Archive for December, 2008

Blue Like Jazzercise

– courtesy Rob Woodrum

You just wait ’till you see me on my ROM, Don! Coming soon.

Falling Forward – Sensual Jesus

Get it while it’s hot – you can say you heard it when

by Brittian Bullock

Dark Jesus

Too good not to share…


From Sinfest. HT: Coldfire

A Merry Sufjan Christmas, 2008

No, this isn’t new, alas – but a goodie.

Meantime, those wanting to get their 2008 Sufjan-esque fix should check out the Stevens-produced Welcome to the Welcome Wagon, a collection of “hymns, spirituals and ramshackle originals.” (As my friend Todd Fadel puts it) Find out more about the Welcome Wagon at Love Is Concrete.

PS: Song leader types, Todd can get you chord charts from this album for group singing!)

Machine-Text Epistles

Like many others in our narcissistic and tech-savvy generation, I have a coupla Google Alerts out, for my name and ‘zoecarnate.’ Lately I’ve been getting mentioned & confused alot (spelling-wise if in no other way) with CIA Intelligence Director Mike Morell (whom I congratulated for his promotion here). the other day I was alerted to one of these content-void search-engine referrer-created non-blogs, a translated machine-text generated ‘article’ that quoted ‘me.’ The fascinating thing is some fragments of it sound like something I would have said, indeed something I think I did say concerning a House 2 House house church conference a few years ago. But whatever I might have said seems to have been translated into Italian (?) and then back to English again. The results are quite nonsensical and at times hilarious, so much so that I wish to memorialize it here long after this ‘Italian-Blogs’ is scrubbed clean off the blogosphere. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you for your reading enjoyment, a robot-composed machine-text epistle…


There’s gonna be. .. an Expansion?

In Sept of ‘68, a Beatles released a aria entitled “Revolution. ” A prototypal poetise goes aforementioned this:

“You underline you misery a branch
Great, you bear
You each misery to change a universe.
You determine me which it’s phylogenesis
Great, you bear
You each misery to change a world
Though when you debate many end
Do not you bear which you crapper work out me find
Do not you bear it’s gonna be each right”

As a aria implies, aforementioned a remodeling of a home, infrequently a disdainful artefact anything crapper explain to a incoming shitting is for end of a comparison burden to start.
sufferer Barna (Barna Research Organisation) is a creditable writer, orator, scientist as great as sociologist. He has a baby assembly find which you frequency suggest. It’s patrician “REVOLUTION. ” It’s many a underway land of a Church as great as is unexploded with eye-opening, rattling sobering census data many what’s business scold low a noses, blissful as great as bad.

In my automobile, as you ofttimes shitting hundreds of miles official in my occupy as a Workplace Chaplain, you strike been notice to Mr. Barna’s CD transcription of himself datum excerpts from his book. you detect I’ve listened during tiny twenty times, belike some-more. you detect a assembly was misnamed. It should not strike been “Revolution. ” Instead, you detect a impending examine should strike been “EVOLUTION. ” you aforementioned a dictionary clarification of a word which reads: “. .. a stroke of cgange in a unfailing citation. ” To whatever Christians, to disgust conflicting a determined, grave make up of tralatitious investiture smacks of a rebel suggestion. Christians – generally investiture consolidate – notwithstanding their retain margin differences from examine to examine – do not revalue which. Upon a combined palm, whatever Christians, a tiny arrange of organization aforementioned myself, strike undisguised a distraction of tipping unnameable cow( it’s where we’ll confront a prizewinning cuts of beef radically).

Why do you inspire a examine “EVOLUTION” to “Revolution”? Since a Church IS in a land of expansion, now undergoing whatever of a many hammy changes it’s ever undergone in a 2, 000 assemblage story, each crossways narrow-minded lines. It’s dynamical as great as a citation, during tiny from Heaven’s viewpoint, is certain. Savior wants His Church behind. It appears God is radically tasteful Her retrograde to conservativist number each over a universe. Read what Scripture says many a incipient Church. No buildings, no investiture staff, no profitable priesthood or flat laity. Take a look:

Romans 16:5( “Likewise apply a investiture which is in their house”)

1 Corinthians 16:19 (“The churches in a domain of assembly lamp you greetings. city as great as Priscilla apply you tenderly in a Lord, as great as so does a investiture which meets during their residence. “)

Colossians 4:15 (“Give my greetings to a brothers during Laodicea, as great as to Nympha as great as a investiture in her residence. “)

Philemon poetise 2, ( “. .. to Archippus a male shirker as great as to a investiture which meets in your home. “).

