Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mon the Biff!





















What a gig in Dublin last night (pictures from my phone). Definitely straight into the top 5. See Zico's blog for review and 'Glitter and Trauma'. The other highlight for me was 'Justboy'. See below for the hairless original.

Brutal, compelling, beautiful.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Waltz with Bashir

On a similar theme I saw one of the most amazing, intense, harrowing movies I've ever seen in QFT at the weekend.

It's the story of the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon when Lebanese 'christian' militia were allowed (and indirectly assisted) by the Israeli army to rape, pillage and slaughter around 3000 defenceless civilians over 3 days in September 1982.

Read about the massacre here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila_massacre
and the movie here- http://waltzwithbashir.com/

The maker of the film was a soldier in the Israeli army at the time of the massacre and the film shows his attempts to recover his memories of the incident. His own attempts seem to ask the question of whether Israel itself has made made a mass, semi-conscious decision to forget.



The movie is shot as an animated documentary except for some real footage at the end. When it finished nobody moved. Everyone just sat rooted to the spot staring at a black screen for what seemed like an age, reminding me of when I first watched 'Schindler's List'.

So many questions fly round your mind after. Issues of war, mankind's potential for evil, the brutal oppression of the palestinians, the repression of unwanted memories, our world view, the world's view of christians etc etc.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Might makes Right


Everyday I check for news from Palestine and everyday it saddens me more.

Here's part of an email I just got from Mazin
Qumsiyeh who is a Christian peace-maker and a professor in Bethlehem. He describes the situation better than I could...

It is only in an Orwellian "might makes right" world that 1.5 million people are kept in a concentration camp literally being starved to death while much of the world governments stand idly watching or occasionally issuing a useless statement or collaborating with the collective punishment (as in the case of Governments of Egypt and the US). 1.5 million are not numbers, they are people like you and me and 60% are children!! Terrorism is defined as punishing civilians to force a change in politics. As such this is the biggest act of terrorism since the end of WWII. It is also a war crime and a crime against humanity (as defined by International Law).

With Gazans already impoverished and struggling to survive, on November 5, Israel completely sealed Gaza's border crossings. This followed an unprovoked Israeli attack on Gaza that killed six Palestinians, despite a ceasefire, and Palestinian rocket fire in response. As a result of Israel's closure, the United Nations has been forced to stop food distribution to 750,000 needy people, and 70% of Gaza is now without powerdue to a lack of fuel. According to reports, even candles are now in short supply. "Let's see this for what it is." said UN spokesman Chris Gunness. "Fifty-six percent of the Gaza Strip are children. Let us not cause suffering of innocent children." Blocking witnesses, on November 13, Israel denied the entry to Gaza of 20 senior EU diplomats. Israel also has refused to allow foreign journalists to enter Gaza. Foreign Press Association chairman Steven Gutnik called the ban "a serious violation of freedom of the press" and said "it is essential that journalists be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip since it is the foreign media that serves as the world's window into Gaza.


http://www.endtheoccupation.org/

Friday, November 14, 2008

O'Bama?

He's so good he had to be Irish......

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Rememberance Sunday


My only A-star at GCSE was in English Literature. This was mainly due to the war poetry we studied. The imagery, anger and pain in the words captured me. My thoughts slowly went through a change from my glamorised boyhood view of war from all the old movies to an understanding of what war really is ...hell ....lions fighting for lambs.

One of the most powerful war poems is by a soldier from WW1, Wilfred Owen. He takes a line from an old latin poem that was popular at the time to get people to join the army:
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori ("It is sweet and noble to die for one's country")

Owen, in the end, is saying that if readers could see what he has seen they would no longer instill visions of glorious warfare in young men's heads. No longer would they tell their children the "Old Lie," that it is sweet and noble to die for one's country.

Of course on Remembrance Sunday we need to remember the heroes that gave their lives for our freedom.... but the old war poems are also a reminder of the reality and futility of war.

DULCE ET DECORUM EST1

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares2 we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest3 began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots4
Of tired, outstripped5 Five-Nines6 that dropped behind.

