Friday, December 30, 2005


Well Ive been cameratchying it up this week (which means taking loads of photos for those of you not conversant with my inner language) so check out my flickr photostream for my latest offerings 78540229 Da2Febd703 M This has been my most popular photo at the moment, anyway thats me right now, off Uni, playing with my camera and revising. Ive been writing a blog about Christmas recently and was wondering in ecto how to the text to wrap around an image instead of the image taking up as many lines...if any one is good at ecto then teach me O wise one, that would be great. Anyway more blogging later right now im off to bed!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

last few days before Christmas in Aberdeen

Im back in my old haunt from last year today "Kilau" Ive not got my USB stick with me so the photos from my old post on Kilau and that photo was stolen as well so I guess you'll never quite get my perspective on Kilau, but I am enjoying my classic Americano and toasted coronation chicken baguette. Also for the first time enjoying the wifi here!...anyway I did some shopping today in Aberdeen for some last minute Christmas stuff, and then met my cousin who I haven't seen in about 5 years Morwenna Porter. So that was pretty cool, talking about Home, Family and Music.


So now Im just hanging out until I go to see King Kong with Closer youth tonight as a Christmas church nite out! I just bought an album I had heard some of by Bedouin Soundclash called sounding a Mosaic, i saw them live i Arizona this summer, then realized I missed them in Aberdeen, so Im off to see them in Glasgow on the last day of my exams.

What Does the Kingdom Cost?

Thought this was so cool, over at Arlens Blog that Id post i here too. What Does the Kingdom Cost?:
From a homily of St. Gregory the Great (bold emphasis mine): "The real value of that is beyond price, but for you the price is just what you possess. For Zacchaeus it was worth half his fortune, since he kept the other half to restore fourfold whatever he had unjustly extorted. For Peter and Andrew it was worth the value of their nets and boat; for the widow it cost two small coins; another may buy it with a cup of cold water. As I said, the kingdom of God costs whatever you have."

Going half way

Well Im on a bus on the way to Aberdeen, and Im thinking about things and stuff..yep descriptive as ever but I was really thinking about is half wayness How ever much we strive after something I feel like we often stop half way, well maybe its just me cause I really struggle to keep my attention on one thing at a time which Is why I crash computers with loads of windows open (not macs though coz hey rock!) for example, when we see sin in our lives likes pride, or a lack of integrity we decide to deal with it, but too often I find myself not eradicating it but taking down to an unseeable level for it just to slyly emerge after a few months and find myself fighting the same battle again. Take for example my pride (which lets face it is the under lying issue im talking about for me but it could be whatever you want) I see it and try and kill it but instead I just attack it until its small enough to sit un-noticed with the rest of my "small" issues (though Im coming to realize small is a relative word when talking about spiritual things) Then in a few months, up it pops again and again I take it down to its molecular level, its socially appropriate level, its church allowable level, when neither society or church were the reasons I decided to kill it in the first place, God hates our sin, where as sometimes society can love it and church can allow it! So where does this leave us, have I ever killed any of my problems, maybe not...there may be people commenting "well its always a battle" and "we do often deal with the same issues over and over again" and Im not overlooking that, I know there are things I just have to keep battling against, but I want to battle effectively against them. A few things recently Ive decided to just to become beyond reproach about, but not nearly as many as those that I decided not to become beyond reproach about. When I say beyond reproach by the way, this is how I visualize that, although the factuality of this no doubt will change....God standing before me saying "Did you do everything you could in this area to defeat footholds of sin in your life" and being able to say "I did as far as I saw it and my heart truly wanted to be set apart for the things of you over sin. Now again I know Im covered in Grace and therefore God discussing through with you your sins may not be completely theologically water tight but at the same time I dont want to live out of Grace and trample Jesus' blood in my actions to the point where it perverts it into some license to be a hedonist. So this is where I am...and thats pretty much all I wanted to say/outwork. -> THE E N D Listening to: Another Kind Of Green from the album "2005-09-07-CD1-The Fillmore, San Franscisco-7" by John Mayer Trio

