Monday, December 14, 2009

There is a God

New Zealand is following other countries in having an “atheist bus campaign”.

Liturgy says:
So, in summary, let’s not react against these ads – they are a wonderful opportunity not only to deepen our own reflection, but to clarify the misunderstandings between us. Atheists can be prophets, challenging the idols that Christians present.
Also see the TVNZ interview

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Drummer Boy



Cool rendition. Never knew what this song was about, but wiki says:

The lyrics tell the apocryphal story of a poor young boy who, unable to afford a gift for the infant Jesus, plays his drum for the newborn with the Virgin Mary's approval. Miraculously, the baby, although a newborn, seems to understand and smiles at the boy in gratitude.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Fences & footprints


Accusations
-You’re outside the fence!
But who erected it in the first place?
Jesus says
-Come to me
And the invitation to leave aside all that holds us back

Yet Phari-sees
We add to the weight of the oppressed
-Be like us or he won’t accept you

When he is we
And his acceptance is based on faith in a person
Not interpretation of a proposition

We reduce conversation to catechism
And faith to assent
When we are called to radical living that engenders faith

-The word of God says
Becomes a weapon of exclusion
And insomuch we deny our very Lord who says
-Come
For those who come
find that we have locked the door
To protect ourselves
When the message of hope and life has no bounds
And true religion is to break the bondage of the oppressed

Can’t you see that in unlocking the door we are freeing ourselves to truly live
To put flesh on God amongst those to need to see him most

Ghosts and Halloween are evil we say
But the real evil is that millions are dying of starvation while we just
Booty, God, booty

Since when has
-live justly
meant
-Be pious when others can see you
We forget that in a global world
buying a pair cheap pair of shoes is a Moral choice
That our footprint on the earth leaves an imprint
In us
In others

That the boundaries we draw
Form over meaning
Are the fence that keeps those God is drawing
OUT
And that ain’t no justice

I am left speechless, except to ask
-How long?

24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Man Cave

What's a Man Cave?

man cave n. A dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop, or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends.

Purpose

A man cave is loosely a male-only space to retreat to, watch sports matches, or play video games. According to psychiatrist and author Scott Haltzman, it is important for a man to have a place to call his own, referring to a male area to retreat to. Some psychologists claim that a man cave can provide refuge from stressful surroundings and be beneficial to marriage.

Some men have a workshop, some a shed, others a music room or shed. It's a place to hang out, a real my-space. Today I suggested to my family I might convert the garage into a man cave just for the summer. Let's just say that no-one was enthusiastic.

Men: do you have a man cave? What do you do there? Why do you hang out there? What rules do you have?
Women: what do you think about man caves?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A feast of your presence

The clock ticks on
A sense of time passing
I am in the moment
Each moment part of a great spread of moments
Laid out over time & space
To fill my life
With a feast of your presence
Pain is on the table
And joy
But the greatest joy
Is that I share this table with you
Or rather
That you share it with me

Friday, July 31, 2009

Exclusion & Embrace 1


Haven't blogged for a while. Thought I would share with you my engagement with the book
Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf.
I preached recently from Matthew 8: 1-4 where Jesus healed the leper. (some notes here, ppt here). After asking who are the marginalized in our community, I refered to Volf who says

Exclusion has become the primary sin, skewing our perceptions of reality & causing us to react out of fear and anger to all those who are not within our (ever narrowing) circle…

& challenges us to

take the costly step of opening ourselves to the other, of enfolding him or her in the same embrace with which we have been enfolded by God.

In looking at the central place of Jesus on the cross Moltman suggests that : the sufferings of Jesus on the cross are not just his sufferings they are the “sufferings of the poor & weak, which Jesus shares in his own body & in his own soul, in solidarity with them.”

As followers of Jesus this is a model for us: to have compassion and show solidarity with the marginalised in our society & around the world. But how do we do that when the marginalized are often the ones we are most scared of falling victim to?

Jesus’ death on the cross is also an act of atonement: to make the sinner at one with God. (Volf) “… Like solidarity with the victims, the atonement for the perpetrators issues forth from the heart of the triune God, whose very being is love… God does not abandon the godless to their own evil but gives the divine self for them in order to receive them into divine communion through atonement, so also should we – whoever our enemies”

Who is God calling us to embrace today?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Moment of Surrender



I love this song. especially the last lines:
I was speeding on the subway
Through the stations of the cross
Every eye looking every other way
Counting down ’til the train would stop

At the moment of surrender
Of vision of over visibility
I did not notice the passers-by
And they did not notice me

All Lyrics

Very spiritual, very realistic, very deep: quintessential U2

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

& you call this democracy?

I don't politipost too often, but I am extremely frustrated with our current government's actions.

On the one hand, the initial bill to make changes to out largest metropolitan area making it a supercity has been passed under urgency (read: with no select committee process, read: we the inhabitants don't get to give our opinion). Labour has used a process of filibustering to slow down the passage of the bill but it still went through.

On the other hand, the Wanganui District council is holding a referendum on whether there should be an 'h' in Wanganui, thus making it Whanganui (like the name of the river).

The first issue affects the lives of over 1/2 NZ population, the second issue is one of linguistics that is easily solved by seeing that the regional dialect of the Whanganui tribes uses the wh sound & not the w' sound, so a correction should be made in consultation with the Tangata Whenua of the area.

