Anne Jackson has a wonderful blog post – kind of like a Post Secret blog post really,

where she has asked readers to contribute

what is something you feel you can’t say in church, or around other christians?

A good read here

Christian’s have far too many committees.

In fact we have so many of them its amazing we achieve anything at all.

case in point:  I have a friend that recently went to a church meeting  for a ‘team/committee’ at 10pm on a friday night. after recieving a text message to come to the meeting at 9pm,  This meeting was for a ‘committee’ that had met less than one week earlier, the meeting a week earlier had gone for 3 hours and had achieved nothing.

The question has to be asked how can you preach on a sunday about ‘going out in the world and making disciples’ and then have your weekly schedule look like this:

Monday – small group
Tuesday – worship meeting
Wednesday – nothing
Thursday – helping with the small group you lead
Friday – youth/young adults hang out session (because we have to have something that will keep us out of the world)
Saturday – nothing or hanging out with christian mates at night to watch a DVD
Sunday – church once or twice including service in someway e.g. worship team, childrens church, prayer ministry, coffee/tea etc.

 In fact many surveys have shown that because Christians tend to socialise within Christian circles their work colleagues, next door neighbours and non christian friends see very little of them and so are unable to form any meaningful relationships that don’t seem to be overtaken by christian activities.

On the other hand there are a large number of christians (normally single males – i know some of those reading this blog would dispute that) that don’t actually step up to leadership or serving within churches which means those who are serving within churches tend to have a heavier load which takes a greater amount of their time as there are less people willing to serve or lead.

Do your experiences mirror this i.e. are you involved so much at your Church ‘serving the lord’ that your non christian friends and family can count their time they see you in minutes in a week?
have you have had experiences that are quite the opposite?

This I know to be true, having an MRI is not as sexy as a House episode makes it out to be.

In truth the things leading up to an MRI scan are not actually the stuff that a film crew would get much excitement over. Indeed this MRI was 6 months in the coming and today was not announced by any great music with that fantastic pulsating bass line that they do on medical shows…..

  • I taught 4 x classes this morning of nursery rhymes and songs (5-6 year olds) the same lesson 4 times before leaving at morning tea time
  • Caught 2 buses including a brief intermission between buses where I had to gobble my lunch down in 5 min flat.
  • Waited in a pale pastel pink waiting room with a hideous giant wall painting of flowers on the wall for what seemed like forever until someone appeared to ask me a series of questions – including my all time favourite ‘are you pregnant?’- at which time i considered that it might up the likeness of my MRI scan saga becoming a TV show if i answered this question creatively with something like ‘ No, I’m a Man’ or ‘I’m waiting for call from Gabriel to confirm’ …….. i decided against it and went with a straight ‘no’ to save time and a psych assesment team.  

My Radiographer (?) was fantastic she was hiliarious in fact, she made all sorts of conversation and was quite calming really. It was here I decided that a film crew might actually get some air time out of me (well actually her and me as her sense of humour was fantastic) The MRI itself I hated, I can’t remember last times being that scary. I felt so enclosed (having a giant cage around your head and being stuck in a coffin sized machine will do that to you). 

I did have all sorts of good intentions while in the MRI to pray for people, a recent House episode said the radiographers can see it when you do, so i thought I would try. As it was it took all of my self control and me mantra-ing phillipians 4 to myself not to press the ‘help button’ 50x and run out of the freaking machine with its large crashing noises and zapping sounds and what generally sounds like someone hammering you on the head, that I pondered would make a fantastic transition scene on TV, me running like a deluded person through the pale pink waiting room.

As it was with the help of my Robbie Seay CD (they do allow you to bring a CD from home even though it is drowned out by the sound) and my fab radiographer – who reassured me throughout that I was awesome  . I made it through.  When I did come out I had the strange feeling of being nearly asleep but awake at the same time – the same sort of feeling I have after staff meetings really.

After enduring that I decided that I should treat myself and spent the afternoon in borders reading (brought a nice book that I am currently devouring) before taking another 2 buses home. 

I am addicted to TV.

On an average night if I have no planning (meh even if i do) my schedule is this 

4:30 Malcolm in the middle

5:00 The Simpsons

5:30 Home and Away

6:00 News / The Nanny

6:30 Third Rock from the Sun

7:00 Shortland St

7:30-9:30 whatever is going  Desperate Housewives, a crime program, drama etc . Occasionally i might turn the TV off for 30 minutes if a program doesn’t really take my fancy but in general I can fit in 4.5 to 5 hours a night of solid TV watching.  

A couple of days ago I found a few phrases and incidents coming to mind more and more frequently (this tends to be how God speaks to me when I haven’t been paying attention through prayer or bible reading) fortunately he hasn’t got so desperate as to communicate to me via the lines from TV shows (can you tell me how to get how to get to seasame street…….)

  • A sermon a while back from Mark Driscoll where he said that we have become so Saturated in our culture that we no longer notice the appearnce of evil – he was refering to the media usage here.
  • A podcast i was listening to where the speaker was saying that they got a TV for a special occasion to watch some sports event and were watching it with their children and they were absolutely stunned and shocked by the Ads (i find no such shock when watching the ad’s and this worries me)
  • The fact that in the staff room at my school a particular TV programme came up (which had totally inapporopriate content for a christian to be watching) and i said i watched it , anyway some joke was made that was sexually explicit and I had no way of coming against it as I had been watching it to.