Based upon a official procedure of made during home surveys conducted by his association, a Barna Research Organisation, during a e.g. twenty-five years, Barna undisguised which emotional with congregational churches, changes in lifestyles, as great as cgange a wish to explain fireman to God, strike caused whatever organization to letter baby make up of creation in propinquity with God as great as combined God-seeking people.

In 2000, many of a nation’s fashioned churchlike land took fix up during or accomplished supposed churches. Barna’s examine reveals which. Currently, a land is shitting to various forms of corner churchlike joining. Different, approbation, though by no effectuation have been they brand new. Barna hospital which, in a indication week, 9% of each renter adults suggest in a stress church. An cgange larger balance – 22% – engages in unnameable encounters which determine fix up in a wake up( e. g., with groups of organization vegetable patch they have been during their fix up of stroke or fool around, or in combined indication official contexts). During a Workplace Scripture Studies you lead, whatever attendees confess which they have been not, or crapper not, benefaction an orderly, tralatitious church, possibly since of e.g. constraints, schedules or rescued fake or pull to cgange or grappling rejecting. Even a cyberspace serves as a drift for usual investiture use for some-more than number ordinal of each adults, ordinarily in bike with combined forms of churchlike arrange use. you crapper denote to which as great. People have been flocking to a intrigue for answers as great as you Christians had meliorate be there when they spin knocking. A cults certain are!

Jon Zens, focus of a quarterly announcement, “Searching Together, ” as great as an exponent of Brand new Testament investiture account creation lived-out currently, has celebrated a ontogeny moody of organization from institutionalised churches crossways America. He explains. “After eld of damage in a institutionalised church, they produce to confront Brand new Testament realities. People detect their Bibles as great as spin to sense a Brobdingnagian chasm in in between a Brand new Testament as great as a tralatitious investiture as great as ofttimes they produce after a institutionalised investiture disregards their pleas for shift. “

A Brand new Testament writers referred to a PEOPLE of God as God’s ancient times( 1 Corinthians 3:9, assembly 2:19-22), God’s platform for sacrifices( 1 Corinthians 3:16-17), God’s stress( 1 Timothy 3:15, ethnos 3:6, 10:21, 1 saint 2:17), God’s bag( Ephesians 2:19, assembly 6:10) as great as Christ’s consolidate( Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12, assembly 3:6, 5:23, thirty). Though many Christians – cgange ministers – would underline ‘Amen” to which, many a title is often lowercase some-more than solid mouth use.

Did Christians in a Brand new Testament GO to church? No, for a prototypal trio centuries of her life, a intellection never entered their minds. They WERE a Church! They apprehended which they WERE God’s home fix up – everyplace they went. They were His temple! As histrion Snyder writes in “The Problem of Wineskins Currently, ” “A investiture ancient times cannot scold be “the Lord’s house” since, in a baby compact, this examine is apart for a Church as people. So, if investiture buildings strike a little fact, it crapper disdainful be practical; disdainful a fix up to foregather as great as circularize upon approach functions, as required. ”
A Book of assembly is STILL creation created, my friends.

What you in a West typically explain to as “The Church” is tasteful a receptive to advice upon a organization you franchise to apart these organizations. Zens pronounced, “Divorce, self-murder, uneasy relapse, burnout, etc. strike in between priesthood. A naught berth in a Southern Baptistic Convention is low eighteen months. A high-pressure list call strategy strike proven to arrangement “converts” which frequency final. Even with each a falsifiable drift which whatever things have been berserk in a tralatitious indication, a actualised supply is ‘what does a Brand new Testament learn? ‘ If a little assistance contradicts or stifles a Brand new Testament settlement, it should be jettisoned for those reasons alone. A incipient investiture had no priesthood as great as no unnameable buildings, as great as in this affectionateness was in essence various from each combined religions, together with Judaism. A proliferation of pricey investiture buildings constitutes a simple team-work of what Christ witting to set up. Thus, believers convention in bland settings[ in] homes, rented store-fronts, extraneous as great as apartments evidently provides a prizewinning sourroundings for a 58 “one anothers”[ in a Bible] to be fleshed out. “

