Clean Water for Elirose

Ariah Fine has just published his second book – a children’s book – “Clean Water for Elirose.”

His first novel, “Giving Up” deals with a number of justice issues and his latest book, continues with the same theme but shares it in an easy to understand way for younger children — alongside great illustrations by Don Robb.

The book tells the story of Maria and her friends and how they join together to build a clean water well for Elirose.

Amazing how stories can simplify so many complicated ideas — isn’t it? 😉

The book also includes a brief discussion guide to help you and your children discuss the issues together.

You can order a copy of the book today – and a portion of the proceeds go to help build a clean water well through charity:water.

Order the book.

And if you’d like to see the book before you buy… can also read the entire book right from your computer screen – right now.

What’s even cooler — is the book is now available with a Pay-What-You-Can model. So you can pay $3 for the book or $50 and know that what you’re giving goes to make a difference in the lives of others this Advent season.

And finally….

Ariah is also giving away one book a day from Dec. 1st to Dec. 15th. And there are a few ways to enter each day:

  • Like the Clean Water for Elirose Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/CleanWaterForElirose
  • Refer someone to “Like” The facebook page (proven by them posting your name on our wall as the person who referred them)
  • Follow [twitter]WaterForElirose[/twitter] on Twitter
  • Tweet or post on Facebook about Clean Water for Elirose linking back to the website, facebook or twitter page
  • Blog about Clean Water for Elirose on your blog (counts as two entries) – And you might want to post it on our Facebook or email info@cleanwaterforelirose.com just so he doesn’t miss it

The Kingdom of God…

In this time of Advent, when we remember how the Creator God became flesh and blood and moved into our neighborhood, we reflect on his Kingdom.

An upside down Kingdom. But a Kingdom that is at hand — now — and one that we’re all invited to help bring about.

So what will it look like? The prophet Isaiah writes (65:17-25):

“Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth.

All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten.

Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating: I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight.

I’ll take joy in Jerusalem, take delight in my people: No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries of anguish;

No more babies dying in the cradle, or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime; One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal-anything less will seem like a cheat.

They’ll build houses and move in. They’ll plant fields and eat what they grow.

No more building a house that some outsider takes over, no more planting fields that some enemy confiscates, for my people will be as long-lived as trees, my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work.

They won’t work and have nothing come of it, they won’t have children snatched out from under them. For they themselves are plantings blessed by God, with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed.

Before they call out, I’ll answer. Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard.

Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow, lion and ox eat straw from the same trough, but snakes-they’ll get a diet of dirt!

Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill anywhere on my Holy Mountain,” says God.

Beautiful!

What do you think? How do you read it?

#sb1more is live

The something beautiful 1 more event is live!

Thanks so much for everyone who participated and shared a video.

We hope you’ll take some time to view each video, listen to the messages being shared and then leave your feedback in the comment section on the page or share your thoughts on Twitter using the #sb1more hashtag.

Thanks again to all who participated and we look forward to everyone’s feedback.

something beautiful #1more

Got a question, idea or dream for the church that you’re just itching to share with everyone?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

As we reflect back on Oct. 31, 1517, we’re reminded that it was with a simple list of statements, posted on the door of the The Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany that started the Protestant Reformation.

And it led us to think — if we could say just one thing to the Church universal — what would it be?

If we could add “1more” item to Luther’s list — what would we add?

And more importantly, what would YOU add?

So between now and Oct. 24, 2011 we want to gather your voices, and your thoughts (and your videos) to put together one giant list of unique ideas for the Church.

And on Oct. 31, 2011 we’ll share those videos with the world — right here on our website. So anyone and everyone can come and listen and hear what you have to say.

Be sure to get your video together, post it online and then tell us where to find it – by Oct. 24th.

Exposure to the sun

Jesolo #18

One of the things I learned on holiday was how much I enjoyed sitting in the sun… reading on my Kindle or listening to music on my iPod.

Previously I always considered myself an on-the-go person on holiday. Last year, when we went to Paris as a family I walked the legs off Olly and the we’ans. We had an all-you-can-eat Metro ticket but I had more fun walking from site to site. Part of me is glad we did… and part of me regrets it.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to me to discover actually how much I loved being on the beach or sitting by the pool.

Part of this enjoyment was feeling the sun on my skin. Don’t worry… I was decent. I’m not the type of person to walk around wearing ’budgie smugglers’… that’s not my style… but I did get a tan.

I read later of the benefits of Vitamin D and how we’ve become so scared of skin cancer that we’ve become terribly deficient in this essential building block.

That’s for another debate… and please appreciate I’m not condoning long exposure to the sun. Albeit I thoroughly enjoyed it and have benefited from the Vit D stored in my fat and muscles (more fat than muscles).

I believe I have benefited from direct exposure to the sun. I don’t believe there are health benefits to be had in exposing ourselves to tanning beds or pretending to be sun-kissed with fake tans etc… the only benefit comes from one-to-one exposure to the sun.

What’s more… I can’t gain anything from someone who has been exposed to the sun. I can’t get a tan from them… I can only get it for myself.

I used this analogy when talking to my friends Paul and Ovi on Wednesday passed. We were discussing theology and some of the awesome work Ovi is doing in Glasgow.

I made mention of my desire to help people to learn how to think. I am no longer interested in telling people what to think. My focus has moved from ’what’ to ’how’. This is especially important when it comes to theology.

Recently a ’prophetic christian’ (his definition not mine) told friends of mine not to invest in ’Harry Potter’ because it trivialised witchcraft. One friend in particular was upset by this and asked my advice. I went back to her and described the Deathly Hallows…

“for love to win, the hero must die for his friends. In doing so, he is resurrected and can defeat evil forever.”

