Rowland Whitehead (Bilbo) visits Orkney

S635757570 5184Rowland Whitehead is only here for a day but its an enjoyable time together. Rowland was part of the UK house church movement in the 1960's and is now encouraging new things in Barbados. We have been chatting about the history of the Jesus movement and the similarities with the current emerging church movement. I am helping him set up a blog right now - the man has LOTS of stories that should be told. His blog, a few seconds old, can be found at

Rowland went with the Bilbo name because he was asked recently whether his gift to the church was like Frodo or Bilbo and since he has been around for some time and is now helping the next generation find their place, he went with Bilbo.

My wife's Knit-work is spreading.


Bea Marshall was in the paper last week in Sheffield, she told me when i was there for dinner. And my wife Debbie got a mention as "the friend who knits for her five children" and the one who inspired Bea to start knitting again. The influence of my wife precedes me . .. Click the image to read it. Bea and Andy, and their two kids, will be starting a house church in January and visiting us in Orkney in February.

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The Bible Commentary and the Blog of Chris Seay

0529123460-1That chapter I was writing for a new Bible commentary has been released. Its called The Dust Off Their Feet: Transitioning the Church to Conform to His Will Then/ Now and it's a commentary on Acts written by a number of emerging church practitioners. My piece is on Acts 10-13 from a missiologist's standpoint, and as one interested in the crossing of the gospel into new cultures.

Chris-2Chris Seay, a good friend of mine who is the main dude behind this project, has just got himself a cool video blog called The Voice. It's flash-based so its not going to do well in Google searches and the blind URL makes it really hard to link to pages beyond the front page. But I really like it. Why?

- its simple.
- its minimal.
- its NOT videos of his sermons but real life stuff.
- its Chris's style and by that i mean Chris doesn't like blogging and doesn't like emails. He is not a text person but he IS a voice person. He loves phone calls and talking and doesn't mind a camera in front of him. A video blog makes total sense for Chris and I just love it when people and technology come together.

Chris's church in Houston is called Ecclesia. We used his church for the Doxology event last year.

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Mark Palmer is Gone

Mark Palmer died yesterday in Ohio. Many of us got to know him through his blog where he allowed us into his life and his battle with cancer. He is on my "Vintage Theoblogians" hall of fame. I think i will leave him on it. Mark was an early blogger to the international Christian blogosphere. He was at our gathering of emerging church leaders in pasadena last year. We sure will miss him.

Palmer Healing Button-1A while ago, Alan Creech made this PayPal button for Mark so that bloggers could remember to pray and also donate towards the medical bills. You may remember it on this site. Alan - you taught us all about how to be a good friend. I guess Mark finally gets his complete healing but his loss is certainly felt on this side.

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Happy Birthday Miriam

I get to play VJ tonight at a dance. I am still using Arkaos after all these years to mix and perform the video loops.

The occasion???? Miriam is our Land-Rover-driving neighbour who moved a few houses down from us. She is also the vocalist for the band Ragstone 27 (see my video of their first performance). Miriam is a dear friend and a spiritual woman who often finds herself on prayer journeys into all kinds of countries. She gives a lot but doesn't usually end up on the receiving end of the gift-giving cycle. A bunch of us celebrating Miriam's birthday with a dance (Ceilidh) tomorrow and, although she doesn't know it yet, I will be the VJ. A little sample below of the video loop. [QuickTime Movie (2.2 Megs]

Off To Cambridge

Zooduo_1 I am going over to Cambridge tonight for dinner with Maggie and Phouc-Tan who are expecting the first installment to their family (due May 1st).
Maggie was in my youth group YEARS AND YEARS ago in Australia and is one of the infamous Blick sisters. Jules, another of the infamous Blick sisters, and by far the most annoying, will be there also. Cindy, the middle Blick sister, just went back to Oz.
As the former youth pastor of these and other deliquent youth now entering adulthood and threatening the fabric of human existence as we know it, I take full responsibility and humbly apologize for my shortcomings. Tonight my repentence will be further extended by eating with them and remembering old times.

Brilliant January Day

I know this is winter in the far north and everyone thinks we are freezing inside igloos here. But the weather has been calm and nice for nearly 2 weeks. Yesterday was spectactular! Absolutely BRILLIANT. No wind, only sunshine. Blue sky turning burnt orange sunset teasing the distant charcoal hills. Gosh, I'm a poet and I'm sure of it! You had to be there. My good friends Derek Chapman and Brian Standerfer were.



Brian is seriously considering bringing his family from Austin, Texas to our little town in Stromness, Orkney. And it seemed like God was putting on a show everywhere we went. I made a photo album called Brilliant January. And Derek, that picture of the rib roast you requested is there. Isn't that the best meat in the world? Thanks for coming. Stay longer next time!!!

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In Memory of Andrew Lawson Johnston

Scotland lost a great man last week to cancer. Andrew Lawson Johnston, artist, Christian leader, and engraver to the Queen. Andrew was a key person, if not THE key person in the charasmatic New Wine movement in Scotland. His passing will be sorely felt all over the UK. More info here.

AljI had the privilege of meeting Andrew on a few occasions, including:
- once in his stately home over a tea with his lovely wife Sylvia and brother Phil, who is a popular songwriter. Doug Pagitt was with me at the time and we sang some of Phil's choruses at the table.
- 6 years ago, at his church in Alford, where Andrew led a children's communion segment of the church service that was so uplifting and honoring to children that our whole family still remember it.

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Camping with Friends

There was a caravan of 7 cars when we left the Doxology exhibition to get to our KOA campsite. We set up our tents and made it our base. The following day we had a BBQ with about 40 people. Campsites are great places to throw parties - $15 a night for your tent and you have all the space in the world for a large party, including a swimming pool. Much cheaper than a hotel and conference room and the air is fresher.

Great to see friends we had only met on the internet like Scotty Miller (far left) and his family. Thanks for those of you who came out to see us and hung out.

When we first came to Texas in 1998, we stayed in our tent at the state park. We are still camping in the same tent.

Getting pierced with friends

Back safe in Orkney. I picked up some American friends on the way - Doug Pagitt (Young Leaders/Solomon's Porch), Mark Scandrette (ReImagine) from San Francisco, Dave from Minnesota, Michael Toy (ex-Netscape) from Palo Alto. These guys have are on a very short pilgrimage to Orkney and are here to spend time with our family.

Doug and I got our upper ear cartledge pierced yesterday in Aberdeen, in recognition of having passed through the lifetime fear of losing our fathers. Mark S. also got one in the same spot. Tonight we are having a ceremony at one of the ancient sites. I suppose it is one of the most significant rites of passage into adulthood. A few years ago i flew up to Minnesota visit Doug Pagitt when his dad passed away. Now that mine has also gone, its great timing to have Doug come over and return the favor.