It’s been almost 10 years from the first Soularize in Seattle, and we’re exciting about hosting another learning party in 2011. As usual, this event will unite both traditional and non-traditional teachers, artists, theologians, thinkers, and social activists.
This year – sunny San Diego! October 12-14, 2011
Save the date and plan to join us for one of the most unique experiences of your life. If you’ve been to a previous Soularize, don’t miss this 10 year reunion event. If you’ve never been before, you won’t want to miss it.
We’re partnering with an incredible church in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego to put on an incredible event that will cultivate a thought-provoking and spiritual experience while introducing a wide variety of ways to connect and grow with others on the journey.
Didnâ€™t Soularize start a year earlier than that in in Los Angeles? Whatever the case, San Diego in October looks inviting. Update: I am planning to be there.
I got to know Frank Viola a little bit at Soularize in the Bahamas and I have long enjoyed and appreciated his writings since Spencer Burke started to go on and on about his writings almost a decade ago. Of course over the years Leonard Sweet has influenced and formed my spiritual praxis as much as any theologian.
You need a gift for someone smart, someone who wants to know about everything â€“ what happened, how it works, why it all got started. Fortunately, the globally curious have a lot of hobbies which makes them kind of easy to shop for, even if you donâ€™t always remember to sleep and eat.Â Below are some ideas for the smart people in your life.Â If you are looking for something not so elitist, check out my other Christmas Gift Guides.
Sangean WR-11 AM/FM Table Top Radio :: CBC Radio and NPR sounds so much more profound coming from a wooden radio.Â Speaking from personal experience, there is something about sitting around a radio on a hot summer day, sipping iced tea, while reading a good magazine.
The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson :: I blogged about it before and this is a great book out the life and work of Joseph Priestley, the Yorkshire dissenting theologian and chemist, who then went on to emigrate to America and advised the creators of the new republicâ€”Thomas Jefferson, most notablyâ€”on how best to run their country.
This is an intelligent retelling of a rather well-known story, that of Joseph Priestley, the Yorkshire dissenting theologian and chemist, and then went on to emigrate to America and advised the creators of the new republicâ€”Thomas Jefferson, most notablyâ€”on how best to run their country.
Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization by Jeff Rubin :: This is another fascinating look at what the future will look like with higher oil prices.Â Globalization is powered by cheap oil and without cheap oil, our world, economy, and the way we live is going to go through a massive transition.Â While a lot of books about economics can be dry and hard to get through.Â Both the Long Emergency and Why Your World are both very accessible, interesting, and very well written.Â They will also make for some fascinating discussion over the breakfast table on Boxing Day.
The BLDGBLOG Book by Geoff Manaugh :: What a wonderful book.Â Itâ€™s not just a book about architecture, itâ€™s a book that reimagines what urban spaces can become.Â The book is more than just text, it is full of fantastic diagrams, graphics, draws, and unbelievable photographs.Â I read it once for the content and then read it again and just soaked in the photos and graphics â€“ they are that good.
Speaking of great thinkers, if your loved one hasnâ€™t read A Heretics Guide to Eternity by Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor yet, they really need to.Â Spencer and Barry received a lot of criticism from some people who were threatened by their ideas but the book offers up an important voice to the conversation about salvation, eternity, and the church.Â Plus if the person you are shopping for is really that smart, they can handle new ideas.
While I am a fan of paper, have you thought of giving the gift of ebooks with a Amazon Kindle?Â Itâ€™s only 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback.Â It downloads books in Under 60 Seconds over the 3G Wireless network.Â Despite that, you have no annual contracts, no monthly fees, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots.Â Itâ€™s battery can run for one week.Â You still have to pay per download in Canada but at least we can get it here now.
If you donâ€™t think they want a Kindle, how about Sonyâ€™s Digital Touch Reader? By supporting both industry standard formats, ePub and PDF, you can access books at Sony’s eBookstore, check out books from public libraries, access over 500,000 free public domain titles from Google, as well as sharing sites, online aggregators and personal publishers (Internet access is required).
Chess for Three? You heard me right, a three person chess game.Â This unique hexagon shaped board is designed for three players putting a new twist on a beloved classic. No new rules; still the same chess you know and love! Set includes board and 3 different colored chess pieces.
