“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit. “No,” said Pooh humbly, “there isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”
รขโ‚ฌโ€ A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Not what you expect.
An interesting comment really.

Life throws some curious curveballs.
I do like to have things mapped out. “This is how it’ll happen, how I’ll do things”.

It’s a bit disconcerting when something does happen that is ‘anti’ your plan. Or not quite perfect in the way you’ve envisaged it. When you realise that you’ve picked the slightly less you-conventional route and work out a little later that you have, it tends to send the fire-engine of doubt screaming your way. No matter that the thing is still good, and perfectly okay really.

A bit like the elephant in the picture really… now I’m the one on the top moving perhaps towards the same goal but just from a very different perspective (in the mammal’s case – backwards and higher up) instead of plodding along.

I don’t know yet if it’s nicer from ‘the top’, it’s different, maybe it’s not my ideal, but it’s still good.

Many, many questions about how this will all play out but thankfully God is good enough to me to throw the odd reminder now and then that he is well and truly in control.

General Life

I’m not quite sure how to write about last night justly.

Young adults was very interesting. Jess H led it by running through a heap of… I guess you might call them maxims/principles re: the Christian life. Dualism > Holiness, Self Governed > Spirit Governed…
I can’t say I fully agreed with everything shared (whether that’s just due to insufficient thrashing of each out – there was a lot to cover) and my ‘filter’ was running full steam with many ‘Yes, but’s’. She did however do a very good job with what she had. I have much to think about and more to explore in depth. Three big cheers for this, I love it when I get something to take away.

Macca’s afterwards. The typical crew hung around later, Geoff, Tim O, Laura, Analise and myself. After the quiz and other random moments that had me laughing pretty hard (and I wont explain or it’d embarass Tim and make me look like an immature kid for laughing at fart related, bench seat vibration things).

Conversation took a smooth turn. Tim, Geoff, I and Laura (a bit) had a beautifully, intense, a little firey/confronting, deep conversation around erm… the ways of communicating things, open dialogue, love God – love your neighbor, community (wow too much was covered… I can’t even remember it all!). The kind of brilliant passionate conversation/debate/challenge that in participating in, makes me feel utterly alive.

If there’s one thing that gets me really excited and feeling like an evening has been spent in absolute best way possible is to have a conversation of that sort.

Yeah, I really can’t do the time justice.

Christianity General Life

Hebrews 11-13

I’ll be selfish, this one is really here just for me as a reminder.

Christianity General Life

Well, hello from uni. I’m in the Studio killing time until my next class – that being “Foundations of Design”, a new subject which I apparently missed the first class pf (which I thought wasn’t on last week as it’s only a tute/workshop).

This morning held both the lecture and the tute for WWW and the Internet. I sat in the lecture and watched Huw draw a rather good characture of the lecturer – that’s about as interesting as it got. Turns out Chris Memory (was at my school the year down from me) is in that class, gave him a wave.

The tute was alright. I don’t know if I’m an immediate fan of how the whole thing proceeded – the tutor is a little hard to understand accentwise, but I’ll get there, and a lot of it seems like, “Open up DSO and work through the prac given”.

So I survived some exceptionally basic HTML excercise – the girl beside me cried because she couldn’t get it :S A vague intro to some java and php. Not that I really have worked out or can remember any of the latter two. The idea of the tute was obviously the ‘simple’ stuff – so I got of of there about an hour early after Justin came over with a cheery hello and a ‘have you decided what you’re doing for your system’s assignment yet’ in his typical fashion. No.

I went and bought the text book for WWW straight away as I should’ve had it there. Goodbye $117 or so. Thrilling! Had a brief look at the ‘optional’ other two for Systems. They looked horrendously boring and ridiculously expensive so I passed. It’s the Library or buy when absolutely necessary. They shouldn’t make textbooks so expensive.

*The programming text book is pink
**I found another BIM student who come from out my way. Caught the train back with him (Matt) He has the most unusually square jaw I have ever seen in my life!

General Life

I’ve been reading the book, Mass Culture: Eucharist and Mission in a post-modern world (edited by Peter Ward) for a few weeks now. I’m still only halfway through and the bottom corners are going to be pretty stuffed by the end of it. (Top corner fold for marks my place, bottom corner for marking something interesting like a quote).

The book is a collection of ‘article’/chapters around the themes of Communion and Mission and Postmodernism (oddly enough) and how they interrelate, written by a variety of leaders from a variety of denominations. It’s facinating, pretty pleasing and enlightening stuff.

A couple of the points I’ve picked out so far (pretty much from one particular chapter) as worth exploring more or just simply interesting (here’s where I flick to the first lower corner fold and try find on the page what I found interesting)….

