Friday 28 September 2012

Fragile Blaze

During my sessions at the Perth Theological Hall, while training to become a minister, we often had a single candle burning on the table in the centre. Towards the end of my training I often became entranced with the way the flame danced in an apparently still and sheltered room. I was captured by the fragility of the small flame as it darted about. At about the same time I was playing with images that might be appropriate to have on my ordination stole. The fragile, dancing flame grew in my imagination almost inviting me to live my life in the same way. I was privileged that Rev Viv Larkin captured my ideas and was able to translate my image into material. Below is a poem that I have written that tries to express what the dancing flame means to me in my ministry.

Fragile Blaze

A teardrop flame sits in perfection
weeping for lost opportunities.
As she burns with precision
protected from threatening breezes,
no wavering she makes.
Flawless, she longs to quiver and sway,
to dance with delight in the currents of life.

O, fragile blaze that flickers and quakes,
teach me to bend and shape with the tides.
Banish my fear of those who may douse me.

Picture-perfect placement upon her wick.
Stifled in conformity, while daring to dance,
her soul cascades with the falling wax.
She is contained and held,
yet she screams in agony at her trappings.
Her heart finds no beauty
in still and faultless forms.

O, fragile blaze that trembles and skips,
speak to me of vulnerability.
Lead me into open zephyrs
where my depths can dart and dance in joy.

Sixteen Years Ago

Sixteen years ago today, my bags were packed for my honeymoon in the beautiful South West town of Margaret River. Today, we now live in that wonderful part of the world with our two children. A lot has happened in those 16 years of marriage. As Guy and I had breakfast together this morning, he asked me "So what's been the highlight?". I told him that was impossible to answer. We have spent two years living in Tonga together. We have traveled to England, Europe, New Zealand and Tasmania. We had a boisterous puppy for a few years. We had two gorgeous children who have changed our lives. We have lived in eight  (soon to be nine) different houses. So how can I possibly choose a highlight?

Guy and I started our relationship as best friends. We have always seen this as a huge bonus. Before all the romance kicked in we already thought the world of each other on a different level and this has never stopped. We've certainly had our ups and downs throughout the years, but our solid friendship has always remained. 

So in reflection, the highlight of the last sixteen years is not an event or a trip or even the birth of our kids - it is the constancy of our relationship and our love. 'Enduring', 'steadfast' and 'dependable' might not be the most passionate words to describe a marriage, but they are certainly what I value in Guy. I am truly blessed to have a constant companion with which to travel through this journey of life.
Happy Anniversary Guy!!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Preparing to turn 40

Many people seem to approach their40th birthday with trepidation, almost as if the world is beginning to end. I thought I might be the same, overwhelmed by how old I was getting and really feeling like it was all down hill from here. I still have a few months before my 40th next year, but I am not dreading it at all.

I have come to a point in my life where I am really happy with who I am. That's not to say that I have "made it" or have it all figured out. I have a real sense of peace about who I am and whose I am. There is a song that I have adopted as some sort of "anthem" for my 40th year. It expresses exactly how I feel in life right now. It is written by Kendall Payne (one of my favourite artists at the moment). She begins the song with,

"I’ve got a new way of living now  little less of a lot 
A little more of nothing
Thought you might’ve seen the change in me
Little quicker to listen little slower to speak

I was wrong when I said I was strong I am weak and I need 
All that you have to give
I cannot keep the voices quiet inside
Hear them sing, hear the scream, at least I know I’m alive"

So true! A little less of a lot and a little more of nothing is certainly the way I am trying to live now. This doesn't mean I am not busy and life isn't full, but somehow the things that control my life are far less. I know for myself that I have spent many of my years so far thinking I was invincible and really didn't need anyone else. Acknowledging my weaknesses and my woundedness has been an important part of becoming myself. The song then goes on,

"Coz I am meeting myself and I am liking what I see
I am not afraid anymore Not afraid to be bored
Not afraid to be me"

The day I realized how exhausting it was trying to be someone else and how freeing it was just to be me was a good one. The song is called "Not Afraid to be Me" and it certainly describes how I feel on the brink of turning 40. So I don't approach my next birthday with fear of what will happen next, but with the excitement that I get to live another good portion of my life content with who I am.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Spring Thanksgiving

This Sunday our congregations of Margaret River and Augusta are coming together for a combined service. The theme is "Spring Thanksgiving". I have been hunting through songs and brainstorming about what readings to use. In some ways the theme is so simple, but in other ways so deep. We have been encouraging our regulars to give a Thank Offering that is above and beyond their usual giving as well. The whole thing has really caused me to stop and ponder what it means to be thankful.

