Showing posts from March, 2009

In the Beginning

Genesis 1: 26 Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created human beings in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 1 is an extraordinarily rich passage, subtly introducing a number of key themes that emerge throughout the bible. In the extraordinary phrase “let us”, we see the earliest hint of the God revealed in Christ and through the Spirit... as a God whose very nature is relationship. The Christian view of God as Trinity, three persons in eternal relationship, is gently evoked by the…

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

Churches of Christ are fairly laissez-faire around the issue of ordination... many of our paid ministers are not ordained, and the Church of Christ view around ordination is very different from that of many other traditions. The belief that all Christians are "ministers", but that some people may be set aside from secular work in order to equip all the other "ministers" in Christian service, is one of the key ideas in our movement. Gender is pretty much irrelevant in this view of paid (and/or ordained) ministry.

For some of our brothers and sisters in other denominations, ordination has very different implications... and gender is one of the important criteria involved in who may (or may not) be ordained.

Circulating around cyberspace is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek argument about the importance of gender in ordination to Christian ministry:

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained:

10. A man's place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties mig…

Changing the World

This website says it all...


You may have noticed on my profile the statement: “I love to encourage women to do whatever makes them ‘fully alive’.”(Or men, for that matter... but my primary focus is women’s ministry!)

By “fully alive” I don’t mean thrills for thrills’ sake... I mean the deeper joy of stepping into vocation... of making a difference in the world in one’s own unique, God-given shape.

I heard the following reading at church recently, and thought I’d quote it here, because it captures poetically something of the beauty of a person who is living “fully alive”:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all …

Happy International Women's Day

It's no great secret that the education and empowerment of women is absolutely critical in the struggle against world poverty. Women's education rates are key to lowering birthrates in developing countries... an important step in avoiding environmental catastrophe and resultant hunger. The greater the education of women, on average, the higher their income. In comparison to men, women spend a far higher proportion of their income on their children. The health and education of future generations can best be achieved by educating women, and by empowering them through "microeconomic" schemes.

So today I would like to applaud the Obama administration for establishing a global women's post. (see This can only be a step in the right direction for human rights and human wellbeing across the planet.

The Obama administration... like governments all across the globe... face …

In praise of quiet goodness

I was privileged to preach at a small church the week after the terrible bushfires that claimed so many lives, and destroyed so many homes and farms and workplaces. It was a beautiful morning service, full of the prayers and rituals and times of sharing that are so important to people processing real (and vicarious) grief. This small community was involved in running one of the official bushfire relief centres, so they had been working their proverbial backsides off all week processing and packing and forwarding on the outpouring of gracious gifts of the community to those left homeless by the fires. Beverley, who led the service, commented afterward that she hadn’t had a proper meal all week, as she had been pretty much working at the centre from dawn to dusk.

I sat next to June, an older lady who led the communion time. Her husband had been in hospital all that week, and she herself had recently had a hip replacement. (She was a little unsteady on her feet). Her homemade preserves h…

The Name Blame Game

Sometimes parents take insufficient thought and care when naming their new bundle of joy...

I think this post is best read out loud...

Stan Still, 76, said his name 'has been a blooming millstone around my neck my entire life', Mr Still, a former RAF man from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, told the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK: "When I was in the RAF my commanding officer used to shout, "Stan Still, get a move on" and roll about laughing. It got hugely boring after a while."

Doug Hole didn't want to talk about his, and Will Power was just grateful he had always been known as Bill.

Imagine trying to lead a normal life being named Justin Case, Barb Dwyer, Mary Christmas, Paige Turner, Jo King, Lee King, Anna Sasin and Barry Cade.

Thank your lucky stars you're not called Rose Bush, Pearl Button or Hazel Nutt, who also make the list of The Most Unfortunate Names in Britain.

A search taking in the US turned up Bill Board, Annette Curtain, Carrie Oakey and …