Wednesday, October 26, 2005


school kid: i hate this footy. it's gay
mrs ellery (harsh tone): ah jimmy! don't say that word
kid (puts his head down and mutters under his breath): do we hate them that much we can't even say it?

i was devastated.

all year long i've been telling the kids not to say 'that word'. and in my mind it was perfectly obvious that we didn't say 'that word' out of respect for people who are gay. turns out half the kids thought they couldn't say 'gay' because they thought all the teachers hated gay people so much.

O Lord,
Help me to see the lies

Sunday, October 23, 2005


just finished watching 'Devil's playground'. it's a doco about the Amish people. interesting.

The Amish tradition was started in 1693 by a small group of people who thought it was wrong to babtise infants. They believe that only an adult can freely choose to follow Christ. They were harshly persecuted for this believe.

The Amish reject any technology that they think will have a negative impact on their community and family life (electricity, cars and trendy clothes are out, roller blades, log fires and volley ball are in).

Their traditions become away of them reminding themselves that they are not of this world. (1 John 2:15) They believe that everybodies life should be a witness to Christ.

But when Amish children turn 16 they are release into the world for their 'Rumspringa'. They go out and taste what the 'real' world is like. This time might go for 6 months to several years, and boy, do they party. At some point they have to decide if they will leave the Amish community or go back, get baptised and join the church and live by it's ways for the rest of their life. big call.

90% of them choose the Amish church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


still trying to work out which bits of the bible i'm suposed to take literally and base my life on and which bits are just desribing what happened. which characters in the bible are suppose to be role models (what to do) and which are suppose to be the 'baddies' (what not to do??)

according to Fee and Stuart 'testament' is another word for covernant. interesting.

as a kid it always seemed fairly random which bits of the bible we listened to and which we didn't, but i figured their must be some logic behind it which at some point in growing up became clear. after all, all the adults i knew seemed fairly unanimous in which bits they actually applied to our lives and which bits were ignored (or at least ticked off as not relevant) and after all, the majority can't be wrong.

i guess this becomes most challenging when i meet people who take literally bits i have assumed were not meant to be taken literally. for instance 'sell all that you have and distribute it amoung the poor' (jesus in Luke 18) "Of course that's not to be taken literally... that doesn't make sense" i say to myself, almost unonsciously, until i met someone who thinks it's a blatently obvious fundamental part of following christ, and has taken this command literally more than once.

and are we suppose to take paul literally in 1 corinthians 11:5
' every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head...'
and paul goes on for several verses making it pretty clear that God wants women to have their head covered and dosn't want men to. To paul this is common sense type stuff. He concludes in verse 16. 'but if any one seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, not do the churches of God' ... so are we not 'the churches of God??? click here for the full argument of christians who do take this literally

huh?? um..... i guess it was only paul talking, not jesus that said that.... but hang on, if i think that then....

well, lets not go there.

fee and stuart have some interesting thought in 'how to read the bible for all it's worth'

"all of the old testament law is still the word of God for us even though it is not still the command of God to us. The bible contains all sorts of commands that God wants us to know about, which are not directed toward us personally. if we are not concerned about building parapets around the roof of our houses (deut 22:8) we should none the less delight in a God who cared that houseguests not fall off a roof with which they were unfamiliar, and therefore he taught people to build their houses with that sort of love for neighbour in mind..."

they go on to say only that which is explicitly renewed in the new testament can be considered part of the 'law of christ'. included in this category would be the ten commandments, since they are cited in various ways in the new testament as still binding to christians and the two great commandments for deuteronomy 6:5 and levitius 19:18 (love the lord your god with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself) "No other specific Old Testament laws an be proved to be strictly binding on christians, valuable as it is for Christians to know all the laws."

so what am i saying? i'm not quite sure?
maybe some of you who hold this mysterious logic could fill me in?

