theres no business like it

I shared olives with Dave Dobbyn yesterday! Total musical legend. I was helping out with the Make Poverty history ad (I was holding the boom and didn't ding his head, phew)

Dave, one of NZ's most worthy national treasures, recently became a Christian and now has an awesome thing going where he visits the prisoners and plays beautiful music.

"Dobbyn describes his own journey to God saying he was “being interviewed by a broadcaster, being prodded for his views on New Zealand music, “and a part of me was quite miffed and I stopped myself flying off the handle and getting angry with him or buying into his game."
He [Dobbyn] went home, wondering if he should have agreed to the interview, when this voice said, “No, you handled it very well with a lot of dignity. And that’s how the big fella came and said, ‘You’re coming with me son’. Dobbyn said he fell to the ground completely and said ‘Yeah, absolutely, I’m with you.” (Sunday Star Times 5 June 2005)."

You can have a listen to Loyal and Slice of Heaven on Dave's Myspace! hehe.


Holiness etc

There was an excellent article posted on therubicon last week. About Holiness and The Salvation Army. it is insightful and honest and proclaims no answers. It is by Grant Sandercock- Brown, he says "There is an uneasy feeling that at some point, somewhere, holiness was replaced by abstinence and burning love by best practice." and finishes with "Or perhaps the Spirit left our building a long, long time ago and we just haven’t noticed his absence."

Shivers. I feel that all too often.

In the comments someone pointed out that "The experience of holiness shared by our founding brothers and sisters was intrinsically tied to a C19th theology, culture and context. It was the fact that it matched the hour that made it so powerful. The challenge for us C21st Salvationists is to pursue a C21st holiness theology." and suggested we need new ideas of holiness. Amen to that one.

Today I think I found Scott Mcknight doing just that on Jesus Creed. Says this chap:
".....Holiness is not negative; it is positive. It is God doing what God does and it is humans living out the God-life in this world. It is loving God with a sacred, uncontaminated love, and therefore loving others as God loves them. That is holiness. Holiness is not the dark side of God, with love the good side. Holiness is love directed in the right direction and contained by the proper boundaries.
.... In other words, holiness is loving God and loving others and not loving the Self as the modernist enthroned Self that “others” everyone as it seeks to climb its way up Babel’s tower. It is the opposite of idolatry....

Holiness is sacred love for God and others.....

Peter exhorts his readers to look at their pasts to know what holiness is not: their former patriarchal vain traditioins (1:18). Peter exhorts them to join themselves to the way of Jesus if they are to know what holiness is (1:19-21). Jesus’ redemptive work leads us to focus on God and God’s redemptive work. A life dedicated to God’s redemptive work, which manifests itself in so many ways in our world today, is a life of holiness."

Eek. Totally mutilated his article- go read the whole thing you! its nice!

It resonated with me, as it developed my thoughts from two posts down about the Porn Parade, as well as that whole idea of Jesus growing our sense of holiness from isolation to engagement.



This is my 100th post! Crikey what a trooper!

Tim and I are off down to Christchurch tonight to do a youth event down there till Monday... It is gonna be a great time, can't wait. Christchurch is like a little miniture England.

I have been exploring the whole Royal Priesthood thing for one of the talks- journeys like that are cool cos it has revealed heaps of stuff that hadn't occured to me. Like what Jesus does to our concepts of Holiness.

Colin McCahon

Colin McCahon is one of my favourite artists I think. Maybe because he is New Zealander and maybe because he paints out of his God experience. There is an exhibition at the Auckland City Library at the moment. This painting I love. It is called Imprisonment and Reprieve. It makes my heart thump in my chest.


GRRR. I am furious and confused.

Arrghhh. I feel melancholy today. About faith stuff... and the world. Eek. Confusion. Was just reading the paper, and read that 100,000 people turned up to Queen St yesterday to watch the Boobs on Bikes parade to advertise the Erotica Expo this weekend. And the organiser, Steve Crow, was like “Yeah, and only one lame old protester” and I'm mad: “WHY WASN’T I PROTESTING!” and then I remembered it was because I have an idea that faith needs to be reclaimed from people that go around going “Naughty”- the Pope put it well last week: “Christianity, Catholicism, isn't a collection of prohibitions," the 79-year-old Pope said. "It's a positive option ... We've heard so much about what is not allowed that now it's time to say: we have a positive idea to offer ..." Which is so deeply true- mammoth freedom, authentic love, abounding grace because of Jesus!

But then I read the article right below the Boobs on Bike coverage about a guy going to prison for sexually abusing 12 primary school kids and my soul weeps. And I remember yesterday reading a thing someone was handing out at the parade- a list of stats relating pornography to sexual predatory (which isn’t surprising of course) And THEN!! (feel my fury!!) I read the article below that one about how outraged people are that prayer/ karakia is sneaking back in to schools....

Our children are being raped while their parents watch a porn parade and complain about religion in schools!

