Friday, July 28, 2006

The Safety of Fear

I read these words from Mike Yaconelli yesterday in 'Selected Writings'. I was challenged. I want to regain much of what he described here. I miss my earlier days with God at times. What about you? What thoughts / feelings do these words stir up in you? What decisions will those thoughts / feelings lead you to make? How will those decisions lead to your life changing? In what way? Have a great weekend. (click on images to enlarge)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

That's ME!

While recently catching up with a friend of mine - Ben Price - I read this post on his blog and thought - THAT'S ME! I nearly teared up when I thought of my sweet, precious daughter Neve and how often I am the same way with her. Thanks for the inspiration and challenge Ben! Changes coming soon to this soul . . .

For the Love of God, Slow Down

I was serving lunch at Applebee's the other day, and I had a couple sit in my section. They were probably in their 70's and it soon became apparent that the man was recovering from a stroke. He walked slowly and gingerly to his booth, talked slowly, very softly, and stuttered. They ordered their drinks and I brought them out, then they said they needed some more time to look over the menu. I came back a few minutes later and he was still looking. I came back a third time and we was still studying his options. Finally . . . more

Flippin' Excitin'!

Anyone who knows me well can attest to my love of history and therefore the intimately related field of archaeology. My interest in history really didn't manifest until after graduating from Taylor University, but my interest in archaeology probably had it's genesis much, much earlier . . with release of the Indiana Jones films! Anyway, I'm on the cusp of excitement at the moment because I met one (his wife is too) of our village archaeologists last night (who's my age and is heading up our film club as well!) and I've come across this significant find for Ireland and the midlands (where we live)! Check out this potentially significant Christian find that could attest to Ireland's significant role in the spiritual heritage of Europe in the last millennia.

What European City Do You Belong In?

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Being a Ninja (Doogtoons Asks A Ninja)

Funny stuff. Very, very funny.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Monkin' It Baby!

Here is a picture of a schwancky t-shirt I received from a podcast I listen occasionally. It's called and although the presenters are a bit on the 'happy' side too often for me, it's still got some fairly interesting information on it. Such as a prevous post where I mentioned the podcast interviews they hosted with LOST screenwriter Carlton Cuse. It seem sthat God has been revealing Himself to me as a fire a lot in the last year or two - the shirt was no exception when I received it.

Outline for Session on General Spirituality

I was asked by the Community Training Centre next to my office to do a session on human spirituality and it's development. I have to admit, I was challenged by the invitation. I had not spoken so generally on spirituality before but I thought it'd be a good 'growing experience' and possibly lead to some great conversations. Below is my outline for the session which was about an hour. Anybody want to contribute or discuss anything from it?


Spirituality Session Outline:

"If a man [or woman] will begin in certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin in doubts he shall end in certainties." - Francis Bacon; English philosopher (1561-1626)

The Yearning of Humanity

Seeking Beyond the Five Senses [Hunger]

Pre-Recorded History and Religions

Expression through the Arts & Action





Recorded History and Religions

Chronology of Religions/Faith Systems

Main Strands of Religions/Faith Systems

Non-Faith Groups


Anthropological Concerns

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs [Hunger]

Stages of Faith [Fowler] pg. 4

Belief and Faith

Stages of Faith [Fowler] pgs. 11, 14

The Substance of the Human Person

Diagrams: soul, spirit, body, etc.

The Quest for Meaning

"To have reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle. A belief of some kind.
A bumper sticker, if you will."
- Judith Guest; American author

Faith and Questions

“Nagging doubts about God [faith] aren’t faithless, but proof that our faith is growing.”
Dr. Winfried Corduan

Stages of Faith Development


Eras of Life Cycles [Levinson]

Stages of Faith [Fowler]

"You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it." - Samuel Butler


Philosophical Implications on Faith


sol·ip·sism n. Philosophy
1. The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.

2. The theory or view that the self is the only reality.

"We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality." - Iris Murdoch; Irish author

Identity and its Sources

Contingent and Necessary Entities

No Doubt About It [Corduan] pgs. 110-113

Eastern / Western philosophical emphases

Greek [dualist] against Hebrew/Celtic [inclusive]

Propositional vs. Meta-narrative

Contemporary Societal Influences on Faith

Technological Advancement [Information Age]

i.e. ‘Drive-in’ churches

The Arts as the Currency of a New Economy [Creative Age]

The Arts as a universal language

Narrative [story], dialogue, questions, journey, etc.

Faith and Necessity

Crutch, Catharsis, Chrysalis or Catalyst

"God is dead" (Friedrich Nietze)

"Religion is the opiate of the
(Karl Marx)

“. . traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” (Isaac ____)

“Traditions are the living faith of the dead . .” (Isaac ____)

Faith as a Hypostatic and Nascent
hy·pos·ta·sis n. pl. hy·pos·ta·ses (-sz)

1. Philosophy. The substance, essence, or underlying reality.

2. Christianity

a. Any of the persons of the Trinity

b. The essential person of Jesus in which his human and divine natures are united.

nas·cent adj.

1. Coming into existence; emerging: “the moral shock of our nascent imperialism” (Richard

[Latin nscns, nscent- present participle of nsc, to be born. See gen- in Indo-
European Roots.]

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."
- William James; American philosopher and psychologist (1842-1910)

"Love is not one of the attributes of God, but the sum of them all." - Gibbon


Thursday, July 06, 2006

fuel Unveiled!

I am very proud to finally reveal a new reflective journal for young people and young adults. We have called it fuel. fuel utilises a time-tested, ancient Christian tradition known as Lectio Divina (spiritual reading). We have borrowed the contemporary idioms that The Message: Remix attributes to this process of hearing and responding to God. It refers to Lectio Divina as Read, Think, Pray, Live. I developed a series of six questions to help young people work through this process and included an introduction to bring some clarity. There are 31 sessions in fuel, but with no dates, prescribed readings or detailed exhortations on what meaning can be drawn from the Scripture. Young people can choose when and where they want to read and can apply the same questions to each reading. fuel can conceivably last for a month (if used everyday), or for as long as necessary. Therefore, the guilt sometimes associated with 'normal' reading notes/journals is decreased because fuel is not prescriptive in it's guidance and can meet anyone wherever they're at on the journey toward Christ.

In my estimation, fuel is a counter-balance to the plethora of materials currently available which often major on inductive Bible study and determine to understand the original meaning behind a section of the Bible. fuel is more of a guided journey into learning the process of listening to and responding to God as He reveals Himself to each person - particularly through the holy scriptures. Finally, at the end of fuel is a section on 'Finding Your Own Thin Place' which leans on the Celtic Christian notion of those areas where heaven and earth seem closer to one another - where God is seemingly present more strongly than elsewhere. I try to encourage young people to find those places in their life, and in conjunction with fuel, to spend time listening and interacting with the Lover of their souls.

I am so excited about what fuel can mean for each one of us as we uncover, follow and feed our un-ending hunger for God as revealed most clearly in Jesus Christ. My personal hope is that God will allow me to play a part in Ireland reclaiming it's title as "the land of Saints, Scholars and Artists" - which happens as we make space to encounter the Great God who has loved us supremely in Jesus and facilitated our becoming through our co-operation with the Holy Spirit. The best is yet to come (Ephesians 3:20-21)!

Copies can be ordered from me or from the Church of Ireland Youth Department. Updates will be made to our website in the coming weeks.