life as a spring shower

12 October, 2009

It’s Spring Down Under, and the weather is switching and changing and as usual in Melbourne it’s not unlikely to have four seasons in one day. I’m not a huge fan of the high winds and cold weather, but rather really enjoy the intermittent moments (and occasional days) of sunshine.

However, I have to say that one of my favourite things is a spring shower on a warm day. I love the big drops of rain. I love the smell after the rain. I love the refreshing a spring shower brings to my senses.

The serendipitous beauty overwhelms me. I sing for joy at the grace of refreshing.

Mercy and love
Blue skies
Gentle clouds that mean no harm shed their life on all below.
Cleansing
Feeding
Freeing

Turning my eyes towards the heavens I smile and wipe the water from my face and thank the One who refreshes this life.

Advertisements

lovely

27 September, 2009

From forever the Word existed
And the Word was The God
And God was the Word
He was from forever in relationship/communion with The God

The Word
God
Life
Light
Flesh/Man
Giver of Grace
Gives of Truth
Revealer of God

Lovely One.


the way to the father

8 September, 2009

A word of warning. My blogs tend toward repetitiveness. That’s mostly due to the fact that I’m obsessed with getting to know Jesus and the Way he did life. As such, I spend a lot of time in the Gospels, and this is often reflected in the things I think on and write about. Hopefully though, it’s not so much boring repetition as it is me “getting” something new.

Having said that, I’m making my way through the book of John again. It’s definitely my favourite Gospel. I love the extra material in John that’s not in the other gospels, I love the way he talks about his friendship with Jesus, and Jesus’ relationship with the Father. In short, it’s lovely.

Here’s what’s caught my eye this time around. It starts with the incarnation. “The Word” (which, by the way is always used in relation with Jesus, not the Scriptures – but that’s a whole other bugbear of mine) became flesh and dwelt among us.

So, the Word who was always with God, from forever, and who is and always has been God, the Creator of all things, the one who stretched out the heavens and put the stars in their place. This spiritual being who was without limit in anything He could do…. became flesh. Became human. He voluntarily limited himself by stepping out of eternity (as it were) and into our time, in the form of a little helpless baby. He (God!) chose to grow up on this earth and walk about and get dirty and deal with the broken humanity around him. In this man, Jesus, dwelt the the fullness of God. The God.

I love the way Thomas Merton put it in No Man Is An Island,

“Jesus is the theology of that Father revealed to us.”

How perfect is that!? It’s so true. If we want to get to know the Father, all we have to do is look at the Son. Jesus of course said as much, when he was talking to his disciples recorded for us in John 14,

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

The first part of this quote is one of the more controversial statements that Jesus made, and is often quoted by his followers as proof perfect as to why what they believe is superior to that of someone with another faith system. It can come across as divisive and arrogant (yuk!).

The thing that’s struck me about this over the last couple days is that it’s not in anyway said in an arrogant manner. I think Jesus was just placing an invitation before those listening, because they didn’t get that he was in fact God. They didn’t understand that He was the Father. That God himself was sitting with them talking, just like he used to do in the Garden with Adam & Eve. God was present. The disciples of the day just couldn’t make that kind of leap of realisation.

Jesus is the only way to the Father because all that he is, and all that he does and all that he says is the heart of God. The Father had been trying to call us back to himself for the previous 6000 (?) years… but we kept running and hiding. Our shame wouldn’t allow us to dare to come before God. So he came to us. Jesus shows us the Father.

That, right there is what fires my heart. God is indeed knowable. God does indeed love us. He isn’t scary and fearful. He’s everything that he always said he was, and Jesus reveals this glory to us in a way that we never got before…

Exodus 34:6 says,

“And Yahweh passed before him and proclaimed, Almighty Yahweh is:

Merciful (compassion that moves to action)
Gracious (favour toward us)
Longsuffering (not touchy or overly sensitive, slow to anger)
Abounding (lavishing) in goodness (mercy)
Abounding (lavishing) in truth (trust worthy, faithful)
Having/Maintaining/extending mercy to thousands
Forgiving iniquity/wickedness
Forgiving transgressions/rebellion
Forgiving sin

That is why Jesus is the Way. The Way to the Father.


blog much?

5 September, 2009

Spring is springing quite well indeed here in Melbourne, Australia and I feel like I’m starting to find my way out of some wintery doldrums. I’ve missed the warmth of the sun and being able to get out and walk and ride my bike away from the cold winds.

I’ve been using my inside-time to some advantage though. Reading [& coffeeing] a lot. I made my way through Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” (NT), in both written form and listening to it the car as I drive about. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m quite looking forward to going back to my NKJV though, it’s like family.