I have thought about using the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus and only one returned to say thanks. I have looked at the many psalms that praise God for all the wonderful things in life. If I take it on face value, it all seems a little superficial, like we need to use our manners with God. I know there is far more to this, but I am finding it quite wordless. Like trying to find the right greeting card that says just what you are trying to express, my efforts seem futile. What could I possibly say that shows the deep sense of gratitude that I have for a God who is intimately close? When I look at the stars at night and try to comprehend how vast this universe is, how can I start to be grateful for the tiny things that happen in my life?

I feel so often in Christianity we spend so much time beating ourselves up because we don't love God enough. We try to do things that will please God or will show our love more. We work so hard at being good and doing the right things that we often wind up feeling miserable and inadequate (if someone doesn't make us feel that way first). We become so wrapped up in our love for God, that I think we forget how much God loves us. 

Our love of God can so easily be twisted into obligation and duty. We cannot earn God's love. So how do we give thanks for such a wonderful gift in our lives? I know that when I give my children a special gift, the best thanks I can receive is a big hug and then to watch them enjoy the gift. I don't expect them to do the dishes for the next week or keep their room impeccable. If this was the case it would not be a gift. Maybe with us, God would love for us to fall into the loving embrace and then to see us enjoying what we have been given. 

The more I listen to people, the more I wonder if people are able to accept the great love God has for them. Is it possible that part of the reason we struggle with giving thanks to God is that we still are in disbelief of how much God love us? So am I going to let my congregations get away with nice statements about the weather, their family and the flowers? Or should I challenge them to really experience the amazing love and grace God has for them? I guess I really need to ask - do I want people to go home 'feeling good' or bubbling over with a thanksgiving that they can't comprehend, understand or contain?

Sunday 23 September 2012

Come as a child

The Gospel reading in the lectionary today is Mark 9: 30-37. Jesus and the disciples are on a journey towards Jerusalem. Along the way the disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus decides to teach the disciples by bringing a small child and standing him among them, a tiny little figure. We can imagine that maybe Jesus picked the child up and possibly even sat him on his knee, as an example of those who have no status yet have everything. What a beautiful image! Who is the greatest? Who will welcome this little child?

We try so hard to be successful, to get it right, to be special and to be valued. We put so much effort into self-validation that we somehow lose the plot. There is a story, you may have heard before, of a couple who had just given birth to their second child. As soon as the newborn was brought home from the hospital, the two-year-old son asked to hold the smaller child. But when the infant was put into his arms, the boy would specify that he wanted to be ALONE with the baby. Understandably, the parents were unsettled and didn't think this was a good idea.
Anyway, a few months went by and still the two-year-old insisted that he wanted to be alone with the baby. The parents put it off as long as they could, hoping that the older kid would forget, but his demands just got more and more persistent. Finally, they agreed to leave the two very young children in a room alone for a few minutes. Standing just outside the room, they listened for anything out-of-the-ordinary, while their son was FINALLY alone with the baby. And this is what they heard.
The two-year-old said to the newborn: "Tell me what God is like, cause I'm starting to forget.."

God wants us to come as a child; vulnerable, humble and with nothing. All of our other attempts at self-validation will finally fail, but we will always be a child of God. I wonder if you have allowed your inner child to surface lately. Many of us are afraid of our inner child and keep him or her securely locked away. I can only speak from my own experience, that when I let my inner child approach God I get to know God on a whole different level.
I wonder how easy it is for you to be that little child that Jesus took upon his knee. Maybe it is more comfortable for us to be associated with the disciples and their attempts to outdo each other. Become the least, and you will become the first. 

Friday 21 September 2012

The Woman at the Well Strikes Again

The biblical story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well seems to crop up over and over in my life. It must have a special meaning for me. I recall being at a ministers' conference in Queensland where we were invited to choose a picture that signified how we felt about our calling to ministry. I was drawn immediately to a painting of a woman looking down a well. I think that could have been the moment when the well became a vital part of who I was and who I was becoming.

About a year later, I chose this very same reading to be part of my ordination service. Two friends acted out the story (see the picture below) and Marion preached on the passage. I don't know that I understood, even then, the impact that this story has had on me. 

