Monday, May 24, 2010

cycling with sally

The website below is about a couple's cycling trip in which they are helping out in Salvation Army centres across Pan America. The following blurb from the home page explains.

"We (Roland and Belinda) began our epic journey together in July 2009, when we started heading south on a tandem bike (Big Bird) from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Our goal is to cycle approximately 30,000km through Pan-America and ultimately end up in Usuhuia, Argentina. We hope to complete it in one year or so. We have teamed up with the Salvation Army with the intention to donate our time and hands-on service to any current project they already have running in communities we are passing through. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work alongside the Salvation Army and believe to will add a very unique and rewarding perspective to our journey."


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts to ponder

Below are some questions for pondering prompted by the book The insect and the buffalo by Allpress and Shamy.

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.” C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew.

1. “We look at the world through the lens of our assumptions and we interpret what we see according to those assumptions” (Allpress & Shamy, p.9). Can you identify a time when you lacked a sense of perspective and mistook an “insect” for a “buffalo”?

2. “Everybody has a worldview, and that worldview is complex and constantly open to revision by the world around us….all worldviews are embedded in stories….Our very identities are caught up in these stories” (Allpress & Shamy, p.10). In the context of chapter two and the idea of the “true story,” what does it mean that “once you learn to read, you will be forever free?”

3. “…this tapestry of stories comes together in cultures…smaller stories piecing together into large, overarching narratives” (Allpress & Shamy, p.11). What “echoes and surprises” have you encountered as you have formed a larger picture from smaller stories?

4. “True stories teach us to see the world differently. And great stories, the ones that claim to tell the true story of the world, compel us to enter in, to become part of the story, and in doing so, they change the way we view the world” (Allpress & Shamy, pp. 19-20). What do you think it means to become part of the story?

5. “How a story begins is always important. The beginning introduces the audience to the main characters, the scene and the main themes of the plot” (Allpress & Sharmy, p.25). How does the beginning represent the rest of the elements of the Narrative such as the theme, the plot, the characters and the scene?

6. “There are two ways to tell the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz…the Wizard will solve all their problems… (or) the difficulties along the yellow brick road were the means by which the characters achieved their quest. The same story has to be told more than once – forwards from the start and backwards from the end – in order to discover its full meaning” (Allpress & Sharmy, pp.34-35). How does reading “backwards from the end” affect our reading of the story?

7. “The best way to keep an audience waiting at the end of a story is with a cliffhanger. Leave something unresolved. Leave a question hanging. The higher the stakes the longer the audience will wait” (Allpress & Sharmy, p. 54). What question do you think is left hanging?

8. “Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story…in which every chapter is better than the one before” (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle). “Narrators who tell stories with two ends do so to drive home the reality that the two ends are more than compatible, they are the same… The end looks both similar to and different from the beginning” (Allpress & Sharmy, p.66). Chapter six is entitled “Peering through a crack in time and space”. What would you think is similar and different about the endings?

9. Allpress and Sharmy invite readers to imagine themselves as part of the story (p. 76). Chapter seven begins with a quote suggesting we may not have gone where we intended, but we end up where we needed to be (Adams). How does this relate to your experience of your life’s journey?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bla, Bla, Bla: Part III

I discovered this "marriage" of the Word with action-orientated words from Martin Luther King:

"It's all right to talk about "long white robes over yonder," in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It's all right to talk about "streets flowing with milk and honey," but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can't eat three square meals a day. It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee [or a new New Zealand]. This is what we have to do."
MLK, 3 April, 1968.

Imagine the impact of hearing (and doing) these words every Sunday or every time we gathered in community for worship.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book club: The Insect and the Buffalo

by Roshan Allpress and Andrew Shamy
Do we see an insect or a buffalo - our worldview determines what we see. Allpress and Shamy’s book creates a framework for approaching Narrative Text. It invites the reader to consider issues such as perspective, overarching narratives, themes, plot and cliff-hangers – thereby providing opportunity to revise our understanding of what we see. The first chapter can be downloaded from the following site.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah:2

Jesus Christ, is, in the imagery of John 1.14, the Word of God incarnated in human flesh. He is the Revealed Word who moved into a Galilean neighbourhood and learned to speak Galilean, the Word embodied, reframed and translated into publicly intelligible words.

There is our challenge, our hope and what we should be doing with our time!