Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday morning message part three(a day late)

We then moved on to communion. I shared how in the litugies there were two important bits to prepare our hearts to take communion, the first is the prayer of confession:

Father, I ask you to forgive me for my sins this week. I have often been selfish, I have treated my wife and children with annoyance at times. I have often dwelt upon things I would like to have that would make my life more comfortable and easy. I have wasted time building my own kingdom, rather than participating in yours. I have gossiped, and let my toungue be unrestrained. Please forgive me Lord, and make me clean.

Please feel free to post a prayer of confession if you will, but if you want to post pictures I might have to edit them :)

The second is the Statement of our Faith, or the Apostles Creed:

I think again the words may sometimes fade into absent memorized nothingness. So we wrote our own statement of faith, and then we took communion.

I belive in Jesus, the center of all things. I believe He was sent by the Father to show us the way, to reveal the truth, and to give us life. I believe He became a man so that He could truely be our brother, and suffered the humilation of humanity. He died for our sins and rose again so that even death would be destroyed. He is the victorious saviour. I believe He sent the SPirit to guide, empower and instruct us. I believe we are now called to be Gods missionaries to all of the earth, until God brings the entire earth under the rulership of the kingdom of God.


Monday morning message part two (a day late)

Then I played two songs, one was Bruce Cockburns song Lord of the Starfields.


Lord of the starfields
Ancient of Days
Universe Maker
Here's a song in your praise

Wings of the storm cloud
Beginning and end
You make my heart leap
Like a banner in the wind

O love that fires the sun
Keep me burning.
Lord of the starfields
Sower of life,
Heaven and earth are
Full of your light

Voice of the nova
Smile of the dew
All of our yearning
Only comes home to you

O love that fires the sun
keep me burning

And spoke of our lack of creativity in describing God, and our limited vocabulary for praise. I pointed out that often we say or sing the same things over and over again, and they lose their meaning. I asked people to think of new phrases or words of praise for God.

Mine were maybe a bit cheesy, but so you will be inspired to do better here they are

Rainbow maker

Cosmic artist

Depth of the black hole

first help


Please list what you come up with.


Monday morning message part one (a day late)

Hello my friends. Sunday night at the cave we tried something different, with some degree of success. We decided since our musical director was missing, we might try something a bit alternative. We decided to have a service given to writing and drawing.

Please participate if you will:

We enter Gods courts with thanksgiving one of the psalms says. So we wrote down, or drew pictures of things that we wanted to thank God for.

I thank God for my family.

a great place to train

my puppy winston

And I am very thankful for what Jesus has done in my life, waking me up to the kingdom of God, teaching me about community, the primacy of the poor and the marginalized, the joy of discipleship. I thank God for the ministry I am now part of, and the amazing people I am walking the path with. I thank God for providing for my family. I am thankful that I know forgiveness, and love, and passion.

please post things you are thankful for

and then move to part 2

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Monday morning message

Acts chapter 4

5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is
" 'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.[a]'[b] 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16"What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."

18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

21After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

I looked at this passage from two points of view, the first was as a man discipled in a pentecostal tradition:

Peter and John had just accomplished an amazing miracle, Peter utters a great one liner "silver and gold we have not, but what we do have we give to you: In the name of Jesus, rise and walk" And amidst the commotion a crowd gathers, and Peter begins to preach about Jesus. Then the Jewish leaders and priests have them arrested. They are the ones that at the very least assisted in the death of Jesus. These leaders take Peter and John aside and ask what they are doing.

Now Peter, being his usual cautious self, basically tells them that they had Jesus killed, and that it was in Jesus name this happened. The leaders threaten them, and tell them to stop, then threaten them some more.

A bit later in the chapter we read the church praying for boldness to continue to share the message of Jesus. And this is what I was taught over and over again. To pray for boldness like the apostles did. The thing is, this seems really silly to me. What do I have to be bold about? Or what do I have to be bold in the face of. These men's very lives were in danger, their bodies would be beaten, they would be banished, excommunicated, and eventually killed. In the face of this they asked God for boldness. What do I have to worry about? Someone might not like me. Someone might think I am a weirdo!!! Hardly the same thing huh?

But the second point of view:

These educated leaders were amazed that these uneducated labourers were bold enough to stand against them. How could these low lifes imagine themselves to be worthy of even speaking to them!!! Yet somehow they not only stood in confidence before them, but actually contradicted them right to their face. Didn't they know who they were talking to!

