» the City

It is our responsiblity?

missional lifestyle, the City, thinking green - by - January 11, 2012 - 14:17 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Trash everywhere. That is one thing I am noticing about this urban living. Sure, Main street is nice and clean, but that is because people are paid to keep the trash cleaned up. What about the rest of the streets we live on? Who is responsible to cleaning them up? Full Story

So what happened to us?

family, Life, missional lifestyle, the City - by - October 9, 2010 - 20:14 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Working on some detailed post, but in boiled down to God prepared our hearts, then we attended this little conference called verge and everything we knew was wrecked as we were fast-tracked to where we were suppose to be.  This 7 minute video from the conference is a good introduction to our journey.

God’s Work in Atlanta

missional lifestyle, the City - by - September 8, 2009 - 10:06 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Amy and I had a very encouraging time in Atlanta this last weekend and met some incredible folks.  I wanted to give a shout out to these ministries and people and thank them again for their encouragement and their faithfulness in serving Jesus where they have been called.

Full Story

Church and Technology

missional lifestyle, the City - by - May 14, 2009 - 04:08 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Why would your church worry about being on ” the internet’s’ “? This topic is discussed on today’s The Resurgence blog.

Apple Store Experience

Excellence in the Arts, the City - by - March 16, 2009 - 18:42 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Okay, this was so great I just had to blog about it.

Late last week the trackpad button on my MacBook Pro was stuck… would not click. While investigating, I found my battery was swollen up, bulging up against the underside of the trackpad, keeping it from clicking. I removed the battery – it showed a full charge, but it has not been working right, dying at 30% charge, so I now knew what the real problem was. I put off calling Apple as I was busy.

So Today (Monday) I realize I have a trip coming up and I really need a battery. A quick look online, nope, will not get here in time – guess I need to run over to the Apple Store. I have heard some people have had good luck getting their batteries replaced under warranty, but those were newer computers, and most as old as mine just had to pay for a replacement battery (although my computer is still under the Applecare warranty.)

I arrived at The Domain around 1, and it is crowded – everyone is enjoying the nice weather after a couple days of winter. The Apple store is really crowded. I make my way towards the back when I get stopped by a guy in an orange shirt, “Can I help you sir?” “Um yea, I have a little problem” as I show him the battery, which is now split open. “Right over here, we can help you.”

My battery gets handed to a couple Geniuses, one to the next, finally a young lady says she just needs to check with a manager real quick, glances across the room and apparently got the nod – okay. The she explains to me that I really need an appointment, but since they don’t have any appointments available in the near future (SXSW maybe?) she would get someone to take care of it, just wait right there, it may be a few minutes.

Well before I can even get my iPhone unlocked, someone ask me for my battery, grabs a new one off the shelf behind me and ask me to go ahead and open it up as I follow him. We walk back to the counter, I snap the new battery in my MacBook as he scans the info, gets my name, zipcode and verifies my laptop is still under warranty. There you are, good to go.

And all of that took less time than it took for you to read this post. I am happy. My computer is happy.

Economic stimulus

missional lifestyle, the City, thinking green - by - March 8, 2008 - 03:30 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

This is an extension of the “Going Green with your green” post

The federal government is getting ready to dump billions of dollars into the economy to help stimulate the economy and help American families. The idea is that each of us tax payers, and those working families who don’t make enough to pay taxes, each will get a tax rebate (not sure how you can call it a rebate if you don’t pay anything in, but that argument is for another time), the amount based upon the number of people in the household. The checks are suppose to start mailing in May, then we will each turn around, spend that money on things we need and get some cash flowing in the economy.

A lot of folks will spend as if it were lottery winnings or an inheritance from a long lost uncle, purchasing things one would not otherwise buy for oneself when inflation is as high as 18% (look at your receipts… groceries alone have gone up 18-22% in the last 18 months). Some have already spent the money buying things they want and will use the check to pay off (or down) credit card debt. While this is spending the money and getting it into the economy, it is very short-sighted.

First, we are turning around and giving our cash into the big corporations that are already reporting record profits and don’t need help with an economic stimulus. Exxon Mobil (see here (and here)), Walmart (see here), etc (here, here, here). The impact on the economy will be short-lived if the rebates are poured right into the overflowing hands of Big Oil and Big Box Retailers. They are not hurting, despite the increases in prices (inflation) and the freeze on hiring and pay raises, and in some cases lay-offs (automaker with profit let go 8100 people), they do have profits, and even record profits.