Gas!7 Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets8 just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime9 . . .
Dim, through the misty panes10 and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,11 choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
12
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
13
To children ardent14 for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Change


Another thing I discovered in the middle-east is the incredible effect that one country can have over the world... the effect that one man leading that country can have over the world.

It's crazy to think that decisions made by one human being over coffee with his advisers will decide the gap between the rich and poor in his own country, between war and peace in the middle-east, and the poverty of millions in the third world.

That's why I'm praying that all those folk whose forefathers left the shores of Ulster when our potatoes went bad will make Barack Obama the new US president tomorrow.

They'll be led in song by The Boss...



one of my all-time favourite tunes...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hope part 2

I check the BBC website everyday for news from Palestine. This is the first good news story I have read since my time there. It's amazing what football can achieve!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7691924.stm

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hope

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory."

Howard Zinn

Sunday, October 12, 2008

check it out...




Here is our video from Jandira 2008 (edited by Nick 'the greek' Williamson).

Check out our website if you haven't already done so... 'Emmanuel Africa'

Also more pics on our flickr


If you still have some web-browsing time you should visit my brother's blog by clicking here. He's writing some amazing stuff about his year living the american dream.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Equal

UN Declaration of Human Rights: Article 1-
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
I think the biggest problem in the world today is that we don't see all human beings as equal. I see this everywhere and unfortunately it seems as endemic in the world-wide church as outside of it.

Some examples-

Israel/Palestine
Over the past 2 years there have been 40 Palestinains killed for every 1 Israeli. Palestinian land is being constantly stolen and it's people live in an open-air prison. Where else in the world are so many people denied most of their basic human rights, only to have their problems sweeped under the carpet by the world's media? The status quo exists because of American Christian Zionism. The church around the world is indoctrinated to show unwavering support to the state of Israel (a secular state) no matter what wrongs they commit. This is despite the fact that there are many more Christian believers living in Palestine than in Israel.

Muslims
When we see a middle-eastern woman in a headscarf on the news mourning her loss do we feel the same symapathy as we do for a western woman? The Republican party's main offensive in the American presidential campaign is to try and make people think (wrongly) that Obama is muslim. I've heard people here say we should be praying for McCain to get in because Obama is a muslim and Sarah Palin is a Christian. Never mind the fact that Palin makes George Bush look like a bastion of intelligence and articulation (watch this).

Africa
Sometimes I feel an underlying cynicism or resignation when people talk about issues of poverty, AIDS etc in Africa. Like their problems can never be solved, or they should sort them out themselves, or there's no point because their governments are so corrupt. Do we really see the children in Africa who are dying in their millions as being equal to our own?

Others
Homeless, drunks, homosexuals, immigrants .......

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm lovin it???


I was out in Belfast with some mates last night. After a great night we were walking home about 330am and decided to stop off at the 24-hour McDonalds on the Newtownards Road for some quarter pounder meals.

We were chatting to the guy flipping burgers and he told us that they keep cooking food all night in case people come in. They throw out any unsold burgers after 10 minutes and cook some more. He said they throw out about £150 of burgers every night. That's £150 of what they cost McDonald's, not what we pay.

So I've done some rough calculations:
They probably throw at least twice as many out during the day than at night. However most McDs are 24-hour. A very generous estimate would be that the average McDs throws out £300 of burgers every day altogether.

Google tells me there are 25 MickeyDs in N.I. so that's £7500 wasted per day here.

There are 31,000 McDs in the world so that's £9,300,000. Nearly £10 million a day and that's being generous! Probably far more.

Rainforests are being destroyed around the world, millions of tonnes of packaging are used for a few minutes and then discarded, and I'll not even get into a world poverty rant... all because lads with bum fluff moustaches and squeaky voices are being forced to throw out their handiwork.

McDonalds boycott anyone?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Weddings, bears and brotherhood

I've seen two of my brothers wed this year and both have been brilliant days. The pic above didn't make it to the speech (the girly looking one is Mikey not Joy who wasn't born then!). I feel blessed to have brothers and a sister who are great friends as well as siblings.

