Sunday, July 31, 2005

Becoming Part of the Christ Event

I was pondering the mystical connection between the communion of the Saints and the revelation of Christ in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. I had written recently about the anemnesis of the Eucharist (an article for the upcoming Resonate ezine), making present through action and memory the Christ event - from the Last Supper to the Return of King Jesus. That we participate with this memory taking it on as our own and also being subsumed into that memory as a member of the Body of Christ.

Part of what fuels this thought is my readings in The Crucified God where Jurgen Moltmann tries to help us see that an exclusive communion denies the very mission of Christ. If the Eucharist makes Christ real to those who participate, then it should also make Christ present for the world. So when we bring forth the presence, through anemnesis, of the Cross in the Mass - we are displaying it for the world to see, to make known the extent of God's love to even endure the absolute scandal of the cross.

It is through our participation that we become part of the mystical body of Christ. Jesus Himself said unless you eat and drink - there is a call then to experience this connection and to even loose ourselves in Christ so that we may become Christ to the world, just as Jesus became Christ for our salvation. In fact this is the life Jesus modeled - He layed down His identity (God of all) not to become one of us (Lost in sin), but rather to become our salvation (Christ died for the ungodly). In turn we too are called to lay down our identity, not to become the other - but to risk being changed by the encounter so that Christ will be displayed through us for our salvation and the salvation of the world. In other words Jesus set the example, we follow.

What we become is not what we expect. In losing ourselves, we actually find ourselves. One of my favorite points in Pauline thought is Romans 12:1-2 where Paul calls us to lay down our whole lives in a sacrifice offering to God - after all is this not what Jesus did? But the results of that are what always excite me - "then you will know what is the will of God, He perfect and pleasing will." It is in our participation that we too join with the sacrifice of God (once for all) to lose ourselves in Him and become the body of Christ.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Not much time to blog these last few days...

Been looking after the kids and trying to get work done at the same time. The kids like making art for me when I am in the office - here is a sample.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

They Came!!!!

12 boxes of miniatures in one sitting. My little girl helped me open them and oogle the dragons, ogres, skeletons, elves and other suprises. My favourites are the Efreeti, Ogre Mage, Troll, Large Copper Dragon, Thorn, Direguard and Orc Wolf Shaman. Great set WotC dudes! Now to get Bifur updated!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

That's better

I almost missed it, but there was an article on Travis last Thursday in the Citizen. A more sane judge has determined that no anti-American sentiment was involved, also that there were not enough materials to make a bomb, but that he was clearly an angry young man. So off too a wilderness camp for a month. Wow, that is great. I am plugging for you Travis Beihn, and praying for you too.

Braving Ordination

Much as I think ordination is a part of the problem of patriarchical church governmental structures. I do have to applaud the bravery of the women who braved Roman Ordination yesterday. I do know what it is like to be in a place where you don't feel able to minister as you believe God would have you - that is not a fun place to be in. Especially when the reason you are being held back is other people's fears. I pray that God will lead and bless your ministry to Him and the Body of Christ. I join with you in your desire to see the Church become more like Christ.

Monday, July 25, 2005


My first case of Angelfire D&D Miniatures should arrive Wednesday.
I can't wait!!!!!

[edit July 26] UPS website says it is on the truck for delivery....... can't wait, can't wait!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Eucharistic Blood Bath

Exodus 24:6-8
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, "All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do."
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
"This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his."

Imagine this. You show up for the next Eucharistic service and at the front of the room are two big jugs of wine, four large bowls sitting on a fresh white linen tablecloth. As worship swirls through the air the seals are broken and the wine poured into the bowls. Thanksgiving arises from the hearts of everyone as the smell of wine permeates the air. The presiders survey the gathered and invite the Holy Spirit to come. Anticipation fills you as you wait to see what will happen next.

Two of the bowls are poured over the altar as an offering. Spilled out just like the blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Wine pools on the floor in the most scandalous of wastes, just as the precious blood of Jesus flowed onto the ground only to be soaked into the rubble where it mingles with the blood of sinners. "Our lives are poured out before You Lord" rings out as the presiders turn to the people. Reaching into the bowls with ladles they begin to throw the remaining wine onto the crowd. No regard for decorum is maintained as tears and wine mingle. Hands lifted to the sky as the words ring out, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his."

Let the image in your imagination embrace you. Let the scandal of the cross offend you. Let the utter sacrifice of God ruin you. Give yourself to God - as He has given Himself for you.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Ok so this is wierd. I get the girls some fruit gummies - Sunkist makes a letter shaped one with no trans fats. So I grab a pack for me - sit down and munch away. Then I get the idea to see what word might be there. I have 6 letters. I see risk and it right away. Now all I need to figure out is what I need to risk ;-)

Yeah, don't worry. I'm just funning with you all. It did say that though. The mighty Sunkist gummies have spoken. ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hindi Janta Hai?

