Archive for July, 2005

D-Day Minus 1

D-Day Minus 1


I am now officially freaked out.  I’m scared, nervous, anxious, excited, pumped, tired, stressed, touched, encouraged, inspired and comforted.  How can so many different feelings come at one event?

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The Bachelor Party

The Bachelor Party


9 of us headed down to Regina to watch the our beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders demonstrate how inept they can be.  How does at team get 15 first downs in the first half while the opposing team gets 2 and still lose the football game?  Lots of nasty, stupid, idiotic turnovers.  How can a professional quarterback throw an INT on a shuttle pass.  This blows my mind….anyways, my anger will dissipate in time. 

The entertainment for the night was provided by the “Beers and Cheers” crowd one row behind me.  They started drinking earlier that afternoon and it showed.  It became somewhat uncomfortable when they guy behind me started playing with my hair.  I think Jordon particularly appreciated a refreshing sprinkle of suds now and again. 

The conversation in the car was good both ways.  A number of my friends had never met Jordon and he never fails to entertain with his vast catalog of anecdotes, interesting facts and funny stories.  It was really good to hang out with two old buddies “Covey” and “Hosehead”.  A special thanks to everyone that came out.

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My good friend Gil is now blogging!

My good friend Gil is now blogging!


I’m pretty pumped about this.  Gil and I have had many in depth conversations about politics, theology and the church.  He also cheers for the Flames which is another sign of incredible intelligence.

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Surprise Party

Surprise Party


Most of the house church and some other friends surprised Carol and I with a party last night.  I was so pumped about it.  Carol and I got cool gifts and we were surrounded by friends.  It was really cool.  Thank you every one!

It is one more week until I’m married.  I’ve invaded Carol’s house and created myself a “man cave” in basement.  Moving over has been a lot of work even when you do it over the course of a few weeks.  People keep asking me if I’m counting down the days or if I’m excited.  Now that most of the heavy work of planning and moving is done I’m now started to get excited.  Because Carol and I are next door neighbours we’ve gradually integrated our lives over the last 3 months.  Some of that transition has been hard for both of us.  I’ve had to radically reorient my life around multiple priorities.  Carol has had someone invade her domain.  Up until now the wedding was just another priority to attend to.  We really haven’t taken the space needed to celebrate what is going on.  That is why it was so cool to have our friends come over and celebrate with us.  I was really encouraged by it.  Thanks everyone!

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This comment on the EC caught my attention

This comment on the EC caught my attention


There are people that ”argue the EC is little more than a club for middle-class Christians to read the latest books, trial the latest fads and generally have a good old intellectual wank over their ability to sound intelligent.”

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Fault lines in the Emerging Church

Fault lines in the Emerging Church


Emergent and Brian McLaren have received a significant amount of heat over theological positions that are not shared by everyone in the Emerging Church.  A lot of the criticism has misrepresented positions.  Some of it was accurate in direction but not in degree.  Regardless there are some people in EC circles that agree with some of the points people like D.A. Carson have made. 

I haven’t read Carson’s book but I did listen to some of his lectures and those of other critics.  I can understand where a lot of them are coming from.  I don’t sense a malicious agenda or a desire to deliberately misunderstand or misrepresent.  I think that sometimes the critics have been sloppy or lazy.  In turn some people have become defensive, hostile and even dismissive in return.  In some circles D.A. Carson has been demonized and we have forgotten that he is part of the church. 

As the different pockets of the EC progress they will solidify in different directions.  The EC in Australia is very different than it is in the US.  They don’t sense the same need for a “A New kind of Christian” and are more geared for a “a new kind of church.”  When I was down there they used the term “Emerging Missional Church” which they distinguished from “Emergent” or “Emerging Church”.  They saw themselves as “post alt.worship.”   The emerging forms of church are developing differently in different countries.

As the movement progresses I find myself more and more in the simple/house church compartment if that is what you would call it.  I am less and less interested in what comes out of certain authors and organizations.  Much like the Roman Catholic church with it’s different monastic orders the EC is going to have accept that we aren’t all going to be on the same page.  We have to be open and honest about these things. 

As we do this I think we will see some subdivision along the lines of doctrine, mission, leadership, and other areas of church practice. 

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Link2Voip

Link2Voip


Link2Voip is a voice over Intenet provider.  Do not deal with these people.  I setup an account with them 10 days ago.  I haven’t been able to get it to work.  No response to emails.  No phone number to call.   I still haven’t got the phone number I ordered.  Absolutely pathetic.

Here is another post on Link2Voip

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Reflections on the Mac/PC debate

Reflections on the Mac/PC debate


I have a confession to make.  The source of my emotional bias against Apple stems more from Mac users than the software or hardware.  I’ve endured one too many diatribes from self-righteous digital media barons of all stripes telling me how superior their computer is.  I find them very very annoying.  Especially the ones that really don’t know what they are talking about.

With my computer I care more about value and productivity than I do about style or cute little animations.  I’ll admit that your standard WinXP style is dang ugly and I switched all my machines back to classic mode.

I’m not really sure what more I’d want my computer to do.  Once we got to Win2k I was pretty happy.  I got an OS that didn’t crash unless I did something dumb with it. 

In response to my latest post some people didn’t buy my argument that Wintel is cheaper with used equipment.  I like to buy computers in bunches and I’ve really come to love off lease corporate PC’s that get shipped by on a crate and still leave me room in my meager capital budget for other expenses.  There are tons of these PC’s around.  They are cheap, cheaper than any Mac I’ve seen on Ebay.  The only thing that comes close are the 350Mhz iMacs but with those I’d be paying for a monitor I don’t need.  I setup a lab with the exact same hardware, and ghost the harddrives and make a few modifications.  If I have any problems I take 20 minutes and ghost it again and presto back to new.  In my context the choice is clear.

