Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Me RunningAre we able to differentiate between what it looks like to try and train?  This is one of the concepts Randy Harris left me to ponder in one of the discussions we had.  I am still unpacking this in life, (and will always be unpacking it) but I think what hit me is actually freedom for something in the future.  Allow me to explain.

Firstly, I am in the midst of training for a marathon.  The more I train the easier certain distances get, and even the distances which I first thought were hard have become easier.  Even my perspective of them has lessened.  That last point is an interesting point in and of itself.  I think it is a bit deeper than what I think, but then again I could just be thinking about that all wrongly.  The goal in this is to be ready to run on the 30th of August the entire marathon.  Or at least semi – job the entire thing.

In the realm of spirituality, the training looks a great deal like the spiritual disciplines.  Whether this be practicing silence, meditation, and so forth.  The goal is to be shaped into the image of God.  You don’t just try to act like the image of God, rather you train to look like this.  You end up acting in the ways of Jesus, without even meaning to.  This last point is still a point floating in my head though.  Maybe imaging God becomes a great deal easier rather than automatic, not sure….. 

There has been a great deal of freedom in this concept for me.  I have stopped trying to have a spiritual life, but have begun training, in small steps I might add to have one.  I don’t feel near as bad when it comes to hearing about what others have been able to do in this because I am aware of where I am at in the training process.

Been a while

It has been quite a while since the last post.  There are a number of reasons for this which I will not get into, but I thought that I would go ahead and start writing some things down again. 

Firstly, since my last post I have changed jobs.  I have taken time away from the avenue of paid ministry and have moved into the realm of social services – or should I say Kingdom services, depending on how you look at it 🙂 

Anyways, I am working with an organisation called Passages Resource Centre.  This is a centre for homeless and transient young people between the ages of 12-25.  There are a range of things I do while working with the people who access the service.  These include, finding accomodation, finding a job, mentoring/counselling, and networking them in with a number of available services around the area.  I am hoping to be able to share some of the experiences I have with this as time goes on.

In regards to some future posts, I am going to debrief myself on here about some of the things that I have been moved by over the last week.  A man named Randy Harris has been here over the last week and I have had the privalege of sitting, wrestling, and learning from his experiences and wisdom.  At the moment, if I was to write about some of the musings it would be quite jumbled and scattered.  So what I want to do is take one thought at a time and unpack what I have been able to take from it.  So be on the look out!

Prayer

This past Sunday morning our topic of study was that of prayer.  There were 2 passages we looked at in particular.  Firstly, we looked at the Mark 9.  This was to follow up from last week, where we talked about doubt.  At the end of this passage, Jesus told the disciples that the reason why they could not cast a demon out was because this particular one could only be done through prayer.  One of the main things which came out of the discussion was our reliance and our understanding that God does things.  Maybe the disciples were praying, but it was not working?  Maybe this was because they were thinking it was more about them than about what God can do.  Just before this Jesus calls them an unbelieving generation.  This is possibly due to their lack of belief in what God can do.  They had belief…but it was in themselves, rather than in what God is able to do.  

The other passage was the Lord’s prayer, Luke’s version.  The main thing which came out of this passage was how the disciples came to Jesus and asked him how to pray.  I guess I kind of read between the lines here.  I hear them being upset because when they are praying nothing is happening.  So they go to Jesus and want to know what is going on….”Teach us to pray Jesus.”  Oh how this resonates with me.  I find comfort in these kinds of things.  It even makes more sense when you think about this in regards to what Jesus tells them about how to pray…


Room for doubt

A little while ago I had a post about one of the quotes I read in a book I have been reading called Life of Pi.  The quote was on doubt not being a good choice for a philosophy of life.  I still think this is an unhealthy choice, however I would like to say a little something about having doubt.

I believe doubt is something which is healthy.  Sunday morning we had a discussion on a passage in scripture which had a man crying out, “I believe, but help my unbelief!”  The more discussed this, the more we started to realize not only the reality of doubt (Meaning we all have doubts.) but also the need for such. 