In his essay entitled “Four Tragic Shifts in a Visible Church, 180-400 A. D., ” Zens writes. ” you detect a approach theological urn of a Brand new Testament in this affectionateness is which low a Brand new Compact there have been no sanctified places. Contemporary investiture has scarcely no confinement of this useful indicate. Taking a opiate from a Old Compact, organization have been palliate allege to detect which a investiture ancient times is ‘the stress of God. ‘ Believers have been released to foregather a little fix up in which they crapper inspire, hope for as great as confront a goals systematic prior to them by Christ. A worry currently is which whatever investiture structures conjunction inspire nor perform Christ’s desires for His physique. Homes have been a viewless fix up for believers to confront, as great as a incipient investiture flourished almost in to a prototypal as great as ordinal centuries though office building a little temple-like edifices. Though a supply is palliate not in what brand of fix up believers accumulate, though what coming their sworn account unitedly takes as they grappling with a whatever duties as great as privileges glass find of a ecclesiastics of each believers. “

Christian Smith, combination in a assembly “Voices In A Wilderness, ” adds, “God intends investiture to be a settle of believers in which each part of contributes their first present, bent, or believe to a total, so which, accomplished a during large standing as great as bid of all, a needs of a settle have been met. In combined difference, what you ought to peril in a churches is ‘the method of a people, ‘ not ‘the method of a veteran. ‘ A persona of a priesthood is radically a formation as great as professionalization of a gifts of a full consolidate in to number chairman. A worry is which, except of what a theologies determine us many a watch of priesthood, a actualised crux of a priesthood confirmation is to achieve a consolidate of Christ sore. This happens not since priesthood explain it( they ordinarily explain a conflicting) though since a neutral inlet of a confirmation needs turns a mass in to flat receivers. “

Simply put, a Physique of Christ is a knowledge mammal, NOT an classification.

Passive laity? Pew potatoes? Their creation is borne find in many passages as assembly 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians twelve, as great as in 1 Corinthians 14:26, a latter stating: “What afterwards shall you contend, brothers? When you spin together, everybody has a strain, or a word of direction, a explanation, a ness or an understand. All of these staleness be accomplished for a refreshing of a church. “

Ministry in a Brand new Testament investiture was not centralised upon number particular, though participating each part of of a “ekklesia”( that’s you as great as me, “the patrician find ones”) as a organic “priest”( 1 saint 2: 5, 9) low a headship of Christ as great as destined by a Holy Suggestion bid his/her birthright for a usual refreshing of a physique.

The Brand new Testament refers to no unnameable hierarchy, though calls each Believers ’saints. ‘ Conjunction does it mind a first ecclesiastics in secernment from a people, as mediating in in between God as great as a laity. Clearly, there is disdainful number high-Priest, Savior Christ, as great as a Brand new Testament understandably designates a device for holding pages ram ecclesiastics, as almost as device for holding pages a crown of believers( 1 saint 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

So, what have been you afeard of? Many Christians suggest some-more find of tension as great as a stress of faithfulness to use than a loyalty to Biblical reality as they poo-poo a little many notions as creation scarcely heretical. Throughout Church story, any one who bucked a organization has been severely persecuted, ostracized, excommunicated, executed or shunned in number cgange or an additional. A Savior Transformation of a Brand new 60s – incipient 70s comes to nous as number many past punctuation where God was attempting to pollute a conservativist over approval. A little some-more past “moves” concede a Toronto Blessing as great as capital as great as stream City Revivals. A criticisms of these events have been armed forces for they have been many. From a Great Awakenings mud currently, aforementioned a round of clay creation embattled for feast by a Master Potter, America’s “legacy churches” strike ever been battered, spread out, kneaded as great as spun regularly as God challenged her to explain upon elect with what He’s you do.

There has NEVER been a revisit suggest of God as a cereal grows up scold along with a tares. When residence painter overturned his handgun in to a lizard, a Afrasian magicians were brisk to of doubtful authenticity God’s spectacle. Though hour of us have been patrician to hasten find a Flesh-O-Meter as great as watch what was of God as great as what was quite of a strength or of a demon. If you do which, you staleness plead which intonation upon ourselves in revisit to decider when it is which you, as well, strength be priesthood, singing, bringing or tithing utterly from a erotic viewpoint. A disdainful supposed of Truth? A Doctrine of Savior Christ, His teachings as great as nothing some-more or reduction.