Our society is going to the dogs. I feel like an extreme fundamentalist today. I want to yell through a megaphone at Steve Crow “TURN OR BURN!” with lots of mouth froth and actually yesterday I did get a letter from the Advertising Standards Authority where I got referred to by Steve Crow as “Conservative Right” for complaining about his women degrading Erotica Billboards. Which is sort of funny. That he can determine my political stance from a complaint, But argh. Maybe I am becoming a right wing fundy. Noooooooooooooooo.

I know I must remember the places that the kingdom of God is being revealed. It truly is. There ARE places! Today though, I am finding it hard to believe.

Cor Blimey.

Anyway. If anyone wants to join a Team to go to Erotica Expo this weekend to pray around it and chat with people and hand out “JESUS LOVES PORNSTARS” flyers, in order to counteract the fundys at the gate yelling “TURN OR BURN” with mouth froth please let me know. Tim and I are away :( but a team is still going, as we did last years Erotica Epo which was really, really worthwhile. So, please, let me know, 'specially any student lifers!


Forgotten people

The Social Policy Unit latest report was released yesterday "Forgotten people: men on their own". It has generated quite a bit of interest. You can read the NZ Herald's initial article here.
And if you click this link, you'll get the report. My name is really spelt wrong. Wah. haha.

"Single men seem to be the forgotten people. No one really worries about them because they don’t have families and they are male and therefore supposed to be able to look after themselves. There is nothing there for them when they can’t." Manager, Community and Family Services


Must see flicks

Another film has recently topped my fave movie list! "Romero" has to be one of the most captivating and impacting films about Christian faith ever. It is set in south America and follows the story of liberation theology and Oscar Romero.

"We know that every effort to better society especially when injustice and sin are so ingrained is an effort that God blesss, that God wants and that God demands of us"

It is a bit of an golden oldy I think, but it leads to huge discussion and mind shifting. A must see.

Another must see vid is over on the right courtesy of youtube. hehe. sorry its a bit midget but I had to fit it in that wee space.


weekend fun

Our weekend has been manic. Moved in our refugee family on Saturday, into their new home, we shared some well special times! Totally hard though as we speak not a dash of the same language. Lots of melodramatic facial expressions and oversized hand actions. A real giggle all 5 of us squeezing in the mini for a drive.

We had a fantastic church yesterday morning. Cafe styles. Explored what church is in groups, drawing pictures etc. No singing really. Lots of discussion. I loved it.

Oh- by the way: Make Poverty History Month of Mobilisation begins on Sept 16th. To add your voice to the many petitioning our government to make political decisions against extreme poverty text 8466!


the big chop and praying cops

Wowza. Went to Wellington on Tuesday for Ministry of Social Development meetings and decided to get my long locks chopped! They are gone! No longer blowing in the wind but Banished to the Bin.

This is a cool article from the BBC. Lincolnshire police have a new programme in collaboration with local Jesus lovers called Prayer Watch to support their battle against crime. Is this what being Salt and Light is about?


Sleeping Bag

Found this rad poem the other day by Steve Collins.

Jesus is in the sleeping bag
stopping over
he comes round anytime he likes.
Right time, wrong time
he don't mind.
Foxes have holes, birds have nests
but the Son of Man has the sofa.

He's poking around the fridge
which needs defrosting.
Old sins stuck in the ice box
fruit gone bad
Leftovers still left over
he throws them out.
I guess I should clean up but i never get much warning.
Its embarrassing
but I'd still rather he came.

We sit up late talking
where we've been
where we're going next
he's already bought some tickets
all i have to do is take time off work.
Good night rustle in the corner.
The room feels warmer
with him in it.

yahoo made it!

to the end of the 24 hour youth councils! It was pretty awesome I tell you, but without a doubt soooo knackering! Note to anyone ever considering a 24 hour thing (it is worth it to save $$$ and to fit loads of stuff in) don't start at 10:30 PM! There was not one awake moment for anyone! Glory, what were we thinking.
Rowan Castle and Nathan Rowe from Ozzy spoke and did music. They were excellent. Such troopers; amazingly open hearts towards God and what he wants to do, and a flipping great laugh.
We ate giant bananna splits out of drain pipes, went on a sunrise breakfast walk, painted, contemplated, put on a market day for the community, went on a 4AM car rally, got mobilised for social action. Wowza. Young people rock. God rocks.

I am at Tims school. Have just talked about Fair Trade, challenged them to make their school Fair Trade and they are well up for it- young people wanna be activists ay. They just need the encouragement. It was hard though cos my tired head feels like it is full of mud and no brains. Wah. More sllleeeeeepppp.


