Monday, August 28, 2006

I have a question.

I hear this statement daily. When I do, my knees start to wobble and occasionally I break out in a cold sweat! "What now?!" I think to myself. "What could you possibly want to ask that you haven't already?!"

So, I thought I'd throw some of these questions to the blog to see if you can give any more satisfactory responses than I seem to mumble!

Feel free to add illustrations that may be new, creative and different.

And now, for today's question:
If jealousy is a sin, why does the Bible describe God as a jealous god?

(also along those lines is statements such as 'Jesus sinned because he got angry in the temple.')

Responses?

FYI: We were talking about the Messiah in a class today and one student excitedly exclaimed, "Oh! That's like the big one on the Lion King!" to which I replied, "No, hon. That's MUFASAH. Slightly different." During that same lesson we were watching a clip from the Jesus video and another student asked, "Is that really Jesus acting in this?" ... ahh!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

first class sunday school


I can't not post this. Read and scratch your head.





But it's okay for us. We only have first class!

Party Party

Perhaps this is the sort of dramatic production Pete should engage in.

If you can watch it all the way to the end you're doing better than me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

should a christian engage in 'secular' art?

Dear Friends,

I'd love your ideas and advice on something I'm thinking about at the moment.

This semester I'm doing a poetry writing course at UQ. I'm loving it. Seriously loving it*. I feel like I've found my home. I sit in class thinking "How cool is this? This is what I've always wanted to be doing!"

I've done a bit of writing in the last couple of years, but until last month everything I wrote was explicitly Christian. But now I'm enjoying the freedom of writing on anything I like. Anything. Herein lies the problem. I throw myself into whatever I'm writing about. I do my best to imagine every angle of it, explore every emotion. I need to if I'm to come up with convincing and fresh words. This is fine (even edifying) if I'm writing on a particular doctrinal point, but what if my poem is about, well... the darker side of life? The world and the human experience outside of the garden?

Can christians do this without becoming overly enmeshed in the world?

I hate the thought that christians should only produce 'christian' art, but I feel the danger for myself in moving too much into the secular world.

What do you think? Has anyone had similar experiences?


* I'm the mature-aged student in the class that everyone hates. Not only do I do all the prescribed readings, I often go looking for more...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Treasure of Jesus

After bagging out Dave so much for his Muscial Musings, I realise that I'm putting myself on the line a little bit here! However, one of my students played me this song today and I thought I'd share the lyrics with others who haven't had the privilige of hearing it. Apparently it's off the new Steven Curtis Chapmin album, All Things New. The music to these simple lyrics is really beautiful and quite stirring (think 'You Raise Me Up' - not the Westlife version).

I made the comment a little while ago that we could try showing the world a little more of the the majesty of God's grace in order to make him 'more attractive' to people. We can't make him any better than he already is but I think we can reflect Jesus to the world in varying measures and in doing so, make the concept of a relationship with God more or less attractive to those considering Jesus.

?

Appreciate any thoughts on this.


Treasure of Jesus

What can I do
How can I live
To show my world
The treasure of Jesus

What will it take
What could I give
So they can know
The treasure He is

And if I can sing
Let my song
Be full of His glory
If I can speak
Let my words be full of His grace
And if I should live or die
Let me be found
Pursuing this prize
The One that alone satisfies
The treasure of Jesus


Thursday, August 17, 2006

There are easier ways to make money.

Very exciting. I just got my first CCLI cheque.

Ready for it?

$13.56

Wow!

[And it cost me $70 to register as a song owner!]

Monday, August 14, 2006

iGod: Repentance Made Easy

Having trouble repenting? Try iGod*.

Me: Hi.
God: Hello. What is your name?
Me: Simone
God: That's a very nice name, Simone.
Me: I have sinned.
God: Tell me your sins, child.
Me: murder, vice, adultery, greed...
God: Are you a student?
Me: um... yes.
God: Really. How about that.
Me: So am I forgiven?
God: Aha. I think you've improved a great deal.
Me: improved, maybe. But forgiven?
God: Are we still talking about forgiven? Are you really a ""?
Me: yes
God: Awesome.
Me: okay then, bye.
God: See you later. OK with me too.

*note: iGod is meant to be used for fun. A sense of humour is recommended.

Never Alone 3 - Recorded Version

Thanks for everyone's input. This got recorded the other day. It should be available in a couple of months from emu music.

Never Alone

We're not alone, for Christ is here
Immanuel our God come near
We're not alone, for to our world
Jesus has come, eternal word.
And as he speaks, our souls laid bare
Naked, ashamed, sin is made clear
And yet he clothes us in his love
Never alone, Christ is with us.


The longest walk, earth's darkest day
The pressing crowd, his mounting pain
A heavy load of grief and shame
Breathless that we should breathe again.
"Father forgive them," comes his cry
Silence from God blackens the sky.
A creeping dread in every heart
Lost in the world now God departs.


The dawn will come, the sun will rise
Out of the grave we'll see hope¹s light.
Tomb opened wide, stone rolled away
Morning has come, a brand new day.
"He isn't here," the angel said.
"He is alive no longer dead."
Our hearts are lifted, souls raised high
Christ is with us, Christ is our life.


Never alone is now our cry
In joy, in grief, in lonely sin.
Never alone for Christ is ours
He lives in us, we live in him.
And till we reach that final day
When fears are gone, cast far away
We'll live secure, trust in his love,
Never alone, Christ is with us.

