Thursday, 19 February 2004

Here's another "I've been thinking"! Yesterday I was struck by the fact that I really don't like competition. I would love to beleive people are promoted and rewarded on the their own merits not because of what they do to others or how they manipulate to get what they want. Last might someone told me "there are no nice people in the worls". There point being that you have to stop being so naive and start fighting for what you want. I refuse to believe that despite the fact that many people are not very nice. I refuse to believe it because of what it does to my hope and faith in other people. Sometimes I would rather just roll over and let someone else win. How do you find a balance between knowing you are the best for a job or want the opportunity and getting involved in underhanded behaviour?

Wednesday, 18 February 2004

Change. I have been thinking about that a bit over the last few years. Change is normal I have decided but for the first 18 years of my life I have had very little change in the my life. My only move was ten doors down the street. I went to one primary school and then one secondary school. University was a change but I didn't move out of home until I started working full time 2 years ago. I am the oldest so the only other chnage in my family was my sister going away to University. Sometimes I yearn for the good old days when everything was predictable and you could have 5 year blocks where not much happened.

Usually I am envigorated by change but I think I nearing change overload at the moment. My sister has just got married. There are 8 weeks till my own wedding. I am moving again and a large number of my friends have moved overseas or are getting married themselves. I am realising that life will never again be as it was when I was five and school and play lunches stretched out before me.

I guess I just want a still and quiet life for a while. Maybe I need to reevaluate my expectations.

Thursday, 12 February 2004

Migraines. According to recent statistics it is one of the top 20 disabilities in the world. Everyday in New Zealand 5000 people are not at work because of migraines. Since I was about 13 I have had migraines on and off. They seem to be triggered by stress or sudden relaxation so i can't really control whether I get them or not. On the continumn of migraines they are definitly not the worst you can get but I definitly cannot work and have to go to bed until it passes. For about a week afterwards my brain feels very fuzzy and I am really tired. I hadn't had any for about 2 years until Christmas eve and since then I have had about three. Interesting that my engagement has triggered them!

The reason i am writing about this is that it raises issues with illness and how I cope with it as a Christian. I have had prayer about the migraines and didn't have any for about 2 years after that. I would like to say it was God but I also think it was a very settled time in my life. so I don't know. How do we deal with the loss of control of being ill? We all have things to do in our lives which benefit others and it often seems a senseless waste to spend a week out of action. Why does God allow it?

Of illnesses to deal with, migraines do not compare to the suffering of many others due to illness or injury. I have read quite a bit on why God allows suffering and that definitely helps me to come to terms with it. The trouble I have is with the views of Christians. There seems to be a group of Christians who believe illness is a sign of sin in your life. I do not hold to that unless you are actually causing the illness with your own lifestyle or behaviour. There are also those who believe in prayer for healing which I also believe in but I know so many people who despite the prayers of many are still suffering.

There seem to be no easy answers except that I know God loves us and wants good things for us. Maybe our attitude to our sickness is the most important thing. And our compassion towards those who are suffering.

Wednesday, 11 February 2004

It has been a long time since my last blog. I friend of mine gave me a challenge to keep it up. It is amazining what we can waste our time doing or how time each day just disappears so quickly.
I am back teaching after a busy holiday. It is great to see the kids again but it is strange that in my third year of teaching I do have much greater emotional distance. I want to continue to care for the kids but I am developing my teaching as a craft. Also you realise that though a class of kids are really special to you another class will be there the folowing year who are just as dyanmic or challenging. It is interesting that as I get older things don't seem so immediate and I have more of an ability to see my life in years and patterns rather than the day I am in right now.

Anyway on another unrelated topic, I watched Destiny T.V for a short while this morning and it got me thinking about my view of Brian Tamaki, his theology and way of doing church. I have never been to a service at a Destiny church so my only real experience has been through the media's portrayal and their own t.v programme. He was talking about being strong and growing and said that often people complain about being tired or having struggles in their lives and are not strong enough to deal with it. He was talking about this in the context of spritual warfare and overcoming attacks by Satan. Interesting because my recent church experience has focussed on compassion for others and facing up to our weaknesses. My understanding of Jesus is that he became tired and was not 'strong' all the time such as when he needed to be alone. Thsi understanding has really helped me to learn how to relax and let God be the strength. However I could see what Brian was getting at. I guess he was encouraging people not to dispair and to belive in the power of God. So often I find that hard because I can see so many situations where is seems people are not experiencing 'victory'.

He finished by talking about the passage in Acts where the demon asks "Who are you?". Brian argued that if you are a child of God and planted in a Church (he specifically named Destiny) then you have spiritual authority. I agree to a certain extent however I think being part of the body of christ, the entire family of God is the important thing and which church you go to is slightly irrelevant. I did wonder where Brian was planted and whether he recongnised the rest of the Church, not just his own brand as aprt of the body of Christ.

I guess when it comes down to it sometimes I wonder why God allows churches who seem to have some questionable values and practises to thrive? But during his sermon he directly talked about violence, alcoholism and financial matters as areas which are spiritual battles and challenged the congregation to trust God and to be strong in these areas. So he must be relevant to some people and give them hope and strategies for life. It seems that few things are fully good or bad just like I am neither completely good or completely bad. Who am I to judge?

That leads me to my final thought. When as Christians should we correct each other is we believe some teaching or practise is not biblical or does not reflect Christ? when can we say we know that something is wrong?