Ple’ma an bysva?

Cornish_flag_3 If you live in the land of Devon (as my parents do), it is a not uncommon occurance to see a car go past, bumper or window emblazoned/resplendent with the legend ‘kernow’ set amidst a white cross on a black background.  For the Cornish are a proud people …

I was having a grumpy/dull/flat kind of time of it on Sunday, and then had my world lit up as a ‘kernow’ sticker drove past me – I was so shocked/excited that I stopped at a green light ๐Ÿ™‚

It is a great joy to take your flag around the planet (especially when it is the most beautiful flag in the world) and plant it there in the name of undercover colonialism (cos we all know that empires are built on flags, don’t we?).  It’s not like I was born there, so I’m not technically Cornish (although my surname definitely is), but I love having my colours stuck to the mast of my rear window ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes mr Chambers, I agree

Sometimes Oswald hits the mark particularly hard:

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God.  Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different.  Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he ‘followed Him at a distance’ on dry land.  We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises – human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently.  But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live 24 hours of every day as a saint; going through drudgery and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.  It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God – we do not.  We need to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people.  And this is not learned in five minutes.

But hopefully it will be learned at some stage, yeah?

spelling it out

I’m lying on the floor of my office (which is also Jay & Erin’s house), doing a fairly good job of escaping from everyone else who exists (not that they’re bad people, just that I can’t seem to handle their company).  The last few days have been pretty yuck for me, partly with being ill, but really that just helps bring everything else to the surface that was bubbling along underneath, y’know?  It’s all pretty little stuff really, but when it all starts biting you at once it does kind of make you just want to curl up and go home (wherever that is).

I’m not really sure I can put my finger on it well enough to write down, but I wanted to say SOMETHING, cos often you just wait until something like this blows over and talk about with your friends in retrospect, and I don’t want to be like that.

So I came here this morning, sincerely trying my best to un-busy myself and just appreciate God while there’s no one else around to get in the way.  It hasn’t really worked, but I did get an absolute honest-to-God-too-spooky-to-be-a-coincidence ‘WORD OF THE LORD’ (which is what you call it when God definatelydefinatelydefinately says something), so I’ll tell you about that:

I picked up a TIME magazine at random (there are lots here), opened it at random, and saw an article about a company trying out a system of employment whereby the place and time you do your work effectively becomes insignificant, as employees are just trusted to do it (and guess what?  they discover that people feel empowered, less stressed, more valued, and are much more productive!).  I can’t explain it quickly, but this is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been going on about for the last 3 years – I formulated a ‘theology of work’ while at uni, whereby you do what God wants you to do when you feel He wants you to do it (not just because there’s stuff to do), and don’t enslave yourself to a time-table or a schedule or a system, and in doing so, work becomes good for you (cos God invented work for our benefit).

It was great to read the article today, cos on Friday I got to the point where I realised that I just can’t submit to this ‘office hours’ mentality of work, and that I need to consciously rebel against it, or else all the life is going to drain out of me.  So reading it would have been a bit of an ‘I think God might be saying something’ thing anyway, but then I read the article and discovered God’s personal touch to me this morning; that the system they developed, 3 years ago, is called the Results-Oriented Work Environment, and is known by the acronym ROWE.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you …

[read about it here]

the Jesus diet

[I’ve not been very well these last few days by the way (possibly explaining the previous post), so feel free to take this with a pinch of salt.]

This morning, I was feeling that God was encouraging me to go and buy myself a big bag of crisps (it’s kind of my love language), so I went to the supermarket and found some.  But then, having also picked up some lovely braeburn apples, I saw a couple of chocolate eclairs reduced in price cos they were slightly squashed.  Naturally, I sensed the Lord’s provision …

… but you know, some people would say that crisps, apples, and eclairs (for elevenses) don’t reflect God’s highest and best for our dietary intake.  And maybe they are right.  And maybe I was just comfort eating (although I believe that may be biblical too).  But whatever.  God loves to break the rules anyway, and He loves me, and that’s nice ๐Ÿ™‚

to quote my sister

I was just talking to my beloved sister via MSN Messenger: I love her very much.  She lives in Kabul, and simply by the nature of being in that kind of environment, has it pretty hard.  She was telling me about a couple of English girls that she’d just met, and I’m going to show you what she said, cos I thought it was one of the best things I’d heard for ages:

‘I’ve never met people who are so identical to me in my life. Thats the insane thing about this place…. at home I never met anyone who cared about the same things as me. But here…. we found each other.  Its like when jonny t dangerous played and i realised that all the crazy dancers in the world had found each other and before they were just repressed and confined to bedroom dancing for fear of offense and black eyes.’

Isn’t that great?  I love discovering people who are ‘the same’ as me, enjoying the wonder of why that can be, and loving how we can be ourselves together once we’ve found each other ๐Ÿ™‚

[Johnny T Dangerous is an alter-ego of mr Tre Sheppard, if you didn’t know.  And yes, he is dangerous]

sitting on a grumpy afternoon

At present, I’m living in YWAM Auckland’s Training Centre, and I’ve been tucked away in my room, kind of hiding, for the last few hours.

I’m not particularly happy today.  I don’t want to talk to anyone or be with anyone here, and I’ve finished my Sudoku, so I’m sitting in my room, escaping to Botswana in the company of The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (a spot of fiction), and just about managing to listen the whole way through I Will Always Love You without Dolly Parton making me cry.  But only just ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have nothing to complain about, it’s just how this afternoon has met me.  What I’d really like is an empty place to be quiet, or noisy, or whatever.  But instead I live with another 20ish people, a group of whom are noisily learning the componant parts of several Maori chants just opposite my room (which is actually quite nice, but would be better a little further away).

Paul McCartney etc.

And another thing.

I’ve been getting all technological (in the last week or so), and buying lots of songs on mp3, and I just want to tell you, it’s a funny thing what taste-in-music you suddenly realise you have when you are investing in individual tracks and not whole albums.  I sincerely seem to have moved to Middle of the Road land …

Not content with merely finding Paul McCartney songs really soulful (and not just soppy), I’ve even found myself saying things like, "Flip!  Dolly Parton can REALLY sing!!"

It’s all a bit worrying really, but I’m loving the eclecticism.  I now have ‘Mr Boombastic’ by Shaggy, ‘Chain Gang’ by Sam Cooke, ‘The Power of Love’ by Huey Lewis & the News, and bits of The Princess Bride soundtrack.

Rock & roll!!

Being an Internationalist

Iโ€™m in Sydney, sitting up in my queen-size bed, and itโ€™s 3:07am.  The other week (on the way back from Germany) I bumped into a long-lost friend from school, and I was trying to explain to him the thing about how many people I know (and Iโ€™ve seemingly become one of them now) who donโ€™t seem to actually have any money at all, and yet are almost constantly traversing this globe of ours.  I find it so exciting!

And while we probably arenโ€™t doing a whole lot to stem the ongoing societal drift away from home-owning and pension contributions, I do feel like weโ€™re sticking it to The Man in some interesting, grass-roots kind of way ๐Ÿ™‚