Ok so that is like the worst transliteration, but it is the best I can do being 10 years away from trying to learn a language on my own.

I love that our new group is so international in flavour. Last night a new guy showed up, a guy from India - a hindu! I think at first our host was a bit concerned how this might work - but you know we are a group of believers meeting together to worship and interact with God. I often say we are seeker insensitive - so that was put to the test. We worshipped Jesus and there was a nice presence of the Lord in the room. Our new friend followed along and seemed to enjoy himself. The reading was the parable of the sower from Matthew - so someone volunteered their bible so our guest could follow along. We talked about the seeds and I literally planted some seeds in some soil, watered it and we decided to wait until the end of kinship to see what had grown.

Then we talked about the seeds from Matthew - in chapter 13 there are three seeds: the message of the Kingdom, good people, and faith. So we began sharing what God has been doing in our lives. I had received a healing on Sunday so my choice was easy. But the testimonies were great - God is indeed directing and loving His people. When our guest had his turn he was quite concerned with letting us know he had a different concept of God and then affirming that God does direct us (he called it a supernatural force of nature). It was just part of the God talk for the night, I think he was a bit uncomfortable that we named God in our service. But the fact that no one jumped on him made him comfortable enough to stay and fellowship with just about everyone of us.

So at the end we picked up the container of planted soil. Now this was rich earth. But as you imagine - there was no growth in that short a time. So we talked about surrounding ourselves with the seeds of the Kingdom message (God's story and our story), seeds of positive faithful friends and seeds of faith put into practice. That the fruit often takes time to appear in our lives - but it will come. It will yield a bountiful harvest in our lives.

Just one other note - juring our time of fellowship (we didn't break up to pray just because I didn't want to overwhelm our guest) my friend had been hit in a drive-by egging and had a welt on her arm that hurt to touch. So we prayed, exercised our faith, and she was quite astounded when the pain left. Praise God.

Welcome the strangers in your midst, for by doing so some have found they were entertaining angels.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Lots of work...

I went to the library at St. Paul's yesterday. Got lost in Bradshaw's "In Search of the Origins of Christian Worship". Wrote an article for the new Resonate online mag. Basically had a whole morning with no kids screaming and the ability to hear my own inner thoughts. What a great morning! I came back centered, able to deal with my sometimes emotional kids and ready to be productive around the house.

Today it is just me and Chelsea - hanging out and watching some Dora the Explorer. Got to run, that is important business. Peace.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Boy is it hot!!!

It is like soup out there. I haven't cut my lawn in forever because of the weather. I now have mushrooms on my lawn. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mushrooms. Probably won't chance them though.

OK so I just got another one of those annoying calls where they tell you you've won some meal or vacation. Why are they always astounded when you tell them you don't want to participate? What is up with that? So he asks me why and I say there is always a catch - he denies it so I politely refuse to cooperate when he asks me my salary range. He expected me to believe it wasn't market research. Anyway, those calls are just annoying.

I'll have something constructive to say soon - I am working on a bloggage, but wanted to let you all know I'm still kicking in all the heat.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Joy Jam

What a day! Actually all in all it was a good day. But I wish I were more prepared. Oh well, that's life - you take it on the chin sometimes.

Joy Jam in the brainchild of Matthew from Capital City Mission. He has a vision to create a Cornerstone North - I've gotten in on the ground floor. He books Christian musicians from around the city to come play all day in a park while they give out food, drink, ice cream, towels (this year), face painting, snow cones, etc. Stuff to just bless the community. I love CCM, they aren't preachy - but they aren't shy either. But most imporantly they are in their mission field day in and day out showing the love of Jesus to the lost and poor of Ottawa.

I was asked again to play for a half hour set. I did some Niel Young, Tom Petty, Adam Cohen and then some Christian stuff. OK OK. So the Christian stuff was some Rik Leaf, Yvonne Parks, David Ruis, Me, Andrew Horrwicks, etc. Vineyardy worship stuff. I did tell a few stories, bit I wasn't having the best day for playing. It didn't help that I was in direct sun at a sweltering 35 degrees! My hands were sweaty. My strings going out of tune. I forget more than one line - not sure if anyone else noticed but I sure did. All in all not one of my finer performances. I did pull off Amazing (Adam Cohen) rather well - IMHO, I should have ended there like my original plan. But nooooooo I had to go on and take on a picking intense song - one I do well but hadn't practiced (yikes). So with nowheres to go but up I finished with a classic Tom Petty "Won't Back Down!".

