echoes of athenian idols

Friday, February 28, 2003:

Well, last night was good fun. There was about 15 or so, which was good for a first night in a new place, and a really nice feel to it, round the tables, drinkin tea by candlelight on a Thursday night... If anyone'd like the stuff sent to them, let us know. And we got asked to come back to The Bush to do the same thing for the students on Monday night, which is a good sign - they must like us or something ;-)
Next Sunday we have to do a talk on drugs for Miss Clar-ver Hill's youth group. And we dont do that many drugs, apart from the caffine and the coke. I can see us now, 'Okay children? Okay....Drugs are bad. Okay?' 'Yes Mr Mackey...' Okay, so if anyone out there wants to come along and share their experiences then you'd be most welcome. They have to be bad experiences of course. ;-)
**** // 5:35 pm


Wednesday, February 26, 2003:

Last reminder - tomorrow night at The Bush - God's secret garden will be on the timely theme of lent. Never been a big fan of lent but thought we'd give it a blast. Everyone welcome, there'll be drinks and stuff downstairs but the godspace will be upstairs. Hang round for a chat.
Here's some DeMello Jonny picked out to probe your thinking:
'The holy person is like a rose.' Have you ever heard a rose say, 'I am going to give my fragrance only to good people who smell me, and I am going to deny my perfume to evil people'? No, it is of the very nature of the rose to spread fragrance.
'The holy person is a lamp lit in a dark room'. Can a lamp say that it is going to shed light only on good people and keep from shining on bad people?
'The holy person is like a tree giving shade to both good and bad people. The tree gives it shade even to the person cutting it down. And if it is aromatic, it will leave it's smell after being cut.'

**** // 4:33 pm


Tuesday, February 25, 2003:

There is a slavery that threatens us like a cancer of the personality. It's latent, maligant, and unless it's rooted out, it will destroy us. Once it strikes, it corrodes our character and we are hooked.
The disease:
'Cool is indespensable - and readily, endlessly despensed. You can get it at every corner (at the right price), though it's highly addictive and its effects are short-lived. If you're here for cool today, you'll almost certainly be back for more tomorrow.' - Kalle Lasn
And the cure:
'The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very act of existance becomes an act of rebellion.' - Albert Camus

**** // 3:44 pm


Monday, February 24, 2003:

A bit of advance warning, God's Secret Garden is on this week but not at aka... anymore. It's now at 12 Elmwood Avenue, which some of you will know as The Bush cafe. Same time, Thursday night, from 9 to 11ish, same idea, Godspace, for reflection, meditation and contemplation.
Thought for the day from one of my heroes:
'So it was that God's children who suffer most from crushing poverty became the very ones God used to speak to us of our own spiritual poverty. From those who had very few matieral possessions, we learned about our bondage to things. And from those who had much to fear and little to hope, we learned courage and faith.' - Bob Lupton
**** // 3:09 pm


Friday, February 21, 2003:

Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy of God just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you that gives glory to God. Perhaps he fears you because he can find nothing in you of God's love and God's kindness and God's patience and mercy and understanding of the weakness of men.
Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and matierialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed his faith.
- Thomas Merton

**** // 12:58 pm


Thursday, February 20, 2003:

This week at Shine:
Mandela hall:

10.30: Alan Simms.
12.00: Jeff Mills.
03.00: Close.

9.30: Alan Murray.
11.30 'til close: Adam Freeland.

The Bar:
9.30: Nik Muzka.
11.00: DJ Plus One.
01.00 'til close: Nik Muzka.

Should be amazing, dance 'til you drop, give us a shout if you wanna hook up.

**** // 2:56 pm


Wednesday, February 19, 2003:

Recieved an email from my old mate Carlos describing this blog as 'technotheology at work', which I like a lot, for a couple of reasons, although it does make it sound very serious! Anyhow. Every now and then you come across a piece of writing or a quote or something that just represents how you feel at that given moment. Here's one. Substitute walking for clubbing etc, and use your imagination... (I dont think Thoreau did much clubbing - although I could be wrong!)
'I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who have understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, - who had a genius so to speak for sauntering: which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under the pretense of going a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land, til the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, - a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are Saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering.'
Henry David Thoreau - Walking

**** // 2:27 pm


Monday, February 17, 2003:

Thinking of starting up a list of addresses - if there is the interest - for those who cant come to God's secret garden for whatever, time, distance, etc., but really would if they could, and would like to get the stuff sent out to them. If you're interested in gettin some thoughts and reflections in the post, and using them yourself, let us know. Or we could email them, which would probably be cheaper for us!
**** // 4:47 pm


Thought this was an interesting quote from Richard Holloway's book 'Doubts and Loves'. not sure i agree with everything he says, but thought that this was definely worth sharing with you all.