Second- environmental impact. The environmental impact of the consumerist, materialistic lifestyle will cost even more down the road. Any economic upturn will be followed by an equal or deeper downturn. Dependence on oil is rooted in the dependence on modern luxury goods such as tv, radio, prepackaged food, eating out. Look at the “carbon footprint” left behind — miles goods travel, the amount of packaging required, and the landfill holding all the trashed stuff. [carbon footprint calculator]

Third – social impact. World magazine [Vol. 23, No.4, p 10] puts it this way:
“Not all taxpayers are created equal in the eyes of Congress. The economic stimulus effort signed into law Feb. 13 will mean different things to different Americans… but [the money] is only for taxpayers who made up to $75,000 last year and married taxpaying couples who made up to $150,000. Individuals who made between $75,000 and $87,000, and married couples who made between $150,000 and $174,000, will receive only partial rebates.” The implication is that the very hardworking middle class is being, once again, left out. When exactly did that income level become middle class? I’ve always thought I was middle class, and once again (the Federal School Lunch program gave me my first blow) I’m knocked over with a fiscal feather. I thought people who made that much money were well off and already spending a fair amount of disposable income. The average income of a single person in Austin is $42,689. The per capita income in Austin is about $24,000. Then I found this graph.
The number of Austin families making less than $50,000 a year decreased, and the numbers making over $50,000 increased in the last decade of the 20th century. And the percentage of single taxpayers or families earning between $75,000 and $100,000 was about 12.5%. The number of families earning between $150,000 and $200,000 is less than 4%. Now it’s been a long time since I sat in an economics class, but including the families making $200,000+, that is fewer than 9% of Austin families. That’s not middle class. That’s the wealthiest 10% of our society. The folks that may worry me are those who make so little money that they don’t always file taxes at all. We need to make sure folks know to file their taxes– and low income folks can file for free with Turbo Tax online. It’s accessible from any public library for free.

So what are we to do?

1. See Amy’s post on Going green with your green – we could make a huge difference if we all used our economic and tax rebates in a social and ecologically sound way, such as green initiatives. Use your rebate to purchase a Hybrid vehicle, solar panels, or a more efficient furnace, water heater or other appliance that you depend on daily. Make your money an investment that will give you a return. Double the money with the government’s incentives and rebates for “going green.” There’s a place to check off on your tax forms next year that could give you $3000 back on the purchase of a Hybrid. Your city utility may give rebates on the purchase of front loading washers, solar panels, or new toilets. Check it out.

2. Spend your check locally. Think Globally, Act Locally. Keep that money in your own community. Spend your check directly with small businesses or individuals. This will in-turn allow them to spend the money again, truly getting the cash flowing and stimulating the economy instead of increasing the coffers and profits of the big business while they lay off more workers to keep their profits growing by the right percentage year after year. Go by the Whip-In, Austin Baby and share this green love around. Let’s don’t give the money straight to Walmart. Make them work for it.

jeff & amy jones

Cross Festival 2007

the City - by - November 5, 2007 - 16:59 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

What is it? Why Be Involved?
The Cross Festival (www.crossfestival.org) is a annual Christian Music Festival here in Austin. It is being held November 17th, 11:30am – 10pm, at Auditorium Shores. Featuring a mix of all different styles of music, bands from all over the country, the Cross Festival is a family friendly event that hopes to encourage Christians in unity around the cross and thru music.
This years band lineup is focusing on “crossover” music, a perfect opportunity to reach out to the community and your neighbors and invite them. Please visit the website for more information, opportunities to volunteer and promotional downloads.

In but Different

missional lifestyle, the City - by - September 26, 2007 - 01:25 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

Listening to a Tim Keller teaching I was struck by an illustration he gave.

Jeremiah 29 – the captives who were carried away to Babylon wanted to remain separate, stay outside of Babylon and remain pure. The Babylonians wanted the exiles to come into the city, to assimilate, lose their cultural identity and become like the Babylonians.
But God told them thru Jeremiah that He wanted them to do the hardest thing possible. Don’t stay out and be different, don’t go in and become like them, but go deeply in and stay very different.

This is exactly what we are told in 1 Peter chapter 2. Seek the welfare of the city, pray for peace, submit to the governors, but remain different. Abstain from fleshly lust… having your conduct honorable, that God may be Glorified.

We need to follow these principle, as even Christ was our example. Loving even our enemies, serving, giving and at the same time preaching and teaching the Gospel. Loving our neighbors, pouring ourselves out for them, but also telling them they are going to hell without Christ because of their sin and God’s wrath. How can I do a better job being both prophetic and priestly?

Do You Love the City?

missional lifestyle, the City - by - July 2, 2007 - 19:57 Etc/GMT+5 - 2 Comments

My wife recently blogged about loving her city. We have been considering moving because we could use a little more space, but as we considered our options we realized we would have to move away from the city (austin) and into the suburbs to get more space (that we could afford anyway.) So what’s the problem with this?

We both have a heart for ministering to the city, and reaching the city for Christ. How can we do that if we don’t live in the city? Why the city? Well, that is where the PEOPLE live… after all, it is the people we are trying to minister to, right? There are more people per square mile in the city than in the ‘burbs.

Look at the political, social, spiritual aspects of people living in the city verse in the suburbs. Most people would agree that the urban areas tend to be more “unGodly” than the suburbs. Alternative lifestyles flourish in the city. The percentage of those who attend church is lower and the churches that many people attend tend to be un-biblical pagan churches! Yet urban dwellers tend to seek community more than those in the suburbs. They gather for arts and culture events, night clubs and coffee houses become that “third place” for the city dweller. They spend less time in their cars and more time being social. The city needs more people who love Jesus to be apart of this culture of the city.

Not sure what my final point is, other than wanting to put some of my thoughts on this to paper (or pixels) – but then again, that is the point of this blog.