And from this, they realized they had been Jesus' companions.

Perhaps we need to pray for a more complete relationship with Jesus, rather than for boldness. Perhaps we should concentrate more on spending time with the risen Jesus, than on working ourselves up to the proper lather to share our faith. Maybe its from this knowledge of Jesus, and His love, and His victory, and His grace, that we just naturally go about being Jesus to others, caring for the broken hearted, praying for the sick, sharing the good news of the kingdom of God. Maybe, once again our focus should be on Jesus, not on ourselves. I think then we wind up naturally being the light in darkness that we are told about.

the rev

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Ofcourse you regular reader knew this already.

My stomach problems have been diagnosed through the tireless work of the Doctors at Millenium medical clinic in Footscray. I have a back up of fecal matter in my lower intestines.

Now still being regular begs the question just how much crap can I produce? Apparently quite a bit. Its lots of fiber for me. Mmmmmm delicious fiber

atleast I can go back to drinking beer, it has been a long week.


thanks for your prayers

the rev

Monday, July 17, 2006

One of my heroes needs help!!!

Dave Andrews, has had all of his funding stopped by the baptist union in Queensland. This was done abruptly, and was done because they feel that Dave's work is no longer their future direction. This has had a devastating effect on the ministry including the possible loss of home for the Andrews and others as well as the loss of funding for many of their ministries.

If you would like to help, as I am helping as much as I am able and a little bit more, please contact me by email. Or you can use the donate buttons on this site and specify for Dave Andrews and I will transfer the money to him. Please pray for Dave and his family and all of the people involved with the Waiters Union. This man has inspired me in so many ways, and has quite literally changed my life through his books.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

time to take a breath, and pick up our visa

Got home and the next day started a five day intensive that was quite a bit of work. Well today I got to sleep in till 8. Felt good, if I didn't wake up at six thirty it would have been really nice. :)

I will try and write a bit more about the intensive tomorrow, or maybe later tonight. I also have a few things to write from our trip. But today I am going to spend some time with my wife whom I haven't really seen since I left to come home seven days ago, go get some groceries, get our visa which is being granted as I write, and then I need to go to the doctor.

Join us in celebrating the approval of our visa for the next two years, and celebrating the birth of our oldest daughter, Adriahna turns 17 today. And if you have some time please pray for my belly, not sure whats up but going to a doctor to see. Will talk more later.

the rev

Saturday, July 08, 2006

FORGE intensive

Has been a great two days. We managed to make the old gym at Tabor College not look like a converted gym. Some art, lots of candles, some icons and nicknacks and some creative seating arrangements and we were all set.

Matt Jacoby (Sons of Korah) started the first three sessions off with three or four psalms. I enjoyed his insight on the psalms in between the songs, and I also really appreciated his love for music as more than just an emotional romantic device, but rather something born in our hearts, that can be part of our dicipleship, and our interaction with the word.

Darryl Gardiner is one of my favorite people. He did the first session on Friday night and it was wonderful. Darryl does not live in the world of Christian faerie tales, he tells it like it is. Sustainability in our walk is all about looking at the truth that it is often hard. God doesn't always do what we want or think. The important part is not to have the answers, or the magic to make things better, but rather to be present in others lives, and allow them to be in yours.

Then yesterday morning he shared about how our motivations are often far less pure than our words. We often go into ministry looking for God's call, but also looking for romance, excitement, the adulation of our friends and family. We can get caught up in the cause or the team. And though God uses all these things for good often, when we seek to have our personal desires met by ministry, we will see that it doesn't work, and we wind up leaving the ministry, or even the faith.

John Franke came and spoke to us about the theology of the trinity, and its practical application to the life of the church and mission. It was really brilliant, deep, thinkers stuff, which I enjoy even if I can't understand it all. But maybe I just liked the guy because he was an American who also is obsessed with cricket. The guy actually reads wisden.

Mark Sayers is the most insightful man I have ever met, and yesterday he was as usual brilliant. He talked about our tendency to treat our walk with God as a contract, like a mobile phone contract. In our consumeristic world we have become so used to this contractual idea that we have forced the God of creation into this box. The idea is that we do this service and that service and we expect this or that result. If our life isn't sufficiently fulfilled, if we haven't met that special someone, if we don't have all the "blessings" we earned, then we feel ripped off. God isn't fulfilling His part of the contract. How disgusting.