As requested here are a couple of the videos from our speech. They're only really funny if you were there and I can't be arsed explaining...






btw... if you are thinking of leaving a comment along the lines of...
'you're next then'
'when's your big day',
'you need to get a move on John'
'I know a great girl for you'
...leave it out, I've heard it all before!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flobots

I love music that's full of righteous anger. I found a quality band recently that fueled in me a fist-clenching, rallying cry against the system... like when I first heard 'Rage Against the Machine'.

They rage against war and injustice but also seem to be doing something about it with their non-profit organisation that aims to connect social change with music (www.flobots.org)

Check out this video and their other songs on youtube. Album's out in September...you heard it here first!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prosperity Gospel

I've watched this video on repeat tonight. From a talk by John Piper. It's stirring my heart.

'I don't know what you feel about the prosperity gospel,
the health, wealth and prosperity gospel
but I'll tell you what I feel about it
Hatred.'

'God is most glorified in you,
when you are most satisfied in him,
in the midst of loss
not prosperity.'


video

Thanks jbam!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Webale Jesu

Well this chapter of our Uganda story is over. We had an amazing, profound, tiring, life-changing month. Every moment was a privilege to be part of. My head is a bit too mashed up right now to try and put it all into words.

Here are some of my pics instead. My camera broke but still managed to get a few shots first. There's more on my flickr site here. Also check out Tim's site for some brilliant photos.













Tuesday, July 15, 2008

End of the Beginning


Team 1 leave tonight and Team 2 join us. As I had hoped I have spent less time processing and thinking and more time experiencing and living in the moment.... and what an experience:

- School is flying up. The site is beyond words. It truly will be a beacon of hope for the surrounding villages.
- Over 50 sick children brought to clinics be treated for various illnesses and tested for HIV.
- Visited and supported the work of others in pregnancy crisis centre and in the slums.
- Kid's clubs, sports coaching, women's work, teacher training.
- The relationships we built with teachers, kids, builders two years ago have now developed into true friendships. It feels like home.
Check out Al's blog for more detailed info.

This team have been amazing. They have come with open eyes and open hearts and have responded to the need they have seen around them.

We stood on top of the hill yesterday, where the secondary school is being built, praying with our Ugandan friends and I experienced the presence of God like never before. Every day we see new things to respond to. The project has become huge. It's gone way beyond our control and past the point of no return. After years of feeling frustrated with poverty, injustice, AIDS, education issues we at last feel like we're not just talking about it but in one small part of the world we're able to respond and make a real and lasting difference.

It is a great privilege to help lead these teams. This project is becoming one of the most special things I have ever been a part of. This could be the rest of my life.

ps Nicky is here and he's single and desperate. Send photos to thenickmans@hotmail.com. You can see his photos on his bebo.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Africa

This Saturday we set off on another adventure to Jandira, Uganda. It's hard to believe after months of planning that it's almost upon us. Check out website here for information. Some of my photos of our last trip to Jandira here. It's a huge team and a huge project. Scary and but immensely exciting! I can't wait to spend another month on african soil.

I probably won't blog much over July. I want to experience more and process less on this trip... leaving the processing until I come home.


I wrote this after I went to South Africa in 2004 -


You gave birth to mankind,
In your womb grew resource:
Rubber, Oil, Diamond, Slave,
Taken from you.

It was us
who raped you,
Stole your innocence,
Battered you, chained you, sold you.

Left extremes to battle
in your no-man's land,
Darkness and Light
Doubt and Faith
Despair and Hope
Apathy and Love.

Yet you remain
hard pressed not crushed
Perplexed not in despair
Persecuted not forgotten
Struck down but not destroyed.

And in you
my soul has found
everything it has exchanged for extravagance

In you

In Africa

Sunday, June 01, 2008

School

Last week was the extreme outdoor pursuits school trip that I've spent all year organising. It was a great success. I've taught some of this kids for two years and seen them grow and mature daily, building great relationships with them. The trip was the highlight of the past two years.

My lads have had great success on the sports fields with both football and rugby teams winning their leagues (see pics).















