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::my four walls:: blogathon

29 July, 2005 8:03 AM

Lucas from my four walls is having a 24 hour blogathon to raise money for the Heifer Project. Stop by and lend him some support and make a donation if you can. Having done two blogathons I know how much it means to have a little support so show Lucas some love! :-)


28 July, 2005 8:46 PM

Image 00109
Cameron Reilly (from the Podcast Network) and I have a semi regular breakfast together and today he pulled out the microphone and interviewed me for his G'day World show podcast.

We covered quite a large range of topics in the interview - covering everything from blogging professionally, to emerging church, to digital photography, to LivingRoom and much more.

I should warn potential listeners that there is a little bit of rough language once or twice during the interview - not from me of course :-) - the G'day World podcasts get a bit of criticism for it - hope it doesn't offend anyone.

So if you'd like to hang out with me in an auditory fashion you can download the podcast here.


27 July, 2005 11:30 PM

Tonight at LivingRoom we continued to share our 'time lines'. It was V and my turn to share the significant moments of our lives with the group.

It's an interesting idea to walk through your life and to share the highs, lows, epiphanies and lessons from life. In doing so you revisit moments you'd put aside, confront patterns in behavior and hear others reflect back to you what they notice about your sharing.

It's also a real privilege to hear others stories and have your own heard.

It makes me realize just how little in our world people actually take time to stop and listen to the stories of others. It's a real honor to be heard like that - but also unusual and at times an uncomfortable experience - something I'm not used to in a sense. In a world of small talk to share deeply about your own life can at times be something we find ourself out of practice of.

Maybe it's just a male thing, maybe it's a minister thing (we tend to get good at asking others questions and avoid revealing much of our own lives) or maybe it's just a human thing for the time and place we live. Whatever it is it felt good to break through it a little tonight.

Is that a Halo?

25 July, 2005 1:24 AM

Is that a Halo?
Originally uploaded by Darren Rowse.
Yesterday V and I got new phones - mine's a Sony Ericsson K750i, complete with 2 megapixel camera so I thought I might try a little moblogging.

We'll see how it goes.

Welcome New Readers

15 July, 2005 9:28 AM

Welcome to readers of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

If you're here because you want to learn about LivingRoom (our church) you're in the right place. This is a blog about my life and the starting of LivingRoom - an experimental church that has been going for two years in the inner north of Melbourne. You can learn more about LivingRoom here. You can also read my entries on this blog about LivingRoom in the category dedicated to it here. The rest of this blog records the various different aspects of my life.

If you're here because you want to learn about Blogging and Blogging as a an income maker you probably want to head over to one of my other blogs - ProBlogger.

Labyrinth @ LivingRoom

12 July, 2005 3:33 PM

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night at LivingRoom when two of our groups will be doing the Labyrinth with eddie from breathing space. Despite doing many similar activities over the years and recommending others go do it, I've not done it myself yet. Should be an interesting and meaningful evening.

Women and the Emerging Church

8 July, 2005 10:16 AM

Dan over at Signposts has a great post on the topic of Women in the Emerging Missional Church which examines the issue of why 'chicks' are less represented in leadership in the EC. It's a topic I've tried to cover here previously but bumbled around with. Dan makes a lot more sense than I ever could on the topic.

London Explosion

7 July, 2005 7:19 PM

Update: Thursday 21 July: There are reports coming through that there has been further explosions and/or suspicious packages found at 3 underground stations and on one bus - eerily similar to what happened two weeks ago. Reports are appearing online in some of the following places:

- London Subways Evacuated
- Tube Explosion Reported
- Tube Cleared After Minor Blasts
- Incident on London Bus

Reports are coming out that detonators have gone off of at least 3 bombs but the bombs themselves that they were attached to apparently did not explode.

Original Post from 7 July: Watching the news here in Melbourne at the moment where they've gone live to London to cover the London Underground and Bus Explosions.

We have family who use some of those tube stations so are of course interested in what's going on there.

I'm quite amazed by the explosion of bloggers covering the story.

