Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Secret Lives of Chickens

If only the peace-keeping chickens had been called in before the US invaded Iraq.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vente Does Not Mean Large

In light of the Starbuck's church video a couple of posts ago, I feel obligated to embed this short clip:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding the Key Without Using It.

This was our "confessional" last night during our home-group's worship time:

Unforgiven - Metallica

Make of it what you will. There are many compelling images here.

What grabs me is:
The lyrical description of a deeply hurt individual trapped in his anger, knowing the key is forgiveness, but refusing (or being unable) to move beyond "I dub thee unforgiven."
The images of a person living their entire life in a darkened cell, scrapping the wall to escape when the key and the door have been there all along.

Capturing Church Culture Crap

This is a great depiction of the surface-level aspects of the nebulous "Church culture" concept we talk about from time to time in the King's Bridge community. Church culture is something we've attempted to deconstruct, and then, for the most part, reject.

Sadly, the church consulting organization that created the video really seems to embody a lot of the deeper-level church culture crap I find frustrating: church growth focus (#s rather than relationship), western-capitalist success models, come-to-us orientation (rather than releasing the church out into the community-at-large), lack-of-social-justice concern and a buy-our-book ad to top it off. They're focussed on re-branding but I personally think the "product" itself needs a top-to-bottom redesign. In fact, it may need to become a completely different "product" (I shudder every time I type the word "product" to describe the church.).

I think the choice of Starbucks as the subject of the analogy really says it all. I rarely enter a Starbucks, and when I do I feel a little dirty. But the analogy works because it assumes that Starbucks is a great embodiment of user-friendliness, cultural approachability and personal belonging. Of course, for many people it is all of these things. But not for homeless people, eco-hippies, someone who doesn't want to fight for a comfy-seat or people who don't know how to pronounce "vente."

I guess when it comes down to it, I think the church should be subverting many aspects of the culture at large. In my charismatic fundamentalist past, this meant being counter-cultural ... which really just meant replacing mainstream entertainment with cheesy, sanitized Christian equivalents. That was a miserable failure. Subversion goes a lot deeper than this: It means embracing popular cultural icons and engaging the deeper areas of western corruption using it's own language. It means embracing the culture-at-large in many ways, and embracing people-at-large in even more ways. It means infecting the culture, spreading through it, growing organically without central-control and allowing transformation to happen from the inside out. It means recognizing that Christianity as a movement has survived and thrived for two thousand years, but no single institutional embodiment of it has (no - not even the Catholic church - but that's another day's argument).

Whew ... all I meant to do was post this little video, not spew a rant.

Thus endeth the rant.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Finally, someone has solved the universal problem of the spontaneous need to fish.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Whassup?! Best. Political. Ad. Ever.

Most people, whether they be alive, dead or fictional, are vaguely aware of Budwieser's "Whassup" commercial and it's various spin offs. But this has got to be the best one ever! (For the very old, young, forgetful and/or Amish among you, I've included the original Whassup and one of many home-brew spin offs below - watch them before you watch the new one posted first below):

New Whassup Political Ad:

Original Whassup:

Superfriends Whassup:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Margins & Memories

I have a tendency to stick my head behind the curtains in the middle of the show.

As I sit here in the middle of the warm, gentle humidity, green growth and ocean roll of downtown Honolulu I notice the dirty margins. It's very Disney-ish here: The people cleaning, building, working and especially those who are suffering are swept behind the buildings and under the concrete. But I still notice them ... I look for them. In, fact, I am one of them, and so are you. When we're near the tourist destinations of our hometowns, we're often someone else's backdrop to a perfect holiday; Our disheveldness actively interfering with their illusion of perfection and peace.

My eyeballs tend to drift down the alleyways and under the rugs to the place where people are marginalized. I often meet Jesus there (the real deal ... not the dude who managed my pizza experience [see below]). But, today I think I saw him somewhere else. I sat here on my little hotel balcony, and I stuck my neck out and saw a little swath of beach. There were people kicking their shoes off. Flash bulbs were glittering. waves were bobbing bald heads up and down. Hands were being held. And people were stopping, and staring, and letting go, if only for a moment, of their anxieties and arguments.

