Monday, June 30, 2008

The Irresistible Revolution

"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any word from the New Testament and forget everything except your pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament."
(Soren Kierkegaard)

I just finished Shane Caliborne's "The Irresistible Revolution" at the weekend. This guy is a radical. A lover of Jesus, and a man of conviction.
He is the co-founder of a community of believers in Philadelphia called The Simple Way. The book isn't necessarily an autobiography, but it comes close enough. Close enough to let you know a sense of why Claiborne is at the place he is in his walk with Christ.
He's a guy who realises that all people are people of unsurpassable worth. He has gone from feeding and joining the homeless in Philadelphia, to dressing the wounds of lepers in Calcutta, to visiting families in Iraq. All to share the love of Jesus with them, in a practical way.

"I can remember when Christianity was still safe, comfortable, trendy. I must have gotten born again six or eight times. Preachers were telling me to lay my life down at the foot of the cross, but weren't giving me anything to pick up. I had become a 'believer,' but I had no idea how to become a follower. People had taught me what Christians believe, but no one had taught me how Christians live."

This comment is so true of most churches. Do pastors really tell their congregation how to live as Christians? Sure they may tell them what not to do...but do they really tell them how to live? How to live a kingdom lifestyle? How to live a life as Jesus did.

I asked participants who claimed to be "strong followers of Jesus" whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time wit the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. i had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.

His message is incredibly challenging. Do we know the poor? Is Jesus going to applaud us for dropping money in our church collection or for doing a charity fun run, or for giving money to a local charity?
Or is he going to ask us what about the people behind all his charity? Do you know any of their names? Did you take any time out to spend it with them with no agenda except to show them the grace and love of Jesus? Did you do this and not tell anyone? These are questions I am asking of myself aswell as perhaps you.

"At that moment, we decided to stop complaining about the church we saw, and we set our hearts on becoming the church we dreamed of."

Boyd has commented lately about this new sense of kingdom urgency and an awakening of people to the true message of Jesus.

Millions of people are abandoning the Christendom paradigm of the traditional Christian faith in order to become more authentic followers of Jesus. From the Emergent Church movement to the Urban Monastic Movement to a thousand other independent groups and movements, people are waking up to the truth that the Kingdom of God looks like Jesus and that the heart of Christianity is simply imitating him. Millions are waking up to the truth that followers of Jesus are called to love the unlovable, serve the oppressed, live in solidarity with the poor, proclaim Good News to the lost and be willing to lay down our life for our enemies. Multitudes are waking up to the truth that the distinctive mark of the Kingdom is the complete rejection of all hatred and violence and the complete reliance on love and service of others, including our worst enemies. Masses of people are waking up to the truth that followers of Jesus aren't called to try to win the world by acquiring power over others but by exercising power under others -- the power of self-sacrificial love.


I want to be a true disciple of Jesus and perhaps at the end of the year I'll be able to say wih true conviction that "I met Jesus and he wrecked my life." in the most positive manner of course. I want my world to be turned upside down and to know what it is like to live as Jesus would have me live.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yum!

The Shack

This book was recommended to me by my brothers wonderful wife Ruth. I have no idea where she heard of it but what I do know is that more people need to hear of it. It is a cracking book that is such an easy read full of incredibly uplifting thoughts about who we are and who God, Jesus and the Spirit (aka The Trinity) are.
The book centres around a man called Mack whose daughter is kidnapped, raped and murdered (he gets straight to the heart of the matter which i respect) by a serial paedophile killer. harsh stuff, but REAL life. A few years later he receives a letter from God (yes, God) to meet him at the Shack where his daughter was killed.
Mack goes to the Shack (yes, I hate that that rhymes too!) and meets the Trinity. God is in the form of a big african american woman called 'Papa', Jesus who is a carpenter who wears check shirts and the Holy Spirit who is an asian lady who floats around the place. Sounds strange and in some ways it is, but Papa explains why he appears as a woman and Jesus makes sense as in some ways does the spirit. She's great. If you happen to come across Mark Driscoll's teaching on how it's herecy that God appears like this and as a woman - don't listen to it. Open your heart to the good things of the book.

“Jesus?” he whispered as his voice choked. “I feel so lost.”
A hand reached out and squeezed his, and didn’t let go. “I know, Mack. But it’s not true. I am with you and I’m not lost. I’m sorry it feels that way, but hear me clearly. You are not lost.”


