Over the past few years I have galloped through unfamiliar forests of thought, hoping to find a break in the trees, sometimes with abandon, and sometimes with caution. My blog ‘Growing Sideways’ has been a cathartic and timely endeavor. I have been surprised by unexpected affirmation as fellow readers and writers have identified with my questions and ‘ponderings’ with as much curiosity and freedom as I have felt. I have been emboldened by others on more than one occasion, “keep going and keep thinking!” Continue reading
For so many years I attributed my good fortune to being blessed. My Christian heritage gave me the building blocks to how I saw blessing as a natural consequence of being a good disciple. Continue reading
Have you ever been concerned about your faith? I have, it is a most unsettling experience. After pouring enormous amounts of energy and conviction into something only for it to be dislodged by rogue thoughts is scary. It’s scary because of the implications and the uncertainty of where it will all lead. What will my friends think? What if I am wrong? Even scarier; what if I am right? Continue reading
The wheels seemed to stick to the polished floor as I pushed my daughters wheelchair down the quiet corridor towards her classroom for the first time. As I turned the corner I was confronted by a line of special needs kids, some quiet, some boisterous and some on the other side of a glass wall waiting for class time. Continue reading
During the course of a Facebook discussion around gay marriage, a good friend of mine left an important post. He referred to a man named Sy Rogers who is a Christian speaker. Sy was a transgender on the journey to fulfil a gender reassignment, then he became a Christian and has since married a woman and has a beautiful family. Continue reading
If you have been scouring the Internet to find hate blogs on Hillsong, this isn’t one of them. I don’t really know much about Hillsong or for that matter, Mark Driscoll. I went to a Hillsong conference many years ago. It was impressive and many people seemed to be enthralled by the atmosphere, but it wasn’t for me.
I have been part of church life for a long time now, I was a preacher’s kid since the day I was born and suffered all the usual militant rules you’d expect. Sit up on the front pew, behave, don’t fart, don’t pick your nose, look attentive, close your eyes when you pray, stop looking at cute girls, raise your hands when asked, don’t drink too much communion and don’t eat all the left over bread after the service etc. Continue reading
Church… it is beautiful and chaotic at the same time. It is amazing and disappointing. It is profound and confusing. It is Christ and Christ is the anchor for many who cling to the hope that good will eventually prevail.
I have had the good fortune of working in several churches over the years as a paid staff member and volunteer. There have been moments of elation as I’ve witnessed the broken feel comfort, and just as powerfully, I have been frustrated as the innocent feel pain. It is the potent disparity between expectations of heaven on earth juxtaposed against the frailty of human behaviour. Continue reading
There is a story in the bible (don’t jump off yet) where religious leaders found a woman having sex with another married man. They came to Jesus and used their knowledge of the old testament to coerce Jesus into administering justice based on religious law. They wanted to stone the woman to death and have Jesus condone it. Continue reading
I always feel cautious about offering observations on church life. I continue to believe that despite the churches exposure to human vulnerability, it has the potential to be amazing. I myself have probably contributed to one misstep after another in the eyes of those who don’t share my personal belief in the life of Jesus. I think this most recent season of public anger towards the church may not be the for the reason we think it is. That is, have we the church interpreted the public angst as persecution for our moral stance and see it as the cross we bear for choosing a noble pathway in Jesus name? Some of us Christians may even see the publics anger as a badge of honour.