Bringing these 2 extremes of "democracy" together is the fact that the Auckland Ubercity bill was renamed as Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act, which one commentator says "asks the Tangata Whenua to define it" because the name Tamaki Makaurau predates the arrival of the European to NZ. Bet they don't ask!

Also see:

Nactional calls filibuster bluff - Über City enabling law runs past midnight
Wanganui voters out in force on 'h' issue
Whanganui Iwi
tahi reich, tahi tangata, tahi Hide

Friday, May 01, 2009

Bono’s confession of faith — Cranach: The Blog of Veith

Bono: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.


Bono’s confession of faith — Cranach: The Blog of Veith
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ode to the Fallen


Ode to the Fallen (Laurence Binyon),

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning.

We will remember them

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cool Apps

Been playing with some cool social networking apps over the weekend:

Twitter I can thank Steve for this one. Twitter helps you stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing. I am using it to update my facebook

With Brightkite you can tell people where you are (googlemap included - freaky) and what is happening. You can also meet new people in the same space.

AudioBoo records short audio clips. They can be pasted into a blog, sent to a friend, updated to facebook or twitter. Very cool

If you are on any of these, let me know so I an add you to my friends list.
My user on all of the above is ColoradoNegrito

19 Minutes

Listen!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lent Journey 3


Cessionite said:
“Not much more to say other than I am more convinced than ever that it is engagement with God rather than abstinence which makes the difference. One creates the platform for the other.” More

I resonate with this comment. I decided to work on my inappropriate language during Lent. About 1/2 way through I found that God was challenging me on my attitudes to others as well as the effect my words have on others positively and negatively. The focus came off the occasional bad word and onto what springs from my heart. If you look legalistically at my lent then I failed, as the occasional word still slips through. But looking wider, I believe that God has worked in my life and that is what really counts.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Out Of Africa

Riche is on her way back to the boys. Miss her already. I guess you could say she is Out of Africa. The pici is her outside the Karen Blixen house whose book became the famous film with Robert Redford & Meryl Streep.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kazuri Bead Factory


Kazuri is Swahili for “small and beautiful.” We stumbled upon the Kazuri Bead Factory by accident. Solo mums are hired to make awesome jewelry from Mt Kenya clay. Employment here changes the quality of their lives & that of their children. See article: Kenya’s Kazuri Bead Factory Allows Women from Kibera Slum to Build New Lives

We saw the process first hand and of course now have some beautiful jewelry.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lent Journey 2


In the lent journal from cession|community, Tuesday’s entry about Matthew asked: Are there people you play Pharisee with? Undesirables who you avoid, marginalize or judge?

On Sunday we went to church here in Nairobi with a mission partner. After the service I stood by the newcomers table, looking at some material about the church. A man, who I assumed was a greeter, came up to me and started chatting. Before long he was sharing about a ministry and asking me to get SIM to partner (not only money of course:-). I quickly extricated myself.

Likewise, back at the guest house I struck up a conversation with a Kenyan pastor over breakfast. Before long he was asking me if we believed in helping widows, how big my church was back in NZ, and I could see him angling to ask for money. My reaction was to leave before he asked. In both cases I offered conversation and they appeared to be trying to take advantage of me. It made me angry that believers would do this

and I wanted to avoid them.

This has me thinking. What is the difference between generosity and stupidity, wisdom and miserliness? How can you tell when a need is genuine or when someone is out to rip you off? In Ecuador we faced this issue almost daily, and my response was all over the spectrum. In NZ it is not so in-your-face, but does that mean we shouldn’t grapple with it? After all we are rich in comparison to most of the world.

Lord help me to live in this tension, not judging those who present needs, but wisely listening to your voice and giving generously but not foolishly from a heart open to love. Likewise may I not be disappointed when others take the friendship offered & try to take advantage, but continue to seek conversation with others.

Work by the Pool

Work can take many forms.



Here by the pool answering emails from back in NZ. Taking a few days rest at a fantastic place called Kivi Milimani Hotel, recommended by the company that drives SIMers around Nairobi and will take us up to the conference in Brakenhurst: Elida Tours & Safari

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kirk was here


Kirk travels with us wherever we go. Here he is enjoying the company of a guard at the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya Kindaruma Guest House in Nairobi. Full Board at a reasonable price. Email: ghouse@fpfk.or.ke

So close yet so far away


Hi there.

We are in Nairobi, enjoying looking around and meeting our colleagues here.

We arrived on Friday morning hoping to visit a mission partner in Southern Sudan, but the UN has grounded flights in and out of his city. I fell pretty cut up about that, and I'm sure he is too, as his stetson hat is now closer than NZ, but still far far away:-(

We have been redeeming the time hearing about various ministries. When I have some more time I hope to post on them, either here or at no.8 wire

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lent


Never done lent before. Now attending cession | community, fantastic church that I feel is my Turangawaewae (Maori for a place to stand). See www.cession.org.nz

Decided to work on my inappropriate language during Lent. Everytime. I say a bad word I look up a passage of scripture on words. So far 3 days and 6 lookups:-( Pray that God will work on my heart 'cause our words flow from there.

What are you doing 4 Lent?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Adagio in G Minor (Albinoni)

This is my favourite classical music piece EVER. I first heard this as part of a Passion scene one Easter.

What's your's?