The conversations in the book are beautiful, and really describes the heart of the trinity so well. They discuss many different things; from religion to marriage to how eating too many greens can "give you the trotts" to the problem of pain and evil.

“I don’t create institutions—never have, never will.”
“What about the institution of marriage?”
“Marriage is not an institution. It’s a relationship.”


Mack is really honest about his emotions and some of the book can be an emotional read. Sometimes it is due to the sadness and horror of the event that has Mack at the shack and sometimes it is because of the sheer tenderness and warmth in how Jesus, God and the Spirit treat Mack. And how they come out with the most beautiful understandings of who we are as humans.

When we see each other or are apart, there is expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking. That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique give shared by no one else. But what happens if I change that 'expectancy' to an 'expectation'-spoken or unspoken? Suddenly, law has entered into our relationship. You are now expected to perform in a way that mets my expectations. Our living friendship rapidly deteriorates into a dead thing with rules and requirements.


The theology in the book could be unfamiliar to many, but I loved it. Evil, pain and suffering does NOT come from the hand of God as many Christians believe BUT God responds to it. He can work all things that happen for our good, even if he doesn't cause them. In the easy read, there are many incredible theological insights, such as the ripple effect of sin and choices and also the irrevocability of our free-will.

"Whose choices should we countermand, Mackenzie? Perhaps I should never have created? Perhaps Adam should have been stopped before he chose independence? What about your choice to have another daughter? Or your father's choice to beat his son? You demand your independence and then complain that I love you enough to give it to you."

Whatever you've heard about the book, pastors like Mark Driscoll are annihilating it, read it! If you don't like it, tell me and I'll send you the money as a refund. I won't send you any tissues to wipe your eyes when you read the more poignant parts of the book, you'll have to find them yourself!!

It is true that relationships are a whole lot messier than rules, but rules will never give you answers to the deep questions of the heart and they will never love you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fatherhood & Forgiveness part 2

Following on from my previous post here on David's relationship with his heavenly father after his grave sin of adultery and murder; I want to show how following the writing of Psalm 51 David did not have a full assurance of who he was in his Fathers eyes. As I mentioned previously David appeared to be restored to a position of favour with God, however he did not act out of this assurance and appeared to have lost a sense of his manhood. Here are some key events in Davids life following my notes on my previous post...

2 Samuel 13:1-29
David's eldest son Amnon rapes Davids daughter and Amnon's half-sister Tamar. What does David do? nothing. He got angry at his son, but that was all. Amnon did not appear to be afraid of his father. I guess Amnon had lost respect for his dad, knowing about his murderous affair with Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 13:18
Amnon's half brother Absolom is disgusted at what he had done to his sister Tamar. And because his father did nothing, Absolom waited 2 years and had his brother killed. David again does little to stand up against this. Absolom was very close to completing a rebellion against his father.

In the midst of the rebellion as David and his army are in exile, they are making the treacherous descent to Bahurim a Saulide called Shimei appears. You can read the story here in 2 Samuel 16:5-14. He comes towards them ranting and raving and cursing the king, and if this is not enough, he starts throwing stones at him and his army. What is his response to this? He says it is God's will. Numerous places on the internet will agree with this and will tell you that behind the mans mocking voice was the voice of God chastising him for what he had done. Here is what one commentator has said "behind Shimei's curse David hears the Lord's accusation, and behind the blows he feels the hand of the Lord. This theology is a very bitter pill to swallow. The only reason we can swallow it is that it comes from the lips of David."
Davids self pity does not sound like the David of old. Would young David have sat and listened to that kind of accusations from a philistine at a perhaps deserving Saul? no. David was thinking he deserved this treatment, because again, he did not know of his blessed assurance.

The rebellion finishes with the death of Davids son Absolom. This can be read in 2 Samuel chapter 19 here. David is mourning the death of his son far beyond what he should, as he was forsaking his manhood and his calling as well as his responsiblity as King. So much so that he is rebuked by Joab. In 1 Samuel 16:1 Samuel is mourning the death of King Saul, he remembers his responsibility and stops mourning for a rebellious King and anoints David. David should be doing the same.

In 2 Samuel chapter 20 (here) David is again under rebellion, this time from a man called Sheba. Davids response is bizarre. He puts away 10 concubines till the day of their death. He looked after them but did not lay with them. Seems like David was misguided and this perhaps was somehow linked to his still suffering from the guilt of his crime against Bathsheba. What I do know, is that putting away 10 concubines is not going to help you battle a rebellion.