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All finished and chilling

Well thats my 1st semester of the second year of my degree over and done with! Finished for Christmas...soIm staying in Scotland for Christmas which is OK as I think Ill get home for the end of January after my exams. Anyway enough blogging for a minuite...we have people round for dinner then the extended edition of Gladiator. Last night we watched Madagascar, its quite a funny film. Anyway Ill be back in the next few days!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Purchased Ecto

Well Ecto did the very clever thing of pulling me in during the trial period of their blogging software, until now I cant imagine not using it to blog! Ecto is really user friendly, not perfect but then who is. It does have some great little features like when you have copied a URL for a picture or something when you open the URL pic tool it has put it in as the default for it. Very handy. I had a few teething problems which i put up on the message boards and got a reply from the head dude over at ecto, so the tech support was pretty good. I haven't been blogging for a few days and when I opened up ecto just now as Im wasting time in the library it asked me to register so I did for a very reasonable £12. I also forgot that ecto was the name of the Ghostbusters car! Justinsantosecto01 So here I am being an advocat for a great piece of independent software....ecto you guys rock!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Some thoughts on Western Lifestyle at 20 to 2am

Well Im on the home stretch, just finishing my essay, the last one for the semester. As I was walking around my room just working through some ADHD, I read on some Packaging: Designed in California and then on closer inspection and very small line saying "Made in China" I think maybe those two phrases are unnervingly indicative of my wider western consumerist lifestyle. Just a quick thought at 20 to 2am....see you all on the other side of this

Thursday, December 08, 2005

2 Down, 1 to Go

well Ive had a real crazy week of it, with essays. Just finished the second one. Which only by grace was a fairly easy one, I dont struggle to write on the pastoral issues side of things. But I really had to slog 2500 words out for the John study. Shame really, I guess its just how Im wired. Anyway, everything has been pretty slow on the rss feeds too, so other than reading blogs I thought of a couple of things for you to do... 1) get hold of Ralph Vaughn Williams - The Lark Ascending and close your eyes and relax for 15 minuites 2) Give someone who would appreicate it a call. Ill be back blogging more regularly after next wednesday when deadline calm down and Im too short sighted to start revising for exams!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Trying to be a Disciple

Im sitting in the library at my Uni right now, Im in the middle of typing out an essay on John Ive been writing frantically for the last few days, its not coming easy but I am about 700 words in, so after 3 hours work im taking a quick 5 minuite blogging break, fortunately theres no Wifi on this floor so there arent any other distractions. Im writing this essay, in my morning readings, and even in Church services a thread of a theme is coming through for me at the moment, so Im going to take the hint and act on it, and right now Im just going to quickly blog on it: I feel like I have to apologize before I start this post, I know, do we really need another post, book, sermon on spiritual renewal but this is just a part of my journey so here it is, I have been really challenged by the word disciple and all the inferences it has for my life. If I truly want to be a disciple of Jesus, then Im giving up being discipled by anything else, western materialism, self ambition and even common morality. If I am a disciple of Jesus Im called out of those things, Yes even common Morality, were not called to be moral were called to be Jesus' disciples, follow his name forsaking all other 'good' things for the best thing, the thing we were made to follow, the people we were meant to be. Does that mean were amoral now, No, Jesus calls us to be moral, but not first...that place is reserved for him. Morality, Social justice, all great things but they need to spring out of our relationship with God to be genuine, and full of integrity and thats out of the compassion, forgiveness and Grace we experience from him, it overflows to others, thats how we reach out. Not psyching ourselves up to be graceful to that guy or girl that really pisses us off, but seeing the best in them, seeing their original goodness instead of their original sin. God knows how grateful I am that he looks at me and sees past all the crap, all the sin, because its taken from me, and his took the cost. Being a disciple also means that I live in Him, not live my life knowing about him, singing about him, reading about him, but living through him, thats why the price was paid so we could step into living in Him, knowing the Holy Spirit everyday quench our thirst for something more, seeing the Word become life through our actions. I know the bible uses the language of being a "follower" but right now thats not a helpful translation for me, I can easily follow him trying to emulate his exemplary moral standards or at least living by his attitude of integrity, but to be discipled by him means more than that, It is to be believe in Christ's identity, seeing him in the fullness of who he is, being inspired by his life, set free by his death and brought fulfillment through his new life. Written Listening to Only One from the album "Look to You" by United Live

[posted with ecto]

Saturday, December 03, 2005

What is/Am I/Are We emergent? 2.1

This Blog post has been long in the pipeline as I have often thought about what is emergent and what isn't, TSK puts its down pretty well I think when he comments: "If I had a candle for every minister who believes the emerging church is a runaway faction of anti-establishment philosophers, sipping starbucks on leopard-skin couches and projecting the Matrix movie onto labyrinths, then I could probably light up the entire worship space at an Emergent Convention."

