Monday, May 31, 2004

The end of waiting!

I've found it hard to know what to write in this post!

Many of you will know that over the years I have struggled with things "arriving" - often I'm scared that things will disappoint me, be different to what I expect etc etc but the invitation to me is to embrace the moment and to fully live whatever this moment brings - whether that be joy, sadness or whatever.

I doubt the disciples and the others in Jerusalem were disappointed on the day of Pentecost. Blown away - most definately. Shocked, probably. Scared, maybe. I'm sure that at times in my life this day would have been one that I would have shrunk back from - I wouldn't have known how to deal with it.

So how are we responding to what God is doing and bringing into our lives? Are we embracing it or are we shrinking away from it?

Along with that I wanted to ask the questions that Lynne Taylor ( - using that browser where I don't know how to use links again - sorry!) asked on her blog - that Steve, her husband asked at their gathering yesterday.

Could this be the Spirit of life?
Where is the Spirit of Jesus?

My encouragement to myself and you is to ask those questions as we live our life this week. Be interesting to see what we experience and where we God at work that we might not have seen before - and how we get to join him in what we see him doing! Let me know how it goes for you :)

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Tired of Waiting

Interesting - I was thinking that this would be my next post but then didn't manage to get to posting for a few days ...
How much would those waiting in Jerusalem have got tired of waiting? How much do we get tired of waiting for God to do what he's doing in us and in our midst?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Waiting in darkness

I read a prayer today by Janet Morley entitled "Waiting in Darkness" that I thought fits quite nicely into the theme of these fews days. I pray that today you would know God in places of darkness and light and that wherever you find yourself these words might have meaning.

For the darkness of waiting,
of not knowing what is to come,
of staying ready and quiet and attentive,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light are both alike to you.

For the darkness of staying silent,
for the terror of having nothing to say,
and for the greater terror of
needing to say nothing,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light are both alike to you.

For the darkness of loving
in which it is safe to surrender,
to let go of our self-protection,
and to stop holding back our desire,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light are both alike to you.

For the darkness of choosing
when you give us the moment
to speak, and act, and change,
and we cannot know what we have
set in motion,
but we still have to take the risk,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light are both alike to you.

For the darkness of hoping
in a world which longs for you,
for the wrestling and the labouring
of all creation,
for the wholeness and justice
and freedom,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light are both alike to you

Ethics books

For those of you interested in Ethics books (there was some interest a week or two ago). Another one I would recommend is: "Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics" by Wilkins. It's a paperback and probably easier reading than any of the others I suggested. Also it's looking at different philosophical positions and looking at the strengths and weaknesses of them from a Christian perspective.

I'm busy doing an essay on a philosophical framework for responses to poverty.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Waiting for What?

How often are we waiting for something and we don't really know what it is that we are waiting for? Even if we know what it is in a sense - because we haven't experienced it there's a sense in which we don't know what we are actually about to experience. I've been thinking about how this must have been true for those waiting in Jerusalem. How much did understand of what they were waiting for? How much was their anticipation? How much was their complacency? What did they do with the unsure feelings of what it actually was that Jesus had said to wait for?

What is true for us in the ways in which we are waiting? Are we waiting in anticipation? With complacency? Unsure of what it is that God has got for us?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Waiting with Others

Not only are you waiting, but you're waiting with others. Certainly, this must have made it easier and harder. I mean it would have been great to be able to talk about the last three years and everything that had happened and to be in this expereince with others. But I'm thinking at the moment of the other side of the coin.
Now I know that it was only 9 days BUT we all know that 9 days can be a very long time sometimes - especially when everyone is feeling unsure and unsettled and not really sure what's going on. In that context, what would the waiting game that they were in be like?
How do we today wait together for God to reveal what he is doing

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Waiting, waiting, waiting

It's been a busy time for the disciples until the more recent events of Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension. Their encounter with Jesus and these events have turned their worlds on their heads. And now before Jesus ascends he says to them "Wait in Jerusalem until your receive power from on high". I wonder what they feel and think ... some thoughts I've been wondering about "Why do we need to wait? There's so much to do.", "Why can't he just give us that power now?", or maybe "phew we get some space to process all that's been going on and happening". Which of those do you relate to the most?

For me, I think they are all true - being and not doing can be a hard thing for me, although something that God's teaching me more and more about, so I would probably have been restless to do things rather than wait. I was really aware too as wrote those questions just how much it comes down to letting Jesus be in control and trusting his timing and purposes.

How is God calling you to wait at the moment? How are you responding

Friday, May 21, 2004

Pentecost novena

I've never heard of a novena before - thanks Maggi ( - I'm using the browser I don't know how to do links on again!) for introducing me to the concept.

