Cartalk : Tabletalk : Faithtalk at home

One of the things I loved about our physical service was the opportunity to sit on the floor and wonder about the Bible together. I’d tell the story, and wonder aloud, and gradually people of all ages would chip in. And together we’d ponder grace and forgiveness and what loving our enemies really means; we’d wonder about similar stories and, perhaps, how they’re turned upside down by this one; we’d recall times in our own lives when the story had become real; we’d wonder if God was calling us to anything now. Continue reading “Cartalk : Tabletalk : Faithtalk at home”

A gay person cannot possibly share their story in church … can they?

The gospel begins with the call to change our hearts. Here, a member of our congregation writes powerfully on the changes happening in her own heart, as her ideas about God are turned upside down and she discovers that there is good news for her, after all.

Up until a year ago I had gone to church almost every Sunday since I was 11 years old. In that time, I had grown to love God and I had also grown to really doubt Him and in being honest there have been many times where I have been really angry at Him too. In the 21 years I had been going to church I was constantly at war within myself. I loved God, I loved the church I attended, and I loved the family created within that church. Continue reading “A gay person cannot possibly share their story in church … can they?”

Trusting God’s life will prevail

The Apostle Paul said that if Christ had not been raised, then our faith is in vain. So what is resurrection faith? (Listen.)

Time after time after time it comes to this: Violence. Destruction. Despair. Death. This summer, Australia burned; yet the Victorian Government is logging state forests again. COVID-19 rampages the earth; countries are digging mass graves. Men murder their own wives and children, and are sympathetically described in the media. Powerful religious types support oppressive governments and corporations. Pell has his conviction quashed on a technicality. Millions die from tuberculosis and air pollution every year; vulnerable people are trafficked into slavery; and the world turns a blind eye. Violence, destruction, despair and death: they are never very far away. Continue reading “Trusting God’s life will prevail”

#17: Speak plainly

They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.  He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:32-35) Continue reading “#17: Speak plainly”

Born again into self-giving love

Jesus is not asking us to intellectually agree with a set of propositions, but to entrust our hearts to him in love. (Listen.)

Many years ago, I left home and went away to university. I came from a background where people talk about faith and science and politics and everything else, and perpetually wonder and ask questions. At university, I expected the same. I hooked up with the first Christian group which presented itself, but soon felt totally bewildered. I found myself in conversations I never wanted to have, in which the acceptability of women in leadership, the theory of evolution, questions of sexuality and gender, and many other issues were put under the microscope, and my position was always shown to be wrong. Continue reading “Born again into self-giving love”

#4: Blessed are those …

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:3-4)

Healing isn’t an easy road. Yes, there are times when miraculous healings happen and God moves in mysterious ways but for me when I think of healing I think of a lifelong journey of hard work. I have faith that is constantly shaking and hope that disappears at most hiccups along the way. I believe that God has the ability, strength and power to heal anyone and any thing but that sometimes the journeys of healing we go through are far more powerful than the instant miraculous healing that many search for. There is beauty is struggle. There is power in vulnerability. There is truth in imperfections. And there is healing in the stories of pain and trauma and heart ache … Continue reading “#4: Blessed are those …”

To receive the promises of Advent, we need to make room

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my lifestyle gave to me: twelve days of shopping, eleven Christmas parties, ten children’s concerts, nine knotted stomachs, eight toxic in-laws, seven toddlers’ tantrums, six spousal quarrels, five road trips, four splitting headaches, three sick kids, many bouts of tears, and a present under the tree. Continue reading “To receive the promises of Advent, we need to make room”

Leading out of weakness and not-knowing

Some days I feel utterly overwhelmed by what I don’t know. I don’t know how to plant a church. I don’t know how to run a Bible study. I don’t know how to include children in worship, and I don’t know how to disciple teenagers. I don’t know how to grow a congregation, or increase attendance, or begin a service while people are chatting or slowly drifting in the door. I don’t know how to free us all from cultural captivity. I don’t know how to truly serve the LGBTIQA+ community or other marginalised groups, or how to galvanize other Christians around climate change. I don’t know how to develop a five-year-plan nor write a sermon, and every week I walk the cliff edge of terror as I try to work the latter out. And as for truly loving and forgiving people: well, the older I get, the less sure I am of this as I become more aware of my frailty, sinfulness and hardness of heart. Continue reading “Leading out of weakness and not-knowing”

The beauty and life in green slime

The climate crisis terrifies me. It is a hard fear to deal with because it is both overwhelming but rationally based. Sometimes I veer towards the cliff edge of full blown anxiety-paralysis about it. But then, sooner or sometimes a bit later, deep down in my diaphragm faith kicks in and corrects my steering. I am still overcome but also back on course and somehow able to feel light and joy along with the terror. Continue reading “The beauty and life in green slime”

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