“Another element of post-modernism invites its audience to ‘enjoy the surface’ of life’s experiences because there is nothing beneath the surface. In other words, nothing is sacramental, nothing points beyond itself to anything else. Each experience is what it is or does ot you, there is nothing beyond. From this perspective the eucharist may give a sense of awe or of ancient community, but it can never be more than a sense, a vibe. Any such experience is understood as a feeling to be fleetingly enjoyed, it could never be more. So from this perspective, while the eucharist gives you a buzz, go for it. When it doesn’t and the ‘been there, done that, so this place as no more ot offer’ feeling comes over you, then move on to something stranger….
Life is understood as a perpetual present, or rather a series of perpetual presents – a perpetual sequence of living for the moment. From this point of view, ‘the goal of life’ is ‘an endless pursuit of new experiences, values and vocabularies’.” (p.77)

“Worship can have the power to convert or (and alas, this is more frequent) to repel. It is not just that the conduct of worship can be amazingly incompeteten; it is that people have a very real sense of whether what is being offered is the genuine article or not.” -David Stancliffe (quoted p.82)

“Alan Kreider has pointed out that the significance of worship for the mission of the early church was not that it was attractive to outsiders, but that it helped to shape Christlike lives in the world, and these lives were profoundly attractive:
Worship, to which pagans were denied admission, was all important in the spread of the Church. It was important not because it was attractive, but because of it’s rites and practices… made differences in the lives and communities of the worshippers. It performed the function of re-forming those pagans who joined the Church into Christians, into distinctive people who lived in a way that was recognisably in the tradition of Jesus…. (p.86)

“‘Seeker-friendly’ worship is important, but it must be authentic Christian worship. First, and above all, worship is for God (Eph 5:19-20)… If either edification or evangelism usurp the God-directed focus of worship it ceases to be Christian worship…”

“There is the danger that post-modern people seek experience for its own sake, that they become not more then sensation gatherers, but an experienceless Christianity is not New Testament Christianity and will never commend the faith. Churchmaship may high or low; the worship may be liturgical or more spontaneous, the focus may be on the word or the Spirit, but there is no substitute for encountering the presence of the living God.
Once again, an over emphasis on accessibility my be unwise:
“Chrisitianity’s talent for shooting itself in the foot is nowhere better displayed than its recent drive to demystify itself. Afterall, who goes into a church to get reasonable? Mystery is precisely what used to draw the crowds; no wonder gates are down.”

“…An event in which the kingdom of God is actually present is a far cry from a constructivist view, for constructivism changes nothing beyond the mindset of the constructor. In Iain Bank’s novel “A Song of Stone”, his main character says: “All is construction in the end… But we are the naming beast, the animal that thinks with language, an all above is called what we choose, for lack of better terms, and everything we name means – as far as we are concerned – just waht we want it conote. There is a reciprocity o finsult for out name-calling here; for our fine defining words tame nothing in the end, and show we ever fall victim to th unseen grammar of life, we must brave the elements and suffer their indifference, fully requited in return.”
The eucharist, though offers a positive alternative to the ‘naming beast’, one in which eternal reality bites back. We are indeed ‘naming’ creatures (Gen 2:19), but our authority to name comes with a responsible relationship with God as his stewards. The eucharist offers an encounter with this living God…”

There is potentially too much right there to pick at something specific (if you would like me to poke around with one of them a bit more, I can do that – just let me know which). No promises either, who knows what tomorrow will bring ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think it’s probably been most interesting looking at the influences of post-modernity in my own life and how I treat different situations that arise, how I respond to things, what I go out of my way to do or ‘experience’.

It’s fairly confronting in the way I often approach God. I do hope I’ve moved a bit beyond the ‘live for the experiences’ (sadly that in a way, that is or used to how I treat some of life). We can’t do the immature dismissal of God by believing our doubts when we cannot see him working, when we cannot hear him, cannot ‘find’ him. God exists despite our experiences or conceptions. But oh, it’s easy to get frustrated!

There is a great beauty and life in encountering our maker. It’s a richer and fuller comprehension of something if we can feel ‘part of it’, but the experience does not mean it ceases to exist after that point or didn’t exist before we got there.

Communion/Eucharist in itself is a brilliant way to encounter the grace of God in past, future and present – and no I haven’t ultimately worked out how I’d describe how exactly God is in communion, or whether it’s simply symbolic (which In some ways I think lessens it hohum – straying into controversial ground…)

I am pleased that communion is something I get to participate in, to ‘experience’ and to meet God in. I love it that we’ve made an effort in young adults to do this together.

To be really comfortable in my postmodernism, I have no problem saying that there is definitely something about those moments, there usually is! But we shouldn’t take up the position of not ‘having communion’ – just because we don’t feel like it, or feel it.

And there I’ll cease forcing my scattered thoughts on to you. Well done if you’ve read this far. Anyone care to borrow the book?

Christianity General