Even though I wasn't too happy with the set, I did get some positive feedback. My wife gave me some honest feedback saying I let my lack preperation show (I'm usually better at plowing through - but this has been a heck of a week). But one guy told Timoty (the director of CCM) that he was really touched by my message and songs. Was it worth it - for that yes.

Boy are my dogs tired!!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Days like yesterday leave me...

I don't know about you but it takes me a few days to recover from a day of frustration like yesterday. I mean I get the grace thing, I really do. But there is still the lingering self-frustration. Take that and add a daughter that got us up around 5:30AM and you get the makings for a lazy day. Actually I've gotten a fair bit accomplished today, I even got out and made a few new friends (thanks Paul). But every crisis* at home leaves me in a slight shaken state.

Tried to get a bit of rest in there. Lots of cleaning yet to do. And tomorrow I play a concert in a park that I am definitely not ready to do. I love playing, so I hope that carrys me. So far everytime I've picked up my guitar to practice today my youngest starts screaming at me. Not good. She's over tired, cranky. So that leaves me in a funk. Well we have D&D tonight, that should brighten my mood.

*crisis - ask a parent what constitutes a crisis for a 2 year old.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Overflowing....but not in a good way!

Oh man. The day was going tickity-boo until I hear the sound of heavy rain falling. What? No rain outside. Holy Crap!!!! My worst nightmare, the toilet is overflowing and the rain is pouring down in my messy, messy workshop. Arrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Ok so I've mopped up the bulk of it, changed one poopy diaper, and am just waiting for the floor to dry up a bit to walk around in there.

Have you ever noticed that when you have really profound encounters with God - all your crap gets stirred up. Last night was a mountain height spiritually and this unfortunate event seems to be pulling all the crap from the bottom out of me. I was stomping around in my basement, mad, frustrated and swearing. I even took a shot at my wall (not too hard - I have a funny story about that sometime). Frustrated that my first thought was to yell at my little girl when this happened. Mad that I didn't keep my workshop cleaner. Frustrated that in my anger I'm not being careful enough and have spilled several boxes of nails. The bible says be angry and sin not - well, not doing so well on that one.

So then Chelsea comes to me with a poopy diaper and all of a sudden I realize what is going on. I drop everything and take her up to help her out. I get her all situated and she is soooo cooperative this morning. I think God is sending me a message... excuse me while I run to Abba and get my diaper changed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


We held an Eucharistic celebration tonight at Kinship. It was really cool. That's the service I was having so much fun putting together. There is something about doing liturgy well that is so satisfying. The goal of good liturgy is always to foster God encounters among the participants. To create a space where we can encounter the Living Word and be transformed.

Judging by the reactions I think that is just what happened. I even had my own moment of epiphany. Earlier in the day I was reading "The Crucified God" where Moltmann is unpacking the scandle of the cross. In the midst of recieving the elements I noticed that all around me were crumbs and wine had sloshed on the table because my decanter only looks pretty. Looking around I noticed the Catholics that hang with us had no crumbs, they were carefully cupping the bread. I was uncomfortable. It was scandalous. Then I remembered the cross. The cross was scandelous. The very God of the universe stepped into humanity and submitted not just to death - but the most degrading of deaths! This should make us all uncomfortable. It was a moment when the roses were stripped from the cross and all of a sudden I am realizing just how much God was willing to give up for me. Kinda puts things into perspective.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What is in between Exclusive and Inclusive?

In a discussion on evangelism I made a comment about the exclusivity of the gospel, and how I saw that as a barrier to effective evangelism. I thought I should unpack that a bit.

First of all I have a dilemma because while the claims of Christ are unique (making Christians - or those who respond to these claims - unique as well), but there is something inclusive about the work of God's love.

Where exclusivity plays a negative role is in an attitude of exclusivity in our ecclesial structures. Hard boundaries that define in absolute terms who is in and who is out. The problem is that the churches then decide that a single method is the way in (formulaic "gospel" presentation in the West) which creates yet another barrier of exclusivity. So in the end we have largely self-isolated communities of a disconnected subculture trying to assert itself in the flood of a macroculture that it has handed over to the "world".

Is inclusively the only alternative? I hope not. The idea of inclusivity also has real problems, not the least of which is that if everybody is "right" then what do we do with the claims of Christ? So there has to be another option, one that respects the unique claims of Christ, as Saviour of the world, and the inclusive love of God for the world in which Jesus Himself sent us into.