These things have made me realise that, although I retain dreams and aspirations about where I'd like to be and what I'd like to do, I find much joy and fulfillment in my current job (for now!).

Here's a quality quote that jumped out at me from our class novel last week.

'Above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.'
Roald Dahl 'The Minpins'

Monday, May 12, 2008

Into the Wild


When I compile my all-time favourite movies (The Last of the Mohicans, Legends of the Fall, Apocalypto, Gladiator) they all seem to have a common theme- adventure, sweeping landscapes, stirring classical soundtrack, wildness. The kind of movies that you watch and then go to bed and dream of being in a different place in a different time and being wild!

I watched 'Into the Wild' the other night and it's gone straight into my top 5! The amazing true story of Christopher McCandless who sold all he had, gave the money to Oxfam and went to live in the Alaskan wilderness by himself. Read about him here.

The movie covered many thoughts I have had about escape, wildness, society and in particular travelling alone. I have always had a desire to take off by myself on an adventure. Where I'm unknown, free from expectations and responsibility. However I have also spent much time considering if any experience would be true and fulfilled if experienced alone... with no-one to share it or to remember it.

I have asked this question to many travellers that I've met. The story of McCandless is quite emphatic on this. The clip below shows the part of his journey where he is alone and starving and remembering the people he met when he first set out. What he writes is the essence of his story:

'Happiness is only real when shared'

video

On that note we are looking at 'Community' in TRUE tomorrow night. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This too shall be made right.....


My brother JBAM left this song as a comment on my last post. I post it by way of apologising to him for taking his car and abandoning it in Carrickfergus (this too shall be made right!).

Also because the lyrics are powerful and moving. Check it out on youtube, by a guy called Derek Webb:


people love you the most for the things you hate,
and hate you for loving the things that you cannot keep straight.
people judge you on a curve,
and tell you you’re getting what you deserve,
this too shall be made right

children cannot learn when children cannot eat.
stack them like lumber when, children cannot sleep.
children dream of wishing wells,
whose waters quench all the fires of Hell.
this too shall be made right.

the earth and the sky and the sea are all holding their breath.
wars and abuses have nature groaning with death,
we say we’re just trying to stay alive
but it looks so much more like a way to die.
this too shall be made right.

there’s a time for peace and there is a time for war
a time to forgive and a time to settle the score
a time for babies to lose their lives
a time for hunger and genocide
this too shall be made right

I don’t know the suffering of people outside my front door
I join the oppressors of those who I choose to ignore
I’m trading comfort for human life
and that’s not just murder it’s suicide
this too shall be made right

Monday, April 28, 2008

That's My King

I showed this video in cell on Friday night. The dialogue is from a well known sermon by S M Lockridge. It was recorded on some dodgy device at the back of an African-American church many years ago. Technology has improved the sound and 'Ignite Media' have put it over some drum & bass and nice images.

video

At present I feel entrapped in place of disillusionment and frustration. So many dreams unfulfilled and goals unrealised. I want to lay down my life to see this kingdom come but struggle to surmount the extenuating circumstances and self-doubt that block the way.

These words have grasped my heart and brought fire to my soul. To be a true servant of this irresistible King is the chief end of all of my hopes, dreams and ambition.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Prosperity Gospel

Brian H wrote recently about TV evangelists, expressing much of the righteous anger that my mates and I have often shared. These multi-millionaires with their prosperity gospel. Is this why Jesus was beaten and crucified? So we could have more stuff??

They steal from the sick and the vulnerable with twisted scripture and fraudulent promises. Promises of health, money and a long life if only we could have a little faith and make a donation to the 'Lord's work'.

Anyway, it's not all bad. Here's a video I enjoyed....... (I have a child-like faith!)


'Mock the devil and he will flee from you' C.S.Lewis

Monday, March 31, 2008

True Spirituality


My friend Brother Thierry (Bro T) is coming to speak to us at TRUE on Wednesday night @ 8pm. Don't miss it!
Check TRUE blog for details.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Davy and Sheena Mull


Well my wee bro got married yesterday. Was a beautiful day. Great to have the extended family under one roof along with friends old and new. Felt proud to be his groomsman, brother and friend..... and delighted that he now has a mighty fine wife!

