Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some photos

Since I still haven't decided on an online site to put my best NZ photos (nor had the time to investigate the possibilities) I decided to put a few up here:
These are taken out of the plane or coach window (I was experimenting to see if it worked)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

No More!

You can no longer take my me away,
I have come to reclaim her
And my eyes flash fire in defence of this new darling
My raw and hidden self.
I have said “no more!” and I stand
Protecting my right to be me
And the right of all small helpless ones
To live without condemnation.

I will not go that way again
Down in the twisted caves, the darkness of self-delusion
The lies that conceived confusion
On my drifting ungrounded self.
I will not wear the labels of another’s sin
Or lie beneath the landslides of false guilt
Or justify existence by small acts of un-becoming.

I will not be ashamed of my womanhood
Or deny my right to be strong
To walk barefoot and fearless across the sands of my own choosing
To own this flesh is my flesh, and in bondage to no other
And my heart is free, winged as the albatross,
To stretch into uncharted places.

I will not sell my soul again for the goodwill of a slave
I will have the respect of free men, or I will walk alone
I have learned that bondage is not love, whatever name it bears,
And kindness is no excuse for cruelty.

Do not pity me in my agony
For I am in the throes of a great wonder
Giving birth to a new self

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sixty million little girls

My daughter gave many statistics on the abuse of women and children, some of which I was already familiar with (I, too, have been a statistic), but this is the one that shocked me, somehow to the core:

"At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are 'missing' from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex selective abortions, infanticide or neglect"

even their own parents thought their lives of no value, because they were female!
Sixty million little girls (the majority from India and China)!!

I could rave about this, and its implications, but the facts speak far more loudly than anything I could say.

On earth they have no memorial
Their bones flung forgotten
And who will grieve for them?

The smallest and the least,
Not treasured but despised
Their very breath begrudged
And taken from them.

And the very dust must weep!

I will build this cairn of words
Seeking to honour
The nameless millions
Never wanted
And not allowed to live.

I will give to you the tribute of my distant tears.

I will pray for the righting of wrongs
And that judgement and mercy
Met in my crucified God
Are met for you
Somewhere beyond this dust.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Women bleed.

talking to my social work student daughter this afternoon about some of the horrific statistics about the world-wide abuse of women. Painful and personal stuff. because my (faltering) instinct is to want to find creative ways to deal with and express the awfulness of things, I want to write a series of poems (from time to time) on aspects of this. in no way to I want to belittle the real pain of men, all human beings suffer, but there is a particular horror when you start putting together the big picture on rape, domestic violence, female infanticide, genital mutilation, inequalities of opportunity etc etc. thus this dashed off, faltering poem.

It seems that only women bleed
In hidden, darkened rooms of shame
Their being crushed by scornful lust
And wounds that do not have a name.

It seems that only women weep
For trampled dreams of might-have-been
For scarce-breathed hopes of tender love
Dried blighted brown when barely green.

It seems that only women scream
Within the silence of the womb
For life wrenched from its nurture place
While the whole world becomes a tomb

It seems that only women bleed
Lay down their hearts, forgotten, dead
Breathe only underneath their breath
Whilst angels weep for them instead.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Song ..

This is the song I fling
Forth to the wounded sky
Knowing that love will bring
Some other way to fly.

Broken my wings, and torn
Under a sodden sky
Twittering voice, so worn
Barely can make a cry.

Hardly a voice to speak
Hardly a heart to feel
Pitiful, scorned and weak
Longing to breathe, be real.

Slowly the frozen soul
Thaws into acid tears
Coldness has kept me whole
Through all these arctic years.

Yet I am still a song
Though holed and wholly mute
Till His breath warms along
Playing me like a flute.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Like I need more names ..

Lynne's Aliases

Your movie star name: Tiramisu Frederick

Your fashion designer name is Lynnette Florence

Your socialite name is Bumblefoot Sydney

Your fly girl / guy name is L Tai

Your detective name is Elephant St George

Your barfly name is Gelato Midori

Your soap opera name is Sylvia Anglo

Your rock star name is Chocolate Comet

Your Star Wars name is Lynpep Taigra

Your punk rock band name is The Reflective Pogo Stick

Come laugh with me ..

And, since it was Valentine's day a couple of days ago (not that we celebrate it much round here) I offer this poem dedicated, not to lovers, but to all real friends who walk the pilgrim path together and take joy and comfort in one another ..

Come laugh with me and dance with love
Across the meadows of the sky
And giggle in the comet’s train
And learn our bondage was a lie.

Let us drink from the one shared cup,
And feed each other with a spoon;
And dream of wonders that were born
In the deep valleys of the moon.

And let us wander hand in hand
Where beggars and glad minstrels go
And shed our shoes and sing our joy
And dark old prisons overthrow.

Bottled up

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

emotionally repressed? Me? never!!
(yeah, right ..)

