Monday, December 10, 2007

Medication

It's people like you that make people like me need MEDICATION!

I think that's how it went, on the side of a Wicked Campervan. Made me laugh.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Kingdom Comes

"When the kingdom comes, there will be justice for all, relationships will be restored ..."

The above is a portion of a sentence I noticed in a recent group email i received. It's got me thinking. It kind of indicates a real and tangible impact of the Kingdom of God in the here and now. This is good news when it occurs.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Curved Yellow Fruit

This is hilarious, I don't know just appealed to my sense of humour
From a funny internet email I received.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fucked in the head or just stupid

"are you Fucked in the head or just Stupid" this phrase means a lot to me, I like it. mystical tolerance ... nope, just "tell it as it is Friday".

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baptism of a child

I attended an infant Baptism yesterday.

I was reflecting. The child has no say in the matter. The parents are making the decision. In a sense nothing is being asked of the child, although over time there is 'hope' that the child will engage bit by bit in the Christian faith.

What struck me was some how there seems to be an analogy to the grace of God. That un merited favour where he just gives to us without asking anything in return, he's just there, he just blesses us, says "good on you",  welcomes us, shows us a better way. My suspicion is that through Christ something special was accomplished and continues and is offered, freely. That something that made people flock to him, people who were not welcome in some peoples homes, shops, cafes. Yet when he was around they seemed to be always welcome to sit and share a meal and company with him, seemingly no strings attached. In a way if you kind of forget the possibility that Jesus "could read minds" people were welcome without really knowing who they were, what they'd done, where they'd been; be it good or not so good.

So as I reflect on infant baptism, I take comfort in something that is offered and given to the child by his \ her parents, those present and by God. In fact in the broader understanding that part of baptism is actually formal entrance into the Church, God's people universal essentially welcome this person "site unseen", taking a risk that this person may or may not turn out be a wonderful person or a person who shares in the Christian faith.

From the day of baptism, from that moment, something occurs and happens and the child is different and has something it didn't have before. How very cool. he \ she is made "holy" and is "saved" and at the same time salvation and holiness continues and has only just begun on a road that will lead far beyond.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Liturgy of the Zoo

I was in hysterics from the moment I got out of my car for the next hour or so (the following day!)

Newcastle Anglican Cathedral had invited Novacastrians to bring their Animals to a service to Give thanks for Creation and also blessing of the Animals

Well I walked through the door to be met by lot's of animals, mostly dogs of all shapes and sizes. It was the funniest and strangest thing. It was a very formal and all proper like service with choir, pipe organ, robed clergy & servers and all in a Beautiful old Cathedral. The service was essentially a normal Evensong but a difference. This time there were dogs barking, snarling and growling etc.

I sat next to a Lady Wippet dog with her own Perls around her neck. In font was a lady dressed in leopard skin style top with two fat Korgy's, her hair was the same colour and styled in the same way! To my left in the aisle was a number of very large dogs mostly golden retrievers. Behind me was an old lady dressed in black with a hat holding her very large black sausage dog.

The place was really like a zoo. Some being held by their owners, others laying on the ground and still others walking around. Cats seemed to stay in their cages, I didn't blame them ... heaps of dogs.

Also on my left was this one, my favourite


I couldn't stop laughing and later on i turned around and saw these three dogs sitting on the pew all in a row, that put me in absolute hysterics!


There was no smell of incense just that dirty dog smell.

It was nice to see the Church taking in interest in creation and peoples pets as pets mean so much to people and to have the blessed is very special. It was lovely, a bit quaint, fucking strange and just so very very funny, I'm still laughing.

How funny it was to look around at people and then look at their pets, they looked just so similar. Pets really do look like their owners.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jesus and Resurection

I was reflecting. Maybe Jesus didn't literally rise from the dead. Does this really matter? Many would argue absolutely, and that's okay. But for now I reflect maybe it's his spirit, his inspiration that lives on. Kind of puts a different spin on things, maybe even a greater sense of action for his followers to carry on that same spirit of love, justice and compassion of which he was on about. Perhaps it offers more of a focus on helping bring about change in this world and not being complacent or just giving up and waiting for the next. Assuming there is a next of course.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Spong not so bad

After attending a lecture by Bishop Spong last night my suspicions that I'd gained after reading his auto biography were confirmed, I  do like him and just like his book he comes across as a genuine good bloke. And indeed was certainly not the devil incarnate as certain people in my past life had made him out to be.

He seems to be very passionate about Jesus and also the bible, almost makes me want to read the good book again. But he is working from a very different place than a lot of Christians I know. Even so it was still refreshing to hear someone asking the big questions about the contradictions and the pain and destruction that exists in the bible and also perpetrated by the Church.

He seemed to summarise everything by saying. We are Holy, We are loved and we are called to be everything we were created to be. All good stuff. He also told story of a church sign he once saw that stated the only pre requisite to communion "is that you are hungry", just beautiful.