SAR 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Melodic Musings #1

Nickelback's latest song "Savin' Me" has been getting a lot of radio time recently - on 96five anyway, and I assume on other stations too. I reckon it's pretty good musically, if you like this sort of thing, which I do. But what really fascinates me about this song is the lyrics (in full below).

As far as I know, the guys in Nickelback don't have any interest in Christianity. But it seems as though they recognise that they're in need of salvation. From something powerful, by someone other than themselves. If I was a friend or family of one of them, it would look like a golden opportunity to share the gospel of Christ's eternal salvation.

My mind spins a bit during the chorus too - he know's something is wrong, he wants to change and be better, or at least different, but the last line is almost desparing in the question: is he even worth saving?

What does everyone else think? How do we help other people recognise their need for salvation? (That's pre-evangelism iirc). Can we honestly and truly pray for people in the public eye like this to be saved? Should there be more Melodic Musings, or should I quit before I get further behind? :)


Savin' Me by Nickelback
Prison gates won't open up for me
On these hands and knees I'm crawlin'
Oh, I reach for you
Well I'm terrified of these four walls
These iron bars can't hold my soul in
All I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me

Heaven's gates won't open up for me
With these broken wings I'm fallin'
And all I see is you
These city walls ain't got no love for me
I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for you
Come please I'm callin'
And all I need from you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me
Hurry I'm fallin'

And all I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me
Hurry I'm fallin'

Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pet Peeve #4: Theologians in the Wild

I know that most Bellevue Tce readers won't care about this, but I'm going to write it anyway...

In our (beloved) denomination, when a minister doesn't 'have' a church, he is considered a 'Minister at Large.' Many such men are tireless in their love and care for God's church and are wonderful to have around. One can imagine, however, a 'minister at large' who is truly 'at large'. Having no paddock of his own to roam in, he runs from field to field, knocking over fences and generally making a nuisance of himself.

Inspired by the term 'minister at large', I've coined another: Theologians in the Wild. The right and most natural home for theologians is the church. Their concerns should ultimately be the building up of believers and they should be involved in some kind of pastoral ministry (not necessarily full time). A 'theologian in the wild' is a theologian who has left his/her natural habitat and gone ferral - often in the academy.

And this peeves me. Because we need our cleverest theologians with us - looking at the bible with us, giving us insights into tricky systematics, helping us fight heresy and resist laziness and simplism in our own bible reading. And they need us - to remind them that not everyone has a 170+ IQ and that there's a big world out there waiting to hear the gospel. But where are they?

I'm still waiting for "Barth for Beginners" to be written. Or perhaps "Bonhoeffer for Babies". Or "Torrance for Toddlers." Any takers?

[end of rant]

Monday, August 07, 2006

Pray For Rain

No, I'm not talking about the great but short-lived 90s band PFR, but about something Rob H mentioned on Sunday morning.

Apparently Premier Pete has asked the churches to pray for rain to break the drought. I've got no problem with that - I've been doing it for ages already, as have a lot of other people. But I wonder, is PP just doing it to cover all his bases (will he get the nearest Hindu priest to offer sacrifices for rain as well?), or is he so desperate that he's clutching at whatever he can, or does he genuinely believe that God can break the drought?

I guess only he can answer those questions, but I'm also pondering how people will react. If God chooses to break the drought now, will people acknowledge that and worship Him in thanks, or will they just go on with their merry lives? And if God doesn't choose to break the drought now, how long will it take for people to start along the track we saw in Ezekiel last night "God isn't there, He's not listening"?

I don't know if there are answers to any of these questions, but I've asked them anyway...

Now I'm off to keep praying for rain... and looking for a new umbrella.

bellevue tce

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Why Mommy is a Democrat

Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."


What a great idea*! Anyone got ideas for an Australian version?

* sarcasm alert!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

now this is spooky!

Attention parents. Need a hand getting your baby to sleep? Then you need Zaky.














Zaky is an ergonomic pillow that simulates the weight, touch and feel of the hands of a caring parent. If you’ve ever wished for a “hand” to leave behind so that your baby would feel as if you’ve never left the room, your prayers have been answered. For only $35 you can have a good night's sleep. Can you resist that?

Alas, I don't think my worst sleeper would have fallen for it.

Governments?

A lot of people in my circle of friends, seem to think George Bush is a bit of a silly-bugger (can I use that word on the Blog?). Now, I have difficulty defending him at the best of times but I was confronted by a friend of a different persuasion the other day who said something along these lines:
"Be careful not to judge the leaders in Government. Don't forget they have been placed there by God."

Since I regularly paricipate in Bush-bashing (and Howard-bashing), I have been thinking about her comments. However, I have difficulty with that concept, especially when I don't see the 'leaders' leading in a very compassionate or 'Godly' (not to mention intelligent?) manner. However, I am aware the idea is in the Bible. Any thoughts?

BTW: A friend at work seems to think this idea (of leaders being appointed by God) is of the Middle Ages and if we believe it then we should go and live back then...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

bellevue tce

Hi all,

Danny Allen forwarded this to me, and probably to some of you as well. For those of you who haven't read it yet:

The Democrats have set up a survey on their website in an effort togather support for their campaign to have Church and State completely separated. Take five minutes to tell them what you think about issues such as religious education, school chaplaincy, and prescribed abortion -- if enough of us complete the survey they might end up with some results that they'd rather not publish!

http://www.democrats.org.au/survey2/survey/GodGovt_v2/

Dave