Your own personal card cataloging system :: It seems like book thieves are everywhere these days. Even your closest friends will try to keep your rare, out-of-print novels if you donâ€™t keep an eye on them. And no one really wants to pay $60 for another one. Thankfully, there now is a solution to your book-losing woes. The Personal Library Kit provides everything you need for keeping track of books, and an eye on those shameful book thieves.Â Of course card cataloging your books is only half the battle, keeping them organized is the second half.Â Sure you could use LibraryThing but check out this old school way of keeping your cards organized.
Mark was given a copy of Planet Earth: The Complete Series by the Reimers for Christmas and he loves it.Â Not only does Mark love it but so do Wendy and I.Â Its a series we will watch again and again and harkens back to the days of Mutual of Omahaâ€™s Wild Kingdom where the entire family gathered around the television to take in the sites and sounds of animals we came to learn a lot about.
I know the commute would be horrible unless you lived in New York City but a membership at Paragraph would be a lot of fun.
If I missed anything or if my suggestion made you think I was absolutely crazy, let me know in the comments. You can access the current edition and previous years list ofÂ Christmas gift guidesÂ here.
In 2004, Nielsen BookScan tracked the sales of 1.2 million books and found that nine hundred and fifty thousand of them sold fewer than ninety-nine copies.
So we are looking at author royalties of a couple hundred bucks and a couple of conference speaking gigs. In the end is it worth the effort?
Billâ€™s prescription to the cure is to write better stories and he is dead on correct (although writing stories is harder than it sounds, check out this editorial review from Amazon.com) . Like a lot of bloggers, I get a lot of books sent to me by almost every major publishing house. In fact two came today and both of them look horrible. In fact 99% of the books that I see coming my way, including many by friends are horrible. They are poorly researched, not fact checked (if you are going to use history or science as an illustration, do your homework people!) Itâ€™s one of the reasons why I no longer talk about theological titles here, so many of them arenâ€™t worth my time to read and when I do read them, I am confronted by the fact that these are three hours I will never get back. Do I keep wasting time on this or move on? I generally find something by Michael Lewis or Steven Johnson and move on (which proves Billâ€™s point).
My suggestion for a lot of writers is not to bother writing a book period. Forget the conferences, forget the interviews on Christian radio, forget the church basement book signings. Instead throw your efforts into whatever it is that you are good at. Chances are your ideas are intrinsically linked to your personality and your context and not as transferable as you would think. Thatâ€™s why even if I lost some weight and got a blond wig and a sailboat, I still couldnâ€™t lead like Bill Hybels. The reason isnâ€™t that I didnâ€™t mention his golf shirts (and letâ€™s be honest, he has some nice golf shirts), it is that I am not Bill Hybels and I live in Saskatoon, not South Barrington.
Secondly, is the time away from doing what you do well or time away from learning something that you donâ€™t do well, worth 1000 book sales and $5,000 in royalties? Is the mini-book tour worth it? Is the time spamming your friends worth it? What about moderating message boards on infrequentbooksales.com, and trying to get people to fan you on Facebook worth it?
Thirdly, is giving the copyright of you idea to your publisher worth it? Especially in the church I donâ€™t know why we donâ€™t see more writers open sourcing their content. If you believe your idea came from the Holy Spirit, does turning that over to FOX (though Zondervan) seem to be the best course of action? If you want to publish at least consider negotiating so your book is published under a Creative Commons license.
I have heard Michael Slaughter of Ginghamsburg talk about writing being the best way to influence people and in some ways he is right but as Bill Kinnon pointed out, is less then 100 copies influencing anyone other than your closest friends?
Would the time be better of spent writing a blog (and then doing what Guy Kawasaki did and put it out as a book), doing an excellent series of videos on YouTube which tell your story (greatexampleofthishere or here â€“ what either of these stories be as compelling in book form?), or what about creating a world class webcast like what Spencer Burke did with TheOoze.tv or an excellent podcast? If you are committed to writing, why not introduce your ideas to communities like TheOoze or Next-Wave?
I like Rob Bellâ€™s writing but if I was him and had to choose between writing and Nooma, I would choose Nooma. Also wouldnâ€™t the time be better spent putting it into whatever made you think you should write about it. I am not being flippant. I remember the great line in Jim Collinsâ€™ book Built to Last where he talks about Lee Iacocca being distracted from running Chrysler because he was too busy being Lee Iacocca.