On reflection though i think it's all too easy to demonize all Evangelicals as biblical literalists where I don't actually believe this to be the case, certainly my own study at such a college didn't teach that type of biblical interpretation. Context and Genre were very important. Although looking at scientific research didn't seem to get mentioned.

I've still not read any of this primary books but do hope to, but have a reasonable idea of the sorts of things he says and suspect I may not agree with everything but I still respect the man because he's one who asks & welcomes questions + anyone who pisses off the conservative evangelicals of my past gets my thumbs up!

Friday, September 7, 2007

SHADOWS of PERSISTANCE

Shadows pervade 
 all around 
 less is revealed 
 different to reflections 
 different to an icon 
 not definable 
 only slightly comprehensible 
 God is ever present ever near 
 surrounding, revealing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Taize

Some of you will have heard me talk about Taize before and my posative experience of 2 trips to the community in France and also the Taize contemplative prayer services I've been part of and facilitated before.
I found a wonderful link on uTube which has some photos and samples of the Music of Taize.
Watch & Listen to Taize on utube

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Nazcar Ode to the Dead

The day after I'd visisted the desert outside Nazcar and saw various mummies I penned the following words on the overnight bus to Arequipa as a response.

"Surrounded by beauty death surrounds
Babies hands, the long hair demands
The mountains know the truth
Dignity to the dead. What would they think? What do they think?
We walk casually around the path, and stand under the shadows of the dead.
Is this sacrelidge or is it necessity?
Photos indiscriminate, Mother, Father, Son and Female child
Bones of love trampled with memories under foot.
Taxis stir up dirt and sells the skirt
Rest my friend, rest in peace. Rest under the shadows of the Haphazidness
May the mountains sing, sing a song a song of hope
Rest and rise to new birth as hope and life is born to the earth."

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Etheopian Church

On the flight to Peru I watched Discovery channel "keepers of the lost ark". I found it most intriging, a very ancient indiginous Church, seemingly keeping some O.T rituals but also lot´s of drumming and dancing in their liturgies. Their Priests and Deacons (1 in 5 men) dressed not much different to the robes that the villagers wear. They prayed what looked to me not unlike Muslims on the ground. Quite different to the the dress that the Western church wears and even what I´ve seen in Eastern Orthodox. I was struck by the indiginousness. Apparently Etheopia was never collenised. When I get home i intend to investigate more.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kinetic Sculpture if this is real it's very cool

Link below is to a web site with display of Kinetic Scultures.
If they are real, it's pretty amazing. Not bad background music either.
http://www.glumbert.com/media/kineticsculpture

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A particularly religious day

Pentecost Sunday. What I heard the preacher say that I liked enough to write down:

1. "We say Jesus Christ came to forgive us or said in another way he came to bring healing to all those broken places of our being" (I would add in all the world \ creation)

2. "You and I share a great inheritance but we also share an awesome responsibility"

Quote 1 - Fr Garry. Quote 2 - Fr Bruce

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Welcoming Table

The annual stomp festival was held in Newcastle yesterday. An amazing day of celebrating cultural diversity bringing various sub cultures within the community together.

The most profound moment for me was that the organisers had invited all those present to share in a community meal cooked by a group of African women. To me here was the spirit of Christ being made manifest. A welcoming table for All no matter what their background or present circumstances were. Strange but not unpredictable; it wasn’t the Church institutional leading the way but rather a collection of local community groups.

Friday, April 6, 2007

As he chased his delinquent crouton around his plate

"As he chased his delinquent crouton around his plate" is the line that caught my attention to a booking being read on ABC radio national as I drove to Bluesfest, Good Friday 2007.

I just liked it!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Christ the Lord out of Egypt by Anne Rice

I just finished a book called "Christ the Lord out of Egypt" by Anne Rice.

 

It's basically first person novel with Jesus as a little boy of about 5yo to maybe 8 and the stuff that happens and his journey back from Egypt with his family and his gradual trying to work out who he is and why he's different and various things like miracles just happen and he tries to make sense of it all.

 

She reckons she's drawn on various historical sources. I loved it, I actually listened to it on CD, if I had of read it i think it would have been quite long winded.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Full load of shit

Ever smelled shit but couldn't quit pin where it was? Well while driving home today I could smell what I suspected was cow shit and thought I bet there is a cattle truck up ahead. Yep, about 10mins later I found it and boy was the liquid flowing and speks flying and covering my wind screen. Thought it was all okay until I got home and got out of the car in my garage, nope a wee bit smelly.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Humankind is a Minister and Interpreter of nature

"Man, as the minister and interpreter of nature, does and understands as much as his observations on the order of nature, either with regard to things or the mind, permit him, and neither knows nor is capable of more"

I picked up this Francis Bacon book today and read that first opening sentance. Humanity as a Minister and Interpretor of nature. Minister, how wonderful, not conquerer, not just caretaker but perhaps one who even serves creation "Ministers" to creation. When I think of Interpreter I that makes me think that we have something to learn, then perhaps creation is our teacher?