There were lots of people talking about security and the need for anti-virus on Windows.  I don’t know a lot of poeple who aren’t running some kind of wireless router or something on their broadband connection.  It is hardly an extra expense with the proliferation of home networking.  It is pretty standard equipment.  I haven’t had a computer virus on a workstation of my own in several years. 

The only other OS I use is Linux.  I’ve come to like it more and more and am justing setting up a new Linux box to play with.  On the server side Linux is great.  I’m looking to setup Asterisk, an open source software PBX system (phone system).  This system (or whatever comes after it) will make a huge impact on telecom. 

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Bevere Reflections: 5 fold church authority

Bevere Reflections: 5 fold church authority


If you’ve heard of five fold ministry you are definitely in a Charismatic church.  The concept is fleshed out in different ways but there are some central themes.  In general the 5 fold ministry is a divine leadership structure for the church involving apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  Bevere contends that each of these 5 offices is the greatest authority in the church under Christ.

This theology comes from an interpretation of Eph 4:7-17 NRSV:

7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people." 9 (When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

I don’t think anything in this passage implies authority or office.  It is obvious that these are areas of gifting (v 8-9).  If the church functioned with these 5 offices you would think this would be mentioned somewhere else.  We see requirements for elders and deacons (1Tim 3), and some elders were appointed (Titus 1:5) but there is no mention of prophets or teachers being appointed.  You would also think that early church tradition would reflect the importance of these 5 offices but they don’t.  Just like scripture tradition speaks of elders, deacons and eventually bishops.  

There might be something special about these 5 gifts in that they equip others whereas some the gifts are not primarily for equipping others.  One might be able to argue that equipping gifts imply some sort of leadership role in the church.  Assigning someone to an office merely recognizes this gifting and establishes people in a role where they could use it.  

I don’t take this approach because I see a need to emphasize function over position. If one is in a church setting where everyone is a minister there is no need to complicate the situation with assigning office or title.  It is just as easy to say you are good at doing such and such a thing, how can we help you do more of it?  

I think the main point of these passages has been missed.  God gave gifts for the following purposes:

  • equip the saints
  • build up the body
  • promote unity
  • bring people to knowledge of Jesus and
  • bring people to maturity.  

I think the gap between those in positional leadership (clergy) and everyone else (“laity”) pretty much insures that people will be hindered in coming to a knowledge of Jesus and maturity.  When all that people need to do is show up, sing, listen, and give money there is no drive to grow, to learn or to gain more skills they can use in ministering to others.  I see that smaller simple churches have such an advantage in this because everyone sees the immediate needs and when people contribute it is very apparent to them and to others how much their contribution is worth.  Maturity comes when people learn to connect to God, interpret and apply the bible truth as well as minister to others. 

I find it striking that the very same churches that stress the five fold ministry are the same ones that are “tossed around by every wind of doctrine.” There is always some new teaching to follow.  I’m not surprised that so many people run from these situations and end up with the Eastern Orthodox or the Anglicans just for the stability of a deeper tradition with a long history.

Because there is so much emphasis on the ministry of leaders and so very little equipping the people aren’t equipped and this stunts their development.  So much of what we call ministry in the church is one person with authority speaking to a great mass of people that aren’t trust to speak to the group.  This is at best challenge and a transfer of knowledge and it is anything but equipping.  If it were then schools would do the same thing.  Imagine a training school that did nothing but give inspirational lectures and gave out no homework, conducted no exams, and offered no practicum. 

I’ve heard people say they need to get “fed” at church.  I say people need to be equipped to cook for themselves.

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Why I prefer the PC over the Mac

Why I prefer the PC over the Mac


It is all about value.  I administer 3 different networks made up entirely of machines with Windows and I rarely have any problems.  One of the things that contributes to perceived stability advantage of the Mac is that the hardware is generally good because it all comes from the same place.  With PC’s you can get bargain basement slap together hardware with crappy drivers that cause a lot of stability issues.  Stick with good hardware and you’ll be alright.

On the issue of cost there really is no comparison, especially if you are buying used equipment.  It is very possible to find a perfectly good. 500mhz PC with Win2k for just over $100 if you looking the right places.  This machine will do every basic computing task out there. 

Sometimes we do buy new.  I’ve caught deals on a brand new 2.4 ghz Dell for $300 and free shipping.  I ended up adding in a little Ram which brought it up to $350.  You might think such low cost machines would give me problems.  Nope.  I haven’t add any problems whatsoever with these machines.  Not one hardware failure.  These machines just work.

There are a few things to remember about windows.  Turn on automatic updates and put everything on a broadband connection behind a router.  They can be picked up for about $40 bucks.  Don’t install every crappy shareware program or file sharing software that comes along .

Everything changes though when you start using Win9x.  Windows 95/98 was ok if you ran a handful of reliable programs on it but it can get bogged down really easily.  Windows ME is a nightmare.  If you have it I highly suggest formating the harddrive and upgrading to XP or Win2k or even downgrading to Win98.  That OS is evil!

Another weakness in Windows is Internet Explorer and Active X and porn/warez.  These sites beg you to install their free software and a machine becomes infested with spyware/adware/malware.  Use Firefox and avoid such websites.

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