Tag Archive: spirit of God


carefully balanced stack of rocks art andy goldsworthy

I woke to an awareness of You
It is profound
and yet not articulate.
Some reaching out and
re-membering You Are Here.
Not far, but Near,
in this and all things.

You move in mysterious ways

talk to the birds god moves in mysterious ways seagull on the beach may I have this dance

You move in mysterious ways
but there’s no denying You move.
You don’t stay still,
You respond;

words, actions, choices, stories
seas and cities, family and friends

The Singer and the Song
May I have this dance with You?

Talitha Fraser

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Within the grip of winter, it is almost impossible to imagine the spring. The gray perished landscape is shorn of color. Only bleakness meets the eye; everything seems severe and edged. Winter is the oldest season; it has some quality of the absolute. Yet beneath the surface of winter, the miracle of spring is already in preparation; the cold is relenting; seeds are wakening up. Colors are beginning to imagine how they will return. Then, imperceptibly, somewhere one bud opens and the symphony of renewal is no longer reversible. From the black heart of winter a miraculous, breathing plenitude of color emerges.

The beauty of nature insists on taking its time. Everything is prepared. Nothing is rushed. The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival. Because nothing is abrupt, the beginning of spring nearly always catches us unawares. It is there before we see it; and then we can look nowhere without seeing it.

 

With thanks to Dusk for sharing this when I needed to hear it.
An excerpt of a meditation from From To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue 

 

On the weekend of 24-25 September Whitley College hosted a conference called Constitutions and Treaties: Law, Justice, Spirituality – these are notes from session 9 of 9. We acknowledge that this gathering, listening and learning occurred of the land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations and offer our respects to their elders past and present, and all visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island visitors present.

 

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Line through Papua New Guinea, literally nations were “dividing the world between them”.

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Roger Williams, Baptist theologian, a dissenting voice to the Doctrine of Discovery model – wanted to respect Native Americans, house church on Rhode Island for 6 years. Had to go to England at one point – needed a patent or would be annexed.

The Treaty of Westphalia was the end of the 30 Year war. No right to divide the world in two.  Move from Empires to a rise of nation states.

If we think of the Treaty of Waitangi as an interfaith covenant, what are the implications of that? The phrasing of the words “you will acknowledge no other gods above me” implies an acknowledgement of other gods existing. There is a danger when uniformity is a presumption.  What kinds of covenants can we imagine between polities (e.g. could a treaty have some reference to God or Creator Spirit with Bundjil and representatives of Bundjil’s land)? Any covenants (treaties) would need to be local. Can Christian churches model this?
Made under sovereignty of God (not state/federal Government)?

 

Entering a treaty under State/Federal terms legitimises them and their system, it’s not being legitimised ourselves.

 

Being hard isn’t the same as being not worth doing.

 

What does “local” mean/look like to people who know who they are/where they’re from.

Lutherans practiced a vernacular theology – learned the language of those they lived with whereas as other denominations refused to learn the language (and used theological grounds for that) you have to learn/imposing my theology…

 

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O Spirit Come…

Come with Your transforming power.  Breathe upon and into my thoughts and actions this day. Let my work be a labour of love. May those who come into contact with me feel sheltered and cared for .  May I do or say some piece of goodness that will help others feel affirmed and supported.  Let Your wind and fire move me into the places where I am needed. Let me become Your breath so that I may assist You in breathing new life into places that are stale and unfruitful. Make me forceful and gentle, powerful and humble. O Spirit, come.

an excerpt from 7 Sacred Pauses (p.84)

ssh…

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ssh… ssh… ssh…
the sea soothes
ssh… ssh… ssh…
the sea moves
ssh… ssh… ssh…
the moving sea soothes
ssh… ssh… ssh…
the soothing sea moves
ssh…
ssh…
ssh…

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Creating the Right Space – CBM (Panel)

Considerations for creating spaces that are inclusive of people with different levels of ability:

  • Want belonging and feeling treated the same/normal even though we know we’re not
  • Eye contact but NOT staring
  • Participation not about my disability – wanting to engage like everybody else
  • Fundamental dignity: each of us have something to share/contribute
  • Atmosphere – feel connected
  • Send lyrics/talk text in advance and can direct it into Braille or audio myself (needs to be communicated if this is available and PDFs aren’t readable by the programmes)
  • Everyone should be respected as a beloved son/daughter of God – I want to contribute to Christian community > able to share gifts
  • Talk to me not around me as if I’m not here e.g. “Will she have tea?”
  • Need space to be honest about how we feel – don’t pray away my feelings
  • Have communion where they do (with them) e.g. if someone can’t access the alter – don’t just bring them theirs but have yours with them where they are
  • Push in a little bit – there is fear (of being pushed away, rejected, condescended to…)
  • How do you know you’re “in”? On a roster, invited home for lunch, take the communion cup around in my wheelchair.
  • Regular time, place and routine for L’Arche rhythms (known and familiar)
  • Can’t find love, can’t find friendship. Government can’t do that > spiritual communities are REALLY important
  • Care-fronting sometimes with a conversation
  • Time “efficiency” need to allow room for the spirit… can’t plan things. Let it be what it is. Let [people be themselves in their fullness (where people might talk more slowly or move more slowly… let their pace be OK)
  • LABELS: Don’t freak out about it. Don’t let it be your barrier to talking with me. Have names for us too “sighties” and “Sight-trash” – it is a characteristic of who I am like having brown hair. Unhelpful…. handicapped, sufferer of…, carry a cross, disorder… use person-first language. “wheelies” and “cripps” like “queer” turning this language around to a positive framework named and claimed. If you have a relationship with me, let me use the word for myself and learn from listening. In safe space don’t need a label to feel safe but sometimes in public we do (paradox) – label can be the easiest way to get empathy/understanding when someone is behaving in unexpected ways.
  • We have outsourced care and compassion e.g. Cert IV in disability – what would it mean to engage with me directly.

