faith

adventures

4th & long…


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DCIM104GOPRO

Today I went to the 49ers – Seahawks game, it was freezing but I was well prepared. As for the game itself, it generally seemed like both teams were doing their best to lose… and at times the 49ers were blatantly throwing the game.

For me, attending sport live is purely for the atmosphere, and it was there in bunches, the noise was amazing, the crowd entertaining…

except for two things I’ll never understand, leaving early & getting smashed. One lady was trolleyed by halftime & keept falling over, eventually taken away by a medical crew. The other, bunches of fans left with 9 & 6 mins to go with their team down in a close game against a good opponent.

As a sports fan you live for these moments, sure you may beat the traffic home, but you’re leaving a potentially fantastic finish (how many Rockets fans regret bailing early in this game) not to mention you’ve just payed how much to be there?!!

Niners comeback & win.

 

I mentioned it was freezing, I read in the paper this morning that a homeless person died last night because of the cold… preventable death seems inherently more saddening.

While I’ve seen & talked with a couple of houseless people around the touristy areas, they are few and far in-between. It seems that for many on the streets money is made by recycling, scouring through the rubbish bins for cans & bottles, then trading them in.

In San Francisco, you can’t do that around the touristy areas, the bins are padlocked & have special lids.

vlcsnap-2013-12-26-21h46m14s67I would have thought, having someone sort your recyclables from land fill for free would be a good thing.

During the course of my travels this morning a run into two guys who work with the homeless & we get to talking… the plan is I’ll follow a houseless guy around for the day, either here in San Francisco, or in Oakland, I’ll get to go through soup kitchens, shelters and some of the social services. The catch, this still needs to be ok’d by the boss who will be back on Mon or Tues (I’m assured this shouldn’t be a problem as it’s been done several times before)…

Oh, and I’m due to fly to L.A 6am Monday morning.

4th & long.

Do you leave early or stay in hopes of pulling off something special.

 

Low: Darth Vader has left my dorm… only to be replaced by the worst snorer in the history of humankind. Imagine what it would sound like to give someone liposuction by placing a straw on their belly & trying to suck the fat through the skin (sort of a reverse raspberry), now mix that with a chainsaw.

fml.

If I’m arrested for murder you’ll know why.

 

High: Great conversation with a gay-Iranian cab driver on life in SF, his parents moving after the revolution & culture.

 

adventures

Paradise Lost


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Waianae
Waianae

Last night we had a new roommate arrive, he promptly left & spent all night in a strip club before returning in the morning. He’s a mid 50’s American who has to travel for business, he tells his wife he stays in Hotels & will call her from one the 1st night & then spends the rest of the time staying at hostels. Why hostels you ask? I didn’t but he’d enlighten me anyway, the extra money is for strippers & chasing tail (I opted for a different choice of words), oh & hostels are full of lots of young drunk *****

… Ladies & Gentlemen I present to you the nomination for the trips most seediest individual.

I’ve been asked a bit lately about the safety of hanging out & talking to houseless people, 90% of the time I’ve felt safe. There was one instance I didn’t & I left & that wasn’t due to houseless people but a group of others in that area.

What’s felt more unsafe to me is the random dude selling coke, or  sitting at a bar having dinner & the business woman whose next to you slips you her hotel key-card… that’s felt more unsafe than hanging-out with people without houses.

Anyway it’s my last day & I’ve found out about two places I should get to, one is just out of Chinatown, the other is a “tent city” in Waianae. Waianae proves to be too far away for me as I don’t have the coin for a cab ($80-100 each way) or car hire, or the time to bus… finding out about this place too late & not being able to make it, would prove to be my greatest disappointment of my time in Hawaii.

So I manage a quick visit to Chinatown & some of the surrounding areas. It’s strange to see empty basketball courts & abandoned playgrounds… & streets lined with tents.

I say goodbye to the “Houseless crew”, the group closest to me, where it all started I guess. A couple are drunk & don’t know who I am. Mark, who has never said much to me, thanks me & gives me a Hawaii bracelet (I’m not “convinced” it was purchased) I’ll wear it all the same.

