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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Wednesday
Sep282005

Sometimes it's not that easy...

The politics of my skin....

Sometimes you don't need to say or do anything to be judged. Simply being is enough. Millions of South Africans suffered, and still continue to suffer, because of the politics of their skin. The struggle is for both black and white. It can be tough. Particularly so when you believe that it was noticing the colour of a person's
skin that created all the problems in the first place! I wish we lived in a world where skin was not quite so political! I wish we didn't notice it quite as much! I wish we could know who we are and not have to gain our identity by saying who others are not... My young daughter and her friends don't seem to notice the colour of their skin. How I wish we were more like that. I wish we had just one defining identity, identity in Christ.

Monday
Sep192005

faith, hope, love and marriage!

I write this on my way back from an amazing weekend with friends in Cape Town!

As an aside it never ceases to amaze me just how incredible technology is! I am writing this post on my Sony UX50 palmtop on a flight somewhere between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Anyway, enough of that, back to what really matters.

As I mentioned I am at the end of a fantastic weekend with some very special friends. Today I was honoured, once again, to officiate at the wedding ceremony of two close friends. This time the two special friends who allowed me the grace of sharing in their special day were Mike and Jane Willis. The day itslef was absolutely perfect in so many ways! The chance to be with friends that I had not been with for almost a year was great. Perfect surroundings! And, the weather was magnificent in Somerset West and Stellenbosch.

The ceremony itself took place in a glorious little chapel in the Stellenbosch vineyards. The little chapel has a wonderful story to it. It was built by the farmer who had hit upon hard times. He did what we all should do in such situations, he came before God in prayer. Apparently, as an act of faith, he promised to build a Chapel for the labourers on his farm to show his devotion and gratitude to God for God's faithfulness. The story ends both with a glorious place in which to worship, and also with a magnificent testimony to God's desire to respond to a call for help with grace and abundance.

In many ways marriage is something like that, in committing to dream in hope of something miraculous and good that is to come. We dig the foundations and commit to the building of something, a place - a sacred space, in which we can encounter the truth of life, the intention of love, and the hope of joy. Marraige is fundamentally a commitment made in faith based on hope, and ultimately realised in love.

The promise itself does not realise the hope, neither does the wonderful act of faith that is reflected in the promise of commitment. What makes the space real, what creates that place of sacred encounter and joyous discovery, is that verb... love. Love is something you build.

Mike and Jane, may you be blessed with the reward you hope for and have faithfully committed to as you build your love in the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years to come.

"These three remain - faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 3:13)

Monday
Sep052005

Geek Post! How to Sync a Sony Clie UX50 with Mac OS 10.4

This is something of a GEEK post. I just recently got a secondhand Sony Clie UX 50. It is a FANTASTIC little handheld (except for the poor battery life)!

My problem was that neither Apple (nor Palm) have supported syncing this device with Mac OS. The only solution seemed to be purchasing the Missing Sync from www.markspace.com. It costs around $30. So, I didn't want to have to spend that kind of money. This meant that I had to try to find a solution for my problem. Here's what I figured out.

How to sync a Clie UX50 with Palm Desktop 4.2.1

1. Install Palm Desktop 4.2.1 (as normal)
2. Go to: http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59837&page=1&pp=15
3. Download "PDiQue for TJ27.app.zip"
4. Unzip it and install the file "PDiQue for TJ27"
5. Now set up a Bluetooth partnership FROM the Mac to the UX50 (use Mac Bluetooth setup)
6. Restart the Powerbook
7. When restarted Open the Palm Desktop Hotsync Manager (in Applications/Palm)
8. From there select "Connections settings"
9. Select "Bluetooth PDA sync"
10. Set up the Conduit Manager on the UX50 to Sync via Bluetooth to the Powerbook.
11. Once that is done, simply select the Bluetooth Sync option, make sure the Hotsync Manager is open on the Mac, Bluetooth is enabled on both devices, press the Hotsync Button on the UX50! Viola you are now syncing with Palm Desktop

To set it up further to use iSync, make sure you have the latest iSync installed (go to http://www.apple.com/isync).

Open it, your UX50 username should appear in iSync.

1. Go to "Devices" and choose the option "Enable Palm OS Syncing".
2. Next go to Applications/Palm and open the Hotsync Manager. From the Menu Bar choose "Hotsync" and then "Conduit Settings"
3. Choose "iSync Conduit" and press the "Conduit settings" button.
4. Select "Enable Hotsync for this Palm Device"
5. Press OK
6. Now all that you need to do is go back to "Hotsync" on the UX 50. Make sure you have selected the Bluetooth connection to your Powerbook. Ensure that Bluetooth is switched on on both devices. Press Hotsync and VIOLA! It will sync iCall and Adress with your UX50.

WARNING! It is SLOW syncing via Bluetooth! So, make sure you have a fully charged UX50 and LOTS of time.

