The lights are on

Saturday night for Earth Hour we held a community game night during Earth Hour.  Have you ever tried playing Balderdash by candlelight?  It was not always easy to read the cards but we had a great time and are considering shutting off the lights once a month for a similar evening.  We realized that this was a wonderful way to slow down and enjoy community and would highly recommend it not just to save energy but because of how it can foster relationship.  Maybe we should all invite our friends over for a candle lit games night and see what happens.

Unfortunately looking out over Seattle it did not look as though many others joined us in this venture.  However even a few lights turned off can make a difference.


Sydney switches off the lights

Here is a great video of the Sydney skyline last night – with the harbour bridge and opera house lights going dark.

Coming to Australia

Tom & I will be in Australia April 6 – 26. I will mainly be there to visit my family but Tom will also be doing speaking at various events. Here is our tentative schedule.

Monday 7 Morling College – Baptist ministers – ‘New Conspirators’ (Mike Frost
Tuesday 8 ——–
Wednesday 9 3pm – Macquarie Christian Studies Institute – staff, faculty, board, uni student leaders – ‘New Conspirators’
Thursday 10 Driving from Sydney to Melbourne
Friday 11 Evangelical Alliance, Engage Project (Melbourne) – Social and Cultural Trends
Saturday 12 Forge Conference (Kim Hammond; Philip Hughes & Peter Brierly 2-5pm at Tracy Centre (Lausanne) (; Evening – dinner with 8th Day folk
Sunday 13 Forge Conference – attending?
Monday 14 Forge Conference – attending?; PM Solace group (Emerging Church) – 8pm
Tuesday 15 Morning free (Philip Hughes 1-2 hrs); Urban Seed (Gordon Preece; Dinner with Andrew Menzies (Allelon Project) et al
Wednesday 16 Driving from Melbourne to Sydney
Thursday 17 Evangelical Alliance, Engage Project (Sydney) – Social and Cultural Trends
Friday 18 ——–
Saturday 19 ——–
Sunday 20 Speaking am – Hornsby Baptist Church (church is basing its studies Living on Purpose) – followed by lunch; PM ‘Teleconference’ round table – Anabaptist Network (AAANZ)
Monday 21 Confronting the Powers – New Conspirators – TEAR/EA/AAANZ/World Vision 7pm
Tuesday 22 AM Tom flies to Perth; Afternoon – meet with Jarrod McKenna; Evening (TBC) – Newbigin group on your version of ‘public theology’
Wednesday 23 Jarrod McKenna
Thursday 24 Jarrod McKenna TBC
Friday 25 Jarrod McKenna TBC; PM Tom flies to Sydney
Saturday 26 ——-
TBC – To Be Confirmed

Earth Hour Prayer

Saturday evening at 8pm is the time that we are asked to turn off our lights for an hour for Earth Hour. We are thinking of hold a games evening by candlelight & firelight. I think that this would also be a good time for some quiet meditation. Here is a great Celtic prayer that is very powerful to use by candlelight.

Christ as a light, illumine and guide us.
Christ as a shield, overshadow and cover us,
Christ be under us, Christ be over us,
Christ be before us, Christ be behind us,
Christ be within us, Christ be without us,
Christ as a light illumine and guide us

Invisible children

For those that are in Seattle, here is something you might like to check out.

Quest Church and Q Cafe is privileged to partner together to host a screening of the new film, ”Black is for Sunday,” from the non-profit international organization, Invisible Children.  Film will be shown on Monday, March 31 – 7-9pm at Q Cafe with some brief discussion afterwards.  Read more 

How Much Water Do You Use

Many people believe that the wars of the future will be over water and not over land.  Billions of people in the world lack access to clean water, yet many of us take fresh clean water for granted and use far more than we need.  How do you do with water usage?  You might like to try this simple water calculator test to find out

Ordinary Resurrection People

As I was thinking about people in my life who have lived as resurrection people I was reminded of one of my favourite books Pied Piper by Neville Shute.  I have been recommending it for 30 years.  It is a delightful story that starts in a London club during an air raid in WWII.  An elderly gentleman whom everyone has written off useless to the war effort starts to tell his story.

Just before war broke out he was in Austria and was asked to accompany some children back to England.  As they travel war breaks out and they are forced to flee first by train then walking, across worn torn Europe.  They are bombed, captured by Germans and almost killed on numerous occasions but manage to escape.  As they travel they attract more children, some orphans, some friends and relatives of people they meet.  By the time they reach England there are 12 – 15 children clustered around their elderly leader.

This story always reminds me that there are often incredible stories hidden inside the most ordinary and unassuming of people.  God’s new world is not built by the rich and famous superstars but by men and women like this who accomplish extraordinary deeds of heroism, generosity and compassion in ordinary life situations.  I have known many such people in my life.  Margaret and Ian Murray with whom I lived when I first moved to New Zealand are an example of people like this. They supported and encouraged so many of us who were floundering to find ourselves in our twenties…. yet I am sure that none of you have ever heard of them.  Bernice and Clarence Oshita whom I met in Hawaii when the Anastasis was stopped for a year undergoing repairs are others.  They faithfully picked up a group of 3 – 6 of us from the ship each Sunday, took us to church and then took us home for lunch.  Incredible hospitality that I will never forget – God’s resurrection people in ordinary guise.

Who comes to your mind – a resurrection person in ordinary guise?

Living into the Resurrection

Yesterday we held a wonderful Easter celebration at the Mustard Seed House

Christ is Risen

Though the Easter season is over for those in the secular world and even for many in the church, for us it is just beginning.  The 40 days of the Easter season stretch until Pentecost.  As I have already mentioned this is the season for planting, growing and nourishing the seeds that God has planted in your own life as well as in the life of others.  For those of us who are keen gardeners (at least if you live in the Northern hemisphere) it is also the season for planting and growing in the garden too.

Over the next few weeks I want to highlight some of the seeds that I see that have been planted around me – lives and ministries that have flourished with the wonderful resurrection life of Christ.

Part of the privilege of my life is the opportunity to interact with many of God’s hidden resurrection people.  On Saturday Tom & I had the opportunity to celebrate their coming baby with one such couple – Melody & Gil George.  They are some of the most loving and giving people that I know – a true example of God’s resurrection life.  They work with the L’arche community in Tacoma and are always willing to come and help us and many others with computer glitches.  They have personally blessed us in many ways – Gil has been the computer techie at our last 2 conferences and has cooked wonderful Ethiopian food to help us celebrate God’s banquet feast. Melody makes wonderful homemade ice cream and is one of the keenest hikers I know.  She has opened my eyes to much of the beauty of Mt Rainier.

Mel & Gil

Conspiring together

Here is the second of the morning prayers that Mark Pierson did for our conference The New Conspirators.  The emphasis is on multiculturalism and the call to part of a God’s beloved community.  It seemed an appropriate reflection for this season.

Stations of the Cross from New Zealand

Gus Row just sent me the link to these powerful images for the Stations of the Cross that they are putting on in Hamilton New Zealand.  Great way to focus your meditation this week