2 Samuel 21 talk about the Gibeonites wanting vengence as a result of their bad treatment at the hands of Saul. David's response to them, while it does talk about him praying to the Lord, is pretty tame. He says "What do you want me to do for you?". It seems like he takes no innitiative, no leadership, no authority and no confidence.

In 2 Samuel 24 David takes a census. Why does he take the census? (I'm obviously not going to get in to the difference in scripture between the accounts in 2 Samuel 24:1 and in 1 Chronicles 21:!). Why does he want to know if he has a big strong army? What is it in him that needs this reassurance as a man? What happened to his trust in God that it's not about horses or Chariots, but it's about the name of the Lord. Again, his assurance and manlyness has been robbed and he is perhaps still consumed with guilt and a lack of assurance in him being a warrior.

As can be seen - A LOT happened after David sinned against the Lord, and much more besides what I have shared. Now David, near his death did leave good instructions for his son Solomon in 1 Kings 2. This was the first time in 20 years that he had acted with strength and conviction like David of old, a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22)
I summed up where this leaves us in part 1 of this post. We are so incredibly blessed to be a part of the new covenant and to have the assurance of who our Father in heaven is and our Archegon Jesus (Acts 5:31) and the work of the Spirit solidifying that which has been revealed to us through scripture and our personal relationships with the Trinity. Ours sins are forgiven and we can approach the throne of grace with confidence (Heb 4:16) knowing our assurance of forgiveness and acceptance from the Trinity. see this previous post here for who we are in Christ.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Books...

I've recently bought some books and I'm trying to decide which one to read first. Here's the list...


I've heard a lot about Shane Claiborne so I figure I should check his book out. He appears to be a man who lives out his faith in a radical yet beautiful way. Bringing the kingdom to all he meets. Should be a good read.










I came across this guy Steve Crosby when I was recommended to read his thoughts on Todd Bentley's healing revival in Lakelands Florida (perhaps more on that in a later post). His review was very very good so I figured I'd buy his book. It appears as though his main premise is a careful synopsis of the apostolic movement which can sometimes focus on the leader and the man at the top. I'm climbing this mountaing so you need to climb it too or leave my church. Instead of I'm climbing this mountain, but I see your climbing another one, what can I do to help you accomplish this kingdom vision while I also stay true to mine.




Another Steve Crosby book - he better be good!! This is a book about overcoming legalism and performance based religion. Oh how we need this. Churches these days STINK of religion, rather than faith and freedom and the kingdom of Jesus.








Can't remember where I saw a good review of this book, but it looks interesting. Again I think it flows from Crosby's book on being aware of leaders in spiritual positions and how they need to be incredibly aware of their influence and effect that they have on people. This book I think helps the reader identify abusive churchs and how to break free from it's destructive legalism. So often places of shelter and encouragement can become abusive if leaders begin to use their authority to meet their own needs for importance, power or spiritual gratification. Apprantly "this book has what you need to recover a grace-filled relationship with God and His church as it is insightful, practical and solidly grounded in Scripture"




This book was recommended by Greg Boyd here, so as I am a big fan of Boyd I figure I should check it out. Ellul's basic thesis is that the Kingdom Jesus inaugurated with his life, death and resurrection has been subverted -- converted into its opposite, in fact -- in the religion of Christendom. Ellul shows that Christianity has been subverted by: Success; Money; Morality; Religion; Pragmatism; Violence & Politics. He's French so I'm sure he's a difficult read. The only other French author I've read is Jaque Lacan and he was very difficult. Anyways, hopefully I'll understand it and learn from it.


I've also bought some "Four Views on..." books that look very interesting. The premise is that four notable theologians write an essay on their point of view and the other participants respond to it, noting points of agreement and disagreement. It's a really good idea and gives the reader a very good platform to study it for themselves.



Most of us acknowledge the doctrine of hell, but we'd rather not think about it. I know I don't like to think about how the unbelieving are punished. However, it is a reality and I'd like to have an opinion on it. The four views discussed are the literal, metaphorical, conditional and purgatorial views. Is hell to be understood as a place of eternal smoke and flames? Or are such images metaphors for a real but different form of punishment? Is there such a thing as "conditional immortality", in which God annihilates the souls of the wicked rather than punish them endlessly? Is there a purgatory, and if so, how does it fit into the picture? I reckon for me it'll come down to a choice between the literal and the conditional view.



