Saturday, January 12, 2008


Friday, January 11, 2008

the number of the beast

The Number of the Beast

We all know that 666 is the Number of the Beast. But did you know:

· $665.95......................Retail price of the Beast

· $699.25......................Price of the Beast plus 5% sales tax

· $769.95......................Price of the Beast with all accessories
and replacement soul

· $656.66......................Walmart price of the Beast

· $646.66......................Next week's Walmart price of the Beast

· 00666.........................Zip code of the Beast

· 1-666 .........................Area code of the Beast

· 1-900-666-0666 ............ Live Beasts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute.

· 670............................Approximate number of the Beast

· DCLXVI.....................Roman numeral of the Beast

· 666.0000.....................Number of the High Precision Beast

· 0.666 .........................Number of the Millibeast

· / 666 ..........................Beast Common Denominator

· 666 ^ (-1).....................Imaginary number of the Beast

· 1010011010..................Binary of the Beast

· $6.66 9/10....................Price of a Beast gasoline

· Route 666....................Way of the Beast

· 666 F.........................Oven temperature for roast Beast

· 666k..........................Retirement plan of the Beast

· 6.66%........................5 year CD rate at First Beast National
Bank, $666 minimum deposit.

· i66686........................CPU of the Beast

· 666i .......................... BMW of the Beast

· DSM-666.....................Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast

· 668............................Next-door neighbor of the Beast

· 666 mg........................Recommended Minimum Daily Requirement of Beast

· Lotus 6-6-6...................Spreadsheet of the Beast

· Word 6.66....................Word Processor of the Beast

· 6 h. 66 min....................Beast Standard Time (BST)

· Boeing 666....................."A jet for the Beast Age"

· Beverly Hills 66666..........Beast's favorite TV show

· 6/6/66..........................The birthdate of the Beast

· 666-66-6666..................The Social Security number of the Beast

· 6666............................The PIN of the Beast

· 25.806975.....................The square root of the Beast

· Motel 666......................Beast Western

· Windows 96 ver.666.........OS of the Beast

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

phillipe and sophia hear the good news!

on christas eve we took a special offering at westwinds to raise money to fix the house of our friends phillipe and sophia in pretoria, SA. all told, we raised about $5100 to be able to build them a new brick home, complete with finished floors, electricity, and indoor plumbing.

it was a really cool experience. this video is footage of the moment where dries lombaard told them about our gift. an edited version of this moment will be played this weekend in fusion at westwinds.


africa 9

One thing I've not yet mentioned but which has struck me as remarkable is the amount of special attention and consideration the people here have given me personally. They show me great favor me and are always considerate of my preferences, which I'm forced to think must only be because of their incredible humility and regard for others.

They do me a great honor, far above my station, and I am humbled by their service and respect.

I have treated this trip as two parts vacation and one part spiritual discovery. As such, I have invested myself heavily in the pleasures of company, food and beverage, good humor, and photography. This suprises some of the tanda tula, I think, as they obviously have expected me to be some kind of self-important american capable of drumming up all kinds of future tourist business.

Once they begin to perceive me as the playboy or comedian, however, I feel I am then more free to contribute intelligently into conversations about spirituality, ministry, globalization and postmodernity, or simply the movement of god in their own contexts.

It's all quite wonderful, now that we've struck a balance; though, I have been stunned, confused, and embarrassed in equal measure before we'd all finally got one another figured out.

oh well - at least there've been no feed-the-yankie-imposter-to-the-hungry-lion moments.


africa 8

Dries and I talked for a long time today about the strength finder test he had me take. He is a coach for this leadership evaluation put together by the gallop group, and I thought it would be cool to honor him and his work by participating (plus - hey! - free coaching ).

My top 5 strengths were:
1. Input - I need mental stimulation
2. Intellection - I need to think ideas through and be critical in my evaluations
3. Learner - I need to grow in my thinking
4. Strategist - I need to find ways through problems in ways that are sustainable and practical
5. Achiever - I need to actually DO some things in order to feel like I'm making real progress in my endeavor to help the world.

A few significant observations from dries...

A. 4/5 strengths are mental/internal processes & themes, which means I live a lot of life in my head. Of particular significance here is that the things that I think through are as real to me as things that actually happen to other people; such that I may imagine myself having a conversation out loud when I'm really only thinking it, or perceive that I've communicated something to the church when I've really only mentioned it offhand.

B. My achievement theme means that I get all my internal/mental stuff pent up to such a degree that I simply must find an outlet for it or I will explode. This is why I'm attracted to the arts (design, music, theatre, teaching atlases, plays, stories, etc... )...I'm trying to find ways to get the things IN my head OUT, aka to achieve something with them.

Dries mentioned that it will be important for me to consistently over-communicate, and to manage my mental state so that I can balance my overload vs. my achievements (I.e. Make sure I achieve regularly so I don't crash my hard drive, and make sure I don't achieve too regularly or I'll never fill it up to capacity).

Monday, January 07, 2008

africa 7

Callie talked about the 5 basics of learning to trak in the veldt [find the track/spoor, follow the obvious route {aka where would you go if you were the animal}, if you lose track of the spoor keep heading along the same trajectory - don't panic - and see if you find more tracks 30ft up, keep your head up, if you lose the track completely go back to where you were last sure you had it and begin again], noting that the most important thing to track in real life is ourselves.

Taking some of his points about tracking in this light I've begun to ask myself some questions about the future.

What is the obvious direction of my track/spoor? Where does it look like I'm heading? Why? What's taking me there?

If I were to change direction, what is the second (or third) alternative that would alter my course? What would cause this? Why?

If I lose my way, what is the spot to which I will return in order to regain my bearings?

africa 6

Len's advice to me re: ww is that I need to build some boxes, so the people will better understand the out-of-the-box stuff we're already doing and will do in the future.

Out of the box thinking requires boxes that people can understand as a via negativa of our habits and practices.

He applauded the doxa series as a way to build a box that we could then venture out of with the people having their sense of safety intact. This, he said, is the major issue with experimentation...we forget that people need to feel safe in order to venture out.


Len also challenged the idea of 'transforming culture.'

In his mind, the motivation to transform culture is at cross-purposes with new testament spirituality. Instead, we are to enter culture and live the gospel within it.

I mentioned that one reason american evangelicals may be so urgent to 'lead culture' with their creative capital is because their parents told them culture was bad and that they should flee from it. As a result, they have no ethic of entering culture, just a fantasy of being the best at culture - which, ultimately, is driven by an adgenda other than missional living.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

African Adventure

african adventure, redux

africa 5

Len talked tonight about the metaphor of the church as a pc.

He says that our interface should be EPIC, but our OS should be run by (our original/ACTS 2/GEN 1&2) an MRI OS.

He says the church is in the process of being defragged by god, which is likely to be followed by a reboot of our OS.

Our current (aka BAD) OS is APC
Attractional - bring people to church and that will make the great comission come true
Propositional - focus on doctrine and dogma
Colonial - make every church look the same, a WASP congregation with a quaker hymnal

Our original OS is MRI
Missional - where everyone has a ministry to the church and a mission to the world
Relational - because truth is right relationship
Incarnational - go and become immersed in the culture around you and speak the gospel in their language

- remember, christianity is the only religion that no longer speaks the language of its founder

- we are all called to GO, 2/3 of GOD is GO

NOTE - even though APC is not the OS for which we're designed, we have to recognize that there will always be some APC that occurs if we're effective at MRI; but those things should always be concordant, not the aim in-and-of-themselves

p.s. sorry for the scattered post...decrypt at your leisure


i interrupt these belated africa posts to complain about the miserable and horrible trip my family and i just took to chicago, wherein we all got the stomach flu and had vomit olympics in our tiny hotel room and almost killed each other with our lamentations and woe.


complaining done.

africa 4

I just killed a giant scary spider that was watching me take a bath. It was about as big as my open palm (including its devil-legs), had fangy-looking tusks?/teeth?, and spoke the black tongue of mordor.

Obviously I cannot sleep now. I hear noises that I imagine to be shelob's children hunting me for revenge of their brother's death and I've sweated through 2 pairs of pajamas.

