De-churched person visits a church – the uncut blow-by-blow commentary

Pre-service
Where’s the toilet? Oh OK thanks.

Getting seated
Open, determined to be open.

The Music
Dont feel the need to be above anyone here
I have some cynical thoughts, but I’m not frothing at the mouth.

I think I’ve evened out a lot, not a sense of desperation. Or emotionalism.

Thoughts of making worship a human experience – not sure what i mean by that. But music is a great access into people.

Limitations to big group of people who worship. It is song. My preference is smaller.

“You’re never gonna let me down.” An expression of faith and truth for those in that faith, but at the core of us as people is the idea that life/God has let us down.
How do we bring this truth in? – The acknowledgement that the fairy tale isn’t real.
The proclamation of faith is made more real by its context of truth of circumstance.

What I believe and where my belief is, is enough.

Can’t mock someone’s real expression. Find respect in my heart for these people.

A Talking Bit
Hard not to acknowlegde the truth of a testimony – but how is it framed? How we tell a testimony is important. We need the truth that connects.

People are impressed by strength but they connect with vulnerability.

How much of church is about connecting or impressing?

Noticing the pretty ladies
Some weapons here though, Jeeeeez.

The Money Bit
There is an element of celebrity to it, but is it noteriety?

That guy is 33 tomorrow. Look at him. And I know thay could be me. But im happy with where I am. With who I am. With my life.

Own your life.

Then theres the bible which we clearly interpret, but are we saying we do?

Concieve of your life as yours. Its hard for church people to concieve as someones life as their own, as they are responsible for it.

Is there a fixation on community which neglects the raw reality that we need to develop as individuals? (Thus enriching the community experience.)

Do groupthink and social loafing make community the default cruise mode? Does the sensation of growth in groupthink numb the sensation of individual struggle/growth?

If God’s love is personal, if we are individuals made very uniquely then we must also be responsible for our lives. For the creation of our lives – for the best stewardship of who we are.

Am convinced that God is working thru all creativity. He is in expressions of himself. Can’t shake it theologically and observationally.

Light.

Garden was a place where God met with humanity. Gardens.

Profoundly impressed by the communication of the message. Not a sermon, but a TV show. Real thought into the structure and communication of this message. Very impressive.

The power of a testimony. Bikie guy.

Tired of that life. Tired. In the presence of my Creator.

Immersed in it. Forget myself and become de-interested in all other things. Church services can be too much of an immersive experience, do we help people lose themselves? Is this real? Is it too much of a highlight?

How do we do church and normalcy? Testimony of LIFE… the dreary hum drum day in day out. He is in it! Just as much as everywhere else.

It does take time to connect with people and gain friends. Be at peace, it takes time. It takes time. Be where you are.

Isolated and depressed well ive been used to this all my life – known in a community, knowing people. Known as a part of something. Im used to it. I found myself in it.

When I put that aside, by my choice, no wonder I became isolated. Slowly it happened slowly but it is not bad, because I’ve met myself. No accidents. Leaving it as a community wasn’t a bad thing.

I met myself. Accepting myself.

Patience. It takes time. Be patient. What if its about being patient about the good things? Love is patient. If you love yourself, you’ll be patient with yourself. Kind to yourself.

In the quiet place.

The End Bit
Chile Con Carne for $7 very decent… the smell lured me!

Sydney skyline

The falling sun reflects onto the Sydney skyscrapers. The colour is a hot burnt orange, although the chill of autumn nights will soon rest upon the city. Darkness around them, they stand like towering torches. Their effect is hypnotic.

This is nature’s Vivid; day’s last light shed upon the man-made glass. Smiling, I watch the light show unfold from my bedroom windows.

Since New York’s skyline became synonymous with terror, I have cherished every dip, peak and oddity of Sydney’s skyline.

From my perch, I can roughly place where our aeroplanes descend and ascend, but the low-lying airport itself is hidden behind green tree tops.

In the foreground, a gigantic yellow frame shuffles shipping containers at a local container terminal, which seems to be nocturnal in its operation.

This is the city whose skyline prompts me to reflect, gain perspective and mute the day’s minutia.

To the north, immediately after the CBD, I see a red beacon flashing to a slow cadence. It is the top of the Harbour Bridge. Throughout my years in this house, the constant fade in and fade out has always drawn my eye. While up-close tourists shoot the bridge from a variety of angles, this is my personal angle from afar, too meaningful to photograph.

Further north, the glowing whites and reds of Chatswood spike into the sky. They mark the end of high-rise and the beginnings of residential Sydney.

As my eye follows the contours of red-roofed residences, it stops at Sydney Olympic Park.

The stadium. Now surrounded by corporate headquarters and people who make their homes in towers, I remember when the site held a flame 17 years ago.

Not from my perch, but facing north on a city-bound train, I caught a glimpse of it. As the train gathered momentum, through the gaps in houses and buildings I saw the Olympic flame. In some ways, I think it saw me too.

It was contained in a cauldron elevated at the back of the stadium. That flame reached past the cameras, the crowd and the sports people to imprint on me a sense of awe. It was as if a long arm of fire locked onto me from afar and as it neared, a single outstretched finger touched my chest.

I gazed at it helplessly, as if it owned me. To this day, I haven’t had such an intense feeling.

The same burnt orange of that flame now lifts to the top of the city’s buildings as the sun retreats to warm another hemisphere. Here I stand, an autumn chill in the air, offering the minutia of my life to Sydney’s skyline once again.