Technorati's biggest searched for term is London with plenty of other similar terms. Looks like people are turning to the internet for news (update - technorati now seems to be down - perhaps as a result of the increased searches?).

Hoping and praying it isn't as bad as some of the 'experts' who are commentating on the explosion are saying it could be.

Update - this post was getting quite long and unruly so I've edited it into two sections - firstly News Articles on the London Explosions and secondly Blogs following the story. I also will update our family news as it comes to hand bellow.

News Articles and Reports on the London Bombing in order found

The Age (subscription required) has a report is up. They write:

'A number of people were killed in a series of explosions on London's transport system at rush hour on Thursday morning, causing chaos in the British capital, police and transport officials said.

Several blasts hit the underground network and police said there had been at least three explosions on buses in the city.

A source at the Metronet consortium that runs part of the capital's underground network said "there were three explosions and there have been some fatalities".

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the blasts had caused "terrible injuries".

The causes of the incidents, a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations met in Scotland, were unknown but police said many of the city's underground stations were affected.'

India's NewIndPress wrties:

'A series of explosions rocked London's transport system at rush hour on Thursday morning, causing numerous casualties and leaving millions of passengers in shock, police said.

The causes of the incidents -- which occurred one day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations met in Scotland -- were unknown but police said many of the city's underground stations were affected.

"It is too early to state what has happened," a London police spokesman said. "I cannot comment on reports of bombs, but we have had multi-reports of explosions around London."

People were seen streaming out of one underground station covered with blood and soot. Passengers were evacuated from stations across the capital, many in shock and with their clothes ripped to shreds, witnesses said.'

BBC reports:

'Large numbers of casualties have been reported after at least six explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London. Scotland Yard confirmed one of several reports of explosions on buses in the city - in Tavistock Place - but said the cause was not yet known.

UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke said several explosions in central London had caused "terrible injuries".

All Tube services and bus services in central London have been suspended.'

CNN is reporting soldiers on the streets and six casualties (unconfirmed).

- BBC have a series of Eyewitness Reports. Here's one:

'"All the lights went out and the train came to an immediate halt.

There was smoke everywhere and everyone was coughing and choking, but remained calm. We couldn't open the doors."

She was in a carriage next to one where an explosion happened.

She said the adjacent carriage was "black on the inside". She saw people who appeared to have their clothes blown off, and bodies lying inside the carriage. '

- CNN has a timeline of the events of the London Explosion.

- Sky News reports 90 injured and 2 casualties.

Tony Blair is speaking now and confirms that this is reasonably clear to be terrorist attacks. He will be leaving the G8 meeting in the next few hours to go to London for a report before returning to G8 afterwards. G8 will continue in his absence.

He vows to defeat terrorism - a barbaric act.

He said it's reasonably clear that this is tied to the opening of G8.

- News on the financial markets response to the London explosions can be found at Markets plummet after London blasts .

- Sky News is reporting 90 injured and 2 fatalities. They also report a massive rescue operation at Kings Cross Station.

- Speculation is already beginning about who is behind this terrorist attack - with Reuters reporting it fits the Al-Qaeda pattern.

- pictures of the aftermath of the explosions are pouring into Yahoo News.

- The International Olympic Committee are getting the word out that they don't believe the London Bomb Explosions have nothing to do with London winning the Olympics yesterday. Source. Instead most experts are tying it to the G8 meeting starting today.

- BBC is offering live video coverage of the situation in London.

- Forbes reports that the House of Commons has been suspended until later in the day.

- a European al-Quaida group has claimed responsability for the London bombing according to NY News Day. They write:

A group calling itself "Secret Organization -- al-Qaida in Europe" has posted a claim of responsibility for the series of blasts in London, a German magazine reported Thursday.