"I would like to suggest that we ought to switch the emphasis in Christianity from belief to practice, from Orthodoxy to Orthopraxis, from believing things about Jesus to the imitation of Jesus. There would be three challenging elements in such a determination, none of them easy to follow. The first would be a resolution to love rather than condemn sinners; to seek to understand others than rush to judgement. The second element would be an active pity for the wretched of the earth that worked to change their lot. Finally, there would be a mistrust of power and violence, both personal and institutional, and an active opposition to them. This was the programme that got Jesus crucified. Following it today won't make us popular, but it would be a more creative response to the confusions of the human condition than the endless disputes over doctrine that have so disfigured Christian history."
- Jonny

**** // 2:44 pm


Sunday, February 16, 2003:

Thought for the day:
The bible is not a benevolent horoscope.

**** // 1:12 pm


Friday, February 14, 2003:

thanks to Jonny Baker for giving us and Ikon a mention. Last night's God's secret garden was pretty cool. One guy even said 'This is even better than church...I dont need to go to church anymore, apart from when I have to play bass!' I dont think his Senior Pastor is going to be very happy...
Anyhows, we're probably gonna have a change of venue very soon. God's secret garden hits the road, true vagabond style. Will keep you updated. Anyone who was there last night, we'd value your comments, a few folk already did it on the post below.
Here's a little bite from last night for those who couldn't make it...

'Maybe now you are ready to say, “I’d rather have my freedom than your love.” If you could either have company in prison or walk the earth in freedom all alone, which would you choose? Now say to this person, “I leave you free to be yourself, to think your thoughts, to indulge your taste, follow your inclinations, behave in any way that you decide is to your liking.” The moment you say that you will observe one of two things: either your heart will resist those words and you will be exposed for the clinger and exploiter that you are; so now is the time to examine your false belief that without this person you cannot live or cannot be happy. Or your heart will pronounce the words sincerely and in that very instant all control, manipulation, exploitation, possessiveness, jealousy will drop. “I leave you free to be yourself: to think your thoughts, indulge your tastes, follow your inclinations, behave in ways that you decide are to your liking.”
And you will notice something else; the person automatically ceases to be special and important to you. And he/she becomes important the way a sunset or a symphony is lovely in itself, the way a tree is special in itself and not for the fruit or the shade it offers you. Your beloved will then belong not to you but to everyone or no-one like the sunrise and the tree. Test it by saying those words again: “I leave you free to be yourself…” In saying those words you have set yourself free. You are now ready to love.' - De Mello
**** // 12:22 pm


Wednesday, February 12, 2003:

Tomorrow night, God's secret garden @ aka from 9 to 11ish. Feel free to drop in and explore godspace.
Here's a bit more about godspace to get you thinking:
godspace is space dedicated to God. it is when the secular confronts the sacred, sin confronts holiness, and humanity confronts the divine. when emotions have run dry and we can try no more. when all our best efforts have fallen short and our many illusions have been shattered. when we travelled to far off places like spiritual perfection and theological enlightenment, and we came back empty handed. when our piety and religiosity delivered nothing and still our yearnings for a new and more excellent and noble way of living didn't go away. when our dreams and lofty ideals were shipwrecked on the island of social acceptability. when you cant even get the wrapper off your manufactured plastic wrapped spirituality, nevermind taste the bloody thing. when real life feels more like cyberlife. when you're tired of worrying who's watching you, and you just want to dance.
it is then we hear a voice that's still saying, 'Lo, I am with you always'
godspace is about stepping aside, being silent, and listening. It is where the place of disorientation becomes as valuable as the place of orientation. It is where truth is the ultimate goal, no matter how complicated it is to work out or how long it takes you. our prejudices, perceptions and attachments become secondary. It is for those who are not afraid of wrestling with god and bear the scars to prove it. it is for those who know that grace must be drunk straight and refuse to water it down. it is for those who are living echoes of athenian idols, who know they dont have it all worked out but want to have a go anyway. It is for the malnourished and the deformed, who went out to play and came home dirty and ashamed.

**** // 3:30 pm


Tuesday, February 11, 2003:

For your spiritual sustenance today is a little big thought from one of the heavyweights. Also stuck a bit more on yesterdays quote cos I thought it might need it.
“Grace strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of an empty and meaningless life…when, year after year, the longed for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions rage within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a ray of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying, ‘ You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.’ If that happens to us, we experience grace.” – Paul Tillich

**** // 2:30 pm


Monday, February 10, 2003:

Well, Saturday night was a blast. Nothing like going round the city's bars with a 12 guys, a hidden camera, and not getting in anywhere (apart from the Boom Boom Room, but then...). Actually it was quite fun, thanks to everyone who weighed in, you're entitled to a big meal out somewhere sometime this week, so stay in touch.
With this being allegedly the most romantic week of the year, and with God's secret garden on this thursday night (9pm @
aka), here's a little love story to start your week. It's not for the faint hearted, so before you read, bear in mind that every love story has a sad ending (so they say).

