AFL ‘Pilot’ Decision

I know I’m always going on about the early Christians and how they taught that the way of Jesus is a path of subtraction more than addition. Indeed, they strove hard to become loving, forgiving, kind, and compassionate. They dropped the things that brought them down or served as a distraction from their surrender to God. They knew how to ...

Family ties

Some years ago I bought a turquoise Toyota Paseo (pictured). This was not a very common car, but suddenly they were everywhere and my friends and family thought they saw me in all corners of the city. It took my sister a few weeks to discover she was daily tooting and waving to a complete stranger, a neighbour in ...

Prioritise

A brother came to Desert Father Abba Theodore and began to converse with him about things that he had never put into practice. So the old man said to him, “You have not yet found a ship nor put your cargo on board it, and before you sailed you have already arrived at the city. Do the work first; ...

Finding life’s passion

One of the most illuminating things I have ever read was a story about artist Paul Gauguin, who began working life as a successful businessman and stockbroker in Paris. One day, as the story is told, he said he was leaving.

He rejected the Parisian art and social scene, left his job, wife and five children and moved from ...

A bird’s eye view

In the Aboriginal Dreamtime, the all-father of the Kulin people is known as Bunjil who, after having created the lands and the people, flew up with his wives and sons into the tharingbek (sky or heavens) to become the eagle star, Altair. In his earthly form he is the Eaglehawk, commonly known as the wedge-tailed eagle.

It was 38 ...

Sounds of silence – reflections on a retreat

Driving up the dirt road to the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Learning Centre at the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, I begin to feel quite apprehensive. I am not sure what to expect, or what will be expected of me at my very first Silent Retreat. I do not want to enter this particular experience as an outsider; I want to ...

Finding truth in Australia Day

The deepest thinking we do is metaphorical. What someone means is more important than simply what they say; and our understanding of any account depends on being able to interpret the significance of the words from one context to another.

We learn to navigate the literal meaning of words and their symbolic weight so that we can grasp the whole ...

Faith in the face of hatred

I thought I was prepared for the hardest situations. I’d thought through my responses for revelations of horrific crimes, for skewed morals and screwed theological justifications.

What actually brought me undone was the tattooed swastika on the forehead of the man sitting in the front row as I stood to lead worship in the prison chapel.

I swallowed, took ...

The grandeur of God

My Macquarie (Australian) Dictionary doesn’t have the word ‘reck’, although it has ‘reckless’. The general secretary’s Concise Oxford Dictionary does have it though. I understand that it’s actually both a noun and a verb. The verb being “to care, take heed of”.

Every year there are many reflections about Christmas, most of which rue the commercialisation of it all. ...

Christmas – the way of a stranger

Christianity is a faith with rough edges. Would we know it, however, from conventional Christian celebrations of Christmas? Perhaps no other festival of the church has become so successful in blunting the gospel’s rough edges.

There is a certain irony in the controversy which often erupts at this time of the year when calls are made to ban nativity plays ...

Come ye to Bethlehem – and behold the ‘little town’ circa 2013

As we read each year, Joseph and Mary made their long journey, compelled by a census. It became a journey of joy as Mary gave birth to a baby whom we call the Prince of Peace. As we sing Christmas carols we are invited to think of Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. But this year let’s ...

Compassion fatigue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In and amongst the busyness of last month, and the news coming through about the reality of the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan caused in the Philippines, someone de-friended me on Facebook.

Definitely in the category of a #firstworldproblem and not at all a ...