Pushing back!

I am Caesar.

It’s all about me.

I am, after all, LORD! I rule everything!

And my image is on every coin and every note in the land.

Money is everything – it makes the world go round.

So render to me what is mine!

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

 

… and they did.

I never got their hearts, though.

How can they resist me? How do they push back?

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They looked into each others eyes and saw something divine.

They looked at their children and saw that the least of these was something supremely precious  – but something that money can’t buy.

They looked into the eyes of the poor, the vulnerable and the needy (those who have no Value in my eyes) as they heard the words, “If you care for these, you are caring for God.”

They looked at creation and saw the delight of a Creator – and would not spend my face on things that broke that Creation.

They looked at their calendars, and put lines through dates that they would not work for me, but spend time with Family or in making Meaningful Community or giving time to Caring for others.

They walked past the shopping malls (built on the Might of my Face!), and spent their weekends Creating, rather than buying; building Community, rather than building wealth.

I own their house, but I don’t feature in their Homes.

My face is on their coin, … but they measure their Worth and Value against something far greater.

In their eyes, my image is small; Small when compared to the this creating, humanity-making, healing, …

Love.

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Why I run …

Ten days until the Roller Coaster Run! 27 February.
Starting at SkyHigh on Mt Dandenong, we ‘rollercoaster’ our way down and down and up and up and down and up and (really) up Mt Dandenong fire-trails and single track for 21.5km. That’s a smidge over 1km of down – and 1131.27m (approx) up. And we finish running into a clowns mouth, with a view over Melbourne!
roller-coaster-run-1
Why?
Yes there will be tears and choice words and sweat and sore quads-and-calves-and-glutes, and maybe even some scraped knees and hands.
But there will also be triumph and a feeling of exhilaration and accomplishment (and a medal) – and friends.
There’s knowing that you did something that once seemed impossible.
There’s moving through the bush along fire trails, keeping pace with a hundred others, foot-fall in rhythm, breathing in harmony with nature.
The sound of the kookaburra or lorikeet, the sighting of wallaby or snake.
There’s mixing with runners who be slower, and runners who will be (much) faster; Elite and very novice runners all cheering each other on with high-fives, pats on the back, and spirit-lifting words and looks.
There’s rubbing shoulders with humans who have survived (or are still surviving) cancer, abuse by spouse or parents, broken relationships, brutal bosses, the death of children/spouses/parents … and who ran so that they could survive and thrive, or because they survived and proved to themselves and others that they were stronger. As we have done a hundred times already, we will share more of those stories as we race.
And with all of that there will be times of no words, … as we keep pace with each other in synchronised stride, as if we were a single unit.
And at the end there will be laughter, tears and hugs and more stories and stronger friendships.
That’s why I run.

Lent. 1.

“Stop touching my stuff”

A Revolution in love.

love-revolution

It’s a revolution in love when my hands relax their hold …

on things

on anger

on my fixed opinions about others (the disabled or other religions or nationalities or social groups)

on buildings, or structures, or music or programs (or the way things have always been)

on worry

on un-confessed sin

on un-forgiven others

on insisting that the world revolves around me and what I want.

If you love something, let it go …

There’s a revolution in love here.

 

ash wednesday 2016: living honestly

Days like this
You look up at the sky above you
Days like this
You think about the ones that love you

All I wanna do is live my life honestly;
I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me
Every regret I have I will go set it free
It will be good for me.

“Days like this” Over the Rhine.

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All I wanna do is live my life honestly.

We sat around ashes and a candle, listening to the sultry tones of Karin Bergquist, holding the hardest of questions in our hands; questions of unforgiveness, of brokenness; questions that bring tears at 3am and stunned silence at 6pm; questions that we dare not ask aloud – though we ask them regularly.

Every regret I have I will go set it free

Ash Wednesday 2016 was an open invitation to crack open those questions in the context of a pilgrimage. “When we wake on Easter Morning, this part of the journey will be finished. This invitation is to bring these questions with us, and to engage them honestly; to seek forgiveness, reconciliation, hope; to understand ourselves and others; and to listen to the voice of One who is never far away from places and people in suffering and struggle.”

Everyone is welcome. Anytime.

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
Step forward
You can stay right here
You don’t have to go

“All my favorite people” Over the Rhine.