Thursday, January 31, 2008

Apple Core – Organize better

Without fail the lapse into self assertive ministry is around every corner of our daily dealings. The temptation exists that we forget the workings of God in our daily life. The sense of working out our salvation with ‘fear and trembling’ is no doubt to be taken seriously in the light of our ‘to do’ lists and crammed calendars. The worst of it is that people take second place to projects, administration and important church deliberations. In the mass of the worlds guru’s helping us organize our lives the covenant of heart and soul to God and others needs to be constituted deep in our daily preparations and its out workings.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cosmic angst

Sometimes the world is perceived as all against me, the feeling that every negative force is networked to trip up, to upset, to disengage vision, to detract, to spoil and corrode the security of who I am and why I am. The overbearing cosmic forces pressing in upon me and the paralysis of action and thought sets in. A breathless moment, a gasp for oxygen a cry for hope. It is the journey of the human soul in quest for spiritual union with God. The journey is not about mundane musings, impotent measures or tired rituals. The dynamics are beyond our domain names and prescribed limitations. Then the Other bursts in and all is changed as the psalmist writes about the transcendence of this God we serve, minister to and love with all our heart, soul and mind -
“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
11He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
12Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
13The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice.*
14And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
15Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kingdom risks in worship

Reading a prayer by Andrew Wood, I identified with the words "Where can we join you, except in the taking of risks for the sake of the Kingdom?" Why this resonates is that I am doing something different in Lent that will shake up the lazy spiritual bones of the congregation. We are trying some intergenerational worship by bringing the evening worship service into the morning (more traditional) service and hopefully trying to experience the sense of being One in Christ. We are small enough to do it and hopefully we will perceive our worship together differently by the end of it all. It will no doubt ask the questions Jesus asked the first disciples "What are you looking for?" It is never easy stirring thing up like this. You sometimes wake up in a fright wondering if you are doing the right thing and then other times you are absolutely convinced it is what is needed. Oh, we only wish ministry was easy!!

Loving God, where can we find you, but in the lives of those in need? Where can we join you, except in the taking of risks for the sake of the Kingdom? And yet, God of grace, you find us, you join us. In our living and in our praying, you are there. May we keep alert to the possibilities brought to us by your son, Jesus, and ride the wave of your Spirit. Amen.

(Andrew Wood, Southampton District Chair)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

South Africa 'Black Out' - A Nando's perspective

In every crisis there lies a laugh. It's the only way to deal with our anger and frustration. Mismanagement is not acceptable regardless its history, but so is the incessant bickering as if we have nothing to do with it. Energy is scarce bro! Save it.
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Prayer, music and meditation the Ignation way - internet resource

This is resource on the internet which I use from time to time. It is a daily means of prayer, biblical meditation and worship that differs from all the rest. You get a sense that you are in a monastic setting with bells, beautiful music, softly spoken voices and the presence of God is almost tangible.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The mundane....

The busiest January ever! We have hosted twenty Lutheran’s from ‘Trinity’ in California who have come to build an extension to our mission in Mpophomeni for the Masibumbane mission project. Currently I am in the middle of a January seminar training for student ministers which is hosted regionally as of this year. It is good to be in touch with the education system of the church again. To be stimulated by the guest speakers and having to read the set material for the probationer’s. The John Wesley College is saying a good-bye to Pretoria and will soon be in the heart of Pietermaritzburg just down the road from me. It has caused some heartache but I believe the setup in Pietermaritzburg is conducive and it provides a rich ecumenical environment. I will hopefully get to some blogging in the next week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Worship resource for lectionary - Good stuff

I am always ready to find another site that shows off new liturgy in contemporary forms that we minister's (pastor's in other parts of the globe) can use from week to week. I have just stumbled over this site and it has free resources that look very handy.

By the way, sorry for the slow blogging. Somebody stole the cables somewhere that link to my DSL line !!! Ja, well, No, fine as we say in sunny South Africa.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

'Last Orders' - book about people dealing with grief

As some of you will know I have a fetish for English literature that gets the heart and brain matter ticking. Here is a Booker prize winner that is deep and telling of the human heart in dealing with such matters as grief. Four men, related to the deceased in different ways obey the last wishes of their friend and father to scatter his ashes from the Margate pier. Each chapter is narrated by each of the characters and you get glimpses of how they related to the deceased and how all their lives are interwoven and shaped by each other. I suppose it is just a slice of real life... my favourite.
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Song Select - great Worship resource

If you don't know about this resource you need to know! If you have your CCLI license you can add to it and get access to all the music scores for all the songs downloaded to your PC (or Mac of course). I have found it very helpful moving into a new church and not knowing all the songs I have been able to download the music score and get 'with it' much quicker.
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SongSelect SongSelect™
Lead Sheets, Lyric Downloads and Sound

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Violence in South Africa

I am shocked this morning to open my newspaper and read the news of a murder of somebody I knew and at whose restaurant I have eaten on numerous occasions. All my love and prayers to her friends and to the young gentlemen who used to work with her. The last time I was at the restaurant we were commiserating about crime as only South African's can. We had just had a burglary and we discussing it with the young waiter and he was telling us how he and Yvonne Cosson were terrified of the murders happening in Ramsgate and they hoped it wouldn't come close to them. It did, in a most brutal way. I am shocked and very sad... God bless Yvonne.
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Top KZN French chef brutally murdered, burnt
08 Jan 2008
Dries Liebenberg
The charred body of a celebrated chef and restaurateur has been found outside her home at Ramsgate, where she is presumed to have been overpowered while asleep, and brutally murdered.
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