This is something I'm very much interested in. The question of the nature of God's foreknowledge and how it relates to human freedom has been pondered and debated by Christian theologians for years and it's not going to go away anytime soon. It is something that can go right to the core of our relationship with Jesus. The four views are the open theism view, the simple-foreknowledge view, the middle knowledge view, and the augustinian-calvinist view.




The Eternal God has created the universe. The universe is time-bound. How then should we best understand God's relationship with our time bound universe? The four differing views in relation to this are; divine eternity should be construed as a state of absolute timelessness; God's eternity is more plausibly understood as relative timelessness; a hybrid view combining timelessness and omnitemporality; and finally a doctrine of unqualified divine temporality. This could either bore me to death or be philisophically fascinating.






I'm really looking forward to reading and understanding the points made in this book. The four views are the Christus Victor view; the kaleidoscopic view; the healing vew; and the penal substitutionary view.
I love the Christus victor view but I want to learn more about the other views, especially the penal substitutionary view, as this is what most christians would hold to. I believe that Christus Victor gives a more thorough and exegetical platform for the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ. Hopefully I'll learn more about all this views and either solidify what I think or change it completely for the sake of a true reflection of my saviour.

The Kite Runner


"I dream that my son will grow up to be a good person, a free person. I dream that someday you will return to revisit the land of our childhood. I dream that flowers will bloom in the streets again... and kites will fly in the skies!"

I saw Kite Runner last night following a recommendation from my brother. It's a great movie with a wonderful story. It's the story of an Afghan refugee who lives in California and is remembering his childhood. A childhood with a emotionally distant yet dedicated father, a friend as devoted as a friend can be and kites. Wonderful colourful kites. He sets out to right some wrongs and what follows is a moving tale of courage and friendship, betrayal and redemption.

The film (based on the book of the same name) in some ways revolves around the premise of Edmond Burke's quote "The only thing needed for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing." Amir the main character witnesses something happening to his loyal and devoted friend Hassan and does nothing, this changes his life and years after he gets a chance to put things right.

“When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth.”

It is mixed with some historical revelation of what happened to Afghanistan with the Russian invasion and subsequent rise of the Taliban. It has made me want to read about their history. The history of a country can obviously reveal a lot about why they are what they are today.

I highly recommend checking this film out. If my wife tells you I had a tear running down my cheek it was purely down to my hayfeever - nothing else!!!


“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What Could Have Been...


If Prince didn't cancel last night - here's what I would have liked him to play.

My Name Is Prince
Let's Go Crazy
Musicology
Girls & Boys
Controversy
Cream
Black Sweat
Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
I Feel For You
I Would Die For You
I Wanna Be Your Lover
Little Red Corvette
Lolita
Partyman
The Word
Pop Life
She Spoke 2 Me
Money Don't Matter 2 Night
Ripopgodazippa
Sign O' The Times
------------------------
Sometimes It Snows In April
Nothing Compares To You
If I Was Your Girlfriend
------------------------
U Got The Look
Raspberry Beret
Take Me With You
When You Were Mine
------------------------
Purple Rain

Monday, June 16, 2008

Deep Thoughts (by Jack Handey)

To me, it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when
you walk around. That way, if anybody says, "Hey, can you give me a
hand?" You can say, "Sorry, got these sacks."
==========
One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going
to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old
burned-out warehouse. "Oh no," I said, "Disneyland burned down."
==========
He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a
pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but
decided to go home instead.
==========
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
==========
I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our
children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.
==========
If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell
him is, "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute
thing to tell him is, "Probably because of something you did."
==========
If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the
mirror, because I bet that's what REALLY throws you into a panic.
==========
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first
instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she
fell on me. Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.
==========
To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no
choreography and the dancers hit each other.
==========
I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out
that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because
I was thinking about doing that anyway.
==========
It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I
guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there,
rocking back and forth, wanting that money.
==========
To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kinda scary. I've
wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I
went to the circus and a clown killed my dad.
==========
As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red
again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a
bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way.
==========
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate.
And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
==========
What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing
and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get
drunk? And after you're real drunk, maybe go down to the public park
and stagger around and ask people for money, and then lay down and go
to sleep.
==========
Instead of a trap door, what about a trap window? The guy looks out
it, and if he leans too far, he falls out. Wait. I guess that's like
a regular window.
==========
If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like
I am now.
==========
When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call
the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and
started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns.
==========
If you're a cowboy and you're dragging a guy behind your horse, I bet
it would really make you mad if you looked back and the guy was reading
a magazine.
==========
Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a
dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you'd look
out your little window and think, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not out in that."
==========
Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over
here, looking through your stuff.
==========

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fatherhood & Forgiveness

King David is a hero of mine. He was a man after God's own heart who was dearly in love with God and earnestly followed him. But today I want to look at David's failings and perhaps a look in to perhaps what had a big part to play in them. His lack of assurance in his sonship.

