Monday, December 28, 2009

To be Alive

The year comes to a close.
I pause and give thanks
thanks with a gratefulness to a loving and compassionate God
thanks for family and friends and a house that covers and befriends
a God who has not struck me dead
a God who has allowed me to walk from that which I knew was right into that which I thought was wrong yet have found likely to be right.
different spaces, different places, than a decade ago, yet I live.
So the journey continues and the fun has begun.
Where I am going, I'm not quite sure but one step forward is enough I'm sure.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Tasmanian Wilderness

I penned the following in response to my recent Holiday in Tassie see my travel blog

A Tasmanian Wilderness
The wind blows, blowing she blows,
where does she come from, where does he go?
Invisible breeze, mysterious wind, the spirit covers, revives, renews
ever present, ever new, within, without, encircles around.
Blissful mountain greens and raging streams.
Rivers flowing, trickling streams.
Echoes of the past, what does the future hold?
Glory be to God who has given us the light.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Junk Mail

Have you ever considered the "No Junk Mail" sign on letter box's.

In doing the letter box in relation to the Prayer \ Meditation thing I'm starting in October, I was struck with the "No Junk Mail" sign. Do I deliver or not? Do they mean no commercial advertisement, but local community things are ok? I'd never thought about it like that before. I chose not to deliver out of respect, but it's interesting, in rejecting all the loads and loads of supermarket advertisement they may also miss out on various community events or meetings.

A Framework To Live a Transformative Life

Perhaps one that stems from Beatitude's in Matthew 5:1-12 is useful:

Try and be Humble
Try and be Compassionate
Try and Pursue Justice
Try and Show mercy
Try to be Pure within yourself
Try and Work for peace

For in these somehow there will be blessing even if you are made fun of or even persecuted. Do this by:

1. Keeping the tension of looking outward and inward, backwards and forwards being rooted in the present; both individually and as a community.
2. Finding ways that support the journey, through life giving practices and frameworks.
3. Remembering that the 'other' is actually you, love, accept and embrace yourself so you can love and compassionately understand and serve others.
4. Being conscious that God is at work in the whole of creation, seek to nurture and love all things, tread lightly and seek to do the least harm.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Holidaying Smile

My Smile has gone on holidays
      and my peace has passed away

I head the above line in a song on the radio this week. I thought it's really true, that's just how you feel when things are pretty shit

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Not a problem to be solved but rather a mystery to be explored

I heard someone say today something along the lines of

It's not a problem to be solved but rather a mystery to be explored

Pretty cool words.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nanna RIP

Sad for us, but now she's gone to be with Jesus and Poppy which she'll be happy about and is kind of nice and comforting.

Rest eternal, grant unto her Good Lord and let light perpetual shine upon her. May she rest in peace.

Nancy Clark 1922 - 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do the Stones and Rocks listen and remember?

One of the books I'm reading on and off at the moment is "'Sacred Space, Sacred Sound' the Acoustic Mysteries of Holy Places" by Elizabeth Hale. She tries to draw some spiritual and scientific meaning to sound. How it's used in different religions rites and sites and it it's affect on those involved. Looking at both the present and historically.

One aspect I seem to remember is the concept that sound is absorbed and never disappears e.g. that the Rocks hear things and 'remember' i.e they have a memory. An interesting idea to reflect upon and let your imagination run away with.

The other night I was Reading Joshua 24 from the Bible and verses 26-27 are very interesting.
26:     Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord.
27:     Joshua said to all the people, "See, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, if you deal falsely with your God."

What struck me were these words 'See, this stone ...for it has heard all the words'.

One day I might look into this, the context and some ways people have interpreted this in years gone by, but for now I allow my mind to wonder, wondering if there is something far greater going on than we can begin to imagine. If objects like rocks can 'hear' then can it 'speak' and if it can 'speak' how do you hear what it has to say?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Many things to a people

"I know that when the Aborigines look at their land and sea their view is different from mine, For them it is a supermarket, a hardware store, a pharmacy, a library, a museum, a place of worship, an art gallery, and all of these things interconnected within their souls ... but I can only ever see one at a time."

I read the quote above yesterday and thought it was beautiful as I was coming to the end of the book. Today I finished the book and have been a little jolted into how quick things can change in peoples lives and good people at that, Tracey the author and main character in the book is now a quadriplegic. Very sad that such a thing would happen to such a beautiful caring person who lived life to the full and life of serving others. I do hope she has support around her and that things work out for her.

From the Book"The full catastrophe" by Tracey Leonard .p260. A Hodder Book 1999

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Raw and Honest Call to Worship

Last night I attended an ecumenical service at the Cathedral to pray for those affected by the bush fires. Such a sad time for so many.
I found the opening prayer very helpful for it was raw and honest.

'A litany of welcome'

We come to offer this time to God and to bring ourselves to God's presence.

If you come in certainty or in confusion, or  in anger,
All: this time is for us.

If you come in silent suffering or hidden sorrow, in pain or promise,
All: this time is for us.

If you come for your own or another's need, for a private wound or the wound of our nation.
All: this time is for us

If you come, and do not know why, to be here is enough.
All: This time is for us all

Come now, Christ of the forgiving warmth
Come now, Christ of the yearning tears
Come now, Christ of the transforming touch.
All: This time is for you.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Prayer for Listening to News of Disaster

God of life and nature, death and disaster
be God for us at this time.

As a death count rises
and reports of devastation continue
shake us from our disconnect
and remind us of our fragile humanity

May I, driving in my air-conditioned car
not withdraw from the sounds of those whose only possession is loss

May you be found in the rebuilding
of lives, homes and townships
and in government and community response

May my response be motivated by your compassion

May I be reminded that you, too
were once homeless, seeking refuge amidst great death and sadness
As then, so now
draw close to those who cry out.


By my Friend Stuart Davey, 9th February, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gospel Truth

I heard the phrase 'Gospel Truth' on the radio today. In the context of saying that "I'm not lying, I'm telling you the truth". It struck me just how strange and possibly unhelpful this phrase has been to the Gospel itself. If the Gospel of Christ is "Good News to all" to equate this to "truth" in the context of truth vs error it seems to me perhaps it's not actually in the spirit of the Gospel itself? I guess it's served a purpose in the past, perhaps for some still but for me I associate the word truth with dogmatism; (Black \ White. Right \ Wrong. Truth \ Error). To me these seem negative and unhelpful and don't cater for the fullness and complexity of the human experience and thus for me isn't such good news.

But I guess for someone who need some sort of resolution, and answer on the truth of a matter, perhaps it can be a good thing and thus good news. mmm funny little phrase..

Like Scarecrows in a cucumber field

They are like scarecrows in a cucumber field.

I found this a funny phrase as it was read during the daily office today. "..."Like scarecrows in a cucumber field". Never really heard or thought of a cucumber field, I guess they have to grow somewhere.

Comes from bible. Jeremiah 10:5

Monday, January 19, 2009

A handy self help contact list

From time to I say to someone or here someone say 'you might need to talk to someone about this' or 'they probably need to talk to a professional' or 'I think it's best if they speak with a counsellor'. I know myself how helpful Counsellors and Psychologists have been in my own life in addition to family, friends, Priests \ Ministers \ Pastors, so on the weekend I scanned the web for some contact numbers to create a handy contact sheet for help on a range of different issues people might need help with at some stage in their life in the Newcastle area. Not sure how good any of them are but here is my list .....

Mensline Australia
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
24hours \ 7 days a week
Mensline Australia is the national telephone support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. The service is staffed by paid professional counsellors, experienced in men’s issues. It provides:
A safe and private place to talk about concerns
Confidential, anonymous and non-judgemental support
Coaching and practical strategies for managing personal relationship concerns
Relevant information and linkage to other appropriate services and programs as required

Cooks Hill Counselling
David Bulbert
Phone: 02 4927 5086
Address: 35 Laman Street, Cooks Hill, NSW, 2300, Australia
A private counseling practice with extensive experience counselling individuals and couples on issues such as:
Drug and Alcohol dependency
Youth and Adolescent problems
Co-dependency issues
Phobias and neurosis
Relationship issues (including breakdown and separation)
Loss and Grief
Issues that arise from just trying to survive in contemporary society

Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A)
Newcastle region - Help Line: (02) 4964 1555
Phone: (02) 4962 3844
7/10 Dixon St
Hamilton 2303 (PO Box 240)
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

Phone: 02 4969 3889
Al-Anon Family Groups
PO Box 217
Hamilton NSW 2303
To help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of someone close.
Phone:  13 11 14
Lifeline’s 13 11 14 service is staffed by trained volunteer telephone counsellors who are ready to take calls 24-hour a day, any day of the week from anywhere in Australia. Some of the issues that people call Lifeline about include:
Family and relationship issues
Mental Health Concerns
Suicide Prevention and Support
Abuse and violence
Life direction

Phone: 1300-22-4636
Beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders in Australia. Help for:
Anxiety disorders
Postnatal depression
Bipolar disorder
Young people
Family and friends
Chronic physical illness

Narcotics Anonymous (N.A)
NA's primary approach to recovery is the belief in the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. Members take part in NA meetings by talking about their experiences and recovery from drug addiction.
Hunter Valley 02 4969 6767

Sexaholics Anonymous
Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover.
Australian Web site:
International Web Site:

Phone: 02-4931-1000
For young Australians aged 12-25. For young people who may be experiencing mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

From the Rising of the Sun

From the rising of the sun to the setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Glory be to the Father
 and to the Son
 and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

As I went for a walk tonight over the bridge at Carrington, the sun was setting and with the beauty of the sky, water, bridge and city lights the above prayer came to my mind. It's become part of me when I'm out doors at the start or end of the day. I remember when I first moved to Newcastle, when I was in a difficult place within myself, God and the Church this is one prayer my spirit would say. It comes from a mix of experiences, mostly when on retreat with the Monks for at Tarrawarra Abbey in Victoria and the Daily Office in general.

I'm constantly amazed at how liturgical prayer dwells with your soul.