. Should be good. I always enjoy hanging with the Jesus Freaks. Last year rocked. Here are some reflections on 2009 and 2006 when we hosted a global leadership roundtable inside Freakstock.

Global Connect Conference August 7-15

I will be speaking at the Global Connect Conference in Kirchheim, Germany next month. Christian Associates International is an incredible group of people who I have enjoyed partnering with for nearly a decade, ever since Linus Morris asked to me speak to the group in Budapest, 2003. Linus has since handed the reins over to Rob Fairbanks and the future looks bright for this group of missional high-achievers, but not without its challenges. Pray for me that I grasp what those challenges are and respond with the hopeful message of God's Word that equips us for every good work!!!

Salvation Army in Chemnitz

We are staying at the Salvation Army house in Chemnitz, Germany, and about to have a huge breakfast with homeless and low income families. We should be here for a few days while a team of volunteer mechanics work on our truck.

Its funny being in a house after a year and a half on the road. The last time our family slept in a house, apart from a brief stay in a hostel in Prague and mission hospitality house in London, was a year ago. Thats a long time.

We are Powered By Wings

People are asking us how we are supporting ourselves in our travels. Where does the money for diesel come from?

Well, apart from a number of recent gifts that have helped us get to all the cities we needed to be in, we are making and selling angel wings. You could say that we are powered by wings.

When we went to Poland last week we didn't have enough money for diesel to get back and I was wondering if we would get stuck in Poland. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing - its a nice country and there is an abundance of potatoes. But as it worked out, we set up a tent where my wife helped young Polish girls make angel wings for a donation.

It was a lot of fun and the donations helped us get back to Prague. It was also life changing for all of us. Read my wife's account here on her post "Powered By Wings".


Podcasts: Exploring Faith from a Global Perspective

Becky Garrison is releasing a series of podcasts on the theme of her new book Jesus
Died 4 This?
The first podcasts include an interview with me that Becky did last year in Poland at our Roundtable for emerging church leaders. Its called "Exploring Faith from a Global Perspective" and when you have finished listening, check out the other podcasts that include my friends Trevor McPherson (Canada) and Florian Honisch (Germany)

And get the book - Jesus Died 4 This: A Satirists Search for the Risen Christ. Its really good. In fact, I think Christian satire is one of the bright hopes for the future of Christian publishing and this book does it well. Except when Becky calls me a "granola crunching hippie" which I have to disagree strongly with - I crunch on potato chips, not granola! But the rest of the book is great!

Tree By The River Teaching

One of my sessions at Slot Festival was held under a tree in the main open space. It was also next to a river [almost] so I thought it appropriate to give my esoteric spiritual teaching called "A Tree By the River", a teaching that uses the whole body in a physical way to meditate on some spiritual truths that transform.

Photo by Florian Honisch, a very big German man and apostle to the poor.

Some of you reading this blog post were there on the grass, wiggling your toes and lifting your arms and fully participating. Thanks for coming and being good sports. Here's some things about the 'Tree By the River' that you might want to know.

1. The "Tree by the River" got sampled by DJ Kenny Mitchell in Japan.

I did this teaching many years ago in Japan and DJ Kenny Mitchell, who co-taught my session on Friday, was there with me in Japan. He recorded it and integrated the teaching into a track on the Brooklyn and Beyond CD. Its called "Movement" and you can hear a sample of it here. Obviously its the best track on the album and much better than my friend Roger Ellis who was sampled on Track 2.

A spectacular photo of DJ Kenny Mitchell at Slot by TallSkinnyKiwi.

2. I originally received this esoteric spiritual teaching from a guru in India.

I use the word "guru" quite liberally here. The teaching "A Tree by the River", as I said during the session, is an adaptation of the Universal Disciple teaching from Bro Tom, a spiritual teacher in India. You will see a lot of parallels between his teaching and mine. The idea is that the early  church had a pattern of life-transformation that was passed on to each other - and that is why so many key words and concepts (word-spirit, put off-put on, etc) appear in the writings of various New Testament writers. Or in other words, if someone wanted to follow Jesus, there was a commonly understood body of teaching that would be given to new believers.

Oh - and I should be honest - Brother Thom gave the teaching at a Seminary in USA before he went to India which is where I heard it. But it sounded good to say it that way and I figured it would give some of my more discerning readers a buzz.

3. The outline of the Tree By the River has disappeared mysteriously from my old blog but when I get around to it, I will write up a new post and give you the teaching here so you can remember it.

Thanks everyone for coming along and giving me so much enjoyment. Every blessing to you as you mediate on the word of God and allow God's life to flow through you and into your world so that people will eat from your fruit and see that God is good. Remember the passage we started with:

Blessed is the man
      who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
       or stand in
the way of sinners
       or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law
of the LORD,
       and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by
streams of water,

       which yields its fruit in season
      and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1