Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Never let a cat near a baby...

WHY COACHING?

Once upon a time, pastoral visits involved reading the bible to people, praying for them, and perhaps sharing communion with the grieving, the sick, or the distressed.

The world of pastoral care underwent a significant paradigm shift when insights gained from psychology and counselling were integrated into pastoral care training. As well as providing spiritual resources of prayer and scripture, pastors began to intentionally utilize pastoral listening. Through the discipline and grace-filled gift of listening, comfort, release, clarity and new insights can emerge. This has breathed a helpful dynamic into the spiritual ministry of pastoral care.

I’m happy to go out on a limb and claim that coaching training provides the skills needed to embark on a paradigm shift in exercising Christian leadership. It is a paradigm shift that sits perfectly with Churches of Christ ethos on the priesthood of all believers; the belief that fruitful ministry emerges from the Spirit of God stirring up spirit…

Ego

'The ego wants to ensure us that the things we do are all significant and worthy of our attention, that this event will make me important...Our activities become attempts at self validation and little life merit badges....Christian life has little to do with me doing anyhting right. It has everything to do with falling in love with a Lover who always does everything right. What I love is that Lover and not my own accomplishments; nor am I surprised or unduly humiliated by my own failures.'

Richard Rohr.

Women's Conference Countdown

It's only six weeks now til the combined Baptist, Churches of Christ... oh, and anyone else who wants to blow in... women's conference. "Arrrgghh" I scream... no, really, it's pretty much under control.

In my own incredibly biased opinion, this will be brilliant... fantastic godly speakers (Helen Meyer and Nicole Connor) and workshop leaders (Di Feldman, Sandy Jones, Karen Wilson, Kim Mietke, Lisa Jenkins... oh, and yours truly, but modesty forbids...)

The workshops will be highly practical to equip people to implement something straight away, so it won't be just a talk fest.

Anyway, if you'd like to look at the details, you can check out here. I hope to see you there!

The end of Courtship

The following article has been sourced from: http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001154.cfm#

Today, there are no socially prescribed forms of conduct that help guide young men and women in the direction of matrimony.... People still get married — though later, less frequently, more hesitantly, and, by and large, less successfully. For the great majority, the way to the altar is uncharted territory: It's every couple on its own bottom, without a compass, often without a goal. Those who reach the altar seem to have stumbled upon it by accident....

Then and now

Until what seems like only yesterday, young people were groomed for marriage, and the paths leading to it were culturally well set out, at least in rough outline. In polite society, at the beginning of this century, our grandfathers came a-calling and a-wooing at the homes of our grandmothers, under conditions set by the woman, operating from strength on her own turf. A generation later, courting couples began to go out on…

Exploring Exile

I have been a "quiet" blogger on Secret Women's Business, but have had my blogging focus directed to "Exiles":

The institutional church in the Western World has been in a long period of decline... judged by church attendance at least.

The reasons for this decline are many and complex. I have a particular interest in the rise of "non-institutional" expressions of church life... house churches, workplace churches, and the like.

I also have a pastoral heart for those who have left churches for reasons that have been painful for them... conflict, clashes, spiritual abuse, inappropriate pastoral care, a failure to address serious and legitimate questions and needs.

In response, I've been experimenting with the idea of a website that explores the multitude of reasons people drift from "institutional" churches. If you know of anyone who might find this conversation interesting, maybe you could let them know!

It's not all dire news for the wor…

Legally Challenged

OK, it's been a good day for funny emails.... here's another one...

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.


ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes .. ;
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?


ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
ATT…

Truisms

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.

Life is sexually transmitted.

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

The only difference between a groove and a grave is the depth.

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weir…

Truisms, and Unanswerable Questions

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.

Life is sexually transmitted.

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

The only difference between a groove and a grave is the depth.

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weir…

Glimpses of the Quiet Witnesses

I recently read a paper by the "out there" liberal church leader Francis McNabb which claimed (amongst other things) that the prayers of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane were speculative because all the disciples were asleep, and that most of the events surrounding the trial and death of Jesus were speculative because all the disciples ran away. The bible, in his view, clearly had many sections that were simply made up.

But were there really no witnesses?

Thanks to the cowardice of the twelve, the unnamed disciples of Christ that had followed him all the way from his home town of Galilee are finally named late in the gospel of Matthew. As the events around the crucifixion of Jesus are described, we suddenly read:

Ch. 27:55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.

The invisible disciples throughout the re…

No words, only tears.

I received a Facebook note from my friend and former work colleague Alan Hirsch today, who had just visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Alan is Jewish, raised in South Africa, discovered Jesus as his Messiah in early adulthood, became an Australian citizen, and now lives in America but travels widely. I thought this post and the comments around it were worth placing on a webpage that anyone might access (although Alan has so many FB friends I'm sure many more people will read it there rather than here!) I've changed the names of his "Friends" to A, B, C etc. to protect their identity! But a warning... because I've included all comments this is a looooonnng post.

Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Christo-Paganism of Europe

I am still trying to process the visit to the world's worst death camp. Needless to say it is an overwhelming experience. Let me be upfront and say that part of my struggle arises from my European Jewish heritage. I tend to see Europe, particularly religious…

School assignments

Image
The assignment itself looked innocuous enough... a sheet from school asking my son to bring a family heirloom to school (or a photo of one), tell about the history of the item, and describe world events in the era when the item was made. Quite a creative way to have students give oral reports about different time periods one would think.

The problem with homework assignments is how often parents get coopted to participate. I thought an antique clock that has come down to me from my grandmother would be a nice item for Daniel's oral report. It's a lovely little item, that plays "The Blue Danube" when the alarm goes off, while an imitation "record" spins around, and the couple on the record spin around too... a very clever mechanical music box/clock combination. As it turns out, my mother doesn't remember (or know) how it came into the family, although she said it may have been a wedding present for her mother, who was married in 1915.

This has sent me off …

Educate Women to Change the World

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff highlights the extraordinary case of a child bride who divorced her husband in his article: Divorced Before Puberty As well as being a fascinating story in its own right, it highlights the wisdom of educating women as a means of peace-making and development.

Why Men Shouldn't Write Advice Columns

Dear John,

I hope you can help me. The other day, I set off for work, leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled, and then it broke down about a mile down the road, and I had to walk back to get my husband’s help. When I got home, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbour’s daughter!

I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbour’s daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted they have been having an affair for the past six months. He won’t go to counselling, and I’m afraid I’m a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help?

Sincerely, Shelia.

Dear Shelia,

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold, and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be t…

Parenting Transitions

My eldest son started secondary school yesterday. It hardly seems any time since a tiny (1.1 kg/2 1/2 pound) baby came into the world... now said "baby" is taller and heavier than me.

When I tried to wake him yesterday morning, he was (in typical teenage fashion) very difficult to stir... so I indulged myself by holding him for a while as he slept. He's still young enough to look sweet in sleep, and I was reminded of the many hours I had held him in my arms when he was much younger. As I held him, I prayed for him and his first day of school... and sensed God's whisper in my heart "Hand him over to Me".

This whisper reminded of one of M Scott Peck's reflection's about Abraham's sacrfice of Isaac. Peck views this seemingly bizarre account as something of an archetype of what every parent of an adolescent boy is called to do. We are called to "give up our son" to God. God is the one who saves the son, as we surrender our child's life …

Lame Puns

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir,only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit afire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that youcan't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies"Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because,&qu…