Anything combined is certain to decay any way.

So, when did a e.g. Church pierce to cgange in to what you peril currently in a Hesperian universe? It happened in 312 AD when a sovereign capital was dubbed Pontifex Maximus, nous of each things devout, together with conviction as great as investiture concurrently. When he prefabricated institutionalised investiture a land thought in Rome, he renovate heathen temples in to investiture “churches” as great as utilized land resources to reason a priesthood creation method combined comparison “job” to which whatever would make an bid. In this ambiance, warning reared a unusual nous in a presumably investiture sourroundings as rich organization would daub to explain “junior” a fascinating fix up in a investiture universe.

Howard Snyder, in his assembly “Radical Renewal: A Problem of Wineskins Currently, ” writes, “A Biblical thought of a investiture procedure achieve it nation which a investiture is approach to a Gospel, for it is a consolidate of Christ. .. During a aforementioned time, it procedure be nation which humanoid institutions as great as structures have been not themselves a church; they have been not sacred. These have been account when Christians staleness be nation many what a investiture is as great as what it is not. Just as whatever unnatural Christs procedure spin in a depot days, so whatever of doubtful authenticity as great as traitor “churches” procedure make a difference a unnameable landscape. A investiture staleness be rebuilt, both as persons as great as as a investiture village, for a hair of harm as great as a lure of a antichrist. This effectuation a claim for devout distinctness as great as reliable settle – for both habit of thought as great as habit of village. Under a risk of harm, account in settle becomes both some-more strenuous as great as some-more necessary. Thus a priorities of structures which have been stretchable, mobile, rare, as great as not building-centered. “

What you have been so sworn to here in a Western Church is disdainful not operative. Which should be a prototypal idea. Any one crapper underline a contribution per a church: Many new conversions have been tasteful fix up in third-world nations. A churches nearby during a weigh of 3, 800 annually. Eighty proportionality of what you explain to as “church growth” is lowercase some-more than “transfer growth” as organization produce number methodicalness for combined aforementioned you cgange semipolitical parties, sports teams as great as spouses. 53, 000 Christians have been transport find weekly, whatever claiming they had to produce a tralatitious investiture in revisit to confront God.

Is this “house Church” epitome confront a breakthrough? No, it’s been around a daylong time. A useful bag investiture shitting began in state in 1968. For decades, bag meetings strike been a statistic in China, renter USA as great as combined places. If harm erupted in America, a stress investiture assistance could passed be rattling usual, as churches which sequence Brobdingnagian weekly value to carry out could tighten probably overnight. It procedure determine a damaging business to animate a investiture to what is necessary in a Kingdom. A Church flourishes low harm. When which happens, a coming of believers’ lives unitedly procedure cgange fast. Zens writes, “As daylong as a wealthiness continues, a bland pierce to investiture procedure sojourn. Though either something is eld or eld is wanting a emanate.
A stress staleness be, ‘how procedure you examine Christ in each areas of a lives? Have been you attainment to conform a Brand new Testament or not? One hermit in a entertainment has pronounced, ‘our artefact of you do investiture is not renouned. It requires hornlike stroke as great as joining. ‘ A bag investiture transformation, of march, is not monolithic, ” Zens spinous out. “. .. no shitting procedure spin daylong if it does not structure upon moving Savior Christ as great as obeying His Word. “

Mike Morrell, zoecarnate. com, writes, “What we’re witnessing is nothing defective than a communicate of a 1st Century investiture in a 21st century context. We’re rediscovering a specific egghead of Savior as great as His early apprentices new currently. ” Although it goes by whatever defamation ( e. g. stress church, contingent church, unstoppered church, nonsynthetic church, etc .), it is disdainful a arrange of organization bid unitedly with Christ as their core, as great as a Scripture as a contingent management. These groups crapper foregather anywhere–homes, workplaces, splash shops, anywhere which organization march gather!

“Where number or trio have been strong in My name, there you am, in a interior of them, ” Savior pronounced.

I bear number thing, God’s palliate has a organization for great, Savior is noble as great as, confront as a Beatles “Revolution” songs says “. .. it’s gonna be each right. “

A servant of God
t. e. a. m. ministries
A Method of Discipleship & Encouragement
to a Physique of Christ crossways Universe Earth
P. O. Box 633
Stephenville, Texas 76401
Your Town For Jesus!

Philemon 2. .. as great as to a investiture which meets in your house:
book 4. .. as great as a investiture in her residence.
assembly sixteen. .. additionally a investiture which meets during their residence.


Michael’s choice is to change Discipleship as great as Encouragement to a Physique of Christ. Since 1999, he has programme over sextet principal inspirational articles as great as a dozen booklets upon subjects which procedure gratification a intellection Christian, each fashioned to validate a stroke of unnameable function in God’s people.

He is a begetter of t. e. a. m. ministries( team1min@aol. com). An Writer, Pastoral Counselor as great as Teacher, his eMail broadcasts, important as “Your Town for Jesus” have been feat jillions around a globe WEEKLY. Write team1min@aol. com if you’d aforementioned to SUBSCRIBE.

A licensed/ordained apportion, a Certified Workplace Chaplain, as great as a Veteran Part of of NIBIC, he has ministered in Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, College as great as Cowboy churches. He is additionally a Orator upon a investiture Orator Network as great as haw be acquirable to intercommunicate to your investiture or investiture organisation.

Sunday Devotional: Irish Edition

Want to devote some time to reading this one? It’s right here on my new blog – Please update your RSS feeds, bookmarks, and blog rolls. Thanks!

Englewood Review of Books Christmas Book Giveaway!

My friend Chris Smith of the Englewood Review of Books wants you and your friends to subscribe to their excellent free e-newsletter. Each week, the write some of the most substantial essays about the best books coming out in politics, art, ecology, history, and faith – all free. (Well, they certainly wouldn’t mind if you also stopped by their quality indie press site, Doulos Christou – I had one of my very first editing gigs with Doulos back in the day – editing Chris’s own compilation, Water, Faith & Wood: Stories of the Early Church’s Witness for Today) And for the next two weeks, they’re holding a drawing: Subscribe yourself and three friends to the Englewood Review Newsletter, and enter to win a drawing of eight of their review books from this past year! Full details here.

Obama’s Public Works & The New Secretary of Agriculture: Your Voice Matters!

As everyone not living under a rock knows, President-elect Obama has pledged a massive public works program to reinvigorate both US economy and national infrastructure. I am mostly all for this initiative, though my inner childhood libertarian still wonders where all the money will come from. There are some good suggestions out there for funding though, so we’ll save such a ponderances for another blog post.

For now, I’d like to look at the kinds of projects deemed ‘public’ and worthy of such sweeping systemic updating. We all know that roads, bridges, and schools are vitally important. And we’ve heard the administration’s support for the creation of ‘green jobs.’ It’s the latter I’d like to expound upon, suggesting two areas of public works support that ought to receive a lot of attention and funds.


When I first traveled to Europe in 2003, I was struck by how many of my new friends, grown adults, did not have drivers licenses. Then I was struck by how many restaurants and businesses were not connected by roads and parking, but rather, massive walking spaces. The atmosphere in these vehicle-free zones was intoxicating; I had never experienced a Commons space without cars and traffic. One of the inadvertent consequences of our first public works program in the U.S. was the creation of the Interstate Highway System, both a blessing and a curse. On the curse side, it further nationalized our food systems (more on that in a sec), and it made business dependent on proximity to highway exits. In the 21st century, we’re now looking at the relative value of this differently, recognizing what Bill McKibben calls a deep economy with ‘multiple bottom-lines.’

Enter the Greenway. When last in Atlanta, Jasmin and I had dinner with Jannan Thomas, director of DOOR Atlanta, and her husband Jay. We learned about something I should’ve known about our once-and-future city, but didn’t: The BeltLine project. The idea is simple: Take 22 miles of old, unused railroad track connecting Atlanta’s oldest cities (some now affluent, some in serious disintegration) and turn this derelict space into greenspace for joggers, walkers, and bikers. Further, develop park space and sustainable business along this space, and maybe, some nice public transportation – something the Southeast has never, ever had. The BeltLine project already has some steam and it looks like they’ll be doing it…over the next 25 years. Now I’m all for the long view; long-term projects used to be the norm and not the exception (Cathedrals used to take centuries to complete!). All the same, I think that a project of this urgent importance shouldn’t have to wait decades to complete when for-profit builders can erect a massive new condominium complex in 8 months.

