Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I'm looking for updated email addresses please send me yours if you've changed it in the last 6 months

Love extravagantly,


Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's not that I wanted to - I HAD to

Heidi and I often joke that there are pet peeves or habits that are so ingrained in us we can't resist ordering our world to fit them. It's like the guy who has to change the toilet paper roll so it rolls off of the top - he can't abide it the other way. Or checking for change in the public telephone. Silly small compulsions.

Heidi read this quote about typical evangelism to me and it has been widely handled in the blogoshpere - but I HAVE to include it - on the off chance that you dear reader haven't seen it or thought about it.

This happened, I think, when what ought to be an act of hospitality was transformed into an act of salesmanship. Salesmanship, whatever else it may be, is ultimately inhospitable.

We could go back and look at the causes of this perverse commodification of the gospel -- tracing the way that 19th-century evangelists like Charles Finney began adopting the techniques of salesmen, and how these techniques were further refined over the years by students of marketing like Bill Bright. But we needn't go into great detail here about how this happened to acknowledge that it has happened.

"Evangelism" today is not seen as the practice of hospitality, but as a kind of marketing scheme. It is not an invitation, but a sales pitch. Not a matter of "taste and see," but of "buy now." Or, to use one of my favorite descriptions of the work of evangelism, it is not "one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread," but rather one fat man trying to convince another fat man that he's a beggar in order to close the sale on another loaf.

Contemporary American-style evangelism is made even stranger by the fact that it seems devoid of content. It's become a turtles-all-the-way-down exercise with no apparent real bottom. Evangelism means, literally, the telling of good news. Surely there must be more to this good news than simply that the hearers of it become obliged to turn around and tell it to others. And those others, in turn, are obliged to tell still others the good news of their obligation to spread this news.
Mike Todd's Blog (and the history of the post's origins)

God save us from the corporate church!

Friday, February 24, 2006


I was reading with Heidi and the word "impeccable" came to my ears. It struck me that we so often use that idea to formulate our notion of spirituality. It means:

im·pec·ca·ble (adjective)

1. Having no flaws; perfect.
2. Incapable of sin or wrongdoing.

There was an inch or two of snow on the driveway this morning - the perfect whiteness was beautiful. Everything harmonized by a blanket of snow. When I went out to shovel it all off of the driveway I felt a little sad. I had to trade this clean look for the inevitable slush and mess that would follow.

As I looked more carefully at the snow I found one lone piece of salt resisting it's influence. It was holding out - making the beautiful white painting inconsistent - marred somehow. Just by being what it was - salt - the snow could not be what it was at least not in the same way.

When we see ourselves (or others) in the light of trying to be "impeccable" we commit
ourselves instantly to failure. Many will try to set the bar as high as they dare and then point wildly and shout "See look! Spirituality! Impeccability! It's possible!" But it's not. It looks good from afar, and at a glance, but once you look and see - it's marred by the salt on the driveway. It has to be - it's us.

I think that true spirituality is the unflinching gaze inward while Christ holds the magnifying glass. All He wants is for us to see ourselves as we truly are - how He sees us all the time. Once we do that the wonder of His love and the urge to rush to Him for healing and help will overwhelm us.

The "Impeccable Ideal" is out there for sale by all kinds of people, (usually on their 99 cent table) It seems to be the special favorite of those who throw words like "success," "excellence" and "efficiency" around.

How can I look intently at myself and the risen Christ of God and think any of those things? Mostly when I actually allow myself to look at Him and myself intentionally the words that come to me are "Why?" and "Thank-you!" My spirituality is messy organic and unpredictable - it's more like seasons and tides than strategies, stated goals, and talking points.

I can't take anymore the "Impeccable" guilt-mongers - Please just take your discount spirituality away - and if the door hits you in the butt on the way out - thanks for the laugh.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

And you thought you were having a bad day!

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Bavarian village was flooded by liquid pig manure after a tank containing the fertilizer burst, German police said Wednesday.

Sewage rose to 20 inches in the courtyards and streets of Elsa after gushing from the tank, which held some 240,000 litres of pig manure.(The tank would have to be over 20 feet high and 23 feet in diameter for that volume - as big as a house!)

"The village was swamped with green-brown liquid and it was pig manure -- the mother-of-all muck," said Rainer Prediger, a police spokesman in the nearby town of Coburg.


