Saturday, August 31, 2013

Apparently I have Awesomeness

“It’s Official – I’m Awesome,” I posted on Facebook.

Im Awesome

“Of course you’re awesome,” said my husband from the computer desk a few minutes later.

“But this is someone I’m not even married to who think so too!”

No, honestly, I’m not getting a swelled head, it just feels good when someone writes something nice about you.

Maria from New Zealand It Is Then wrote the following:

Okay, next are two ladies I met at a bloggers' conference this autumn: one's Rachelle and the other's Claudia.
Neither seemed particularly captivating over the internet when I first saw them register for the conference, but boy did I like them both in person! And now as I keep reading their blogs, I have the same feeling I sometimes get with Treena: how is it that I'm not getting more of that awesomeness across from the screen? It's like I feel a little cheated even, like there's so much going on in their heads and in their lives, and I'm just getting little measly snippets here and there.

So basically, there’s not enough of ME coming through in my blog.

Sorry about that folks, it’s not my intention to deprive you of my awesomeness.

When I’m sitting here alone with the thoughts in my head, writing them down, there’s no interaction or dialogue happening.  It’s just going onto a screen then out into a void of the blog-iverse.

Otherwise, when I’m sitting having a conversation with a friend, it’s a different dynamic.  There’s instant feedback, and the conversation will go in all sorts of different directions.  My thoughts will go to different and (if it’s the right kind of friend) deeper places.

So a lot of who I am is sort of defined in interaction with other people.  Which is not always possible to write about because it’s as much about the other person as it is about me and not always appropriate for a public forum.

The challenge for me is to work on that part of my writing.  To let more of myself show.  So you all get to see my awesomeness too.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How to (or not) build a Cathedral


Option 1:

Cost: about $30 from the local book store. 
Materials:  Some sort of plastic stuff
Time:  one afternoon. 
Seismic strength: appears okay, although the steeple has come off occasionally.
Comparison to the historic original:  Pretty good.
Practicality for worship:  Only if you’re about 1 cm tall.

Option 2:

Cost: About $5 million (NZD)
Materials:  Cardboard, steel and some kind of clear plastic.
Time: Over a year
Seismic Strength: Appears okay, but the cardboard doesn’t like getting too wet.  No steeple to fall down.
Comparison to the historic original:  Nil.
Practicality for worship:  Very good.

Once or twice in the Before, I had stopped and sat in the Cathedral-that-was for a few minutes of private prayer in my lunch break.

In between taking photos, I did the same today.  The building has changed, but God is still the same God.

How NOT to build a cathedral:

Take the Church Property Trustees through the courts to prevent them from “deconstructing” what’s left of the Cathedral-that-was, thus delaying and increasing their costs for building a permanent replacement, and leaving a deteriorating, weathered ruin.

In my opinion, the cathedral is supposed to be a place for worship, not a museum.  Those opposed to its replacement have missed the whole point of the building.  The architects would have intended the the building to direct people’s attention heavenward, not for the building to be focus.

In the very unlikely event that Jim Anderton or any other members of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust are reading this, Please let the Church get on with what the Church is supposed to concentrate on:  worshipping God, building relationships and serving the community.

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ducklings, Daffodils and the Deeper Magic

The ducklings wouldn’t stay still for the photo.  Hence the rather blurry heavily cropped pic.

The daffodils were more co-operative.

The weather has been gradually getting warmer.  It’s no longer dark cycling to and from work.  Although it’s not officially spring for another week, it’s within sight.

We emerge from the caves where we’ve been hibernating, rubbing our eyes, blinking at the strange bright shiny thing in the sky, and wondering what do you call that not-grey colour again?

Energy!  Life! Sap flowing!  Blood pumping! 

Time to clean house, weed the garden, plant the vegetables.

Here “Down Under” we don’t have the entwining of Spring and Easter that the Northern Hemisphere does.  Even with the separation of the natural and ecclesiastical seasons, it’s hard not to think of resurrection and new life at this time of the year.

These thoughts mingle with the funeral I attended today.  A  warm, creative, vivacious woman who departed this life far too young.   We celebrate her life, grieve that she is no longer with us, and hold the hope of meeting again.  Death in the midst of resurrection.

Spring is meaningless without the winter that proceeds it. . Nature is focussing on growing and reproducing while the warmth lasts, before the cold comes again. The decayed vegetation from last season has nourished the soil, feeding this year’s new growth.  New life and hope are held in tension with loss and grieving.

John 12:23-36 (NIVUK) (Emphasis mine)

Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’

Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain for ever, so how can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this “Son of Man”?’

Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.’

This is the Deeper Magic, a Divine Mystery that through death there is a greater life.  The more I ponder this, the less I think I understand of it.

Selah. (Pause and think on this.)

This post is dedicated to Rhonda Tucker, 1969 – 2013.  Until we meet again.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Just start writing

I don’t really like blogging about the minute of daily life.  I want my posts to be interesting and meaningful.  Which is a great theory, but falls down when nothing much interesting and meaningful is happening in my life.  The last few weeks have been… routine.

So the challenge is to try to find meaning and inspiration in the daily routines of life.  The little ups and downs that no-one really wants to read about.

Miss Nine played a game involving a stick floating down a stream, and racing to catch it again at the bottom. 

Sometimes the stick got caught in an eddy, and didn’t seem to make much progress, until eventually it swung back around (or got poked) and caught the current again.

Some people talk about being in a rut.  Or being like that stick in the eddy, needing to be poked to get moving again.  But I don’t believe that’s where my life is.  It’s more like just being in deep slow water.  I’m still moving forward, but there’s not much to see on the surface.  A season to relax and brace myself for whatever rapids are ahead.