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In my exploration and understanding of the emergent conversation, it has been hard to run away from these conceptions. While I have and continue in many way to identify with the emergent movement, I've found the fact that I still want to meet together, hear preaching and musical worship, a definate methodological barrier to diving in headfirst (with a couple o classy front flips) to how emergents are (possibly even prophetically) opening up the door to a new "way"of doing church. But Ive also thought "surely there is another way, surely we can still do church but have emergent mindsets?" Firstly for those of you who are saying eh?..what the heck is emergent, well quite, thats what I was saying about a year ago, for a less than perfect, but ok definition check out wikipedia of emerging church What inspired me to finally write this post (of which the subject probably isnt quite clear yet) was Andrew Jones' set of posts of John Hammett. Im only on 2.1 Here are the rest of this series Hammett on Emerging Church - Intro Hammett on Emerging Church 1.2 Hammett on Emerging Church 2.1 Hammett on Emerging Church 3.1 Hammett on Emerging Church 4.1 But Im afraid the sole inspiration cannot be given to as it was a link I followed to the ooze (that I actually forgot existed until just now) THE OOZE: Who Is Emergent any way? It made me finally get a short idea of what emergents really saw emergent as, and it turned out that I wasnt too far off the mark, and I could maybe finally put to rest some wonderings of my own: - Am I emergent underneath my empowered evangelical front? - Is the Church I go to emergent? Where do these thinkings come from, well the first one is that I know my future is tied up to the church, as a) Im currently training, formally and informally to be involved in church for the foreseeable future and therefore how I see church or my conceptions of church are important, because if I believe it then at some point I probably will have to defend it. The Second question, this really comes from the knowledge that this church plant that Im involved in is different, its definatly not traditional church and it has methodological, missional and philosophical differences to your regular joe Charasmatic/evangelical congregation. So where do we lie?...The Church and my own conceptions, these, just to quickly add are not necessarily linked. Here are the sections of the ooze article that really lay down the pre-fab for this post "If we light a candle, are we “emergent?” If we meet in a mega-church, but are an “alternative service,” are we emergent? Couches? Book of Common Prayer? Goatees???... ...It may be helpful to think of a continuum of "emergence." As I look around, I see three main areas of reconsideration within the emerging church movement. They are methodological, philosophical and theological... Many churches which claim to be "emergent"....but are mainly concerned about methodological change. They seek methodologies for making themselves more attractive to the unchurched, but ministry philosophy and theology remain largely static....God bless them in their mission as they attempt to reach people, right? But “emergent”? I’m not so sure A little farther down the continuum of emergence are the churches rethinking not just methodology but also ministry philosophy. Many of the Acts 29 churches fit in this category. They are willing to change the way that they do things both on an external level (the look and feel of things), on a deeper level (ministry philosophy, how spiritual formation/discipleship is done), but they aren't really thinking theological change. If anything, many, like Mars Hill in Seattle, actively resist change in the area of theology. The last (and, I think, most "emergent") group of churches out there are the ones who are rethinking all three categories. For them, being emergent isn't just about how Sunday morning is done (methodology) and neither is it simply a matter of changing how things like discipleship and teaching are done (ministry philosophy). It's also a matter of continuing the work of theological discovery. " Sorry that was a bit more extensive quoting that I originally intended but hopefully it will help you to see the thought provoking parts of this article for me. In the first quote, it seems, Im assured that not lighting candles or having couches in your service dosen't necessarily count you out of the emergent fold and I think these 3 aspects of emergence are helpful. On a personal level all 3 of these aspects in the last year or so have been challenged, and many times changed. But in part I think my exploration of emergent churches have been somewhat of an outworking of a formative period in my own life of understanding these three things and taking on belief systems about them on myself. In short if that made no sense, Im 20 studying theology, and working in a church and so it is inevitable that my thinking towards methodology, missional philosophy, and theology would evolve, and it may not be all down to my further understanding of the emergent movement and its implications. On a corporate level, the Church Im involved in definatly has moved from the methodological norm in many ways, these at first may seem like skin deep changes to a traditional charismatic service but they are indicative of a philosophical paradigm shift for many people involved in the church. - Half way through the service we have a "breakout time" in between worship and the teaching. - Worship is seen as a foundational function for the church (as opposed to the tradition I come from where it is an additional element, and the preaching is seen as the "high point" of service that everything builds towards and comes from) This doesn't mean that teaching of the word is in any way diminished in it standing, it just is not the sum of everything. This comes from the methodological as well as spiritual foundation that meeting with God, changes us, to change our community. These are just two small differences within the main sunday service. Theologically, like the Mars Hill example, the church holds to traditional evangelical truths and again like the Mars Hill example, sorry for another quote: "They are willing to change the way that they do things both on an external level (the look and feel of things), on a deeper level (ministry philosophy, how spiritual formation/discipleship is done), but they aren't really thinking theological change. If anything, many, like Mars Hill in Seattle, actively resist change in the area of theology. " In conclusion on Church: In Bob Hyatt's (wrongly attributed to Doug Pagitt in first posting..sorry Bob, hope the link makes up for it) article (until now referred to as THE OOZE's article) there are presented 3 "steps" to emergent nature churches if you like, the last quote describing the second. I would probably place the Church in the second,conservatively that is,in that the ministry philosophy has changed from a traditional model, in both the missional (outward facing) aspects and the discipling (inward facing) aspect. The methodolgical changes are maybe more real for someone who experiences them on a weekly basis than they've been presented in this post. Theologically as I previously stated there is no move, personally I would be in the same place, while I dont accept theology as a finished work, Im (honestly speaking) not in need of a dispersed theological base and enjoy the theological common ground found in the church, that in many ways enables us to evolve the methodological and philosophical aspects of the church. In Conclusion Personally: I actually think I come out closer than I would have expected to the Church Im involved in, yet while my theology is fairly static (while not being too self assured to be in community with variant theologies) my methodology and philosophy would probably be a bit more extreme in its change from a traditional model. Final (yet not final answer) placing of the Church: Not emergent Final (yet not final answer) placing of, well, me: metro-methodological, hehe, probably not emergent Listening to: Gone from the album "Late Registration" by Kanye West