And as I observed this, it occurred to me that I was witnessing happy memories-in-the-making. I was sitting in the back row of the theatre of some strangers mind's eye. The images I could see at a distance were destined to be the full-screen, high-definition highlights of someone else's life: "Remember that trip to Hawaii back in '08."

I've long known that beauty dwells in the margins: The tear in the corner of the eye of the homeless old man I stop to talk to. The moment of laughter enjoyed with the mentally ill friend whose anxious voices quiet for long enough to let a smile out. The young street-urchin who pulls-his-crap-together a little and stands taller, buoyed by a first taste of self respect.

The quiet prayer of someone whose hardness drops off as their chin is lifted by the finger of Christ.

But this morning, it was my hardness that dropped off. It was my Disney-fueled cynicism that cracked as I saw that real, enduring beauty is not limited to the margins. It dwells on the wide boulevards as well. Some perfect-tourist moments are real too. Sure, many are plastic and part of an endless cycle of consumer longings that are never satisfied. But others are as solid as the concrete alleys I expect to find beauty in. And even the most superficial holiday memories are only plastic on the exterior ... when the shrink wrap is peeled off of them by an older, wiser tourist looking back on their perfect memories, there will be deeper beauty waiting to be discovered underneath.

The enfleshed-God who had "no place to lay his head" also filled the wine jugs to enhance some else's perfect wedding memory.

Beauty can not be limited, it spills out and surprises. All the forces of culture and consumerism can neither dominate nor sully it.

It is everywhere.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Is KFC Managed by Buddha?

Yes it's a real label, from a real pizza, delivered to my house.
Yes, I know it's probably just some mere mortal with a name pronounced "Hey-Seus."

But if "Jesus is a friend of mine," why wouldn't he manage my pizza experience?

Mmm Jesus Pizza.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

80+ Year Old Ladies Sing "God Save the Queen"

The previous clip created a rift in the fabric of the universe that can only be repaired by re-balancing the forces of cheese. So to that end I'm posting these freakin' awesome Femme-geezers rasping out a Sex Pistol's song that was originally banned from airplay by the BBC (in the 70s).

Friday, September 05, 2008

Jesus is My Friend

This is the most horrifically wonderful live music performance in the history of the world. I want to stop watching and listening, but I can't look away.

"He is like a Mountie. He always gets his man. And he'll zap you any way he can."

Saturday, June 14, 2008


The other day, Kaylee woke up, strode over to me and declared in a matter-of-fact tone: "Emily smells like raw meat!"

Then, a couple of days later, Emily discovered Stink Weeds in our back alley. She immediately decided they were the most beautiful flowers ever and began picking them. When she asked what they were called, I told her, "Stink Weeds."

Big mistake. She was incensed. "They're not stink weeds! They're lovely!" she repeated over and over. She now refuses to let anyone else call her flowers Stink Weeds. We have to refer to them as, "Little Lovelies." She has two vases in her room with "Little Lovelies" in them.

And, predictably, her room stinks.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Zoltar Sees a Talking Bridge in Your Future...

The picture to the left is from an article in Decision magazine entitled "The Future of Evangelism in Canada." If you blow up the left side of the picture ... what's that you see on the laptop screen? It's the Bridge Talk site! Booyah! We're living in the future baby!
No this is not photoshopped ... it's the future! (And if I was going to photoshop Bridge Talk into a publication, it'd be the New York Times, or Wired Magazine or The Dead Sea Scrolls).

I've gotta go now. I've gotta jump in my flying car and get to the grocery store to buy some meal-in-a-pills and some neural implants.

Click here to read the article (By the always inspired and future-friendly Milton Friesen)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mr. T Muther R'spect.

Only the best for you mom ... and it doesn't get any better than Mr. T rapping!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

E & K's First Soccer Practice

Fairy-tale in our Front Yard

It was "dress up as a fairy-tale character" day at preschool today.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Golden Stars

Emily and Kaylee started T-ball/Soccer season tonight. They are on the U-6 Gold team. The first order of business for the team was picking a name. One kid suggested "The Golden Snowballs." Urinary allusions lost out and new names continued to be fielded. Emily suggested "The Golden Cinderellas." The coach and the three boys on the team refused to be Cinderellas. Then one kid suggested Golden Stars and all the kids jumped on it ... except Emily. She stood in front, smiled and stated firmly, "No. The Golden Cinderellas." Then she turned toward the coach with a bigger smile and a twinkle in her eye and pleaded, "the Golden Cinderellas?" She lost out. But she recovered quickly.