David's sin with Bathsheba was massive. He took his neighbours wife and tries to cover it up, when he can't conceal it he kills her husband. Nathan rebukes david David for what he has done and perhaps in one of the most understated verses of the bible it says "the thing David had done displeased the Lord". In response to what he had done David wrote Psalm 51.
This Psalm is definitely seen as model prayer of seeking forgiveness. Keith Green has a killer song about it and I'm sure the Psalm is sung in differing forms around churches still. There is definitely a place for this as the Psalm is full of desire, wholehearted petition and elements of hope. However it misses something key - assurance, thanksgiving. David doesn't acknowledge that his sins have been forgiven that he is thankful to God for the fact that this will happen. He is desperately longing for the forgiveness of sin; but its seems like this longing is never realised. As people in the new covenant, this Psalm HAS to lead us to the cross. A place where we have assurance in the forgiveness of sins.
David however was given a message of "you are forgiven, but you're gonna pay" said to him in the words of Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:14 "you're forgiven but your son will die". How would this make you feel? How would you feel if your Father in heaven said this to you? We look at this through our eyes which have seen the realisation of acceptance and forgiveness of sins in Christ however most times we act like David. We are not so sure that God has truely forgiven us and we earnestly seek him but we don't act like we have a blessed assurance. We feel like he's going to take something away from us to punish us for what we have done with the one hand, while forgiving us with the other.
David was restored with God to a position of favour; but it could seem like he was lacking a joy in his relationship as he lacked assurance and confidence in who he was. Following the writing of this Psalm several things happened in Davids life that demonstrate this. I will post this in my next post, but first let me just give a couple of points in relation to Davids relationship with his earthly 'fathers'.

1. Jesse. In 1 Samuel 16 Samuel comes to annoint Sauls replacement. Who does Jesse think of? Everyone BUT David. Jesse doesn't even consider him.

2. Saul. Saul was David's father in law who David has honoured and what does he do? He tries to kill David.

3. Samuel. Samuel was a good man to David, but it seemed like he was there for him in crisis but did not have enough time to fully develop a relationship with him.

So where does this leave us? It leaves us with 2 points. One, our earthly fathers have a huge impact on our lives. When we are poorly fathered we can suffer from a lack of assurance, a lack of confidence, a fearful relationship with God, passivity, self-pity, introspection, low self-esteem, a constant seeking of approval from those around us.
Two, when we read old testament stories like this we need to see the full revelation of God in Jesus Christ. As Boyd says, we need to view things from the end to understand the means and ways. We have in Christ what David wouldn't have even dreamed of, a freedom from guilt and freedom to be released into our masculinity that God the Father has created us to walk in. This freedom comes from the forgiveness of our sin and a true understanding of what it is to be in actual relationship with the Triune God.

I'm so thankful to Abba Father for the fact that he is my Father. A Father who rejoices over me and rescued me because he delights in me. And for the earthly father he gave me who has a hugely significant part to play in the man I am today and has been an incredible example of what it is to walk in the ways of Jesus and his kingdom.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Prince..



Monday I was going to see Prince. Prince is awesome. An incredible musician and a truly phenomenal performer. I saw him last August and it was such a great experience. So what do you do when 56,000 fans are looking forward to seeing you in a weeks time...thats right, you CANCEL. For NO reason whatsoever. He cancelled two gigs in Paris and Milan a couple of months ago so apparently this has been coming for a while, but if you're going to cancel a gig cause you couldn't be arsed at least give more notice than a week. So disappointing. Being a fan of Prince is hard work.

However, on my way home from work today there was a competition on the radio to suggest "muppet of the week". I decided to text in my thoughts on Prince being an incredibly big muppet in a small muppets body for disappointing so many fans, some of whom have spent a lot of money to see him. What could have been gig of the year, has turned in to sham of the year. I arrived home and 20 minutes later my phone rang. I WON!! How entertaining and awesome. The prize was a champagne meal for two in some fancy pants restaurant in Blackrock. money won't matter that night....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Revelation 17...




I'm not one to think about the end times. In fact I think much of Revelation happened already, but thats a whole different piece of writing. BUT when one thinks upon the woman riding the beast and how people have interpreted this as europe, it is a bit scary that the above coin is Greeces and that the statue is outside the European Parliament. Interesting that Europe is named after this lady called Europa.

EURO 2008


before things get interesting I figure I should give my prediction. As always, I hope for a great tournament and there are a few tasty matches lined up but they usually disappoint. this afternoons France v Romania is a prime example. Probably the worst game of football EVER. Let's hope Holland v Italy tonight is better.
Anyways, my eye is on Spain. I know they are the perennial underperformers in tournaments but I just have a sneaky suspicion about them. well, its more than that, any team with a midfield of Fábregas, Xavi, Iniesta and Xabi Alonso is pretty exceptional in my books. And with Torres, Villa and Güiza up front, they have an exceptional team. I really really hope they don't loose to Germany in the final, but we all know the Germans are going to perform, especially if any of their games go to penalties.
I wouldn't mind Portugal winning, they've lost Figo, Costinha and Pauleta, but they do have Cristiano Ronaldo, Nuno Gomes, Simão and Deco. they could play some sweet football to watch. I don't know if I'm going to watch as many games as I usually do during these tournaments, but hopefully I'll get to see the big games in the first round and most in the knock-out stages.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

When Seagulls Attack!!!


Apparently there is a spate of seagull attacks in Ireland. I heard it on newstalk (best radio station in Ireland); but I wasn't too sure it was that serious. That was until I saw my friend Susan at church this morning with a red neck and cuts in her head, from a seagull attack!!! Amazing. She gave me permission to laugh at the situation which was very gracious of her. I have a little game for us all to play, and especially Susan so she can practice how to escape attack!!!

check it out here

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Lisbon Treaty


On June 12th we have a referendum in this country in relation to our status in Europe. The aim of the Treaty is to "complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union". This Treaty amends the existing EU and EC Treaties but does not replace them.
I don't know much about the treaty however I do know that there are 500 million people living in the EU. Ireland has a population of 4 million people, which makes up less than 1% of the EU’s population. We are the only member state to hold a referendum which is fascinating.
I'm a firm believer that if one has the privilege to vote, they should vote. Therefore I want to cast my vote, however I'm not sure of whether to vote YES or NO. At moment I'm veering towards a YES but i'm going to do some reading over the next few days to help me make my decision. If you're Irish, I encourage you to do the same.

UPDATE: I voted No.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

He's back...


That's right, the hero of my childhood is back. On June 25th he wrestles some loser, from some loser federation in Barcelona of all places but that doesn't matter. he's back is all that matters. I watched wrestlemania about 5 years ago with my brother, but I have not watched a pay per view apart from that since the warrior left in 1992. that was sad times for a 13 year old. 15 years later and I know he'll still bring it hard. FEEL THE POWER....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our Lady


I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world, but here in Ireland everywhere I go I seem to see Mary. yes, that Mary. The mother of God. Yes, I said that correctly, the mother of God. Or so she's called. She's the earthly mother of Jesus, but somehow the Catholic church seem to translate that into the mother of God. I see her on windows, on cars, at the side of the road, outside churches, inside churches - statues and stickers of her everywhere. Aswell as the 'mother' of God, they also call her the mediatrix of all graces...they actually pray to her. It amazes me. Even if praying to Mary wasn't complete herecy, why would you pray to her instead of Jesus. As my Dad says, if you're sick, you call a doctor, not the doctors mother. The reason I say it's wrong to pray Mary as a mediator is that the bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that man is JESUS (1 Tim 2:5)
I feel so sorry for Catholics caught up in this. The reason I mention it is because I got talking to a girl tonight after church and she was so indoctrinated in Catholicism it was tragic. She couldn't believe it when I showed her 1 Timothy 2:5. I didn't really dwell on pointing out where she was going wrong though, I just wanted to point her to Jesus and give her a truer picture of him. We don't need Mary to tug on Jesus garment and get his attention and tell him "no, you can listen to her, she's ok", or "Jesus, I know you don't really talk to her but will you talk to her for me? I am your mother after all!". Jesus is dying to talk to us. I didn't mean that to lead to the fact that he did die to talk to us, BUT he in fact did. The lengths he has gone to to reconcile us to himself and his father and the spirit. I pray that we realise that he LOVES to talk to us and hear from us.
His mother was a good woman, but she was fallen like the rest of us and should not be made into an idol. I wonder does she know if this goes on. I hope not cause I'd say she'd be devestated. I also think that Joseph would be a bit pissed at the thoughts of people saying she was a perpetual virgin too!