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.