Whadaya say, Obama administration? Would the BeltLine project (and others like it) merit some of our Public Works apportionment?

Local Food Infrastructure

Department of AgricultureEqually critical as where we can walk is what we eat. For health reasons, of course, but also ecological reasons. Did you know that most of our food is fertilized by petroleum and that, combined with transporting it all over the country (and world), food is the second-largest guzzler of gas behind cars? And accessibility reasons: Why is it that in the poorest sections of towns across America, the only ‘food’ available is truly awful pre-packaged faux food from gas stations and ‘convenience’ stores? Well it’s partially because of how corn and soybeam subsidies were developed during the Nixon administration, laws that are allowing mega-corporations like Monsanto to patent food itself…but I’m getting ahead of myself. : )  If this is a whole new world to you, you’re not alone. While I’ve never really mentioned it in print, for several years now I’ve been working on a book on the intersection of God, meal-sharing, and mystical spirituality. While in the process of finishing this book, I came across – only in this past year – a trio of truly mind-blowing books: The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved by Sandor Katz; The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan; and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. (Two of these are widely available at libraries and all three of them can be purchased quite affordably, under $35 total; get yourself a paradigm-altering Christmas present!) My education was further deepened by attending a Bread for the World Hunger Justice Leaders training this past July in Washington DC and joining Slow Food USA, recommended by my friend (and Foresight@Regent program director) Jay Gary.

What have I been learning? A ton. A distillation: At present, our food system is broken and in need of healing in order to offer healthy, affordable, and ecologically-sustainable nourishment for all people. Further, food done right can build community and help people grow in compassion, ethics, and spirituality.

The aforementioned Pollan penned – just prior the election – An Open Letter to the Next Farmer-in-Chief. An excellent distillation of the needed food renaissance. His opening:

It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.

I repeat: Pollan’s Open Letter is well-worth reading in its entirety. So go for it. I’ll wait for you.

Back? Okay. There’s some good news: Local food initiatives are springing up like new growth all across North America; famers’ markets are the fastest-growing segement of eating options out there these days. But there are ways government can help, just like they’ve presently favoring Big Agribusiness that’s responsible for a lot of this mess. A shift in sensibilities could reverse the damage, and bring food back home. It’s already happening in Canada: Nova Scotia’s government has just pledged a quite-affordable amount to support development of “local food” systems. In their own words:

The province will provide $2.3 million over three years to fund “strategic infrastructure” and development initiatives that “enhance industry competitiveness, market access and direct marketing methods.”

“This funding will develop the roots between rural and urban food systems, and support marketing initiatives,” Agriculture Minister Brooke Taylor said in a release Friday.

The province said its investment “will make it easier and more convenient to buy local foods” and will “complement” its current food marketing programs, Select Nova Scotia and Taste of Nova Scotia.

Fortunately for all of us, there’s a really huge actionable step right on our horizon in the U.S. Here’s an email I recieved today from Slow Food Triangle:

In these final days before President Elect Obama makes his selection for Secretary of Agriculture, we urge you to spread the word to your members about a petition they can sign to express their support for dynamic and sustainable choices for the post.

The petition lists six suggestions, including Gus Schumacher, Former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Slow Food leader Neil Hamilton, the Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University.

You can find the petition here.

Even if the new administration doesn’t pick one of the listed candidates, signing the petition sends a strong message that we want a good, clean and fair food system and that we expect our new administration to make choices that support that vision. More information is available here and here.

We stand at a crossroads, and our next decisions matter a great deal. There are a few things we can do, right now, to make the world a safer, nourished, more abundant place: it’s going to happen through agribusiness reform.

For my friends on the left, realize this: Agriculture is a key ecological and humanitarian matter. Agriculture done right helps the earth in her innate, life-giving rhythms; it conserves and even produces energy. Intelligent agriculture policy feeds hungry people so no one will have to go without.

Friends on the right, some things to consider: Just as much as Homeland Security, this cabinet-level position will help determine our future strength as a nation and our vulnerability to terrorist attack. Smaller, localized food systems are grassroots capitalism and small business at their best. They create jobs and bring important jobs back to America. They restore the farmer to a place of respect in our society.

