Ross James – Bamboo Camel

The title of the book ‘Ascent, Crest, Perspective: The Making of a Bamboo Camel’ is anything but ordinary, but its author, Dr Ross, James has had an anything but ordinary life so far.

The book is a memoir reflecting on his years as a journalist, academic and researcher, as well as the personal battles he has faced.

Ross is a storyteller who uses personal journals and correspondence to tell the story of what happened after he left a family funeral business and yielded to the leading of Providence.

Ross explains an Ascent, a 20-year period of preparation as a journalist, academic and researcher. The ascent of preparation levelled out on the Crest of purpose, a 20-year period of his life’s work, motivated by the teachings of Jesus whose life exemplified care for the marginalised and poor. He lived and worked in several Asian countries then relocated to Australia and led initiatives to develop community-centred media projects throughout Asia.

After detailing the Ascent and explaining the Crest, in Perspective Ross reflects on achievements concurrent with clinical depression and accompanied by despair and loss of joy. Some excerpts from his personal journals are painful reading; some revelations are vulnerable honesty. Yet, Ross accepts a proposition that depression might have been a ‘gift of a handicap’ which compelled him to depend on Providence to overcome his limitations. His startling conclusion is that he is, after all, a bamboo camel, designed with specifications to fulfil a providential purpose. – The Bamboo Camel

Ross has worked in many countries, including Australia, the Philippines and Pakistan.

It was a great pleasure to welcome him to my podcast Bleeding Daylight to be able to hear some of his story.

You can hear our conversation on Bleeding Daylight wherever you listen to podcasts or use the audio player below.

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What does 'missional church' really mean?

I wrote a few days back about enjoying Michael Frost’s book Exiles last year.If you’ve got around 50 minutes you might like to watch the video in this post. It’s a video of Mike talking about what it means to be the missional church, addressing the 2007 Presbyterian Global Fellowship Conference in Houston last year.

Maybe you haven’t got 50 minutes. I dare you to try watching the first five minutes. You’ll probably find that you do have the time to watch the rest of the video.

The video is also available in high quality DVD format by contacting Presbyterian Global Fellowship.

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