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Listen

The Launch Code continues today with our third practice, listen.

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Learn

Today as we continue our discussion of practices which enable us to sustain a rhythm of launching life in the mission of God, we aim to be people who learn.

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Magda is Over!

Well i am officially now 32 years old.  As such, the end of my 7 week ‘Magda Effect’ weight loss challenge has also met its deadline.

The full time score is a current weight of 70kg and a body fat of 17%.  This represents a loss of 4kg (the aim was 5kg) and 3% body fat (the aim was 5%).  While i didn’t quite reach my ultimate goals in the 7 weeks, i came pretty close!  I also made improvements in my patterns of eating, being less susceptible to the Fat Bastard lament, “i eat because i’m unhappy, i’m unhappy because i eat”.

 

fat_bastard

 

I guess it’s time to celebrate by gorging myself on the copious amounts of chocolates i received for my birthday.  I am kidding…sort of!

Light

Today we move on to the first of seven themes of missional practice enabling us to launch into a Christ-infused life…light.

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Launch

We shall begin our exploration of the ‘Launch Code’ throughout Easter Week with an overview of the word Launch.

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The Launch Code

For a long time i have believed that right practice (orthopraxy) is far more important than simply having the right beliefs (orthodoxy).  Ironically, it has been less time since i have put this belief into practice!

After numerous years reading of mission statements and core values in both religious and non-religious spheres, i have been inspired by the growing attempts for Christian communities to recognise the value of action and commit to shared practices.  For the ‘missional’ Christian/faith community, adherence to practices reflect both the unique context and culture of the group in question as well as recognising the long tradition of practice-based faith communities throughout the history of Christianity.  This is not to neglect the important underpinning of right beliefs and values but more to highlight that without accompanying actions, the strength of those convictions must be questioned.

The life of faith in Jesus is one of transformation, both of individuals and communities.  It is not a private belief-only faith which can remain secluded from interacting with a wider ‘secular’ world.  Rather, following the pattern of Christ, the Christ-follower is called out to follow Jesus as Lord in every sphere of life, taking the mission of the kingdom into the wider world, transforming the ‘secular’ into the sacred.  It is not a static life but a dynamic one.  The journey may commence with an inner trajectory of the heart but it must then express itself through concrete action.

This has led to my own attempt to articulate a set of ‘missional practices’.

 

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Seeds of Hope

The past year has seen the ground upon which my journey with Christ takes place become increasingly barren.  Despite the ongoing desire to continue traversing this winding path, efforts to water and feed its landscape, and constantly dreaming of ways my path may be better entwined with others, it seemed that every effort was met with failure.

I had dreamt of a tight-knit faith community that strengthened the call of Christ in each others lives…despite friendships remaining strong, that community has temporarily fractured.

I had dreamt of a positively disciplined life of prayer, fasting, generosity, and hospitality…instead i felt the hopelessness of unanswered prayer (in my temporal view), the frustration of personal failings and the nagging conviction that self is truly Lord when it comes to the crunch.

I had dreamt of connecting with my local community…i still only knew those i was friends with years ago and had virtually no knowledge of the lives of my neighbours.

I had dreamt of building true relationships with those less fortunate in our society.  As an ‘insider’, i wanted to help the ‘outsiders’ feel part of the circle in our wider community…while i have certainly acted in this area, my efforts have been rather spasmodic.

I had dreamt of being a true character of peace, promoting a different way of viewing our relationships with others…and yet it only takes my son to throw a bowl of cereal over his head for my veneer of peacable behaviour to reveal an intemperate, impatient man.

 

Unfortunately, despite having a sensational life, my longing to further reduce the dissonance between my beliefs and actions (which is often a chasm) creates a ‘glass half empty’ mentality.  Perceived failures hit me hard.  Despite having a character of perserverance, i must admit that in recent times the parched ground of my faith (the living actions as opposed to the inner conviction) was taking its toll.  I had begun to wonder whether the difficulty of this walk was worth it.  Maybe i should have settled for being a good little Christian blandly warming my pew while minding my ‘p’s and q’s’ in my daily life?  Maybe the exciting call of mission and justice was for better equipped people?  Maybe it was time for idealism to move aside for pragmatism as i set about having 2.3 kids and a manageable mortgage?

Hope was waning…

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