« June 2004 Archives »


Living Room Seattle

29 June, 2004 8:31 AM

Wow cool - Living Room has gone international! Ok, its not really connected to us, but I just read on Karen's Blog that their group has started a great cafe called Living Room Seattle. This is the kind of thing I'd love to do someday in our area if we can ever pull in some investors.

Karen describes the ethos of Living Room Seattle writing:

'that is why living:room is not a christian cafe, but a real, regular, cafe. we don't play christian music or serve 'christian' tea. as apostles, we see our mission as, well, apostolic...the word apostolein mean to be >sent out.< because of this, our primary orientation is not inward (towards church) but outward (towards kingdom). so we feel called by god, not to 'live' in the church (run a christian cafe...) but to live in the world (and run a regular cafe) and to >be< church (carry within us christ and the kingdom) and express this in how we live. as gerard kelly writes in his rad book 'retro-future' "the postmodern generations are looking for authenticity, reality, transparency and openness. to that extent, postmodern ity is saying, "don't talk to me about what you believe - show me how you live.' it is entirely biblical- more so at times than the church it savagely critiques.

as we serve tea, we don't preach at people about what we 'believe,' but we do show them how we live. 'preaching' gospel in our deeply post-christian context is less about words spoken, and more about life lived >in the way of jesus< which speaks louder than any words or tract... so our ethos is more st. francis than billy graham, more corner pub than christian cafe, more burning man than cornerstone festival, more monastery guesthouse than sawdust trail... and very sacramental/incarnational, reflecting our anglican/lutheran heritage/tribal d.n.a.'

It really reminds me of Mars Hill Cafe in Sydney who are doing something very similar - creating a proximity space (not a 'Christian Cafe). The approach is going well in Sydney and I'll be interested to see how it goes in Seattle. Now I just have to save some money to go see our Seattle cousins for a coffee.

Introducing the Athens Olympic Games Blog

27 June, 2004 9:51 PM

Do you love the Olympics? Are you passionate about your country's team or an Olympic Sport? Want to contribute to a fast growing Blog?

This past week a couple of us have been working on a new blog focusing on the up and coming Athens Olympics. I've always been a huge Olympics fan so we thought it might be a fun thing to do. It still has a fair bit of work to go into it, but so far we've added 100 pages of latest news and have plans for heaps more.

In the lead up to the Olympic Games in August it will no doubt grow in size of content and visitors which will be fun. If anyone out there wants to be a contributor we'd love to have a some people passionate about sport join in. In particularly if you have an interest in one of the sports or a country we'd love to have you come on board as a category coordinator. We can't pay you - but will give you links back to your blog on every post that you contribute.

Let me know if you'd like to play with us for the next couple of months - Otherwise, feel free to stop by and catch up on the latest Athens Olympics News.

Comings and Goings

27 June, 2004 9:50 PM

Life is getting busy again at the moment. Sorry for the slowness of updating this blog in the past week or so. With the camp last week and a few new projects that I'm working on, blogging has been a little scarce here.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Forge intensive for the week which is always challenging. I'm doing a short session tomorrow night speaking about Livingroom and then on Wednesday afternoon a session on 'Alternative Ways of Connecting with God' (not my title). It will focus on Creative/Alternative Worship. Should be a fun week.

Camp Feedback

26 June, 2004 7:49 PM

Thanks for your congratulations on finishing up at college - it is a nice feeling. Now I have one less thing to say when people ask the 'what do you do?' question. Thanks also for those who've asked about how the camp went. It was a really positive time. I always enjoy these particular camps, but this year was especially fun. Its always very energizing to hang around with 18-20 year olds. We spent quite a bit of time just having fun and relaxing - its been a while since I spent a whole day just chilling with people. We spent one whole afternoon inventing a game called 'shuffle cup'. Its amazing what you can do with a block of wood and a styrofoam cup! I even made a mini movie about it.

Wednesday night was pretty special for a lot of us on camp. We did a night focusing on 'Wonder' (see link below) and had a good worship time and a pretty powerful time of praying for a lot of campers - it was quite an intense experience for many.

The studies went well - those of you YITS who have come to find a written version of my talks can check out these links - Introduction - Truth - Wonder - Action - Love - Conclusion.

