Sunday, 4 October 2009

October 6, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 4 October 2009

 

Dear Friends,                 

                   

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift movie

                                                                     

 

I invite you to read and reflect on Nan C Merrill’s paraphrase of Psalm 25 verses 8-21 which was the set Psalm for last week…

Babylon 5: The Gathering trailer

Candy rip

Jeepers Creepers II

 

You are gracious and just, O Spirit of Truth, happy to guide those who miss their way. You enjoy teaching all who are open, all who choose to live in truth. Your paths are loving and sure, O Holy One, for those who give witness to You through their lives.

The International hd

 

For the honour of your Name, O Beloved, forgive my separation from You. I bow down before You; instruct me, that I might choose the way of love and truth. I would live in your abundance and my children as well. Your friendship is offered to all whose hearts are open. You will make known your promises to them. My eyes are ever on You, Beloved, keep my feet from stumbling along the way.

Pearl Harbor ipod Nightmare Beach rip

 

 Turn to me, O Holy One, and envelop me with your love, for I am lonely and oppressed. Relieve the blocks in my heart that keep me separated from You. See all the darkness within me, fill it with your healing light. Look at my pain and all my fears, they shut out love and life.

 

Jab We Met

Protect me and free me, let me not live as unworthy, for I would make my home in You. May integrity and wholeness fill me as I dwell with You, O Loving Presence.

A Simple Twist of Fate release

Death and the Maiden dvd

Street Kings hd

 

Peace Alan

download The Invincible Iron Man

Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation movie Monster House film

  Music Within divx

Sunday, 27 September 2009

September 28, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 27 September 2009

Dear Friends,                                                                      

 

Zoom film

 

Well it is good to be back in South Africa and especially back at CMM.  I bring you greetings from Luther Seminary and Zumbro Lutheran Church in Minnesota as well as Central United Methodist and Wells United Methodist Church in Mississippi.  I have missed being among you.  Thank you for all your prayers!  Over time I look forward to sharing with you some of the lessons I have learnt from my trip.

 

Fungus the Bogeyman rip

One of the lessons I learnt was that I need to re-learn old lessons!  For example I have learnt many times before that I should not pack too much luggage, knowing how often I have returned with clothes un-worn and items un-used.  Yet I made the same mistake again!  I took too much!  I could have managed on half the amount of pants and shirts, by doing a little washing and ironing here and there.  Yet, in the back of my mind, while I was packing my suitcase, I had a recurring mantra: “but what if you need this” and “take this just in case”. 

Clubbed movie download

 

The fear of not having enough drove me to take too much.  And this had its consequences—first I nearly put my back out lugging it all around! 

Society dvdrip

Kinky Boots film And second I was more anxious than ever waiting at the airport baggage turntables dreading that all my luggage may have gone missing.   Although I was not fined for my bags being overweight I did witness many who were and the check-in clerk would issue a minimum fine of $90! 

Hudson Hawk divx Seventh Moon …and on the 7th Day, God Rocked film

 

 

I wonder if this may not be a parable for our time?  That the fear of not having enough drives us to take too much and this may not only be detrimental to our health (and the health of those around us) but also cause us to have difficulty passing through the check-in counter into the Kingdom of God—as difficult as a camel trying to get through the eye of a needle!   The only cure I know is to live more simply and generously. 

Troubled, Alan Hell Night buy

The Prodigy

Shanghai Kiss film

 

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 dvdrip

 

Sunday, 06 September 2009

September 6, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 06 September 2009
.!.

Safehouse film

Dear Friends,

Today is the first Sunday of Spring—even though this last week has felt more like Winter! Yet despite the cold wind and rain I see buds and blossoms pushing through with the promise of painting everything green and new. A reminder to us of God’s hidden yet faithful work during the Winter of creation. May this be a source of encouragement for us. When our own lives slip into Winter and the warmth of God’s presence seems very far away, let us trust that God is nevertheless at work in the deep places of who we are enabling new life to flourish once again. Our “Winter” will not last forever.