Barriers

  • Physical things – steps/access/etc. and atmosphere
  • Bad theology praying for us to be healed/whole > need to confront that. What do you think that says about my lived experience?
  • “Perfect” Jesus still bore scars from the wounds on his body – perfect in imperfection.
 
Parables of Non-Violence – Transfiguration Community (Bible Study)

‘Making Things Right’: the call to be agents of reconciliation, peacemakers, restorers of broken relationships. How?

  1.  What/who are the obstacles, the enemies, the hindrances to peace and reconciliation? Ego, culture, systems, celebrity, technology…

BIBLICAL: Portrait of the Enemy – Do we even know it? Do we take the existence of evil seriously?

  1. How do we resist these?
  1. Contemplative practice:
    • first disarm your own heart
    • the wrestling is not with flesh and blood but spiritual (the aim in wrestling is not to bring your opponent down but to remain standing yourself)
    • the arena is within us
    • then change from the inside out will happen

BIBLICAL: Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert (in the desert you have to answer some questions)

  1. Danger of outer journey without inner journey
  2. Story of 3 brothers: 2 activist, 1 contemplative

How does the kingdom of God come? How does lasting change happen (repentance)? Not by programs, ideas, ideologies or our mind being in control.

  1. Slow
  2. Hidden, in secret
  3. Non-violent, harmless growth or gestation
  4. Internal
  5. Surprising and inevitable fruit, in the face of formidable obstacles

Like a joke, pint is in the last line – fruit comes at the end.

Non-violence and love are the same. Self-emptying love – no power or manipulation of any kind: mental, emotional, physical…

Using power “for the best” > controlling

  • Ask forgiveness (brothers and sisters don’t walk away from me, walk towards me)
  • Daily discipline
  • Have to listen

Being silent re-sensitises us to what is really happening, awareness, intuition, feeling… Going in to look at God leads you to look at others. Can’t only breathe in, have to breathe out.

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Contemplative Space: The Cave/Gregg Morris

A stoic mind and a bleeding heart
You never see my bleeding heart

And your light’s always shining on
And I’ve been traveling oh so long
I’ve been traveling oh so long

A constant reminder of where I can find her
Light that might give up the way
Is all that I’m asking for without her I’m lost
Oh my love don’t fade away

Mumford and Sons (lyrics)

The Word of God is written on our hearts not in our hearts.  Our hearts need to be broken for the word to come in.

Spirit is God travelling incognito – us!

The Spirit breathes energy into our tired souls.  Sustaining anonymously until we know we need a breath of fresh air.  It’s when we feel breathless/”’I can’t breathe” – we cry out for fresh air and the Spirit rises to answer.  Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones. Yahweh a wind that comes like a rush of air àrevival of a group of people.  God will breathe within it.  Coming of the Spirit restored that nation, giving strength and resolve to its people.

Jesus told disciples – not the rules and regulations but the Spirit at the heart of his being that gave him energy to be who he was.  They didn’t get it.  Be empty, open, receptive, create a hospitable space in your heart for the Spirit to come.  Disciples spent time in prayer – not rushing around but waiting until the Spirit came. Pentecost came and they were ready, speaking in tongues. I will pour out my spirit on all people. Spirit descends in ‘tongues of fire – takes ‘nobody’ disciples and makes them somebody.  In touch with core passion – who we were created to be in the first place.  Desire to fulfil our potential.  Creates more light than heat – we won’t burn out if we are being true to who God created us to be.  Need to be our true selves authentically in any situation.

Engage with struggle. No one with an unmet need – glimpses of glory in community.  Disciples fought over distribution of resources – sought the power of the Spirit.  Greater collective and individual control.  In Acts – they choose 7 men who are strong in the Spirit.  All agreed to give power to the minority.  Marginalised given authority to have control and manage affairs for themselves ‘today scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’.  Spirit is not only working in us but working in others – no culture, church, tradition where Spirit is not already working.  Go with the flow.  Grieve when it ends and wait for the breath of fresh air to come again. Fruits of the spirit are love, peace, joyfulness, self control… à where the fruit is, that is where the Spirit is already working.  Arrogant to think it arrives with me. Work with a Spirit of forgiveness and compassion, follow the spirit of text rather than the law. Pray “God fill us with the Spirit that was in Jesus” – a spirit of love and justice.  We don’t have a monopoly on the Spirit but we need to be open/receptive to it.