A tale of two bridges

A Tale of Two Bridges is a City Tour presenting a snapshot of Brisbane City, Australia. Two Bridges is a facilitated socio-political exploration of the heart of Queensland’s capital city.  It is a journey of discernment to help participants consider another view of the City. City Tour raises questions around how we understand power and lines of power, justice, mercy and compassion and beckons us to respond.  Christian groups can choose to have the tour based around the narrative of Mark’s Gospel.

 

Reserve Graders

Recently I heard a talk by someone celebrating the faithfulness of an orphan mission in Central Africa, totally reliant on donations and therefore operating “on faith”. The talk was of the numerous close calls, near misses, miraculous intervention and “God always coming through and rewarding the faith of the place”.

And it’s a fantastic story. I am in awe of people living on the edge like that, their bravery, their faithfulness and their ability to live completely reliant on God.

But I did wonder that for every stunning story like that, how many other similar outfits out there that embark on a similar path and struggle for years or fall over? What thought do we give to the hundreds of faithful people who enter ministry with a full heart, wonderful intention, but end up burned out, broke or worse? Was it their faith that was lacking? I doubt we can judge but I suspect not.

On a few occasions I have been in the presence of earned celebrity. And when that has happened I have often been struck by the star-power, or the extremity of talent that these people ooze. I’m talking of entertainment celebrities and the wattage of their star-power, a celebrity that drips with extreme charisma.

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Like a Judas

Lady Gaga Judas video ChristianityLast night at Mapleton we were hosting a high school group from the local area.  You can always tell when a high school group is in, rather than the dominant weekday clientele of primary schools.  The volume levels are a bit higher, the tone of half the voices is lower and the movies in the hall go later and are louder.  But strolling around the campus you’re also reminded of the awkwardness of adolescence, that half world between childhood and adult where we slowly feel our way towards independence.

All of a sudden parents and teachers aren’t the sole, or even most important guiding voice.  The opinion of your peer circle grows in importance and so does the influence of popular culture.  And at the moment there’s few artists with a hold on the teens like Lady Gaga.  And last night she fired the next shot from the breech of her latest album – a single entitled Judas.  She’s been pumping it for ages on Facebook, complete with scarlet cross, just in case you were in any doubt of its religious connotations. 

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