Thanks to those YITS who have already stopped by and emailed me - I appreciate your feedback heaps - feel free to take a look around at those links and the rest of my archives.

It is finished

25 June, 2004 11:01 PM

It was a momentous day today - I handed in the last paper of my degree!

It is finished.

Ahhhhh. What a great feeling.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 8 - Miscellaneous Adsense Tips

24 June, 2004 10:46 PM

We have unpacked our Adsense Equation in detail and have given numerous tips for maximising Adsense Revenue. Whilst there are occasions that Adsense doesn�t perform as well on some websites for no particular reason as others we can safely predict that if you work on each of the four areas you should see an increase in the amount of the cheque that Adsense sends you at the end of each month. Remember though that your revenue will only be as high as your weakest link � work on all elements of the equation � not just one or two.

As well as the proceeding tips there are a number of other things that might be helpful to know in using Adsense that we couldn�t find a place for in previous posts.

The rest of this post about Adsense can be found at Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 8 - Miscellaneous Adsense Tips.

Camp Update

23 June, 2004 1:47 PM

Just a quick note to say that camp is going very well. I've had some amazing chats with some very passionate young people who are doing some fantastic soul searching. The sessions I've done seem to be going over reasonably well - I'm learning heaps as usual about spirituality and myself. Should be home and will resume 'normal' blogging again tomorrow evening.

Open Mike - Blog Tips

21 June, 2004 12:44 PM

There has been a lot of renewed interest over the past week in my Blog Tips series. Whilst I'm away this week I invite you to leave your own 'blog tip' in comments below so that we might all learn a thing or two together about this strange thing we call 'blogging'.

Speaking of Holistic Spirituality...

21 June, 2004 10:51 AM

This week I'll be away most days down at Philip Island (a little island south east of Melbourne) speaking on a camp for 60 young (18-20 year olds) bible college students. They are doing a program called Year In the Son which is a year of intensive study, usually done after they complete high school and before they go off to university.

I've been fortunate enough to speak down there for the past two years also and am looking forward to meeting this year's intake of students (YITS). Once again I've been asked to speak on Holistic Spirituality over 5 sessions. It should be fun.

Unfortunately I've got to take down a load of other work with me and have to make the trek back to Melbourne tomorrow night for Living Room and another meeting so I will not get as much time with the students as I'd like. Its a busy time of year.

Next week is the Forge Missional Training Network Intensive - a great 1 week intensive which is examining the topic of Spirituality for those in Mission. I'll be doing a couple of sessions but am looking forward to some of the other speakers also - these weeks are great times of meeting other emerging church practitioners from all over Australia and New Zealand.

Melbourne Emergent Meet Up

21 June, 2004 10:49 AM

There is talk of an 'emergent/bloggers' type get together here in Melbourne on Sunday 27th June in the evening for dinner. If you're around and want to meet bloggers like Steve, Phil and Dan and myself we'd love to catch up. At this stage the venue and time is unconfirmed (it will probably be somewhere in the inner north (between Brunswick and Preston?) but Steve and I will get our heads together on it at Forge next week. In the mean time express your interest in it by shooting me an email or leaving a comment below. So far Steve thinks there will be a few from around Australia and even Scotland there after the Tony Campolo conference that week.

Shortland Street

19 June, 2004 8:26 PM

Announcing Shortland Street - a site some of my NZ readers might be interested in.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 7 - Well Placed and Designed Ads

19 June, 2004 7:21 PM

Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads

The forth element of our Adsense Equation is that of having well designed and optimally placed Adsense Ads. I�ve found that ad positioning is incredibly important. I remember shifting the ads on one of my blogs a while back and being over the moon to discover the next morning that the move had doubled the click through rates that I�d had over night! Its worth doing some tweaking.

The remainder of this adsense tip can be read at Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 7 - Well Placed and Designed Ads.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 6 - Relevant Ads

18 June, 2004 7:09 PM

Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads

The third element of our Adsense equation is that of relevant Adsense ads. It is all very well to rank high in search engines to generate high levels of traffic, but without relevant ads that relate to the content of your blog you are not likely to generate much in the way of click throughs....

The remainder of this adsense tip can be found at Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 6 - Relevant Ads.

