Monday, June 27, 2011

HD Ready?

My folks just got HD TV. 

You know how when you have always had a 'normal' TV picture, you don't know what you are missing until you see the HD picture of the TV next to it?

I feel like that about my spiritual life. For years I have been very happy and very comfortable, with my 'normal Christian life', and suddenly, alongside mine, I have seen a spirituality that is being lived in HD. It's high definition. It's bright!  It makes my spiritual walk feel dull.  This doesn't mean my walk has been / or is dull, in fact, I think my walk has been making me HD Ready!!  Recently I began browsing through blogs and sites of mind-blowing accounts of what people are doing 'out there' in real life, with people who are not yet believers, but who are seeking truth.

I recognised what I always felt I was looking for, but didn't know it was there.

I was offered an alternative to my nagging heart today. Perhaps it's not about wishing I could be part of it elsewhere, maybe its about experimenting with our faith with others who may feel like I do, right here.

Just get together... and see what God does. I'm not saying don't go to your Sunday meetings, of course go!

But rather as an extra dimension to our faith, in our desire to draw nearer to God in creative ways and draw other seekers along with us....why not try? 

I don't know why not.
I'm "HD Ready".

Are you?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Puppy Control

Remember the Puppy?  And when she was growing up?

Here is a little update.  Puppy is now about 6 months old and may not eat the Old Man's Food. (Daschund 15 yrs old) 

Have a look at Puppy's remarkable self control!

Jack reminding Puppy not to eat whats left of the Old Mans food.

If I look at it hard enough...maybe it will jump out at me?

Maybe from this angle?

Hmmm...what to do?

I'll just keep waiting...

and waiting...

The Old Man comes for a nibble...

leaving a little leftover to tantilise the pup

Seriously... I can't eat that???

*sigh*

They sleep... and still... she waits.
 Love this puppy! 
:)

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Moment Frozen

After writing my previous post - "Mission Shaped Cathedrals" - I wanted to share this experience I had on our first family trip to Europe in 2005. Great excitement. People who had been before load you with useful information and tips of what to do and what not to do.

One thing a friend suggested to me is to "not waste time going into these old churches with all the statues of dead people," "It's just like idolatry", they said.

Paris was our first stop and how does one NOT visit Notre Dame? Tsk. Silly. Of course we did. And all the others everywhere.

But this post is not about that. 
                                                      Not at all.
                                                                    This post is about what happened at St Pauls Basilica in Rome.

We had been walking around Rome for hours - it's what we love to do. We decided though to board the train to visit St Pauls since it is a fair distance to walk from the centre of Rome. It was later on in the day, and although we were happy, we were a little weary.

We got off the train and made our way toward the basilica. You would think that it would stick out being a large building. We walked and shopped and walked....forever looking at our almost-shredded-with-use map. Eventually, standing beside a huge grey wall, I said to My Man, "Let's just forget it and go back". But he kept saying, "the map says it's right here!"  To which I probably snapped back something like "Well, do you seeeeeee it?" ....?? 

We saw a little door in the grey wall and he said, "It must be in there? "No way!" I said, "this looks way too boring."  But we have come all this way!" he said "let's just slip in quickly."  -  Fine.

                 He went in first, followed by My Girl, then... rather begrudgingly, me.

I will never ever be able to put into words what happend once I had entered. I promise you, I could not walk, I just stood there, it was all I could do to stand up straight, and then, very embarressingly, I burst into tears. (Not like me!)

I don't know if I have ever felt the presence of God as strongly as I felt it in that moment.  I don't know how long I stood there for, but as I did, I heard God whisper to me...

"People can look dull and boring too, not worth your time, but if you take the time to step into their lives, you will find yourself enriched by them."

I will never forget that moment.

Much later, as we walked out of what was the correct entrance... I looked back at the most beautiful outside facade. However, had I gone in that way ..... would I have missed the whole experience?

Mission Shaped Cathedrals

Yesterday I watched a clip on a blog that I follow. By the end of it everything in me was... "I want to be part of something like this!"

Forging fresh new paths, exploring old traditons, meeting God in forgotten ways and unexpected places, meeting diverse people and discussing faith in a way that is open and exciting.

So much of what I have read in the last 6+ years has whispered this to me.... promising me that there is more than just what we have 'always done'  to following Jesus.

If this echoes with you at all.... watch this.


Be keen to hear your thoughts....  :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

about that bird getting the worm thing.

I was wondering,
                perhaps you could help me here?

I have googled, referenced and cross-googled to find out if there is a law against not getting out of bed till midday, in winter, on a long-weekend while eating chocolate for breakfast...