To make matters worse, after I killed the spider I turned around and walked through a spider web (that wasn't there when I got out of the tub to deal with my demon) which means there is another spider building traps for me between the toilet and the duvet.

obviously i need to spend more time in prayer.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

africa 3

Len had a piece this afternoon about contextual intelligence. He made mention that we're all required to know our context in order to know what has displaced the natural order/harmony of that context, so we can remedy the sickness/situation.

I've always found it easy and invigorating to learn and investigate the ww context, but much harder and less rewarding to learn the jackson/midwest context. This bit of discomfort I think is a further clue into my larger thinking about sacred space and geospirituality.

'Tell me where you're from and I'll tell you who you are.'

I'm from a place and a time and a cultural context. The specifics (I.e. Vancouver, new millenia, post-christian commonwealth) I think are less important than the tune or temperature of those things...but only time will tell.

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africa 2

We saw some pretty incredible things today - 2 prides of lions, buffalo, elephants within 20+metres, giraffes, was something else.

The actual god-stuff came into play a bit more truly today as well, I'm always an advocate of the 'everything is spiritual' motif, but - if I'm honest - I'd been disappointed so far with the 'pretty much just a safari' nature of the trip up to this point; so, I was glad that we began cultivating the explicitly spiritual and ministerial aspects today.

I asked len how vince beresford was doing in the program and he said really well. He told me that vince was his best student - which is really cool. I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable with the way our story together ended; so it feels nice to hear that he's succeeding and performing well in his new life.

I miss carmel and the kids a lot - though I've been able to get them some really cool gifts and I think that'll make the homecoming that much easier. Truly I have a wonderful family and nothing anywhere in the world could ever diminish or replace their beauty in my life.

Which makes me hope this whole experience is worth it. On the one hand - of course it is! - this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and anybody would be a fool to pass it up; on the other hand, I'm still mystical enough to believe that god has something in particular in store for me this trip and I'd like some clarity as to what that may be. It may be refueling, reorientation, comfort, clarity, security, peace, discomfort, alarm, burden, prophecy, direction, hearing, future perspective - anything really...I don't want to limit him by supposing I know what it is...but I also feel like I really couldn't tell you what I need right now.

I have so much and I'm grateful and thankful and spectacularly happy with all that god has provided for my family and I. Maybe I'll think some more about a few areas: parenthood, marriage, writing, speaking, creating, leadership, ministry at ww, ministry in general, randy, budget, vancouver, film venues, and personal spiritual development. It's funny though, even as I write down all of these diverse categories I still don't feel any special burden for any of then. It is possible that I'm simply recovering from burn out and I'm intelligent enough to know that I shouldn't push it too hard, but I don't like that answer so I don't want to accept it too quickly.

More later...
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africa post 1

I'm keeping a video blog of my trip to africa instead of just a text a way to make it fun for my kids to watch and see. I still hold on to the belief that god has something particular here for me, though I'm not really sure what that might yet be.

To be perfectly honest, I feel like all of the major life/ministry questions have been settled for the moment. We're planning to keep our house, pursue a book/enterprise with navpress, hold off on ann arbor, have no more kids, bring randy back to work now that he's well, keep honing causemology, keep underscoring the importance of ownership, have carmel go back to work, pursue vodcasting in the new year(and potentially streaming vids & jtv), pay off our remaining debts, fix our kitchen floor and basement bathroom, buy a boat with our tenth anniversary income tax return cheque, and probably discontinue teaching at sau.

Now I'm sure that sounds like we've got it all figured out...but we've only just arrived at most of those conclusions and are still holding all of them loosely knowing that god could reverse or redirect our intention at any moment; though it must be said that the openness to god's interruption should never be an excuse for unpreparedness (we should plan as if our lives will remain on this trajectory for 100 years, but be willing to leave everything at a moment's notice in obedience to the divine perogative).

anyways - more later

africa stuff

i've been back from south africa for a little over two weeks now and am just beginning to wade through all my thoughts and notes from the trip.

i have made one little compilation video which you can see by clicking the title of this post, but there'll be more to come.

at any rate - i'm reprinting some of my blog thoughts from the trip over the next couple of posts.

thanks for reading!