I then said… did it sound familiar?

JK Rowling has gone on record and spoken about the Christian allegory within her series… what then is more important? The spurious claim that the books are trivialising witchcraft or the more substantial claim that her books point, in part, to the Yeshua story?

Please don’t take my word for it… but look it up for yourself. That’s my point… I desperately want people to think for themselves… to have the discernment that comes from engaging directly with Abba through prayer and study of the bible.

In short, I want to see followers of Yeshua who have tans through exposure to ’the sun’.

This exposure, as discussed above, only comes through direct exposure. Just as we can’t get a tan off of someone else… neither should we seek to gain our knowledge and experience of Abba through other people… we should seek it for ourselves.

We have the ability to have a one-to-one relationship with Abba… through Yeshua… and we would be foolish not to take it and instead ’outsource’ our thinking to ’trusted parties’… including me. Don’t take my word for it… do your own research… and think for yourself. Go with what Abba guides… not what the crowd demands.

What’s more… let’s stop pretending to have a tan and go out and get one. Fakes look awful anyway. It may be uncomfortable to start with and we may get burned but… the benefits of regular exposure are worth it in the long run.

Think about it.

Tx

Sleeping through demonstrations of Abba’s power

Jesolo #9

I was recently in a beach resort just north of Venice in Northern Italy called Lido Di Jesolo. It’s a beautiful place and my family and I had a wonderful time there.

During the second week there was a massive thunder and lightning storm… which change the weather from comfortably late 20s / early 30s with low humidity to late 30s with higher humidity. The change was noticeable.

I knew there was a storm because the family were woken at 3am to the loudest crack of thunder imaginable. We then sat up and watched an amazing show consisting of both sheet and forked lightning along with some tremendous rumbles and cracks of thunder… underpinned by the sound of torrential rain. I tried to take a photo of the lightning but failed miserably… but Olly managed to get some of the ’show’ on her videocamera. It really was something special.

The thing is… the next day at breakfast we discovered fellow holidaymakers who had slept through the whole thing. Their only clue that something had occurred was the rain and the change in conditions the following morning.

This got me thinking of all the people who miss Abba working in and around them.

Abba is moving in your place… in your space… in your time… and there are people who are asleep to His working. They may see the signs but don’t get the wondrous vision of His power at work. I think this is a real pity.

Abba is moving and the vigilant have the opportunity to get behind what He is doing… to be part of His glorious mission.

We see so much that is detrimental… all the time. The English Riots in recent days have had me glued to the BBC News. Watching people demonstrate the very worst of human behaviour… looting… thoughtless destruction… reckless violence.

If this was all that I saw, I would be utterly depressed and angry too… but it wasn’t. I saw the beneficial too: people coming together to protect their communities… people coming together to clean up after the riots and to provide refreshments for the Police and Emergency Services.

It isn’t always obvious where Abba is working… but He is working… and we need to be vigilant.

I guess that’s why I love this podcast and why it has lasting so long… people showing where Abba has worked and is working in their lives and in their places/spaces.

In the days we live in… where the detrimental always seems to get more play than the beneficial… it is refreshing to hear uplifting stories that fully articulate Abba’s love and power in action.

So let us not sleep through His working… but remain vigilant and aware… so we see His power in action and can play our parts… being the men and women who Abba wants us to be.

My sincere thanks to JD, Travis, Johnny and Stewart for keeping the momentum going. We are always looking for stories that we can tell… and new voices willing to share. Get in touch if you have something to share or think of someone we could talk with.

Tx

Splash

Tampa Bay Sunshine Skyway Bridge | Photo by John Picken

The Sunshine Skyway bridge spans the mouth of Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida. It carries thousands of cars everyday. It’s also become one of the top ten places to end your life. This is the story of the many who jumped, one lucky guy who survived, and how broken bones and a collapsed lung made him a new man.

A story of death, rebirth and redemption.


Listen on PRX.com

If you’re hurting, or need someone to talk to – know that it gets better.

Take a moment and ask for help – 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

All is Grace – Brennan Manning

All is Grace
All is Grace - Brennan Manning | Image via David C Cook

A new trailer has been released for an upcoming memoir by Brennan Manning:

From the publisher:

It has been over twenty years since the publication of The Ragamuffin Gospel, a book many claim as the shattering of God’s grace into their lives. Since that time, Brennan Manning has been dazzingly faithful in preaching and writing variations on that singular theme – “Yes, Abba is very fond of you!”

But today the crowds are gone and the lights are dim, the patches on his knees have faded. If he ever was a ragamuffin, truly it is now. In this his final book, Brennan roves back his past, honoring the lives of the people closest to him, family and friends who’ve known the saint and the sinner, the boy and the man. Far from some chronological timeline, these memories are witness to the truth of life by one who has lived it – All Is Grace.

I’ve often been blown away by the words of Brennan Manning so I’m really looking forward to this look at his life — in his own words.

As mentioned above, Brennan wrote (several years before before Love Wins):

The love of God for man is, “A union that not only transcends every political, social, cultural and religious consideration and not only infuses them with ultimate meaning, but defines the very purpose of life itself.”

“For His love is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods — of elation or depression. The furious love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change. It is reliable. And always tender.”

It’s a message the world needs to hear.

It’s a message I need to hear.

And it’s a message we’ve been invited to share with the world.

But until we really grab hold of it ourselves, we’ll continually struggle in sharing it with anyone else.

The book is set to release in October 2011. But you can pre-order it today on Amazon.

Until then – how have you seen this deep, deep love of God in your own life?