Saturday, June 26, 2004

Food, glorious food

The last three evenings have been somewhat special - all in quite different ways but all hinge around good food and company.

Thursday evening went out with two friends to a pub called the North Fitzroy Star. It was a beautiful environment and a very special evening - but the food was especially magnificant. All three of us had a salmon main that was literally divine. Then to follow it was had a chocolate dip with what we are sure was homemade marshmellow, strawberries, honeycomb - and for those that I was with, bread (I keep telling them that chocolate sauce does not go with bread - but they disbelieve me!) Unfortunately, we weren't there early enough to get a table near one of the several fireplaces but it was one of the most pleasant evenings I've had in a long time.
That was followed by lunch with the class of the intensive that I have been part of at college all week - at a Lebanese restaraunt near college - yummy!
Friday evening was a lovely night at my dads. Another very special time with dad. Again yummy food - haven't had corn on the cob for a long time, but especially a wide ranging convo that lasted until the early hours of the morning.
And tonight - a hilarious night with some friends over. On surface there is nothing particular to rave about - it was a simple night cooking, eating and cleaning. But - that was with much laughter, conversation and fun. It was a simple night of community that was very much infused with an enjoyment of life. We made Pad Thai once again (yes now very much got the hang of it) and made some biscuits for morning tea for the Sunday gathering of our community tomorrow. I reckon they are the most laughed over, most analogy drawn out of biscuits in the history of the world! Much fun and refreshment was had all around.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Yoga and various other things

Had a great dinner with a group of people tonight - open house type night at some friends of mines house. Yummy food, great convos and lovely time of prayer to top it off. Thanks guys!

All of us Christians with somewhat different backgrounds (including several of us having a mixture of things in our own background) and got onto the whole yoga, alternative medicine, astrology kind of conversation. So what do you think about these things? And particularly why do you think what you think?
(There are people of what I imagine are all sorts of different views on this topic who read this blog ... so do be honest and real but also be gracious in your tone! I'm sure you will be but just a reminder!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Moltmann agrees

I had a friend over for dinner last night (cooked Pad Thai for the first time - another friend of mines fav recipes and just had to try it for myself) ...
anyway - over dinner we got talking about the quote I put on here the other day from Bride Stripped Bare: "The opposite of love isn't hate it's indifference". My friend commented that Moltmann (a theologian) says that the opposite of love is apathy - similar notion.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

God Nourishes Me!

I've had an amazing day of really knowing peace and stillness. Lots of most excellent stuff has happened as well as one quite average thing (ie.crap thing), but in it all I've been so aware of a stillness that is so special.

This morning I was at the Sunday gathering of my community, which was a very special time of knowing God's presence for us as a community, but it was a very special time for me personally too. There were some specifics about that but mostly it's just a stillness - that I have thought about in terms of the kind of stillness that is meant in "be still and know that I am God" - it's a stillness that has no angst in it.
Can't really put it into words but wanted to share what I could all the same.
Been almost in tears all day of delight in God and God's delight in me.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Bible Nourishes Me!

If you know me well - you will know just how much I get nourished by the Bible and get excited by it. That's true at all sorts of levels - but the biggest thing for is that often it just "spins me out" and nourishes me at a level much deeper than I could ever put words to. In a whole range of ways the words and story I find are life-giving words and a life-giving story. It nourishes and sustains me - not in a simple way - some of you will have been around with me struggling with what I find in the Bible, maybe last week, maybe 10 or 15 years ago! (I still remember some ripper arguments from when I was 16 - must confess that sometimes it was in an honest attempt to understand what I read there, sometimes from a need to have an argument ... mmm ... has that changed! Actually I think I am much less likely to argue for the sake of arguing - thank God!)
But it is very true that I find much life in the Bible.

So at the moment what am I reading?
At a Bible reading group I'm part of that meets twice a month we've been reading thru Jeremiah. Poor guy - had it hard.
Also in the middle of reading thru the gospel of John with some people - the Jesus of John is very differently portayed than the Jesus of the other gospels - it's been striking me how he's on about people understanding what "real and eternal life" is.
And personally, I've been trying to read thru the Sermon on the Mount - but I haven't got passed the Beatitudes. Been reading them in different versions and reflecting on them for a few weeks now. So here's that passage from The Message (this is what he taught his climbing companions, "those who were appreticed to him, the committed"):
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you are content with just who you are - no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full', you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world - your mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you deeper into God's kingdom.

Words about what true life is about

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Tooth out!

Not much blogging happening early this week - been a bit out of it and sorry for myself really! Had a tooth that's been bugging me for 6 months or so out on Monday - under sedation and I'm still on knock you out type pain killers. It's good to have it out and will be nice when my body settles down from it's shock too.

So I'll be back when I have more of a brain - mmm ... leaving myself wide open for comments there!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The opposite of love

Have just finished reading "The Bride Stripped Bare" - interesting book, be quite interested to know what others have thought of it if you've read it.

But there was a quote that led me tothinking about stuff way different to the context of the quote:
"The opposite of love in not hate it is indifference"

I thought about that in terms of relationships but also in terms of our relationship with God. How true is it that the opposite of loving God isn't hating him - then we are engaged with him, but rather being indifferent to him.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Ethics Finished

I've just finished semester at college. It's been a semester of learning lots - and other stuff that I've known or thought about for ages starting to gell and be clarified. I've done an essay on a Biblical Framework for Homosexuality and one on a Philosophical Framework for Christian Responses to Poverty. They have both challenged me heaps.

Tow key thoughts that I am still pondering are:

- what does living in the "now and not yet" mean for what we expect of Christians? How do we hold to truth in a fallen, non-ideal world? What does acceptance and grace look like without offering cheap grace? How do we hold firm to how God calls us to live and call each other to that but be realistic about us being in a fallen world in need of God's grace and transformation? I guess really - how do create cultures and spaces where truly transforming grace is the dominant culture?

- lots of theologians talk about a concept of "preferential option for the poor". I've been thinking about this for years now and am coming to the point where I think that while standing with everyone, loving everyone and caring for everyone - God does have a preferential option for the poor. I think that I see that in all sorts of ways in the biblical narrative, not least in Jesus. So I'm thinking lots about what this means for me. If I really believe this what needs to change in my life? I know that this is a life-changing kind of question, I suspect that's why it's been so long in coming