Category Archives: LISTEN

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This too shall pass

“This too shall pass” is a phrase with a long history. Abraham Lincoln sums that history up well in a speech he gave in 1859 – Lincoln said;

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

For some people this has been a great week. A new grandchild; a new job; a long deserved holiday; it could be a thousand different reasons.

For some people this has been an awful week. A relationship breakdown; bad news at work; an unwanted sickness; again a thousand different reasons.

Our sign this week can be read and understood by both of the above groups, it should teach us to enjoy the good times for the do not last forever and also have hope in the bad times because they, too, do not go on indefinitely.

There is a verse in Paul’s letter to the Romans which reminds me of “this too shall pass” – Paul writes “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” To me it reminds me to be in the moment with people, if they allow you to share in their lives then sit with them, be with them, show up and live the moment with them. Reading my Gospels I find that this is what Jesus did. He shared with people where they were, in what ever circumstances he found them, with a grieving centurion or a joyful healed woman. 

Over the past few weeks we have been opening the church hall on a Sunday evening to serve food and offer shelter to anyone who wants it. Those who have helped out have had the privilege to sit and eat with many people – the happy ones (like the chap who learned he had just been granted housing), the unhappy ones, the addicted ones, the lonely ones, the ones who just want to listen. We have also been heard and helped by those who have joined us, this community stuff is not just a one way street – we (the volunteers) get as much out of it as those who join us week by week.

Last night I arrived at church to find the place buzzing – people everywhere, eating, talking, joking, one even crying. There was rejoicing and weeping going on and Jesus was there sharing in all of it. I cannot thank the Melbourne Welsh Church, and the elders in particular, for allowing us the opportunity to minister like this every Sunday evening.

So wherever you are in life; with whatever is happening remember that this too shall pass – enjoy the good moments, have hope in the bad for, as in all things, this too shall pass.


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IMAGE IS EVERYTHING.

A business in the building next to my office declares ‘Image is everything’, it is also the subject for my ‘sermon’ on Sunday.

Im finding it a tad confronting?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile i may take the advice my 3 year old grandson gave to his mum recently………….

Jed – “Mummy why do you do brush your hair every day? “
Me – “To stop it getting knotty and to make me feel pretty”.
Jed – “but your not pretty”.
Me – “well…. maybe not today, because I’m just in trakkie daks, but when I get dressed up I look pretty, dont I? “

Jed – “um, not really, even then, you should look in the mirror more Mummy”.

Time for a look in the mirror me thinks??

PS: welcome to 2016.


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Home of the Lost and Found

Taking to the streets, not in power rather in weakness, not by stealth rather transparent, not to overpower rather to empower, not as masters rather as servants not to do rather to be,  not to speak rather to listen, not to be examples rather to example, not to presume rather to learn, not to take God there, rather meet God there.

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THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL IT ALWAYS GETS WORSE!!!

When my two children were younger, we had a friend over every Monday night for the evening meal.
Some nights he would not turn up, others he would turn up manic.

He would sometimes, ask for some Dylan to be played, and he would sit and write a song or a poem, then leave.

He would sometimes walk to a nearby town, which was an hours drive away, there and back drinking only water.

Some Monday  nights over dinner we would talk about a range of stuff, some nights he would just eat.

Some nights, his place at the table empty, we would wonder where he was and how he was doing.

Sadly our friend died some time later, in dubious circumstance.

For him ‘normal’ was different than we understood normal, and as the children set the table each Monday night,  there was always a place set for him, just incase he turned up.

He was loved and is missed.

Come to me you lost and lonely
Lonely in your beauty
Frightened and alone in your fame
Come to me, I love you
I know your name
Come to me, you naked and ashamed
You lost and you forsaken
I know your name
Come to me, you unloved and you mistaken
Walk with me, I love you
Come to me

 D Lind  

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SHUT UP FOR A MINUTE AND LISTEN!!!!!!

A recent conversation on the street went like this.