Finally, I know the church goes on and on about visionary leadership and visionary pastors and everyone including the pastors dog is a visionary (Maggi is visioning a piece of pizza as I type) but there have few game changing ideas that I have read in the last decade. Most of it is regurgitated stuff and doesnâ€™t need to see the light of day again. Maybe the best use of our time would be coming up with some new ideas, instead of repackaging some old ones.
A bunch of you have asked what technology I am using for the documentary that I am working on. I posted a link to the camera before but here are the rest of the setup.
Canon ZR-800 | Spencer Burke had an Sanyo Xacti that he used down in Soularize that I loved it. Recording to SD cards is a wonderful feature. When I got the idea for this project, one of the things that a Saskatoon police officer said, “Make sure you can walk away from your camera. I would hate for you to get hurt over it.” The ZR-800 met that requirement. It also has an external mic jack which eliminates the need for the internal mic and the horrible motor noise it picks up (the main weakness of the camera). It also shoots in 16:9 format.
Sima Video Bracket | This came from Amazon.com and was a little frustrating to buy. I tried to get one here but Don’s Photo and several other stores told me that they didn’t exist and had to be bought for a specific camera. Ummm, they don’t. It screws into the bottom of the camera where the tripod mount goes. It also allows for some steadier camera shots.
As for editing. I won’t be doing that much of it is but Adobe Premier is pretty much the only option. I am still looking for a good bag but I haven’t found anything I like yet. If you have any suggestions, leave them below.
I enjoy Christmas a lot and I enjoy the search for the perfect gift for friends and family. Quite a few other people pick my mind for gift ideas and here are some of the things that I may be giving or have suggested over the last couple of months. Enjoy and add your suggestions in the comments.
Sony Playstation Portable :: When these came out they were expensive and not a lot of games to play. A couple of years later with a plethora of games available under the Sony Greatest Hits brand and a new lower price, these are looking cooler and cooler every day. Star Wars Battlefront is a great game to toss in as well.
iPod Touch / iPod Nano :: I have had a chance to play with both of the new iPod’s and I can’t see anyone being disappointed with either one of them. The browser on the Touch is a lot of fun and would be great to kill some time with in a coffee shop and having an instant on Internet would be a lot of fun. In the end I think it will come down to if you want to spend the extra money to access your Gmail and the web or just listen to music and video on the Nano.
Atari Flashback Game System :: Take it old school with an old school Atari system and 20 built in games. Sure your PS3 has amazing graphics but honor your past and play some Missile Command.
Divine Nobodies and Wide Open Spaces :: Both books are by my friend Jim Palmer. He has been called the next great spiritual writer of our generation. Time will tell that but both Wendy and I have loved Divine Nobodies. Wide Open Spaces just came out and I can’t wait to read it.
Anything by Ken Burns would probably make any amateur historian happy.
Soul Grafitti by Mark Scandrette. Another great book of 2007 and one where Mark is seriously looking at what it means to be a Christian… in other words what are the actions of a disciple.
Out of TheOoze by Spencer Burke :: In what I hope is a series of books from writers who make up TheOoze.com, Out of The Ooze is a collection of love letters to the church from those who are on its fringes.
Flip Video Camera :: These are a lot of fun (I have played with one a couple of times) and a pretty good deal for quick home videos and small enough to carry with you every day.
Eddie Gibbs reviews D.A. Carson’s book, Conversant with the Emerging Church. He starts with a point that many of us have objected to.
Carson focuses on Brian McLaren, as well as a small number of other authors such as Dan Kimball, Spencer Burke, and Mike Yaconelli (in the U.S.), and David Tomlinson and Steve Chalke (in the U.K.). This tends to skew the discussion because it highlights those who have come out of house-church fundamentalism or seeker-driven megachurches. Research by Ryan Bolger among more than 50 emergent leaders indicates that N. T. Wright, the eminent New Testament scholar, and Dallas Willard of the University of Southern California are equally influential.
I haven’t been sleeping lately and last night was poking around Google, del.icio.us, and Technorati and doing some reading by about this thing we call the emerging church, Emergent(tm), Resonate, alt.worship, and that sort of thing.
As I moved from those posts in the emerging church to those that oppose and hate the emerging church, I couldn’t help but notice how similar the arguments against the ec are to the arguments about Willow Creek were in the late 80s and early 90s.
