Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why Warriors Lie Down and Die

Was at a cultural awareness seminar last week on Aboriginal situation in Aus. by Richard Trudgen, who also wrote the book, why warriors lie down and die. Now in it's sixth printing, the book has been invaluable in bringing about a new sense of understanding between indigenous people and mainstream culture.

Some Alarming statistics:
1970s - 95% of employment (in Aborigial areas) filled by aboriginals
1990s - 95% of employment filled by English first speakers
The 1994 deathrate among Aboriginals in Australia was 4.5x the national average (worse than the Iraqis RIGHT NOW... wow). And those are the latest stats available... which is incredibly interesting itself...

We've got to pray and ask the Lord how we help.
It did get me dreaming and thinking about the likes of Booth Tucker in India who seemed to fully grasp a cross-cultural attitude that was coupled with aggressive evangelism and hope... with great respect for the native culture of India... I think we ought to at least have an Aboriginal uniform?? I'm praying God will release the strategy to Close The Gap in Australia.

Monday, July 28, 2008

PEACEMAKER - Elias Chacour

I've just finished reading Blood Brothers - the life journey of Elias Chacour (born in the Palestinian village of Biram in the upper Galilee in 1939. In 1948 after a United Nations resolution, his country of Palestine became the sovereign state of Israel. Three years later, his own village of Biram would be changed forever. In 1951, Israeli soldiers marched into Biram and told the inhabitants that they would have to leave the village temporarily for security reasons. When the inhabitants of Biram returned, they found their houses, their entire village, bulldozed by the Israelis. They have never been allowed to return.) and was struck by similar situations of violence and oppression leading to a different path - consider the last post about Kardazac (Bosnian war criminal) finally caught for his atrocities of violence and horror... all in the name of race and 'liberation'... Elias was also caught in the grip of oppression and violence but through Jesus and His presence and inner peace in his life he saw a different way and pursued it...

In each of our hearts lies the possibility for both. Neither of these men are special in their own right... they are human. C.S. Lewis in the Weight of Glory explains it that we are all sons of god... we have the capacity for goodness and the potential for evil... the question becomes, what choices will you make and where will they lead you?
revenge, unforgiveness, jealousy and hatred lead to war, atrocities and murder - even if only in your own heart and home.
forgiveness, peace, love and hope lead to life - inner and outer works of God's Kingdom coming near.

I want to be a PEACEMAKER...

Friday, July 25, 2008

War criminals and more questions on leadership...

I've been rhinking about the recent arrest of Karadzic (the Bosnian war criminal at large for 13 years)
Quoted from a ABC article on his disguise:
People who live on Juri Gagarin Street, a street of gray Communist-era apartment buildings across the Sava River, felt certain that their new neighbor was some kind of mystical guru.

"He moved to our neighborhood early last year. I thought he was a spiritual man," said Danica Jankovic, a sixth floor neighbor of the man who assumed the alias Dr. Dragan or David Dabic. "His dense white beard and distinctive long hair, his long periods of complete silence, and the fact that he was into meditation left me with no doubt. I still cannot believe his true identity."

Unrecognizable, with long white hair, a long beard and 40 pounds lighter, Karadzic, under the new name, appears to have led a very different life than one would have expected from one of the world's most wanted fugitives.

I can't help but wonder why International/National leaders are allowed so much freedom to do such evil things... How long will Mugabe be left unchecked while he holds the people of Zimbabwe hostage... it's an empty war crimes trial when Justice is so long delayed... incredible..

then I started to wonder about the checks necessary in leadership. Most of us are far from being able to execute decisions that effect whole people groups... but large enough that every one has some impact... what are the essential checks and balances? how is accountability secured and to whom? what are our motives...

some good questions to keep us honest and true... what is true leadership - the exercise of power only? or is true leadership the release of freedom in the world?

anyway, just thinking...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

By all means aim for Heaven, just be like Jesus and bring a thief with you! - James Barker (pioneer of Aus. Salvation Army)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2 essentials for God's Kingdom Come...

I've been in a course on poverty and the holy spirit for the last two days with jackie Pullinger (if you haven't read her bio you really should it's a classic - Chasing The Dragon... ).
Anyway, she said ALOT of interesting things but here is a nugget I've been thinking alot about:
she said you need two things to work with the poor:

1. Patience: and by this she means in the concept of the sowing and reaping of the Kingdom principle... that we have to sow before we reap and that it's about believing in God to be faithful to his promises... nothing else you can do but be faithful to yours.. she talked about how the opposite of patience isn't impatience but unbelief (in this concept)... and also threw in a bit about how when it's time to reap it wasn't just you who has sown (but to credit the other believers and people who have gone before you to prepare the ground)...

2. Impatience: this was a classic one... she said (and I can testify) that you don't have to hang out with the oppressed or the poor for very long before you have a deep impatience for the reign of God... this is right. We should be impatient for the things of the Kingdom that the poor need... freedom, sight, provision, etc... and that impatience ought to drive us into the heart of God and the word of God and a willingness to lay hold of heaven for earth...

on this last note she mentioned that the natural impatience of working with the poor (for God's kingdom to come) can lead us two ways: one is to the Kingdom (to be willing to look foolish and hold out for transforming power) or the other is to create another theology that allows us to accept things as they are (I couldn't help but think about harm reduction here...).

anyway, she's a legend.. and even more than that God is good.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Archbishop makes Zimbabwe protest

Dr John Sentamu has been a consistent critic of Mr Mugabe

Archbishop's protest
The Archbishop of York has cut up his dog collar and said he will not replace it until Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is out of office.
Dr John Sentamu made the symbolic protest gesture live on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show.

He said Mr Mugabe had "taken people's identity" and "cut it to pieces", prompting him to do the same. read the whole article

makes me wonder... what can WE do for Zimbabwe?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

much with little...learning from Zambia

Lesson number One: much with little

Perhaps one of the greatest learning curves from the Zambian front is how much gets done for the Kingdom with so little resources. Zambia has between 70 to 80% of it's people saved. They have outposts that are led by local officers all over the place... they helped to build the education system... they dig wells in strategic places...

one outpost I visited (Chikombola) was building a hall to accomodate for the rainy season coming up and I asked how that worked... here it goes:
every family contributes some bricks and then they build it together... the only tools were some homemade ones... people even helped dig the foundations with their bare hands.
I told them that we had buildings (too embarrassed to tell them how many and how lavish they are) but not enough people... their problem is the opposite. And maybe that's what helps to build the kingdom. They certainly aren't short of spiritual resources... they have hope, energy, and life - perhaps their investment in the things that matter most (i.e. PEOPLE instead of projects) have helped them to grow the actual church instead of concentrating on what they don't have in physical resources - they've enjoyed what they do have (community and Holy Spirit - the essentials of church).
I'm just thinking - but if we stopped complaining about a lack of physical resources and took to the spiritual battlefield... perhaps we'd advance the kingdom???

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

how's our report?

Campbell Roberts posts: (New Zealand justice blog)
I understood for the first time that The Salvation Army as a founding NGO of the United Nations is required to annually report on the Millennium development goalsThe eight Millennium Development Goals are:
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal healthCombat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development
How do we in New Zealand Salvation Army contribute to this International responsibility.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Just returned from Zambia last night (a 2 week learning immersion with a star-studded team from all over the Southern Australia Territory). And I think one word will clear it up:
I'll give you the top three to get started... stay tuned for more lessons from Zambia.
1. Corps Leadership team from Chikombola (heroes!)
2. Receiving a Rooster as a gift for coming to a village!
3. Feeling completely and utterly useless in the presence of death and poverty.