After some warm-up chase-the-coach and simon-says-stretching-games, T-ball began. T-ball for four to six year olds involves the ball randomly being thrown around the field, blind batting as the too-big helmet droops over kids faces, children running toward whatever base they feel like, fielders throwing toward home (or a tree, or mom, or straight up in the air) and mid-game spontaneous sand castle building in the red-rock of the infield.

It is way more entertaining to watch than real baseball.

*** In the photos, Emily is in purple pants, Kaylee is in blue. Click 'em to see full size pics. ***

Saturday, April 05, 2008

How to Fix a Hole in the Chest with a Stoner Story

I've been busy. And stressed. STRESSED. Rationally, I know everything is Ok & will eventually become even more Ok. But for the past couple of months, due to a confluence of time, money and life-force-consuming difficulties on the personal, financial, business and professional fronts, I have ended up in a perpetual state of stress.

I have two very simple diagnostics that usually tell me I'm near my top-stress level:

1. I feel an "absence" in the middle of my chest. An uncomfortable hollowness in the centre of my physical being. It ebbs and flows a bit ... but never fully leaves me. Last week it was omnipresent. This week it's just popped up intermittently.

2. I don't blog when I'm stressed. I blog when I have time. I even blog a little when I'm busy. But when I'm busy and stressed I simply don't blog (as evidenced by the two month gap in entries in this blog). Stress sucks up creative resources, personal reflections and other layers of being that add to life's abundance. These layers are the things that inspire me to blog, and they get sucked dry by stress.

And yet, here I sit, chest-hole free and blogging my fingers raw. What gives? My little bro and his fiance gave: In this case they gave Stacey and I 20 hours of baby-sitting and a night in Canmore. Phewwww, Awwwwww, Yehawww etc.

And so, with four hours left in this day away, I leave you with two insights that have been meaningful stress-relievers to me:

1. When everything is laid bare, I realize that my stress is largely over "stuff." And "stuff" shouldn't be my concern. God provides enough "stuff" to live and care for my family. My personal status as provider is over-inflated and illusionary (See Jesus' take on birds and lilies and numb-skulls like me).

2. I honestly believe the gratitude, peace and hilarity of the following substance-induced story is possible even after the ganja's been swapped for a moment of solitary-confinement with the divine: Thankful Craigslist Pizza Stoner.

I think I'll buy my three girls flowers and order pizza tonight.

* Lego image from my friend Avi's wonder-filled blog Dark Roasted Blend.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blog Slack

I may soon be dead due to burrying myself under too many sedimentary layers of slacking:

I logged into my blog here in an attempt to escape for a momenr from some Bridge Talk frustration involving my 8 year old, first generation DVcam. So now that I'm here, I'm officially slacking off from work. And what did I discover? Five posts that I've got saved in drafts but have slacked off from completing and posting! And now I'm writing this which is layer #3 of slackery (and actually could be layer #6 of slackery if viewed as follows):

- Layer 1: Caring for my children.

Slack from this (because they're currently at their grandma's) to:
- Layer 2: "Real" jobs that don't involve doing all the fun, weird stuff I get to do at my job, or the fun weird stuff I get to do as a partial-stay-at-home-dad.

Slack from this to:
- Layer 3: The personal investment/real estate interests I'm involved in that help me to keep my family afloat given the fiscal realities of layer 4 below.

Slack from this to:
- Layer 4: King's Bridge "work."

Slack from this to:
- Layer 5: My personal blog.

Slack from this to:
- Layer 6: This post which is an avoidance of completing the five personal posts that are waiting in the wings.

Someone please send an archeologist or paleontologist to dig me out (or put a ouji-phone call in to Satan to start pushing from below, cuz I'm so deep down that there must only be a few layers of soil left between me and hell).

Ooo ... phone's ringing .... back up to layer 4.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jesus Email

Someone at Resonate pointed this vid out: It's great!

(Warning: If you already think I'm a heretic you'll hate this as much as you likely hate being forced to actually think about anything else you believe or the way you present your beliefs to those with different perspectives).

