Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas everyone

Had a great day yesterday. Probably the most laid back Christmas we ever had. We had visited a friend the night before in the hospital, then went to church. The service was just about perfect to me. We had some Christmas hymns done lively in a medley which was just enough but not too much. We had a few Christmas bible readings. I gave a short message, and my oldest daughter lead us in a confession prayer, and then my wife delivered a communion message that was great. Martin did a wonderful Christmas blessing and we all went home.

I did receive a few Christmas presents yesterday morning, but had already gotten a big one (ashes tickets for the first three days), but probably my favorite was a book on succulents. I have gotten into growing these little plants and am a bit obsessed.

We had an open dinner that a few friends came to in the evening, and we watched a dvd.

Now if we can all pray for the rain to stop for the cricket hours the next few days, and double up at night so the fires and drought will keep getting doused that would be great thanks.

ho ho ho


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Fun in the sun

As I do most Saturdays I played cricket. Was such a nice day, great sun, cool breeze, perfect cricket weather.

We were playing the team at the top of the ladder and we weren't the strongest team to be fielded this year. So we started the game with the attitude of lets just have fun. And we really did. I kept til drinks, then Marcus took the gloves and I got a good long spell of bowling. We couldn't catch for most of the day, so we just took turns making fun of each other. Then we batted out our innings getting all the way to our number 11. So everyone got a bat, most of us got a bowl, and we had a lot of fun.

I found a bit of form with the ball, and they were so far ahead I got to bat against part time spinners mostly, which was fun. It was a great day, even though we lost.

After the game, our captain, who should be playing in a much higher grade but stays with us because he loves the fun of playing with a heaped together bunch of misfits, washed all the dishes, wiped the counters and the tables, and basically impressed me with his servant heart. I have lived long enough now to realize its the little things that prove a mans integrity. I pray I would be better at those little things, and you too.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Jon Owen at the Cave

Well, he said if I didn't blog about him, he would clog up my comments with his message, so here we go:

It was really great to have Jon come out to the Cave, we try to have someone come and speak once a month, and Jon was able to make it out. Jon works with UNOH, urban neighbors of hope, in Springvale, but is leaving next month to start a new chapter of UNOH in the western suburbs of Sydney. I really love UNOH and the work they do. They have learned to value the poor and marginalised, to truly live in community, and to strive for social justice. They are a great inspiration to my family, and Jon and his wife Lisa are a great inspiration to us personally.

Jon talked to us a bit about what it means to get an understanding of who we ourselves really are. He explained that often we cannot share ourselves and our faith with others, because we are so unsure of who we are, and who God made us to be. He invited us to remember the truths about our very nature, that we are made in the image of our creator. And then he asked us to take a piece of clay, and reflect something of the creative impulse, that is deep inside of us all.

We sat and worked on our clay while some music played, music that talked about how our hands can change the world, and how our lives are important. It was a great time.

For me personally I sensed how God works in my life, smoothing out the rough edges, sometimes roughly adjusting things that are out of balance, and creating more and more of himself into his work. We are reflections of our creator, and He is working with our lives to make us a clearer and clearer representation of that.

I am very thankful for people like Jon and my wife, who are able to teach us in ways that involve our senses. These experiences often fill us with truth on such a deep level, and the experiences in some cases really helps us to see things from a truly different perspective. It was a good night, and Jon is a wonderful man.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

I have been unwell

Sorry I haven't posted the last instalment of a sermon, nor had much time to do much here. I have been struggling with another kidney stone all week. Yes that is right a whole week. The pain got so bad on Wednesday night that I had to go to the hospital.

I learned a few things in the process:

Footscray hospital is filled with very competant and helpful people.

Morphine really works as a pain killer, but it doesn't feel like a jacuzzi in your body like I have been told.

I wasn't having a kidney stone I was having two, I should give birth to twins any day now.

