30 May 2009

Fearless and Free and Sharing

Read this short blog post about debt and sharing in ancient Israel: Fearless and Free

29 May 2009

Waste Not! Food Swap

I took Ella to this today. Awesome. Neat. Even in a bit of rain. Even though I had nothing to give, the others gave me a bunch of huge healthy kale, basil, coriander, limes, tamarillos, a bunch of chili peppers, a few chokos, and thyme--all fresh and organic. Ella especially loved the birds, ducks, chickens, and the one Chihuahua that was standing behind the coffee servers. The Garden's blog (with pictures of last month's Waste Not! Food Swap) here.

28 May 2009

Sodom, Sheep, and Simeon

This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

- Ezekiel 16:49

Matthew 10:16-20
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Pray for opportunities to witness as a sheep among wolves.

Simeon’s Song
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.

19 May 2009

Smile by Faith

I read a devotional today and wanted to share a more concise, redacted, and personalised version of it:

When times are tough, when things aren’t going as planned, many people have a long, sour face. They’re down, discouraged, worried, and upset. But when you choose to rejoice, you smile and have a pleasant demeanor no matter what. And it’s not because you necessarily feel like it or because everything's perfect. You just simply smile by faith. You smile knowing that your expression is saying to God, “I trust You. I know you're working all things out for my good.”

However, . . . what if I can't smile. I've tried to move my face into a smile. I've tried to repeat the words in my head, "God will make a way," but I can't believe the words right now. It's not a feeling of a rainy day, but one of being buried under water. What can I give thanks for? In what good do I believe?

Things are too bad, too miserable, too chronic to accept as permanent. There must be an End to evil and suffering. There must be Judgment against the violent, the greedy. I'm not one of these. So, I will long for the Day of Judgment with a . . . smile, though tears still flow.


Joyful One, I choose to rejoice in you. Your goodness goes way beyond my difficulty. Even when I don’t see a way, aren't you making a way for us? I surrender every area of my life to you in confident hope that in the end you'll put all things to rights. You're the Judge I trust. With my big brother, Jesus, I pray with a smile on my face. Amen.

Space for Joy

I have committed myself to joy. I have come to realize that those who make space for joy, those who prefer nothing to joy, those who desire the utter reality, will most assuredly have it. We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves. In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy.

- Richard Rohr

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

- Psalm 98:7-9

11 May 2009


I got this these two e-mails and thought they applied to me well since we've only been living in Australia for about four months now.


You must avoid breaking when things don't go your way.
You'll always be secure to the degree that you accept change.
True security comes from being able to bend your insecurities.

When you recognize and accept that change will inevitably take place.
You'll become secure, not by standing still, but by growing, moving, and staying energized.
Be secure in the knowledge that you can deal with anything that happens to you.

Have the courage to bet on your ideas.
Take some calculated risks and act on your dreams.
There is no permanent security on this earth, there is only opportunity.


Today's Scripture

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

Today's Word

Thank God, we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken! The kingdom is simply God’s system. It’s His way of doing things. The Bible tells us that His kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. In God’s kingdom, when you give, it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. In God’s kingdom, you can have an abundance of peace and prosperity in your spirit, mind, and body no matter what’s happening around you. And just like the verse says, His kingdom cannot be shaken! That means, if the stock market goes down, God’s kingdom is still strong. If the housing market goes down, God’s kingdom is still strong. If gas prices go up, God’s kingdom is still strong! You can live in God’s kingdom that cannot be shaken—no matter what’s happening here on earth. Begin to thank God today for His kingdom. Thank Him for His system of blessing in every area of your life. As you obey His Word and worship Him with a grateful attitude, you will see His hand of blessing and walk in the abundant life He has for you!

A Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, thank You for the kingdom. Thank You for Your system of blessing in my life. I open my heart to You and ask that You reveal Your truth to me so that I can live to please You all the days of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

03 May 2009

Lion and Lamb

Last month, in a weekly local newspaper given complimentarily to a large part of Wollongong . . . Toward the middle, on opposing pages, two "Easter" articles.

The left article, written by a Pastor, expressed conservative Christian beliefs, namely Jesus' resurrection. A Lionish Easter representation. The right article, written by a Reverend, emphasized the death of Jesus, subversive to dominating empires and kingdoms and powers of the world. A Lambish Easter representation.

My reactions . . . The left article seemed to represent something I believe is core and essential to the Christian faith, ie Jesus' resurrection. The article also represented the typical debating spirit of the church, especially since the Reformation. It chose to challenge atheists [stereotyped] in an argument of sorts. However, I can't imagine a lamb starting an argument with someone who was already mocking him and misunderstanding him (Matthew 26:62f).

. . . The right article seemed to represent a foreign Christianity. Toward the end of the article, the Rev said, "The cross stands as a critique of domination and those things that diminish life and the divine spark in us all." This article was particularly engaging and interesting to me. I thought, How true that "he was killed because of his politics--because of his passion for God's justice." How true that "God in Jesus . . . [on the cross] is a metaphor of radical grace . . ." How true that the cross shows in a subversive way the evils of dominating and destructive systems in the world that deny the image of God in us! Yet, is that all? Certainly not! If the cross reveals sin's darkness, how much more that the resurrection stands as God's power to deal with sin and redeem life from death!

Easter is not only the Lamb's judgment of the powers, but the Lion's supreme dominance over them through the vindicating resurrection and the rightful enthronement and new creation that follows.

01 May 2009


Invisible God, The I AM:

too many images, too much spam

delete all but one

move spam to the trash

close out my programs--

just force quit all before i crash

give me a reboot, patiently i wait

re-install your image, i pray

run in me

yours is my self, my network, my world

am i really to be the password anew?

you’ve restored me--Oh, GLORY!

loving you and your world,

alive and giving you praise, Oh, I AM.