Thursday, 17 June 2010

This blog has moved

After a period of silence that has been almost an age - this blog has moved to a new location:

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Blogging Problem

I apologise to any readers of this blog who have been concerned about the far-too-often changes to the appearance of this blog. I'm having a problem that I am trying to rectify.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

I recant, I do believe in human induced global warming

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  (2 Peter 3:8-10)

Old people don't really care about the environment as much as young people

This came up in my Bible study group this week as we were talking about intergenerational differences.

Here are my first five replies? What do you think?  Could you add some others?

1. They actually do care more for the environment than younger people. They turn off lights, use the dryer less, buy less disposable products and on the whole live more simply.

2. Many of them lived through the seventies, when the lastest fear campaign was global cooling.  With perspective, they are a bit "over" the hype.

3. Most of them know that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  Plants love the stuff.

4. Through experience, for good and for ill, most them know that they are not in a position to change the world.  There are larger forces at work: perhaps the patterns of the sun is one such example.  They also remember hotter days in the past.

5. They are less impressed by "edgy videos of hockey graphs" and are somewhat cynical of anything new.  Some are also reactionary.  The more the young are "into it" in unthoughtful ways, the more some older people buck against it.

BTW.  I think we should care for the environment.  I have just become cooler on human induced global warming over the last two years.  And no, its not just my shift from Annandale to the Sutherland Shire.

I think that we need to use our brains judiciously, separated from politics and business.  The best "religious" word that I have heard comes from someone with whom I don't often find myself in agreement.  Also, BTW, he is also an old man.
We need to care for the environment: it has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion. Human beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-à-vis creation as a whole. Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man.
Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances.
Pope Benedict XVI, 1 January 2008

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Writing your own prayers

A friend and I read through Psalm 55 last week.  I wondered whether we should learn not just the content (of the rich theology) but also the method (of turning our thoughts to God and writing them down).  We decided to each write out a prayer to God, like the Puritans used to do.  Here is mine.  It only took a couple of minutes.  Let me say that I am no poet and I did not write it to be shared, but I found expanding my thoughts really useful.  A particularly large financial decision looms behind this prayer.

Father, have mercy on me.
The fog overwhelms me
The burdens outweigh me
The sin infests me
But you are my light
And in you there is no darkness at all
Father, have mercy on me.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Self Image - part three (I really like this one, taken with kind permission from my wife's private blog)

I realised that my plan revolved around good things - marriage, children... but not around the best thing - God.

Although there was lots of 'Christian' stuff in my plans, and what I desired were wonderful gifts from God - I had tried to understand my identity through what I was doing, not who I was.

I came to realise that I needed to see myself as God's child. That is who I am. I am His, I am forgiven, I am made in His image, I am redeemed...

I needed to realise that I couldn't make permanent a phase of life, just because I had never thought beyond that phase. My plans as an 8 yr old were totally flawed, because life continues, and I had never thought about it past a certain point...

Self Image - part two (I really like this one, taken with kind permission from my wife's private blog)

So, to summarise - things were going according to my eight year old plan...

Then, I turned 31.

I had four boys, Buzz was working as a minister... and I had two children at school...

But I was unhappy with so many things.

Wasn't this always my plan? Weren't things the way I wanted them to be?

My plans hadn't changed all through highschool. This was a plan I held for many many years... in fact - till I was 31! In fact - it was a 23 yr old plan...

But, as my children were going to school, and I was into my thirties, I found myself increasingly dissatisfied with my plan.

And it took me a while - but I realised the problem - my plan had no chapter after having young children at home. It didn't have a 'what next' section. It was a plan that only went up to young children - and as so many of us know - the young children phase is very short. Kids grow, and go to school.

My plan was limited, and I was limited by following this plan. And I felt empty and lost and confused and disappointed.

I didn't know what came next, as I had never thought about it - and I felt old and like I had no identity anymore.

Self Image - part one (I really like this one, taken with kind permission from my wife's private blog)

I went to a morning tea last Friday for school mums.

It was encouraging.

I got into conversation with someone about kids and image and my understanding of life... after I told her what I thought, she told me I should write a book about it! (cute, but I can't even finish the one I started five years ago!).

But I thought I would share what I was talking about on my blog.

When I was 8 years old, I mapped out my plan for life. I remember doing it and being pleased with my plans.

I was going to finish school, go to Sydney Girls Highschool, and then do an Arts degree at UNSW. Whilst studying at university - English, history and music, I would meet a lovely Christian man - who was also doing an Arts degree. We would marry at the end of our degrees. We would both be teachers for a while, then he would go onto Moore College to train to be a minister. We would have six children - three girls and three boys after college, and I would stop working and spend all my days looking after them. The end.

That was my plan. Totally, that was it.

So - reality - I did finish school. I did go to SGHS. I did do an Arts degree in English and history, with a year of music as well. I did go onto do a diploma of education. I did marry a minister.

I met my husband at highschool not uni. He did a science degree not an Arts degree - although he also did a dip ed after his science degree. We married at the end of second year uni, not after we had completed our degrees. We had a handful of boys - well, four.... and then one girl, and it is unlikely we will have any more children. I never taught in a school, but continued as a piano, trumpet and music teacher for preschool age children. We had children during our time at Moore College - in fact, we had a baby three out of the four years we were there!

So, although there were a lot of differences between my plan, and what eventuated, actually there were also a lot of similarities. Things basically went according to my eight year old ideas. installment coming soon....

Friday, 6 November 2009

The throne of God

I'm working on my talks for our first Saturday Church weekend away. The topic is the Throne of God. I'm mainly speaking on Revelation 4 and 5, but I'll be referring to the theme elsewhere. Can I say again how fantastic Spurgeon's sermons are?  I stumbled on this one on Hebrews 4:12, about approaching the throne of grace. In one small section he says that because we come to a throne, we are to pray with:

  • lowly reverence
  • devout joyfulness
  • complete submission
  • enlarged expectations
  • unstaggering confidence
  • and deepest sincerity

I'm not normally a fan, but ...

From the Country Music Awards, 1989.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The devil wears pride-a

A few years ago I read part of Milton's Paradise Lost with one of my very valued MTS trainees. (I can be a bit random in my "training").

I am intrigued by Milton's take on Psalm 2. For Milton, as far as I could "see", Psalm 2 forms material for the fall of Satan.