That is CAPITAL "N" nasty!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Know thyself

As you might imagine, my self assurance etc. has taken a bit of a hit in this process.

A friend suggested that I use this tool (Here's the link) to get an objective picture of myself. So at the risk of being a bit egotistical could you pick six words from the list and help me out?

It should take less than a minute.

All I ask is that you're candid, and honest.



Thursday, February 16, 2006

OK looking for a job sucks.

I'm tired and cold. Bone cold tired. Tired of guessing and waiting - tired of calling and hoping. Tired of sweaters and blankets and numb fingers.

I got news today that I am on an interview list that will eventually turn into a meeting - yeah another hurdle! I have different interview tomorrow too. I am thankful for them both, but tonight I'm tired.

I was doing follow-up calls and got told by one company they never got my resume. I KNOW I sent it, I know that the address was right, but they never got it.
For the price of the stamp I could have DRIVEN it to the address - thanks Canada Post!

I called one employer and the HR staff let me know that after they had a call back from the layoff (ie: in about a month)they'll have need for workers - starting wage? $7.15/hr (Uh - nevermind.)

God is with the poor. I would hear that and even say it - but it never was me. The poor were them. Even after having walked this hard road before, the un-named they were "the poor" not me. Even now I'm not poor - I'm broke, there's a BIG difference.
(Although my pride would say otherwise.)

God grant that I may know what it is to be content even in this. Job said it best - "Shall I accept only good from the Lord?" It's easier to write about pain and lack than it is to experience them. Perhaps I will enjoy my dinner a bit more fully and my rest more deeply after this valley? But can I rest in it? May He grant me grace.

Blessed be God - the kingdom is not made of things, but heart and passion and sinew, it is of love and sacrifice and loss. (It's about joy and laughter and rest and a thousand other things too, but that seems to be another chapter than the one we are on at present)

Hope. Pray that hope comes - the comfort of hope is that even though there is cold rain above - the horizon promises bluer skies and warmer days.

The Lord lives, and we in Him - may we rest in that.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What a friend pain is to me

Some of you are aware that I am currently job searching. We are reaching into savings just to stay afloat and that is a finite resource - not to mention the funds I had hoped to use for school.

I am writing this to ask for your prayers. It would be easy to only ask for the obvious - a job - and I certainly want one! But I believe there is more to be learned in the waiting and the fear than "God will come through in the end!"

I've been thinking lately of what a friend pain is to me. I have this physical quirk - a literal pain that shoots up the left side of my neck whenever I start to deal with issues close to my heart and soul. It feel like a hot knife. It's sharp painful and unpleasant - demanding my instant attention.

I hated it for the better part of forty years - it was to be avoided. It was a clear indication that the issue I was dealing with at that moment, needed to be buried fast and my mind distracted. It is my "pain in the neck."

Pain and discomfort are a help to me spiritually. I am told by my culture to seek fun and comfort. I am told by my faith to seek Jesus. The two are seldom the same thing. (see: Mortification of the flesh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

So WHILE I am walking this part of the road - won't you ask God to bolster my courage, to settle the panic and increase my faith. I am dealing with shame guilt and low self esteem, but God is most close when we feel our greatest need.

These days are hard and I begin to wonder if what I believe about myself is true, since those I have been asking to consider my services tend to be take their time gettng back to me. Please ask God to buttress my faith - our faith, to make us more like Him through this, after all that's what really matters. It's certainly not that God can't have me set and ready to go by the morning - so I am watching and listening to see what that may be.

I want to close with a word of thanks. Some of you have heard how tough things are and have graciously helped. Thank-you so much. Your practical help has come at just the right time and in just the right way to encourage our hearts and meet our physical needs.

It's hard to stand in the place of the receiver when you feel much more comfortable being the giver. But that's another post...

Love extravagantly,


OK so I moved my blog

Hi all,

I moved my blog here because the service is better and more versatile and still free. It's an easier interface and over all just a better deal.

So now you know.


Friday, February 10, 2006

The Turner Family Blog???

Where did it go? What's happened here??

Don't panic - there is still a Turner Family Blog - we just migrated it here:

Turner Family Blog

I have been using "Keep Imagining" over at blog.com, but it's a slow, low quality server and so he has moved here to blogspot.

Please continue to visit here - and stop on over to the family blog at www.theturnerfamilyblog.blogspot.com