December 30, 2009
December 29, 2009
December 24, 2009
December 23, 2009
The lead pastor at our church recently had a brain tumor removed and will going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments beginning Dec 29th. He has asked for (and would greatly appreciate) prayer for the following:
-That God might glorify Himself in amazing ways through all of this
-The Village Church and our elders
-Protection from side effects of radiation
-Protection from side effects of chemotherapy
-Peace for my family...specifically my children and their salvation
December 21, 2009
My wife really outdid herself on my Christmas present this year, she made me a website. There are still some pages that will need be updated but as it stands it gives me a very nice online portfolio. Go have a look.
December 18, 2009
December 16, 2009
December 11, 2009
I started keeping track of everything I have read in August or September and since my memory is horrible this list is really “5 favorite books of the latter half of 2009”.
A Place of My Own::Michael Pollan
Best architecture reading. Pollan, known more for his non-fiction on food, wrote this book describing the building of his writing retreat. He really delves into all that goes into making a building from architectural theories to sanding window sills.
American Gods::Neil Gaiman
Best Neil Gaiman. I read (or listen to) a lot of Gaiman this year so he gets his own category. Sandman was a close contender as was Stardust. The use of setting, finding all the unusual but forgotten places in America, was especially impressive for someone who was born across the pond.
Best comic book series I read this year. About a group of “archeologists of the secret history of the twentieth century” whose job is to save the world by unearthing the weird stuff that normal people won’t acknowledge or comprehend. Great concept, great art, great characters. Runners up: Fables, Mouse Guard Winter , Persepolis, Maus, and Sandman.
Jungle Book::Rudyard Kipling
Best classic fiction. The story of Mowgli really shines when compared to the overly polished Disney rendition. The man/nature dichotomy is used to full effect as a twelve year old boy without fear or hesitation pwns Shere Kahn in the wolf council.
Life of Pi::Yann MantelBest unexpected reading. We picked this up on a whim and it turned out to be really interesting. For a work of fiction that does a stellar job at playing itself off as non-fiction, it does a remarkable job at allegory. The island chapters recall Lewis’ brilliant sci-fi trilogy and the end twist is heart wrenching. Add to that a great character in Pi, a lot of interesting thoughts on zoos and religion, and some great survival writing..
December 4, 2009
December 2, 2009
November 30, 2009
November 26, 2009
November 13, 2009
November 6, 2009
Many churches fall too far the other way: spending far too much. This inflated cost is either the result of a far too extravagant aesthetic or superfluous functionality. (see Aesthetics and Function)
The guiding principle when it comes to the budget of a church building should be one of Stewardship:
-What are my limits financially and what is the most sound way of seeing this project through?
-Will the aesthetics and function be provided for in the best possible manner within the limits decided on above?
-Will the church be producing in a good quality building that will make a sound investment through sound and sustainable construction methods?
The guiding principle when it comes to the aesthetic of a church building should be one of Beauty:
-What building response provides the most beautiful solution given the limits of cost and function?
-How is the theology of the church displayed through the building?
-How well does the church respond to its particular place in this world?
A place for weekly communal worship, the practice of sacraments, and for special occasions relating to the church body (ie. Marriage, funerals, etc). Functionally it should accommodate all these activities but it should not be a slave to any of them. There needs to be a conscious effort to infuse some aspect of sacredness to this space (see aesthetics). It is disturbing to see a space that was once designed to impart the beauty of the Creator being slowly turned into a music venue. Just because you worship with guitars and drums does not mean you need to shut off all natural light and ignore the past 1500 years of church architecture. On the other hand the symmetrical center aisle, though convenient for weddings and having strong historic roots, is not always the best design solution.
Lobbies, restrooms, mechanical/electrical rooms, and stairs are necessary and needed. Not much to say except they cost money and shouldn’t detract from the overall design.
Offices, educational spaces, fellowship spaces, libraries, and storage rooms make up the bulk of most modern Evangelical churches. Most of these in most cases are either superfluous or irrelevant. The church should look to its community for most of these. Most churches today are in the process of replacing Sunday school with small groups (a great allocation of existing interior space that the church body owns-the individual members’ houses). The church might use existing communal spaces in the community (civic centers or parks) for large fellowship activities and rent or buy small office space. By utilizing community resources the church strengthens it bond to its community, increases its profile within the community, and monetarily supports the community’s local economy.
The guiding principle when it comes to the function of a church building should be one of Purpose:
-Are the activities that are driving the design of the building inherent to strengthening the body and glorifying to God?
-Are any functions redundant with the functions of the community?
-What is the best way in which the functions of the building and the activities of the church best redeem, strengthen, and sustain the community around it?
November 4, 2009
November 2, 2009
October 30, 2009
October 16, 2009
It seems like overnight Dallas grew an arts district. What used to be a surface parking field on the northeast corner of downtown is now a pedestrian avenue with three museums, three performance halls, residential condos, retail, and park area. While most of this has been in the works for a number of years, the completion of the Wyle Theater and the Winspear Opera House (and the pedestrian plazas in between) has brought everything together.
Yesterday Laura and I went to a lecture in the Wyle by Rem Koolhaus, then to an exhibition of models by Norman Foster at the Nasher, and then to a symphony/choir rehearsal at the Myerson (all free by the way). Today I went to a lecture by Foster in the Winspear and got lots of good photos. All in all, very much enjoying the new arts district.