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Archive for July, 2007

From a birthday card my excellent brother got for me. I think it sums up life nicely.

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Share the beauty.

Just to give you a taste of what we experienced last night. I love playing this with Binface and going crazy at the end. Anguished bliss.

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Alive (take 2)

Rereading the below post this morning I realise something is missing. It’s all true enough, but the best, most brilliant thing of all that I failed to mention is…

You guessed it, or maybe you didn’t. It’s Jesus.

As we know Jesus is the answer to give when all else fails. The answer every kid in church knows to give, to get the sweetie the nice person at the front is throwing them if they respond to their questions. The problem is the familiarity of the answer. In my sociology degree our first lecture taught us to defamiliarise the familiar. At first I thought that was a bit foolish, take really familiar things and make them sound complicated in sociological language? How weird. But there is beauty in doing this well. Not just making simple concepts confusing, but taking the old and familair and looking at them from a different angle, defamiliarising so we see new things. We need to do this in relationships with each other, shake up our friendships, allow each other to be different and have changed. We need to do this with the Father, Son and Spirit.

I’m thinking that it’s important that we don’t just give the off the cuff answers but explore the wide area between A and B, between the question and the answer. For example we might think I’m in a relationship with God, how has that happened? Well it’s because Jesus died on a Cross taking the punishment I deserve, He rose again to new life so I can too. That’s a big old statement and just saying that isn’t enough. There are a million questions that arise from it. What does relationship mean? Which God? Who is Jesus? How on earth does dying help? What punishment? Why punishment? Rose again? Too often we take the answers of these questions for granted and our expression of Christianity becomes small. The familar stuff needs to be up for exploration, so it remains fresh in our lives and affects who we are.

So, back to Jesus. All the stuff below is because of Him and the wideranging beautiful nature of his life, death and new life down here on earth. If I had time I’d talk about him a bit more. But I have to go and imitate him, today that involves eating a BBQ with my friends. Presumably the one at the end of John was sweeter tasting but it’s good to know my Maker walking on earth liked BBQ’s as well.

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Alive

I’ve spent the last few days at L’abri, a place that has soothed my soul and set my mind racing with thoughts, ideas, possiblities, hope and that feeling of freefall you get when the world is opened up to be bigger than the one you have been living in. It’s easy in the land of Christian bubble to get so used to the language that you forget the concepts behind the language which are so much wider, bigger and more beautiful than we have words for. We constantly need to be working out what we are saying, using different language, allowing others to express things differently as well. Conversation is much more interesting that way, we can be free to ask questions, to not judge based on the right sounding answer, to dig deep into each other complex souls and take joy in the whole experience.

I’d like to issue challenges to any other blog writers whose blogs are full of Christian language, myself included, lets try and play taboo with our posts for a while. Thinking about the language we use to express this relationship with the Creator thing. Try not using words like God, Sin, Gospel, glorious, grace, Christ. Use different language to explain the same concepts. Enjoy the freedom of figuring out what we are really talking about.

At L’abri I was reminded of the reality of just being. Of sometimes breathing being enough, being the only expression of my relationship to the Creator. Of a God who is bigger than I am. I was reminded of the fact that we are most truely human, real and ourselves in relation to Him, and how that doesn’t narrow the world down but sets us free to explore the deep and wide delights of being human. Being human is so incredible when you stop to think about it, the complexity of all we are and do is staggering. We can embrace that, swim in it, delight in it and not just express things in the narrowness of our correct language that belongs to our partcular subset of this thing we call Christianity. God is bigger than it all.

There are many thoughts floating down in my head which need to be written, tested and conversed with. For now I’m glad to know that there is no outside when it comes to the Maker. I may run out of the door of my house that I have built for our relationship but He is outside as well as inside. There is no outside of God that I can run to. I am loved and accepted wherever I go because I am his.

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Two years ago, so this blog tells me, I saw REM in concert, I wrote an overexcited piece on the joys of music then. There is not much more to tell, you can read the archive for yourselves, my thoughts on music rarely change. It’s one of the best things ever about being human. Today was a celebration of that.

The Travelling Wilburys were one of those super groups stuffed full of big names, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and George Harrison, and it turned out they liked having fun together, playing music and writing songs. This morning I watched a dvd of how they made the first album and immediately wanted to quit my job and be in a band for the rest of my life.

Later, I and the one with a face like a bin played pretty music all afternoon, and then went to see the man whose voice makes you want to do all sorts of things you really shouldn’t be doing. Damien Rice doesn’t disappoint on any level. The only disappointment to be found was in the idiots sitting behind me who in the most beautiful rendition of Cannonball sat behind me saying, (put on your best stupid voice now) “It’s like a special bit he’s doing, it’s f**king awesome, it’s awesome, it’s like acoustic innit.” ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Argh. Damien really should be more selective in his fan base.

ANyway. Not even the endless shouts for ‘The Blowers Daughter’ and refusal to listen to anything the genius was doing that wasn’t ‘The Blowers Daughter’ could detract from the beauty of the evening. My consolation at the end was the prospect of getting to play in a gig on Thursday, yes Rooted are back and gigging again, to be honest we didn’t really go anywhere but it sounds more mysterious to say that. For a sneak preview the international folk bitch herself has got onto myspace, go listen here.

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