Thursday, October 29, 2009

excerpt from my sermon

"...In the end she could find no compelling reason to stay with the Church. She was disappointed with God’s people. My heart sank as she proclaimed, “It was a real turn off actually.” I wondered where she was up to in relation to the living God now.

I know there would be some that would say that Christianity needs to be more hip and relevant if it is to make significant impact in today’s society. That we need more rock bands, cool haircuts and advertising slogans to give Christianity a good name. Many of you will have taken part in the recent, Jesus! All about life! campaign in the hopes that people would begin to receive a more positive message about our saviour and our religion; that people would get the message that Christians don’t have to be associated with formality, ritual or goody two-shoes-party-pooping-Saturday-nights-in-at-Bible-Study any more. We can be as hip, cynical and trendy as the next religion, so why don’t you join us, eh?

But if an attractive veneer is all that Christianity has to offer, what makes it any different from the myriad of other “fix-your-life-for-60-dollars-a-week” schemes people engage with to make themselves happy? In a world where icons compete with one another for the attention of your average punter, where the pressure to perform is high, whether its in your job, your marriage or even at church; in a world where substantial thinking, hospitality and spiritual disciplines are untaught and in some places unheard of, what do Jesus followers have to make them any different from the next salesman?

The earliest Christians lived in just such a world and they stood out like..."

Do you think they'd let me preach it anywhere? I promise the exegesis is halfway decent! incidentally... I have just finished my exegesis course... three assignments to go. WOOP WOOP

Monday, October 26, 2009


Thomas Henry Huxley in a letter to Charles Kingsley, September 23, 1860

"Science seems to me to teach in the highest and strongest manner the great truth that is embodied in the Christian conception of entire surrender to the will of God. Sit down before the fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever end Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing... I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this."

This theory encapsulates one part of my team experience this year fairly well. To surrender my assumptions and previous 'knowledge' and see where the next step takes me. It isn't about turning off your mind, because you need to keep your wits about you as you go if you wish to avoid making stupid mistakes.

Rather it has been about learning to step out of fear into an unknown future, a future I can trust will be good.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

single mindedness

I read a book this week, ‘the Stranger House’ by Reginald Hill. A ripper of a story, though perhaps a little sensational in parts. Being on the point of finishing a two year course for which I made a commitment to ‘single-mindedness’, the bolded sentence struck me almost as an epiphany, and I had to stop reading.

After experiencing a romantic humiliation, Mig, who has recently left his training for the catholic priesthood, recalls his mentor's words:

“Father Dominic, talking of the vow of chastity, had said that it had nothing to do with morality as many have supposed, and everything to do with the power of sex to cloud judgement, squander energy, divert the will.”

Its a pretty good summary of those times in the last two years when I forgot to be single minded. I’m not sure what I think of it all. Maybe its just part of the learning curve? I'm certainly glad that I don't have to have all the answers today!

Grace be with us earthlings as we learn to love each other well.

extract from 'The Stranger House' by Reginald Hill

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'll hold a trembling hand

God uses people to perform his work. He does not send angels. Angels weep over it, but God does not use angels to accomplish His purposes. He uses burdened broken-hearted weeping men and women

David Wilkerson