Links for November 26, 2007

I am doing a small test and have switched away from Firefox and moved to Flock. Mind you it is based on Firefox but apparently it has fixed a lot of the memory leaks. This could be temporary but we’ll see. It incorporates blogging, flickr, youtube, facebook very seemlessly, and works with a few of my more important extensions for firefox so so far, so good.
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Tonight Saskatchewan Roughriders moved past Sarnia Imperials in Grey Cup Wins. I didn’t even know we ever had an CFL team, but it’s still sad and by sad I mean more sad for the Roughriders because it took them so long. (ht)
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Is critiquing consumerism a legit argument? Afterall, it’s part of our lives to buy and sell things.
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I got this e-mail the other day, and I wanted to share about it. It was from Pei-Chung Ting from Albany California, I never knew him before this e-mail. It seems that my posts on renting and mortgaging and living in community have struck chords with them. Here is his e-mail, it’s a long one, but it was encouraging to see people doing the same things that I’ve been thinking.

My wife just directed me to your blog, and it is a bit of something I’ve been waiting for for quite some time for many of the ideas you express about community, and community living to emerge from somewhere else (not my mouth :) ) I’ve been convinced that it is something God is up to for the past 5 or so years, and I’ve been vigorously positioning myself to be able to participate and contribute in the right time, in the right place, with the right people.

A bit about me. I live in Albany, California.. . . right next to Berkeley California where I did my undergraduate studies in architecture. Roughly 5 years ago, i was driving from the Los Angeles area back to Northern California, talking as usual with my Jesus when an idea hit that would shape the course of my life. . . something I like to call “The Plan for World Liberation” because it sounds so amazingly corny.

I saw that most of us spend the majority of our lives just trying to get to par. The best of our time is spent working to merely survive, get food on the table, and pay a mortgage. The left-overs that remain of our time, energy, and resources are used for extending the Kingdom of God. We are, indeed slaves. . . and such is the case due to the curse that was placed on man and the land as a result of the fall. With Jesus, the curse was broken, and a restoration process begins that effects man, the land in the context of community. We progress from slaves, to servants, to friends, to sons. . . and all creation (that incidentally suffers frustration from the curse) groans and waits for the sons of God to be revealed.

The initial idea was simple. . . but the implications sparked some serious re-examination of many foundational principles. The simple idea was what if we could “spring” a group of people from a position of slavery to a position of freedom (owning property outright and generating excess passive income). Then, from a position of freedom, we can work together to rapidly free other people for the expansion of the Kingdom of God? What if the freedom extended not only to housing, but to other areas as well? Can we pay off a restaurant owner’s business loans so he can operate his business from a position of freedom instead of slavery? What possibilities would that open up for him to expand the Kingdom of God? Can we send people loan-free through law school, business school, or medical school? As diverse as the city and community we live in, that is where the Kingdom of God threatened to extend. Deeply, permanently, profoundly to alter the fabric of society. Incrimentally, by deed and title, the kingdom of this world comes into the ownership of the kingdom of God.

I will not write about the serious re-examination of foundational principles particularly spiritual authority in this email. I just wanted to touch base to see if there is someone out there who also sees what I’m seeing God point at.

All that is well and good, but what am i doing about it presently? Well, by miraculous circumstances, my wife and I own our house outright. I am just finishing up the final touches to a massive addition on the back side. We have been keeping our eyes out for people to partner with. Plan A was to have people of similar vision come live with us, save money together, scheme and do business together, and save cash to free other people. We’ve had our share of friends come and stay with us, but up until this point, not too many who the vision has taken root. Things were quiet for a bout 2 years until last week.

The neighbor’s house went up on the market. We are jumping on the opportunity to buy it in a declining market. Monday, we will submit a cash offer. We will have to borrow against our house, which was not the ideal setup, but we don’t know what God is up to, and it’s better to re-invest your “talent” than to bury it under a tree. A long-time friend Jon, who I’ve talked with extensively about “the plan for world liberation” will sell his house, we will knock the neighbor’s house over, and build a custom home for Jon and his family to live in next door. They will reduce their mortgage by 50%. During the construction phase, him, his wife, and 3 young boys will live with us in our house. Our plan is to end up with a 75%/25% split ownership on the new house after construction, pay down our 25% FAST, and seed ownership completely to Jon and his wife.

Simultaneously, another friend Jimmy, who I’d also been scheming with about world liberation, quit his full time position in LA and will be moving in with us while maintaining a contract position with the same company. He will be staying for free and saving money like mad while we work simultaneously on a business plan to start the financial engine for world liberation. We will aggressively work together to knock out all mortgages and then generate strong positive cashflow to extend further. The owner of the house next door also owns the house next next door. We have our sights set on it and want to be in a strong financial position when that one goes up on the market. . . to build again both physical buildings, and community simultaneously. God will reveal the right owner when that time comes.

The situation is not ideal as we would like to have started out from cash only instead of taking out a loan of any kind, but I have always believed that for this to work, it would not be through the singular efforts of one person, but would happen in the context of a closely knit community. We dig a hole by taking on the loan, but by digging out together, we are forced to shoulder the same burden and forge a stronger relationship and trust between us.

All the while, the community now has the required pieces to start “traditional ministry” again inside my house and the one next door (if we get it). It has been some time since our exodus from the institutional church as we pushed ahead to try and build a new kind of infrastructure to support the new directions God is calling us to.

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theStory website has a new RSS Feed, so update your readers if you care.
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Tomorrow I’m moving my office into theStory‘s new building. So like promised, pictures and more details still soon to come.
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Cultivate last week was my favourite one yet. Met some great people and was challenged by thoughts and conversation.
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My camera is at Canon and an estimate to get it fixed is awaiting. Hopefully I’ll be out on the streets again in the next few weeks.
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We have sold our Mac G4 and purchased a PowerMac G5, dual 1.8 with 3gb ram, and there will be 1TB of space. So hopefully this can handle the documentary editing a little better. So when we move into the new building we will have two PC and one MAC video editing machines which is what I’m excited for because I’m currently working on the beginning stages of a feature length film with some guys in Sarnia. More details to come on that.

4 Comments

  • At the rate Saskatchewan wins Grey Cups, don’t be suprised to see Sarnia tie us up again :-)

  • Hahahah. Jordan, that was an awesome comment.

  • Hahahah. Ron, that was an awesome comment.

  • Hahaha Dave – you made a funny comment on my site… hahaha.