Monday, June 29, 2009

Just don't do it

A couple of comments from Dorothy Day and Eugene Peterson that have been "jarring" me into a new kind of thinking. Some context. I'm driven; I get a "kick" and a lot of my esteem from over-committing and over-producing; in fact, I feel the deepest anxiety and the most frustration when I'm empty handed, frozen stuck without something to say or show. Dorothy Day challenges my frantic "doings" with some forgotten images of Jesus:
"We are told to put on Christ, and we think of Him in His private life, His life of work, His public life, His teaching and His suffering life.  But we do not think enough of His life as a little child, as a baby. His helplessness. His powerlessness. We have to be content in that state too. Not to be able to do anything, to accomplish anything."
Dorothy Day, 1983, By Little and by Little.

Eugene Peterson says it like this:
"If we are not to simply contribute a religious dimension to the disintegration of our world, join company with the mobs who are desecrating the creation with their hurry and hype in frenzy and noise, we must attend to what we have been given and to the One who gives it to us. One large step in the renewal of the creation today... is to not take the next step: stand where we are, listen to our Lord: attend... adore."
Eugene Peterson, 2005, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.

Simply stated: I'm learning to stop (and to be o.k. with stopping). 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rules of Change

Three things/thoughts I'm (re)learning:
  1. change comes from connections, from interactions and interconnections, not interventions; change happens when we interact differently with the expectations or patterns that govern our relationships; change happens when we rearrange our relationships, when we re-imagine the rules that shape and structure our sense of reality; in short, things change when we change.
  2. change can come from the least expected of places and the least expected of people; change is not certain or predictable; and, if change can come from the most surprising of people and places, then its direction and its impact can be equally surprising; when it comes to change we’re not in a place of certitude or control; we have to learn be open to chaos, emergence, questions and questioning, paradox, and surprise; we have to stay open to learning, stay teachable. The change guru Eric Young jokes: “We (can only) know two things with absolute certainty: (1) that in twenty years, even ten, our world will look very different, and (2) that the decisions and actions we take today will significantly shape our emergent future. However, we can have no certainty about what the future will be. It is not a good time for control freaks.” Similarly, Rusty and Joanna Pritchard, a couple who fled the comfy green lawns and picket fences of suburbia and intentionally moved into the concrete jungle of the inner city to try and change something of the direction of its harshest neighborhoods, say this: “What convinced us to give it a try? Quite simply... we couldn’t do anything else. We’d been involved in social justice ministries in ‘client/provider’ relationships and found it very unsatisfying. We wanted to be part of a community and learn from people who were trying to live out the gospel of Christ with their whole lives, even if it didn’t make a difference on the ground. Nobody in our group thinks we’ve arrived at answers, just that we’ve joined a community that keeps us asking the right questions.” change happens when we ask the right questions... what or who says it always has to be like this? what or who says this in the only possible reality?
  3. change comes from the imagination and practice of newness.
These comments and insights into the nature of change come from Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, and Michael Quinn Patton, 2006, Getting to Maybe. It's a good read.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Corporation

This documentary will blow your mind.

The other side of this is the exploitation of people around the world who make these products.
watch another piece of the doco on illuminate network

Thursday, June 11, 2009


What one ordinary person can do, if we all responded in the way that Sue has what a different world we'd live in.

you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. (Martin Luther King)

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against

Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

Friday, June 5, 2009

World Environment Day

Today (5/6/68) is World Environment Day ( a day to "give thanks"... a day to reflect on the gift of what Walter Brueggeman calls our "un-makeable world."

I got this email from Fraser ... it looks like a great practice of redistributive economics... its seems timely to share it today..

Hi ya ... have you heard about Freecycle?

I have been a member of this for around 6months, and i absolutely love it.

Freecycle is a web community that is committed to "reusing" rather than "refusing" stuff that you don't want or need any more.

It is free to join and all items are free, it is broken down into local communities to make it easy for items to be given/collected

There are a variety of items listed ranging from furniture through to books and computers

the website is

I have benefitted from freecycle by receiving items such as old garden tools no longer wanted by others but wanted by me, CD's and other items

I have also helped others by listing an old piano I no longer needed - it ended up going to a young girl in waiuku who had been wanting a piano to learn on

Kids worker

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Economic humour, and God knows we need to laugh

A friend of mine sent me this cartoon. Enjoy the giggle.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Entitled to what?

The latest discussion paper from the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit of The Salvation Army has gone to press. The Rainbow of Entitlement explores something of consumerism and what we feel is rightfully ours. You can get a look at it by emailing me ( or by going straight to

Let me know what you think.