Friends of mine know that I defend Bill Hybels and what Willow Creek is trying to do. I don’t agree with a lot of Willow Creek but I have learned a lot from them and Bill Hybels. What I am amazed it how much they are criticized by people that have never been to a Willow Creek Conference or ever been to a Willow Creek service yet make all sorts of claims about it based on what a friend of a friend said or what a magazine article said.
Same with the EC. If after reading, examining, and dialoging about the emerging church and those trying to work in a postmodern context, you feel that we are totally wrong and you want to go a different way, cool. But if you are just going to attack for the sake of attacking based on what some blog said about some book, there seems to be a lack of intellectual integrity there. Tony Jones and Emergent may be the two worst things to happen to Christianity since The Old Time Gospel Hour was cancelled in your local radio station but investigate that yourself by reading some of what Leonard Sweet, Stan Grenz, Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Spencer Burke has to say and why they say it. They may or may not be correct, this is a conversation but after a while, I think you owe it to the people that you are attacking and name calling to dialogue with what they really saying and dialogue with them rather than rumors of them.
Part of the problem is that theology is a very adverserial confrontational practice but not all people play that way. The authors I listed were not writing from a position of “I am right and you are wrong” but rather from their vantage points from their journey. Plus, not all authors are correct, even when published. Karl Barth backed away and refuted his earlier works and Karl Rahner has the great line that “one should write often when they are young so they have something to look back at and laugh at when they are older.” Their interpretation of what they see and the course of action may not always be correct and that is where the conversation or even debate begins but to attack what you hear what others are saying, seem irresponsible and no different then spin in politics. I think the whole church is capable of much more than that.
Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Spencer Burke, Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Andrew Jones, and Chris Seay respond to their critics over at TheOoze.com. You will want to read the article over there. If you have a blog, you may also want to help spread the word.
Graffiti and Street Art have become important mediums for the common or disenfranchised storyteller to share their journey with the world.
But, most people will not visit the galleries of these paper and spray can visionaries. Each expression “hung” on the walls in alleys or under bridges have a very limited viewing window. After each open night the wind, rain, snow and sun will take their toll. Then the next artist will proudly contribute to the collaborative work in progress.
This Flickr group can act as curators on behalf of these artists by engaging these works with our own interpretation, composition and style as we photograph and archive these images here on Cave Paint.
Over the past twenty years I have tried to be faithful to the legacy of these inspiring creatives who practice their craft in the shadows of our world.
I have posted some of my attempts to capture this beauty on the first few pages of this group (which in fact will be the last pages as you read this – please click the highest numbered page and then view previous pages to see my photographs to get a visual picture to go along with the word description posted here).
Thank you for contributing or viewing these works. I look forward to our collection growing in size and cultural / historical significants over the next few years.
The Twelve Days of Christmas are upon us and our trees are full of “geese a layin”, “piper’s piping” and “partridges in their pear trees”. In other word nothing useful at all. Instead of braving the long return lines at Wal-Mart in the hope you can return seven swans a swimming, why not check out some of the programs and web servies listed below and have a new media new year. All of the programs help spread knowledge, ideas, or help you create some new ones. You may not get what you wanted but here is a way to contribute to the larger community and conversation.
Del.icio.us :: There has been a lot written about social networking. Sure finding out who your friends are and who their friends are is cool but what I really want to know is what people smarter and wiser than I are learning and this social bookmark manager does that. It makes it easy to categorize, sort, and share what you are learning. While other blogs allow to sort by category, this one allows you to sort by tags. It isn’t big on looks but it does publish a RSS feed for each page and not only that, for every tag you create, it creates a RSS feed for that which means that people can sign up for to see all or just some of your bookmarks as they appear. Famous web designer, Jeffery Veen has one. Andy Crouch, Spencer Burke, AKMA, Joi Ito, and Matt Haughey all have them. Even I have one. If you set one up, let me know and I will share the word so we can share the web together.
Flickr :: Possibly the best photo management site on the web. It too allows you to organize by tags but also allows you to sort by gallery. Not only does it have a powerful organization tools but once you are a member, you can post any picture to your blog and send it to other blogs. Like del.icio.us, it also publishes a RSS feed so the world can keep up to date with what you are doing. It isn’t just photography software but it is digital storytelling software. Collabrative photo pools for local churches, seminaries, or national networks help you tell and find out the stories of what is happening all over the place and from different points of view. We talk of the need to tell the story of the emerging church and this may be a big part of it. There is a free edition which gives ten free megabytes to anyone and a professional version which offers a gigabyte of uploads.