About a month ago, I was at another church gathering and a colleague was leading a workshop on the use of the visual in worship. She had various artworks, cloths, and other resources on display, but I was captured by a painting she had of a woman looking down a well. I now realize that this was the same picture that I chose a few years earlier as a symbol of my calling. My colleague must have seen how captivated I was by the print and gifted it to me at the end of the day.

And here it is again! At our Quiet Day on Wednesday Ruth gave us a piece to read from "A Tree Full of Angels" by Macrina Weiderkehr. It was like reading a letter from a familiar friend. I particularly enjoyed the section that reflected on a few verses towards the end of the story where the two are talking about the place of worship. Macrina Weiderkehr says,

"What a revelation! The hour is coming when you will worship out of who you are. The hour is coming when you will realize that the spirit and the truth live within you. You are a portable chapel. Remember the sanctuary within. You carry God wherever you go."

A portable chapel - what a beautiful image. It is in every encounter that we find the divine, not in special places that are to be kept holy.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Mandala Fun

What an absolute gift!! I have spent today in quiet and meditation with my colleagues from the South West Uniting churches. Ruth Nelson led us with the theme of 'Hunger and Thirst'. It was a day of tying up loose ends for me. Life has been so busy lately that some of my reflection and pondering has been left half baked. A time of quiet and stillness allowed me to take stock and bring closure in a few areas.

I decided to spend some time playing with mandalas. I had deliberately taken my chalks with me, as I had watched so many people in my workshops achieve some beautiful effects with them. I started letting the colours speak and found myself creating a coloured, off-centre interior surrounded by a thick, white band. The colours then flowed beyond the edge of the circle to the periphery. This somehow symbolized for me the struggle between what is happening in my inner world and how this translates in my outer world. It started being quite a stark distinction between the two, but the more I worked the chalk with my fingers the more the white band began to disappear (and the messier I got!). 

I found the process very liberating and discovered that this is actually what is happening in life - the distinction is becoming less and less. I titled my mandala 'The Losing Battle'. I think this comes out of feeling that living an authentic life has been a bit like a battle. The more I decide to stop fighting, the easier it becomes to have integrity and just be me. This is a very fresh mandala - so I haven't spent much time discovering its meaning at this stage, but I am happy to share with you my little burst of colour. If you want to know more about mandalas let me know. If you'd like to get a group together, I could come and do an introductory workshop with you.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Quiet Day

Tomorrow I will engage in one of the most important and most enjoyable aspects of my ministry - a quiet day. For me, my quiet days are something that I hadn't realized the importance of until I experienced the benefits. I now see taking quiet days as essential for my ministry. Stopping and taking time to just 'be' in the presence of God centres me and grounds me. It reminds me of who I am and whose I am. My call to ministry is often renewed and refreshed during these times. 

When I tell people I am having a quiet day, I often get asked what that means. I guess it is different for different people. I need to get away from my home base. At home it is too easy to get distracted by a load of washing that needs to be put on or a bit of cleaning that will only take a few moments. I am privileged to be joining some of my colleagues tomorrow at the home of a retired minister who will give us some input to begin the day. 

I take my journal with me and may spend some time writing and reflecting. I may go for a walk, or I may just sit in silence for a good part of the day. I also take my mandala journal with me and may feel inspired to draw when words just don't do justice. There is never an agenda for my quiet days. I don't go with a problem to try and sort out. The whole idea is to enjoy spending a day with God. It is a bit like planning to spend the day with a close friend with no need to have it all worked out before you go. God and I will both show up and we will see what happens. I'll let you know what we get up to!!

Monday 17 September 2012

Unseen Connections

Over the weekend I had the privilege of spending time with my peers who have been engaged in the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction with me over the last 18 months. The main objective of the weekend  was to share with each other a summary of our projects. We each took a turn talking about our methodology , our results and the conclusions to which we have come. The rest of the group were then able to ask questions and make comments. It was a wonderful experience and certainly helped me to refine and clarify my research question and what else I needed to read before submitting it in November. 

More inspiring than hearing everyone's work from the last two years, was hearing the stories of how people have engaged with the different experiences of spiritual direction. The topics ranged from Spiritual Direction with those who are grieving, to contemplative walking and to my own topic of mandalas. In each and every project summary there were stories told of how people had been touched deeply by their experiences of God. The availability of Spiritual Direction helped people to identify and become aware of how the divine was moving in their life.

