Monday, November 27, 2006

wally the worship leader....!

"Where there's Wally there is worship..."

This could be the answer, the next step on from midi players and CD backing tracks. Go check Wally out at TheChurchYouKnow.

Wally's Features:
  • You can always worship, even if no one in your small group can play guitar
  • Worships in 'upbeat' or 'slow' modes
  • Fully animatronic with moving mouth, strumming hand, and flexible hip joints
  • Folds into a suitcase
  • Programmable phrases like "Praise Him church" and "Let's give the Lord some applause"
  • Can play on endless loop (while plugged in)
  • Currently only sings, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever"
Find out more here

Thanks Neil for an amusing link!
Thanks Ian for the picture

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 4/9

"Healthy feelings, properly ordered among themselves, are essential to a good life. So if we are to be formed in Christ-likeness we must take good care of our feelings and not just let them happen. Feelings can be regulated by ordered, godly habits and self-control." (Willard 2002:93)

Transforming Feelings...

Closely connected to thought life Willard -by looking at James 3-4 -points out our 'prisons of disorder and vane distraction' to look at how Spiritual Formation should identify our destructive feelings, sensations, emotion.
"The process of spiritual formation in Christ will transform our feelings by grace... a first step is to desire sincerely feelings that lead away from feelings that are contrary to what we understand of God."
To deny such feelings would neurosis. Willard points out that when these destructive feelings happen the key question is "How can we deal with feelings?" His answer:
"The answer to these destructive feelings is not to deny that we have them or try to repress them. Â… The proper course of action is to replace destructive feelings with others that are good, or to subordinate them intelligently to a rational order so that they become constructive." 92
Digging deep into Proverbs Willard goes on to make very clear distinctions between feelings that are good and life enriching, and feelings that are destructive.
  • the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (9: 10).
  • hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs (10:12),
  • a heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (14:30).
  • the cheerful heart has a continual feast (15:15),
  • and a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (17:22).
It seems to me that it being authentically intentional within Spiritual Formation through Godly habits and a desire to be Christ-like is what causes what Willard calls a "positive movement into love, joy and peace, based on faith and hope in God". It is this positive movement that removes the rule of these 'destructive feelings' in our life.

The danger as Willard points out is that:
"We do not go at the change the other way around, trying first to root out the destructive feelings. That is the common mistake of worldly wisdom and of much 'religion' on such matters. But we know that life in Christ brings the fruit of the Spirit, and destructive feelings, and actions, will be replaced. Love, joy and peace fostered in fellowship with God simply crowd out fear, anger, unsatisfied desire, woundedness, rejection. There is no longer room for them. Well, perhaps there is for a while, but increasingly less so.” (Willard 2002:104)
The question is what needs to be crowded out? Let that positive movement take control.

Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 1/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 2/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 3/9

Friday, November 17, 2006

Blog lite....

Has the medium of blogging reached its end for me? For a while I thought it had.

I'm missing the way of life that threw interesting characters and stories my way, I'm missing the lessons I learn from the unexpected, I'm missing the variety that was our daily life. However, I know what I must do and hopefully in the New Year if everything comes together I'll be involved in a project which will energise me in ways that I have missed.

Hopefully soon we will be in our permanent accommodation and will be able to disappear to work thoughts through- when Eastenders et al take precedence in our lounge.

But until then URBANarmy is not dead! More hibernating!! with the odd appearance.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Alan Hirsch...

Alan Hirsch is blogging - The Forgotten Ways - I am not reading other blogs at the moment so I have no idea if this is common knowledge.

Here's a snippet:

Here’s what I think: Christianity minus Jesus equalls religion. And this happens in more churches than we are given to believe. We marginalise Jesus all the time and in so many subtle ways. And we do this because dealing directly with Jesus (or God for that matter) is always a disturbing thing to a sin-wracked people who would prefer a stable, more controllable, religion. Like all living systems, churches seek equilibrium. We want to settle down. We want to bolt down the Revelation and make God understandable, accesable, and therefore more controllable–a ‘God-on-tap.’ Sociologists call this ‘the routinization of charisma’ (google that!) and it is written through the structures of all religions including our own.

But Jesus disturbs our equilbrium. He won’t be controlled. He won’t be handled only by priests and professional religionists. He won’t be domesticated. He is Lord! Yes, Jesus is our disequalibrium. And the way back to an authentic Christianity is simply to put Jesus back into the equation. Christianity plus Jesus equals World Transformation.

Also he has a book due out soon - called 'The Forgotton Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church'.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Church Planting Booklist...

I know I have a few visitors who pop by who are involved in Church planting initiatives:

I came across this:

Church Planting Reading List - here

Friday, November 03, 2006

Books on Jesus...? Try the Horror section!

I 've been looking for "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt", I wanted it before we went on holiday but despite trawling several book shops it wasn't to be found.

Eryn and I had some time to kill in Canary Wharf so we bought 'Horrid Henry and his Nits' and I thought I'd check once more. I rummaged books etc.. but to no avail. So I asked.

"Have you got "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt"?"

"Whose it by?"

"Anne Rice"

"Try the horror section...!"

With a stupid me 'why didn't I think of that' roll of the eyes I wander to the horror section and there it was!

"Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches and—under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure—of soft-core S&M encounters, [has publishished] "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. "I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord." It's the most startling public turnaround since Bob Dylan's "Slow Train Coming" announced that he'd been born again."
read more of this here

I can hear the 'evangelical band marketing wagon' coughing into life as we speak ;o)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who need Ronaldinho [reprise]

One of the highlights of the Spain trip was a friendly but heated conversation with a Barcelona fan.

Jose Mourinho is right they don't like being reminded that Barcelona haven't beaten Chelsea when they have had 11 players on the pitch!!