Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joy Recovered

Jim Schembri writes in today's Age about the loss of joy as we grow up. His descriptions of a child's joy are compelling:

TO SEE a child laugh is to witness joy unalloyed... And they don't need much. The simplest things can set them off. A corny hand puppet. A goofy face. A soap bubble. The way a ball bounces. The popping of a toaster. The noise a handful of crushed banana makes when they slap it into your nose while you are trying to feed them. They love it.

He further charts our attempts to reclaim that joy in hyperrealities (ala Mark Sayers):

...what would we give to recapture even a small measure of that joy? The answer is anything and everything. We devote a great part of our lives and a good portion of our money to reach that state of bliss we hear in a child's laugh. We indulge in those things that promise pleasure. Cars, carnality, big houses, pools, trophy wives, exotic foods, chemicals, herbs. We ingest them through every available sense and membrane, often to excess, all in pursuit of that elusive, exquisite feeling that will finally tell us: "This is what it is to be happy." ... Yet with each artificially induced high comes the inevitable flare-out. We realise in the hollow afterglow that something essential is missing. We don't know what, but we know it must be out there, somewhere.

He ends nowhere really, advising that we should just enjoy children being joyful. But I think there is more that can be done...

It occurs to me that there maybe a reason why as Christians we are told to be like Children (Mt 18:3-4) and also that there is such a heavy emphasis on joy in both the OT & NT.

I think that when we come into the kingdom as children, and lay down all our 'adult importance' and all our heavy burdens of life and just ACCEPT grace and love from the hand of God, the simplicity of that, the gratitude that we feel results in a childlike joy. Once again there is no complications, no chasing acceptance, nothing but finding pure joy and rest in the stopping of striving, stopping of stressing, stopping believing that we carry the world on our shoulders.

Hoping that you are experiencing the joy of your salvation today :-)

God bless,

Monday, October 6, 2008

URGENT - Please email your MLCs

As you may be aware the upper house of the Victorian Parliament is debating/voting this week on the decriminalisation of abortion. This bill will mean that a woman can have an abortion for no reason up until 24 weeks, and up to 40 weeks with 2 doctors support. This bill will also mean that doctors that have a moral objection to performing abortions MUST refer women onto doctors who they know will perform the abortion. This means that the doctor is forced by law to act against their conscience. Even if one does not object to abortion, forcing people to act against their conscience is a serious erosion of democratic freedom.

If you haven't already, could you please email the Members of the Legislative Council for your region ASAP asking them to vote against the bill. The bill will probably be voted on on WEDNESDAY, so we need to email before then. From what we heard at the rally on Sunday there are still members who are undecided. This bill is subject to a conscience vote, so each member will be voting as they desire, not necessarily along party lines. So even if they are in the liberal party which normally takes a conservative view on morality issues, they MAY NOT vote against the bill.

Please be praying that the Holy Spirit will convict the consciences of those who are unsure about whether to vote for/against this bill, that He will convict them that what this bill is doing is legalising the murder of the most vulnerable members of our society, those who do not have a voice. Please pray that those who have decided to vote against the bill will hold onto their convictions and not be swayed by the pro-choice lobby.

God bless,