Drop me a line and let me know if this worked for you!

Sunday
Aug282005

Spirituality podcast 6 - 21 August 2005 - scast6.mp3 (8MB)

I have not put any sermons on this website before. I am still not sure whether this is an appropriate format for such content. However, I have had a few requests to post some sermons. Since I have been struggling to find the time to record any other content I thought I would give it a try. I would appreciate feedback and comments!

This sermon is the last sermon in a series on the 7 Churches of Revelation 2 and 3. The title of the sermon is "Not fit for consumption". It was preached at Bryanston Methodist Church in South Africa on the 21st of August 2005.

I have included the text for the sermon in MS Word format.

Church 7 not fit for comsumption srmn.doc

Download the audio here: scast6.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks! Please drop me a line and let me know if you're listening!

Thursday
Aug182005

A great blog to take a look at

I like the fact that you check out my blog from time to time! Well done! Ha Ha!

However, here is a blog from a truly enlightened friend, Peter Woods, called Restless Rock.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday
Aug082005

Hospital, time, temperature, Tillich and Podcasts

You may be wondering what these words have in common? They are all connected in some way with the Spirituality podcast. One of the great things about being a person of faith is that one has to find ways to truly live one's faith in the midst of real life and all of the wonderful joys and challenges that brings! So, time has been something of a problem for the last few days. Hence, no recent updates! Sorry.

The first bit of GREAT news is that my daughter is out of hospital. She fell quite desperately ill with a severe infection caused by tonsilitis (of all things!). She spent two days in hospital where the capable nursing staff and doctors helped to get the infection and her fever under control. She will probably return to have her tonsils out in the next week or two. As any parent will tell you it takes a great deal of time and emotion to see a child, particularly a young one, through such an ordeal.

Further good news is that I have three hour-long lectures that I will be posting to the site as soon as I manage to edit them! The lectures were delivered by Dr Tom Cunningham (a minister of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, former lecturer at Rhodes University South Africa, and United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio - a graduate of Chicago University and the University of Southern Africa). The three lectures are an introduction to the theology of Paul Tillich, Dietriech Bonhoeffer and Jurgen Moltmann. So, watch this space for more!

I hope to be able to record a further podcast this weekend. So please do check back on Monday if you are interested in that. I want to take some time to discuss one or two elements of African Spirituality and the Christian faith. I hope it will be of interest to some of you.

Lastly, I am still struggling with hosting problems and bandwidth. Can you believe that there are now close to 70 people who download the podcast via iTunes, and a few more who do so via their web browser!? This however, means that I use up quite a bit of bandwidth (and it also requires quite a bit of web space to host all the MP3 files). So, if there is anyone who is able, and willing, to assist me with this (either by providing space for me to FTP the files to, or to help donate a few Rand to upgrade my bandwidth and FTP space) please contact me! I would love to hear from you! As always, you can either leave a comment on the website, or send an email to: digitaldion@gmail.com

By the way, thank you to everyone who voted for me on podcastalley.com! 5 votes! It all helps!

Many blessings,

Dion

Monday
Jul252005

Spirituality podcast 5 - 23 July 2005 - scast5.mp3 (3.9MB)

This is the diagram I refer to in the podcast.


In this LONG overdue podcast I discuss Ken Wilber's understanding of the Four Quadrants of being in relation to holons and the Holarchy. In short, it discusses how each part / whole of reality has individual, social, interior and exterior realities, and how these realities relate to one another to offer a holistic understanding of true being.

For any person who truly wishes to understand, and make meaning, of life as a whole, this schema is a truly wonderful tool. My introduction is extremely cursory. For a detailed discussion of Wilber's notion I would suggest the following title: Wilber, K. 1995. "Sex, ecology, spirituality: The spirit of evolution". Boston: Shambala.

Download the podcast audio here: scast5.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks for listening! Please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, or discussion.

Tuesday
Jul192005

Podcast updates

Well, I am back at work after taking two weeks off work to look after my daughter during her school holidays, and to do some work on my Doctorate. The good news is that I managed to complete another chapter towards my Thesis!

The result of this work should be another podcast (which I will record and publish this week) on Ken Wilber's four quadrants of reality. It is truly a fascinating concept that explains the existence of holons (which were discussed in a previous podcast) and how the elements of individual, social, interior and exterior relate to one another bring a holistic understanding of reality.

If you are downloading the shows directly, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to the show via iTunes. This will make it easy for you to get updates to the podcast (iTunes automatically downloads the latest show), and it gives me some fairly accurate statistics of the number of persons that are listening to the show (currently there are about 50 subscribers via iTunes). Here's how you do it:

1. Go to www.apple.com/itunes and download iTunes 4.9 for Windows or Mac.
2. Once you have installed iTunes go to the 'Advanced' option in the Menu items, select 'Subscribe to Podcast'
3. Enter the following feed into the window that opens: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dionsrandomramblings

That's it!

