Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jack Grey
Found this spy, conspiracy, espionage site today: www.jackgrey.com

Monday, October 03, 2005

Define Metacognition: thinking about thinking.

Use in a sentence: Metacognition sucks.

I wanted to write something. I don't feel so good today. It's just one of those days that comes around every so often and you know the things that could change it are not going to happen and so you sit in this dull oblivion and decide to wait it out. Someone asks you how you're doing and because you don't know how to answer that question you say good/fine/bugger-off (whatever's appropriate) and then you go back to waiting. All your motivation and enthusiasm seems to have just bled away, and you can understand why, but it doesn't change the fact that you need it back. But then, you don't feel particularly enthusiastic about trying to get it back because, well, you're not feeling very motivated. Catch 22. You need the key to open the door but the key's on the other side of the locked door. There's something spectacularly clever about that.


Monday, September 12, 2005

I want to live like there's no tomorrow
I want to dance like no one's around
I want to sing like nobody's listening
As I lay my body down
I want to give like I have plenty
I want to love like I'm not afraid
I want to be the man I was meant to be
I want to be how I was made

- Chris Tomlin

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I've just tonight finished reading a book that I believe God's quite unexpectedly dropped into my life at a fairly significant time of change for me. So, the purpose of this is two-fold: firstly (and primarily), as a debrief for me and a way of processing everything I've just read; and two, for the benefit of anyone who wants to read it. So, feel free to read/comment/go buy the book, whatever you like. Anyway, here goes. (It's fairly long)

by Dr Larry Crabb

Looking Beneath the Surface of Life
- Modern Christianity promises to relieve the pain of living in a fallen world. It presents Christians with the message that it is within our power to arrange for the relief we long for.
- As a result, we no longer bank everything on the coming of a nail-scarred Christ for His groaning but faithfully waiting people. Instead, our hope has switched to a responsive Christ who satisfies His hurting people by quickly granting them the relief they demand. This is a perversion of the good news of Jesus.
- No matter how together we may appear, even to ourselves, buried deep within our heart is the vague sense that something is wrong. Ever since God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden, we have lived in an unnatural environment, a world in which we were not designed to live.
- Most of us spend our life trying to pretend things are better than they are. When reality breaks through (perhaps in a glimpse of how disappointed or imperfect we are) we're strongly inclined to do whatever restores our feigned sense of well-being.
- Jesus reserved his harshest criticism for the Pharisees, people who made denial their trademark, specialised in looking good and who presented themselves as "together people". Jesus called the blind and said "First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." (Matthew 23:26)
- Comforting thoughts about God's faithfulness can keep us living on the surface of life, safely removed from a level of pain and confusion that may seem overwhelming. But God is fully known in the midst of confusing reality. To avoid asking the tough questions and facing the hard issues is to miss a transforming encounter with God.
- Jesus made it clear that doing right in his eyes required far more than the performance of certain activities - instead it could be summarised into: Love God and Love Others. We cannot honour these exhortations without profound internal change.

We're Thirsty People
- As human beings we have longings and desires and we don't need to dismiss them all under the thinking that we are being selfish. In fact, often our longings are legitimate and put there by God when he created us. To deny them would be to neglect a part of us that God has made.
- The fact that I desire reflects both (1) my Creator's wisdom and kindness in designing me with freedom, and (2) the separation between God and me introduced by sin. If we had never sinned, we would live with a wonderful realisation of our part in God's world rather than a desperate desire to find meaning.
- "All who are thirsty ..." What did He say next? Not: "Good, I'm glad you admit it, now stop being so selfish and repent - bury your hurt under renewed commitment and get on with loving others." Nor did He say: "Now get in touch with your thirst and explore it deeply. Study what can be done to feel better." What He did say was: "Come!"
- We long for what we cannot have until God arranges things to His standards (ie, heaven) Nothing less than perfect relationships in a perfect world among perfect people will make pain-free happiness a reality.
- When the relief of the inevitable pain of living in a fallen world becomes our priority, at that moment we leave the path towards pursuing God.
- So many Christians sense a pressure to feel good. The message that comes across to millions of Christians is that relief from pin and something approaching sinless perfection is available this side of heaven. Paradise now, and more of it later.
- The fact is that we do desire and we do hurt - but Jesus has promised to provide us with springs of living water. So, what does that mean?
- Our longings (desires) can be categorised into three kinds: Crucial longings (basic and most profound: to live in relationship with Him - our soul desires), Critical longings (legitimate and important desires for quality relationships that add immeasurably to the quality of living) and Casual longings (everything else that doesn't centrally involve someone else giving of themself - everything from good exam results to a carspace)
- The irony of this system of classification is that we spend most of our worry and time arranging for our comfort (casual longings), and then of course our relationships (critical), and if we can get those two reasonably satisfied then our world is rosie and we praise God. This is often mistaken for the joy of knowing the Lord. The problem is, are our priorities in line with Gods, and what happens when our casul and critical longings aren't satisfied.
- God promises to satisfy our hearts desire, that springs of living water will flow from our innermost being (heart) - ie our Critical Desire to be in communion and relationship with our Maker.
- Christ did not promise to satisfy all our casual or critical longings. He did promise to satisfy our Crucial longings (the joys that only relationship with Him provides) but; the satisfaction available now is only a taste so we will still ache for more than we have; and, the satisfaction of crucial longings does not dull the pain of disappointment when our casual and critical longings go unmet.
- Disappointment is a chronic reality for the self aware Christian: the complete joys of God will not be ours until heaven; no relationship on earth is perfect, and; we habitually try to satisfy our crucial longings with things other than God.