Olivia McClaine returned to FORGE after having her twins, two beautiful little boys who's pictures were projected onto the screen. She spoke to us about her faith community, Soulice (sp), and there journey to becoming all that God intended them. Their reliance on the ancient disciplines, not to earn Gods grace of favour, but to better understand God's purpose in their own lives.

I was beset by jet lag and looking at the long train ride home from ringwood gave my apologies to Kim, I fell asleep often on the train home, but luckily made it, where I passed out, and ofcourse woke up at five this morning. Which is an improvement on the three oclock yesterday. One more sleep and I might be adjusted.

I have much more to write, but not the time, so please keep checking in.

the rev

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Well I am home now

What a trip!!!

I really enjoyed seeing everybody, especially my mom. She took such great care of my and my family. Had my fourtieth birthday in the states, felt old not because of the birthday, or the silly cards and posters, but because there were so many of the young people we loved and pastored over the years that were now grown up, married, expecting kids, and venturing into the faith themselves.

I got to preach at the church Raquel and I ministered as youth pastors at. Did some jiu jitsu seminars. Ate at a posh Manhattan eatery coutesy of two friends of mine

Went to a chapel in Manhattan that was designed by Louise Nevelson and that was awesome, did some praying and some crying, it was really cool.

Gorged myself on mexican food at every opportunity.

Almost finished a painting, will put pictures up in a week or two when I do finish it.

Enjoyed the 38 degree summer quite a bit.

Stayed at the beach with some friends.

It was a great trip, but I am glad to be home. Need to get back to work. I hope to be more consistent with my blogging, hope you will visit and comment often.

the rev

Monday, July 03, 2006

Journal writing

Reading the book The Life You Save Could Be Your Own, I have been compelled once again to making journaling a discipline. But the question I have is where should I do this? Seeing that Merton and Day published their journals and that they became a positive influence makes me wonder if I should make this blog my journal.

Then part of me thinks having a small portable notebook to write in would be better. Maybe I could be more honest and just post some edited excerpts from it here.

Then part of me thinks: Well you'll most likely just keep it up for a week or two anyways so why bother?

Perhaps some advice from y'all would help

the rev

What is a hypocrite?

I was thinking about this the other day. I think we all have our own pet hypocrisies. Does this make us all hypocrites?

While reading a great book called The Life You Save Might Be Your Own, about the Catholic writers, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Conner, and Walker Percy, I was challenged by Day's resolute pacifism. She almost destroyed her organization, the Catholic Worker, and her own reputation, but continuing in her pacifism even amidst compelling arguements for the "just war" theory preceeding and throughout World War II.

If war is to be justified you would think that with the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbour, and the march of Hitler, would be a very strong case study. And I wondered how I would handle such a situation.

And that got me thinking...

I really do believe in pacifism. Maybe not extreme pacifism, I would defend innocents with as little force as was necessary. I believe it is the way of Christ, and find it hard to justify killing or even injuring our enemies that we are called to love, and pray for. But as much as I believe in this, I must admit I would most likely not follow my beliefs in certain circumstances. Infact, if I am honest, I would probably be provoked to violence even without the threat of physical harm. And though I am sure I would feel incredible guilt afterwards, I do believe I would have trouble curtailing my natural reactions. Now this brings up two questions. The first we will leave for now, but it is this: If this is true do a really believe in pacifism?

But assuming that I do, (which is a big assumption), the second question is: Does this make me a hypocrite?

I am not sure it does. I think it makes me someone who admittedly cannot live up to their own values and ideals. Though I truly hope if it comes to it, I can resist my urges and do the right thing, I think it is quite possible I would not. I also think if it involved my wife or my daughters, I would definately live outside of my ideal.

So what is a hypocrite? I think a hypocrite would be someone who does not admit their own fragile nature, and also demands a lifestyle of others that they themselves cannot live. And that it seems requires a self absorption so complete that you cannot really look at yourself in truth. In my life the longer I dwell in the truth the more I realize what a flawed and imperfect vessel I am. And though I am frequently disappointed and even frustrated with others that I feel are not truly making an effort, I understand that living in righteousness is something that we may forever strive for, yet never completely realize.

Ofcourse this definition of hypocrite lets me off the hook...

which is why I hold it ofcourse :)

the rev