G-Force :: Andrew Jones and Jonny Baker introduced many of us to this wonderful programable plugin for Mac and Windows. It works as a standalone visualizer or with your favorite media player and with additional configurable script makes us non-DJ’s look border-line cool. The professional version costs $10 but there is a free version that works pretty well.
Pro Tools :: An eight track recording studio software for free. Of course 8 tracks may be a little tight for some projects but it is full features and did we mention free? It gives Windows users a free equivelent of Garage Band and a chance to share a little bit of the independent spirit.
Blogger/Typepad :: Moby has one. George W. Bush had one. Barbie has one. So does TheOoze. A couple million other people have them too. You can’t watch CNBC or CNN without them talking about a blog. 2005 may be the year to join the rest of us and get a free blog. With Blogger you can get free hosting, image hosting, and new professionally designed templates, all for free. With Typepad you get some more features but do have to pay for them. Whatever you choose, let others know about your blog by first listing your blog with TheOoze Search EngineGoogle and Yahoo! Search.
Open Office :: Microsoft Office can cost a lot of money and what are you really getting? A word processor that hasn’t changed that much since Word 2.0c for Windows 3.x, Excel, and PowerPoint which doesn’t look a lot different than Harvard Graphics for DOS. How about getting some programs that rival Office and don’t pay a cent for it. Open Office is an open source and free office suite that has does what Office does and throws in the ability to publish to Adobe Acrobat format for free. There’s that word again… free.
Find wifi :: If you are using Windows 98 or are unhappy with Windows XP wifi manager, you might want to check out T-Mobile’s Connection Manager. It is another free tool and is from T-Mobile. It searches for wifi hotspots and makes it easy for you to connect to your network at home or on the road. Not only that but it also has a database built in of all of the T-Mobile hotspots across the country. Sadly, those are not free.
AvantGo :: I am not wired all of the time and during those times, I appreciate my Palm. With the free AvantGo software, I can download two megs of free news and information from sources like CBC, Canada.com, Reuters, MSNBC, Sporting News, Business Week, and Forbes. A great way to kill some time, read up on what’s happening. Hmmm, free content.
Free Music :: We have heard that before with Napster and Kazaa and we know how that movie finished, with ugly lawsuits from the RIAA. This free music comes from Yahoo! and is integrated with your Yahoo! Instant Messenger. It is a customizable radio station. What you do is pick some genres of the kind of music you like, toss in some free artists and Yahoo! starts sending you music to your computer in FM quality sound. As music plays on your player, you can rate the music. The stuff you don’t like doesn’t come back and the stuff you like comes back more frequently along with artist that other users rate highly that is similar to your own. Just don’t do what a friend of mine did and give out his username and password to his co-workers. It took him hours to get the Brittany Spears out of his playlists.
Habbo Hotel :: A little lonely over the holidays? Throw an online party in your own room at the Habbo Hotel. There are Habbo Hotel’s all over the world. The U.K. Hotel is home to Andrew Jones and Suddenly Seminary (search for Andrew Jones), the Canadian hotel is home to Resonate‘s Lounge and prayer room (search for Resonate and the password is “resonate”). It is free to set up and get a free room (although you do need to pay to furnish it)
Free fonts :: For all of you designers out there, one of the best free sources for freeware fonts is 1001 Free Fonts. Freely downloadable fonts for both Mac and PC. It will give you something to spice up all of those documents and presentations in Open Office.
Fix your e-mail :: Ahhh e-mail, the original killer app of the web and now home to spam, virii and more spam. email@example.com receives over 1000 pieces of spam a day and Google’s Gmail filters wonderfully. Gmail may actually make e-mail useable again. Now with POP support so free e-mail programs like Mozilla’s wonderful new Thunderbird (more powerful than Outlook Express without all of the worries about virii) which adds another spam fliter to deal with the 1% that Gmail occasionally misses. Of course I still get too much e-mail but Gmail makes it a lot easier to deal with. Of course you can only join Gmail by being invited by another user but e-mail me at jordoncooper AT gmail.com and we will see what we can do.