Anyways, being on a bit of codeine, it didn't seem wise or appropriate to try and explain my last sermon for you. I will do so tomorrow I hope.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

More NT Wright

This is from Simply Christian:

Nor was it the case, as some writers are fond of saying, that the idea of resurerection was found in religions all over the ancient Near East. Dying and rising "gods," yes corn kings, fertility deities, and teh like. But even supposing Jesus's very Jewish followers knew any traditions like those pagan ones nobody in those religions ever supposed it actually happened to individual humans. No. The best explanation by far for the rise of Christianity is that Jesus really did reappear, not as a battered, bleeding, survivor, not as a ghost (the stories are very clear about that), but as a living, bodily human being.

(I am skipping the next paragragh that talks about the nature of Jesus's body)

That kind of conclusion is always frustrating from a scientific point of view. Science, after all, rightly studies phenomena which can be repeated in laboratory conditions. But history doesn't. Historians study things that happened once and once only; even if there are partial paralledls, each historical event is unique. And the historical arguement is quite clear. To repeat: far and away the best explanation for why Christianity began after Jesus's violent death is that he really was bodily alive again three days later, in a transformed body.

I am not suggesting that this (or any other arguement) can force anyone to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. It is always open to anyone to say, "well, I haven't got a better explanation for the rise of Christianity; but since I know dead people never rise and never could, there must be some other explanation." That is a perfectly logical positions. The trouble is, ofcourse, that believing that Jesus was raised from the dead involves, at the very least, supending judgement on matters normally regarded as fixed and unalterable; or to put it more psitively, it requires that we exchange a worldview which says that such things can't happen for one embracing the notion of a creator God making himself known initially in the traditions of Israel and then fully and finally in Jesus, says that Jesus's resurrection makes perfect sense when seen from that point of view. Faith can't be forced, but unfaith can be challenged. That is how it has always been, from the very beginning when people have vorne witness to Jesus's resurection.

There are, in fact, partial parallels to this kind of thing precisely in the world of contemporary science. Scientists now regularly ask us to believe things which seem strange and even illogicial, not the least in the areas of astrophysics or quantum mechanics. With something as basic as light, for example, they find themselves driven to speak in terms both of waves and of particles, though these appear incompatible. Sometimes, to make sense of the actual evidence before us, we have to pull our worldview, our sense of what's possible, into a new shape. That is the kind of thing demanded by the evidence about Easter.

Pages 113 and 114

N T Wright, Simply Christian

hope you liked that


Man I love cricket!

I have been having a difficult season. I am not bowling as well as I would like, but more frustrating I am not taking any wickets. I only have one for the year. Yet I still love this game.

Had a very fun game today, good attitude from both sides for the most part. I actually top scored with the bat today, which would be quite an accomplishment usually, but we had a pretty bad day with the bat. But with the ball I just couldn't get it right. I would bowl a few really good balls and then a few really bad balls. Oh well!

I think what I like best about cricket is I can give it a full throttled go. As hard as I can, and I need something I can do as hard as I can. With wrestling, well, I just can't do it that hard anymore. Just spend most of my time trying not to get hurt.

Thank God for cricket,


Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm not racist but...

Those words are always followed by the most racist things I have ever heard. And man, lately I have been hearing that phrase a lot. Now, I am not sure how to respond to these ridiculous statements. I feel like most of the time I am up against a closed minded person, well set in their ways and that arguementation will not actually get any where. I also feel frequently that I am not respected enough in their eyes (as I don't tend to hang around with people like this very often), to have my opinion really matter. So I get stuck in this place, do I just stand there and not reply?

I am often just shocked and saddened that this kind of thing is still being said, and that these attitudes still exist. I was talking to a very inteligent friend from another country and she said, "just because you can use chopsticks doesn't make you multicultural" and I laughed.

Perhaps I can continue to live my life in a way that is not sexist or racist, and do it very openly. Perhaps I can help to confront these issues by my example, but I wonder if its time for me to do a bit more with my mouth? Cause I just don't want to hear this rubbish anymore, but if I jump down somebodies throat for saying something stupid, am I destroying any future influence?


One thing I must say: I am not a racist. No buts.