Sunday, October 16, 2005


the Sudanese community living in Perth gathered at the herb graham rec centre yesterday to celebrate their culture and perform their tribal dances. there was about 400 hundred of them and about 20 of 'us' (whities).

the official procedings started with a 6'5 black african man thanking the Nyoongar people for caring for the land which they have now made their home. he then went on to thank the australian government and all community workers who have helped them.

struck me as significant that he thanked the aboriginal Nyoongar people first. i imagine he understands their connection to this land i am sitting on more than i do.

as the afternoon went on each tribal group performed their individual version of a similar dance. there was usually a couple of men in the middle of a circle of women playing the drums. the women would dance around them often with some sort of rattling instrument on their legs. the other men would dance around them, often springing up in impressively high vertical jumps. they seemed to be a story enfolding, but the details were lost to case and i.

unfortunately we had to leave early cos of the Fuel ball (which, by the way was fantastic. they showed us a bit of the micah challenge promo)... where we did our own version of tribal dancing.
- charlie

ps. casey thinks that last line sounds corny.
pps. 1 more thought - the majority of Sudanese are Christian. if i hadn't known that i wonder if i would have been a bit freaked out by the tribal markings (some of which were thick scares across the forehead), the 'wailing' style singing and the unusual dancing? i wonder what i would have assumed about it's origins?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

dave andrews things to think about...

- taking the sermon on the mount as a Manisfesto for life?
- people who are genuine disciples of christ but who are from other religions?
- reasons why are western community has become so fragmented since the 1960's (tv, comsumerism, 2 parents working, cars...)
- is genuine discipleship even possible when we all live in our separate little worlds?
- bounded set christianity verses centred set christianty?
- should we ditch the name 'Christian' all together as it has so lost it's meaning?

hmmmm...still thinking.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Christi-Anarchy by Dave Andrew pg116

"the other day i was speaking to a very enthusiastic young man. the conversation brought up a whole range of issues that began to concern me. there was no doubting this young man's sincerity. there was no doubting this young man's resolve. there was no doubting this young man's passion for love and justice.

but, nonetheless, i became more and more anxious as the conversation continued. he seemed, if anything, too self-conscious about his sense of mission; too excited about the prospect of success; too scared about the possibility of failure; too determined to prove himself; too determined that he, and the people he was with, would save the world, damn it! he seemed prepared to do anything to make his dreams come true...

i have met too many young men and women like this young man - good men and women, with good ambitions, but haunted: haunted by doubts about their ability to bring about the changes they so desperately desire. and driven: driven by the need to prove, to themselves and to others, that they have the capability required to accomplish such a significant task."

i place the problems of the world back on Christ's shoulders
may i learn to love you in each present moment
may i learn to love every human being that crosses my path

perhaps this is all you ask of me?
got this in an email from matty b...

"Brennan Manning, in his book Ruthless Trust, tells the story of the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh who went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta. He wanted to know how best to spend the rest of his life.
On his first morning, he met Mother Teresa and she asked, "What can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "And what do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He expressed the deepest desire of his heart: "Pray that I have clarity."
She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." Kavanaugh was taken aback. Mother Teresa continued, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of. " When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."
So often we want clarity - "If I choose this school, how will it affect my future? If we get married, will it work out? If we move there, will it be OK? If I take that job, will I be happy?" As leaders, we too idolize "clarity." We grow anxious if our vision is not fulfilled. We want clarity that our choices and decisions will lead to success.
In the midst of it all, Christ calls us simply to trust him, with a ruthless trust. "

the last idol

i want to be super successful.

i want to have a significant, productive, important life.

i don't want to waste time doing usless things.

and i want other people to know that i am living a super successful, significant, productive, important life.

fortunately for me i know god and god knows everything, so god knows what i need to do to be super successful, significant, productive and important. so if i just ask hard enough and just behave well enough he'll tell me right?

so i pray. every night i pray.
'Dear God, what do you want me to do? Should i work here? Should i live there? Should i travel? ' words, questions run through my head, and i have a good imagination, which means there's always lots of options, lots of questions, lots of things to decide. this, that or the other... which will lead to the most success?

and then i stop and i wait...

and you know in the last 12 months i don't think i've been given one single answer.

i wait for a nice logical answer to my questions to come forth.... i wait...
and (as it did the night before and the night before that) my awareness moves from my head to my heart. i take a deep breathe as i become aware of christ's presence in me. tears come to my eyes and i am humbled by his consuming love. i rest in his love. i am refreshed. revived and i come back to life.

but no answer.