Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
I'm so glad that Nick Hanover has started blogging again.
I was becoming seriously concerned that he'd popped his clogs or something, until I started seeing mentions of his social activities on Anita's blog , that weighty tome describing the whirwind domestic & social life of Lard's big sister! ;-)
Nick is a top Scottish fellah - a marathon running, sweet sounding singer of an East London Sally Army Pastor. As long as he keeps blogging, he's worth a read.
Good to have you back, Nick!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Late to the party as ever, I've just discovered a great Flickr set of pics from a conference held in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.
There's something really emotive & descriptive about these images that somehow have touched a place in my heart, about 4 or 5 months after the event.
The conference was called "Aggressive Christianity", which I guess chimes with The Salvation Army's current grass roots exploration & revisiting of it's beginnings & orginal mission through initiatives like Roots, ArmyBarmy, JAC et al.
Just enjoy the pics!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
It's not the first time that I've pointed towards those good folks at Rockharbor, but I make no apologies. Some of the stuff on their site really resonates with me, so I'm happy to add to the previous post.
Check out this awesome piece:
"Jesus has been, and always will be, a threat to the established order of things. If we understand his birth as a revolution, then we may glimpse the revolution that his life will bring.
Instead of being born into a well established and powerful family, Jesus was born to a couple of teenagers who couldn’t even stay with their family in Bethlehem, most likely because of the scandal of her pregnancy before their official marriage.
This is how love invaded our planet. This is how the revolution began. It’s unlikely, even absurd. But the last thing it should be is boring or predictable or explainable. This should incite passionate joy or passionate distain. This is either the greatest thing to ever happen orthe most ridiculous idea ever suggested. That God should come among us as one of the “least of these.”
Not only did Jesus’ birth turn everything upside down; so did his life and what he taught. You must die to live. You must lose to gain. Weakness is strength. Joy exists in the midst of suffering. Power is restraint. Love those who persecute you. Pray for those who hate you. It is not the strong or the wealthy who will inherit the earth, but the meek. The kingdom of God won’t be given to the religious leaders, but to the spiritual idiots (the poor in spirit). Mourners, peacemakers, the merciful, and the persecuted can all find blessing in the kingdom of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the most subversive man to have ever walked the earth.
This is revolution.
If you follow Jesus, you follow the most radical man who ever existed. He marches into the world with kindness, peace, and love, and offers people a whole new way of looking at the world and living within it. His is the most radical message you can preach or live. He turns everything upside down and calls us to do likewise. Jesus is not vitally committed to our comfort and safety; he is committed to the advancing of his kingdom revolution in the hearts of people everywhere.
In talking about what his kingdom is like, Jesus announced, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing. And forceful men take hold of it.” In other words, God is doing something so powerful and dangerous that only those who are willing to embrace it with forceful intensity may take hold of the movement of God’s kingdom. The revolution of Jesus isn’t for the faint of heart or the middle-of-the-road. It isn’t safe. It isn’t comfortable. It costs us a great deal to say yes. We take hold of the revolution by abandoning ourselves to Jesus and letting go of everything else.
Will we choose to follow a safe Jesus of suburbia – who exists to provide us with health, wealth, comfort, and happiness? Or will we press on to find the Jesus of Nazareth, the most dangerous and radical man to ever walk the face of the earth? We want the real thing. We don’t want to worship the counterfeits and settle for less than the revolution Jesus brings. We are moving beyond the unbiblical idea that the primary work of Jesus is giving us a ticket to heaven, and now understand that he is asking us for everything, to stand with him against all that is unloving and untrue in our world.
Together, we are pursuing this revolution of Jesus."
Hat tip to the SayConnect site for the image.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I usually really struggle when I see my denomination criticized in the media. It kinda hurts, and sometimes I want to yell "that's not the Sally Army I recognize or belong to!"
Recently on various blogs I’ve seen The Salvation Army described as “a very conservative fundie church”, “fundamentalist conservative organization” or “notoriously homophobic” …and it doesn’t seem to chime with those wonderful folks I spend so many of my waking hours with. Those people I grew up with and watched their love in action for years on end. It doesn’t seem to resonate with the diverse broad global Christian Church that we are. It’s hard to match some perceptions with my reality.
Having said all of that, we’re not beyond criticism – we do wrong things. Lots of them….and often! Let’s be humble – take the criticism on board when it’s justified – and be gracious in our response when it is not. Sometimes it’s good to be metaphorically hit square between the eyes, just to keep you alert and awake.
I chose this beautiful picture of a Salvationist, my sister in Christ, to illustrate this post because sometimes we can think we have it all down – we know the score, we’ve got it covered. If you think you know The Salvation Army….this slightly eccentric, uniform wearing bunch of do-gooders…..…this shiny shoes & short hair religious music machine….this huge corporate social agency seemingly rolling in Kroc cash…think again.
That ain’t the whole picture. We are not always what we seem – even to ourselves
God bless you my sister in Christ.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Today my beautiful little girl turns four years old. I'm so grateful to God for the wonderful gift we've been given in our 2 kids Mia & Noah
Today we celebrate the day Mia came to earth to live with us, and bring so much happiness to our family.
Thank you Jesus!
Friday, February 02, 2007
Those lovely folks at Vox Veniae have pointed me towards Joshua Longbrake's highly inspirational I AM THE CHURCH blog.
This is what they said:
"We stumbled onto this blog where people submitted their personal photos depicting themselves as the Church as opposed to buildings, institutions and organizations. We found the photo project to be beautiful and inspiring."
Gotta say "I AGREE!"
Thanks to Joshua for the pic