« April 2004 Archives »


Who am I?

30 April, 2004 8:54 AM

Wow, thanks for the feedback on the last post about Who are You? Your comments and many emails have been really interesting and encouraging. Sometimes blogging feels like you're talking to an empty room a little and you do wonder why you're doing it - it is good to know that people don't just come here searching for the silly stuff I write about but that there are people engaging on a deeper level also.

A number of people have mentioned that they want to know more about what I do personally in emails - I guess I forget that people who have only been coming here for a few months can't get the full picture without reading back over the thousands of archived entries. So let me give a brief oversight of what I do with my time.

Stats - I'm 32 years old, live in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne Australia, am married to the wonderful 'V' (no kids yet) and enjoy photography, reading and .... long walks on the beach, great food, wine and coffee... (sounds like a dating ad)

Study - I'm currently completing the last two subjects of a Bachelor of Theology at a local bible college (some of you might call them seminaries). I've been doing this degree for 10 years now part time and can't wait to complete it this semester!

LivingRoom - I work two days a week as the team leader for LivingRoom which is a small emerging missional church in the inner north of Melbourne.

Forge - I volunteer a day a week to a national missional training network called Forge (site being updates as we speak...its a little out of date). This involves helping out with the running of events, an internship that we run and some speaking in churches, on camps and at conferences.

Blogging - Over the year and a half of running this blog I've learnt a lot about how to run a blog. In the last 6 months I've taken my knowledge and have started a second blog which I run for commercial purposes. The desire is to see it grow to a point where it supplements my income. In the weeks ahead there will be more news on the commercial blogging front as we explore some new possibilities.

Hope that gives newbies to this blog a little more of a picture of who I am.

Who are You?

29 April, 2004 3:06 PM

Who are you readers? I'd love to know who is out there...

It has been an interesting few weeks for me with this blog. I've had a number of out of the blue contacts from people who I haven't seen or heard from for years who accidently found me through searching for information on Google. I guess that is always going to happen when you have a site with a couple of thousand pages on it.

Also last night I was at the Jim Thwaites evening and was told that someone had come because they saw it on this page - they'd been reading my stuff for a while and I never even knew of them - it was nice to meet a reader, although to be honest it is a little strange. My first reaction every time something like that happens is - gee I what have I been writing? Then i generally think of all the posts I've written I wouldn't want them to have read...

Lastly I've had a couple of requests to speak at places from completely out of the blue from people who have been reading this blog. Its definitely opening up a few doors which is exciting.

It makes me wonder - who is reading this site? How many people are lurking out there anonymously? How many out there do I know and how many have I not met? Perhaps I should do a reader survey to get some idea of this. Does anyone know of a survey package that is free and easy to use? My stats package tells me how many people are out there, what pages they visit and what region they are from - but I'd like to know more.

I'd love to hear from you either in comments or via email through my Contact Form. I can't guarantee long replies to everyone, but I'd love to know who you are, how you found this site, why (and if) you come back from time to time and what you think of it....

Melbourne Emerging Church Types Get Together

28 April, 2004 10:26 AM

Today I'm off to spend an afternoon and evening with Jim Thwaites which should be interesting.

The afternoon session is for others in our denomination who are doing (or wanting to do) similar missional community plants to us at LivingRoom. There are currently a number of groups around Melbourne doing a variety of projects.

Tonight is an open night to the larger network which should be fun. We're holding it in a great cafe in Brunswick St so there will be loads of good coffee and food too. If you wanted to come tonight you still can - details are here.

My Virtual Faith Project

27 April, 2004 2:46 PM

I'd like to introduce you to an online buddy of mine who comes from the same city as me (Melbourne) but whom I'm yet to meet in person.

His name is Nathan and he runs an excellent blog called My Virtutal Faith. Actually if you head over to his blog today you'll find that he's closing it down....

So why am I introducing you to him? Well he's about to start a new project that I'd like to encourage you to give your feedback on.

Some of his thinking on it came out of a little post/rant I wrote a few weeks back called Holy Huddle Blogging II.

So he's decided to start a new project that aims to engage with not just Christians but also those who are not coming at faith from that perspective. Nathan explains it a whole lot better at his My Virtual Faith Project Page where he asks you for your feedback that will help him develop this brand new site.

I'd love to encourage you to head over and lend your support and wisdom to Nathan - reading his stuff I'm touched by his genuine desire to do something outwardly focused through his online presence and think that together we can be a part of the discerning process he's going through.

11688 and counting...

27 April, 2004 11:48 AM

This morning at 3.30am I turned 11688 days old.

The Repercussionless Life

26 April, 2004 1:03 PM

Sometimes life can be frustrating.

V and I were at a shopping centre a week back and came back out to our car in the car park to find that someone had hit our car. Looking at where they hit I have no idea how they did it, but they did and they would have known that they did as there must have been a significant impact.

There was no note left and no way of tracing who did it - hence it falls back on us to pay for repairs. Luckily I don't lose my rating 1 from the insurance, but the $450 excess and 10 days without a car sucks. It really makes me wonder why people wouldn't own up to what they do - on one level it doesn't surprise me at all - but on another it makes me sad that we live in a society where people feel free to not reap the consequences of their actions.

Blogger Idol Decisions

25 April, 2004 1:51 PM

Last week I asked the question, 'Should Blogger Idol Continue?'

58% want it to continue indefinitely with 37% wanting it to end either straight away (11%) or in a month (26%). Comments were interesting with a variety of opinions being expressed.

As a results of the poll and comments I've decided the following:

Blogger Idol Stays - Blogger Idol will remain indefinitely. I've had a couple of msn conversations and emails with participants who have pleaded with me on this and indicated that blogger idol has been very important to them and helped them to interact with a whole heaps of new and previously unknown bloggers. This was my hope with this project.

Blogger Idol will move to Fortnightly - A number of people have said that weekly posting was too much both in its demands but also in that it dominated some blogs. We will trial biweekly posting for the next month or so and then review. I will continue to announce topics every second Sunday which will give two weeks for entries to be submitted.

Your suggestions for Topics and Themes are vital - I have just set up a place to suggest themes and topics. Please visit it and leave your suggestions. If your theme is chosen you will be prominently acknowledged.

I'm still considering some of the other suggestions mentioned in previous comments and would continue to encourage your thoughts, ideas and suggestions in comments of this post. Thanks for everyone's support!

There will be no topic for this week to give participants an extra week to submit entries to Week 14 - Spirituality.

Blogger Idol - Topic Suggestions

25 April, 2004 1:42 PM

Help keep Blogger Idol fresh, interesting and fun by submitting your suggestions for topics/themes for future weeks in comments below. Feel free to affirm topics suggested by others to make sure they are selected. Your input in this way is greatly appreciated. If your theme is chosen you will be acknowledged in weekly email outs and on the week's theme announcement post.

An Evening with Jim Thwaites

24 April, 2004 8:07 AM

This Wednesday evening Forge and the Baptist Union of Victoria are hosting an evening with Jim Thwaites - author of �The Church Beyond the Congregation
�, and �Renegotiating the Church Contract�.

He will be reflecting on the Hebrew vision of world, work and self into heart, mind and discourse - then staying there for a while before suddenly moving to possible and risky present/future strategies.

Where? - Retro Caf� (upstairs) 413 Brunswick St Fitzroy (Melbourne Australia)
When? - Wednesday 28 April 7pm till 9pm
How Much? - $10 Waged - $5 Unwaged

It'll be a great night of learning which would be ideal to bring a small group to. We are having our whole group from LivingRoom come along as our main gathering for the week. Contact me for more details.

Birthday Drinks...

23 April, 2004 6:17 PM

Anyone in Melbourne this weekend is welcome to come have a birthday drink with me at 'Kelvins' - 87 High St Westgarth - tomorrow (Saturday) night from 8pm. Come one, come all!

Tragedy of Saul

22 April, 2004 5:47 PM

Posting is light at the moment because I'm in the books researching an Old Testament essay. The topic is 'In what sense is the story of Saul a tragedy?'

It is calling for an literary critical examination of the genre of Tragedy.

I've always felt uncomfortable with the story of Saul in 1 Samuel. The story of a guy who doesn't want to be king, yet he's thrust into the lime light, chosen and anointed by God to do the job. Then he makes a blunder or two (that almost seems where he's caught out on technicalities). As a result he's told that he's going to lose his position as King to someone who is better than him. He seeks to repent, approaches God on numerous times, but God is silent except for the evil spirit he sends to afflict Saul with....

He spends the rest of his time seemingly struggling with himself - its a bit of a no win situation really - chasing the guy who is supposed to replace him, even though you get the feeling he knows he's doomed to fail and is doing the wrong thing.

He ends up alone, afraid and isolated on a battlefield where even his servant isn't even willing to help him out of his misery and he has to take his own life. His body is captured and mutilated and carted around by his enemies....

In contrast we have his successor (the 'better' one) who ends up a murderer and adulterer (to name a few of his sins) being glorified as one of the great kings!

I've never really quite known what to make of a story like that. In fact I'm beginning to wonder if I'm actually supposed to do anything with it! Previously I've always wanted to find the 'point' of biblical narratives. What does it mean? How can I explain it?

Stories like these are more complex than that - I wonder if in our attempt to 'explain' them whether we somehow gloss over something deeper and more profound in the story itself.

I'm still not sure 'what to do with it' (maybe the next book or article I read will tell me!) but I'm beginning to see that Saul's story is actually a story of life that many of us see aspects of our own stories in. For me it touches on some of those deeper, nagging, incomprehensible and usually unspoken questions that float around in many of our minds like - Why is their 'evil' in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is God sometimes (often?) silent?

I've got more reading to do...

Blog Strolling

21 April, 2004 10:49 PM

Tonight I just took a little virtual stroll around some of my favorite emerging church blogs to see what was being discussed and here is some of the more stimulating stuff I found...

Alan Creech is blogging about liturgy as '"second-hand" prayers'
in life of liturgy 2.0 .

'While I certainly understand the philosophy behind only wanting to pray prayers that are considered "from my own heart", I would challenge the idea that any prayer written and prayed by one of my siblings in Christ, or taken from Scripture, cannot be adopted by "my heart" and then lifted up to God very sincerely and effectively and genuinely, out of love for Him, and in the context of real relationship.'

Justin is blogging on a similar theme in Rhythms of Contemplative Prayer.

'As a good conservative kid, I grew up knowing that the best prayers are original, spontaneous, lofty, and long. Using prayers someone else wrote a long time ago - even good ones - was not acceptable; prayers needed to be generated on-the-fly, or God wouldn't listen.'

Hamo is blogging about Sabbath Spaces

'how do you distinguish between work and play when in this environment? If I go fishing or surfing with someone from the community is that work or recreation?.. Or both?... If we have people round to dinner is that work or friendship?... Or both?... If I try to take Saturday as a day off does that mean I shouldn't hang around people who might be 'work'?

Steve is talking about the textures of worship.

'How much of our worship is flat walled and mono-coloured? What would it mean to create textured worship, multiple layers, unexpected swirls, differently weaved and woven patterns.'

More Thomas Kelly

20 April, 2004 3:26 PM

�The experience of Divine Presence wholly satisfies, and there are a few who, like those on the Mount of Transfiguration, want to linger there forever and never return to the valleys where people live, where there are demons to be cast out. But there is more to the experience of God than that of being plucked out of the world. The fuller experience, I am sure, is of a Love that sends us out into the world�. A Testament of Devotion p63.

Support Team Newsletter

19 April, 2004 12:33 PM

I just sent out an email newsletter to our support team - a group of people from around the world who pray for and practically support the work that I'm doing with LivingRoom and Forge here in Melbourne.

If you'd like to join this team and hear a little more about my life including some of the highlights and some of the challenges we face simply shoot me an email and I'll add you to the list that receives an email once every couple of months. If you sign up in the next few days I'll send you this last edition that I've just emailed out.

Emerging Networks

19 April, 2004 11:24 AM

Caught up with Barb for a coffee this morning to talk about what our communities are doing. It is great to know that there are a variety of new models of emerging missional church operating within just a few kilometers of each other.

We worked out that there are at least five such communities doing stuff in our immediate region (the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne)- some of them have multiple expressions/groups operating. We all take slightly different approaches and have different levels of organization, styles of leadership etc - but there are a number of common elements in that we want to find new and culturally relevant ways of expressing faith, connecting with our wider community and understanding what it is to be a corporate body of followers of Jesus.

We decided to have a gathering for key leaders of each group mid May which will be a good time of sharing stories, building relationships and sharing dreams. Should be fun.

Blogger Idol - Week 14 - Spirituality

18 April, 2004 2:14 PM

Blogger Idol

Welcome to Week 14 of Blogger Idol. Thanks for last week's submissions, there was some quality entries. This week you're invited to vote on whether Blogger Idol Should continue as well as submitting an entry. Vote in our Poll.

The Theme for Week 14 is 'Spirituality'

Take any approach you like. What is Spirituality? Describe yours, talk about someone elses, write a poem, share a picture or tell a story.

Anyone with a blog can enter this round by following the simple steps outlined below - remember unlike the TV Idol shows this is not a competition.


Here are this weeks Blogger Idol Submissions

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