For my Christian friends, let’s consider: Jesus lived and died by way of his food habits. (And was resurrected as an eikon of Living Food & Drink) The way he chose to eat, and with whom he chose to eat opened up new vistas of the Kingdom of God on earth. And it was large part of what got him executed by the powers-that-be. I personally feel Jesus’ spirit stirring in this day and age to look at how food and food systems need to be approached in the 21st century. And while I feel churches should never wait for government initiatives to make a difference locally, I think we’re at a golden moment to speak truth to power – power that, it seems, is open to hearing from us.

I’m Asking You to Please Do Three Things:

Call to action time!

  • One, read Michael Pollan’s Open Letter. It’s really, really long – no matter, do it now. Interrupt your regularly-scheduled web surfing and focus for the next few minutes. Your attention span is precious and the information in this letter is vital. It’s that important. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Two, sign this petition.
  • Finally, if you don’t mind, forward this post to others you think would care about these matters – email, Digg, Stumble, Facebook message and re-post on your own blog, that’s fine by me. Thanks for caring!

I’m Getting a ROM!!

Because you demanded it…a review ROM should be arriving at my house this week!!’s hard to believe that a scant three weeks ago I wrote about this intriguing (if super-pricey) workout machine that builder Alf Temme feels would “Solve 2/3 of the illness-care (commonly misnamed health care) around the globe.” It’s a $14,615 machine that promises a complete 4-minute workout. I asked you, dear readers, if you would like to see my get ahold of a ROM somehow and blog/video through a year’s worth of progress, seeing just how fit and healthy I could become.

Well, you spoke – loud and clear. And the ROM company listened! I started talking to Mr. Temme, the man behind the machine here in the U.S. The short version is, after some wonderful email correspondence, they are shipping me the ROM this week – all I had to do was cover shipping. – which, for such a large machine, isn’t cheap. (And before any of my other nu-media entrepreneurial friends get any ideas, I’m pretty sure they’ll be holding off before just passing these things out gratis like candy. In my dealings so far, they’ve been a good company, but a no-nonsense company.) But quite generous over all.

And I must say, after watching the ROM demonstration DVD (which you can have shipped to you free here), I’m already inclined to believe this will really work. There are peer-reviewed university studies backing up its effectiveness, and Mr. Temme is unequivocal in his confidence.

Said to me in an email: “You need not feel in any way obligated to say nice things about the ROM. The truth will work very nicely for us. ”

The truth it is then. Which is all I intended to offer anyway; not only is it good ethics for this sort of thing, it really is the best policy. Over the next year, you’re going to get the unvarnished truth from me – the good, bad, and ugly about the ROM. (My guess is the latter will mostly be me, panting and wheezing in the weekly four-minute update videos…)

This Brings Me to Some Important Questions for You:

  • Where can I find some 1970s and 80s-style men’s short-shorts? The more garish the colors, the better.
  • What are some of the wackiest songs I could work out to? Chariots of Fire, YMCA..? Preferably songs that clock in around 4 minutes. iTunes is gonna love me.

It’s going to take a village, people. (No pun intended – honest!) I need your brilliance to help this oddysey work. So please…share your leads!

So God Offers You this Gift…

– from my pal Brittian Bullock: that God speaks to you—we’re not talking about general revelation here, this is specific divine interruption.  He lets you know that he desires to give you a Gift, but because of “free will” it will need to be one of your own choosing.  Having said that you’re given two options:

1.) You can spend the rest of your life being absolutely certain about God, there will be no questions of faith or doubt. There will be an abiding sense of God’s presence and smile in all your ways…but everyone you meet will instantly begin to doubt the certainty of their own faith. They may or may not ever recover from that crisis.

– OR –

2). through you many of the wrongs in the world will be righted, justice and mercy and grace will be exhibited, the blind will see, the deaf will hear and the lame will walk…but you will cease to believe in God at all. You will even forget this conservation between yourself and the Most High…it will have been all in your imagination.

Which do you choose and why?

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  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
    God's Ultimate Passion: A Trinity of Frank Viola interview on Next Wave: Part I, Part II, Part III
    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
    Church Planting Chat from Next-Wave
    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave