Monday, October 29, 2012


We Christians make a mistake when we pit Darwinian Evolution against Theistic Creation - as if we are the only ones lining up against Darwin. There are many secular, atheistic, scientists who disagree with the emergence of life being explained through Darwin's paradigm. 

The core tenant of Science is the desire to disprove. Nothing is fact. Everything is theory. This makes it science. And when a long held scientific theory is finally debunked or superseded, the true scientific community celebrates. The science fringe-dwellers wring their hands and dig in their heels, arguing for the ancient wisdom of some scientific saint. But, science—standing on the shoulders of yesterday’s giants—moves on, abandoning or adjusting the previously held theory. It is seen as wisdom of the age from which it came, but no longer true. 

I Googled to find an article demonstrating my point. In less than three minutes, I found one called “dubitable-darwin-why-some-smart-nonreligious-people-doubt-the-theory-of-evolution”. it was on the Scientific American website. You can find hundreds of such articles, if you care to look. Once we’ve found all these arguments by science against science... what will we do? Quote our favourites, of course! 

As scripture tells us, the man who says there is no God is a fool. And yet, Jesus says we should not call anyone a fool. Perhaps we should leave both the scientific theorizing and the name calling to those who are not about the business of their Father in Heaven.

As believers in God, His creative and recreative power and His Word, we should focus our intelligence, imagination and inspiration on the things to which He calls us. God has shown us, oh friend, what is good and what He requires of us. To do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him.

One day, some scientific mastermind - who says there is no God - will prove, by using every synapse of his God-given brain, that life did not emerge in Darwin’s image. And along with this ground-breaking scientific (dis)proof will come the next life-explaining theory of everything. And the scientific community will run in tight, brilliant, little circles until they throw the next theory-busting birthday party. It’s what they do. Leave them to it.

Let’s be about the business of our Father in Heaven - humbly changing the world, one act of justice and mercy at a time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Story Building

My story building strategy is simple. 

There are two core principles I operate from when building a new storytelling presentation. 

First: Choose one value to teach. 
Build the story or stories (in a presentation) around one value. You can put the value in the mouth of a character. You can imbed the value in the way the character does what they do. You can even play around the edges of the value and have the kids guess what it is. Just don't muddy the water by stomping from one point to another. Choose a value. Teach it once, twice, three times. Use a variety of approaches. But stay on value. There are other times for other talks - one talk, one value.
Some compare it to a bullet and buckshot. One value, well aimed, will get a bullseye. But fire a shotgun, full of all your favourite buckshot one-liners, at the same target and you'll hit everything and nothing. As Steve Martin’s “serious business” character says to John Candy’s “mile-a-minute storytelling” character, in Planes, Trains and Automobiles: “By the way, when you're telling these little stories, here's a good idea. Have a point. It makes it more interesting for the listener.”

Second: Stories from our ancient faith are of ultimate importance. 
If they weren’t valuable teaching stories they wouldn’t have been told, told and retold until they were anthologized in the Bible. Because these stories are recorded in the Bible they are core material — for Christians, Muslims, Jews (Old Testament), and western listeners (most of us) — and are very important source material that our kids need. The world around our children will make more sense, their faith will have more relevence to them and their personal character will be built on higher ground if they know the core Bible stories. These stories have been the building blocks of little minds for millennia and led to the development of many great minds in adulthood. Even atheists in Western Society would not be who they are if they did not come from a culture founded on the Biblical narrative. So, I must tell Bible stories and tell them in a captivating fashion that leads to a love for the Bible.
My typical approach is to search for a key verse or story that states the value as clearly as possible. Once I have that story/verse, I build the other stories around it. If I have a personal story that fits - and I mean REALLY fits well, then I will include it. I used to tell a lot more personal stories but found I was telling stories from the ancient faith less and less. And that bothered me. So, now I focus, nearly entirely, on Biblical stories.

So, there you have it!
Choose one value. Then teach that value through core-faith stories.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Family "Shipwreck Coast" Holiday

Jenny and I took the kids on a 5 day tour of the Shipwreck coast.
The weekends on either end were speaking engagements for me:
Weekend 1 - Grampians: Western Regional Camp
Weekend 2 - Mt Gambier: Preach for Church and Storytelling for Adventurers
During the week in the middle we spent three nights in Warrnambool
and 2 nights in Port Fairy.

Our morning roo visitors out the front of our cabin 
at Western Regional Family Camp, Halls Gap. 
Taken by Rachael.

On top of Mt Sturgeon
near Dunkeld.

The Edgren 3 conquering the world.

Rock Wallaby & Joey on Mt Sturgeon.

Morning walk with the crew on the ocean boardwalk
in Warrnambool.

Morning tide in Warrnambool.

Sunset over stormy sea in Warrnambool.

Morning waves in Warrnambool.

Lighthouse seascape in Port Fairy.

Lighthouse gateway in Port Fairy.

Limestone Sinkhole in Mt Gambier.

The amazing gardens in the sinkhole.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Counting Backward from 10 ... 9 ...

Today I made the journey into the city for another visit with some of St Vincents’ super-duper cool people. I really do like them, they are very friendly, listen well and laugh at my jokes. What more can a brain patient ask for? hehe

Today I met Emma and Eric. They* were both very helpful and informative. 

Emma was either a doctor or a nurse, I’m not sure, and spent a long time with me doing various tests and asking me lots of questions. At the beginning of the visit, she told me the primary purpose of today was to assess my compatibility with the medication they will use to knock me out during the surgery. 

Emma took some blood. She did a blood pressure test. Then she put 10 stickers on my chest, stomach and ankles to test my electrical system. She was very happy with all my answers and the results of the BP and ECG tests. The blood results will come back in the next day or two, but I am quite confident as I have had two blood tests in the past month at my local GP. After the ECG she played a little trick on me which was quite funny. She said, “Ok, there are 10 stickers on your body. Find them and remove them.” It took me awhile. But, after a hint, I was successful!

I asked Emma about the stay in the hospital. She said, 5-7 days is normal. I will be up and walking on the first day after surgery and will be expected to be quite coherent and coordinated very quickly. No rest for the wicked! I was happy to hear that I won’t be bed ridden for long at all. After all the questions and tests were finished, she sent me off to provide some “midstream” pee in a cup. That was the hardest test of them all. But, I’m a champion! To the rim and not a drop wasted. lol

After meeting with Emma, I met with Eric. Dr Eric? He told me the name of the surgeon doing my opperation is Dr Smith. I said, “You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability....” (no I didn’t, but I was tempted). lol (there’s a prize to the first person brave enough to put the next like in a comment below)... 

Anyway, Eric looked through my file (online!) with me and let me know that, while a date has not yet been set, I will receive a call in the next week or two to inform me of the date. He said, it should be in the next three or four weeks. 

So, I’m happy with today’s escapade. It was a safe drive into the city and a safe return. And I feel reassured, yet again, that the upcoming surgery is in very capable hands!

*What’s up with the first name game at the higher level of society? It’s like we’re playing topsy-turvy with the education-vs-title equation. Elder Jones can knock on my door at 18 years of age (recently reduced from 19 as voted by the good people of Utah). The CTO can instant message the CEO about the CIO defaming the CCO with very little flame between all four matchsticks. But in a brain surgery ward, a patient meets Emma and Eric to chat about having a tumour removed. Hmmm....

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...