Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TWO STORIES

A single mother struggling to care her 19 year old son who is experiencing drug and alcohol problems, undiagnosed mental illnesses and many health problems. She is all alone in caring for him. She cannot go to her family as they disrespect her. Her friends do not visit. He abuses her physically, financially and mentally. And yet he’s all she’s got. So she pours out her unfailing love for him and defends him to the end even when she’s the one whom he’s hurt. And she pours out all her troubles, hopes, wishes and dreams of a better life to me. Her words are wrapped in deep pain and her cries come loud and clear as tears falls. “I am so alone, I am so alone”.

An old guy in his last few independent years of life. Living, but wanting to die. Wanting to leave on all the gas cookers on, shut the doors and blow himself up. Addicted to alcohol. Unable to pay rent or bills. An ex-wife. A son killed in tragic circumstances. A daughter that is making a life for herself but wonders how long she can keep supporting ‘Dad’ in all of his….going from one bad situation to another. Unemployable. Unable to rise up and out. Depressed and paranoid. Hope gone but for a few conversations here and there.

One might ask – Where is God?

But I ask where are the followers of God? Salvation and Liberation we supposedly offer and claim is so easy to obtain. Who will be there to hold their hand and led them out of the darkness?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth? – BUT WHY IS Global Warming OCCURING In The First Place?


A couple of Thursday’s ago – our community watched ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. I would encourage you greatly to watch it with some mates and have a good old yarn about the global environmental political issues it raises. You may or may not agree on the points the movie raises – but the beauty is in the discussion and the shared experience of watching this movie. Unless you are George Bush who I don't think will be viewing this film.

The passion and dedication that Al Gore has for the issue of Global Warming leaves you wondering what kind of world we would be living in now if Gore were President instead of Bush?

My criticism of the movie lies in the fact that it places the onus of change upon the individual. Yes we all need to one by one change our way of life – but this leaves unchallenged the broader social structures that allow earth destroying practices to occur in the first place. Businesses and corporations and their unbridled freedom to do as they wish. Remaining unchecked by any accountable body. Going from nation to nation – reporting to no one but those that want them to create more money whatever the social / environmental cost.

Corporations produce a collective beyond an individual. Where one individual maybe eco-friendly in their personal and moral life – in the work environment – he or she may be contributing unbeknown to severe environmental problems in the disguise of ‘doing a good job for your company’ or ‘increasing profit’. Corporations and collectives often develop persona’s and actions that cannot be traced to any one individual. This is the problem.

An Inconvenient Truth also fails to critique why global warming is growing in the first place? Our capitalist and selfish desire for more continually pushes us to accumulate stuff, require more electricity, upgrade and replace, increase our territory, expand, build bigger and better and so on. Our capitalist based natures desires constant growth. How can we possibly keep the global temperature in its natural range when the 20% who control 80% of the world’s resources constantly seek more.

Our response as a community. Sure we helped push one of our cars home instead of driving. But more importantly a discussion emerged about ideas on how to reduce dependence on an already strained system and stop our over use of the world’s resources. We started dreaming about becoming more sustainable and how we might learn to live with less. In the end though, we can be philosophers, we can be dreamers – but most importantly can we be true and do what others say doesn’t even need to be done?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Some of Doveton's Summer Happenings...

Guest star blogger – Kaaaayleeeene Allgoooooooood

Here is Kaylene’s Post-Christmas monthly prayer email – I thought it’d give you a good idea about what’s been happenings for Jahwork during the summer quiet season. (I’ve added a few sneaky additions – don’t tell Kaylene)

Dear friends,

Firstly i hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year!

Personally, after tearing a tendon in my shoulder a few weeks before, I was able to recover and have a very relaxing christmas in Ballarat, followed by a fun filled beach mission in Wilson's Prom.
All of us in Doveton had a break over christmas, and are just starting to get back into the swing of things. We would love you to join us in prayer and praise for the following:

During our two weeks at Tidal River, we got the privilege of being involved in the baptism of Jacob, a young guy who has been journeying with us for about 6 months. After a tough year, it was encouraging for us to see that God is using our little community to touch peoples lives. Please pray for our ongoing relationship with Jacob, and praise God for the blessing that he has been to us. Jacob is about to join us in the guys house on 14th feb to take over Luff’s room.

With a new year, comes some changes to our Doveton family. We recently said farewell to our longtime friend Bryan (Luffy) as he goes to start a new chapter in his life. We also welcome Krystal, who has moved in with me and Sarah. Please pray for both them as they settle in to their various houses, and for our community as we adjust to these changes. (we now total 7 members across 3 houses – yay we can now afford to actually pay our rents on time)

We returned from the prom to find the boys house with more people in it than when we left. We are extremely glad that this house has been able to help out some guys through the tough times in their lives. Please pray for our relationships with these guys and especially for Simon, as we journey with them, and help find them places to live.

I am back at work in the cafe, as of today, with health improving all the time. However i still have some bad days. Please praise God for my improvement and pray for continuing strength. Also pray for my time in the cafe, that i may be able to continue building relationships throughout the year.

I hope that all of you are well and would love to hear from you.
God bless,
Kaylene

Beach Mission 2007

Missing In Action

So I’ve been away for a major piece of January at a Scripture Union Theos Beach Mission – this has been a good time for relaxation, inspiration, some challenges and reflection for the up and coming year. For those who I may not have caught up with you may be interested in hearing about the following Highlights…


Beach Mission 2007 Highlights

The challenge of discovering that the girls 9 person tent could not be setup as we were missing some key components

The challenge of discovering that our main living marquee’s tent walls did not join us and wouldn’t be joining us for the two weeks

Thus slowly accepting the reality that…we will be sleeping under the stars that night…

Battling the camp setup in massive winds whilst learning how to tie essential knots as we went along

Living with a great community for two weeks –

Eating starch (was it the pasta or was it the Tidal River water?)

Failing numerically but succeeding in living

Baptizing a great bloke called Jacob in the waters of Tidal River and witnessing a commitment in his life to following the way of Jesus

Understanding more and more that program should never be priority and that relationships are always the foundation of any program worth doing

Richard’s antics that led to more antics

Learning more and more how we can do nothing on our own but to always look to what God is doing and join what is already happening!

Stabbings (by branches) and subsequent doctor visits, infections, wound dressings and oh and ah-ing

Strolling along the beach at 1am underneath the stars

Climbing mountains and running down them

Leaping in faith off sand dunes

Learning that just cause everyone else does it, doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt

Watching Mary leap to a possible death into the waters of The Crack (was Jacob trying to save her?)

Spending loads of time with God (what else was there to do?)

Swimming and catching some good waves

Drumming, guitar-ing and singing some good tunes (as citronella fumes aroused our senses) to all hours of the night and then watching wrighty take the flak for it even though he just rocked up

Learning, Studying, praying (did we do that?…lifes a prayer), being,

Eating SUFM food

- Pleading with God to not hide Oberon and pour down with rain, wind and hail…asking God for forgiveness at our attempt at ‘mission’ and for his understanding so as not to strike us down (just jokes)

Why not join us next year!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Prayer and Revolution

Words by Henri Nouwen...

You are Christian only so long as you look forward to a new world,

so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in,
so long as you emphasize the need of conversion both for yourself and for the world,
so long as you in no way let yourself become established in a situation of seeming calm,
so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come.

You are Christian only when you believe that you have a role to play in the realization of this new kingdom, and when you urge everyone you meet with a holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled.

So long as you live as a Christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life.