Emerging Theology

18 June, 2004 9:37 AM

This week has bee a busy time of networking and meeting others who are planting similar types of communities to Living Room. This morning I'll be catching up with a few others from emerging missional communities for coffee. Its our second get together and I'm really looking forward to it.

Yesterday morning a group from our denomination from four emerging missional communities got together to 'talk theology'. I guess we've been realizing that there is a lot of talk going around about new styles of doing church, mission etc - there is a lot of dreaming, experimenting and tweaking going on around the world in terms of church structure etc but we haven't seen too many 'emerging' forums to discuss theological issues. So we had a breakfast over which we had some rich discussion around issues of 'conversion', 'salvation', 'creation theology' to mention just a few topics. It was very refreshing not only to be hanging with fellow planting travelers but to get into some meaty discussion.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 5 - High Paying Ads

17 June, 2004 3:04 PM

Adsense Revenue = Traffic Levels + High Paying Ads + Relevant Ads + Optimally Positioned and Designed Ads

The next element of this Adsense equation to be examined is how to get high paying Adsense Ads running on your site. Obviously in any business one way to get higher profits is to charge more for your product - whilst you have no direct say in how much is charged for ads run on your site - there are ways of targeting types of ads that might bring in a higher return than others....

The remainder of this post on Adsense has been relocated to Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 5 - High Paying Ads.

Church Online Discussion Forums

17 June, 2004 12:07 PM

Does anyone out there have any experience of using online discussion forums within a church community?

A group I've had a little bit to do with has started one - it has some great discussions going on in it but there is some real tension being expressed between a small group of individuals that is perhaps getting a little destructive. I've been asked for some advice.

If anyone uses discussion forums in their church (ie mainly used by church members) I'd appreciate any thoughts on what guidelines, rules, boundaries you might set. Are there some internal issues that you don't discuss online but would reserve for face to face interaction? How do you deal with conflict? etc

Your thoughts in comments would be appreciated.


16 June, 2004 10:53 PM

I've just been looking around this great collection of photographs at Bilderberg. Of particular interest to me, and perhaps some of my readers are two series of images; those depicting Religion in Brasil and the Mazes series which has a number of Labyrinth like mazes.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 4 - Increasing Traffic

16 June, 2004 5:25 PM

I have argued the case for our equation for increasing Adsense Revenue

Adsense Revenue = Traffic Levels + High Paying Ads + Relevant Ads + Optimally Positioned and Designed Ads

I now will turn my attention to each of the four elements of good Adsense revenue in turn and give some practical easy to implement tips to improve each from my experience....

The remainder of this post on blogging with Adsense can be read at Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 4 - Increasing Traffic.

Breakfast Meetings

16 June, 2004 12:16 PM

IMG_1701.JPGOne of the things I was looking forward to most in starting Living Room after 10 years of working in fairly regular looking churches was that it would be the end of the dreaded 'breakfast meeting'. In my previous church this was a favorite time for meetings for some reason as it was one of the few times in the day that people had left after a hectic life.

Its been refreshing to get into a rhythm of a 'normal' and somewhat leisurely start to the day.

This week that's all come crashing down with four breakfast meetings in four days! Each meeting has been really great - but I'm not sure my body is quite holding up. You see I'm a morning person, but not a 7am in the morning person. My Golden hour is 10am-11am.

I wonder if anyone has ever invented a intravenous drip system that can be attached to an alarm clock that would give me a shot of a strong coffee about 15 minutes before waking up... I say this not just for my own benefit but for those I'm meeting with - take a closer look at the picture (left) by clicking on it to see what I look like in the mornings! (picture taken from my early start on my Blogathon last year)

Church Outsources Prayers to India

15 June, 2004 9:52 AM

'With Roman Catholic clergy in short supply in the United States, Indian priests are picking up some of their work, saying Mass for special intentions, in a sacred if unusual version of outsourcing.'

This is one of the more bizarre stories I've read in the last few days. Here in Australia many companies are outsourcing call centre and IT jobs to India, but I never thought the church would use the strategy.

'American, as well as Canadian and European churches, are sending Mass intentions, or requests for services like those to remember deceased relatives and thanksgiving prayers, to clergy in India....

