O Little Town of Bethlehem

“Isa is not rich, Isa is very poor I know this.  God loves the poor people.  Rich people.  All people”.

“If Jesus is born as a refuge, what about us?”


The Creed

Thanks to Fr Simon for sharing this on Facebook earlier.

Advent Conspiracy

You may remember last years Advent Conspiracy campaign.  The premise is to make our celebration of Christmas mean something:

The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

Check out the site and get ready.  Christmas is coming!

Tell, Show, Be.

This looks like a great campaign from the Methodist Church.  The Christian life is often built into some ‘mystic art’ that only qualified people are capable of doing.  The Tell, Show, Be campaign seeks to shatter the mystique and encourage the whole body of christ to get on with being followers of the way.

The Dangers of Social Media

social media has created a revolution in the 21st Century.  The way in which information is shared via media such as twitter and YouTube has seen a permanent shift from those in control to the decentralised masses.  Content is now judged not upon it’s worth to the establishment as it sells it’s product to the consumer but is now consumer generated for the consumer.  Peer review is not controlled by the few but by the many.  Sites such as Facebook have changed the way in which networks are not only maintained but also created.  People can experience social interaction with their diasporic friends entwining their scattered realities together.

This is broadly speaking a good thing.  However, like many tools it can have it’s misuses.  For some social media is addictive and can lead some people to become disconnected with the real world.  There have been high profile cases where the boundaries of reality and virtuality have been blurred.

So here we have a video that is no doubt going viral as you read these pixels illuminated on the screen before you.  We see someone creating a work of art out of their 152 Facebook friends… today.  Is this the ultimate expression of the love heart tattoo with the ex-girfriends name lovingly etched within it?

The internet is a terminally fickle place with sites being created and destroyed by the amount of attention that they manage to draw as they captivate the collective imagination of the users.  I can only imagine that 5 years ago this would have been a MySpace tattoo that we would now be watching a hasty covered up with the next best website…. perhaps twitter.

Social media as a phenomenon I would expect to stay.  However I expect my social networks to evolve over the course of my life time.  I expect that they will cross platforms and migrate from format to format.  My reality however, I expect to be here for the duration.  My tattooed arms will be with me for as long as I can manage to keep them attached to my torso.  Friendships with grow with new people.  Some old friendships may fade and disappear.  My arms I intend to hang on to.

The Viral Bible Project

As part of the Biblefresh initiative to celebrate 400 years of the authorised version of the bible, the Viral Bible project was launched this week at Spring Harvest.

The Viral Bible Project has taken off with a roar at Spring Harvest Skegness, as the members of the Christian Motorcycle Association got ten new Bibles into circulation around the country. The Bibles will be passed on from hand to hand, linking friends and sharing Bible passages along the way.

Specially-customised NIV Bibles, donated by publishers, Hodder, will be randomly distributed at Christian festivals such as ROOTS, Keswick, New Wine, Summer Madness, Leading Edge and Soul Survivor during the spring and summer.

The happy recipients will be invited to enter their basic details and highlight a passage that has challenged or influenced them. They will log onto a dedicated website – to place a ‘pin’ on a Googlemap, and then pass their Bible on – to go as far afield as possible.

It sounds like quite a fun way of engaging with the scriptures.  I wonder if someone will pass one on to me.

Jennifer Aniston’s Sex Tape

For a while I’ve been looking at social media as a communication tool.  You will have noticed that I have posted  many blogs about the ways in which the internet can create a sensation that either builds up or destroys its target.  This flash mob video is a great example of how something can spread like wildfire and become a sensation.  However, who can forget the 10 million hits that destroyed United Airline’s reputation?

Above we have a great example of how the internet viral has challenged mainstream communication.  By bringing all of the viral clichés together with the words “Jennifer Aniston’s Sex Tape”, Smart Water pinpoint two key things:

  1. Viral video clips sell things by word of mouth and recommendation unbelievably well.
  2. We can identify what has worked in the past but it is really difficult to say what will work in the future.  It is a totally deregulated phenomenon and out of the hands of “the man”.  “The man” wants to use it but doesn’t know how.  And if it is used by “the man” people are less likely to pass it on as it stinks of “the man”.