Remember Charles Boyer? Suave, dapper, handsome, graceful. Lover of the most famous and beautiful ladies of the silver screen. That was on camera and in fan magazines. In real life it was different.
There was only one woman. For forty-four years. His wife, Patricia. Friends said it was a lifelong love affair. They were no less lovers and friends and companions after forty-four years than after the first year.
Then Patricia developed cancer of the liver. And though the doctors told Charles, he could not bear to tell her. And so he sat by her bedside to provide hope and cheer. Day and night for six months. He could not change the inevitable. Nobody could. And Patricia died in his arms. Two days later Charles Boyer was also dead. By his own hand. He said he did not want to live without her. He said “Her love was life to me.”
It’s not for me to pass judgement on how he handled his grief. But it is for me to say that I am touched and comforted in a strange way. Touched by the depth of love behind the apparent sham of Hollywood love life. Comforted to know that a man and woman can love each other that much that long. I don’t know how I would handle my grief in similar circumstances. I pray I shall never have to stand in his shoes. But there are moments when I look across the room – amid the daily ordinariness of life – and see the person I call my wife and friend and companion. And I understand why Charles Boyer did what he did. It really is possible to love someone that much. I know. I’m certain of it.' - Robert Fulgrum
**** // 12:00 pm


Friday, February 07, 2003:

Update on the search for a Club Idol, well sort of, but if anyone (guys only i'm afraid - not our choice) fancies being on tv sometime soon and having a laugh tomorrow night, either get in touch or bring your self down to the BBC on Ormeau Ave. at 9pm on Saturday night. What the world needs now is between 10 and 16 funky Will Youngs....or maybe not. All will be revealed after the weekend....
**** // 4:44 pm


Thursday, February 06, 2003:

Shine will have to wait until next week, as we have been approached to be stars in a tv documentry on the BBC!! Filming is on Saturday night. Cant say too much as it's top secret classified stuff, well, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you, and you wouldn't want that....If you'd like to join us, give us a shout either today or could end up being a star.

**** // 4:12 pm


Wednesday, February 05, 2003:

At the mighty Shine this week are Peace Division, Psycatron, Alan Simms and Simon McDermott. Anyone who's interested in hooking up with us maybe in the bar about 10.30 or somefink drop us an email and we can arrange it. All welcome.
'Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' - Mary Oliver
**** // 4:08 pm


Tuesday, February 04, 2003:

One of the things we do is run 'God’s secret garden' every other Thursday night (9pm) at aka. At God's secret garden we try to create godspace. It is the place of reflection, meditation and contemplation.
Explanation: When the mystic came down from the mountain he was accosted by the atheist, who said sarcastically, “What did you bring us from that garden of delights you were in?” the mystic replied, “I had every intention of filling my skirt with flowers and giving them to my friends on my return. But while I was there I became so intoxicated with the fragrance of the garden that I let go of my skirt.” (De Mello) Hope that's clear then...
Here's some dates for your diary...13th, 27th Feb, 13th, 27th March, 17th April, 1st, 15th, 29th May, 12th, 26th June

**** // 11:49 am


Monday, February 03, 2003:

well, this is the echo blog. You're most welcome. Echo is basically a bunch of club-goer types in Belfast trying to work out how to shed our snake skins of tradition, ignorance, and prejudice and learn what it means to seek truth and follow Christ. We'll be updating it every day or two with some news, thoughts, or whatever, so it's a good way to keep up to date with what's happening in our world. Some of what appears on here might be wacky to some of you, but we promise to try to keep it as interesting and amusing as possible! If you wanna know more about who were are or what we do then you can find our email on the right.
**** // 6:17 pm


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This is the echo weblog. An echo is somewhere between a voice and no voice, somewhere between hearing and not hearing, and somewhere between knowing and not knowing. It's a place of faith and doubt. It's for all those trying to shed their snake skins of tradition, pride, ignorance, prejudice, and trying to work things out for themselves. It's for those caught dancing in the dichotomy of clubbing and christianity, and still trying to follow Christ.
a few of us were discussing what songs the disciples hummed to themselves as they walked home on ascension day....which do you think it was?
'leaving on a jet plane' - like in armageddon (the film that is, not the real thing)
anything by 'air'
'lifted' by 'the lighthouse family'
'up, up and away' by 'andy williams'
'i believe i can fly' by 'r kelly'
'reach for the stars' by 's club'
'stairway to heaven' by 'led zeppelin' (or rolf harris, depends on your taste)
'the only way is up' by 'yazz and the plastic population'
'i'll fly away' by 'alison krauss'
'movin on up' by 'primal scream'
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wee beautiful pict
Jonny Baker
emergent downunder
Douglas Rushkoff
Real Live Preacher
Emerging Minister
Charlie Knox
Peat Blog 5110
living room
David Steele



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Bush Cafe

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Across the Line
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The Portadown News
Landover Baptist
Ship of Fools
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