Wednesday, January 24

As time goes by

Our Open Door Singers choir resumes this year to night.
Here is a list ( thanks to Bryan) of most of the songs from last year.  
Any dream will do.
Ascot opening day
As time goes by
A whole new world
Beauty and the beast
Black Bird - Beatles
Blue moon
Bridge over Troubled Waters
Bring him home
Californian Dreaming
Candlelight Carol
Carol of the Birds 
Change the world
Chariots Comin'
Circle of Life
Coran Fields
Daisy Daisy
Don't bring me down
Do you hear the people sing
Empty chair and empty table
Feliz Navidad
Fragile by Sting
Fransicus’s Christmas carol
Freedom is coming
Gershwin - They can't take that away
Gershwin - Lets call the whole thing off
Gershwin - S' Wonderfull
Gershwin - Who's got the last laugh now
Get me to the church on time
Ghosts riders.
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Hey hey hey she's having a baby
Here comes that day
He Lives in You
Homeward bound
I could have danced all night
I Have a Dream
I'm Dreaming of home
I'm gonna wash that man 
It's a long way to Tipperary
I't don't mean a thing
I've got the music in me
La La Land
Lean on me
Les Miserables - Suddenly
Les Miserables -One day more
Les Miserables - I dream a dream
Les Miserables -The end of the day
Les Miserables -Master of the house
Let's Dance
Life on Mars
Mamma mia
Monday Monday
My castle in the sky
On a starlit night
Once a jolly vagabond
One day I'll fly away
On the street where you live
Oh Happy day
Only Time
Other Side of the World
Pack up your troubles
Peace on Earth
Penny Lane
Perhaps love
Rolling in the deep
Rhythm of life
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Santa Clause is coming to town
Sausi Carol
Scarborough fair
Silent night
Singing in the rain
Simply having a wonderfull Christmas time
Somewhere over the rainbow
Someone in the crowd
So this is Christmas
South of the border down Mexico way
Summer night
That’s what friends are for.
The Bell of creation
The big yello taxi
The end of the day
The impossible dream
The lion sleeps tonight
The Little Drummer Boy
The Mahogany ship
The man in the mirror
The prayer
The Sound of silence
The Sussex Carol
There's nothing like a dame
The Way You Make Me Feel
The way your hot
Up there Cazaly
Viva La Vida
Vos Sur Chenin
Walking In The Air
We'll meet again
Wind Beneath My Wings
What a wonderful world
Why we sing
You'll never Walk Alone
You made me love you
You Raised Me Up
You’re my everything
Waltzing Matilda
With a little bit of luck
Wonders of love
Wouldn't be loverly

Monday, January 22

That certain warm hearted feeling

Suffering from a perennial crook back I nevertheless had come to manage it reasonably well with a daily exercise plan and ensuring I kept reasonably fit.  So, when the request came to share in the joy and excitement to attend the inauguration of the new Church in Malawi, funded by the Malawi Support Group I belonged to, it seemed natural enough to accept their invitation. All was well until just few days prior I encountered a severe back attack which only worsened on the night before I was due to depart. Going to bed early with severe nerve pain signals shooting down my legs, which ignored strong pain killers, I tossed and turned in a state of extreme anxiety wondering how I could possibly now undertake such a journey.  

Somehow in in the early morning hours I must have finally dozed off only to be awakened with what felt like a sudden jolt so that all that was present in my mind was an unexplainable warm hearted feeling. It didn’t last for long as the alarm intruded onto what must have been only a few seconds. The back continued as a problem but remarkably thereafter everything turned out very well as the warm heart of Africa carried me along in its wake.    
After visiting all of the local communities and attending the opening of the new church I had intended meeting up with my wife for a holiday. Our plan was to rendezvous at Heathrow, hopefully at around the same time, but presuming Anne would have a few hours wait.    

Flying from Australia, my wife, on arrival at Heathrow was to encounter a series of kind acts. Firstly from a young man who helped her with her luggage on to the transfer bus to my terminal, to another who gave up his seat and then in unloading her luggage at my terminal where we were to meet up.
Concurrently on arriving from South Africa, I had to catch a driverless train (a bit unnerving) to collect my luggage from the pick-up terminal.   

As planned I had reached into my pocket to make the call to find Anne’s location when a jolt went through my head. I looked up and there she was walking towards me.  Having recently experienced the warm heart of Africa maybe there was need to be surprised.       

Saturday, January 13

Walking in the shadows of the Fisherman

Just for the sake of clarity, can I introduce Jesus as a stranger, (since I’m not at all  keen on the idea of a personal saviour ) just as I imagine he came to those fishermen so long ago. Also it seems to me, for the most part, so he remained to a large degree, even to his disciples.
So I think we can say in essence Jesus (as opposed to the crucified Christ) is only known to us by way of a collection of his remarkable sayings and principally the loose narrative of his brief ministry.
But how can one not be drawn to his words. For me they resemble explosive bullets which shatter the conscious minds status quo and invite a new form of enquiry. So I might posit at the outset, from my perspective, the higher self gets a high dose of adrenaline to shape that ongoing creation of which we are a part. At least I would like to think about it like that as one ponders the relevance to day of those ancient thoughts.   
Many passages come to mind but none more so than the parable of the “Good Samaritan”, etched as it is into everyday language. One can imagine then the shock of the audience as Jesus attributed the noble act to the much hated Samaritans. That would have been extraordinarily radical, given the deep seated tribal animosity ingrained in society then. Even today, don’t you agree how easy it is for racial prejudice to bubble up in conversations of fear expressed by otherwise remarkably fine people.  And so it was with many of his sayings and parables.
For the scriptures (NT) talks of an extraordinary teacher, one who does not indulge in abstract ideas, or engage intellectually but rather is focussed at a practical level on the expansion of good works and compassion in preparedness for the long awaited messianic kingdom. One can’t help but notice this thematic, in his exhortation to show compassion, in forgiveness and in not being judgmental. Notice the judgemental aspect only creeps into the narrative due to its unmistakable eschatological roots. This is evident in the warning bells prior to a soon to arise messianic kingdom. This new world order is defined in the Sermon on the Mount.  
But I think one must acknowledge this eschaton was never possible as we understand the cosmos today. However this does not detract from the wisdom and practicality of his teachings. Nor does it preclude us from proclaiming “the Christ” as in his divinity in death, to add another vital link to our spiritual self. Nor does it lessen in any way his impact on humanity as the guiding light out of darkness we attribute to “the Christ”.  
In fact I believe the opposite is true. As a fully human Jesus, this complements the divine risen Christ as a cosmic force for the greater good and a telos for ongoing creation.
But the ideas of the second coming and all that entails as in judgements needs to be jettisoned in my view from mainstream thinking. Surely the idea that GOD needs to return or indeed such event occurred in the first instance can be jettisoned. Such an event seems entirely unnecessary with what is visible and known in the Universe and how the divine or greater good can co- exist independent of supernatural events.  Of course I am not ridiculing such concepts, only questioning why we need to believe such things, and posit that their origins in my view arise from mistranslations.              
Hence over time I feel one can anticipate the dismantling of such unnecessary rituals and so called statements of faith such as reciting the current Creed, with its reference to such things as the 3rd day, right hand side, judgements and so forth. This idea of judgment, as I outlined previously (as a forewarning to the imminent messianic kingdom) has led, I believe, to many bad sermons.
So it is, that the Christ comes to us today as the lone stranger, executed with few around to lend any support, but continues on now for ever in divine cosmic memory as an extraordinary man. So I see that extension to the kingdom is now being realised and expressed as an extension in humanity’s higher self. So that his divinity, I posit, is after his death and not before. For my question is how could it be so essential that we must believe he was God on earth? One again I am not ridiculing those who do. But he talks about his Father and even at times his brothers and sisters. What I find puzzling is that we go to these extraordinary efforts to maintain credence to this idea, even though paradoxically in the first early Christian communities such diversity of views were common place.
So in summary I see room to relax dogmas with more emphasis on what you do. I think it means we can talk about Jesus, the extraordinary Man, who was not GOD on earth, but became the risen Christ. But a counter view to that is fine, so long as we don’t make that a prerequisite of calling oneself a Christian. I have deliberately refrained from mentioning the Trinity, but by now I think you would have gathered my views. The more we seek to complicate the wonderful legacy of Jesus the greater risk we have of failing to walk in his shoes as the great fisherman for humanity he remains.  

Wednesday, January 3

Rays of sunshine

On January 2, 2018 – we reached Earth’s closest point to the sun for this entire year at 11:35 p.m. CST (central U.S.). It occurred the morning January 3 for Europe and Africa … later in the day for us at 3.30pm down under.

Whilst the longer days are relevant to the closer proximity of the earth to the sun our longest days are two weeks earlier in December.  Hence although the Earth is closest to the Sun presently (said to be its Perihelion) we have a December Solstice.   When the Sun is furthest away (called the Aphelion) that event is 2 weeks after the June Solstice.

The reason for this is principally the moon and planets interact  with both the Earth and the Sun at the same time, being drawn by the additional gravitational effect of the Sun.

Interestingly enough from the 1970’s US Astronauts and probes have also revealed the moons recessionary rate = 3.8 centimetres per year as it gradually moves further way from the earth. In the far far off future our days might conceivably stretch out to be a thousand hours.

But for the present a warm welcome to 2018 from Melbourne where it is foceast to be 42 today with a gusty northerly. Prior to today it has been it has been remarkably cool. During December we continued to enjoy early morning showers and bouts of heavy downpours.  Amazingly we have just had one of our wettest Decembers with a third of annual rainfall falling just in December. The green landscape this year contrasts with the words of Wheelers Christmas Carol where we sing “The north wind tosses the leaves as the grass in the paddock is brown”.