…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped

and these guys certainly live in the shadows. Mark was assaulted last night and his face is cut, bruised & swollen, he was asleep when it started, he had no possessions, money, or drugs…

he had no one.

We can’t blame our government for not looking after those in the ‘shadows’. When we can walk by without making eye contact, offering a hello or a smile…

Is life really too busy to take 2 seconds to acknowledge someone else’s humanity?

Someone once said,

Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the least, the littlest

We have a way to go.

 

 

Hawaii Looking Back: Hawaii didn’t workout as planed…

but it couldn’t have worked out better. Sure I spent a whole lot less time on the beach & in the water than I would have liked but I got to meet some amazing people, I’ve met some from different walks of life, who I could live a million lifetimes & not rub shoulders with. My life is richer for it.

I wish I could have had another day here & made it to Waianae.

It’s been cool to see God at work, it’s been cool to see the difference a little love & kindness can make in someones life. Walking back to the Hostel one last time, I run into a guy I’d spent a bit of time with, he proudly tells me he’s been sober for a day.

It’s the first time in 15yrs.

We never had conversations about it…we barely had conversations, I just sat & listened.

Of all the things we have to give others, I think ‘time’ is the hardest to give.

 

 

I’m off to the airport, see you in San Francisco.

adventures

Kicked Out


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I’ve been in Hawaii for 5  or 6 days now, part of that time has been for vacation & travel, part has been to hangout with & do some film/photo/doco work around the homeless/houseless.

There are two reasons for this,

1) I hope to be able to put something together to raise a little awareness about the houseless & how we treat/interact with them,

and 2) I want to do it in such a way that it’s accessible for anyone to do. I’m by no means a talented editor, creative, film maker etc… I’m shooting everything on a GoPro. I guess I hope to provoke one or two others to ask,

what is it in your world that doesn’t sit right with you, what can you do about it, how can you engage with it & advocate for change

This was a beautiful moment I witnessed last night.

Last night after the sunset on the beach I spend some time hanging out with some houseless people. I take a few pics & do a little film work. I sit with one guy for a couple of hours & he just talks, he cries, he laughs, he shares his story, from the mundane to the comical & tragic.

I listen. I’m not filming, it stops being about what I need.

Unlike some of the other ‘houseless’ he doesn’t have a group he hangs with, the only time people stop to talk is to see if he can hook them up with weed.

I don’t know how to describe it other than it seemed to be a healing moment for him, he asks for me to pray for him, I’ll make a point of seeing him before I leave.

On the way back I stop by this really flash mall full of Prada, Armani etc… it’s a stark contrast to what I’ve seen in the last couple of hours, I decide to ask a couple of questions,

“Hey I’ve a couple of questions about Hawaii, can you answer for me”, yes. “How long have you been in Hawaii?”, insert answer. “Whats the deal with all the homeless people around?”.

“sorry sir I can’t answer that”. “ummm….”. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave”.

One lady called security. I start leaving, I’m on the 3rd story & it’s a little tricky to get out. Eventually I get asked to hand my camera over. I refuse, there is no way that’s happening. You’re not allowed to film or take photos in the mall without permission, I point out the dozen or around us that are filming right now.

It’s clear they don’t want a confrontation because of either my size or the scene it would create. I get asked to accompany them to their office, yep that’s not going to happen either. They inform me they can call the  police & have me charged, I’m sceptically but a little worried that this might jeopardize the rest of the trip (and judging by a few incidents I’ve witnessed, I have no confidence in the police). We reach a compromise were I agree to delete some footage off the camera under their supervision, I do so (in hindsight, something I would regret).

One of the guys tries to snatch it off me quickly, the GoPro is attached by a cord to my wrist, dick move, “I’m going, try & stop me”. We’re calling the cops…

Once I get out and around the corner I’m sure I’m shaking. I head back to the hostel & knock back a few local beers with people from around the world, there’s a really good group in tonight, it’s a shame I’m leaving tomorrow.