Spring is about new life. Allow me to suggest four things you may want to consider doing during September that may just bring new life:

Stop watching TV for one week and decide rather to read a book. If we have children or grandchildren lets read to them or lets simply be deliberate in connecting with our families instead of silently watching TV.
Read the Letter of James in the Bible (which is part of the Lectionary readings for this month) James is a kind of “how-to-manual” for the way of Life Jesus invites us into. Give it a go—it is only 4 pages in length.
Arrive at Sunday Worship 10 minutes early to silently pray in the Sanctuary—praying for an openness to God’s Spirit among us all.
Attend the Stepping Stones Rendezvous concert on the 26th Sep.
With the hope of new life, Alan

The Care Bears Movie

The Majestic movie download

Candy ipod
the zeitgeist: moving forward review

Sunday, 30 August 2009

August 31, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 30 August 2009

Dear Friends,                                    

The Human Sexes dvd

                                                                                       

Leatherheads

 

Last week while we were reflecting on the Armour of God in Ephesians 6:10-20, we were reminded that this text is not a call to arms but a call to armour—not a call to fight, but a call to stand—not a call to defend God, but a call to imitate God. 

Forrest Gump dvdrip

 

I quoted from a famous old preacher by the name of John Henry Jowatt who suggested that too often we want a shield to make us comfortable but Paul wanted a shield to keep him holy…he went on to say:

Origin: Spirits of the Past movie download

buy The Master of Disguise The Sword in the Stone dvd The Morgue

 

Paul wanted a shield, not against failure…but against the pessimism that may be borne of failure.  Paul wanted a shield, not against injury…but against the foul offspring of revenge.  Paul wanted a shield, not against pain…but against the spirit of murmuring which is so frequently borne of pain, the deadly, deadening mood of complaint. 

Dance Flick buy
The Little Mermaid: Ariels Beginning trailer

Paul wanted a shield, not against disappointment…but against the bitterness that is borne of disappointment, the mood of cynicism which sours the milk of human kindness and perverts all the gentle currents of the soul.  Paul wanted a shield, not against difficulty…but against the fear that is borne of difficulty, the cowardice and disloyalty which are so often bred of stupendous tasks.

The Breed film

  Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation hd buy The Invincible Iron Man

Let us pray for this shield that Paul prayed for.

buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Bend It Like Beckham psp

Elizabethtown film

Explorers dvdrip

Peace, Alan.  buy The Great Race

 

Harry Brown full movie

Sunday, 23 August 2009

August 28, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 23 August 2009

Dear Friends,

Below I include part of a graduation speech given by Paul Hawken, an award-winning environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and Journalist. May it inspire and challenge you as much as it has me — Peace, Alan.

“You are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system and we need it within a few decades. You are the programmers. This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat, have been broken.

There is invisible writing on the back of the certificate you will receive, ‘you are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.’ When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science behind what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.

What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice and beauty to this world.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organisations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power.

Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in ideas, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, business people, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisher folk,
engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America and, as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.
4
The living world is not ‘out there’ somewhere, but in your heart. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The generations before you failed. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.”

Hell Night on dvd

download Bugsy Malone movie

The Man Without a Face movie download

Away from Her divx

Duplex dvd

The Saint hd Fungus the Bogeyman psp Eloise at the Plaza divx The Last Starfighter divx

The Care Bears Movie download

Candy psp

The Red Violin dvdrip

Perkins 14 divx

Jumanji hd

Elizabethtown full movie

Sunday, 16 August 2009

August 18, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 16 August 2009

 

Dear Friends,                                                                    

download Capers movie

 

Every now and then we need to be reminded about our calling in life.  The Scriptures are filled with powerful reminders like Paul’s amazing suggestion that we are called to be “Christ’s ambassadors” [2 Cor. 5:20].  Take a moment to think about what it means to be an ambassador…..

The Forgotten psp The Santa Clause 2 full movie

 

Recently I read: “An ambassador is a representative who bears someone else’s message in their absence. 

Away from Her dvd

Ambassadors live in foreign countries, which they never really call home.  Living within a country other than their own, their practices, loyalties, national interests and even their accent appear strange to the citizens of those countries where they are posted.” 

The Level trailer The Invincible Iron Man full movie Living Death

[Katongole and Rice: Reconciling All Things].  In short, ambassadors represent another authority within a foreign land.  I think this is just what Paul had in mind as he hopes we will represent Christ in the world. 

 

So I reckon we should see Sunday School  as “Christ’s Ambassador College”.  

Absolon full movie

This should be our greatest hope for our young people: namely that they graduate with degrees in “Jesus Studies” that inform their practices, loyalties and interests which will ultimately transform the world. 

