There Is No Other Stream

April 22, 2016

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do. When Jill stopped, she found she was dreadfully thirsty. She had been lying face downward, and now she sat up. The birds had ceased singing and there was perfect silence except for one small, persistent sound, which seemed to come a good distance away. She listened carefully, and felt almost sure it was the sound of running water.
Jill got up and looked round her very carefully. There was no sign of the lion; but there were so many trees about that it might easily be quite close without her seeing it. For all she knew, there might be several lions. But her thirst was very bad now, and she plucked up her courage to go and look for that running water. She went on tip-toes, stealing cautiously from tree to tree, and stopping to peer round her at every step.
The wood was so still that it was not difficult to decide where the sound was coming from. It grew clearer every moment and, sooner than she expected, she came to an open glade and saw the stream, bright as glass, running across the turf a stone’s throw away from her. But although the sight of the water made her feel ten times thirstier than before, she didn’t rush forward and drink. She stood as still as if she had been turned into stone, and with her mouth wide open. And she had a very good reason; just on this side of the stream lay the lion.
It lay with its head raised and its two fore-paws out in front of it, like the lions in Trafalgar Square. She knew at once that it had seen her, for its eyes looked straight into hers for a moment and then turned away – as if it knew her quite well and didn’t think much of her.
‘If I run away, it’ll be after me in a moment,’ thought Jill. ‘And if I go on, I shall run straight into its mouth.’ Anyway, she couldn’t have moved if she had tried, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it. How long this lasted she could not be sure; it seemed to last for hours. And the thirst became so bad that she almost felt she would not mind being eaten by the lion if only she could be sure of getting a mouthful of water first.
‘If you’re thirsty, you may drink.’
They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, ‘If you are thirsty, come and drink,’ and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realised that it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.
‘Are you not thirsty?’ said the Lion.
‘I’m dying of thirst,’ said Jill.
‘Then drink,’ said the Lion.
‘May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?’ said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realised that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
‘Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?’ said Jill.
‘I make no promise,’ said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
Do you eat girls?’ she said.
‘I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,’ said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
‘I daren’t come and drink,’ said Jill.
‘Then you will die of thirst,’ said the Lion.
‘Oh dear!’ said Jill, coming another step nearer. ‘I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.’
There is no other stream,’ said the Lion.

The Silver Chair, C. S. Lewis

[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

—Jeremiah 17v7-8 [AMP]

Good.  Yes.  Thank.

change yourself change the world

April 6, 2016

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the beatitudes. But – often with tears in their eyes – they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

Cold Turkey
Kurt Vonnegut

What does this mean for us right now today?

1. Blessed are the poor – or poor in spirit – who do not trust in status or riches
2. Blessed are those who mourn – who grieve over the injustice in the world
3. Blessed are the meek – who get angry but who never get aggressive
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – who seek justice
5. Blessed are the merciful – who are compassionate to everyone in need
6. Blessed are the pure in heart – who are whole-hearted in desire to do right
7. Blessed are the peacemakers – who work for peace in a world at war
8. Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness – who suffer for just causes

Words to live by.  Words to change the world.

(via)

April 6, 2016

It was a wedding.  Lebanese.  I’d never been to anything like it before; all unrestrained dancing and clapping and stomping.  We were on the dance floor, the DJ dropping the hot jams bang, bang, bang, one after another after another.  As I whipped and nae nae’d and dabbed beside her (lies, I did none of those things/did my own things) having the time of my life, I also recorded her in my mind.  Her cropped asymmetrical hairstyle casually swept to one side, cheekbones like you wouldn’t believe, her black dress elegant, flowing to the floor, pure joy smeared across her face in a moment that kept going on and on and felt like it might never end.

not hiding, hi

April 1, 2016

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The other day while no one was home someone came and denuded our back area.  I’m not pleased.

Also today without warning at 7 am our neighbour arrived to announce that they were coming to take down an asbestos wall between our properties.  Apparently the property agent had a week to let us know it was happening.  They didn’t.  So now there is no wall between us and the neighbours.  How exciting.

Last weekend was Easter, and I led a team of volunteers to have church in an arena at the tennis centre.  I’m not sure exactly how many seats we had allowed for (my guess is somewhere between 2-3 thousand), but there were more people than seats so that’s always fun (cue me running around like a crazy person).  But we smashed it because I have an amazing team.

And then I started a leadership development course through church on Wednesday night (participating not leading just to be clear), which will be a challenge, and while it will make me uncomfortable it’s good to be prepared to grow.

It’s always tempting to just crawl under a rock and hide.

But anyway.  Hi!

feel good time

February 22, 2016

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I started knitting a new scarf this week.  It’s going really well.

latelightwell

January 21, 2016

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portrait of the artist…

January 13, 2016

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(one of my favourite things I’ve learned to do in the last year is making my own gifs)

one wednesday

January 13, 2016

A covering of cloud had taken the edge off what had earlier been an almost unbearable beating-down from the sun, yet still a hot wind blew across the city from the dry inland to the west; from the desert as like as not. The light and shadows rubbed up against one another, all definition gone as they mingled softly together; a deepening of the light under trees seen from the distance added an almost mystical quality to the afternoon. The heat had driven most people indoors in search of respite, with air conditioners turned up full bore, and the unusual quiet of the streets added to the strangeness in the air. A storm was coming. He could feel it. The anticipation slid down his back between the sweat on his skin and the lightest t-shirt he owned. He walked down the street toward home as quickly as he could bring himself to, eager to be out of the heat, yet not willing to exert himself to any great extent either. The wind was picking up, driving dust and debris before it, the direction changing, now from behind him, now from in front. He squinted as his hair blew around his face, wary of the grit that might find its way into his eyes at any moment. Glancing down a side street he could see the city disappearing into a haze. It wasn’t just windy, it was a dust storm. He picked up his pace, and was soon at his front door, slamming it shut behind him as a gust rattled the pictures hanging along the walls of the hallway.

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January 12, 2016

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just like that bluebird oh i’ll be free…
ain’t that just like me…

bye 2015; hey there 2016

January 1, 2016

It’s been a year.  Such a year.  Ups.  Downs.  Kind of an emotional rollercoaster really.  I feel like I’ve been very stretched this year with a lot of things that have happened, and also really grateful for so much good I’ve got going on as well.

Last night when I was with a group of the team [fam] from church seeing in the New Year, we went around the group talking about what we’re thankful for in the past year, and for so many it was a sense of belonging that has been found at Hillsong Melbourne, and in the teams where we serve together.  It truly has become a family for so many, and I’m glad to see that we can all be there for each other through the storms life throws at us, and celebrating the good things as well.  It’s been a huge step for me moving into a leadership role at church, and what with everything else life has thrown at me this year, relationally and emotionally, it has been a constant challenge.  But I’ve always had people around me to support me and talk me through how I’m feeling, and the sense of God’s faithfulness and his grace in every season has been unbelievable.  These guys are some of the very best.

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And not only at church.  There’s a real sense of community with people at work as well, and it’s also become like a surrogate family, which has made going to work a real joy.  Not that there haven’t been some significant challenges there as well, but they are truly such a great crew it makes everything worthwhile.

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Despite how challenging the year has been, I’ve felt a real sense that the coming year is going to be a lot more settled.  I’ve been feeling a lot more positive about the future than I can remember feeling before.  The best truly is yet to come!

(I totally stole these pictures from people on FaceBook/Instagram… sorry guys).


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