Great-beers-best-local-beer-hawaii-beer-longboard-lager-big-wave-golden-aleHigh: the “random” timing in witnessing a beautiful moment of kindness. The comradery of  travelers.

Low: indifference

adventures

Byodo-in 2


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DCIM102GOPRO

I awake to the sound of rain. It’s pouring down.

Beautiful.

Eventually I get out of bed & during a break in the rain decide to head to Byodo- in temple (take 2), freshly armed with the exact bus route I head off. I reach my transfer point only to discover that as of a month ago my connecting bus no longer connects… guess the website updates are running on island time.

Not only that, but because it’s Sunday it’s hardly running, not wanting to miss another opportunity I grab a different bus to get me closer, then suck-it-up & take cab.

My driver, Ricky (most popular name on the island so far) is a Vietnam vet who moved here after the war, he has seen Honolulu go through a ton of change, single lane highways to 8 lanes etc. He cuts me a good price as he picks up  another job over that way, gives me an umbrella & wishes me well.

WP_001502

WP_001515

 

Byodo-in Temple is at the back of this cemetery & it is in the most pristinely beautiful area, these photos dont do it justice. It begins rain heavily, driving the few remaining tourists away, I’m absolutely soaked, but it’s Hawaii so I’m warm.

 

 

 

I hangout til dusk.

DCIM102GOPRO

I’m dry by the time I get back to Waikiki, although I freeze with bus a/c.

Heading back I stop by a group of homeless people, I ask if I can do some time-lapse photography, I’m chatting away while I’m setting up. One of them gets into an argument with another, the cops are called, one says,

You’re only here because I allow it!

I’m sitting on the pavement with them & realise I fit in, until one of them notices the GoPro & I’m asked to move along. The petty crime, smoking, littering, urinating, searching through trash cans, and drinking doesn’t appear to be a problem. But scare the tourists, that’s another story.

I return a couple of hours later & make some new friends. Deciding to give photo’s a miss, I film, I ask questions, they talk BS, they share the heartfelt, their stories & I get a tour of Waikiki.

Here’s a little something I put together, when I get a chance I’ll do a more thorough edit. I imagine I’ll be spending some more time with “the houseless crew”.

 

New Experience: bending busses! hawaibus47

High: Chilling at Byodo-in & new friends.

Low:  It’s a toss up between really muggy nights & mosquito bites (if you go to Byodo- in, use bug spray. The mosquito’s are like ninjas, you don’t know they’ve been there til to late.

Biggest Surprise: It’s been 2 days & I haven’t been for a swim yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

adventures, News

Let the adventures begin!


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The Lone Traveler

I’m about to hop on a plane with a half-crazed plan, a bunch of tickets, a GoPro, $100 in my pocket & a whole bunch of the unknown.

I’ll be gone 2 months & will visit half a dozen countries. Some places I’ll definitely be at, some I’m hoping to get to, some I have no idea how I’m getting there, where I’m staying or how I’ll pay for it…

this will be a grand adventure of epic proportions or a cautionary tale.

 

Here’s a list of places I’m going to be (bracketed are places I’m hoping to get to), in rough sequential order. I’m already catching up with a couple of readers for coffee, so hit me up if I’m in your area pillscoffeeheresy@hotmail.com

Honolulu, Hawaii

(Kauai, Hawaii)

San Fransisco

(L.A)

Las Vegas

Springfield, M.O

New Orleans

Tel Aviv

Jerusalem

Bethlehem

(Jordan)

(Egypt)

Amsterdam

(Bruges)

(Prague)

Helsinki

New York

Osaka

 

A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to visit Palestine for 4 weeks over my summer holidays (Christmas in NZ), I guess that’s what set the wheels in motion. Turns out though, that flying to Tel Aviv from my little island country is ridiculously expensive.

So I started looking at alternative ways of getting there, and by alternative I mean Every possible combination of dates & places… long story short, I’m flying to a bunch of places for a little more than the original cost, albeit on some airlines that don’t appear to even have logos – there’s a good chance I end up in the back of a single prop full of crates of chickens.

Oh & this trip has ballooned from 4 weeks to 2 months.

