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So School Begins Today: What’s Coming up For Gathering In Light

This past friday I finished up one year tenure as Fuller Seminary’s textbook buyer.  I began working at the bookstore in the beginning of summer 2005 and shortly thereafter I took over with this full-time position.  Well, even though I had a hard time adjusting to full-time work and no school I have enjoyed the leisure that comes from not having homework every night and weekend.  Well the time has come for all this to change once again. 

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Further Perspectives on Relationships and the Web

Recently I had a good conversation with a friend about relationships and the web, it seems I get into conversations like this rather often, and in this conversation some new ideas were shaped for me. I thought I’d write some of those ideas out. There are a variety of different forms that relationships take but for this post I will limit it to forms of proximity.

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Accessorizing the Christian Life: What Would [Can] Jesus Sell?

Emily ran across an article in the LA Times about a new ‘Christian’ perfume called ‘Virtuous Woman.’ The article is entitled “What Would Jesus Sell?” The main gist of the column is about a new perfume that is hopefully “enticing enough to provoke questions: ‘What’s that you’re wearing?'” And then low-and-behold you have a golden opportunity to share your faith (or explain why you were faith motivated products depending on who is doing the asking).

Though the article is about what Jesus would sell, that seems hardly the question anyone’s asking. The real question seems to be “What Would Can Jesus Sell?”

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Cheap Mac Apps for Students and Teachers

I’ve been thinking about compiling one of those “favorite apps” posts that we mac users like to do (too often no doubt). But in keeping with the tradition of mac-lovers I thought it would be good for someone to have a limited list of apps useful for educational purposes (i.e. cheap and easy to use). Here areemos especially useful for students, teachers, and teaching assistants.

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Gathering in Light Goes ‘Subversive’

My buddy, Chris, over at Glued Ideas has created a glorious theme called “subtle” free for all wordpress users. Built into Subtle is an easy way to switch styles, to show the potential of this feature (and because he likes me) he powered out a style all my own called “subversive” (but you can use it too). Named after one of my favorite topics of discussion as you all well know. In the next week or so we will be adding logos, customizing it some more and what not so bear with me.

The change of scenery may take some getting used for those of you who frequent my site – don’t worry change is good.

Just a quick tip though all my articles will run down the center here and my more “bloggy” entries will appear in the sidebar.

I will also be launching a couple other new features to gathering in light next week so stay tuned and prepare yourself…

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The Boundaries of Convergent Friends

Much discussion has arisen due to the interest groups that Robin, Martin, Liz, AJ and others have been a part of. This along with the “Convergent Friends Gathering” taking place at our house on August 5th has created a lot of excited and an equal amount of criticism.

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Religious Blogging Community News: The Daily Scribe Goes Official

It has been a little while since my blog was accepted into the religious blogging community called The Daily Scribe. There are now over 25 bloggers from various religious backgrounds including, Christianity (including emerging church leaders), Judaism, Unitarianism, Paganism. and religious academics. Well it is finally in official launch mode, watch the site for more updates (everyone member will be writing about the network in the near future) or you can Read Shawn’s official announcement.

There are some great things planned for the site including, ping homilies, podcasts, some giveaway prizes and some amazing blogging.

Related site:
Yet Another Unitarian Talks about the Launch as well.

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Advertising on Blogs: And So I Take It Back

I’ve written a fairly recent article on why I decided to turn the ads off on my site. Well I still agree with what was said there, but I have also found a way to meet in the middle. I have signed up for Text Link Ads a company that allows you some control over who you advertise for and only uses links, not flashy billboard ads to spread the news. When I learned about my options with text links (from trusted friends Shawn and Chris), I decided to apply and see if they would accept my site as an affiliate. They have and so I have decided to publish the space they sell for more. I owe you my reasons:

  1. I can actually make enough money (if they sell all my space) to pay for the majority of my book expenses for school. So any money I make will be a part of my book and school supply budget. If this works out there is a high likely hood that I will not have any debt for my PhD program. In other words, between scholarships, grants, and money from ads there will be no out of pocket expenses. Avoiding anymore crushing debt is really important for both Emily and I.
  2. The writing I do on this site is meant to be a resource and dialogue for everyone to use and it is something I grow from personally. My 7 years of schooling thus far informs the ideas I have, and if I were to ever write a book, or make money from teaching or speaking engagements I wouldn’t think twice about excepting pay for my profession. This is true for here as well.
  3. I can excersize “veto” power over an add if I need to – this is really important to me. I will be watching what gets advertised here and will ask to have sites removed that I do know approve of. If you see a site you find questionable please point it out to me.