While most requests are made via mail or personally through traveling clergymen, a significant number arrive via e-mail, a sign that technology is expediting this practice.

In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for local residents are said for a donation of 40 rupees (90 cents), whereas a prayer request from the United States typically comes with $5, the Indian priests say.

Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, the auxiliary bishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese in Cochin, a port town in Kerala, said his diocese received an average of 350 Mass intentions a month from overseas. Most were passed to needy priests.

In Kerala, where priests earn $45 a month, the money is a welcome supplement, Bishop Adayanthrath said.' Source- NY Times

Blogging On

14 June, 2004 5:11 PM

I'd like to thank Warren from Warren's World for his apology to me for some of the remarks he made on his and my blog. I appreciate his words and hope that we can be 'blogging buddies'. Once again, I am sorry if any of the ads on this site have or do offend any of my readers - I work hard to keep them relevant and as helpful as possible to the content of this site.

Whilst I was a little offended at the time of reading his comments in question it was never my intention in posting about it to cause a big stir in the blogosphere or to cause Warren any grief from me or my readers. I appreciate those who've made comments in my 'defense' whilst I've been away the past few days but think perhaps we could all move on from it now.

Warren was and still is entitled to his remarks about me, my blog or anything else he sees fit to comment on. I'm totally open to being criticized about anything appearing on this blog, but in future I'd ask that if possible that people give me the benefit of the doubt and shoot me an email to clarify my intentions behind dubious links in future. I genuinely appreciate the emails I regularly get from readers who give me heads up about dead links, ask questions of clarification etc and will always attempt to respond constructively where ever possible. Anyway - as my great blogging friend Bene so often says - lets 'Blog on'.


14 June, 2004 4:36 PM

Well we're just back from our weekend away in Sydney. We had a great weekend (its a public holiday for us today for the Queen's birthday - one of the few (only) benefits of us being under the monarchy in my opinion). We did heaps of walking, shopping and eating nice food. Saturday we visited a couple of markets and ended up seeing 'Super Size Me' at the movies (no McDonalds afterwards). Yesterday we took a ferry to Manly and did some site seeing and shopping around the city itself.

The weather was great - despite it being winter here it was a sunny 23 in Sydney when we left this morning. Unfortunately Melbourne was its dreary self at only 11 degrees.

I really enjoy visiting Sydney, its a great place on a sunny day. I'm not sure I could live there (its pretty expensive and the traffic is shocking), but its definitely worth visiting.

So that was our last public holiday here in Melbourne until November (its a long winter without a break). The months ahead look pretty good for me, quite a few speaking engagements, exploring options for ministry and work and of course plenty of blogging!

We also spent a bit of time while away thinking through our vision and future with Living Room - this Tuesday night at group we'll be sharing a little more with the community about what we're sensing is ahead. I'm really looking forward to seeing what eventuates out of the next few months.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 3 - An Equation for Success

14 June, 2004 3:58 PM

There are many factors that impact the level of revenue generated from a blog using the Google Adsense program. Books have been written explaining expert strategies for Adsense - However for the purposes of this series we've boiled it all down into four elements that we believe impact your Adsense earning capacity the most. Speaking in general terms here is a simple equation that illustrates how the factors each contribute to Adsense Revenue.

The remainder of this article on Adsense has been moved to Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 3 - An Equation for Success.

Living Room Privacy Statement

12 June, 2004 11:51 PM

Your Privacy is a priority for us at Digital Photograpy Blog. We will never give or sell your personal information to anyone.

1. The only information we may collect on this Blog is as follows:

Your IP (that is to say, your computer�s individual identification number) will be logged on our server when you visit this Blog.

If you choose to leave comments in our Comments Section then, at your option, we use a �cookie� to recognise you. A �cookie� is a small amount of data which we send to your computer. The data is then stored on your browser or hard disk. The cookie is only activated at your request and if you wish to activate it, you may do so by indicating �Yes� in the �Remember Me� function which you will find in each Comments Window. Most web browsers can be set to prevent you from receiving new cookies, notify you before accepting cookies or disable cookies altogether. Details about this can normally be found in the Help facility provided with your browser.

If you choose to leave your email address in your comments it will be viewable to other readers - you do so at your own risk of others using it for their own purposes. Leaving your email address in comments is completely optional.