Quote from: "Novum Organum".

Monday, January 1, 2007

Love thy self, self divinisation, Orthodox Church and Spong

I wonder if I can really love, accept and embrace others if I do not truly love, accept and embrace myself. I don’t think so. To love God with your whole being and love thy neighbour as thy self; what does this mean? I suspect and and am really beginning to believe it actually means, to know and love yourself for from within will flow that which will bring peace and happiness to our world; love and acceptance of all creation. We must meet ourselves in our common humanity, and love it in totality and from there we can meet others at that same gutsy and gritty level of self acceptance. I suspect from that not only will I be drawn more to others of all shapes, sizes, tastes, likes and dislikes but they to me.

 

God is within and without, in all and nothing He is. I cannot deny this it’s my reality He just is. That ever present creator helping us to be co-creators. The Trinitarian nature seems to prevail in life. More on the “order of three” another day.

 

I’m very interested in the connection between sexuality and spirituality. Are we at the core sexual or spiritual? Is it one, two or many things? I wonder if the banquet of sexuality actually includes a range of fine delicacies; including spirituality; the connection of ourselves, God and others but also the physicality of the sexual, emotional connection and communion with others generally and that special one specifically.

 

The creativeness of which we exist in is quite amazing. For we are co-creators with the supreme creator who is ever creating; creating our very existence our very own divinity. I’ve just finished reading a book on the Orthodox Church, fascinating book “The Orthodox Church” by Timothy Ware 1964. I feel like it’s clarified that which I’d begun to realise in the past twelve months that my draw to the “east” and wanting to explore more the Buddhism and other eastern and also pagan religions actually already exists and may actually provide fullfillment for me within my own Christian tradition. The mystical is there in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and now I’m finding the Orthodox. Not that I’m not interested in knowing more about Buddhism and even paganism and the Celts but my basis in which I’ve chosen and works for me is ultimately Christian, it’s my grounding.

 

So back to deification. I’d always wondered and struggled over the answers I was given to the various references in the bible to us becoming gods. It never seemed to sit right with me if God one God and he’s one who wants total allegiance then what’s this stuff about us becoming god’s. Such joy to find within the Orthodox tradition that they seem to have an answer for this and actually a large part of their theology. P.236 “Basil described man as a creature who has received the order to become a god;” Athanasius said that God became man that man might become god. What a wonderful thought. Not only is our purpose to become fully human but fully divine, we become god, not equal, not the same and not worthy of worship but a god, divine. Interesting that the Church teaches that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Maybe the incarnation is actually the second act of creation or the finishing of what was started which culminates at the end of time in the second coming?

 

Another interesting thing I found in this book on orthodoxy is another view of Sin and Adam and Eve. In recent years I’ve struggled more and more with the concept of “original sin” and the “total depravity of humankind” it just doesn’t sit right and seems altogether negative. But p228 says “Each new human being is born into a world where sin prevails everywhere, a world in which it is easy to do evil and hard to do good”. The human will is weakened by desire. The orthodox picture of fallen humanity is far more positive than the Augustinian and Calvinist view. I’d like to read further. P. 230 Sin blocked the path to union with God. Since humankind could not come to God, God came to humankind. I still struggle with the word Sin!

 

Something else I found interesting was about Jesus and why the orthodox say he came. P230. The incarnation is an act of God’s love towards all humanity {I’d add in question whole of creation?}. He says many eastern writers looking at the incarnation from this aspect of love say that Christ would still have become man even without the fall. Because of the fall the incarnation is not only an act of love but also of salvation.

 

While I’m rambling, about a month ago I finished reading John Shelby Spongs auto biography. What an amazing man, he seems to me to be a man of great integrity and love for God, people and the Church. If what he’s written is true how wonderful and lucky is the church to have had such a man. To have helped bring hope, love and practical assistance to the needy and rejected members of the church and society at large especially the Afro Americans, Homosexuals and those Gay or Straigh couples who choose to live together rather than formal marriage and Divorced people. Yes it seems he’s brought controversy but it’s always helpful to rock the boat and ruffle the conservative feathers. It’s not the questions that bring death but the way in which we live out the answers or even the way we respond to the questions themselves.  I’ve not read any of his other stuff, but I now have more of an idea of the kind of stuff and controversial idea’s he’s put forward. I was brought up being told he was bad and a heretic. Well his views may or may not be 100% true or helpful but I do look forward to reading some of his stuff in the future. We all need to be constantly challenged and questions must always be asked of ourselves and the Church. Why we do this? Why can’t we do that? Why do we believe this? What does this mean now that this or that scientific or historical records have come to light? Spong is a product of his time and saw a need within his local Christian community and wider community where he found that the Christian message; view spoke. Some havn't liked what he had to say but others did. We can’t please everyone and we all just have to get on with life hoping that we create and do more good than bad. I say good on him and bless him and all the good that he has done thus far.

 

May peace prevail within and without you in 2007 and beyond and let us all love ourselves more and more.