Sunday, August 02, 2020

Liminal Spaces

In the movie Castaway, a frantically busy, high powered FedEx executive, Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, is the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea and finds himself marooned on a desert island. No smartphone, no diary, no 24/7 lifestyle, no flash restaurants, no stock-market or work deadlines.  No longer does he have endless appointments and meetings — no busyness, nothing. 
In an instant his whole reality is gone and he finds himself in a totally alien place — A desert island wilderness. And he has absolutely no knowledge or skills or capacity to navigate this new reality.
Four years pass, and Chuck eventually acclimatises. He actually learns, not just to survive, but to thrive on his island. He is tanned and healthy and confident. His only companion is Wilson the volley-ball, with face painted on.
When eventually he is rescued and brought back into the never-ending busyness and stressfulness and sophistication of the modern world, he can’t cope. It’s like OUR modern world has now become the wilderness and he is continually bewildered about how to navigate the craziness of big-city life.  
There are seasons in life where the known world we’ve lived in seems to end and we find ourselves in the wilderness — on a desert island as it were. And none of our skills and habits and coping mechanisms and maps work.
And we find ourselves deeply disoriented! It’s very stressful! It’s deeply disconcerting! It’s exhausting, because we need to learn how to survive, let alone thrive, from scratch. And often we’re not even sure how to go about that.
We become like Tom Hanks stranded on his remote island.
These sorts of times or places are called “Liminal” experiences.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A PRAYER FOR TIMES OF DESPERATION


Heavenly father, the scaffolding of my faith seems to be collapsing around me.
The person that I find inside does not impress me.

Has it all gone? Have you gone? What am I to do?
The advice from many is that you still love me, and that I must continue to have faith even when everything is falling apart.

Heavenly Father, advice is not the same as relationship.
I cannot pretend that love fills me when it simply does not.
I don’t want to rely on scaffolding any more.
I want you.

I want my life with you to be close and warm and genuine.
I’m reaching out to you now. Meet me in my fear and brokenness.
I need the real you now in a way that I never really understood before.
Thank you for listening.

Thank you for Jesus.
Amen. 

SOURCE: Adrian Plass, 2020 https://adrianplass.com 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Pandemic


What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love—
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

—Lynn Ungar 11/03/20
Source: Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation HERE

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Keeping On

Hi everyone,
How did you feel when you heard the news a couple of days ago that Melbourne was going back into lockdown? 
I was deflating, wasn’t it? 
  “Oh no! Not again”
  “I’m not sure i can cope with another round of this!”
I was reading the Old Testament story of King Josiah who heard that his people were under attack by a seemingly invincible foe.  He gathers the people, and he lifts his voice and prays: 
“‘… O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.’ 
As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. 
He said, …. ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ …” (2 Chronicles 20:1-15)
We are going through a challenging time, but we can do it for we do not go through it alone. The Lord is our help!
This is going to be tough. But let’s care for one another. Let’s stick together. We’ll get through this - together - if we resist the urge to vent our frustrations on others. 
Show care; Show love; Listen deeply; Help others around you; Use encouraging not disparaging words.
Take time each day to be still and give over your anxieties to the Lord.
Take time each day to note and say thankyou for the little blessings.
Don’t panic buy! Don’t hoard! Do call each other ! Do Zoom catch ups!
Do take the time each day to touch base on how you’re going.
Isaiah found himself in a difficult time and wrote these words:
“… Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint….” [Isaiah 40: 28-31].
MB

Diamond Valley Baptist Church 
309 Diamond Creek Rd, Plenty VIC 3090
Sundays: dvbc.online.church Office: 0409 667 008 Web: dvbc.net                                       


Monday, June 08, 2020

100 Guidelines for Conquering the World


World domination is everyone's dream. It's not a bad job really. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours.

However, every Evil Villain I've read about in books or seen in movies invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time.

Therefore, I have created these guidelines for conquering the world:

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

8. After I kidnap the hot girlfriend of the hero, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labeled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labeled as such.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum - a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.