Anyway for those who requested it, here is the video we showed. I'm glad to say that Sheena's mum has forgiven us!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Logic of Power

Ok last burst of frustration then I'll try and lighten up the blog for a while.

Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. George Bush said today that they had achieved:
"a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror".
Agreed?

700,000 killed and 4 million refugees..... and here is the financial cost... keep reading......

It is estimated that the overall cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is somewhere between $5 trillion and $7 trillion for the US alone and another $6 trillion for other countries.

Officially, the US spends $16 billion every month to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan (this figure includes only direct expenses).

The United Nations estimates that $195 billion would end world hunger and most of the devastating diseases afflicting the world’s poor. AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, extreme poverty could all be brought into manageable numbers or completely eradicated for less than the cost of one year of war in Iraq!!!

The world is so screwed up.

(btw this is a criticism of War, not of America which has produced many good things and great people like Eilis!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Stupidity of Man


Brian H had a great poem on his blog recently about the task of a Christian being recklessness. Well a lot of rage has gathered inside me that needs venting.

Violence breeds violence. Violence escalates. How stupid is mankind? Will we never learn? Violence makes things worse.

Last week the Israeli army killed 125 people in Gaza (over half civilians including many children). Their blockade on Gaza amounts to collective punishment by denying Palestinians their basic human needs. Christian Aid, Amnesty and other organisations have critisised the situation stating that the peopel of Gaza are 'battered and starved'.

The Israeli government say their actions are to stop rocket fire. Has it stopped? Of course not it has got worse. The threat on the Israeli people has become greater because of their government's actions.

Also last week a Palestinian gunman slaughtered 9 Israeli students in Jerusalem. What did he hope to achieve by taking these innocent lives? He has put his own people under more threat.

Further afield..........
The US (and allies) want to defeat terrorism so they bomb the hell out of Afganistan and Iraq.
  • The war costs the US $275 million per day
  • Almost 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed and more than 60,000 wounded
  • 700,000 Iraqis killed and 4 million refugees
Is terrorism defeated? No it is has grown and spread and become a greater threat than ever before.

The thing that pisses me off more than anything is Christians who (even on this blog) justify the some of the actions I have mentioned as being part of God's plan.

Not the God I believe in.......
The God I believe in makes it possible to view all men as equal- Arab and Jew, Iraqi and American.

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power."
((MLK) thanks Bro T!)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Morning's news. At least 32 more palestinians killed last night including 4 children and 2 teenage girls.

'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere' Martin Luther King Jr

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Justice for all?

(Picture 1 : Taken on a beautiful night with a Palestinian family in the West Bank)

Everyday when I get home from work I check out the world news online to find out what is happening in Israel and Palestine. It breaks my heart almost daily as I read of more deaths. I rarely talk or write about it because it's hard for people to relate when they haven't seen the situation.

When I was in Palestine I wrote here that the situation in Gaza was a timebomb. Over the past few months it has begun to blow. Due to rocket fire from Gaza, Israel have launched collective punishment on the people there. The borders are closed and the supply of the basic needs for life have been restricted.

Everyday you read about the Israeli army moving into Gaza, killing militants and far too often civilians. As those of us born into the Northern Ireland troubles can relate to, there is much fault on both sides. Two days ago a Palestinian rocket killed an innocent Israeli. This was the first Israeli killed by a rocket in nine months. In response Israel launched an attack yesterday killing 5 militants but also a six month old baby. Today 4 palestinian boys were killed while playing soccer.
(Picture: A wee palestinian lad who I played footie with outside Bethlehem)

In the nine months since the last Israeli died, 200 palestinians have been killed. The population in Gaza are struggling with poverty and oppression.

I love Israel and her people but I wonder if their government is really obeying what YAHWEH has commanded through the Torah and the prophets.