So what do I plan on doing?

Well some of the trip I’ll be a traveler, some a tourist (yes, there is a difference), some a photographer, artist, filmmaker (more on that to come).

I’ll be writing this blog when I can, planes, airports & buses.

 

I’m chasing dreams & sunsets, welcome to the journey.

See you in Hawaii

adventures

My Live Below the Line Challenge: day 4


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freedom farms bacon

If Freedom Farms Streaky Bacon – still plugging for sponsorship – is a 10, and Trifle is a 1, then beans on a rice is a 3.

Originally I’d planned on a few meals of beans on rice & a few of tuna on rice. After one meal of beans on rice this changed. But first a little more on the ‘food scale’.

 

The Food Scale

10 – Heaven in your mouth: Freedom Farms Streaky Bacon, Halloumi cheese, the first mouthful of Jack & coke, Oreo shakes, brownies

9.5 – Drexels French Toast

9 – A party in your mouth: my home-made French toast, my home-made pizza – yep I’m pretty humble when it comes to my cooking ability for these two items, ignore the fact that they are the only things in my cooking repertoire I do well.

7 – other pizza, other bacon, fish ‘n chips.

5 – I couldn’t care either way: pumpkin, potato, roast dinner – What! are you even a Kiwi! note: see yesterdays entry on rice. I have a roast for Christmas dinner (as is tradition) I wouldn’t be sad if I never had one again.

3 – I could, but only if I really, really had to.I don’t hate myself enough to eat this: supermarket pizza, white ants – a Ugandan delicacy. I recommend the dried dead ones over the still-live-in-your-mouth-with-wings-on ones. Mmm nutty.

white ants driedwhite ants wings

 

 

 

 

 

2 –  The world would be a better place without: parsnip, swede, yams.

1 – Lets take bets on how long I can hold this in my mouth before you meet the contents of my prior meals.

trifle1-e1286413613925Avoid at all costs: Trifle. Trifle is the only food in this category. I would eat a bowlful of white ants over a bowl of trifle any day. I’m not sure why I dislike trifle, I don’t recall any traumatic experiences.

If I break trifle down, Custard is a 7, Jelly is a 5, Sponge is a 5, Cream is a 7. Yet somehow these things combined make the most repulsive food substance known to man.

I guess Trifle is like the 2013 Los Angeles Lakers, made up of appealing parts, Nash, Kobe, Howard, Gasol, who on their own are all 8-10’s, yet somehow combined, became something that made all L.A fans feel ill.

Notes:

Hunger: It’s important to note that hunger has a sliding effect on the food scale. For example a petrol station pie is a 3, but after a late night & a couple of beverages that same pie can become a 10. Likewise that Dominos pizza from Day 2 is a 7, but on that day it became a 15.

Advertising/deception: Food that isn’t as advertised. KFC/McD’s/Burger King start out as an 9, but each bite you take it drops a number until it hits 5 & then 2 hours later it becomes a 3.

 

With all that cleared up my meals have been like this.

Beans & Rice – 3

Tuna & Rice – 7

Banana Rice – 7 (easily an 8.5 with honey)

Beans, Tuna, Rice – 5. I took to this as the tuna has a Thai green curry, which wonderfully masks the beans.

Meal one: 6:15am… I overslept. “Banana Rice”.

Half asleep & not concentrating I peel the whole banana, faced with eating it all now & having no banana tomorrow or having 1/2 an incredibly brown-icky banana, I opt for the whole one today, what a treat!

1 Banana, 1/3 cup of rice, milk.

A brief dilemma as I contemplate taking the car or arriving to work late. I go with late, so far I’ve stayed car free.

Meal two: 10:30am “Tuna & Rice”. 2 spoonfuls of Tuna, 1/3 cup of rice.

WP_001373Meal three: more a snack than a meal. 3pm. Beans & Tuna (no rice)

I’m so flip’n tired I combine the last of the beans, 1/5th of a can, with a spoonful of tuna, not enough to mask the beans, this meal is a 2.

