Thursday, July 27, 2006
Fear had many faces today
It is easy to have opinions about things,
sometimes we just need to see the results.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
"Does not our preaching contain too much of our own opinions and convictions, and too little of Jesus Christ?"
I am going to try and get through 'The Cost of Discipleship', this will be my third attempt but I think I have the commitment this time.
Today I had someone comment that they check my blog. I was taken aback, because it wasn't someone who I would ever have thought would check my blog. It also made me consider why it is I took up blogging in the first place.
I started my final subject in my Bachelor of Theology degree today. Sitting and listening to the lecturers discuss their life experiences that have led them to teach this subject as well as watching the movie 'Jesus of Montreal' got me to thinking.
I need to think.
I need my brain to be stimulated.
I need a question, a challenge for my brain to churn over.
Today I realised that when I don't think, when I don't have that question burning in my brain, that is when I stagnate.
That is when I loose sight of God.
It occurred to me today that in 14 or so weeks time I will have completed my degree and the questions won't come so easily.
It occurred to me today that my blogging has lost its purpose.
I began blogging as a way for me to outlet my mental stimulation.
An outlet where my thinking would not just be internal rumblings, but would be concise thoughts published somewhere.
Not saying they were to be answers, far from it, just a space where I was forced to put my thoughts down.
To grapple with the complexities of the questions.
Just as assignments are outlets for the learning and pondering that has occurred in a semester,
so my blog was to be the outlet for my musing and questioning.
Today, the biggest question I heard was "how do we preach it?"
I hope that question will guide my future blogging.
The questions, the challenges, the learning, the pondering, the complexity.
How will I preach it? How will I blog it?
Is it possible to boil down the complexities of life and faith into simple statements for all to read on a blog?
Is it the 'right' thing to do?
Melissa's blog post yesterday quoted the book she is reading at the moment which says that the drop out rate of our young people from church can't be blamed on the fact we make Christianity too hard. It is because we make it too easy.
Another quote from Bonhoeffer:
"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
1) went out for supper last night after football training. Been thinking alot how football teams, or any kind of club, is alot like the church.
People get together for a purpose and then we all have exactly the same challenges.
Things like the same people seem to do all the work while others just arrive in time to receive with as little work as possible.
I might expand on this thought in the near future.
It is funny to see how people interact in relationships. Especially 'exclusive' relationships. Or especially when people want to be in 'exclusive' relationships. It makes people do things they normally wouldn't think to do.
Why is it that people would think it is ok to be 'on the lookout' for a better option when they are going out with someone? As was said on Boston Legal (great show!) on Monday, a relationship doesn't have to be physical for it to be an affair.
I know a number of people who have been in this situation, on both sides, and continue to get caught up in their emotions. Logic gets thrown out the window.
It is interesting to watch people who have a crush on someone, but won't admit it, either to the person or themselves.
I get to see that all the time.
But anyway, I better go and help with Mainly Music.
P.S. if you think this post is about you. It isn't. Many have trod the path that you might be treading. I could reel off a list of names, but I won't.
Every situation is different, that is why we have ethics, for the grey areas.
it is just interesting that there are also always commonalities.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
How can someone repent if they don't realise they have done something wrong?
The Bible says that if we confess our sins, God will forgive us.
But to confess our sins we have to realise we have done something wrong.
If we don't realise our failings, how can we ever hope to grow and mature?
How can we seek forgiveness from other people, or from God, if we don't feel we have done anything to wrong them?
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
PYJAMA PARTY FOR PEACE
to 7.30 Sunday August 6th
Northcote Uniting Church
251 High St Northcote
Wurunjeri welcome and smoking ceremony,
artists, music, food, fine art,
poets meditation and films
Raising Funds for East Timorese Refugees and orphans
$10 donation entry for 24 hours
(kids.. gold coin)
More info www.chalice.org.au Phone 94822884
Guest Artists include Wurunjeri elder Joy Murphy,
author Arnold Zable, Paola Almeida and Sol Timorese Band, Circus Mistique,
singer songwriter Mick Thomas, Dursan Acar, Kavisha Mazella and La Voce
dellla Luna, Italian Womens Choir, Sudenese
singer Ajak Kwai, actor Majid Shoker, Tzigas, Eva Popov, The Sanctuary
Blind Man Driving, Robin Rowland and the Midnight Poets, Melbourne
Anthea Sidiropolous with dawn chants, Andy Green morning Chi Gung,
Bruce Watson's politics and song, Shaking the Tree choir, blues singer
Timorese Singers, Jane Belfrage and Harry Williamson, filmmaker Nicci Ma,
bedtime stories with Susan Pepper and others.......
Come along, join in the peace vigil and stay awake!
Byo bedding or comfy cushions to rest up in the hall
Friday, July 07, 2006
Funerals and Ministers
She had passed away in her sleep on tuesday morning and so family and friends had come together to celebrate her life and say goodbye.
I always find funerals interesting occasions, not least because they can provide a window into people's belief/understanding/hope of life after death. They also provide a window into how we view life.
Yesterday the minister challenged those present to reflect on what they saw as the meaning of life, to reflect on the place of God and to be challenged by him.
Ross, the minister, preached at Melissa and my wedding. I really respect him as a minister, both in his upfront platform ministry and his one on one interactions. He is able to identify his audience and speak right to where they are. He is loved by the older members of the congregation as well as the younger. He is able to speak with enough words to get his message across, without babbling. He is able to be sensitive, unoffensive and non-confrontational when he speaks, whilst also packing a challenge that is unmissable.
I never cease to be amazed by the preaching 'craft' (if you like) of Ross and sometimes wish that God's will had aligned a little differently so that I could have more chance to learn from him.
I suppose, as I write this, it shows me once again the importance of finding Christian leaders who we respect and look up to. Find leaders who we are willing to follow and who we want to learn from.
Leaders who will say "Follow me, as I follow Christ" 1 Corinthians 11:1
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Indigenous Australians missing out....
Monday, July 03, 2006
Happy NAIDOC Week
NAIDOC week stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Commemoration.
Yes I know it says 'day' but it was expanded to cover the whole week.
A couple of sites for you to check out:
www.ncca.org.au/natsiec/miph (make indigenous poverty history website)
As we come again to this important day on the Christian calendar (the founder of NAIDOC week was an ordained Churches of Christ minister from Melbourne), I am reminded yet again of how little I know about Indigenous Australians.
I can name a handful of Aboriginal nations (including my local one).
I can point out some famous Aboriginals.
I can tell you a couple of things about Aboriginal culture.
But on the whole, I could tell you more about the Japanese, Germans, Americans and Indians than I could tell you about the Indigenous people of my own country.
What does that say about how we as a country have treated our indigenous people.
And that isn't even talking about living conditions, health and education outcomes, government policy or the little problems of native title, reconciliation and the fact that my forefathers took their forefathers land.
So my challenge for this NAIDOC week, and I put this to all those people who read my blog (all 2 of you, HI MUM!), is to find out at least 5 new things about our indigenous brothers and sisters this week.
What would Jesus do?