Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rethinking Christianity

Here's a video response to the question "Do you feel like you're finding faith or losing it? How does this make you feel?" from Rethink Christianity which, strangely enough, related to my previous post . . so I quoted myself (weird). ;-)

Chris Martin in Rolling Stone

I read this brief excerpt from a post on Dan Kimball's blog that gave a bit of insight into Chris Martin's (Coldplay) upbringing in rural England from his Rolling Stone interview and I found it interesting. What it says (and reinforces) to me, is that all of our experiences of Christianity and Christ are incomplete at best (because God, by nature, is inexhaustible) and we must choose to pursue Christ as a life-long adventure to perpetually come into greater clarity of who He is and what He's about. And we must (with a nod to the apophatic tradition) hold to our current understanding of God loosely enough to welcome new insights and revelations into His character.
Check it . . .

"One cannot begin to face the real difficulties of the life of prayer and meditation unless one is first perfectly content to be a beginner and really experience himself as one who knows little or nothing and has a desperate need to learn the bare rudiments. Those who think they 'know' from the beginning will never, in fact, come to know anything . . . we do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners."

--Thomas Merton

Btw, Coldplay are currently offering the free track 'Death Will Never Conquer' on their site.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wild Goose Chase

I've been a growing fan of Mark Batterson's over the past year. I know very little about him, but what I do know impresses me. Firstly, he has to have some dynamic skills with people to be able to lead such a diverse and growing team. Secondly, I fully adhere to his church's principle of placing themselves near 'seats of power' (in D.C.) to facilitate influencing the wider world through those living there (St. Patrick did this too at Navan Fort/Emain Macha). Thirdly, I dig his creative and adventurous persona that I seem to get from him. I don't have much to site on this one except that his Church has forwarded some exciting and engaging endeavours in the D.C. area. One such venture is a coffeehouse / cafe the church started called Ebenezers that has recently been voted no. 1 in the D.C. area by AOL Cityguide! Fourthly, from the sounds of his new book out next month, Mark has interests outside of and beyond his current situ that have caused him to seek God's leading into previously unknown arenas. I'm really looking forward to reading 'Wild Goose Chase: Reclaiming the Adventure of Pursuing God' because a) it reinforces the sense of adventure and excitement that I've had in relationship with Jesus since the beginning of my journey with him (20 years on) and b) Mark borrows on some Celtic, or early Irish Christian themes that I resonate with wholeheartedly. There was an offer on his blog to review the book by the release date and I have bitten. If I'm selected to review it I'll be posting a review here by it's August 19th release date.

Check out info on the book and a sample chapter here.

Catch up with Mark here and more about his church, NCC, here.

Mandela: His 8 Lessons of Leadership

I read this article last night and found it very interesting. I don't agree with very one of the eight principles offered on leadership, but instead they were an insight into an influential leader's life. They were not written, or directly offered, by Mandela himself . . they were surmised through conversations and interactions with an author who wrote Mandela's biography in the 90's. Still, worth the read. I was glad to learn more about this man than I had known before.

Mandela: His 8 Lessons of Leadership

Monday, July 28, 2008

Brian McLaren and the Anglican Perspective

I just read this article from The Christian Post on Brian's presentation to the bishops at Lambeth. It was both encouraging and somewhat bitter tasting. I will need to read / hear more about his involvement there. On the surface, I am very glad he was invited at least to stir discussion and challenge the status quo to think outwardly instead of the sickly tendency for ever-increasing inward movement.

TallSkinnyKiwi has also posted a brief write up with some more links here . . .

Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Force 'Funk' 5

So, I've been searching (for months) for a band to play at our annual youth weekend called Anois and I have had this one band as my number one choice all along. I gave up on them because they'd be to expensive for us to fly them all over from the States, including their expenses and fee. I was listening to their tunes from their myspace page earlier this month and a woman walks in I was working with at Urban Soul who proceeded to tell me she worked at the church the band went to when they were kids in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, one of the girls that was over here helping her in her youth ministry knows the band well and was in their music video for 'Luv Addict'.

So, here I am hoping we won't have to go with our second choice of a band for Anois and that some strings will be pulled to help us get these guys over to Ireland for their first-ever Irish gigs! The band is called Family Force 5 and they are seriously rippin' it up Stateside at the moment. Their tracks are very infectious, crunky, dance-o-matic tunes that you just can't get out of your head! The young people here would absolutely love how fun, engaging and totally hilarious these guys are . . if we can get them to come over to Eire!

Antiquated Encouragement

My family and I attend a small Church of Ireland in our small village in Tipperary. It's everything you might come to expect from a rural, Anglican, aging group of worshipers. One of the greatest things about our parish (in my humble opinion) is the possibility and potential wrapped up in our rector and friend Stephen Neill. Stephen is entrenched in the Church of Ireland like the Mafia is in Sicily. He's a fourth generation clergyman with a strong voice in the Church around the island. The counter balance is that Stephen is very empowering and willing to try new endeavours in our mission to hold Jesus loosely (as in sharing Him generously with everyone). He's read more books on alt worship / emerging church / fresh expressions, including a healthy dose of other publications from varying angles, than I may ever read.

At times when I am discouraged by what is (or isn't) happening in the Church (at home and beyond) I am occasionally encouraged by one of the stained glass windows in our church immediately behind the alter. It features Jesus coming in power on the clouds at the top and below are three scenes that speak volumes: Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus raising Jairus' daughter amidst the snickering crowd and Jesus himself rising from the grave. They all speak of life, wholeness and health in a myriad of ways. I am always encouraged that no matter how hopeless and discouraging things may seem (or become) at times, there is ALWAYS hope with Jesus at hand.

The declaration at the top of the window from Jesus himself is often the context for my gratitude and praise of him in our church gatherings . . "Behold, I make all things new."

What is it that you need Jesus to re-create or make new for you?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Married couples who play together stay together

Well, this year my friend and wife Christy and I have been together as a couple half of our lives. We met at a party a mutual friend in my youth ministry hosted when we were 16 years old. We are 32 this year and have been married 11 years after dating and engagement for five years. I leaned over and whispered in her ear last night in bed that I am so grateful God has allowed me to spend my life with the woman I wanted to for half of my life. She's a woman beyond compare - we have had so much fun, traveled to loads of wonderful places, lived in three countries, worked through struggles, lived in five homes and brought two awesome children into the world. Christina Nicole Tucker is nothing less than a gift!

This article was a timely and good reminder for us to preserve what's best between best friends . .

Married couples who play together stay together

Which Lord of the Rings charater am I?

Recently I stumbled across this personality test for determining which Lord of the Rings character you are most like on The Barrow-Downs site and my instincts were right!

The Barrow-Downs

Lord of the Rings
Personality Test

Based on your answers, you are most like

You were also very much like

See who you share a likeness to . . .

And my name genealogy in Middle Earth is:

According to the Red Book of Westmarch,
In Middle-earth, Shane Robert Tucker was a
Fearless Elf

Elven Name Possibilities for Shane Robert Tucker
The root name suitable for feminine and masculine is:
Another masculine version is:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hannah's Lunchbox

"Our belief is that we have more than we need while others don’t have enough; so we decided to sell our beautiful, large home (that’s a picture of it on the right) and move into another one half the size and half the price. We are giving half the sales price of our old house to a life-changing program . . that is helping hundreds of thousands of people in Africa move from poverty to self-reliance."

A family's personal revolution instigated by a 15 year old girl.

Hannah's Lunchbox

Something Unbelieveably Hi-larious . . . - Watch more free videos