Sunday School should not be seen as “keeping the children occupied while the parents are in church”, but rather a campus of radical learning that will facilitate world liberation.  To this end I invite you to please pray for the future of our Sunday School—I mean, “Christ’s Ambassador College”.  The Witches of Eastwick dvd Peace, Alan

 

Dead of Night release

The Escapist

Jump Out Boys aka Lords Of The Street

The Last Starfighter movie download

Ill Always Know What You Did Last Summer

Sunday, 9 August 2009

August 9, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 9 August 2009

Dear Friends,

space

Below I include part of a graduation speech given by Paul Hawken, an award-winning environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and Journalist. May it inspire and challenge you as much as it has me — Peace, Alan.

space

“You are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system and we need it within a few decades. You are the programmers. This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat, have been broken.

space

There is invisible writing on the back of the certificate you will receive, ‘you are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.’ When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science behind what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.

space

What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice and beauty to this world.

space

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organisations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power.

space

Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in ideas, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, business people, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisher folk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America and, as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

space

The living world is not ‘out there’ somewhere, but in your heart. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

space

The generations before you failed. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.”

Sunday, 2 August 2009

August 9, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 2 August 2009

Dear Friends,                                                                                                        

 

How blessed we have been the past two months as part of the CMM community!  You have witnessed the grace and mercy of the Living God to us—embracing us immediately, inviting us into your lives and homes with love, and supporting us at all times.  The stories you have shared with us—your stories—have deepened our understanding of God’s work in the world.  Your stories are a chapter in God’s story and we are thankful to have heard and participated in these stories.

 

As we gather at the Lord’s Table this morning, we rejoice that the Eternal One feeds us with abundant love and truth.  We rejoice that we have had the privilege of breaking bread with so many of you and we pray that CMM will continue to feed the hungry and invite them to feast on the Bread of Life. 

 

We pray that you will be confident in the work of the Spirit in the lives of us all.  You are our sisters and brothers in Christ; know that if you find yourselves in North Carolina there will be a table to eat at and a place to rest your heads.

 

With thanksgiving in our hearts,  Diana and Jennifer

 

 

Sunday, 26 June 2009

July 29, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 26 June 2009

Dear Friends,            Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory dvdrip                

The Illustrated Man download

Firefight full movie

                                                             The Man with the Golden Arm film The Magnificent Seven film Beyond the Sea trailer

 

Anxiety:  That tight fisted knot in our stomach that doesn’t go away.  We sometimes don’t even know where it comes from, but it remains and remains.  It keeps us awake at night and shadows us during the day, making us tense.  We can’t relax.  We are on edge.  download The Big Sleep We are short  with people and our tongue is either raiser sharp or lame.

Twin Daggers film

 

Know the feeling?  Well if you do I really want to encourage you to submerge yourself into Ephesians 3:14-21.  Let us make Paul’s prayer for the inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit our own:

  Varsity Blues hd

  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your   hearts, living within you as you trust in him.  May your roots go   down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you  

be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should,   how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is;   and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great   that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand   it.  Smokin Aces download And so at last you will be filled up with God himself [sic].

The Karate Dog

         

Gotti buy

The Forgotten ipod

        —The Living Bible

Deep peace, Alan

Amazing Grace trailer

Good movie download

 

Desperate Hours trailer

 

 

Sunday, 19 July 2009

July 22, 2009  |  Sunday Letter  |  Comments Off on Sunday, 19 July 2009

Dear Friends,                                                                                       

 

It is wonderful to welcome Dr. Gilbert Lawrence as our preacher this morning—may God give us open hearts and attentive ears to discern God’s voice through his.

 

Last week during my sermon on John the Baptizer, who lived to please God by telling the truth and was beheaded by King Herod as a result, I quoted from Thomas Merton who was writing to encourage a friend.  Here it is again:

 

“Do not depend on the hope of results.  When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work (like peacemaking), you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.  As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.  And there too a great deal has to be gone through, as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people.  The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real.  In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything. 

 

The big results are not in your hands or mine, but they suddenly happen, and we can share in them; but there is no point in building our lives on this personal satisfaction, which may be denied us and which after all is not that important.  The next step in the process is for you to see that your own thinking about what you are doing is crucially important.  You are probably striving to build yourself an identity in your work, out of your work and your witness.

 

You are using it, so to speak, to protect yourself against nothingness, annihilation.  That is not the right use of your work.

 

All the good that you do will come not from you but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used for God’s love.  Think of this more and gradually you will be free from the need to prove yourself, and you can be more open to the power that will work through you without your knowing it.  Our real hope … is not in something we think we can do, but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.  If we can do God’s will, we will be helping in this process.”

 

 

May we all be strengthened to do God’s will.  What is God’s will?  In the very least it is that we speak the truth.  Lets start there!   Peace, Alan.  (See you next Sunday)