Wednesday, March 30, 2005

who will you be in the next 24 hours? - charlie

Saturday, March 26, 2005

what is a christian?

as some of you may know at the start of this year i decided to abandon everthing i thought i new about faith and start again from scratch - everything i had previously believed was up for grabs.

i had hit the reset button.

this left me with some fairly major questions. for instance, 'what is a christian?' i promised myself i would take on no ones opinions but christ. if he didn't have an opinion on something then i didn't need one either.

last week some of my school kids asked me, 'so who gets to go to heaven?' - my initial urge is to sprout of the answer from the bank of answers i have stored neatly in my brain - 'if you ask jesus into your heart then you get to go to heaven.' but i'm not allowed to use my neatly stored bank of answer anymore because just can't quite remember who put those answers there.

so i turn to the words in red - to the man who put the 'christ' in 'christian'. and i find the passage of the sheep and the goats (matt 25). sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell. simple enough. so how can i be a sheep? answer - feed the hungry, invite in strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison.

so that's it. christ summary on who gets to go to heaven. what is absent from this passage is as startling as what's in it.

to ask christ into your heart is to ask the poor into your heart.

do you fit christ's definition of those who are saved? i bloody hope i do.


you should feel very priviledged because you are about to read carefully choosen exerts from my private journal.

august 04 (current life description- working approx 50 hours a week, attending church approx 3 times a week plus small groups, failing in attempts to get to know neighbours, often sick with colds and sore throuts, failing in attepts to have a 'quiet time' everyday)

"i'm sick of swinging between stressing about pathetic details (fast pace) and being bored and depressed (slowing down). i can't believe some people live like that for years - thinking that's life. god - i want to be alive, more than i am now. i feel you made me for something different. do i even know faith? i'm so self sufficient, self protective. - and so dependent on the system (money, infrastructure etc). i feel so chained. imagine being so free you could give your last apple away...

september 4 04
dear lord, your very name crumbles my heart. i write through tears. you are my life. without you death, boredom, dullness, nothing.
o god - i want life to the full, please help me find life to the full - i'm so bored.

september 6 04
as i wake i feel a new connection with all my sisters on earth - what do you want me to do with that.

courage? is that my favourite thing?

september 7 04
with all our knowledge and eduation how did we become so insula? how can we think our reality is normal? why do we think we need so much? how did we become so trapped? there are false gods and idols all over the place. in our pursuit for 'freedom' (control) we have become so bound. do we even know faith when we run around all day trying to look after ourselves - making sure we have enough - fulfilling our need to be 'comfortable' - making sure our kids will be 'comfortable'. i'm not sure i want my kids to be comfortable - i want my kids to be couragous. being comfortable makes me feel stuffy, useless, smothered. i wonder what being courageous feels like - i've only had a taste

god - what is this that you have placed in my heart. i want to burst - i feel so contained, so small. god, set me free."

enough for now - charlie

easter story

Once upon a time, thousands of years ago before a human had ever walked this earth, a rebellion had formed in heaven.

The Great Lord looked down upon His hosts of gleaming angels. There was one who sparkled brightly on the outside, but whose heart had started to darken. The seed of pride had taken root. Lucifer longed for the power of The Great Lord.

“Look at Him sitting up there” Lucifer whispered to the other angels. “He says he cares for us but I wonder…He says he will be Lord forever…what if he makes us his slaves?” Lucifer slowly and strategically planted doubt in the hearts of the other angels.

He tempted them with power. “Come with me and I will make you strong. Others will stand in awe of you just like you stand in awe of Him.”

One third of the angels succumbed to Lucifer’s lures. The Great Lord was deeply saddened by their mistrust. Lucifer and his legions were thrown from heaven.

* * *

Several centuries past. The Great Lord created Earth. His most prized creation was man. He loved man more than anything. The Great Lord put a portion of himself inside every man, that man might radiate His strength, His love, His compassion, His courage.

Lucifer hated man from the very beginning. He hated that man loved The Great Lord. Lucifer wanted man to be pathetic, to be whimpy, to be selfish and arrogant, greedy and full of hate. Lucifer and his legions at once got to work on the demise of man. The assault of lies began.

The Great Lord watched as each man made their choice. Some men stood firm, they new Lucifer was a liar. Other men gave in. Their lust for power and wealth too strong.

Time passed and the world grew. Slowly it became sicker and sicker. Men with power became more powerful, more wealthy. The part of man’s heart which radiated The Great Lord grew dim. Blinded by their own selfishness they forgot to care for the weak, the sick, the hungry – those that truly needed their strength.

The Great Lord watched. “Enough!” He finally thundered, “I can stand this deceit no longer.”

Mary became pregnant.

Lucifer looked over his shoulder. He had feared this day may come. He whispered to Herod. “Quick, you must kill all the babies or one of them may steal your throne.”

But it did not work. The Christ was born.
Lucifer continued throughout Christ’s life to tempt him, to destroy him. Lucifer commanded his legions to work without falter at the destruction of The Christ. After years of toil Lucifer finally had The Christ right where he wanted him – hanging on a cross.

The Christ cried out, “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?”
“VICTORY!” screamed Lucifer across the Earth. The sky blackened. The Christ was pulled into the depths of hell.

For three days there in hell a war raged which those of us on Earth knew nothing of. On the third day Lucifer looked at the broken and gasping body of Christ chained to the table. Lucifer smirked with confidence. “Victory is mine.”

But then the eyes of Lucifer met the eyes of The Christ. His smirk faded.
“No” said Christ. “Victory is My Great Lord’s.” With that streams of light came pouring from the body of Christ. The chains broke. Lucifer fell back. “Arrrghh” he cried.