 

I crash for an hour, then I get up & go to the gym…

“Tim, people who live below the poverty line don’t go to the gym, so why are you?”

Great question intelligent-thoughtful-beautiful reader! Let me tell you why…

My job is not physically demanding, yet those that are poor can do quite physical tasks to survive. In Uganda we had no washing machines, I attempted doing my washing several times. Not only was I bad at it, but it was time-consuming & draining… I was sweating like crazy & dying after 45 mins. Some of the lady’s there would be doing washing all day, absolute workhorses! On a side note the washing machine is the single greatest invention in human history.

So that’s why I went to the gym, I wanted to see what effect my limited diet would have on an intense activity.

I took the car. 3 1/2 car-less days. Sure I could make the 75min walk to the gym, but there was no way I’d be able to get home without dying.

I shouldn’t have worried, I died anyway.

Before I got there I hit what I can only call the IDGAS zone ( I don’t give a ***t!). It comes after Hangry, you basically stop caring about anything & everyone else. Who cares about this dumb challenge anyway.

The Gym sucked.

I had a session with my PT guy, doing what I’d normally do, I didn’t tell him of my new-found diet, as I didn’t want the session altered, and he wouldn’t approve. Halfway through the 1st set of bench I knew I was in trouble. Set 1 felt like Set 2 & set 3 felt like set 5, if such a set even exists. I just about passed out multiple times & I’m sure he was disheartened by what could only appear as a lack of effort.

I get home & jump in the shower, thank God for hot showers. The gas runs out midway. Instant cold water. fml.

 

Meal four: 6.45pm “rice & tuna”

Tuna is all gone. Tomorrows menu is looking dreadful, but I still have that $1.50 to look forward to.

 

The Highlight of my day came a little later, watching a young friend get baptized.

10:30pm Zzzzzzz

The low-light of my day, waking up @12am hungry & headaches, awake most of the night.

One more day to go.

 

you can follow my fundraising efforts Here.

 

adventures

My Live Below the Line Challenge: what & why


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So I’m doing the Live Below the Line Challenge but I’m going to try spice it up a bit (more to come).

The challenge is to feed yourself on $2.25 (aprx $1.80 US, $1.35 EUR) a day for 5 days, in an effort to raise money, awareness & to give me a little insight into the lives of the Billion-plus people who live below the extreme poverty line ($2.25) every day… and that $2.25, it covers everything for them, not just food.

Now I’ve had a half hearted attempt at this before (which prompted this reflection) & in a moment of weakness brought a bottle of Powerade for a game of basketball and blew out my budget.

So this time I know I’ll need a plan, I’ll need to scout out the supermarket, I’ll need some rules & some people to keep me accountable.

You can sponsor me here if you feel inclined, otherwise I encourage you to join in yourself or feel free to hang around as I blog this brief journey.

Why am I doing this?

Partly to get a little more insight into the lives of others, partly to gain a greater appreciation for what I have. But mostly because I believe that with all the wealth, technology & resources we have available world, that it’s criminal that people die because of poverty.

I often wonder – when looking back at our history – how Christians (others as well) stood so idly by during the civil rights movement & apartheid era, and advocated for, or remained silent against a clearly oppressive & inhumane way of treating people.

I often find myself thinking, “how can you even call yourself a follower of Jesus?”

Harsh, I know.

That’s the beauty of hindsight.

We can see something so clearly looking back, that we can’t when we are immersed in it or it is the acceptable norm. Which makes me wonder what they’ll say about us in the future…

Poverty – an accepted norm.

In 50 years time will the Christians of the future look back and question us? Will they say, “I can’t believe you had so much & did so little…”

This is why I’m doing the challenge, if nothing else it may change my heart & attitude a little. Hopefully it makes a small difference in some one else’s life.