It seems perfectly legal - but felt too good to be so.

This is prettty much what we did this last long weekend ~ I guess we don't get a 4-day Fathers Day long weekend often.

May as well celebrate it!

:)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bulleted Two Weeks

Only because this has been a kind of random two weeks - nothing that is deserving of a whole post.
So it will be bulleted - in no particular order.

  • Overslept (more than once) and had to s.c.r.e.a.m to work.
  • Been very warm and not needing a jersey
  • Been very cold and unable to wear enough jerseys
  • Enjoyed Wacky Wine Weekend away with great family and friends
  • Stood on a drawing pin (NO! Not at the wine weekend... much later in the week!)
  • Went for Anti-Tetanus injection *faint* - no, I didn't faint. Its just the thought.
  • Didn't go to gym (again).....(surprise, surprise!)
  • Locked myself out of my house and had to phone offspring at sparrow fart for help.
  • Had coffee and crunchies with my mom
  • Had My Girl here for supper
  • Long weekend and school holidays coming up - big plans.
  • Cut my hair - again!
  • Started watching Big Bang Theory from the beginning.
  • Missed cricket everyday. (Except for one ODI:WI & India, stopped by rain and I missed the end...)
  • My hot water bottle sprung a leak and I mourned 
  • I made a mean cottage pie. Those of you that know me....applaud now.
  • Witnessed "Allie-Chilling's" Blog being reborn as Earth Stroller - pop over and say Hi!
  • Booked our flights & tour to Norway in Feb - OH!~ Now thats exciting. Not thinking about the cold.
  • Played 30 seconds with a bunch of fun people and drank great red wine.
  • Laughed alot.

Yes, it was a week and a bit
                                 with some of everything in it.  (Hey - that rhymes!)

Just thinking that I am writing as though its Friday - it feels like Friday - but its Wednesday....start of LONGGG weekend baby!!!

Enjoy yours too!

And I am going out for supper! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Making Stuff

I feel as though I have been thinking too much lately so today I am being a bit of a girl and lightening it up a bit. So these are just some random things off the top of my head, in no particular order, (although it would probably start with good conversation), that make me happy / brighten my day... blah blah.
(OBVIOUSLY family and friends are first! But after them....)

What makes you happy?

Monday, June 6, 2011

What if life never sucked?

I think I have a sort of answer to my question from this post. An answer that works for me.
(Obviously this is over an above the whole theological truth of sin and the fallen world.)

Why does God allow us to go through diffculties and tragedies?   Some of our possible questions:  Why are my parents so strict? Why did my best friend stab me in the back? Why did my loved-one have to die? Why does my life sometimes suck?  Why do people spread rumours about me? Why was I mugged? Why do I have to suffer? Why, why, why? Varying degrees of  "Why is this happening to me?" / "What sort of God are you?" ...... stuff.

It suddenly struck me that when God became man, he could have just had a stunning carefree life - after all he was fully God as well as fully man.  But to be fully man, he had to experience life as a man.

Jesus experienced the discipline of parents, he experienced the death of friends, he experienced a close friend stabbing him in the back, he was the topic of rumours and vicious gossip, there was an attempt to bribe him with power, wealth and status, he had a close friend deny that he even knew him (3 times!), he had brothers who were not particularly stoked with who he was, he was beaten up beyond recognition, insulted, mocked and crucified. Yet, we never hear him asking "Why is this happening to me... what kind of a God are you?"

What we do see is a very intimate relationship between him and God and complete belief that he is not alone.  If it were not for all of these 'real life'  hardships that Jesus endured, how could he possibly identify with us in ours? How could he possibly know how difficult life can be for us? 

If we never endured any hardships - how could we identify with others? How could we empathise and show compassion if we had never experienced any hardship ourselves?

Could it be that we should be more thankful at how our hardships can draw us to God, because in the end it's often these experiences, shared with others in similar positions, that draw them to God too?   

 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the
sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed,
it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort,
which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings,
so also you share in our comfort. (2 Cor.1:3-7) 

Maybe this is what it means to 'share in his sufferings?'

Jesus identifies with us through his life experiences. 
                                                                      We can use our life experiences to identify with others.

He will use our toughest times to bring us closer to him and to bring others closer to him.

How amazing is that?

This may not work for you but I hope that next time I am tempted to ask "Why does God allow this?",
that I will ask instead "How can God use this?"

I know - theory is everything. Practical will tell the story.
Then I will rely, as always, on his grace for the day.