Friday, 25 February 2011
10 Ways to Become a Plastic Church by Chad Missildine - ChurchLeaders.com - Christian Leadership Blogs, Articles, Videos, How To's, and Free Resources
Saturday, 29 January 2011
12 bizarre real-life places that are stranger than science fiction
Science fiction is home to some fantastic societies, from Cloud City to Bartertown. But you doesn't have to leave reality for this—our own world has places so abnormal, they make alien societies seem ordinary.
Here are 12 remarkable locations in which people once lived (and some still do).
1. Izu Islands
Off the coast of Japan lies a series of volcanic islands. Due to the air being full of sulphur, they were evacuated as recently as 2000. However, citizens moved back, despite having to wear gas masks for most of their day. This is mainly due to a pension provided by scientists studying the debilitating effects of the environment. When the alien zombie virus hits Earth, these will probably be the only people left alive.
2. Neft Daslari
Neft Daslari is a functional city built 34 miles from the nearest shore. Located in Azerbaijan, the town began as an oil platform before growing into the sprawling megaplex it is today. It kind of resembles one of those apocalyptic Kevin Costner films, except it's not called "Oil World" and it doesn't go on forever.
3. Sedlec Ossuary
One of the creepiest places on Earth, Sedlec Ossuary is a Roman Catholic chapel in the Czech Republic. A popular burial site for nearly 1,000 years, the church eventually found itself with a bone storage problem. In 1870, a man was hired to arrange the bones, and he made the whole thing look like the love child of LEGOs and death metal.
4. Coober Pedy
Temperatures in this Australian mining town reach well into broiling, so the opal miners who live there have built most of their town underground. Attractions include subterranean chapels, a metal tree and a golf course open only at night. This town is our first warning system against an invasion of Mole People. (More great pics here.)
5. Centralia, Pennsylvania
In 1962, a huge underground coal deposit ignited beneath the town of Centralia, Pa. It has been burning steadily ever since. Still, the hearty town residents stuck around until 1981, when sinkholes forced a near-total evacuation (probably because drunk people kept trying to pee on the fire).
6. Gate Tower Building
It's funny how something as boring as zoning regulations could lead to one of the most exciting office buildings on the planet. A conflict between highway builders and skyscraper builders led to a unique compromise and an eye-popping piece of architecture. The highway is completely separated from the tower; otherwise the entire building would be constanty vibrating. Building employees are encouraged not to spit out the window.
7. Barcelona Supercomputing Center
Inside a spectacular Spanish church sits an enormous glass box. Inside that glass box is one of the world's fastest supercomputers. The public research center provides invaluable data to the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. We argued against this, insisting the computer would become sentient and attempt to start a brutal religious regime.
8. Thames Town
Nestled near Shanghai, China, is a quaint-yet-fully-functional re-creation of a classic English market town. This is just the start, as plans call for similar towns themed after Sweden, Italy, Holland, German, traditional Chinese, Spain, the United States and an ecologically-themed town. That's a lot of different places to stash No. 6 from The Prisoner.
9. Manshiyat Naser
On the edge of Cairo lies a community whose entire economic system centers around collecting and sorting garbage. The bustling area has shops, houses and even the largest church in the Middle East. We're also guessing it probably has some of the largest homemade forts in the Middle East, too.
Originally nicknamed "the modern fruit and flower town," this Chinese city was home to the worst pollution of any metropolis on Earth. Before reform, belching coal plants continuously choked out the sun and citizens often had difficulty seeing their own hands. A crackdown on pollution and a switch to natural gas has resulted in dramatic improvements to air quality, which means citizens no longer have to wear black every day.
11. Karni Mata, Temple of the Rats
This Indian temple is home to the belief that reincarnation occurs as a rat. As such, thousands of rats roam freely among worshippers. Being barefoot is a must, probably because shoes are the rat's natural arch-nemesis.
12. Kowloon Walled City
Due to an invasion by squatters, lawmakers turned a blind eye to this section of China from 1947 until 1973. Notorious for being completely run by gangs, the lack of building codes created haphazard structures never seen before. The sun never touched many of the narrow streets until the city was demolished in 1994. This was as close to lawlessness as non-celebrities could ever get.
Sent from my iPad
Friday, 17 December 2010
So today is my last day in the office before I get to spend some time off! Soul Survivor Extra is done and on tape. I think it's come together really well – hope that people enjoy it when it's broadcast. It's a good look behind what Soul Survivor is all about, why it exists and the difference that it makes. I really encourage people to send their youth groups – lives get changed.
Anyway… I'm about to go for my company Christmas meal and then I'm done. I should really turn my attention now to the message for our Christmas Eve Meeting. I'm excited about this one, we've never really done something on Christmas Eve at our church to my recollection – but it is a great time for potential outreach and to come together as a church family. There may even be mince pies!
Right, I need to finish off this Message from last year's Soul Survivor then I can go enjoy some
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Originally uploaded by newlifebillingham
Just looking at some photos of our first day over at bede. It's amazing how much has happened since then.
Numbers are on the rise, which is great - but on top of that I really think it's raised our game as a church. It's nearly a year now since we made the decision to move.
It makes me wonder... where next?
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
It made me think a bit about the focus on number. How important an indicator are numbers of a success in ministry? Clearly active members is more important than numbers - but as it says here, "We count people because people count"
Playing the numbers game can be tough on a church as it can bring discouragement or pride. But the key is to remember that the focus is the people, not the numbers. You want to see people grow and develop in their relationship with God. BUT - you want do to that with as many people as possible.
We can't avoid keeping check on numbers. It's important to know how many people are attending and to see that number go up. Otherwise we are not reaching people. But we cannot forget, numbers don't necessarily mean disciples.
A good thing to remember, "Every number is a person. But every person is not a number"
What do you think? How important are numbers?
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
My skin felt great after all the mud soaking and I was sure to buy Emilia lots of product that I've also used in secret.
But I can't escape the fact that I was essentially rolling around in mud. Is there any other circumstance in life where I could get away with rolling aorund in mud and NOT get disapproved of?
I couldn't really get away with this, even in my garden. And it seems a bit of a shame. Rolling around in the mud was actually a lot of fun, even if it hadn't have been good for my skin. As a child I wouldn't have thought twice about it.
There was something about the place and the experience that just reminded me of the 80s. I wasnt sure what it was, but I think it's the way it made me feel. Like a child again. I wish more mud was medicinal....