November 14, 2011


Beehive huts, Skellig Michael

This Saturday I had time to browse in my favourite second-hand book store, and found a book that is delighting me with it's insights - it's immensely encouraging.  So, I'm putting a couple of quotes here for any fellow travellers who might get joy from them also.

The writer is speaking of her life as a Benedictine living in the inner city: "It is here, in a place that the late Trappist monk Thomas Merton called the new wilderness, that I built my hut.  Merton thought it the new desert because the centre of our cities are barren and dry, devoid of hope, of promise, of possibility."

"What do I do here?  I plead a case for presence, beauty, community, and a call to follow God into the wilderness.

Once upon a time men and women who wanted to seek God relocated themselves in abandoned places.  These 'wilderness places' often associated with the desert, gave the seekers a unique perspective and freedom.

Living on the margins of society, stripped of the trappings of social expectation and pressure, they began to see differently.  Immersed in the word of God, they began to listen differently.  They put on the broken heart of God and spoke the truth on God's behalf for the poor, the victims of injustice, the suffering.

Their location in the wilderness gave them great freedom.  Why?  Because no one paid attention to them.  Because they were not the movers and shakers of the city.  Because they had no political influence, no one cared what they did.  No one even noticed their quiet works of transformation among the poor until suddenly "the desert and parched land bloomed with abundant flowers"."

Quotes are from "A Monk in the Inner City" by Mary Lou Kownacki.

This expresses so accurately what is happening in many cities in the earth right now.  Let us become unafraid to see and listen differently, and just maybe we will hear God calling us to come and walk in dry and barren places with Him, and have the joy of seeing Him make these same places bloom with abundant flowers!  May we too find a new perspective and new freedom.

November 06, 2011


For the last few days I have been reading Joel 2 and Luke 5 again and again. 

The seriousness of this hour we live in, and the depth of the cry in my heart that God would be with us, leading us, teaching us, enabling us, grows daily.

All of Joel needs to be read to keep this in it's true context, but chapter 2 :12-19 are speaking loudly to me.

"Even now", declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows:  He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing - grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.  Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.

Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar.  Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord.  Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations.  Why should they say among the peoples, "Where is their God?"

THEN the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.  The Lord will reply to them:  "I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations."

Luke 5:37-39

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins.  If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.  And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' "

Many of us have tasted and loved what has become old wine, and we are as dried up old wine skins.  Let us ask that God would bless us to be made new and flexible, letting go of the old (even though it tasted good) so that we may be filled with new wine once more.

My Prayer : Lord I can feel the flow and power of Your Word as I read it.  We have become incoherent for the lack of Your Word, with it's power and truth.  I see us in Your Body as various groups who have become so excited over a portion of the truth you've revealed to us that we have made camp there and made it our all.

Please shake us loose and lead us on, help us to realise that You are infinite and there is so much more You want to teach and reveal to us.  Help us to be awake, alert, with our lamps filled and oil to spare in this hour.  Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand what You are saying and doing.

We bring our hearts and our cry before You Lord, and ask that You would send us grain, new wine and oil in this season to strengthen us to call that You would 'spare Your people O Lord' and the cry would arise again and again out of the nations.