Thursday, June 22, 2006
I want to add some new links to other people's blogs.
If you would like me to add a link to your blog (blogs only please) then shoot me an email, or post a comment.
Conversely if you don't want me to adda link to your blog, do the same thing, except write different words.
I am also now averaging seven visits a day. However these aren't unique visitors, so if the person who has my page set as their homepage wants to let me know who you are that would be great.
Anyhow, those of you that read Melissa's blog will know that she is reading "surrender all" by Ashley Barker at the moment. She is reading it because I started reading it, and two chapters into it I told her to go to the library and borrow it.
Ashley Barker is the founder of UNOH (www.unoh.org), or Urban Neighbours of Hope. UNOH began in Springvale and is now also in Noble Park and Klong Toey, a slum in Bangkok. They are a protestant mission order. I won't go too much into what they do, but you really should check out both their website and Ash Barker's book. When I buy it I will lend it to anyone who wants to read it, just ask.
Ross Langmead, head of Mission Studies at Whitley College (my Theological college), writes this in his foreword to the book. "This book is a resounding call to Christian discipleship. Ashley Barker shows compellingly that we don't have to add "radical" to discipleship because Jesus' call is deeply radical. "
Now as you read that you probably think, like I usually do, 'yeah I know discipleship is radical, I am being so radical in my discipleship.'
Well, read the book. Ash shares about his journey of discipleship, where God called him and his family to surreder all (hence the title) in their pursuit of Jesus. Their journey of discipleship has led them to live in Klong Toey slum in Bangkok. Yep that is right, their journey of discipleship didn't lead them to the cushy eastern suburbs of Melbourne, a nice house, nice car and a well paid Youth pastors position at a respectable middle class church. It very easily could have. Instead it lead them to the poorest slum in Bangkok, living in a tiny room that regularly floods. Anji (Ash's wife) volunteers in an AIDs hospice, massaging dying AIDs patients to relieve some of the pain they feel.
Reading this book has reminded me of some of the resolutions I have made in my discipleship journey.
It has challenged me, because I am very good at making resolutions.
I suck at following through on them.
Now I am not saying that I shouldn't have made those resolutions. In fact if I hadn't have made some of those resolutions then my life would be totally different.
But how well have I followed through on all those resolutions I made. Resolutions I made when convicted by God. Resolutions made when encourage by God. Resolutions made when challenged by God. Resolutions made when dared by God (can I really say that? Sure feels like God dares me to do things).
My resolution to live a life of (radical) discipleship.
My resolution to live a life committed to fighting poverty and injustice in all their forms.
My resolution to live a life of simplicity, based on need and not wants.
My resolution to live a life of intentionally building community, whatever the cost.
My resolution to live a life of personal holiness and spiritual discipline.
My resolution to surrender all.
The more I read and the more I talk to people who I respect, the more I see that we can't do this stuff alone.
We can't do this stuff in the presence of people who are not committed to doing the same things.
I am also reading the history of the Australian SAS (Special Air Service).
A small group of highly trained, highly dedicated soldiers who are trained to engage in specific tasks that the general army is unprepared to do.
And they are damn good at it.
One reason they can do it is because they don't do it alone.
They work as a unit. Committed to each other and the task at hand. Prepared to train, work and die with and for the man beside them.
I think that level of commitment, of myself and those around me, would help me to follow through on some of the resolutions I have made.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
I will post in the very near future, and might even try to get a photo or two up here.
Keep commenting, to let me know you are still alive.