Monday, September 07, 2009

... here be spoilers - district 9

i've decided to start a new blog. since i'm seeing so many new movies these days - i've been bitten by the bug to see more movies again - i thought i'd create a blog that i could just say what i think about a movie without worrying that people might not have seen it. the blog is going to be plainly stating that there are spoilers. no surprises.

we'll see how it goes.

what else has been going on? had church camp two weekends ago - that was quite good. our speaker was rob miller, a minister with st jude's carlton and previous at caringbah anglican in sydney. he gave a series of talks on the Holy Spirit and his role in the life of the Christian. the thing i brought away from the talks that most stood out to me was the idea that the Holy Spirit's job is to deepen the Christian's understanding of God as Father. i don't think i've ever thought of it in those explicit terms, although, thinking back on what i've learned of the Holy Spirit and my understanding, experientially, of his work in my life, it does make a kind of sense.

i've always conceived of the Holy Spirit as a counsellor (quelle surprise), interceding in prayer for me when my own prayers fail, and an agent of change to conform me increasingly to the image of Christ. both of these are true and i've experienced the fruits of both in my life, i think, but i don't know how much it's impacted my understanding of God as Father. i pray, "our Father in heaven...", but it's hard to think of God and my dad as both being my father. they're so different but there are a couple of things they share in common.

me, obviously. dad was my father, making me "born of a husband's will" - although he had no idea of what exactly i would be like, my dad decided that i would be his child (in a roundabout kind of way). when i became a Christian i took hold of the promises in the Bible that tell me that before the creation of the world, God had determined to adopt me as one of his children - making me "born of God".

as i mature i am coming to resemble them more and more. in the almost twenty years that i've been a Christian i think i've changed, become more loving, more forgiving, more certain of what's right and what's wrong, more aware of myself and the immensity and power of God's grace. of course, these changes show my flaws and failings in ever-more(?) stark contrast and the variety of context means that not all the pros and cons show up at the same time - it's not always easy to see the changes but i believe they are there.

likewise, in the (soon to be) thirty-five years i've been kicking around the planet i've grown more and more to resemble my dad. i'm a bit of a spendthrift; i enjoy working in retail and dealing with people (mostly); i have a big gap in my teeth; i have a scottish accent that ebbs and flows depending on who i'm talking to or what i'm talking about. i resemble my dad's dad a bit too - more than once i've caught pop looking out at me from the mirror first thing in the morning... it's a wee bit scary...

typically, i've looked at my relationship with the Holy Spirit as if i am a work in progress and he is the one moulding me to be like Jesus. that's true, i think, but also think that i've been conceiving of my relationship with the Father as a similar work in progress. that's false, since the promise isn't that i will be moulded into being a child of God over the course of a lifetime, "kiln-fired" (so to speak) when Jesus returns and changed in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet, then declared to be a child of God. i'm a child of God right now.

so the way i figure it, that means that the more i come to know and understand God as my Father, the more i will be changed as a byproduct of my relationship with my Father in heaven to be like Christ and the more the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit show in my life. hmmm... something to think about there. i'll keep turning it over in my head and let you know what i'm thinking. thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated.

i'm also settled on a small group at church. this was in a state of flux for a while and i'm looking forward to growing relationships with my brothers and sisters, praying regularly with others and getting into the Bible on a regular basis with multiple points of view to hone my thinking. "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." this will be a good thing, i think.

i've been reading heaps and here's a brief list of some of the things i've been looking at, since before i went on holidays:
  • the consolations of philosophy (alain de botton)
  • cleo - the uppity cat that changed a family (helen brown)
  • dreams from my father (barack obama)
  • the brain that changes itself (norman doidge, m.d.)
  • the girl with the dragon tattoo (stieg larsson)
  • the girl who played with fire (stieg larsson)
  • the hunger games (suzanne collins)
  • hunger games - catching fire (suzanne collins)
  • pride and prejudice and zombies (jane austen and seth graeme-smith)
  • viruses, plagues & history (michael b.a. oldstone)
lots of reading going on and i'm loving it! this month a new kim stanley robinson is out (galileo's dream) and next month we see the third stieg larsson book (the girl who kicked the hornets' nest) and matthew reilly's new jack west jr adventure (five greatest warriors). plus, i've joined a book group! phew!

watch this space...

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