Saturday, September 26, 2009

Voices: The Carrical Project

The other night I went to a performance of Voice: The Carrical Project
as part of the Fringe Festival. It's a performance put on by Scotch
College, along with Servants in Hawthorn and supported by the City of
Booroondara. Carrical is a rooming house that is run by Servants in
Hawthorn, which has close connections with Hawthorn West Baptist
Church. The director of Voices has been connected with Hawthorn West
and Carrical for many, many years. This performance came about
through a coffee conversation between the person who ended up
directing Voices and the CEO of Servants in Hawthorn/Carrical. What
came about through that conversation was connection and conversations
between students of Scotch College and a performance telling the
stories of the residents of the rooming house. It was a great and
truthful honouring of their lives - including the life of someone who
recently died - and a project that achieved so much on so many levels.

A great dream becoming a great reality, coming out of the faithfulness
of a community to this work over many years.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are we willing to give up?

Our hope for the future lies not so much in what we are able to give, but in what we are willing to give up; not in what we are able to do, but in our willingness to do without.
(Daniel Deffenbaugh, via Waving or Drowning? via Inward/Outward)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One of the joys of my day ... At Campion in Kew

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Loving the Wilderness

While it's not my current place in my own journey (ie. I don't feel in a wilderness place), I do love and relate to this post about loving the spiritual wilderness.

Others Doing the Promoting for You

During the week I read this post by Seth Godin.

It made me think about the work that we are doing in our local area.  We have more children and families in our drop in space for families everyday than really is comfortable.  This comes from really starting this space operating like this in October last year - not long at all.

It was after a long process of presence, prayer and discernment and a commitment to the building and our actions being for the use of the local community.

Regularly, we have people coming in because they have heard about it from someone we don't know.

One my co-workers in all this wrote this in response to reading Seth's post - it is so true and most excellent:
People in the first circle aren't interested in telling others about the thing we are doing, they want to share the place where they, their children and their friends belong. 

Thomas Merton Prayer

In another season of my life this prayer by Thomas Merton was of great importance.  At that time I re-wrote it with the specific work God was doing in me at the time.  It was interesting and timely to read it this week on this blog.  I plan to also start the discipline of praying it daily.

My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Are we Objects to be Saved?

Thanks to Anj for this quote:

When people become objects to be saved, we lose sight that we are all created in the image of God and everybody loses.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A couple of unsung heroes

A couple of my friends are away this weekend. They are a part of a
group of people who are committed (too soft and too strong a word at
the same time) to a particular local area and network as God allows it
to emerge. We're close but due to a range of factors have only had
passing conversations about many things in recent weeks. I knew
they were away with this "mob" this weekend and had pictured in my
mind 5 - 10 people away for a weekend. A few days ago I realised that
it was 20 people going away - this friend of this person, and this
other person who knows everyone through this; you get the drift. It's
a retreat with sessions of reading the Bible together and such things
- who knows how much some of these people have read the Bible before,
and I have no doubt that with this mob reading the Bible with them,
they'll come away excited about it and seeing it as a natural thing to
do. It'll be a messy, real weekend I'm sure. But one with much love,
fun, care and presence.

What's brought it all about? No question - God! Also no question (as
a subset of that): the "mob" concentrating on what God's up to in them
and trusting God to do his job of building the kingdom; being present
in the miriad of places that they find themselves each day and open to
who and what they find there; being expectant that God is working for
the kingdom and watching for opportunities to join him in it; not
needing "it" to be anything and so letting what will emerge happen;
being real in the mix of the real messiness of life. These are just a
few of the things that I think contributes to the miracle of what it

I love that I get to journey with these guys and that we get to shape
one another in our journeys as God continues to do his work in and
around us.

Coffee Break Prayer

Coffee and Barb - not a theme at all!!!

I like the idea of this (
- I'd probably change some of the specifics - I wonder what might work
for you?

I love the idea of the time, of using the segments of a coffee break
to prompt different things, of using the "aroma" idea, of the time
slot being a possible thing for most people to do, of the possibility
of doing it alone or with others.

If you use it, do feedback on here how you work with it and how it goes.

Increased Posting

As you will have noticed, I've posted a few things over the last
couple of days - expect it to continue!

For a long time, I've felt the invitation from within myself, as well
as, I think, an invitation from God to post more. To post more of my
thoughts, to post more links to other blogs I'm reading, to post more
about the things I'm giving my life to. There have been many reasons,
good and not so good, that I haven't followed this invitation - but I
plan to change that now. So expect an increase in blogging - of all

I'm in an incredibly rich time. Much is happening in and around me.
Much of this I won't choose to blog directly around - for my own
privacy, the privacy of those around me or the confidential nature of
the issues. The thinking and some of the experiences that these
situations bring about however will of course be discussed. I'm happy
to discuss much of the specifics of the issues with people as is
appropriate in off line or one-one forums - so do feel free to ask
more if you'd like; I just think it's wiser to be careful in the
public context of a blog. If you are closer to the situations in my
life - be careful what you assume I'm talking about, there are so many
things going on around me in my own life and the lives of those I'm
connected to, it would be wise to not draw conclusions - there's your

That leads to a couple of the reasons that I've hesitated blogging and
some of the reasons I'm now changing that. One of them is exactly the
issue I've just written about - people assuming they know what I'm
writing about (and they may or may not be accurate) or the difficulty
in knowing the appropriate level to blog at. One of my other
hesitations has been around feeling nervous around being public around
my thoughts in a whole range of areas. A whole range of things that
have been bubbling away in me for a long time, along with both some
conversations of this past week, as well as just the "energy" to do
it, has encouraged me to change that. The quote in the previous post
about boldness and humility links in well.

All who are thirsty

A great post about coming to Jesus with all our thirsts - our healthy ones and not so healthy:

(I write this as I sit drinking my morning coffee - love the irony!)

Loved lots of things about the post but one paragraph I love especially follows from talking of how Jesus doesn't take the disciples away after saying that if you are thirsty come to me.  It speaks deeply of many things in my current place.  Here is the next paragraph:

"While this frustrates me, it's also true that these open ended statements are part of what makes the Bible live for every generation. Because everything's not spelled out, we need to wrestle with it, pray about it, talk about it, contextualize it, and hold our answers with enough boldness to explain why believe them, and enough humility to discard them when more light shines on our convictions and shows us we need to shift."

Do you love people or things?

A person who I used to work with and a good co-journeyer reminded me
of this quote the other day - not sure where it comes from:

"There are people who love people and use things and there are people
who love things and use people."
(things can be anything - not just tangible things: might be a dream,
might be money, might be a building, might be an organisation)

I pray to be a person who deeply loves people and uses things of all