At the moment I’m re-reading though Jim Petersen’s Church Without Walls: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries and enjoying his insights while thinking through what it is to be Dad’s Church.


being and doing

30 March, 2009

I’m currently reading “No Man Is An Island” by Thomas Merton.

Here’s an expert from chapter 7…

We are warmed by fire, not by the smoke of the fire. We are carried over the sea by a ship, not by the wake of a ship. So too, what we are is to be sought in the invisible depths of our own being, not in our outward reflection in our own acts. We must find our real selves not in the froth stirred up by the impact of our being upon the beings around us, but in our own soul which is the principle of all our acts.

But my soul is hidden and invisible. I cannot see it directly, for it is hidden even from myself. Nor can I see my own eyes. They are too close to me for me to see them. They are not meant to see themselves. I know I have eyes when I see other things with them.

I can see my eyes in a mirror. My soul can also reflect itself in the mirror of its own activity. But what is seen in the mirror is only the reflection of who I am, not my true being. The mirror of words and actions only partly manifests my being.

The words and acts that proceed from myself and are accomplished outside myself are dead things compared with the hidden life from which they spring. These acts are transient and superficial. They are quickly gone, even though their effects may persist for a little while. But the soul itself remains. Much depends on how the soul sees itself in the mirror of its own activity.

It’s easy to allow the opinions of others, good and bad, to determine our our sense of worth, thus affecting the way we act, or ‘perform’ for those around us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of moving from the high of one compliment to another, however, it is a trap, and an unrelenting one that can dominate our true beings and before long, we find, that we don’t know who we really are without the cues of those around us.

The only real cure is in the understanding of our heavenly Father’s unrelenting love for us and finding our security in Him, rather than the voices around us that, let’s face it, are also looking to be affirmed. We can’t redeem one-another, because in this area, we’re all broken.

Learning to be rather than do-to-be is one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learnt.

Jesus is teaching me how to live loved and to love freely those around me.


highlights of 2008

29 December, 2008

Here’s my answer to my friend Sarah‘s invitation to do a top 5 list for 2008…

ben & zo’s wedding – it was absolutely a complete joy to see two of my friends marry, and the bonus was that the whole thing was a lot of fun!  Once again (and continually, many blessings upon you both)!


the great trip of ’08 – May this year saw me and 2 friends take off for a trip to Europe and the States.  I’m going to cheat a bit on this one do a top 6 moments of the trip.

  • Revisiting Dublin, Ireland & catching up with friends in Northern Ireland. 


  • Paris – absolutely lovely!


 

  • England, reconnecting with family and friends and getting to revisit some much loved locations.

 

  • New York – a big surprise for me, I wasn’t particularly all that excited about the prospect of visiting NY, but I completely and utterly fell in love with the City and will definitely return, one day.

 


 

  • Seattle – This was special!  I had the privilege of meeting up with some very special friends and it was wonderful.  

Thanks again to Barb & Doug and family  for making room for us, and thanks to Sarah, Caz & Dwayne and family, and Gina for making the trip to Seattle.

 

 

  • Los Angeles – and in particular meeting up with my friend Holly and her family.  Thanks again Holls, for having us stay!  

… and of course Disneyland, a place built for kids that definitely brought the little kid out in me!


turning 40 – which wasn’t any where near as bad as I expected it to be, I’m actually really loving being 40!  Thanks to a bunch of family and friends who helped me celebrate the occasion with a bit of a party.

 


bike riding – I’ve had an absolute blast this year getting out and bike riding in and around Melbourne, and really enjoyed a weekend away with my friends Zo & Rach.  I even bought myself a new bike for my 40th, and it’s been so much fun!



getting to know Jesus – this has been an ongoing relational discovery over many years of course, but I think this year has been particularly exciting as I’ve been more deliberate about getting to know the Way Jesus did life with the people around him, and learning that who I am means more to him than what I do and relaxing in that.  It’s been lovely.

Of course there’s no photo that could accurately depict what this is about, although each of the above ‘highlights’ for me have definitely been blessings from my heavenly Father, and so fit this quite nicely!



 


life together

19 December, 2008

Life together under the Word will remain sound and healthy only where it does not form itself into a movement, an order, a society… but rather where it understands itself as being a part of the one, holy, catholic, Christian Church, where it shares actively and passively in the sufferings and struggles of the whole Church. Every principle of selection, every separation connected with it that is not necessitated quite objectively by common work, local conditions, or family connections is of the greatest danger to a Christian community. When the way of intellectual or spiritual selection is taken, the human element always insinuates itself and robs the fellowship of its spiritual power and its effectiveness for the Church, and drives it into sectarianism.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer