Friday, December 14, 2007
Nouwen quoted in Reviewing Leadership by Banks and Ledbetter
Friday, November 02, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Next time you pray or you are in a room with people praying, do yourself a favour and listen to what is being said, especially about God and then ask yourself, what we are saying, praying, what does that reveal about what we believe about God. As an example, 'God I just ask that you would touch hearts and minds here tonight'. Now what does that say about God? Does he not automatically touch hearts and minds? Does he not act unless we ask him (he is not sovereign)? He needs our wisdom as what to do? That we desire for people to know Him more than He does that is why we need to ask?
As far as I know and experience, the only reason I know God and desire for others to know Him, is because He has taken the initiative in encountering me. If anything I need His help to make me more aware of where and when He is touching hearts and minds so I can cooperate with Him.
CS Lewis in the movie Shadowlands says to a colleague who is angry with him for quitting his lecture post in remorse for his lost wife to take time to pray, accusing CS Lewis that prayer will not change her death and bring her back to life, Lewis says, 'I pray not because it changes God, but because it changes me'.
How I long for a more God-centered Theology and less a man-centered humanism.
Monday, August 06, 2007
McClaren, Stories of Emergence
David is asked by his brothers, 'why are you here? Have you come to watch us die?' Brothers who question the motive of a younger brother, left out of the ranks, anointed in front of them as the next choice! How many David's are being left on the side-lines because they don't look like they know what they doing, like they won't know what they doing? How many emerging leaders will remain just that, emerging!?
Even the King doubts his ability and questions whether he can succeed at the task. The church in the West is in a crisis. Decline has been the constant diet for two decades now but where are the David's? The Kings of denominations don't believe the David's of this generation can and have the ability to make a significant change.
The King finally agrees but gives David the blue print of how he will do it. We will employ a post-modern generation to make the changes we think should be made. Oh they can do the job, but with our resources and methods.
Tick-tock the time is running out.
Tinkering and window dressing aint gonna make the thing work. It is broken and it aint gonna get fixed. 'We need new forms of evangelism', but maybe its just that ethos that got ya in this mess in the first place! 'We need new forms of church that will appeal to a new generation', so that they too can just re-gergetate the same indigestion consumer orientated fast food dead religious crap?
Friday, August 03, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Why do we so arrogantly claim to know that which will cause others to stumble in hurt and disappointment? I have too many times deeply hurt others because I thought I knew better. I did not and as time revealed the rust and rot that gathered on my views of ignorance and pride, friendships and relationships, people with hearts and emotions lay poisons from the scars of my blows.
I salute you for being willing to risk and explore, ventured by love and festered by compassion. Not surrendering to the naive action of surrounding yourself only with and by that which agrees and gives security, I salute your bravery to vulnerability as you in broken love seep the wounds of broken dreams and promises.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Like most in my generation, I start to sweat a little when people ask me what I place at the top of a certain hierarchy, having that sinking feeling that I am always on the move means that what I say today may be different from what I say tomorrow, as it was different than what I said yesterday. Questions about the best film I have seen the greatest book I have read or the most inspiring music I have listened to all bring me to a stuttering silence
But so as not to avoid the question entirely, I guess recently I have valued the space Ikon has given me to learn. Not long ago we started up the Ikon evangelism project - I can hear the gasp - but this project is not about evangelising others but rather about being evangelised! We would visist groups such as the Russian Orthodox, the Quakers, the Muslims, the Jewish community etc. in order to listen, learn and be transformed. We also watched the 'Last Temptation of Christ' together and read Nietzsche's brilliant book The Antichrist.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I wrote upon
The corners of this eye
All wrongs done.
What payment were enough
For dying love?
I broke my heart in two
So hard I struck.
What matter? For I know
That out of rock,
Out of a desolate source,
Love leaps upon its course.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
When the Bible says God "rested" on the Sabbath day, it doesn't mean God got tired and took a break. It simply means that God entered those spaces and silences without which there would be no music. In the monastic tradition, the lectio divina was read out loud because as one heard the text and felt its vibrations, the monks believed that the words would sound in the depths of one's being, and the Bible's black letters would dance in the soul.
Scientists are still picking up those soundings. In fact, according to the most recent scientific findings it is sound waves that have shaped how the cosmos is structured. Let me quote this exactly so that you don't think I'm making something up: "Sound waves generated in the early universe may have helped orchestrate the striking pattern of galaxy clusters and huge voides seen in the sky today."
Mathematician/astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) produced his final masterpiece in 1619 entitled The Harmonies of the World in which the universe is presented as a symphony of sound. The five visible planets and the moon with their elliptical orbits constitute a six-part harmony motet,37 while the outer three planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had not been discovered yet) add the "rhythm section" in which Pluto beats the bass drum. Two researchers from Yale University -- Willie Ruff and John Rodgers -- put the "songs of the planets" into a synthesizer and made a recording of it (The Harmony of the World). David Deamer has composed a musical translation of DNA sequences he calls DNA Music.
The cosmos is more than some random vibrational matrix. From the innumerable vibrations the cosmos could choose, it only chooses those vibrations that make "harmonic sense" and ultimately "musical sense." The electron shell of the carbon atom, physicists tell us, follows the laws of harmonics. As Joachim-Ernst Berendt first pointed out, the tone scale C through A is the hexachord of Gregorian chant. Could it be that all carbon based life is actually built on the Gregorian chant? It is more than a metaphor to say that every atom sings a song. The very nuclie of all atoms make music.
Wind sweeps through the trees like a violin's bow,Rustling the leaves in boughs bended low.Steady, the ribbitting rhythm of frogsEchoes its temp through hollowed-out logs.The many-voiced brook as it babbles alongIs ever creating new words to the song.All Nature resounds the divine symphony,And upon the great stage, the dancer is me!
When in our Music
God is Glorified and adoration leaves no room for pride,
it is as though the whole creation cried Alleluia.
How often, making music, we have found a new dimension in the world of sound,
as worship moved us to a more profound Alleluia.
So has the church in liturgy and song,
in faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
borne witness to the truth in every tongue, Alleluia.
And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night when utmost evil strove against the light?
Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight: Alleluia.
Let every instrument be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always Alleluia.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
By Nicole Greatrex
Any music coming your way via Phil Nelson is guaranteed to be unique, extraordinary and a little eclectic.
Having led The Levellers and Aqualung to fame, the Brighton manager has recently taken a risk with brilliantly discordant band The Fallout Trust and now reveals his latest signing, Duke Special.
Wearing a brass-buttoned suit jacket and his hair in dreadlocks, The Duke - real name Peter Wilson - stood hunched over his piano for most of the set, crashing down on the keys in time to the beat of a huge bass drum.
With a clear yet strongly Irish-accented voice, he produced lushly romantic and ambitious sounds peppered with instrumental improvisations and Twenties-style music hall influences.
The mixture of both lighthearted and melancholic tracks from his album, Songs From the Deep Forest, included the beautiful duet, This Could Be My Last Day, and former single Last Night I Nearly Died. But the real highlight was current single Freewheel.
As the Duke balanced precariously on his stool and hit the piano so hard it budged across the stage, the song built to a heart-breaking climax of passionate vocals, crashing cymbals and violin flurries.
It was a performance strong and moving enough to show that manager Nelson has, unbelievably, struck gold yet again.