Thursday, April 29, 2004

Cultural Imperialism

Just prompted to post about something that's been going around my brain for years - that on this occasion has been prompted by reading about incarnation and cultural imperialism.
I so strongly believe in incarnational mission and about the gospel becoming real for people IN their context and culture and not overlaying all of our Christian culture onto them (I'm trying hard enough to get it out of me - don't want other people to need to do that!).
But I'm struggling because it seems to me that for a whole host of reasons people who become followers of Jesus sometimes want to take on much of the Christian culture ... even when some of those around them are discouraging them from it.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Discerning together

As I've indicated recently on my blog, there are many things going on in my life. I'm both excited by the opportunities that what is happening may open up, as well as scared by the unknownness of it all. There are many decisions to be made in the process.
Which has me thinking about: how do we walk together? Especially, how do we walk together in making decisions? How do we walk with each other in very real ways, looking for where God's at work? How do put ourselves in a position where we let others do that, without wanting them to take responsibility for the decisions we alone can, and need to, make?

I've been thinking about the Quaker "clearing meeting" idea because of Angi's comment of it on her blog a few days ago.
And I've been learning a fair bit about it from practice as I'm incredibly blessed to not only have numbers of ace people who are supporting me in a more general sense at the moment, but a couple of people who are very much walking with me trying to discern what God's up to. While in many ways it's a very lonely journey (how can making decisions be anything but!), I'm learning more about what healthy interdependance in the body of christ looks like than ever before.

Monday, April 19, 2004

The message we heard from Jesus

Been reading some of The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard recently. One thought from that:
1 John 1:5 says "This is the message we heard from Jesus ..."
What would be the way you would finish that sentence (without looking it up!)? Dallas suggests that how we would finish the sentence would be very telling about who we understand Jesus to be ... and the message as we understand it - I do tend to agree.
So how would you finish the sentence?

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Community vs Individualism

Been thinking a bit about just how individualistic our society is - and how hard it is for us to think in any other ways, how caught we are in our individualistic society. I've especially been thinking about that in comparison to the world of the NT and what it means for us as we think about what it means to be communities of faith in todays world. It seems to me that much of our liquid church type thinking is too individualistic but yet much of the church communities who emphasise belonging and strong commitment are too exclusive and bounded.
How do we challenge ourselves away from our individualism without becoming exclusive and bounded?

Sunday, April 11, 2004


One of my communities has been running the Labyrinth this weekend. It's been great that people have had an opportunity to encounter God in that way - thanks especially to Eddie. I also had an ace time as I walked the Labyrinth. For a range of reasons I decided that I needed to enter while no-one else was in the Labyrinth - representing it being a lonely journey and it being about me and God. So I did. After I'd been in a while some others started. I found out later that they were just passing by and came in to see what was happening - they were people who weren't followers of Jesus, I had a small chat with them and the ace people whose space we were using invited them for dinner and had a really good chat with them. But back to my time in the Labyrinth - it was like God was saying that I needed to enter alone and it will be surprising who will join me. It was really significant for me that the people who joined me weren't people who had diliberately come seeking that experience but rather people who stumbled on it. I so long for that to be my life - for others to join me on the journey and "stumble" over God on the way!

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Loads of Things!

Thanks for showing me that I'm missed when I don't blog guys!!!!

To tell you the truth - I've got to the posting page several times in the last week and really haven't known what to write. There is loads going on for me - my job is likely to change soon and that effects all sorts of things in my life, I've been thinking about all sorts of things but haven't really known the appropriateness to write them.

The thing though that I keep coming back to is: I love God! I'm very, very aware of his sustaining nature. I'm very, very aware of his call of obedience that leads to freedom. I love the way that his work in me leads to a lessening of the brokenness, lostness and darkness in my life.
Easy? Not at all. The adventure of life that brings fulfilment like nothing else? Absolutely!

Probably the words that in many ways sum up some of what's going on in me are in a letter that was written to me by someone who was quite important in my life in my late teens (so written 11 or so years ago now!).

"I am really proud of the way that you've set your heart and mind on the goal of making godliness the priority in your life - even when the sacrifices that you've had to make and the things that you've had to admit to yourself have been painful and difficult. Never let pride, the need to be liked and appreciated or the "easy way" tempt you into sacrificing that goal or the ernestness with which you pursue it. Never let it become less than the first priority in your life and never shy away from making the difficult decisions as ultimately this is the only path to the things that you are desiring the most. Only godliness can bring the sense of purpose, fulfilment and personal worth which we all need. Don't ever let this path become easy or comfortable - always look at your heart and circumstances and evaluate them honestly - it is only by doing this that you'll be able to know where God has brought you so far and where he is leading you next .... Continue in your thirst for learning about him & your desire to live that out in a life of actions that show to others that God is working in you each day to make you more like him. Also don't be afraid to show others that you are weak. Remember that the cross is the power of God to change and that God's grace is sufficient for you in all situations."

I'm sure that the person who wrote that wouldn't have known just how spot on those words were for me (nor that they would be on my blog more than 11 years later!) and wouldn't have a clue just how many times they have been words that have encouraged me on the path of discipleship.