It very entertainingly presents an honest struggle many have with the Christian faith. I can think back on a number of conversations I've had in the past along these lines.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I like Epiphany. It may be because of my Anglican roots or perhaps it comes from a latent desire to extend the Christmas season; But on a deeper level I think it's because Epiphany is a theology-twisting, weird-God holy-day. It's the celebration of the revelation of Christ to the gentiles. Three mystical astrologers from other lands see a sign in the sky and follow it to find Christ ... how cool is that? These magical, non-Judea-Christian holy men hearing from God in their own cultural context, through their own spiritual practices, and ending up on their knees before the toddler Messiah? This seriously messes with formulaic Amero-Evangelical-McChristianity. Put that in your purpose-driven pipe and smoke it!

And so I present here two Epiphany award winners:

My first award goes to Izvoru, Romania, where villagers leave their Epiphany church service, have their horses splashed with holy water and then launch into a break-neck horse race (When Stacey hears of this, she may just try to bring this celebration to Canada).

My second award goes to Coptic Pope Shenouda III, seen here celebrating coptic Christmas (which is celebrated at Epiphany). Someone has got to give this guy the recognition he deserves for his Tommy Chong impression (The "insense" smoke surrounding him is a nice enhancement). Plus check the bling on this old dude! (Bonus points go to Shenouda for finding ways to be at peace with Muslims in his native Egypt, without compromising his faith. Bonus points go to Tommy Chong for going to High School in Calgary without red-necking out).

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year, Old Rant.

A few months ago, I was asked if "cultural engagement" and "conversational ministry" are really very significant. The question was gently and sincerely put, yet the response I began to write somehow tapped into a deep well of both passion and frustration within me. After typing out a ranting initial response, I opted to send a shorter more moderate answer to the question. My initial response sat dormant and unsent on my computer until this morning. I stumbled upon it again as I prepared to write a chapter for an emerging church book I've been asked to contribute to. It struck me that this "rant" is an appropriate post to charge into the new year behind, so here it is:

I want to go with Paul in to the Aeropagus and say, “that unknown God you’ve commemorated … I think I know Him.”* I want to sit beside Jesus with the woman at the well, and not give a damn about how inappropriate, or culturally stretching, or uncomfortable it is, because she wants to talk about eternal things … and is going to meet Jesus because of it.** The Bible is filled with Christ in these contexts, yet we’ve managed in our Chritianized society to fabricate a tamed, easy, self-help and entertainment-oriented Christianity that looks nothing like the context of the early church. And at the same time our society is looking more and more like the society that infused, and surrounded and was engaged by the early church. Yet our response is to judge, and complain, and rail against the loss of the good ol’ days. We ought to throw out the Bible and start canonizing church bulletins as our new scriptures.

The church is coming out of a comfortable, dormant time in the western world, where we could sit in our comfortable pews, and hang out with our Christian friends, and buy stuff at Christian book stores, and rail against secularism; A time when it was impossible to be the President of the United States without being a Christian. And that time is fading, dying. Good riddance. Dig the grave deeper. We’re fat and lazy and afraid and judgemental and we reek of pharisaism.

“Engaging the culture” and “catalyzing conversation” and “building relationship” are nothing more than buzz words. A lot of comfort-oriented churches are doing the same thing they’ve always done, except that they’ve added a cappuccino machine at the back and movie clips in the sermon and now they say they’re exemplifying these buzz words. But the culture they're engaging is the Christian sub-culture; The conversations and relationships are with other Christians. The church walls are just as high as ever, they've just been painted a nice new colour. At their heart, if these buzz words are going to mean anything at all, then they have to be about loving people, and getting over ourselves, and not attempting to restrain Jesus; which is an illusion anyway, because the Jesus we can keep in a box under our bed is a fabrication of our own neediness; A fabrication that we use rather that follow. The real Jesus is out in the marketplace, in the sanctuaries of other religions, in the brothels, under the bridges, in the alley behind the glass office tower, in the foul-mouthed writers room, and everywhere in between.

I’m not interested in building a sub-culture, I’m interested in following Christ … the Christ who both enters and transcends culture.

* Acts 17:16-34

** John 4:1-29