The Healing of the demonised man in the synagogue

I’ve been assigned to preach on Sunday on Mark 1: 21-34. The story of the healing of the demoniac in the synagogue. I haven’t written up my sermon yet, I always do that last, and I never blog my sermons, because I tend to preach from fairly brief notes, and I’m quite sure they wouldn’t make sense to anyone else.
So, since I tend to mull around the ideas for my sermon in the back of my mind all week, and then write it down and structure it only the day before or so, I thought that what I would blog are, in random order, some of the issues I am going to include:

The context: the Kingdom of God This passage follows straight on from Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom. (that kingdom whose presence, breaking in upon us, demands our repentance) How did Jesus demonstrate the kingdom? Not by striking a blow against Rome to restore an earthly regime, but by striking a blow against Satan’s power to restore a spiritual kingdom and our liberation. Satan not Rome was Israel’s true enemy. A foretaste of the great victory which took place upon the cross. It is also noteworthy that this signified the nature of the kingdom: Jesus demonstrated the kingdom by healing, by mercy, by the demonstration that God’s power is used to enact His grace

Why were there demons in the synagogue? Because Israel was not walking in right relationship with God. She had a form of religion, but was actually breaking many of God’s covenant requirements (see Jesus’ condemnations of Pharisees, also IVP dictionary of the gospels articles on the Pharisees and the socio-economic inequalities in C1 Judaism) What is more demonic than “religion” that purports to be godly but really drives people deeper into bondage and further from His grace?

Why command silence? The “Messianic secret” in Mark is misleading, there is no confusion about the identity of Jesus, it is proclaimed from the first verse. Jesus commanded silence because His time had not yet come, he needed time for His ministry to show his character, for men and women to encounter Him and experience the recognition of faith, that this man was also God-Incarnate. Also, if I were Jesus, I don’t think I’d want my references written (or proclaimed) by demons! As it was some were to accuse Him of being Beelzebub!

Jesus was the holy One of Israel, the bearer of the Holy Spirit.
The great Battle between God and Satan took place in Jesus’ ministry, culminating in the cross

Jesus demonstrated His authority from the outset of His ministry.

Application? Jesus is still Lord of Lords and King of Kings today.
Are we yielded to His Lordship in our lives?
Do we believe He has authority to heal us? (in all kinds of ways: conversion, physical, emotional spiritual etc)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Masai Creed

Because it's sometimes helpful to read old truths in new words, here is the Masai version of the Apostles' creed (courtesy of Wikipedia)

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created Man and wanted Man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the Earth. We have known this High God in darkness, and now we know Him in the light. God promised in the book of His word, the Bible, that He would save the world and all the nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good His promise by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left His home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, He rose from the grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through Him. All who have faith in Him must be sorry for their sins, be baptised in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love and share the bread together in love, to announce the Good News to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for Him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.

This is the One we worship ..

Monday, February 12, 2007

A prayer for someone ..

I found this one in my files, with a date on it (29th September, 1992)
Do you know, I can't even remember who I wrote it for?
(Please be nice about my againg process)
but when I read it, i think it's probably relevant to a lot of people out there, so I offer it tonight as a prayer for all those who are struggling to find the way forward right now. if that is you, be comforted by your Father's love for you, and remember that He doesn't love you any less in your moments of weakness ..


Be with him, Father, for the night is cold,
And stark uncertainty is hard to bear.
Show him his path, (You only are the Way).
Even in dimness, let him know You there.

Let Your light shine wherever it must fall:
Whether as beacon, signalling his road,
Or as a searchlight turned upon his heart,
Be all his answer, for You are his God.

Be to him comfort in the lonely place
Of the heart's seeking. Answer to his cry
With tenderness, with fullness of Yourself.
Give his heart wings, and teach him how to fly.

Show him that thing which he needs most to learn.
Guide him to drink from waters of delight;
And lead him, hand in hand, till he finds rest,
Your perfect peace, the glory of Your light.

A quote to ponder

The essential difference between orthodox Christianity and the various heretical systems is that orthodoxy is rooted in paradox. Heretics, as Irenaeus saw, reject paradox in favour of a false clarity and precision. But true faith can only grow and mature if it includes the elements of paradox and creative doubt. Hence the insistence of orthodoxy that God cannot be known by the mind, but is known in the obscurity of faith, in the way of ignorance, in the darkness. Such doubt is not the enemy of faith but an essential element within it. For faith in God does not bring the false peace of answered questions and resolved paradoxes. Rather, it can be seen as a process of 'unceasing interrogation'.
-- Kenneth Leach, "True God"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Not the large thunders ..

Sometimes we're just so aware of our own littleness, our limitations, that it is time to leave the grand themes behind, and be thankful that God's grace comes to us in the midst of our humanity ..


Not the large thunders, for I cannot hear
Your word to me within the shouted phrase.
Whisper with gentleness, for I am small,
Cramped to the fragile limit of my days.

Show me no maps of heaven, eye’s not seen
Grandeur so vast, nor can I count its gauge.
Dazzled by dewdrops, mesmerised by mice,
My sight cannot encompass such a stage.

Not the vast eons, flaming through the sky --
Limit Your love to now, this second’s span.
I, not eternal, but poor child of time,
Would hold Your finger in my finger’s scan.

I would hold and be held, and I would know,
To the small limits of my littleness,
Love, not as the transcendent spirits know,
But, in this breath, this heart, Your soft caress.

Therefore withhold the music of the spheres,
Until I grow to meet You face to face.
Now, showing mercy to my finitude,
Grant me my this-day’s-portion of Your grace.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Return of the Pickle

Did my blog miss me?
I have been away (to new Zealand, on a holiday to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary)and for the week before there was just too much going on. But i've been back a couple of days now, and I'm ready to reconnect and (shock horror!) maybe even start thinking again!
But don't hold your breath, it's a pretty uncomfortable thing to do!