Lucifer was defeated once and for all. The Christ was risen.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

'the divine in me salutes the divine in you' - charlie

Manufactured Beliefs?

Last night we went and saw a doco called Control Room' (see It is about the Arab TV channel Al Jazeera. It proved to be not only another interesting take on the war in/on Iraq, but also a window into the world of the media and the power journalist's can wield. It got me thinking about how much information we are fed in today's society and how easy it is to sculpt this info to suite a myriad of agendas.

After reading Chomsky's 'Media Control' i was taken aback by the interrelation of democracy and media manipulation. Manufacturing consent is the name given to this process (it's also another Chomsky title) Both the books and the movie make the point that in our culture which is influenced by numerous media sources, we are constantly given an external focus upon which to fix our eyes. This enables our government to gloss over our interal problems for the greater cause of uniting to fight the common enemy of terrorism or whatever it is at the time. Now while i don't seek to endorse action taken on behalf of terrorists or their like, we could definietly use the resources committed to this war in my city/community rather than help damage an already sick nation thousands of miles from our homes.

Then again perhaps i have been listening to too much of this media control propoganda and my own view has been distorted by my own misinformation.

Now apart from the political side it makes me wonder what in my spiritual life do i believe because of misinformation? I know that some things quoted as almost scripture are just doctrines created by man and often regurgitated as part of a specific 'culture'. But it can somtimes be suprising to find myself quoting or acting on beliefs that, when i think about it, don't have a concrete theology behind them. It is scary the hurt i may have caused because of this misinformation. Now that takes me down a frightening path, to question all that i believe or thought i believed, seems like a daunting task. Maybe it would be easier to keep going along with all that commonly accepted stuff?

Monday, March 21, 2005

the most interesting thing powerphil has to say:

i can fit through a conventional doggy door.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

RE: science lesson blog 27 feb

very smart mirella just said, 'but jesus didn't jesus take his body with him?" hhhmmm, did anyone think of that? - charlie

Saturday, March 19, 2005

my fear

what if there's a difference between our 'western christian' culture and the lifestyle of christ. if i throw my heart and soul into a christian organisation i might take on the world view of that culture, not the world view of christ.

Friday, March 11, 2005

my path

if i know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because i am staggering from side to side?
Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, March 10, 2005


was chatting to my neighbour other night. it was still, the leaves hardly rustled. the bricks of the house were still warm from the heat of the day. she said to me with fist on chest that when she pats her dog and looks up at the stars she thinks - yeah, there must be a god.


just re-read stephen said's critic on the 'contemporary charismatic worship service' - (what i attend every sunday morning.)

i have often wondered where the, "sing, offering, sing, communion, sing, sermon, sing" format comes from. i have never found it in the bible. (this does not make it wrong - i have never found white polar bears in the bible either.)

stephen, in a short history lesson, explained that the 'contemporary charismatic worship service' originated in the 60's. christian baby boomers were dissatisfied with structured liturgical worship. they sort to find a more genuine expression of their faith in christ.

in some ways this is where i find myself today. i love my church to bits but i am realising it cannot be the only forum through which i express my faith. i am also becoming increasingly aware that many of my non-christian friends and neighbours will simply not fit the version of christianty presented at the services i attend on sundays.

so then what else could church look like?

if it was up to me (which we can probably all thank the lord it's not!) i would ask god and maybe he would say...

give to the poor

be friendly

don't declare people leaders - let people provide services

don't advertise me

look around you (and back in history) and learn how people connect with me - do these things

hmmm...what do you think jesus would do if starting a church in the northern suburbs of perth 2005? what would you do? - charlie

stephen's article -

Friday, March 04, 2005

rip that rug out

Here's a thought particularly pertinent to me at the moment as my brain is exploding with 'new knowledge and power'.

'I think that there is a large majority of self within questioning. It is for the purpose of knowledge that we ask, perhaps a knowledge that we were never meant to attain. Perhaps a fruit that we were never meant to taste. But now the poison has touched our lips and we long for its power. The very thing that brought us to destruction. It is within the knowledge of good and evil that we pertain to self.Our eyes have been pre-maturely exposed to the light, therefore, what we see as enlightenment, is, in its true form, blindness.' (from amy sarah's blog - a real world that doesn't exist...)

and there i was thinking i was becoming all enlighted - charlie

Thursday, March 03, 2005


teaching christian ed today. told the kids to close their eyes, heads on desks and imagine the world before god had created anything - no earth, no sun nothing. there was complete silence..........this is when god planned you.

I thought about you for ages
Even before the start of time
I contemplated everything
That went into you design.

I fashioned you completely
Uniquely through and through
I didn't start with someone else
Then slightly change them into you

I thought about your future
Dreamed what you could be
Then got to work creating
Someone the world has never seen....
(By Wes Beavis)

The kids then wrote their own poems about what god would say to someone who is sad. balled my eyes out. i tell you the kingdom of god is in the heart of those kids. - charlie

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

sponsor kids??

been thinking today about our sponsor child - baby salini. never met her, probably never will. when she writes us letters she calls us mummy and daddy. i've had a question mark in my spirit for a while over this one.

6 weeks ago hubby and i were in cambodia on our inaugural 'mission' trip. gees, that country has a 'hand out' mentality. can't blame them, they have been through absolute hell, but i'm not quite convinced that 'hand outs' is what christ is thinking when he talks about transforming our world.

i think i want baby salini to look to the elders in her village for her economic hope, not some magical white person (ie me).

the process of transforming a community from poverty to economical sustainable seems difficult. my thinking cap is on. in the mean time i'll keep dishing out the cash and just hope and pray that baby salini doesn't think i'm more important or powerful than the indian grown-ups she knows. - charlie