Growing up, I guess I kind of thought doubt was something which was frowned upon in my Christian walk.  Where there were doubts there was weakness.  This was not something which was said or taught overtly, but it kind of crept into the mind.  I guess I began to get fundamental about this kind of thinking and was not able to be surprised.  Could doubt lead to being surprised….?  

I believe a healthy doubt challenges us to go deeper.  It makes us question what we think is true or real.  This is a good thing.  Think about Jesus and his interactions with some of the Pharisees for a second.  In challenging their way of thinking, they must have had to doubt where they were.  This caused growth did it not?  If they did not change, then they did not doubt where they were.  

The charge I guess in this is to embrace our doubts and go further.  Do not quit looking deeper.  The scary part of doubt is that it could cause us to stop looking….yet it should cause us to look further!

Table Talk

What does it mean to sit at the table with Christ and to eat?  What does this look like in today’s society, particularly within the Western culture so many of us find ourselves in?  I find it interesting about myself, in how I can describe what it looks like more in the 1st century, or for many of the other centuries past for that matter, than I can for the time of now.  

Now I can describe what it has looked like and ways in which I have practiced it, but I really want to wrestle with it on a different level than just passing the elements around and this being us sitting at the table with Christ.  Is it really to look like taking something from someone and being blessed?  I am not talking down to any of these forms or any which I have not written here.  Each of these have their place.  

What I am saying though is I lack the experience which I see in scripture of people being changed when they encounter Christ at a “table.”  Maybe there is something I am not seeing.  Maybe I am not looking in the right places.  I am not sure.  What I do know, is that when people came in contact with Jesus around a table, they left changed….forgiven, inspired, angry, and many others, which are all changes.  I want to see this in our community.  I believe it can happen.

Olympics

Could there be a topic which is more blogged about at this time than the Olympics?  I have debated in my head whether or not to put something about them even up here.  It is not that I am not watching them, because I certainly am.  I realize there are heaps of people saying something about them regardless of where they are, and so  I guess I just did not want to do what “everyone else was doing.”  

Then I began to think about how incredible it is that so many people all over the world are talking about the exact same thing, at pretty much the same time.  Sports or better yet, competition bringing people together and headlining the conversation on a global level.  There could be so many other things the world could be talking about or rather fighting about (I am not going to even get into my thoughts on the hypocrisy of Bush and his thoughts on Russia and Georgia).  However, this is something in a positive realm which the world is embracing.  

The Olympics 2008 is something the world is in need of.  I liken it to an adrenaline boost in the arm.  If you have ever seen Mission Impossible 3, where the female agent who dies in the helicopter, has the boost beforehand, this is the kind of thing I am talking about.  I hope this will help heal some foreign and domestic relations.  You never know huh?  I mean it could happen, right?

Quote-Life of Pi

I am in the midst of reading a novel called, Life of Pi.  One usually would not find me reading novels, as they are not my first choice when it comes to reading.  However, a few of my friends and I went to a bookstore the other day to actually find another book, Nineteen Eighty-four, and they talked me into getting this book instead.  So far, I am glad they have recommended the book to me.

To give you a bit of information before I write the quote down, it is a book about a kid named Pi, who is on a spiritual journey.  He has a great number of conversations with people of different faith backgrounds found in India.  In one of the conversations he says, “Choosing doubt as a philosophy of life is like choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”  

My first reaction was laughter, but then I started to think more about, I realized how this is such a helpful way of putting things.  Some of the people along my journey have chosen this as their philosophy of life.  When I look at where they are in life and what they are doing, it just seems to be somewhat stagnant.  I am in no way saying doubt is bad.  I actually think doubt is a natural and healthy.  But when it becomes the choice in which we use to look at everything, it is then that we see some of the unhealthy ramifications of doubt.  We loose our trust in everything else…other than of course our ability to doubt.  

Maybe a good example of healthy doubt can be seen in the bible with “doubting” Thomas?