Archive for July, 2009

I hate dental hygienists

It is bad enough when you know you must endure really uncomfortable and even painful procedures because of your stupidity.  It is so much worse when someone talks to you like you are 8 years old.

If I ever talked to my clients the way I’ve been talked to I wouldn’t have work.  Sometimes I do have to clean up self-inflicted mistakes on computers.  I never ever treat someone unprofessionally.  I don’t tell anyone 18 times how important it is to do one thing or another.


Is Peak Oil Real?

Only 14 of the 54 oil producing nations in the world are increasing production.  The rest are flat or in terminal decline.

60.6% of total oil production comes from nations that are flat or in terminal decline.

Read more here.

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I bet you didn’t realize I was in Star Wars

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We ride through plains of hurt

We ride through
These plains of hurt
Through the Southern breathing rock
On a rail road of knots
And there’s blood on the lines
Of every page I turn
When the ones you love
Are the ones you burn

Being here
Being here
Oh oh
Being here

Some one singing songs
About a girl I hurt
I’ve been everywhere enough
I’ve been torn apart by the world
But there’s apples in the trees
And diamonds in the earth
I’ve been losing my mind
Somehow it can’t get worse

Being here
Being here
Oh oh
Being here

And the wind is blown and cold
And I can’t escape the tears
One for every broken bone
And a hundred for all the years

Being here
Being here
Oh oh
Being here
Being here
Being here
Oh oh
Being here

The Stills : Being Here

I wish I could say more. Sometimes we have our pain, sometimes we enter in to the pain of others.

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Great blog on church

I wish more people would comment because sometimes when they do I find engaging blogs.  Recently I discovered Alan Knox and I’ve been really impressed.

He is a programmer.

He is a theologian.

He takes New Testament ecclesiology seriously.

He is involved in a church working out his conclusions.

If you are interested in some great biblical research relating to the church check him out.


Become a global financier

I’ve really got in to Kiva.  Each month I loan money to someone.  I’ve loaned to people in El Salvador, Cambodia, Lebanon, Togo, Tajikistan, Mali and the Philippines.  You can start today with a small $25 loan.  Loans go to ordinary working people that need things like stock for their store or animals for their farm.  These small interest free loans have proven to be a excellent way to help develop the grass roots economies of the developing world. 

Team Saskatchewan only has 12 people!  Sign up and join the team! 

If you find you don’t like it, wait until the loan is repaid and then take your money back.  If you like it then relend the cash and help someone else out.  With all loans there is no guarantee that you’ll get all your money back, but so far defaults have been very low.

 Kiva - loans that change lives

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Church formulas and techniques

When I go to a church conference or read the materials from a church association all the material seems to try to answer one question.  How can my church be a success?  It is the holy grail that inspired many a book, conference and consultant.  A great many of these books, conferences and consultants offer divergent solutions and conflicting assessments of our problems.   Most solutions gain traction for a while and then begin to fade. 

Often the solution being offered doesn’t provide the expected results in a context different from the one it was discovered in.  We see this a lot in Canada whenever we apply techniques, and models promoted by Americans.  Canadian culture and Canadian church culture are different than their American equivalent.  What works in Chicago and L.A. doesn’t necessarily work in Toronto, and is really far fetched in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

At the house church conference I was at there were lots of little formulas and techniques being taught.   I struggled with it.  It seemed so much of the content was offered in the same style as something from Willow Creek.  For me “simple church” isn’t about employing specific techniques and shared rituals but of genuine expressions of love and fellowship.  Each individual church should creatively structure things given the people involved and the cultural context.

Whenever someone says something like "church is T.H.I.S.: Theos centered, Holy Spirit empowered, Inspired by Scripture, Serving Jesus” I just want to flee.  Church is no less nuanced or complex as a family or a marriage.  Who would try to reduce the concept of marriage to some cute little acronym?  It seems particularly out of place where the emphasis is on relationships rather than programs. 

The conference wasn’t all information about formulas and techniques.  I found a track of sessions where the presenter had us practice a simple technique for drawing people out to share the real issues in their life and listen to God’s leading.  Introducing people to a little bit of simple / organic fellowship was probably the best thing he could have done.  He did wear down some of my aversion to trying some of these techniques with new people because a group of strangers bonded very quickly. 

Shared rituals or practices are an essential part of the church.  People shouldn’t uncritically adopt what some guy three thousand miles away came up with for his church.  The guy from three thousand miles away shouldn’t assume that he came up with the universal approach and proclaim it as the new better way to be the church.


Tithing on vacation

So you are relaxing at the lake or camping somewhere and you can’t make it to church to deliver your tithe you might want to follow the advice in Deuteronomy.

Deu 14:23  "You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.
Deu 14:24  "If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the LORD your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses you,
Deu 14:25  then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses.
Deu 14:26  "You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.
Deu 14:27  "Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you.

So next time a fellow church member finds you at the liquor store up at the lake just tell them you are faithfully spending your tithe and that you intend to eat in the presence of the Lord and Rejoice!  Just don’t forget to invite the local pastor, priest or minister to partake with you!