Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Thought you friends of mine might enjoy having a *free* introduction to an artist I've been listening to for some time - 13 or so years to be exact! His name is Bill Mallonee and he is one of the most transparent and honest writers I've come across. He also has a really rustic, rootsy Americana sound that is quite unique. Bill used to be a part of the band Vigilantes of Love back in the day and I had the rare privilege of working with him on one occasion. Anyway . . . if you're up for something wonderful, head on over to the website listed below and download two free albums (for a limited time): Summershine and Blister Soul track by satisfying track!
"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of day are dangerous men, that they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
- T. E. Lawrence of Arabia
Monday, November 26, 2007
What is Ethur?
Ethur is a non profit ministry which exists to develop, launch and grow Christ-centered initiatives. We address both spiritual and social issues in our society in order to bring positive change. We utilize creativity, truth, and the talents of experienced professionals to launch these kingdom initiatives. So what does Ethur mean? The “ee-ther” is described as the upper regions of space, the clear sky, and the heavens. As a non-profit we are reaching higher, dreaming bigger, and trusting in the creator of the heavens. There are no limits. Ethur supports and executes on pure ideas that produce real results in the lives of others and in our culture. The time has come for all of us to look higher and discover the heavens once again. For more information on Ethur visit our website at www.Ethur.org
The 'Deadly Viper Character Assassins' is well worth some of your time!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
PGF Outbox: CULTURAL EVANGELIST GABE LYONS OF FERMI PROJECT TALKS WITH PGF
CULTURAL EVANGELIST GABE LYONS OF FERMI PROJECT TALKS WITH PGF
Lyons Gabe Lyons cares a whole lot about Christianity’s impact (or lack thereof) on culture. In 2003 Lyons founded “Fermi Project,” a small, collaborative gathering of Christian leaders and thinkers seeking to make positive contributions to culture, and he recently co-authored a book (just released in October) on a related subject. unChristian: What a New Generation Thinks About Christianity…and Why It Matters reveals what most sixteen-to-twenty-nine-year-olds really think about Christians. The findings are less than flattering: they show most young Americans find Christians to be “hypocritical,” “insensitive,” and “judgmental,” among other things, with the implication that the church’s cultural influence on future generations is quickly waning.
But what should the church do about it? That is the focus of the following reflections from Lyons. They come from a longer essay titled “Influencing Culture: An Opportunity for the Church,” that Lyons has made available to PGF here in abbreviated form….
Common Grace and the “Cultural Mandate”
As modern day evangelicals, we are most familiar with God’s saving grace—the means by which God’s saving power, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, can redeem people from their sin and give them new life in Christ and throughout eternity. What we hear less about today is another theological concept called “common grace.”
This common grace is available through and to all of His creation. King David refers to it in Psalm 145: “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made…The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, you satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Jesus also referred to it when he admonished us to: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:44-45).”
Understanding both saving grace and common grace helps us understand the “cultural mandate.” It dates back to the Garden of Eden when, on the sixth day of creation, a momentous transference takes place as God hands Adam the responsibility to pick up where he has left off. He is called to reflect God’s image and to have dominion over all things, to steward God’s good creation and all of its resources in the service of God and man (Genesis 1:26-28)5. God’s declaration to humanity of their divinely appointed duties provided deep purpose and meaning to humanity. Humans were called to partner with God in the work He wanted to do throughout His creation.
In his book, How Now Shall We Live?, Chuck Colson describes the cultural mandate in the following terms: “God cares not only about redeeming souls but also about restoring his creation. He calls us to be agents not only of his saving grace but also of his common grace. Our job is not only to build up the church but also to build a society to the glory of God. As agents of God’s common grace, we are called to help sustain and renew his creation, to uphold the created institutions of family and society, to pursue science and scholarship, to create works of art and beauty, and to heal and help those suffering from the results of the Fall.”
Centuries of church history have shown that when Christians dismiss the cultural mandate as an insignificant part of the Christian life, separatism and piety increase and cultural influence fades, whereas when Christians learn and embrace the full Gospel and partner with God in restoring and redeeming his creation, their cultural influence follows and the Good News spreads.
How Now Shall We Influence?
Cultures are shaped when networks of leaders, representing the different social institutions of a culture, (business, government, media, church, arts and entertainment, education and the social sector), work together towards a common goal. The people who lead these influential institutions have the opportunity to shape the ideas, thoughts and preferences of millions of others.
And one of the most unique channels of cultural influence is the church. Few other institutions convene participants from so many areas of society. Although the work of culture creation may take place outside the physical walls of a church building, the local church creates a natural space where social networks of leaders, within all seven channels of culture, can work together towards a common goal. Nowhere else does this potential for synergy exist. Unlike other channels, the church is a living organism where God’s spirit constantly moves and seeks to express Himself through a willing Body.
The call to the church and to all Christians of our time is to rediscover the cultural mandate, embracing the opportunity to influence culture. In the church, we must teach about calling and cultural influence and provide vital support to cultural leaders. We must become an integral piece of the local culture, convening and encouraging creation of future culture that serves the common good. We must become connoisseurs of good culture, recognizing and celebrating the good, true and beautiful to the glory of God and begin to lead the conversations that will shape future culture. There’s the big idea. The vision. The challenge. The opportunity.