So with that buzzing around my head, I am now  on day 2 on a 40 day ‘fast’ of sorts from TV. Today being Monday I am on day 2 (hurrah) I am putting a pink piece of paper on my TV screen to symbolise each day and to write what something I did that day that I wouldn’t have done had I have had the TV on (today for example I emailed 2 friends who had emailed me ages ago but I didn’t evidently have the time for them – bizarre really as I do have hours to watch TV)

My aim in all of this is to be able to hear God much clearer as I think as much as we try to spiritualise the content of a Desperate Housewives episode it doesn’t come anywhere close to actually spending time in Prayer with God, Studying his word and putting it into action.

As I am busy preparing to move house  and am currently recovering from shopping (i do not really like shopping) I have decided to do something i haven’t done in a while give you a list of great sites that you should have on your favourites page… let me know what you think of them ……..

 there are about 10 of you that visit a day, so you can comment too….it isn’t an exclusive club.

Patrol Mag 

Absolutely excellent.  Patrol is in its own words ‘an online music and media magazine devoted to searching out the truly inspired. And that, of course, means keeping pretension, repetition, and imitation off the streets. By highlighting an eclectic mix of media and applying incisive, accessible criticism, Patrol aims to sharpen critical perspectives and develop appreciation for excellently executed creative work.’   This includes critical reviews of Christian works, not the mundane ‘this an awesome 4 star record’ deal thing that you often get with a lot of Christian sites, and means you often waste $30 that you could have spent doing something useful with… –
I am constantly amazed by the number of well meaning evangelicals who feel the need to share with me how wrong Catholicism is and then when probed a little further can’t actually back this up. Sure you may not agree with some of Catholicism teachings but I think if you have a look at this site for the largest Catholic Youth Ministry in the World you will find that Catholics are not at all what you have them made up to be. I highly recommend their reviews section and their articles section. Some areas are exclusive for Life Teen members only (e.g. Parishes who have the life teen program) however there is a lot to explore beside this.  They also have 2 podcasts available off Itunes.
If you like me are/were sick of hearing the same verses trottled out  (which admit it – can happen if your preacher has a thing for a particular topic in an evangelical/protestant church that doesn’t follow any great structure) then this is the site for you. Comes with Liturgy/Lectionary reading plans, a whole section of prayers,  and background info, links, a blog and info inf you are planning a church service to do with liturgy (I throw that in in case you are😛 )

World youth day
World Youth Day (WYD) is the largest youth event in the world and will be held in Sydney from Tuesday 15 to Sunday 20 July 2008.  It is a series of events (think parachute but much bigger) attended by the Pope and hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the globe. It has become the largest single mobilisation of young people in the world. The week culminates in a Final Mass celebrated by the Pope on the last day (the actual World Youth Day). Typically, it is the largest event of the week and if previous ones are anything to go by millions of people attend!

The theme for this WYD – be prepared to throw all misconceptions out here about Catholics , if you haven’t by going to (hint) is ……..:  ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.’ Acts 1:8 

The song for World Youth day is ‘Receive the Power ‘ by Guy Sebastian (Former Australian Idol) and Gary Pinto. Also available to hear on the site.  Quite a change from normal Catholic stuff.

Right bloggers go have a look and tell me what you think!  Peace to you on this the 6th Sunday of Easter!



  Internet Monk aka Michael Spencer said something quite provocative on his Internet Monk Podcast number 93 (available off Itunes or off his site – click on the Internet Monk Radio tab at the very top) where he talked about the product mindset of evangelicism that produces a spirituality that is ‘product oriented’ and has adopted an industrial mindset heavily influenced by revivalism , techniques and methodologies . One thing Spencer said got me (mainly because it rings  true) ‘You really are a product  of certain things that evangeliciasim wants to promote, you are not a person so much shaped by the spirit of God as you are a product shaped by certain processes ‘  By processes he means going to church, having a quiet time etc. This is not something new for Spencer to say indeed he has been saying it for a while. However I wonder how many Christians have really considered their belief structure from this perspective that indeed as much as many Christians want to believe that they are charting their own course that their their theology and worship has actually a long history that has to a large extent boxed them in.

Spencer’s podcast tied into something I had been reading about this week – lex orandi lex credendi – The way you pray determines what you believe. This line basically means that your theology and worship interact. It is kind of like the chicken and the egg argument, you know the one – which comes first the chicken or the egg –  and theologians being the type of people they are debate which comes first and to what extent one affects the other. In short what we believe determines how we worship and how we worship determines what we believe.

In 1984 Roman Catholic theologian Kavanagh argued that worship was the primary source and stimulus of Christian theology. He saw worship as primary theology and theological reflection as secondary theology. Thus if we are going for the whole chicken and the egg argument Kavanagh would definitely be in the worship camp.

On the other hand Methodist Geoff Wainwright 1980  says that the liturgy of the church has always had intellectual stuff in it and is not just about raw emotion and that the two are more like an organic thing rather than two separate entities – an interesting idea especially if you go to some pentecostal services.

 Some things to think about

1) Does theology have a role in limiting worship? Or vice versa

2) If one never analyses their theology does this mean that their worship and growth is likely to remain stagnant or is it possible for such a person because of the lex orandi lex credendi principle to be oblivious to this?

When I started watching this clip i thought it was just another one of ‘those interviews’, you’ll know what i mean if you watch the start of it, the one with the politician talking to the media….. but then when i kept watching I became absolutely captured by Len Brown and by the fact that the media seemed oddly quiet during the whole thing. 

Brown talks candidly to the media not just about Faith in the midst of trial but where he says something to the affect of ‘i came to dispense tissues’.  This is what Philip Yancey is talking about  (in Where is God when it hurts) when he says that God is there when we as a Christian community are helping and carrying each other.  The Elim and wider Christian community of Auckland and NZ has really embodied and personified this. 

Light shines out of darkness.