Digging Broken Wells
- The problem of sin can be divided into two categories. (1) visible acts of transgression against clearly written biblical standards and (2) subtle violations of Jesus' command to love.
- We must go beyond a legitimate concern with visible sin and explore ways in which thirsty people who desperately want relationship foolishly violate the command to love.
- The Sin of Self-Protection: when our legitimate thirst for receiving love creates a demand not to be hurt that overrides a commitment to lovingly involve ourself with others.
- The mark of maturity is love, and the essence of love is relating without a concern for self-protection
- We can be "good people" without Christ. But loving without self-protection requires profound trust and reliance on God.
- We are demanding people. Because we stubbornly walk past God's water supply to dig our own wells, we end up depending on our methods of self-protection. It's all we have so it HAS to work.
- We often pray, asking God to hear our cry, pleading with Him to let nothing else go wrong. Sometimes, do our prayers reflect more of a demand than a petition? God opposes the proud who demand but gives grace to the humble who express their hurt.
- Christian growth requires that we surface the tendency to demand. It must be identified, exposed in all its ugliness, and abandoned.
- We need to change our focus and ask the Spirit to search us (Ps 139) - asking Him to expose our sin. We need to come to the Bible with the purpose of self-exposure consciously in mind.

Changing From the Inside Out
- Paul prays that we may be strengthened with "power through His Spirit in your inner being" and asserts that God is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:16,20). We therefore claim God's power as the guarantee of total change from pressure to peace, from disappointment to joy, and thenlive with an intolerable burden that either crushes us with despair or requires us to pretend we're better than we are. The idea that peace and joy might merely support us during times of struggle and sorrow rather than eliminate those times is not always appealing.
- We insist that the real change that heaven will bring (an end to all pain) be ours today. That insistence is the problem we must overcome if the real change that's possible now is to occur.
- The present power of the Gospel lies not in its ability to generate an internal warmth that overcomes every experience of disappointment and struggle. Instead, its claim is that dead people can live, that people who haven't the slightest hope of eternal happiness can live in Paradise forever, that a way has been made for sinners who deserve to suffer at the hands of a wrathful God to be declared righteous and therefore fit for relationship with God.
- When repentance moves us from self-protection to obedient trust, then God moves in changing power. Problems in our world remain. We still hurt. We sometimes do wrong things. But repentance (a deep change of mind about the source of life that admits there is life in Christ and nothing else) produces an increasing strength, stability and ability to love God and others the way He commissioned us to.
- The Spirit of God has placed something alive and clean and good and whole in the heart of every Christian. The actual life of Christ is now in us, infused in the centre of who we are, waiting to be poured out towards God in profound worship and towards others in healing grace. Yes, we are impossibly foolish, obsessively self-preoccupied, arrogantly self-sufficient and badly hurting. To deny it ruins the wonder of what Christ did for us when He died. But by the grace of God we are more. There is good stuff beneath the bad and yet we often fail to find it because we lack the courage to face the bad stuff that hides it from view.
- Real change, a change that brings joy inexpressible in its wake, is possible if you're willing to start from the inside out.

All notes based on INSIDE OUT (C) Larry Crabb 1988

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Today I'm a proud Australian.
And with all the John Howard bashing that goes on in our wonderful country, today I don't care. After his generosity on behalf of us, I'm simply proud to be Australian...

...so I emailed him and told him so.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I didn't think that last post should be the one that sat on BlogFeed.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

You know what Jimmy? I was prepared to have a rational debate with you. I think debate and discussion is a great thing - we get to hear each others' views and we get to learn from each other. You share your political opinion on your blog all the time and I love it. That's why I'm surprised that you've reacted so strongly to people disagreeing with you. I've told you before your blog is one of my favourites to read and I'm disapointed that you've decided to stop.

It is possible that people will have different opinions to you - it happens to everyone all the time. As Tom said, he and I disagree on heaps of stuff and I really value the relationship I have with him. I've learnt heaps. It's your decision if you want to make a debate personal. I don't want to bite into that. What you write on your blog is your business.

We're not hiding under rocks here Jimmy. We read the same newspapers as you, listen to the same political propoganda and read the same Bible. It's our opinions that are different and that's the brilliant thing about God creating 6 billion individuals instead of 6 billion clones.

But, for the record I DID NOT edit anything on that post below and I REALLY object to your claim that I did. I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from blatantly lying about me.

I'm sad that you're ditching blogging over this because there is no reason that this couldn't have been an intelligent debate we all could have benifitted from.

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