Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Tweeting the Bible

Ben Myers has written what he calls the "world's shortest commentary on the whole Bible". He has tweeted a summary of each book of the Bible with great insight and wit. Here are some of my favourites:

1 Kings: So, you really want a monarchy huh? Don't say I didn't warn you.

2 Kings: I told you so.

Galatians: We felt insecure without our chains so we hired experts to repair them. Then Paul came back, wielding a sledgehammer.

There are many people on the internet using Twitter to present the Bible. I wonder how we could use this Twitter technique to help students engage with the Bible.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

What is my song?

How do school communities explore the concept of vocation with young people?

How do we help students to think about what their purpose in life is and what they might be called to do?

I think these are counter cultural questions. The dominant idea many schools want to promote is that you can be whatever you want. While part of me likes this way of thinking it also troubles me deeply. Maybe we can be what we want, but will becoming that thing fulfil us and be true to who we are? We should encourage young people to be all they can be, but this needs to be grounded in self knowledge and self awareness. 

Recently on Facebook the story below has been going around. I like the message underlying it. The song is representative of who we are in the world and what we are called to do. I like the idea of our identity having deep roots in a community that helps us to understand who we are and remind us when we forget. I think this kind of community might value all kinds of work and all kinds of vocation and all kinds of being in the world. Not just those that earn a lot of money or fame or prestige.

I think this is what Christian community should be about. Helping us to hear the song that God has placed in our heart, that God sings to us as our calling.

I wonder how we can help young people hear their song?

When a woman of the Himba African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until they find The Song of the Child. When a child is born, the community gets together and they sing the child’s song. When the child begins it’s education, people get together and the child sings their own song. When they become an adult, the community gets together again to sing it. When it comes to your wedding, you hear your song. Finally, when their soul is going from this world, family and friends are approaching and, like at their birth, sing their song to accompany it in the journey.

In the Himba tribe, there is another occasion when people sing the song. If at some point the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, they take the offender to the center of town and the people of the community form a circle around them. Then they sing you your song. The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, but is the love and memory of your true identity. When we recognize our own song, we have no desire or need to hurt anyone.

Your friends know your song. And sing when you forget it. Those who love you can not be fooled by mistakes you have committed, or dark images you show to others. They remember your beauty as you feel ugly, your total when you’re broke, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you’re confused.

Attributed to: Tolba Phanem, African poet

This story is also told in the book "What is my song" by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Shift Worship Videos

Looking for some worship videos? At the end of last year I posted some Advent videos. They came from Shift Worship. Shift has stills, mini movies and motion clips. You can get unlimited downloads with an unlimited pass for $149 for twelve months.

You can watch previews of their clips on their web page or their YouTube channel.

Their are lots of videos on different topics. Although it isn't Mother's Day for a while I couldn't help but post this video: