Thursday, September 29, 2005


Just went to see one of my favourite bands, that is the band of some mates of mine, Mayfly. I love those guys!
Afterwards, I was chatting to the person in the band who I know the best (an amazingly enriching conversation)who happens to be the drummer. Now this is a bloke who I've shared a house with in the past so I've seen him play lots - guitar, drums, various other things - but I never get tired of it (maybe there was the odd occasion when I was living with him and I was trying to have an afternoon nap!). Tonight I looked at him and said "you know watching you play drums is a spiritual experience". There was a slight pause and he said "I'm glad because playing is a spiritual experience for me".
That was one of the extremely profound moments in our relatively brief but nourishing conversation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Why does it so regularly come between 4 and 6 am!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Why were you not Barb?

I read this quote this morning on Odyssey - a story I've heard before but which I love - and a good reminder to us all!

There is a Hasidic tale that reveals, with amazing brevity, both the universal tendency to want to be someone else and the ultimate importance of becoming one’s self: Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”
Parker Palmer Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

Monday, September 26, 2005

Being Real

There is much that I love about the community of faith that I am part of. One of those things is the ability and great permission for people to doubt and just generally be in places of complexity. I love the permission and encouragement there is for people to be able to say and be real about those things.
BUT unfortunately I don't feel that there is the same free and easy space to be real about the times and way that things are just great and when complexity is not the experience. The times when it really is true to say "God is good" and when it is really easy to see God at work in your life and the world around you.
I've had heaps of times of complexity and darkness and anyone who I've been close to and who I've had the privelge of journeying with will tell you that I certainly encourage people to be honest and real with God and the community of faith in all the intensity and anger that can sometimes mean. However, if that is true it's also true that we want to encourage a space where people are equally encouraged to be real and true with God and each other when it's way easier to say "God is good", as a Matt Redman song says "When alls as it should be", or even better put, when life with God is one of ease and contentment.
This is where I am at the moment - not at all in a space where there are no issues, not at all in a place where "all is as it should be" necessarily - but definately at a point where there is much contentment in my relationship with God. I certainly know complexity, I certainly have known times of deep distress and anger at God but that is not where I am currently - and I long for more of a sense of freedom in my faith community to be able to not only be real about that stuff, but also for others to celebrate and enjoy it with me.
I'm not really sure how much I just perceive the lack of freedom to be real about being in a "content" place with God ... I suspect that there is freedom to be real about it, but that because many people are in a quite different place people don't resonate emotionally with it, which is so vital for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

One answer

There are many things I could (and will) answer to my question below but one of them is to help people be asking two questions:
What is God doing?
How can I join him?

Sharing Faith

Just had a great conversation with one of my colleagues about a training sessions he's running tomorrow night.
One of the things that we notice across the movement that I work for is that, generally speaking, people are either so keen to share the "gospel" with people that they ae so focused on it and lose sight of many other factors in the relationship (and often only know how to do it in a programmed way anyway) or they are just so on about relationships that they never share their faith with the people they meet. I think that there are so many factors involved in both ends of the spectrum especially fear and also a lack of "confidence, love and reliance upon Jesus" to use the words of Dallas Willard. I reckon that it gives us all away (yep I'm not always where I would want to be on that spectrum!) as people who are only babes in the dynamics of what living in the kingdom of God is about.
These opposed points on spectrums are around me everywhere I look - I certainly don't think it's an issue that is only prevalent within our movement.

I get excited by people living naturally and really with God and in life - with no division or false split between those things, loving God and loving people, knowing more of what it means to be "in Christ" and to live life to the full, knowing that by who they are a light to the world, an aroma, and being ready and prepared to give a reason for the hope that they profess. That's what I dream of - how do you train for that?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


After I wrote that post yesterday Tracy and I went to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - great movie. Must go back and read the book now. Some really funny spots and great effects but also I was shocked at the depth in it that I hadn't remembered.

Then we headed back to the campsite - the it was party at the campsite last night so we sat around a fire (well pot of heat beads!) drinking and chatting. Fun night - group of us also went for a night stroll down to the beach. Since we had everyone in our camping area there - there could be no requests to turn down the music - there was no-one to disturb!
But the thing I wanted to write about was to further my coffee analogy. One of the people there last night we haven't met before - she's camping with her mum in a different part of the caravan park. She's a girl I imagine about 20 - quite a young 20 I think. She said to Tracy and I - she was sun baking near the camp kitchen with her mum the other day and watching us in obviously a deep conversation and that it was beautiful ... who knows what we were talking about, could have been anything, could have been praying, who knows - but it did remind me of the aroma.
Also, while we sitting there last night one of the blokes from next door asked Tracy what she was drawing yesterday - and she described how she'd drawn lines around a page to represent the things she's thinking about around being free and analogies of dancing in freedom and that it was called "the Unforced Rhythms of Grace". The guy went from there to talk about how important it was to be happy in your own skin and how he'd give anything to be that. He then looked at me and said - you seem pretty happy in your own skin - and I just went "yep". Another place where I was reminded of the aroma ... it's amazing how much gets noticed. It also made me conscious of how much God's grown me in all of that over the last few years.

This morning the guys cooked all of us breakfast - bacon and eggs, onion, tomato etc etc. Yum. A group of about 10 of us ... and tonight it's spit roast - we're not sure if we'll be around or not though. Amazing how much community develops so quickly under certain conditions. The young couple who are travelling Australia for 3 months were meant to move on today but are staying because "where else are you going to find this kind of group of people and location etc again". I'm glad. I imagine they and the guys next to us will try and find a caravan park in Surfers together for the rest of the week and the weekend.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Perculator Coffee

This morning over breakfast we were talking about coffee (those of you who know me will know that's not that unusual!) and the guy who I was drinking coffee with was saying that he's normally satisfied with instant - you can imagine where the conversation went.
Soon after, I was in my tent reading "The Story we find ourselves in" and the conversation got to using coffee as an analogy for the God's work in us. There were many analogies drawn but I was particularly struck by the discussion of God's work in us like a good coffee perculating and then our aroma as God's people being unmistakable to the world.
Thinking more about this - I've been thinking about how someone who doesn't know coffee isn't likely to miss "that's a distinctive aroma" even if they don't know what it is. Similar with people who don't know the work of the Spirit - "that's a distinctive aroma" - even if they don't know what that is.
The conversation in the book also talks about how the person's experience of most churches is like weak instant coffee - how true and how sad.
The guy in the tent next doors coment combined with that made me think about how much we get satisfied with instant coffee when in fact we are designed for the perculated variety with deep and rich aromas that bring blessing to the world.
And as I lay there thinking I prayed for those guys that they would know that deep aroma of God's spririt and that would replace the satisfaction for the instant stuff that doesn't bring real life. And prayed that I would live deeply in that place too!

When 3pm is Shower time

That's a description of holidays! Often we've been up and dressed and been out and about before we have a shower at (coincidently) 3pm. But today - I hadn't done anything but thrown some clothes on to go to the next tent where we'd had breakfast cooked for us (yes, how hard is life!) and then been back in bed re-reading one of my favourite books - The Story we Find Ourselves In ... get's me so excited about life and the story that we all find ourselves in.
In such a relaxed mode that it's actually quite hard to remember what we have done the last few days - been both low key and quite busy. Saturday was a lazy day ... and Friday night just at the end of washing up after dinner I had a migrane so went to bed. Vicki - Tracy's sister - came to visit on Saturday and I hung with them a bit but mostly just read, walked the streets of Byron, had chai in the place we love chai from ... and ate ice-cream with Vicki and Tracy. Saturday night - we went to a few of the places around, went out to a gourmet fish and chips place for dinner, then went to a few different places and had a bit of a dance at one, hung out with the guys from New Earth Tribe who give out free Chai, fire-twirl etc on the main street on Saturday night and then finished the night with a hot chocolate at The Balcony bar/cafe.
Sunday - up and too the market - how hard is it when a market you would normally love, you look at and go "this is a bit ho hum" because you've been seeing that kind of stuff all week. But we got over that fairly fast and ended up spending 5 hours there! I bought a hacky sack, a pair of purple fisherman's pants, a couple of purple tops, a cushion cover, and a wooden chopping board. And we had coffee, chai, vege curry, and bought some fudge. The best thing about the market is the drumming circle at the end of the day - amazing. I love watching people drumming - putting all of themselves into the beat - reminds me deeply to the invitation to throw ourselves into life. Been thinking (feeling might be a better word) lots about that while I've been up here - and watching lots of people on drums.
Then it was time for church - which was awesome again. don't really have words for that.
Then we went home and cooked dinner (salmon - yum) ... talked and prayed for each other - then went out to celebrate life, God, relationships ... went to The Balcony and had a "grasshopper" cocktail - yum ... then went up to the Beach hotel, danced a bit and caught up with our tent neighbours - two lots actually, had a drink and then the pub shut - it's very rude indeed - we wanted to continue partying and there was no where else to go in Byron Bay at 12.30pm on Sunday night!!! So it was back to the caravan park and continued chatting there for a while with the 6 of us ... then bedtime at 2am. Then this morning the guys next door cooked breakfast for all 6 of us, I did the coffee, and the young couple in the other tent did the dishes - all quite fun.
Life is indeed very good!

Friday, September 02, 2005

What was that?

What was that? seems to be the best way to title todays post - both Tracy and I have thoroughly found ourselves in holiday mode. We're exhausted today. Some of that might be to do with the amount we walked yesterday - when we added it up it was around 10km! After I blogged, we got stuff for dinner and drank some tea in a cafe after wandering around some more - then had a rest before dinner. Dinner - yum ... salmon cooked on the bbq and veges ... and then strawberries we'd bought at the farmers market yesterday morning with ice cream .... all a bit of a treat really. Then we decided to go out and walked to a bar we hadn't been too - seemed fun but was reggae and we didn't feel like it, so continued to check out each place in town - and none of them suited our mood, so we headed home about 10.30pm, having had a lvoely walk around Byron checking out the Thursday night scene. Was a fun, relaxed night. Sat around for a bit and then headed to sleep.
This morning I was awake from about 4.30am to 6am, just thinking and enjoying the sounds of the sea and the dawn ... lovely experience in the tent - also some good time with God. I think I was also awake at other points as people came home at various points in the night (it's got busy around here for the weekend). Slept til about 9.30 ... then up and slowly decided to go to Nimbin for the day - fun day and very interesting place.
But we are most definately exhausted and feeling ourselves in holiday mode very definately. We've had several conversations about the need of our bodies to stop and just how wierd the process your body goes through as you stop is. But it's all fun and we don't have any need to do much so we're just doing what we feel like it when we feel like it. We're preparing ourselves a bit for the onslaught of busy-ness in Byron for the weekend and looking forward to the market on Sunday. Tracy is also going to do an African dancing class tomorrow morning and we'll potentially do a fire twirling workshop on Tuesday. We're also looking forward to going to the Sunday gathering of New Earth Tribe again.
It's been good to have a bit of a chance to stop and reflect on some things and get some perspective ... which is both making me go "whatever" (ie. it sort of doesn't matter) and be even more convinced about things, often about the same things - if you can understand that at all. Have also been refelcting once again about things being God's and him needing to look after some stuff ... it's good to have constant reminders about that. I'm extremely thankful for the gorgeousness of creation, the beauty of life in many respects, the breeze of the wind and the spirit, the warmth of the sun (literally and figuaratively), the exoticness of life, the simple things that make up life ... mmm ... breath deep the breath of God!
My boss rang today and after a few minutes stopped the conversation saying he was concerned that I was starting to talk shop too much (after having said how relaxed I sounded) ... I knew he had nothing much to fear ... I'm in such holiday mode - I knew that I could turn off again fairly quickly, although of course I go in and out of thinking and praying about work stuff and also stuff to do wiht other parts of my life like Solace. But yes for both Tracy and I an apt description of the day is "what was that again?" - that speaks of our vagueness. (and for those of you who know Australia - no it doesn't have to do with where we have been today, as my boss accused - jokingly - it being!!!)
And now I must go and get some gnocci from the supermarket for our dinner - since Tracy has just rang to say that she is awake - so time for dinner and then we will see what the night has in store.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Byron Bay - Where every day is a Sunday!

"Every day is a Sunday" was Tracy's quote as we were eating lunch (or was it breakfast?) at 3pm in a cafe in Bangalow yesterday ... was really lunch honestly, although you'd be fooled by the fact that we were eating Bacon and eggs ... some of the most yummy bacon and eggs I have ever had. Yesterday we went out to the Arts and Industry Estate just out of Byron and wandered around there - very fun. Gallery stuff, seconds of clothes, some food stores ... I bought two pairs of shoes :) Then we went to a town called Bangalow which I really like and wandered the shops and had "lunch". Very fun and relaxed. Then I went for a walk and got some stuff for dinner .. and then lazed for a while, cooked dinner and lazed some more ... and then slept.
This morning we got up and went to the farmers market and bought veges for the week, then went through lots of fun shops in Byron, sat drinking chai in a cafe and went back to the caravan park for lunch and then for a long walk along the beach. Now can I just make everyone jealous - our caravan park where we are camping is just on the edge of the shops AND just on the edge of the beach.
Feeling very blessed and quite relaxed. Very aware of the goodness of God ... and very thankful for life. Blue skies are important for me - and as I look out now - it's blue sky everywhere.
Yep - Byron Bay - where every day is a Sunday.