On Sunday morning, for our prayer time, we were given the space to walk the labyrinth. Every time I walk the labyrinth, something new happens and I become aware of something new within myself. In my walking yesterday, the one thing of which I was aware was the hundreds of spider webs in the labyrinth. In almost every bush and tree along the way silken webs glistened in the morning sun. I probably missed most of the beautiful flowers as my eyes were drawn over and over to these small spiders and the intricate designs they had woven. Sometimes I did not see them until I turned slightly and the sun's rays were caught. 

At one point, as I was the first to walk the path for the day, I noticed a web stretching across the pathway. I was very careful to take the time to step over the web so as not to destroy it. I turned back to see the person following me step over as well. I could not stop to make sure every person noticed the web, however, and had to decide to let it go. Needless to say, on my return walk from the centre, the web had gone.

After finishing the labyrinth I attempted to take some pictures of the webs on my phone. I looked at the pictures today, hoping that I may have caught some of the magic of these hidden gems. All that can be seen are some strange views of branches and twigs. The thing that was brought to my attention in the labyrinth was that we are surrounded by unseen connections. Connections to God and to others. Sometimes we breeze through life and walk straight through them. destroying them. Sometimes we don't look from the right angle or in the right light. 

This was the best of the lot! Can any of you see the web?
The purpose of Spiritual Direction is to help people see the connections in their own life. It is to help them to slow down and take in that which they usually walk straight past. Spiritual Direction helps people to notice, value and interact with the sacred webs which connect and bring together. Maybe my experience in the labyrinth was reminding me of the fragility and vulnerability with which some may come for Spiritual Direction and the care and attention that I need to have for the unseen connections in my own life in order to be present to others.

Friday 14 September 2012

Beautiful Imperfection

This afternoon I had the privilege of chatting on Facebook with one of my Form 3 English students from Tupou College back in 2001. One of his first questions was, "Do you remember me?" We reminisced about our English class; the funny moments, the naughty students, the Oliver musical and much more. I asked after some of the students I could remember and he told me who was married, who had children and who was still living in Tonga. He told me he had a girlfriend and maybe one day would get married. I was amazed when he told me that the year I taught him English had a great impact and he would like it if I could conduct his wedding ceremony one day when he decided to get married.

I always find it humbling to find out what people remember about you and how it differs to what you think they may have remembered. It reminded me of a video clip that I find very moving, titled "The Funeral". How would you like to be remembered? This clip shows beautifully that it is not our successes, or rewards, or how many degrees we hold that matters - it is our relationships. 

Thursday 13 September 2012

Wells and Deep Waters

I discovered, this week, that the Assembly promote the month of September as 'Interfaith September'. In WA we have always concentrated on a different theme for this month, so this is very new to me. Interfaith sharing and learning had been a passion of mine for quite a while. My thinking has developed from a healthy intrigue to a desire to learn from other faiths for the benefit of my own spiritual journey. 

So, in honour of Interfaith September, I decided to reflect on my own faith journey and how it has benefited from other faith traditions. I have written a poem that tells of the journey of discovering my own tradition and the common depths beyond it. Some may not agree with my thoughts. I don't need you to. The well is of extreme significance in my life because it has lead me to the deep living waters of God.

The Call of the Well

For many years,
I let down my pail often
to capture a dribble
of much craved elixir.
I returned with frequent
to devour my daily dose.

Curious to find it's source
I one day clambered 
into the well.
Feeling my way gingerly
each block of stone
demanded my attention.

With heed not to slip
or misplace my step,
I became one with the well
almost forgetting the spring
that had called me to enter
and lured me deeper.

Tired of the climb
but no way to turn back,
I released my hold
and fell with abandon
into the mysterious darkness,
plummeting into cool waters.

I no longer soberly sip.
I drown in the deep unknown.
Fellow swimmers from distant wells
submerge and dive about me.
Splashing in joyful discovery
I am home.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Soul Music and Healing

This afternoon I went to the movies with my good friend, Mandy, to see 'The Sapphires'. I haven't been to the movies in quite a while and I certainly wasn't disappointed. It was such a wonderfully hopeful film with so many themes and issues raised. Towards the beginning, Dave, the manager of the group is trying to explain to the girls the difference between Country and Western and Soul music. He says.

"Soul music is about loss, but they haven't given up. So every note that passes through your lips should have the tone of a woman who's grasping and fighting, desperate to retrieve what's been taken from her."

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear what each of the four girls are desperate to retrieve in their life. The most powerful sub-story, for me, was Kay's. Taken from her people at a young age, she had lost her sense of belonging. Her struggle throughout the film is one of being accepted, forgiven and reconnected to her own people. A modern day prodigal child story, it was touching to watch the reunion and the grace that was shown by the family. 

The love and acceptance of the family were not enough, however. Kay was only fully reconnected after a smoking ceremony. I have had the privilege of being part of a couple of smoking ceremonies that commenced church events. My understanding of the ceremony is that it brings healing and purification to the people involved. So many people in our society are in need of healing. This is a gift that our indigenous brothers and sisters can offer to us. Often we see healing as something achieved by medication or therapy, but how can we be healed spiritually? Kay's healing in 'The Sapphires' was certainly a powerful testimony to the need for wholeness in our lives.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Helping People Through Transitions in Life

Tomorrow I am leading the candidates at Perth Theological Hall in a workshop on the topic, "Worship in Non-Traditional Settings". In preparing for this, I had to work out exactly what tack to take. The approach is very much determined by how you define 'worship', 'traditional' and 'setting'. After going around in circles for a while, I decided to concentrate on the unusual worship requests that I have received from people over my few years in ministry.

When I started listing scenarios to use as case studies, I found I had an amazingly varied list. I asked myself what it was about these situations that compelled people to mark them with worship. Some of the situations were about healing, some about blessing, some about new beginnings and some about saying goodbye. All of them were crossroads or transitions in the people's lives. Our society has very few rites of passage and the most common way to mark transitions seems to be with a party. Weddings and funerals seem to be the most accepted occasion for anything more formal. 

In other cultures, there are numerous examples of rites of passage that help young people to transition into adulthood or enable people to 'find' themselves. I believe there is a great need for ceremony to mark transitions in life. People are reluctant to request such services, but when they do it can lead to wonderful healing and transformation. The worship experiences that people have requested at these times in their lives have been some of the most challenging to prepare, but some of the most rewarding to conduct.

What major transitions have there been in your life? How did you mark them? 

Sunday 9 September 2012

Is there a place for Spirituality in the church?

This afternoon at the Synod/Presbytery meeting we had a session on "Passions". Over lunch some of us had been in conversation with Uniting Church president, Andrew Dutney. One of the topics we talked about was how we can help people identify their passions and their calling rather than boxing people into already existing pigeon holes. So, I was quite excited about the following session and finding some like-minded people with whom to share our ideas and hopes.

At the beginning of the Passions time we were told that there were different topics on the tables from which to choose. I spent some time browsing. I was looking for something that was vaguely around the theme of Spirituality. I couldn't find what I was looking for. There were many important topics, but they were all based on commissions and groupings that already exist within the church. A few people asked me what I was looking for and one person jokingly responded, "Spirituality - what do we want that in the church for?"

I decided to be proactive and move to the table labelled "Other". I called out an invitation for others to join with me in talking about Spirituality. No takers! I was once warned that the area of Spirituality is a lonely one in the church. I certainly felt isolated and alone. I began to search for my second preference and ended up on a table talking about interfaith dialogue.

During my drive home, I reflected on this experience. Is Spirituality something that should be integrated into everything or something to which we should devote special attention? What is a church without spirituality? Are we missing something? So, if Andrew's approach of helping people identify their passions and then developing ministries based on them is more life giving, where will my passion for Spirituality lead me? Who knows?!!

Saturday 8 September 2012

Bringing the Future into the Now

I am spending the weekend at our annual Synod/Presbytery meeting. It is always a tiring weekend for me. Naturally an introvert, I find the constant interaction and catching up with people exhausting, but very important.

I have been pleasantly surprised so far with how this meeting is going. Yes, we have got through some business that is sometimes a little dry and sometimes amazingly inspiring. But there have also been some profound moments of just being the people of God. Times of lament and confession and times of celebration. I see it as so important that we take the time to be who we are, not just talk about it.

I also learned a new word today, 'proleptic'. Similar to 'prophetic', proleptic is about bringing the future into the now. In the Christian tradition, we live with the hope of reconciliation of all things. We often speak about this as the kingdom of God. To live with this hope is not about wishing it might happen some time in the future. It is actually about living in such a way that this future reality is made real right now. What a challenge for us in our everyday lives. My hope is that in the remainder of our meeting tomorrow we will be able to be proleptic together.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Meditation - Bringing the Mind Home

Meditation has become an important part of my life over the last two years. I enjoy different styles of meditation - from contemplative, to guided, to using music - but the more I meditate the less clutter I am wanting attached. I am becoming more comfortable in the silence and more able to still my busy mind. At our meditation groups I often read something of Thomas Merton or some other great Christian writer on the topic of contemplative prayer or meditation. This week I decided to use something different.

I read a piece from the classic, 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying'. The author, Sogyal Rinpoche, says, "In the stillness and silence of meditation, we glimpse and return to that deep inner nature that we have long ago lost sight of amid the busyness and distraction of our minds. Isn't it extraordinary that our minds cannot stay still longer than a few moments without grasping after distraction". He goes on to say that, "We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don't know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home. Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home."

Now that certainly rings true for me! When I have taken the time to be still, silent and meditate I find I am more peaceful, more in touch with myself and with God and less likely to react impulsively. We take the time to sort through our emails, file our papers and even defragment our computer. How much more important, then, should it be to take time to allow our inner lives to regroup and 'find' ourselves again? For me, meditation is a time to spend solely in the presence of God and no one else. It's just me and God - being, not doing.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Creating Mandalas

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning "circle". My interest for mandalas was sparked when reading about Hildegard of Bingen. I discovered that after seeing her visions she often painted them as mandalas. I had no idea what a mandala was, and so did some research on the internet. I learned about the sand mandalas of the Tibetan Buddhist monks and was fascinated. I also discovered that mandalas are used extensively in healing and wholeness ministries. I found many beautiful images and became captivated by the fact that mandalas are at the heart of creation.

Meanwhile, in my own personal journey I was contemplating engaging in an activity that was a little playful and more creative. I considered different arts and crafts, but on discovering mandalas decided to engage with them more deeply.I began playing with mandalas in my own quiet days and reflective moments.

Since discovering mandalas last year, I have now created my own photo mosaic mandala (pictured right) and many sketches in my mandala journal. My creation of mandalas has mirrored my spiritual journey. I have found using mandalas very beneficial as it encourages me to go deeper in my reflections rather than staying with analysis and thinking. Being creative and playful in my art work takes me to a different and deeper place in my meditation and reflection. I have found creating mandalas of great benefit in my own spiritual journey and hope that, through running workshops, others may discover the depth and joy in their creation.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Dwelling Places

Just over a week ago we were privileged to have Sarah Agnew with us from South Australia. On the Sunday afternoon we had a workshop on Writing Prayers. Sarah encouraged us to reflect on one of two passages from scripture and to write a prayer. I spent time meditating on the first few verses of Psalm 84. With so much activity happening in our family's life regarding selling and buying houses at the moment, I was quite taken with the image of God being our dwelling place. This is the prayer I ended up writing.

God, you are our dwelling place.
We come home to you.
We have longed for your warming fires,
and your place of rest.
You are where our story begins and ends.
In you is a deep knowing,
a familiarity with all our ways.
Connected in intimacy,
nurturing and feeding,
You are my dwelling place, O God.

Monday 3 September 2012

The Boy, The Kite and The Wind

A few months ago I used this video clip at a family service. We were talking about the Spirit being like wind. This wonderful video is a retelling of the children's book by Al Andrews. I think it has a message that we need to hear. What are we passing on to our children? Are we gifting them with the things in life that will be eternal? This raises lots of questions and wondering about Spirituality with children. Enjoy the clip!

God is Eros

Yesterday, I decided to craft my message for the Margaret River and Augusta congregations around the set reading from Song of Songs. This is a book of the Bible that is often overlooked.

In discovering the rich lives of the mystics, I have rediscovered the book of Song of Songs in a new way. It is a very challenging read, not because of the sensuous language but for the way it changes our relationship with God.

It was possibly one of the most refreshing sermons to write and perhaps one of the most rewarding to preach.

Click here to read the message.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Starting out

This is a very new adventure for me. I have been playing with the idea of having a webpage or a blog for a while. I have finally found the courage to do it. It's not that I want to promote myself - far from it - but I have a desire to share with people what I have found wonderful in my own life. It is supposed to be a safe place where people can explore without feeling judged. I hope you enjoy what I and others have to offer here.