YC's and Martin Buber (na he's not coming)

Off to Youth Councils (Salvation Army annual youth event). We are doing a 24 hour non stop thing. I am excited, I just don't know if I am excited about it, or excited that soon it will be over.... I REALLY like to sleep (its a genetic hobbie passed down from my Nana and it is healthy for me. )
But, yeah... YC's will be awesome. Anyway, I'm leaving so here is quite a quintessential quote from Buber-

"Genuine religiousity has nothing in common with the fancies of romantic hearts or with the self-pleasure of indulgent souls, or with the clever mental excercises of a practiced intellectuality. Genuine religiousity is doing. It seeks to carve the unconditioned out of the matter of this world. The face of God rests, invisible, in an earthen block; it must be wrought, carved, out of it. To engage in this work means to be religious, nothing else."

i kill things

The other day tim and I were having abit of the old outside coffee drinking when I looked over onto our little deck thing and was like AAAAARGGGHH somone has stolen by beloved plants and has replaced them with little dried up twigs stuck in dirt how DARE they.
It took only seconds to realise that no, indeed, these were my beloved plants....the ones I had bought, along with potting mix from The Warehouse (where everyone gets a bargain) and had compassionatley planted in two striking flax bags. I had nurtured and cared for them, and been proud of their beauty and function (one was an urrb- basil?- and another was a pretty pink flowery thing) for at least 2, maybe 2 and a half, weeks. That was months ago now. And as I found out you simply can't neglect botany for that long. They have felt death's sting at my hand that knoweth not a splash of nurturing ability.
(There is totally a lesson there; at the end of this Great Creative Story of Life all plants look like little dry twigs stuck in dirt.)


bashed up barmen and a plethora of piety

There are two captivating and connected articles in the World section of today’s paper. The first is about this new bar in China which provides body building male models for the customers to vent their anger on. You can do anything to them, scream at them give them a bashing, and if that doesn’t work they’ll provide counselling. Yes, yes, it may be a crafty and profitable ruse but what if it is just some acute community workers attempting to meet a need in an innovative way?!

The other article is deliciously funny. Its from the LA Times, and has the headline “Mayor: “In Gods Name, no more churches” and is about the overload of churches in Stafford, Texas. There are 51 tax exempt churches in this small town and they are a drain on the towns economy. Everyone apart from the church leaders/goers has had enough!
Here’s an excerpt:

"I don't hate God. I'm not against America and apple pie," Willis said. "We just have to protect what's left for commercial development."

Lawyers researching ways to stop church growth here will report back to city leaders in about six weeks, Scarcella said.
Lola Onita, assistant pastor at Jesus House Texas, said churches should be allowed to spread unfettered in a country that respects religious freedom. "People need a place to worship and hear the word of God," she said.

But Nilda Martinez, who owns a flower shop between two churches, has had enough. "The churches, they're everywhere here," she said. "There are too many; the city should control it. It hurts the city when you don't have enough businesses paying taxes."

Willis said he asked the last six applicants why they wanted to build a church in Stafford. "Every one of them said they prayed about it, and God said to come here," he said. "I can't compete with that, so here we are."

Haha. But how in the world are they connected Lucy Lu, I hear you beg the question.
Well if more church leaders/planters/goers took a green tea leaf out of the Chinese entrepreneurs book we would have adventurous churches that gave different methods a crack, exploring ways to benefit-add life and energy to- the community. There’s no need for bricks and mortar, just more creativity!

(BTW, Justin just did a fab old post about church etc.)




I was having a bit of a whingarama to dad on the phone the other day about the nature of bureaucracy and how long it takes to get things actioned (probably about the Fair Trade proposal which has spent about 8 months in no mans land). I'm all about blaming bureacracy for absolutley everything. Anyway, dad said simply that it works the other way round too; slow to start stuff but also slow to stop you doing stuff. Hurray.

I once wrote an essay about the ridiculousness of bureaucracy, it sorta went:

theocracy- Gods got the power
democracy- we've got the power
autocracy-i've got the power
bureaucracy- the wooden desk has the power

Im pretty sure I got an a+ for it. My proffessor was nuts though.

From Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis

"What's disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth. Poverty, injustice, suffering- they are all hells on earth and as Christians we oppose them with all our energies."


the mayor loves us

Got a letter from the Mayor. He loves us!

Na Lam Ma! (trying out my Burmese skillz)

Last night I went to the Refugee Centre in Mangere and finally met the family I am to journey with over the next few months. They are from Burma, a mum and dad and a 10 year old girl. They speaketh not a word of English!
Halfway through the evening we got some help from a passing interpreter at which point the dad shared that 6 months ago in Thailand their two sons age 7 and 10 died in a car crash. It was an overwhelming evening.
Excited about being able to be their friend, that is a true thing.
If there are anyway kiwis interested in volunteering with refugees you can check out the RMS website.


this morning

Campbell is presenting our Fair Trade proposal to cabinet this morning! (Cabinet is the SA's national decision makers)
Will keep you posted.

meetings etc

Went to Wellington yesterday for a Make Poverty History planning meeting, for the Month of Mobilisation coming up from 16th September to 17th October (WORLD POVERTY DAY). Will post more on how we can action it later.

Anyway, at meetings like this I realise that I am a bit of a recluse ay. People network and all I want to do is escape and read a book/visit art galleries by myself. Sometimes I yearn to be around people. But it is Very Rare. Which makes me think that maybe I'm not cut out for this policy thing because it's all about The HobNob.