Monthly Archives: June 2009

refusal

I’ve just had a very strange experience.

I had recently found out that I need to have a root canal (or extraction) done, after much thought and discussion I decided to have the tooth removed.  Probably for more ideological reasons than health and well-being reasons (ie. I couldn’t justify spending thousands of $ on one tooth). 

So this morning I went to have my tooth extracted and the dentist refused.

He told me that I was ‘being silly’ and that he doesn’t take teeth out.  Huh?

There are just so many things wrong with this.  I’m still slightly reeling. 

I don’t know what this dentist’s intentions were or if he was having a bad day or what was going on, but the results were not very pleasant for me.  I felt intimidated and I did indeed feel ‘silly’.  I did not feel like a rational human being with a valid opinion!  If nothing else it once again made me realise the power of words and the way they can be used to wield power. 

So the plan of action is as follows;

firstly, make an appointment with a dentist who will take out the tooth,

secondly, retreat into words that whisper truth and speak of grace.

 

Our Eden is the heart of Christ.

Let grace come, Jesus.

Your name is on my heart.

Your Holy Name is on the tower of my heart.

Let grace come and let this world pass away,

Jesus, You Who are living in my exhausted heart.

Thomas Merton


done and dusted

Those of you who have had to contend with my complaining about study this semester deserve medals.  Sadly I don’t have any medals – but I do have cupcakes if that will suffice!  Thank you my gracious friends – I truly am grateful for your support.  

The big essay is done and dusted.  I am quite happy with it actually.  Despite my big ‘opps’ moment of getting dates mixed up, I have loved this subject and the challenge’s it has provided.  I have learnt so much more than I imagined I would.  This subject was previously so foreign and I have had to really push myself to research and comprehend much of the required reading.  I love that process and particularly when the outcome is more than an essay; my theology has been radically transformed over the last 6 months. So I thought I should post a couple of snippets (at my discretion!) from the essay, they will obviously be my favourite bits!

Quick note 1: I have discovered a new (new to me) brilliant thinker, scholar, theologian named Willis Jenkins. I have become quite the fan of his work. He is worth reading if you are at all interested in care of creation theology (particularly his recent article in International Bulletin of Missionary Research is excellent).        

Quick note 2: I am really keen to explore the idea of salvation stories (see below) and the way in which we (Western, Anglo-Saxon, middle class people), and other cultures, not only tell the story of salvation, but what we decide comes under the umbrella of salvation.  Something to keep pondering and work on I think.

Little reminder of the essay questions:

How does a ‘care for creation’ theology fit into a missiological context?  Discuss this relationship between ecology and the theology of salvation, taking into consideration how this affects the mission of the local church.

Couple of snippets:

The present struggle for the church is to displace humans from the centre of soteriology and instead take a careful and original look at salvation to deal with the problems of the environment (Jenkins, 2003:401, 402).  As Willis Jenkins suggests, more than ‘green-washing the church’ needs to occur if there is going to be an appropriate and biblical response to the current environmental crisis (Jenkins, 2003:403).  Jurgen Moltman, like Jenkins, suggests that the church’s salvation stories need to be reconstructed to introduce and implement a care of creation theology (Jenkins, 2003:403; Moltmann, 2000:110).  It will only be as the environment takes it place alongside humanity as having redemption qualities that care of creation will become an essential part of the church’s mission. 

The current environmental crisis leaves the church with a multitude of pertinent questions which will form and define the church’s ecclesiology, soteriology, missiology, and care of creation theology and praxis.  Missiology is more than a framework to validate care of creation; caring for creation has missiological implications and purposes.  Not simply because God has deemed creation to be part of Christ’s redemption, but because the degradation of the earth contributes to the degradation of the poor and powerless.  God has proclaimed that creation matters and that his redemption reaches to the created order. 

Whether or not the church can begin to make a connection between salvation and creation will radically change the way the world views the church, but more importantly, it will also determine the church’s mission to the world.

The local church finds itself in more than an ecological crisis; essentially it is also confronting a new and serious theological crisis.  The manner in which the church addresses the sociological and ecological place it finds itself will determine their way forward.


names

IMG_5277I was having coffee with a dear friend recently and she asked me what my girls names mean.  We had a fascinating conversation about names and how they become an intrinsic part of who you are and how you live.  (We also ate scones with peach jam and contemplated the lost joy of  a good Sunday roast! x).

Before each of the girls were born and we were going through the whole naming process, meanings became really important to us.  I know that for some people it is fairly irrelevant.  But we both believed that naming a child was a collaborative effort with God.  While we didn’t have any great flash of lightening moment and a burning bush (struck by the lightening!!) spoke and proceeded to tell us what to name our girls, we did believe that God was involved.  Names are powerful and they become part of who we are and how we define ourselves.  So we wanted names that we felt were strong and would help the girls appreciate who they were and how we, and God, saw them. 

Between the two girls we have grace, beauty, purity and one of the most beautiful places we have ever been!  Absolute bias aside, we see grace, beauty and purity in our girls and pray that their lives will defined by these elements. 

Fredrick Buechner puts it like this: ‘Buechner is my name. It is pronounced Beekner.  If somebody mispronounces my name in some foolish way, I have the feeling that what’s foolish is me.  If somebody forgets it, I feel that it’s I who am forgotten.  I can’t imagine myself with any other name – Held, say, or Merrill, or Hlavacek.  If my name were different, I would be different.  When I tell you my name, I have given you  a hold over me that you didn’t have before.  If you call it out, I stop, look, and listen whether I want to or not.  In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses that his name is Yahweh and God hasn’t had a peaceful moment since‘.

My name is a direct translation of the Greek word katharos (καθαρός) meaning pure.  I have a friend who only ever calls me katharos – and I love it.  There is something deeply personal about it and it also a very real reminder of who I am. 

I hope I’m not overstating it, but I do believe there is something significant in our names.  I hope so, espcially for my pure, beatiful, gracious girls.


gumboots

I have been more than a little distracted by this whole root canal, crazy pain thing, but today something swiftly brought me back to a better place (ie. reality!). 

My girls (3 and 1) have new pink gumboots. And they are delighted.

They are positively overwhelmed with excitement about these gumboots. 

They must be worn at all times – inside, outside, during meals, pre-bath, post-bath.

So much joy. 

It is lovely and hilarious to watch.

 

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So much nicer to be thinking about the girls and their boots than some silly tooth! (also nicer than writing essays!!)


boat load of pain

The following is totally, completely, absolutely self indulgent and I am under no illusions as to my motivations in why I am writing this.

I am miserable and annyoned (and in pain). 

Let’s not beat about the bush, I have to have a root canal done. 

And I have to wait 3 weeks before the silly tooth calms down enough to get it done (read: I am on a boat load of pain killers and anti-biotics). 

That’s about all I have to say. Apart from how glad I am that the dentist I am going to is lovely and much to my delight has very small fingers (which I had never thought to check until a dear friend pointed out the numerous benefits to having a dentist with small hands!)