[posted with ecto]


Just joined Skype, my friend in halls last year had it and chatted to his girlfriend back in germany, I cant find him on it now though, and I dont know anyone on it so if your on it add me! I want to try it out. So if you know meornot feel free to go ahead and give me a quick call! My Skype User name is BYRNESYLIAM

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World Aids Day 1st dec 2005

Worldaidsday I want to say something about this to day but I am way to busy...I honestly think this is the biggest issue facing human kind (opposed to salvation for sins). But Ive no time to really sit down and write out my thoughts about it because I really must write an essay, Tearfund has a good run down about why today is important : World Aids Day "In the next 60 seconds, five people will die of Aids. The scale of suffering as a result of the epidemic is overwhelming. It devastates livelihoods, communities and economies, and orphans millions of children. World Aids Day, on 1 December, raises awareness about HIV and Aids in an attempt to combat the spread of this global tragedy. Events such as prayer vigils are being held throughout the UK to mark the day." 987W0622 160 AIDS affects real people, and real communities, and its our moral resposibility to become aware of it before we are forced out of thinking of it purely as a problem for non western developing nations. It will come home, and we need to stand up and with the people who are struggling against it. Im not a big advocat for the WWJD thing, but I dont see how we (Including me/I) can run away from this as Christians seeking to impact our culture.

How I Got to Google, Ch. 2: Tale of a T-shirt

How I Got to Google, Ch. 2: Tale of a T-shirt: BYRNESY: Nice story over on the Google Blog, 21st Century recruitment and self sales tactics!..How this google went from being an unemployed travelling student surfing in Mexico, and then in a week fixing googles hardware for a living...nice move! Click on the link above for the link to the post on the google blog.