Isaiah pleads with the people to seek justice, correct oppression, and defend the fatherless and the widow (Isaiah 1:17). Proverbs teaches that the Lord will plead the cause of the poor over those who rob them or cheat them in courts of law (Proverbs 22:22-23). The list goes on.

Israel's prime minister Elud Olmert says he wants 'terrorists' to pay a heavy price.
But who are the terrorists?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

UGANDA 2008


Really excited about going back to Jandira this summer. I wrote about the last trip here.
This year I'm helping me old pal Al lead two teams of 76 people altogether to build a secondary school. Plans are coming together and we got a kick-ass team assembled. Check out the Emmanuel-Africa website that Zico and Rick have put together.

This will be my fourth time in Africa and I'm more excited than ever because of the potential of this project. To give secondary education here is to give hope and a future. We believe that ‘Light to the Nations Secondary School’ can produce men and women of God who can be future leaders and influencers in Uganda. Read more about it on Al's blog.

We holding a big auction on 29th March. All proceeds going to the building fund. Let me know if you think you could contribute any items that would make us some cash.

Webelinio sebo

Monday, February 11, 2008

Silence is Golden


I spent another couple of days in Rostrevor last weekend with the Benedictine Monks. I wrote about my previous visit here. I would highly recommend a retreat there for anyone who would like to get away from the noise and stress of life.

The monastry is a modern building set in a valley surrounded by the mourne mountains. It is designed to let the maximum amount of light in.

Brother Thierry has become a friend (a friend who reads this blog!). An hour in conversation with him provided me with more wisdom and reality that reading 20 books could. It feels like having a chat with Jesus, at least how I imagine that would feel.

Come on now, little one, get away from your worldly occupations for a while, escape from your tumultuous thoughts. Lay aside your burdensome cares and put off your laborious exertions. Give yourself over to God for a little while, and rest for a while in Him. Enter into the cell of your mind, shut out everything except God and whatever helps you to seek Him once the door is shut. Speak now, my heart, and say to God, "I seek your face; your face, Lord, I seek." [Anselm's Proslogion xxvi]

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kierkegaard, Bono and love.



In the middle of a tough weekend a friend gave me an article which contained some beautiful but painful truths. It is by Mike Austin in 'Philosophy Today'. He is writing about authentic love through the words of Soren Kierkegaard and Bono (my two favourite writers!). I'll try to summarise it so stop reading now if you don't want to be bored by me clumsily writing about love.

Kierkegaard claims that authentic love is not a mysterious feeling, a mood of the soul or an empty promise. It is 'sheer action'.

The work of Kierkegaard and Bono seems to agree that romantic/human love is founded in preference, inclination, impulse and passion. This love is only a form of self-love, not focused on the well-being of the other. This love is expecting even demanding something in return. I love so I'll be rewarded with her love, her care and her affection. If my love is based on my preferences or on the traits of the one I love and my preferences or their traits change then my love changes.

'I could never take the chance Of losing love to find romance, In the mysterious distance Between a man and a woman' (U2)

Their solution then is to base love with something more lasting and stable. Romantic love must be based in divine love to be authentic. Kierkegaard claims that we should conceive of love as a moral duty.

Love as a duty is rooted in the eternal. God is unchanging like our emotions so this is a more firm foundation for our love. We become committed to another as a matter of conscience. A duty to love one another. Three become one.

Love as a duty doesn't take away the freedom, impulses and passion of romance. It is more free because it does not change when the object of love changes. On our own we fail to persevere, we tire of the other person, we feel like moving on to someone else. But authentic love (love as a duty) binds us together and gives us courage, strength and wisdom to hold on to the one we love when love's counterfeits would fail.


If anyone is still reading that was a really crap synopsis but ask me for a copy if you would like to read it. It may help you to avoid the mistakes that I made.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TRUE 2008


Don't forget about TRUE this Wednesday night. We'll be looking at the journey so far and getting excited about the year ahead, learning how live out this Kingdom lifestyle. Our special guest is a popular local celebrity!!

Check out the TRUE blog. I have put up a breakdown of how the offering that you gave at the last TRUE has been distributed. A real highlight of my Christmas!