If you choose to subscribe to our Mailing List then we will store your name and e-mail address which information will only be used to provide you with our e-mail newsletter and similar updates and bulletins.

2. You can ask us to update or remove your personal information by sending an email through our contact form.

3. This privacy policy is applicable only to this Blog and does not apply to any other Blogs or websites to which we may be linked.

Slimy Blogging - Open Mike

10 June, 2004 5:45 PM

I'd like to introduce you to a newish blogger. Warren's World certainly got my attention today.

I've never been added to anyone's 'deficient list' before in their blog roll or been accused of being 'as slimy as some of the so called Christian pastors in the U.S.' before. Its definitely one way to get your blog noticed.

I do however appreciate Warren's alerting me in these comments of one of the ads on my site as being inappropriate (I'm sorry to anyone who was offended - the ad was a random ad and has now been removed). The conversation that has resulted has been both interesting and thought provoking.

Here is how Warren started the conversation in my comments...

'When I look further at the sidebar links, I begin to sense a bigger ca$h desire than a God desire. One who truly cares about spreading the good news, doesn't need to worry about the dollars. And why would you choose something so blatantly obvious as cashing in on divorce. It's a sad day.'

To be honest I'm a little offended by some of Warren's comments, but at the same time think its an interesting conversation to have in terms of how people in ministry should earn an income - its a particularly interesting conversation to have for those of us planting small emerging churches. Many of us are exploring alternative ways of making an income, some through tent making businesses, others by working multiple jobs, others through raising support.

Anyway, I'm interested in others thoughts - not so much upon whether I'm 'slimy' or 'deficient' (although I'm open to being told a few home truths) but more about how people in ministry should (and shouldn't) earn an income.

V and I are heading up to Sydney first thing tomorrow for a few days break so consider this an 'open mike' post - have your say, but please be nice to each other.

Bash the Bride - face the Bridegroom

10 June, 2004 2:59 PM

Have been having a number of email and real conversations today about Emerging Church with friends. One recurring theme is that many 'Emerging Churches' and 'Emerging Christians' are very negative towards 'the Church'. The idea of 'Church Bashing' is something that we observe happening more and more. Here is something I wrote in an email this afternoon...

'One piece of advice I give is that the 'discontent' that many of us feels needs to be watched carefully. I think its good to have some discontent about church, but there comes a point where we can get very bogged down in it.

The key is to continually challenge ourselves and those around us to do something with the discontent. Its very easy to pull things down - anyone can do that - but the challenge is to force oneself to thinking about what we'll build in its place.

Someone (I think it was Neil Cole) once said to me, 'if you bash the bride (the church) you've got to be willing to face up to the bride's groom' (Christ).

One of the big problems I see with many 'emerging churches' is that they form out of an atmosphere of discontent. If this is the foundation of building something new then it will infect what is built.

I've seen a couple of groups start like this - they did not last long and they ended up leaving some of their members feeling even more disillusioned with Church than when they started. They came to a point when they realised the main thing they had in common was their critique of the Church.

We're working hard to create a space with Living Room where we can critique the church, but don't allow that to become our major focus. Our focus is Jesus and his call to love God, our neighbors and each other.

Some days 'the Church' does frustrate me and I do feel discontent and angst towards it, but deep down I love the Church and want to see it reach its potential.

What do you think? Is it healthy to have some discontent? How much is too much?

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 2 - Is Your Blog Suitable for Adsense?

10 June, 2004 11:47 AM

Is your blog suitable for Adsense? - Before you rush into signing up for Adsense expecting it to earn you a million dollars it is worth asking the question of whether Adsense is the right revenue strategy for your blog. By no means is it the only option - you might like to check out this tip on other ways of making money from blogging.

The remainder of this post has been moved to Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers 2 - Is Your Blog Suitable for Adsense?

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 1

10 June, 2004 11:32 AM

How do you make money from the Google Adsense Program?

I have been asked this question so many times in the past few weeks that I thought I should write something on the topic. It seems increasingly bloggers want to try to cover their hosting and ISP costs with some revenue from their blog - and perhaps even make a few dollars on the side. Many are turning to Google's Adsense program....

The remainder of this post has been moved to Pro Blogger - Adsense Tips for Bloggers.

