Sunday, February 13, 2011

U2 concert 3hrs before

We have a long wait but this should be an incredible concert. Over 100 000 people. Support acts starts @ 8.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Efficiency - the Western demise (or not?)

I was taken by a quote by Thomas Merton. For a bio. of Merton check out
He was asked what he thought the worst problem was facing Western civilization. Amongst the many things we might think he would say he replied: "efficiency". 
In a nutshell we are just so obsessed in being efficient, streamlining our vision statements, throwing out the 'dead wood' and giving medals to the 'achievements'.  Unfortunately in doing so we leave no time with those who need our time, hospitality, resources and acceptance in their inefficiency.  I think we are often driven by our need to be efficient and effective and loose the plot by ticking off success with the completion of our own agendas.  

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Mission

standing notably tall
above corrugated iron and tyres
the green head blows proud 
in this place of shade where my
children swing safely in branches
to and fro, to and fro, to and fro

when hungry I reach for low hanging fruit 
then climb branches for a view, 
away from my flat life 
to picnic with honest friends 
allowing ants crawl over ankles 
and bees balance on bottle rims

there I lean back on the trunk 
to make myself feel young
against seed planted years ago 
by missionaries who loved us
their roots far below 
stuck down firm in 
the mud of our lives 
soaking up our spirit 
into things earthy and eternal

here I taste the fruit of my ancestors 
they who dug the hole 
and danced with joy 
that I may lie here and hear my children 
sweetly swinging, sweetly swinging

* The mission brings health to a community once devastated by HIV/AIDS but now bearing stories of hope

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas comes to Mpophomeni

I have shared on this blog before my involvement with the HIV/AIDS mission in Mphophomeni, a town outside of Howick. Yesterday, when asking the group what stopped them praying one of the answers was "self image." The manner in which this person said this I realized that there was great significance or lack of it in her answer. She struggled to pray because she felt insignificant. At that moment Luke's account of the coming of Jesus flooded into my mind and I was able to share how Jesus was born in the most insignificant places amongst the most insignificant people and I felt the spirit of Christmas flood into that room like I have never felt before. I think it is those who know they have little who are most surprised by Christmas.
It would be great to hear any stories or experiences where you have felt the true spirit of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Praying through a Crisis

I don't know about you but have you ever felt worse after praying
through an event that has left you depressed, anxious or broken?
Sometimes by going to pray we can actually worsen the impact of this
event in us if we are not careful. By going into a a time of prayer
we may inadvertently spend too much time on the event itself and it
becomes more of an obsession than a time of healing and freedom. The
Catholic writer Ronald Rolheiser says, "Prayer is focus on God, not
upon ourselves". The image of a mother and child helps us understand
this. The child is hurt and when it goes to her mother the
overwhelming presence and love of that mother is the comfort and the
healing they receive. The problem so often with us is that we go to
pray and spend more time churning over the event that we don't receive
the healing of the mother. I suppose this is where the discipline of
private worship is so important. I am going to try this the next time
I have a speed wobble with somebody or some issue. I will endeavour
to spend more time worshiping God in prayer than fixating on my
emotions and feelings. I am convinced it will not be easy but I am
also convinced it is the truth.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ghost Park - Poem

Down on the plain the buffalo ghosts
graze in midday sun.
Higher on the plateau amongst the acacia,
giraffe necks sway transparent
in timeless azure.
The river snakes down the basin
to where the hippo’s are dead rocks,
still, as water passes.
Elephant shapes are a sight for sore eyes
as the herd disappears over the intrepid ridge,
and if one squints your eyes tight,
so tight you can barley see,
the shadow of the lion lies there
lazying under the tree
in the African mirage.

*Gazing over the basin formed by the Drakensburg mountains one can only imagine what used to be.