With all the wealth, technology & resources we have available in the world it’s criminal that people die of poverty… one of the consequences of extreme poverty is Human Trafficking, the average victim is a 12yr old girl, that’s seriously messed up. So please please please donate as i go without coffee, chocolate, junk food & all things nice in an attempt to make a small difference in someone else’s life. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nzkiwi41#sthash.ghvwL7sT.dpuf
With all the wealth, technology & resources we have available in the world it’s criminal that people die of poverty… one of the consequences of extreme poverty is Human Trafficking, the average victim is a 12yr old girl, that’s seriously messed up. So please please please donate as i go without coffee, chocolate, junk food & all things nice in an attempt to make a small difference in someone else’s life. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nzkiwi41#sthash.ghvwL7sT.dpuf
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fallout


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bandicam-2012-05-11-12-18-27-288

Fallout. Some intended, some not. Some you see coming, some you don’t. Some you think you’re ready for… only to discover you’re not as invincible or as invisible as you think.

I haven’t published anything of substance since March 22nds opening the Gay Marriage Can of Worms.

*sigh…*

 

That’s 6 months ago!

 

This is my 4th 5th – I’ve lost count – attempt to write a follow-up post.

I scrapped the “thesis” post, the “argue-louder-I’m-angry-you-called-me-those-names” post, and the “mailbag” post…

So I guess that leaves you with the “fallout” post.

 

What’s happened since then

Lots of people read it, it ended up in places I could never have imagined. I shut comments down, I received more emails in a couple of days than the blogs entire lifetime – some nice, many not. I had coffees & catch-ups. Gay marriage was made legal… my Facebook news feed read

Congratulations mps on passing your new bill now you have legalised gay marriage and prostitution what next pedofilla and rape?

and the world didn’t end.

I ambitiously set about responding to all those emails, had some great discussions before crawling into a hole & escaping to blog elsewhere for a bit. I went to Uganda.

Which brings me to the most surprising thing that happened.

I did a City-to-Surf run to raise funds for a mission trip to Uganda… someone asked for their money back.

Yep, that actually happened (& wasn’t the only weird bit of overreaction).

 

If these were the views I was espousing they didn’t feel morally they could support my trip. Never mind that homosexuality is illegal in Uganda… what’s interesting is I saw more guys holding hands (and held hands with several men) in Uganda than you’d see in NZ… you see it’s not a gay thing its a cultural thing.

Which leads to the conclusions we jump to, two guys holding hands in Uganda are friends, two guys holding hands in a western country are gay. Conclusions we jump to.

Several emails I received were about how provocative this pic at the end of the post was.

holding-hands

Two guys holding hands.

Except it isn’t.

I just googled “holding hands”.

It’s interesting what we see when we’re a little riled up. I got a little riled up, it’s why I initially delayed a response. It’s interesting the space we go to when we feel under siege, part of me wanted to hit back, part of me wanted to do the “mailbag” post & answer every question…

Instead I’ll leave you with a few ‘fallout’ observations & then the reason why I wont answer all those questions, comments, accusations…

The original post was just some thoughts on recurring discussions I was hearing. A lot was cut out, I could have written a book, but even I don’t read long posts. It was to provoke some thought, to (I hope) be permission giving for some, to even begin a discussion or heaven forbid… have thoughts.

 

 

The Bible – this could be another book 🙂

why the lack? There are many books dealing with biblical interpretation, bible times culture & homosexuality. Some arguments are stronger than others.

Ultimately we pick what we want.

Then justify our method.

If I’d included some text that’s all I would have been doing, and that’s the reason why I said, the “surrounding issues are close to many peoples hearts”, the surrounding issue being the Bible & how we read it, that’s what it really comes down to, that is the core issue. Not just in the gay debate, but everything… women leadership, abortion, evolution. Different crisis, same issue.

You’re asking me to read my Bible differently than my tradition has prescribed, and so I can’t go there. If I do, my faith is kicked out the door

– Tim Keller

Whatever side of the argument we’re on we make the bible jump through hoops and conform to the views we hold. Ultimately we make the Bible bow to words like “authority”, “inerrancy”, “narrative” & “myth”.

 

 

A human face

I finally put my name & photo on the author page. We interact with things differently when there is a face attached to it. It’s the same with the ‘gay’ issue’.

