Dan Herford

Receive, juggle, pass

Category: Book Review

The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling – Book Review

A few months ago I reviewed The Bikeable Church, authored by cyclist, urbanologist, and missiologist  Sean Benesh.  Benesh’s most recent work, The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling, broadens the scope to track and examine both the urban cyclist, and the city he cycles in.

BohemianGuide Continue reading

The 3D Gospel – a book review

One of the joys of reading the Bible is to see again and again how it ties together so thoroughly and deeply, and to see again and again how clearly it presents the reality of the human condition in all of its beauty and ugliness.  My joy was increased three-fold recently as I enjoyed the wonderful book The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures by Jayson Georges. Continue reading

The Bikeable Church – a book review

Portland, Oregon is one of the major hubs of North American bike culture, spinning out cargo bikes, bike clothing, a major bike blog, custom frame builders, and all manner of things bike.  Into this fertile bike landscape Sean Benesh is sowing the seeds of the gospel while simultaneously learning the cultural lessons that the city offers the observant coffee-sipper.  Continue reading

Tradecraft: Mapping the Geographic Layer

Boom!  There you are, dropped into Corvallis in a midnight HALO operation.  The chute is packed away under an overgrown rhododendron bush and you are taking your first look at the town.  You wander around a bit until you stumble across a friendly little bike shop tucked back in a strip mall.  You walk in and ask if there are any local maps to be had.  The owner points at a stack on the corner of the counter and offers you one.  “Free?”, you ask.  “Yup!”, he replies, “Compliments of the City!” Continue reading

Tradecraft Mapping – First Steps

As I tweeted the other day (Hey! You can follow me on Twitter: @HerfordDan), my Tradecraft mapping kit is in hand!  A couple of months ago the folks at The Upstream Collective put out a call for interested bloggers to join their Tradecraft mapping team.  Though I was wee in the bloggage, they heard my pleas to be included in this excellent experiment, and sent me the resources to make it happen. Continue reading

Tradecraft as a local catalyst

If you read my previous post about Tradecraft, you understand that I’m excited about the book, and the whole mapping process, for hard-wired map- and data-geek reasons.  The pure thrill of gathering data, organizing it on a map, and letting it tell me about this place I’ve called home for a couple of decades would motivate me to do the work and blog about it.  But, even more significant than that motivation is the idea that this Tradecraft mapping project can serve as a catalyst for significant interconnection and vitalization of the Church here in Corvallis. Continue reading

Tradecraft: For the Church on Mission


Tradecraft: For the TradecraftChurch on Mission is a unique book about the nitty-gritty of foreign missions.  Tradecraft was written by missionaries to equip others for the work of missions.  It’s a book I’ve been eager to read since I first heard about it a year or so ago.  I’ll finally be digging into it in the coming weeks, and I’m exited that I have the opportunity to share what I learn with you, as  I will be applying the once-arcane missionary tradecraft in my own city and blogging about it as part of the Upstream Collective’s Tradecraft Blogging team.

When I was a teenager, I filled one wall of my bedroom with maps.  The maps were not just to look at; they were to pore over and ponder.  On the left was the National Geographic world map.  Next was a map of the United States, and then a map of Oregon, and then a map of Clatsop County, each map zooming in tighter until Cannon Beach came into focus.  I still love maps, to study them and consider the geography and the embedded history, to wonder about the strange place-names, and the language.  I keep a small book of maps of the world at my bike shop, to be able to learn precisely where a foreign-student customer hails from.

As a boy, I loved books even more than maps; especially books involving mysterious folk like detectives and spies.  Or biographies of explorers and stories of adventure!  National Geographic magazines, with all of their portrayals of far-off people and places further whetted my appetite.  I was drawn, like many boys that age, to adventure and action, to treasure maps and secret missions.

I joined the Army out of high school, with my one request being a tour overseas.  Four of my six years in the Army were spent away from the familiar US – about half in West Germany (the Wall remained at that time) and half in the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.  I didn’t have the kinds of adventures I had read about, but I did interact with cultures and languages, and pondered over the things that made people come together, and the things that pushed them apart.

Soon after I got out of the Army I became a Christian, and my reading focus shifted over time to missionary biographies.  As I traded the Tom Clancy novels for ‘Through Gates of Splendor’ and other missionary biographies, I learned that the things that had so captivated me as a younger man had beautiful and rich counterparts on the mission field.  My love of language and culture and maps and stories – all of these were a vital part of the work of cross-cultural missions – especially foreign missions in places resistant to the Gospel.

At this point in the life of my family, foreign missions are not in view, but I believe that we are called to be on mission wherever we are.  I desire to see the church alive and connected in every place.  I want to know the people in my community, and to be able to connect with them in the redemptive Story of God.  I want to cross cultures and interact with people who speak other languages.  I want to connect with people who have a different world-view than I.  As a starting point, I at least want to begin to understand who else shares this city with me.

I think this book will help me move in the right direction, so come along as I delve into the mysteries of Tradecraft.  It should be an adventure!

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