Godly Play Revisited

10 June, 2004 10:12 AM

This week at Living Room we had another session of Godly Play. Last time we played with some parables of Jesus and this time we took at look at two miracle stories of Jesus in Matthew 14:13-36.

We divided the passage into the two stories (feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water) and pretty much followed the same process as last time.

I am always amazed when we do this simple, childlike, exercise as to the depth of the places that it takes us. Having just handed in a 3000 word exegetical essay on 8 verses this is a beautiful and imaginative way to come to the text.

Massachusetts Emerging Church

10 June, 2004 10:10 AM

I've just had an email from a reader asking if I know of any Living Room like groups in Massachusetts. I don't but I thought I'd ask if anyone else does. So do you?

Describing Spirituality

8 June, 2004 1:38 PM

How would you describe your Spirituality?

I'm currently working on a paper (my second last one for my whole degree!) that seeks to describe in words the the Spirituality of our little community.

Its actually quite a challenging task because in writing things down one can fall into the trap of ordering or boxing something that is in reality a very messy, chaotic, evolving and undefinable thing. I'm finding myself getting frustrated with the process but am strangely enjoying the pain of nutting this one out.

How would you describe the spirituality of you and/or your community of faith?

The Spirituality of Food

7 June, 2004 2:24 PM

One of the themes that we are going to explore in our Little Community - the Living Room in the next month or so is that of 'The Spirituality of Food'. It emerged as an idea out of our shared love for food (some of our group can't stop talking about sometimes) but also because our local community are majorly into food also. We live in the middle of an area dominated by restaurants, cafes, gourmet food shopping outlets etc - it is part of the rhythm of our area so we thought we should explore it as it relates to faith and Scripture.

At this stage we're planning to do a four week series on the topic and will explore four themes including:

  • Feasting - I'm keen to explore some of the feasting passages in Scripture especially that of the Kingdom of God being like a feast. This will be a night of a great feast and celebration

  • Responsible Eating - looking at some of the issues of healthy eating, organic food, genetically modified food etc.

  • Fasting - we previously have fasted as a group and found the experience very challenging and life giving

  • Contemplating Food - I've got an idea brewing in my mind for a contemplative exercise that will involve food tasting and reflecting upon our faith journeys

I'm sure there will be more that we'll unpack as the time come nearer. There are some great movies that pick up the idea of food really well also that we might use.

One of the thoughts is that if we find the series to be fruitful that it might actually be something we could advertise and run in our local community as a workshop series. I'm sure that something along these lines would connect well with our neighborhood especially if it involved lots of eating and hands on experiential stuff. It's food for thought.

If anyone lives in the inner north of Melbourne and wants to come along shoot me an email and I'll let you know about when we're starting.

Our Weekend in Dromana

7 June, 2004 2:18 PM

We had a really nice time down at the beach at Dromana over the weekend. As I predicted in my last post most of what we did revolved around fun, food and relaxation. We got to one of the local wineries (yum) where one of our group has a sculpture he did exhibiting which was fun.

We spent most of Saturday night playing games which was fun. One of the games was 'Assassin' in which to win you have to lie through your teeth - I'm ashamed to say that I have the ability to suck my whole community in - Oh the guilt I feel! :-)

Sunday morning we spent two hours talking through some meaty issues of how we are traveling and where we are headed. It was great to hear the feedback of both new and old members of the group. All in all the feeling is that we're doing well in all of our areas but there is room for us to tweak a number of things.

We reshuffled our Renovare/Micro Groups to accommodate two new people that have recently joined us and also did a bit of planning in terms of some of the themes that we're going to look at between now and the end of the year (will share more on one of these soon). Also we began to think and pray about our future as a group in terms of sustainability and multiplication (birthing a new group/s). These discussions will continue over the next few weeks which will be exciting.

All in all it was a really positive time away.

Living Room's 10,000km service

4 June, 2004 4:45 PM

Winter has hit here in Melbourne with some quite chilly days the last week. What better time for a weekend at the beach!!! At least we'll have the place to ourselves.

Tonight LivingRoom is heading down the coast to Dromana for the weekend. The main focus of the time away will be 'play' with lots of eating, sleeping, visiting wineries and cheeseries, creativity and games. It should be good.

Sunday morning we have a number of vision and direction items that we're going to attempt to talk through which I'm really looking forward to.

It has been 16 months since we began to gather together to 'do church' and so its time for some reviewing and thinking about how we are travelling. Its kind of like when you take your car in for its 10,000km service, hopefully we'll come home with our engine a little better 'tuned'.

Looking forward to reporting back on some great times on Monday. Have a good weekend friends.

Blog Tip 34 - Getting Comments

3 June, 2004 5:40 PM

What is your experience with Blog Comments? Do you use them? How do they enhance or hinder your blogging experience? How do you suggest bloggers starting out approach the issue?...

The remainder of this blog tip has been relocated to Pro Blogger - Getting Comments.

Experimenting with Rhythm

3 June, 2004 2:53 PM

And The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat, Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet...

I've been conducting a little experiment at 9am every morning for the past 4 months. It involves a short walk, an investment of $2.50 per day and a great coffee.

The experiment - to see what would happen if I intentionally placed myself in the same place (a local cafe) at the same time (9am) every day (I have to miss one or two occasionally, but its rare).

Its been an interesting experiment so far. I guess I'm doing it to help me reflect upon 'mission' and 'engagement with culture', but its also teaching me a lot about human nature (and myself).

The cool thing about being at the same place at the same time for 120 days in a row is that you find that you're not as unique as you might think. You see there are a number of other people whose daily rhythms intersect with mine at that time most days of the week. Some of them are paid to be there (staff) but quite a few are not.

The interesting thing for me is to watch the way in which we 'regulars', who share 30 or so minutes in this common space each day, interact with one another. There is something of an unspoken camaraderie emerging between us.

Cafes in Australia are not very interactive spaces (we go to the pub to interact with strangers - cafes are for quite chats with friends or silent times alone with a book or paper). However I'm finding that in the past few weeks the interactions I'm having are becoming more regular, longer and on a deeper level.

They have progressed from sideways glances, nods and smiles to knowing names, asking about weekends and chats about life and even faith one one occasion. This last weekend V and I even went to see one of the waiter's band play in a local club.

This may not seem (and probably isn't) that remarkable - but for me it is a new experience.

I'm not sure it comes across here in my writing, but I'm an introvert. In fact when I do personality tests they often come back indicating that I'm an off the chart introvert. As a result I find meeting complete strangers something that is a little out of my comfort zone (I'd rather extract my own teeth with a hammer and chisel). It isn't that I don't like people - I'm quite fine at having a conversation with someone that I know - its just the meeting of new people that is a little freaky.

Nothing amazing has happened yet with any of the people I see each day - maybe nothing will - but I'm amazed at the opportunities that have opened up to meet some great new people as a result of disciplining myself to establishing a new rhythm and by being open to meeting others whose lives will intersect with mine as a result.

This has been my Blogger Idol Entry for the week. blogger_idol-1.gif

Pentecost at the Livingroom 04

3 June, 2004 12:30 AM

This week at Living Room we had a really great night again. Being Pentecost we had a great discussion on the Holy Spirit, focusing mainly upon the five Paraclete Sayings of Jesus in John 14-16.

One of the things that struck me about these sayings is the active nature of the Holy Spirit - in all of them the Spirit is anything but passive which is a little different to the messages about the Holy Spirit that I heard growing up which were largely focussing upon a peaceful and somewhat stagnant and ghost like presence.

We finished the night off by passing a bottle of oil around the group and one by one anointing each other with it as a tangible symbol of the Spirit at work in and through each of us. It was a nice way to finish the night.

Blogger Idol 17 - The Rhythm of Life

2 June, 2004 3:38 PM

Blogger Idol

Welcome to the 17th round of Blogger Idol - I'm sorry for the delay in getting the topic out and for the issues in posting your entries on this blog last round - I've been having some server issues which now are resolved.

The Theme this round is 'The Rhythm of Life...'

Thanks to the anonymous person who suggested it this week. Remember you can suggest a topic for future weeks here.

Take the topic in whatever way you want. Describe your daily rhythm and patterns of life (or lack of them), talk about your favorite song with a cool rhythm, rewrite the lyrics of the actual song 'The Rhythm of Life' - whatever you like.

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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