Also, if you get a chance, please vote for this podcast at www.podcastalley.com. Search for 'spirituality' on the top left of the page, in the results find "Spirituality Southern Africa", click on the link, select details and vote!

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday
Jul092005

My first confirmed listener! Here's a picture of my podcasting equipment

Today I received an email from my first CONFIRMED listener, Patricia-Ann. She is a fellow spirituality podcaster. Thanks for the note!

She asked a question about podcasting, so I thought I would post a picture of the equipment that I use to record my podcast. Here it is:

I use a 12" Apple Powerbook G4 1.33Ghz with 768MB of Ram running OS X Tiger.

I record in Garageband (the first one), export the file to iTunes and then convert it to MP3 and add all the metadata information from there. Once that is done I upload the completed MP3 file to the Web Server via FTP, log on to my Blogger account (www.blogger.com) via the web, add the posting, show notes etc., and a link to the file. I have an RSS 2.0 feed from feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com). My feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/dionsrandomramblings.

The other equipment that I use is a Berhinger UB 802 mixing desk, a Sennheiser 835S microphone, some cheap in - ear earphones (this allows me to hear more or less what the listener will hear when she or he downloads the podcast - a tip I picked up from John and Rob at topofthepods). The desk gives a line out signal (one of the MANY wires you can see on the desk). I take this line directly into the Line In input of my Powerbook and viola, there is life!

Two of the shows I have done thus far have been recorded on portable recording devices (because I was out at the time that I wanted to / needed to record). The two devices I use are: a Sony ICD-MS515 Memory Stick voice recorder (the quality on this is not too good). Alternatively I use my Sharp Minidisc recorder / player with the SUPERB Sony ECM-717 Microphone (the quality on this is almost as good as recording directly through the desk!) If I record on either of these devices I simply bring the sound into my computer via the mixing desk (use RCA cables), I press play on the portable device, record in Garageband, and then I go and make a cup of coffee!

By the way, my very first podcast was simply recorded using the internal microphone on my Powerbook with Garageband... I hope that things will get better from here on in.

The intro music and contact information are two seperate tracks in Garageband which are standard.

If you enjoy this podcast please could you vote for me at Podcastalley? Simply follow the link, search for "spirituality" in the top left corner of the page, click on the "Spirituality Southern Africa" link in the results that come up. Click on details, then click vote and viola! Every vote helps!!!

If you have any question or comments on this please drop me a line at this email) address. Or, alternatively, click on the comments link below and add a comment.

Friday
Jul082005

Spirituality podcast 4 - 8 July 2005 - scast4.mp3 (3.6MB)

This Podcast is a discussion of Ken Wilber's notion of holons and holarchy. The concept is extremely enlightening and offers an interesting critique of hierarchies and heterarchies.

To find out more about Ken Wilber you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber

Download the audio here: scast4.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks! Please drop me a line and let me know if you're listening! Also feel free to add any comments using the comments link below.

Thursday
Jul072005

Spirituality podcast 3 - 7 July 2005 - scast3.mp3 (1.4MB)

Today's podcast is a short reflection on the bombings that took place in London. Please do pray for those injured and affected, as well as those who planted the bombs.

Please excuse the quality of some sections of Audio. This podcast was recorded on a portable device.

I welcome comments and feedback.

Download the audio here: scast3.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Tuesday
Jul052005

Spirituality podcast 2 - 5 July 2005 - scast2.mp3 (6.9MB)

This Podcast is a discussion of the paper on the functioning of the human brain in relation to spirituality which I presented last month at the Theological Society of South Africa meetings (please not a correction in the MP3 I call it the Theological Society of Southern Africa. It is in fact of South Africa only!)

You can download the full paper from the earlier post below.

Here is an outline of what is discussed.

Research in both science and theology has begun to move away from reductionist and mechanistic views of the human person towards approaches that emphasise the interaction and inter-relationship of the various systems of human being. This paper aims to discuss some of the implications that intelligence, and in particular spiritual intelligence (also called SQ), may have upon the wellness of a person as a whole living, spiritual, being. The paper will start with a discussion on the three primary systems that constitute a whole person. Next there will be some insight into the functioning of the human brain. This will be followed by a presentation of the three dominant forms of intelligence (IQ, EQ and SQ). These are commonly identified through a study of the functioning of the human brain. After that some time will be spent looking at the theological implications (neuro-theology) of spiritual intelligence, discussing some possible effects that this form of intelligence could have on wholeness and wellness in human being. Finally, the paper will end with some suggestions on the development of a spiritual life that will be beneficial to wellness.

Download the audio here: scast2.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks! Please drop me a line and let me know if you're listening! Please listen! Please!