Isn't that really where this wrestling falls? Jesus, as the manifestation of God's perfect love, gives us the same mission as the Son - Go into the whole world. John's gospel is great for this - I have not taken them out of the world Jesus explains to us in His final prayers. It is for the world's sake that Christ came. And it is for the world's sake that the Church was born.

The Western idea of evangelism goes like this: you repent and get saved, then you come to Church rejecting the world, the Church takes over your life. The Celts did it a bit different: you welcome and invite folks into your community, you minister with and to them, you disciple them and then you baptize them into the body. The Celts also became part of the community in which they were called - literally adopting its rhythms. Thus the converts are not taken out of the world, but left in the world where they can actually do the work of the gospel. The Celts were remarkable at converting whole communities in this way. When is the last time you've seen a whole community come to Christ? And I don't think getting the people in your church re-saved every week counts.

So maybe I'll call my paradigm - Godclusive ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2005

I have to admit it...

You know I love crafting a liturgy. I can't think of anything that is more expressive an art for me than carefully crafting prayers, arranging worship and readings, meditating on the elements in light of Jesus' words, bringing forth an experience of intimate encounter with the Lover of my soul. It is so life giving.

I might be a liturgy junkee.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The myth of unmediated access to God...

Does it bother anyone else when military leaders like George Bush claim they act on direct communication from God? It scares the bejeebus out of me. It is not that I don't think God is talking to us - but it is that one step so many miss. Everything we hear we filter through a grid of experience, expectation and our own falleness. This is why even scripture is only rightfully interpreted in the context of the body of believers.

I love the prophetic side of Christianity, I love hearing from God and speaking into peoples lives. But, and this is a big but, it is not loving or God honouring to usurp the role of God in the lives of others. (Let alone for the whole world as in the case of Bush.) We expect God to speak, but when we share we always want to recognize that God first speaks to us and then confirms through the body. I don't care if you are quoting scripture to someone - it is so easy to grab a verse out of our own framework and hammer it into an application that just doesn't fit.

Anyway, it makes me think this book might make a good read for those who are not troubled by the myth of unmediated access.

Way too late

Just wanted to check in. We had a great poker game tonight, but an ever better talk about exploring liturgical forms afterwards! Just me and Fabio, but I was so excited I didn't watch the time. So here I am winding down just a tad before heading to bed. Good night all.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I am published!

My first time being paid to write an article, and the magazine just came to our church mailbox! The article is called Towards a Post Modern Liturgy and talks about how we have allowed the liturgy of our community to morph under the influence of ancient and modern liturgical practices. The magazine is Inside Worship, which is the worship magazine for the Vineyard. I am stoked! I hope they post an online version of it sometime as well!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Love what you have done with the liturgy...

My friend Ryan and I wentto mass Sunday at Lift Jesus Higher, a Roman Catholic community in Ottawa. What they had done with the liturgy was really cool. Almost every aspect of the service was tied to music (a lot of 80's and early 90's Vineyard stuff), they had prophetic action and real community involvement. But better still the presence of God was all over the place.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

DDM in Montreal

My buddy Jeff and I drove to Montreal this morning to play 6 games of Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures (Kinda like chess on LSD!). He came in 11th and I came in 20th! I do wish I had turtled on you CarnivalKid, but it was a fun game.

It was nice to meet some more folks from the DDM message boards on the Wizards of the Coast website. They were planning on going to GenCon, I wish I could go but it is harder to do things like that when you have a family. Maybe I'll go with those crazy Redshirt guys sometime and run games for them so they can pay my way.

I played a Beholder/Skullcrusher/Urthok+Snig band (15 activations, 14 miniatures - I call it Behold the Activations). I played it because I really wanted more to have fun than be all stressed out about winning. I feel like I played well, but only won half of the games I played. Even though I brought more of a fun band, I think it is a fairly decent Beholder build - the many activations lets me get to use the Beholder when it is most opportune, the rock throw from the ogre caught a few opponents off guard as well - killed an Inspiring Marshall in the first round (critted and he had already taken 10 from an eyebeam). I also had some fun neutering (slow attack) Lord Soth and a HEBI.

All in all it was a fun day - I'd do it again.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!!!

The sky looks clear. The concerts are all lined up. Time for us Canucks to enjoy ourselves. Hoping to get out to some fireworks tonight with Elyssa. I think she'll really enjoy it.

[Edit]We made it down and had an awesome spot right under the fireworks! What a special time. In the middle of it Elyssa asks me if the magic from the fireworks is going to land on us - I told I hoped not ;-) But then we agreed that fireworks must give you good dreams - now that is great magic!

Happy Birthday Canada!