Der Spiegel magazine reported that the group posted its message on a Web site popular with Islamic militants, which it did not name. It said the group claimed the explosions were in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- French Govt raises terror alert
- London Hospitals Put on Major Incident Alert after Multiple Blasts-
- 12 dead, scores injured in London blasts (subscription needed)
- European Central Bank holds rates

- Four London Blasts Kill 40, Injure 300
- London mayor: This was mass murder
- London blasts throw G8 summit into crisis
- Interpol offers team to help London
- - The Sun has many reports on the explosions and the reactions from around the UK and the world.
- Putin condemns terror attacks in London
- Blogs Respond to London Blasts

Tony Blair has made (read this time) a second statement in an hour or so - standing in front of the G8 leaders. He says the attack is an attack on all nations.

- stories coming through from Ambulance sources now about the death toll:

23 dead at Kings Cross
9 dead at Edgware
7 dead at Aldgate
2 Dead at Russel Square
Over 1000 injured

- Information on London's tubes, buses, trams and river services.
- Another picture of the evacuation of the tube.
- At least 45 die in London Blasts
- London financial centre rattled but trades on
- Yahoo News has set up a dedicated page to follow this story
- News Now has a similar page.
- Follow the story on Googe News here
- MSN's London Bombing Results
- Queen Elizabethe 'Deeply Shocked'
- Bush offers U.S. condolences to London
- World leaders pledge united front
- Pope Benedict deplores London attacks
- European Markets Dive on London Blasts
- London's congestion charge has been suspended to allow people to travel by cars. Also some public transport will be free when it reopens (and from main line stations) to allow people to clear the city.
- Thames Link Continuing to Run Services
- Washington Raises Terror Threat To Orange For Rail Systems
- UN Security Council to condemn attacks

Blogs Covering the London Bombing

- The Guardian Blog has a good coverage of latest developments in London including pictures - another blog covering this story is Syntagma - A few pictures are starting to appear on Flickr (also here). - Blog Herald is also covering the story from a blogging perspective. - Reaching for Lucidity has a good coverage also - - a picture taken on a camera phone and uploaded to MoblogUK shows the view in one of the trains just after the explosion. See it at Alphies blog (picture is now on BBC's webpage). - There is another picture from a camera phone moblog of Liverpool station just after the evacuation at this moblog. - Softpedia has first hand accounts of the explosions from witnesses. - Anna who has family in the area of the blasts is also blogging about the London bomb explosions. I hope the news is good Anna. - Perfect.co.uk is also blogging about it - as is Europhobia. - Demlog is another blog following the story in London. - Wikipedia is on the case and has a comprehensive page going. - About This Boy has a useful page of links also. - Tim Worstall is covering it also. - Instapundit is too - Big News is also blogging about it. - Monjo Blog has a good series of links, reflections and information. - Yorkshire Ranter

Update - We just got word that our family are safe. V's parents were going to catch a bus into the affected area this morning but for some reason her sister said they shouldn't.

V's brother in law was a work close to one of the explosions and had his windows rattled. Close but safe thank goodness.

- Brother in law just emailed this through:

' I was sitting at desk, talking to work mate on phone (landline � gsm nw congested by this time) (he was two trains behind one that exploded) and on the other phone to my boss who was saying he was ok, but miles away� when BOOM�. It felt weird� I put the phones down..went outside � everything seemed so quiet�then there were sirens�loads of them from multiple directions� and then helicopters� Crazy crazy times my friend.

, , , ,

Call to Prayer - LivingRoom

7 July, 2005 12:19 AM

Tonight at LivingRoom we got together for our first 'big event' where our three smaller communities got together for the first time since multiplying. It was nice to see everyone (including my own group who we've missed gathering with since being away in June). We also had six visitors along which is always a nice thing.

We started the night off with a couple of people sharing stories from their life (we call it a minute with 'insert name here' - although it generally goes longer than a minute). We also fare-welled and prayed for a family who is going away for six months to Oxford on study leave (very sad).

After those stories we had dinner (soup, bread, wine, tart, salad) and caught up. After dinner each of the three groups talked about their first 5 weeks of meeting separately. The reports were generally positive although the groups being smaller now has both positives (more intimate and participatory) and weaknesses (it's hard when people are away to get things done). The groups have largely been doing some of the things we did when we first started LivingRoom 2.5 years ago. In particular one of the main things we've been doing is 'time lines'/storytelling of our lives to one another. This has been most enlightening for some.

