Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Roxburgh Journal...

A quick skype call to Nick gave me an insight. Nick in the kitchen listening to podcasts has inspired me. I've just finished a mammoth ironing session with the Roxburgh Journal this is a great resource from an ever improving Allelon.

If your thing is mission this is a great resource . Whether you want to express it within an emerging 'fresh' expression or within an existing ecclesiology, seeking to plant or transition, these podcasts so far I am sure will resource you.

So far we have had....

Conversations from New Zealand with Steve Taylor:
Engaging Missional Imagination in a Traditional Church

Missional Life Emerges in the Local Church with Mike Goheen

Church Transformation and Culture Change with Darryl Dash


The FRWY in the Neighborhood with Pernell

... all worth it but it was good hearing about Pernell's experience of planting a Salvation Army expression of church within a coffee shop.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chelsea 1 Man Utd 0

Not really sure Manchester Utd turned up today!

Report here

Nice to finish the season with a well deserved FA cup final victory even with the third team!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Sacraments - some light relief...!

The sacraments gets another airing at theRubicon (here).

Grant brings some light relief to the debate by pointing to this video for reasons not to change the SA position. The infant baptism is my favourite - as I am not sure who was baptising who!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Paschal Cycle...

You know what...?

I look back to my formative years growing up in TSA, there is a lot I am thankful for? I might know the fingering for C# on my BBb tuba, but there seems to be so much that I feel acutely ignorant about that I wish I had stumbled on earlier.

Thanks to a friend sending me a chapter of Ronald Rolheiser's Seeking Spirituality: Guidelines for a Christian Spirituality for the 21st Century to check out, I stumbled into the Paschal Cycle - a journey from Good Friday to Pentecost. Rolheiser puts it like this:-

  • Good Friday: 'the loss of life - real death'
  • Easter Sunday: 'the reception of new life'
  • The Forty days: 'a time for readjustment to the new and for grieving the old'
  • Ascension: 'letting go of the old and letting it bless you, the refusal to cling'
  • Pentecost: 'the reception of new spirit for the new life that one is already living'

Or in other words...

  • 'Name your deaths'
  • 'Claim your births'
  • 'Grieve what you have lost and adjust to the new reality'
  • 'Do not cling to the old, let it ascend and give you its blessing'
  • 'Accept the spirit of the life that you are in fact living'
This cycle is something we can engage in daily in reflection. Rolheiser suggests different areas that represents a death, whether that be our youth, wholeness, our dreams, our honeymoons even certain ideas of God and the Church.

Today is Ascension Day - Rolheiser would have us reflect on what we are clinging onto that we need to let go of as we prepare for Pentecost.

Bibliography Tool

This looks like it could be useful.


Monday, May 14, 2007

A beauitiful Irony...

This weekend I met for the first time and spent a few hours with Geoff Ryan of theRubicon fame. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting this guy.

As we drank take out coffee and chatted about TSA's proclivity towards the poor, fragmented communities and dysfunctional families, the irony of sitting in grounds of Holy Trinity Brompton - home of alpha and all things beautiful - while the light faded on the opulence of Knightsbridge wasn't lost on me!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 9/9

Children of Light

This is the end of Dallas Willard! He finishes with a good section on what he calls 'Children of Light' a summary of what his book Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ is all about - it is a good place to start should you want to read what is a dense and in places a pretty hard read if you are a 'cover to cover' person. Here is the section in full:-

Thought life. Perhaps the first thing we notice when we get to know their inner life is what they think about, or what is on their mind. They think about God. He is never out of their mind. They love to dwell upon God and upon his greatness and loveliness, as brought to light in Jesus Christ. They adore him in nature, in history, in his Son and in his saints. One could even say they are 'God-intoxicated' (Acts 2:13; Eph 5:18), though no-one has a stronger sense of reality and practicality than they do. Their mind is filled with biblical ideas of God's nature, actions, and his plans for the world. They do not dwell upon evil. It is not a big thing in their thoughts. They are sure of its defeat, but they still deal with it appropriately in specific situations.

Feelings. And then perhaps we notice - and small wonder given what has already been observed - that the emotional life of these children of light is characterized by love. That is how they invest their emotions. They love lots of good things and they love people. They love their life and who they are. They are thankful for their life, even though it may contain many difficulties, even persecution (Matt 5:10-12). They receive all of it as God's gift, or at least as his allowance, and they know his goodness and greatness will outlast any trouble they might have, and that they will live with him forever. And so joy and peace are with them even in the hardest of times, even when they suffer unjustly. Because of what they have learned about God they are confident and hopeful and do not indulge thoughts of rejection, failure and hopelessness.

Will. Looking a little deeper we find that these children of light are devoted to doing what is good and right. Their will is habitually attuned to it, just as their mind and emotions are habitually homing in on Gad. They are attentive to rightness, to kindness, to helpfulness; and they find out about what people need, and try to do what is right and good in appropriate ways.

These are people who do not think first of themselves and what they want. and they really care very little about getting their own way. Paul wrote, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Phil 2:3-4), and these are easy and good instructions to them. They are abandoned to God's will and do not struggle and deliberate as to whether they will do what they know to be wrong. They do not hesitate to do what they know to be right. It is the obvious thing to do.

Body. That, of course, involves their bodies. Their body has been, trained to do good. It is constantly prepared to do what is right and good without thinking. And that also means that it does not automatically move into what is wrong, even contrary to their resolves and intentions before they can think.

Consequently, we do not see them always being trapped by what their tongue, facial expressions, eyes, hands, and so on have already done before they can think. For their body and its parts are consecrated to serve God and are habituated to being his holy instruments. These people instinctively avoid the paths of temptation. There is a freshness about them, a kind of quiet strength, and a transparency. They are rested and playful in a bodily strength that is
from God. He who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead has given life to their bodies through his Spirit who dwells in them.

Social relations. In their relationships with others they are completely transparent. Because they walk in goodness they have no use for deceit, and they achieve real contact or fellowship with others, especially other apprentices of Jesus. (1 John 1:7 and 2:10). These people do not conceal their thoughts and feelings, though they do not impose them upon every~ one. Because of their confidence in God they do not try to manipulate and manage others. Needless to say, in their social contexts they do not go on the attack, intending to use or to hurt others.

Soul, Finally, as you come to know these people, you see that all of the above is not just at the surface. It is deep, and, in a certain sense, it is effortless. It flows. That is, the things we have been describing are not things the children of light are constantly trying hard to do, gritting their teeth. Rather, these are features of life that well up out of souls which are at home in God.

Now for NT Wright's The Resurrection of the Son of God for my next worthy read!


Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 1/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 2/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 3/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 4/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 5/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 6/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 7/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 8/9

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 8/9

whether 'lip service piety' amounts to holiness, will probably remain an area that will continue to dog the church for as long as it already has done'

Transformation of the Soul

Willard's chapter on the soul is basically his conclusion. It is the coming together of all the elements he has explored, it is the culmination of the transformation of the thought life, of feelings, of the will and character, of the body and of the social dimension. In short the transformation of the soul amounts to what is running your life.

Willard calls the soul the 'deepest level of life and power in the human being' (pp 175) and introduces the term antinomian - which means against the law - in terms of what the transformation of the soul might look like. Pointing to religiosity he highlights the danger should we think that 'holding the law, and obedience to the law' is the answer to transformation of the soul.

Holiness I guess is the key word here, expressed through sanctification and consecration. A well worn track in SA tradition, however whether 'lip service piety' amounts to holiness, will probably remain an area that will continue to dog the church for as long as it already has done. Perhaps there is danger of reducing holiness to mere religion which is symptomatic to the disaster for spiritual formation that occurs when holiness ironically becomes an irrelevance to the life of Christ.

The transformation of the soul amounts to a life formed in Christlikeness that is not about cosmetic gritted attainment, but is about a deep sense of holiness that flows naturally from an inner life that is 'at home in God'. To arrive at that point whether through crisis or process - frankly who cares! - is to truly experience transformation of the soul.


Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 1/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 2/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 3/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 4/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 5/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 6/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 7/9

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cup Final Tickets....?

It is Anthony's fault I support Chelsea.

He didn't have to take me along to Stamford Bridge when I was 10, in the dark ages of bankruptcy and a huge East Stand. He didn't have to introduce me Tommy Langley, Clive Walker and Ray 'Butch' Wilkins. He didn't have to introduce me the atmosphere of The Shed. But he did.

Anthony is my big brother and he has a Cup Final ticket and I don't!! Anthony is going to Wem-ber-ley and I am not! I don't suppose anyone has a spare ticket and wants to become my friend?


Ten years ago we said goodbye to two great friends as they travelled back to Brisbane in Australia. Yesterday they popped by for the evening and Kate and I realised what great friends they still are! Today we said goodbye to Paul and Sue Holley again, I hope it isn't another ten years.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Joyeux Noel...

Thoroughly enjoyed this film over the weekend.

The film was created out of 'homage to the men who who taught us a lesson in humanity' and reflects the 1914 Christmas Day truce when British, French and German soldiers put aside their arms to exchange gifts, sing, celebrate Mass, play football and bury their dead. read more about the film here.

With strong themes of pacifism, resistance to authority, compassion, forgiveness, grace, humanity and respect - this a is a good film to get hold of.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Boots 07 - the aftermath...

A good weekend spent nestled somewhere in Hampshire, but pretty close to both Wiltshire and Dorset!

The highlight was being re-introduced to the apparently ancient Viking game of Kubb.

....oh yeah and Chelsea lost out to Manchester United in the Premiership... well done!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Boots 07

If you are going to Roots 07 - have a good time and travel safely.

As for us...

Boots 07 will be shared with RURALarmy sorry to all those who left the booking for our alternative celebration too late - remember to get in early for next year! If you are in Romsey of Hampshire area look out for us!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

9pm Thursday ...Oh no!

I don't tend to watch a lot of TV
but here's a dilema.

It is House on 5 or Hustle on BBC1.

Or I learn how to use the video again!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I have resisted the urge to point out Godtube having seen it a while back on Pernell's. The Times have run with it - here.

I can't but help warn any atheists that may read this insignificant little blog, that once they watch this video, they will be able to do nothing but admit the existence of God! Be warned - you know who you are - this could change your life ;o).

Godtube ............ honestly!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Many are the Mysteries...

I can't help wonder why in all the years I have watched football I have watched my team - whether that be England or Chelsea - win on penalties, I think twice!

Chelsea lose out of penalties