Wednesday, September 22, 2004

anyone fancy designing their own t-shirt? check out this site: equop

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

quakers or presbyterians?

what a great question! i didn't have a clue as to how to answer that, so immediately dived into the Net to get some more info on both presbyterians and quakers.

from the presbyterian church (usa) i found out that presbys originated from the protestant reformation, deriving much of their theology and praxis from the writings of john calvin on reformed theology. what i read, i liked!

reformed theology:

" Reformed theology evolved during the 16th century religious movement known as the Protestant Reformation. It emphasizes God's supremacy over everything and humanity's chief purpose as being to glorify and enjoy God forever."


"Song is a response which engages the whole self in prayer. Song unites the faithful in common prayer wherever they gather for worship whether in church, home, or other special place . . . In worship music is not to be for entertainment or artistic display. Care should be taken that it not be used merely as a cover for silence."


Calvin argued from Scripture that God has "predestined" or "elected" some people to be saved in Jesus Christ and others not to be. He insisted, nonetheless, that we could be sure only of our own salvation; we were never in a position to judge whether or not another person was saved. As the Second Helvetic Confession says,

We must hope well of all, and not rashly judge any man to be a reprobate. (5.055)

For Calvin, the point of the doctrine of predestination was to remind us that God is free and gracious."

from a quaker site i was reminded of the vineyard's origins - wimber attended a quaker church in yorba linda before founding the vineyard. i also liked what i read there:

"[George Fox] was genuinely shocked by the failure of the 'professors', the professing Christians, to live their beliefs."

"The rediscovery by ordinary men and women of a sense of the immediacy of God is one of the most distinctive aspects of Quakerism. The writings of early Friends are full of stories of "meetings with God" and of "being led by the Holy Spirit". Sometimes these experiences helped their understanding. Sometimes it was an awareness of something that had to be done as part of God's purpose on this earth. Friends began to use the term 'concern' to describe the experience of Friends who believe that God might be saying to them: "this is what needs to be done - and you are to help do it"."

"Quaker worship happens when two or more people feel the need to be still together and seek God's presence. This can happen anywhere and anytime, but Friends usually refer to a 'meeting for worship' to indicate the meeting which takes place regularly at a meeting house or another fixed place.

Silence is greatly valued by Friends. In removing pressure and hurry, it helps them to be aware of the inner and deeper meaning of their individual and corporate lives. It enables them to begin to accept themselves as they are and to find some release from fear, anxiety, emotional confusion and selfishness. This silence is more than an absence of sound. . .

The seating for a meeting for worship is usually arranged in a circle or a square to help people to be aware of one another, to be conscious of the fact that they are worshipping together."

go on nomes - are we more quaker, or presbyterian?

Monday, September 06, 2004

organic or fair trade?

went to the Organic Food Fair in town this weekend - not quite sure what to make of it all.

it is quite fashionable to be health-conscious these days - this seemed to be a large motivation for what was going on. why can't we be health-conscious simply because we care for ourselves, our children, other people and the environment?

i want to look into what makes something 'organic' and what makes something 'fairly traded' - for now i'm quite ignorant of the details. there were a lot more organic things than fair-trade things there, but that could be becuase the majority of the stalls were local/regional producers.

is it right to use consumer power to bring about change? the reason big supermarkets now provide organic alternatives is due to pester-power of consumers - the big corporates realised there was money to be made organic foods, etc. and have duly obliged us. no doubt they pass the cost on to us and the farmers who have to comply with all the regulations that govern the area. is this the most effective way of bringing change about, and does it give us the result we actually need? at the moment, most organic food is much more expensive than the chemically-soaked/GM alternative and isn't accessible to a large proportion of society.

given that fertilizers, pesticides, GM crops, industrial processes have largely been popularised by those with the aim of making as much money as possible for as little effort and that consumerism goes along hand-in-hand with that - is it possible to use a flawed system to change itself?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

new look

decided to go for a new look - got tired of the debugging message coming up again and again.

recent thoughts have been inspired by a preach by tim, two sundays ago. it was about how you realise when a houseguest, initially temporary, has actually moved in and is not intending to move on (the answer being their stuff gets gradually spread around your house and you find you are used to eating your breakfast with a view of their drying laundry). this was used as a metaphor for one's relationship with Jesus - eventually, His stuff is spread throughout your life, like an untidy houseguest, and you realise that He is not moving out.

applied to me this was of great comfort, because i tend to focus on the 'rooms' in my life that Jesus doesn't feature. as i do this, i fear that He will either never leave His socks to dry in that room, or He'll leave because i never let Him in. but no - i can say that there are some rooms in my life which have His stuff liberally strewn around the place, and despite my efforts at keeping Him out of various other areas, He is definitely here to stay.