She and a few others are going to blog through these next 9 days between the times when people who follow a church calendar remember the ascension and pentecost.

This time really is about waiting and this time for me is also about waiting - I'm very conscious of that.

So I think it's a pretty relevant theme for me at the moment ...

So let me ask you a question: what have you assumed about the time when the disciples were in the upper room ... about the time when Jesus said "wait until I give you power from on high"? Why do you think that Jesus said to wait? What do you think it was like for the disciples?
mmm ... think I am in for an interesting and fun 9 days - stay tuned!

But today let me leave you with a prayer that was in a service I went to recently and that has been very real for me:

"Let us pray to the Lord, that we may be open to go where God sends us:
Christ, whose insistent call
disturbs our settled lives:
give us discernment to hear your word,
grace to accomplish our tasks,
and courage to follow empty-handed
wherever you may lead,
so that the voice of your gospel
may reach to the ends of the earth.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Just an update

Yes it's been a while! It's essay time of semester - so have had my head in books. I have been teased much recently about my love of writing essays. I do enjoy the study process even though I rarely give it the space in my life that it deserves. I'm doing ethics this semester and been loving it - although I'm struggling at the moment coming up with a philosophical ethical framework to then talk about poverty in the light of.
In doing my last essay (a Biblical Ethical Framework with homosexuality as a case example), I have been thinking alot about what it means to live in the space in history known as the "now but not yet". For those not familiar with that phrase, that's since Jesus came and the kingdom of God came into the world in a new way - but before the kingdom comes in a more complete way. So I've been thinking about all the tensions in that - and thinking about many ways in which that outworks itself and what it means to be people living as followers of Jesus in that time.
Kind of connected to that I've been thinking about Jesus' response to the Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8) and his response to the Pharisees who brought her before him - but I'll write more about that soon. But if you want to wet your appetite, you might want to have a read of it and think about how Jesus responds in this story.
One of the many other things that's been happening is that I finished my job (at an Anglican Church in Moonee Ponds) on Sunday. I've worked there for over 2 years and it's with mixed feelings that I am leaving. A nice farewell and some things over the last few days that really affirmed that I was God's person in that place for the time I was there and that what I felt I should do in that community I had done (although with lots of learning and things you'd do differently etc etc.) What more could you want!
And then went out with a couple of friends from there to celebrate - alovely afternoon drinking a couple of bottles of wine, eating good food and sitting in some good funky places in Melbourne city.

Well there's a bit of an update on my life. Will write more soon.

Thursday, May 06, 2004


It's been interesting coming into Autumn this year and reading on some peoples blogs and speaking and emailing with people who are on the other side of the world and going into Spring. Has me thinking about all sorts of things: the different seasons of life, how we walk with eahc other in those different seasons, the order of the universe, the specialness of each season.

It also reminded me of a poem that is one of my fav's which I thought I would share (thanks to Sonja for initiating me to Studdert Kennedy and to an ace guy called Don who bought me the book once he realised I was into him!):


Once glistering green,
With dewy sheen,
And summer glory round them cast:
Now black and bare,
The trees stand there,
And mourn their beauty that is past.

Look, leaf by leaf,
Each leaf a grief,
The hand of Autumn strips them bare.
No sound or cry,
As they fall and die,
Because they know that Life is there.

So stiff and strong,
The winter long,
All uncomplaining stand the trees.
God make my life,
Through all its strife,
As true to Spring as one of these.

So would I stand,
Serene and grand,
While age strips off the joys of youth;
Because I know
That, as they go,
My soul draws nearer to the Truth.

He is the Truth,
In very sooth,
The Word made flesh, who dwelt with men,
And the whole world shall ring
With the song of Spring
When thy soul turns to its Lord again.

When God's soft breath,
That men call death,
Falls gently on thy closing eyes,
Thy youth, that goes
Like the red June rose,
Shall burst to bloom in Paradise.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

True Freedom

I'm preaching on Galatians tmw and have once again just been blown away by the message of it. How often do we do things to try and buy our way to God?! How often do we think that even though we have come into relationship with God through faith in Jesus - we can keep ourselves there?! How often do we try and produce fruit in our own lives rather than letting God grow it in us?!

But especialy I've been thinking about who is at the centre of our lives. Paul talks about him no longer being central in his life - that he has been crucified with Christ and that now Jesus is the central thing in his life - his life is no longer his own, it is Christ's. This has been a very real challenge for me recently - I'm not the centre of my life, Jesus is.

It's also had the 70's chorus "It's no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me" going through my head. Those of you who are as indoctrinated in Christian culture as I (see last post) might know it and shiver with me - although the words are actually quite good! (so much of my knowledge of the Bible does come from good old Scripture in song - but even though I'm appreciative of that doesn't mean I don't cringe!)