There are several steps you can take to realize this vision personally and throughout your church:
1. Explore and embrace the cultural mandate. Educate yourself on the full story explanation of the gospel and become familiar with how the story (creation, fall, redemption, restoration) shows up in all of life and brings clarity to the Christian’s responsibility in a fallen world. Read Genesis 1 and 2 with this perspective in mind and investigate other writings that delve deeply into the topic. Read books by C.S. Lewis, John Stott, Os Guinness, Chuck Colson, Nancy Pearcey, Michael Metzger or Neil Plantinga for specific insight into the cultural mandate.
2. Teach about calling and cultural influence. Inspire people within your church to discover their callings and pursue them with excellence, while celebrating their successes. Educate those around you about how cultural influence happens. Find the people within your church who hold unique and influential positions throughout the seven channels of culture. Help them cultivate and create culture that serves the common good. Your interest in serving them will go along way in building their confidence in the church’s understanding of their opportunity for influence while reminding them of God’s provision.
3. Connect with your local community. Ask yourself, “If my church were removed from the community today, would anyone even notice?” As an integral piece of your local culture, integrate a missional approach to the needs of your community. Add value to the culture, support local artists, businesses, and schools and serve the community with volunteers for good events that are redemptive in nature. Be an advocate for goodness and beauty throughout your surroundings so that if you ever left, you’d be sorely missed.
4. Look for the good. Become known as connoisseurs of good culture, able to recognize and pick it out in a fallen world. Instead of being offended when confronted with darkness, be provoked to get involved. Challenge yourself to find something good in all things and identify the redemptive nature of humanity and its place in creating a better world.
5. Convene conversations about future-culture. Initiate conversations about the values of your community. Host them at your church or in a neutral location and drive the cultural conversation instead of simply responding to it. Raise issues of injustice and offer potential solutions. Be the first to praise the good culture being created in your community and inspire imagination around opportunities that support the common good, elevate beauty and align with truth. Most of all, convene the cultural leaders in your church to encourage and inspire them to renew their channel of influence.
To learn more about Fermi Project and Lyons’ new initiative called “Q” go to: www.fermiproject.com.
Posted by Kristina Robb-Dover on November 09, 2007 at 08:18 AM | Permalink
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Friday, November 23, 2007
. . from the sixth chapter of Galatians in The Message:
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
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"What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation -- a toast to my God! . . . I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, and I'll do it together with his people."
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
284 years later it's such a shame to see loaves of bread going stale there everyday and no one utilising them. It's up to the Church to make sure the generous provision is distributed appropriately to those most in need isn't it?? It is an unfortunate but telling statement about just how far removed the Church often is from the reality of every day life. May God forgive us of the sin of 'insularity' and ignite in His people a new and fresh fire - an awakening - to the Gospel being Good News for everyone!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Translated version of http://www.gottfried-mueller-komponist.de/
"Music is holy,"
if we experience it as a mythical and ethical reality:
considering, venturing, transforming.
It is life, which eavesdrops on itself:
therein lies its power of memory.
It is a bridge, leading to silence:
therein works its future aspiration.
It is the recovery of joy:
therein its mission of proclamation lasts.
Thus it bends the bow of affirmation
Above the abyss of incompatibility.
English translation: Chris Bye, Nuremberg
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Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Neve definitely has a creative edge to her. I mean, I know every child appreciates and enjoys doing some colouring and doodling, but Neve is doubly so inclined. She LOVES doing craft. She colours, paints with water colours, finger paints, draws, cuts, makes cards, writes notes and creates animals / vehicles out of regular household items. She gets a lot of life out of making things. She also loves to exhibit her works and get feedback from anyone who will give her the time. Not to mention she has other qualities and traits that lend themselves (sometimes stereotypically) to creative types, i.e. she's left-handed, easily distracted, gets lost in the moment, often offers tangential comments seemingly unrelated to the current topic, etc., etc.
I love her so much and I celebrate the little woman that she is. She's my daughter and I'd have her no other way!
PS - she has also announced with great delight that she will be playing Mary the mother of Jesus (theotokos) in her annual Christmas play at school. That's my girl!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
A laptop screen shows musical notes encoded in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper," during an interview with Italian musician and computer technician Giovanni Maria Pala, in Rome, Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. Pala, a 45-year-old musician who lives near the southern Italian city of Lecce, began studying Leonardo's painting in 2003, after hearing on a news program that researchers believed the artist and inventor had hidden a musical composition in the work. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
On CNN . . .
On FOX . . .
On BBC . . .
Monday, November 12, 2007
I was out doing some errands before heading into the office. I couldn't pass by without taking this shot. It's of the fountain in Rosemary Square in Roscrea, Tipperary. It is a cold, crisp sunny morning (3C / 37F) - winter is on the way here in Ireland! Ahh, the joys of simple beauty.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This public post does not constitute an invite.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Would this issue be worth at least a six-month, in depth investment of your time and energy? What if it could mean a redemptive paradigm shift for you and a noticeable, welcomed development in your interactions with those around you? Would it be worth it?
I'm attending a conference exploring the Church's nascent narrative in Ireland tomorrow in Dublin. The focus is mostly on an inclusive. all-age style of church. I have been asked to lead an opening reflection in the morning and to sit on a panel. I really hope it's worth the time and effort to get there and be away from my family.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
"The Forgotten Ways" by Alan Hirsch
- Explores the missional church in a postmodern context. Strongly endorsed.
"God's Ultimate Passion" by Frank Viola
- Breath-taking drama that unlocks the grand narrative of Scripture. Strongly endorsed.
"The Gospel According to Starbucks" by Len Sweet
- Powerful cultural analysis on the modern gospel.
Anyone dare to contribute any others?