Giday mate ( Australian greeting) what do you do for a living?
I loiter with intent, I replied, and you?

I am a mercenary in South Africa Game Parks, shooting poachers, came the reply,
I love the travel and the adrenalin rush!!

I was then offered a pouch of tobacco and papers to roll a cigarette, which I politely refused, as I prefer cigars!!

Its a bad habit anyway came the response, that and amphetamines have been my downfall exclaimed the stranger!!

We chatted for a little longer and as we parted company , it got me thinking about the strangers story.

Did it matter if it was not true? I figured it didn’t , what was important, was the fact the story was true for him, and it was important for me to listen to it, allowing the stranger to be heard.

Sometimes we are not good at hearing others stories, believing our own are more important.

I recently, heard someone exclaim that they did not understand people leaving church because they had been hurt by it, ‘no one has been hurt more by the church than me’!! they said, and I still believe in it and attend.

Responses like this stop others from telling their story, because it seems no longer important!!

If we fail to listen, we fail to care.

While the strangers story may not have been true, he was allowed to tell it and maybe just maybe its the only time someone gets to hear it.

Category : Bubba , LISTEN , respect , STORY , streets


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COMPASSION

Hello is that Peter?, yes it is, your friend ‘M’ has just been to see us and is quite distressed we have called an ambulance he would like you to contact him.
Sometime later I try to contact the hospital where ‘M’ was being taken to, only to find due to his refusal or ability to co-operated ‘M’  had moved on. 

I had tried to call at one point and heard the distress ‘M’ was in as paramedics tried to help him.

I found it distressing, in fact, I felt I was entering into ‘M’s’ suffering, (compassion) and it impacted me for the rest of the day, as it does as I write this.

Eventually  ‘M’ answered  his phone and another friend from the street along with his mother comforted him, we hope to catch up in a couple of days.

Compassion takes its toll, and like listening, really listening, it allows us enter into others pain and joy.


Tonight I grieve for a friend who is suffering and am again reminded, like Jesus we are acquainted with grief and sorrow.



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‘popup church’.

POPUP is an informal get together of people, who have faith communities, but sometimes like to to discuss, vent, encourage, be encouraged and heard in a different setting.
Today three of us spent one and a half hours drinking coffee/hot chocolate and discussing matters of faith and personal stuff.
We are quite different, rather than look for differences we share what we have in common and challenge and are challenged to think and rethink what we believe and why.
It is always good to listen and be heard, and to go away knowing we love and care for each other.
One person who is a regular, has recently moved back with partner and family after a time of separation,another is a single dad coping with all the stuff of life and who hangs out with ‘dangerous’ people, then there is me, who struggles to make sense of doubt and faith.

Together we travel this road we call ‘our faith journey’, and together discover the importance of life before death!!

It’s a mixed group, crazy group, and its sinners and saints together making sense of life


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Still Small Voice

In the bigger scheme of things, where you have your morning coffee in not that important…..right?

Maybe not, but sometimes you have to listen to that ‘small still voice’.

Recently as i was riding into the city for my daily loitering activities, I had my mind made up where i would go first and get a long black!!
As I neared my destination, something, I call a ‘still small voice’ suggested an alternate venue.

I listened, and went to another cafe instead, had my coffee and you guessed it nothing happened, that is until I was skulking back to the bike, when out of nowhere a pair of arms came around me from behind and I got a bear hug.

It was a bloke I had met once, at the funeral for Les, which I wrote about last year.

We hugged and chatted for a time, which was good for the heart!!

We parted company a short time later, and I now listen more carefully to the ‘small still voice’, maybe just maybe its God and maybe I should listen.

PS Please don’t tell The Ruth, she says I never listen!!!!


Upcoming Events

Mar
1
Sun
3:00 pm St David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
St David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 1 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Guest conductor from Wales National Eisteddfod of Wales blue riband winner / soloist 2 other blue riband winners 5 local Welsh voice choirs Congregational hymn singing Projected 700+ in attendance. Wow….should be wonderful!!!