When we lack a ‘face’ we lack compassion, we say “love the sinner, not the sin”, and while we can love liars (after all, we’ve all lied), thieves (I’m guilty), druggies (we’re suckers for a good “Saul/Paul” story), pastors who’ve had affairs (so much temptation out there), our love for homosexuals extends as far as wanting nothing to do with you.

For many of us there is no real face to it, we can’t identify with the struggle, it’s media stereotypes and fear of that which is “other” to us.

If I preach love & can visit murderers in prison but can’t give a gay guy a hug, then my love rings hollow.

The face for me is, my gay neighbours & their adorable wee boy. The gay family I stayed with overseas. Friends I’ve studied with in High School & Bible College. Those I’ve cried alongside with in the church, because wrestling with your sexuality & faith in a place that is hostile is just brutal. I can see why many choose to quit on church, I get why most choose to remain silent, I consider it a privilege to have journeyed a little with those who didn’t.

 

 

Love & God on opposite sides?

This comment drew a lot of attention.

If when it’s all said & done,  and I stand before God & I’ve gotten this wrong, I know I will have erred on the side of Love, and that is something I can live with

I guess what I’m saying is that, in this moment I’ve made what I feel to be the right decision for me & my faith journey. But I recognise that 12 yrs ago I thought the world had to have been created in 7 days & it was dangerous to think otherwise, so things change. Ultimately I recognise my own shortcomings, I’m not perfect, and I’m not God.

 

 

why no ‘mailbag’ post

I don’t have all the answers, I’m still trying to figure stuff out.

I don’t think the topic of “how we interact with those who we see as other to us” is a question that should be answered, a box to be ticked, a solution filed away…

rather it is something we should always wrestle with, so I’ll leave it open…

wrestle, read, have conversations, think, pray…

because there will always be minorities.

 

blogosphere

living wage


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Bishop

 

The following is part of an article in The New Zealand Herald.

 

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of visiting the very inspiring Justin & his beautiful Ngatiawa community. It was a significant moment for me.

Bishop challenges high-income earners

Wellington’s Anglican bishop says he may cut his own salary to help fund a “living wage” for cleaners, caregivers and other low-paid workers in Anglican churches and social agencies.

Bishop Justin Duckworth, a dreadlocked, Jandal-wearing priest who was an upset choice as bishop last year, is also challenging other high-income earners to take less to fund higher wages for the 39 per cent of Kiwi workers who now earn less than the living wage, defined by union and church groups as $18.40 an hour.

His current salary is about $63,000, or $30 an hour, plus a house.

My personal response is in the future I have to look at what I am earning and say, what is appropriate for me to earn given that many people in our society don’t even have enough to participate meaningfully in our society

 

“I would ask that everyone else should be engaged in the moral conversation of when is too much too much.”

The bishop, who has lived his entire married life sharing his family home with people in need such as lost teenagers and ex-prisoners, said he and his wife, Jenny, were also considering how to make best use of the bishop’s official home across the road from Parliament when they move there later this year from the community for recovering addicts and others where they have lived for the past 10 years.

“We have always lived with people. We will do that again,” he said.

One of the things we don’t tell the next generation is that you can’t have it all. You have to choose which story you are going to fit

 

“If you want to choose the story of upward mobility, 2.3 kids, a white picket fence, a mortgage, a university education, a good career and superannuation, you can’t have that and come to this conference and expect to work for justice. You can’t do everything.

We have to tell our young people clearly that Jesus is not an app that we load onto our smartphones. He is the core operating system. If he is the core operating system, that influences everything in our lives

 

“We have to tell them how to live simply and to be happy with what you’ve got, realising that everyone else in society is screaming, ‘Have more, have more, have more!”‘

His comments came as an Auckland Council committee decided yesterday to keep investigating ways to pay the living wage to the 1623 council staff who now earn below $18.40 an hour. Officials said this would cost $3.75 million a year.

They also backed an amendment by councillor Cameron Brewer to find the cost within the existing $693 million wage bill, which includes 1500 people earning over $100,000 a year.

 

the full article from Simon Collins can be found here  

You can read more about Justin here