After this sharing time we briefly talked about leadership and then had a time of reflection which I led.

I reflected on being in Turkey and hearing the call to prayer 5 times each day. I actually found the call to prayer to be a very meaningful thing whilst over there (as I have on previous trips to Islamic Countries). The idea of a daily rhythm of prayer that permeates each day is one that captures me every time I consider it.

I've been reflecting upon my own daily rhythms since returning home and wondering where the calls to prayer are in my own life. The calls to stillness, the calls to relationship with God and others, the calls to healthy living and life.

Coming home from holidays is an ideal time to think through one's daily rhythm and to make some changes.

After sharing on this for a while I played an Islamic call to prayer (one of these mp3s) and asked the group to reflect on their own daily rhythms. I also showed them an english translation which I find quite challenging in and of itself.

To hear something like this five times a day from before sunrise until after dusk could be a very meaningful experience that could really help draw one to God - I wonder how I could do something similar in my own day.

Tension Points in the Emerging Church?

7 July, 2005 12:04 AM

Andrew Jones writes a thoughtful piece on 12 Tension Points in the Emerging Church. He writes:

'I have noticed there is still a lot of tension in the relationship between emerging church and the traditional church. Not as much as you think, but there is certainly a lot of heated discussion, mud-slinging and tabloid criticism. There is even the threat of physical abuse and organizations withdrawing favor, or young people leaving their denominations and starting fresh expressions of church without the blessing of their elders. Not good! The emerging church is called to be a reconciling community and part of that reconciliation must happen in the realm of communication.

Here are 12 tension points. I am sure there are many more, but these came to mind yesterday on a London train....'

Read more at TallSkinnyKiwi

I find Andrew's list quite helpful in describing many of the discussions on EC on blogs around the world. As I read it I found myself resonating - yet at a second and third read I began to ask myself if we at LivingRoom are experiencing any or all of these tensions.

I ended up having to answer the question 'no'.

Whilst at times there has been a little tension - it's actually been rare. Most of the critique that we've had as a group has either come via this blog from overseas (no offense to my OS readers - they've also been among our strongest encouragers) or as third hand criticism via word of mouth from largely nameless faces.

I'm not sure what this says. There could be a number of possibilities:

- Perhaps the Australian context is more accepting of new forms of church and mission?
- It could be that the EC has been pretty under the radar here?
- Maybe LivingRoom isn't an EC?
- Could it be that I'm blind, deaf and/or just plain ignoring the criticism?
- Maybe we're the perfect EC that's found all the answers?
- Perhaps we're so far off base that no one is bothering to critique us?
- Maybe we're reasonably good at explaining what and why we do what we do?
- Or perhaps we're just a wishy washy blend of EC and established church?

I'm not sure what it is (although am leaning towards it being an Aussie thing) - but I'm not too disturbed as I think that Emerging and Established churches have a lot to offer each other and many things to learn together


6 July, 2005 1:05 PM

If you're easily addicted to simple online games you shouldn't go to Guess-the-Google - a game where you're given a series of 20 pictures from Google's images and have to guess what keyword triggered them.

My highest score was 279 - no where near the highest recorded one.


2 July, 2005 11:02 PM

Well the holiday is over - we arrived home from Singapore this morning at 5am.

Today was largely about sleep - although we also had a 30th birthday party to get to which was fun.

My last day in London was fun - I caught up with Richard Hall, Andy Merrett, Dave Walker, Jonny Baker, Mark Berry and a number of others. It was pretty humbling to have people come to hear the story of LivingRoom - especially knowing that some had travelled significantly to get there (thanks Richard).

Richard has posted photos here and here and Dave's put a happy snap up here.

In the afternoon I also caught up with a couple of other bloggers (Katie and Ashley) to talk 'problogging' which was fun also - their photos are here and here (I blinked - it wasn't the wine).

Tomorrow I'm going to the Forge National conference which i heard tonight is going well. There are 500 emerging church types there - something I can't resist but check out even in my jetlagged state.

And now I must sleep.