I realize my previous post was quite a statement and I still stand behind it. I welcome your comments, questions and criticisms in my changing my mind about the issue.

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A Little Time for Spiritual Inventory With Sequoias

Every so often I realize that I’ve been going full speed ahead for too long and need a break, this past week I had one of those realizations. I finally got to the point where I felt like I had been running with my eyes closed, not paying attention to those around me for some time. Emily and I decided to go up to Sequoia National Park for the weekend; we needed to get a little space, some quiet, and some beauty that comes from being surrounded by God’s creation.

The time was wonderful for both of us. It gave us enough time together to get caught up with each other, it also gave us enough time to take inventory of our lives. We both spend some time in prayer together using the Book of Common Prayer as a guide in the mornings. I also had time to journal a little and think through the course of my life over the past few months. This time of reflection and prayer was useful in helping me focus on the parts of my life I’ve ignored lately.

A few questions arose as I was reflecting that worked as a guide in thinking through and journaling about my recent experiences.

Questions to Aid in Spiritual Inventory

What have I rushed by so quickly that I have missed altogether?

Who have I harmed, ignored or worse used for my own gain in this time of negligence?

Where have I been dishonest with others, God or myself?

In what ways can find I wisdom to not fall into these ways again?

What things must I turn my attention to in prayer?

A Boy and a Fish

Later on, while Emily and I were sitting down for Saturday’s dinner at the campsite, a boy named Hollis and his younger brother came up to us. Hollis, about eight years old said, “We went fishing today and caught a lot of fish, we have two extras and would like to know if you want one.” I was a little taken-a-back not really understanding what he was talking about and told him we already had food and didn’t need any but thanks anyways. As he turned to leave Emily, who had stepped away from the table just before the boys came up, returned and asked what the boy wanted he explained himself again. Emily said, “sure we’ll take a fish” and the boys in delight ran off. Moments later they returned with a trout in a plastic bag, sure enough it was fresh.

I wasn’t even really sure how to cook it, so the boy explained to me how his dad did it. They were both sweet young boys, and their innocence and kindness struck me. It reminded me of how God shares with us unexpectedly, and how often I am quick to move on to something else instead of hearing people out (see the first spiritual inventory question). If I would have listened to the boy’s more closely I would have realized they were just doing a nice thing and weren’t trying to trick us or something. There are all kinds of thoughts that came through my head after those boys walked away. I was remind of Biblical stories like the “fish and loaves” and Jesus’ talking about the “the faith of a child.” But the simplest thing that should be taken away is the importance of sharing and being willing to receive a shared gift. This may have been the one thing I needed more than anything else this weekend: oh and the Sequoias of course.

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Quaker 2.0 Relaunch and the Convergent Friends Gathering

Chris Frazier from Glued Ideas has been working hard on a relaunch design for Quaker 2.0, a collaborative site I co-author for. We had been planning a big launch for Monday July 10th, but he graciously decided to relaunch earlier to correspond with my article being published.

Along with this relaunch we are also announcing the “Convergent Friends Gathering” that is taking place at our house in Los Angeles Saturday August 5th 2006. It is a one day event focused on talking about and seeking to understand what it means to be “Convergent Friends.”

Watch Quaker 2.0 for more details as it will be used as the main hub for this “gathering” and other things focusing on the “contemporary Quaker identity.”

Also for more details I have set up a wiki descibing some possibilites of what we will be doing during the gathering. Please sign up so you can edit it and add ideas.

Please contact me if you are interested in coming. We can’t offer housing at this point as we are already filled, but we will help you find a place to stay if you need it.

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