24.6.11

Jesus is so quiet.

It's been strange being back home. I love spending time with my family, but I find it hard to do so as well as seeing everyone else I want to, and actually relaxing for once. It is different, to be in a house which was once so familiar and still feels like home, yet somehow...outgrown. Like I no longer fit the mould I had formed back here.

Steph and Char and I drove up to Omaha for a few nights at the beginning of this week, and it was gold. After living in the very centre of a tiny and compact little city with cars outside my window every minute of every day, and after coming home and being surrounded by people all weekend, to get out on the beach, to just sit, on the sand, in the silence, and whisper with God...bliss.

1 Kings 19; "Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."

The world is so loud. We are constantly being talked at, talked to, bombarded with music and traffic and there is no time to be still. I sat on the deck with my coffee at Omaha, and listened to the tui's singing in the tree's, and that is where I found Jesus. Not in a concert, or a sermon, or a podcast...but in the quiet.

I don't quite belong in Wellington, or Auckland. I don't belong to anyone, I have noone. It is well and true, without Jesus, I am nothing. A beautiful thing to be said.

15.6.11

I miss my family.

Whanau. Aroha.
My parents are honestly the best parents one could have. They have sacrificed everything to give my sisters and I a great upbringing...they are beautifully amazing.
And my sisters, my cousins...far out. Couldn't ask for a more gorgeous, loving group family. I am blessed. 
And I cannot wait to see them in 2 days...




11.6.11

Lord, it is night.

The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be.
The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray.  Amen.
“Arise, my darling,
   my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past;
   the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
   the season of singing has come...
Arise, come, my darling;
   my beautiful one, come with me.” 
Song of Solomon 2 



9.6.11

A fulfilling life.

I've been studying jursiprudential theories in the last few days, for one of the sections in my Laws121 exam. This morning I was in the shower, pondering over liberalism (as you do). And I thought...much of my passion is directed toward the basic human rights that many people in the world lack access to. SO much of our world, so many charities, are so obsessed with those three words; "basic human rights."


But what are these rights? Who defines these rights? Do we, tiny humans, even have any rights? Are we entitled to such rights by merely being human?


The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that all humans have the right to freedom of speech, religion, thought, free access to education, to housing , to clothing and water and food and family, to property. Human rights proponents assert that everyone is endowed with these, and other, entitlements merely by being human. Liberalists have for centuries claimed basic human rights and individual equality for centuries. Communists have suggested the overthrowing of the state in order to establish a fair and equal society in which all classes are abolished and all citizens are recognised with individual rights, whilst feminists claim equal rights for both men and woman. So where did this idea of "rights" come from? This moral or legal entitlement? In such a secular, global world, when the naturalist claim of a "higher moral purpose" has been scoffed at as "too religious," and Jesus' teachings of equality and justice have been spat at, where do we get our oh-so-secular ideas of basic human rights from?


I guess what I am trying to get at, is the irony that such a secular society claims the "right" to something, merely because of our modernity and the fact that we are at the top of the food chain. How arrogant! Do not get me wrong - I am not against human rights, I am not anti-liberal, and I definately do not support the oppression of any of God's creation in any way, shape or form!
But, its strikes me that, as humans, we have no rights. We are not rulers of this world (as much as we would like to think that we are). We are not sovereign, nor are we really that powerful. We are merely 7 billion tiny humans in a huge, vaste universe, as helpless as the next.


As humans, we have basic human NECESSITIES; water, food, shelter, health and learning. But to claim that we have rights blatantly contradicts God's purpose for us. In a sense, followers of Christ have no “rights," because we have surrendered our lives to Christ. Christ has all dominion over us. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinth. 6:19-20). God’s authority over us does not negate God’s image in us, and our submission to the will of God does not nullify God’s love for us, or his command for us to love others as we love ourselves. But it definately should cause us to rethink our arrogance in claiming a certain 'right' as a human being. Isaiah 2:11 says "The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day." I passionately believe that God made all creation equally ("Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all” Proverbs 22:2), and I passionately believe he weeps at the unjustices of the world.


But what I DO NOT beleive, is that we are the rulers of our own world. I do not beleive that we are entitled to life, or that we are in fact entitled to anything! Our lives are koha, and they are precious. Our lives, our communities, they are beautiful and they are gifted to us by the most Supreme Father who loves us in heaven. He calls us not to claim the inheritance that we have the 'right' to, but to seek our inheritance with humility and in love, and to share that inheritance with the rest of his children...


And now the UN has declared that access to the internet is a basic human right. (http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/un-declares-internet-access-a-human-right/) I just weep, because how can internet be a human right, when a baby girl in Palestine is crying for hunger, a hunger her mother cannot satisfy? How on earth is the internet "an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress" (UN Secretary General Frank La Rue) when young girls in Africa suffer female circumcision, when kids in our very own cities are denied access to a decent education? Internet is not a right, internet will not combat inequality! Love will combat inequality. I assure you, a full meal a day will ensure that humankind progresses. But the internet?


Mahatma Gandhi said "poverty is the worst form of violence." I think that spitting in the face of that poverty, belittling that poverty, claiming power over that injustice and claiming 'rights,' is almost, almost worse. When our God, who sacrificed His Son for us, is yearning for our love, it is but arrogance to claim his world as our own. This blog simply cannot express my thoughts the way I desire...but I'll finish off with another Gandhi quote;

"To a man with an empty stomach, food is god."

8.6.11

Temporary Psychosis.

Exam time always makes me...disillusioned.
So, in an effort to be as focussed and retain as much common sense as possible, as my mother tried (unsuccessfully) to do, I am setting short term goals!
How exciting and proper of me.

1. Get at least 8 hours sleep a night.
2. Stop counting the minutes until I fly back to Auckland for two and a half weeks.
3. Develop a stress-relief technique.
4. Pass law.
(a) Study most likely needed as a sub-goal in order to achieve this primary goal.


So those are my goals...in relation to 3, I've found that putting on my bright yellow flannel pajama pants and ugg boots, lying on the couch and listening to Norah Jones helps. Breathe, in, and, out, and....stress gone! Occasionally replaced by a deep fear of failure and inadequacy. In that situation, refer to Jesus. He's really my only hope now. Number 4 relies primarily on number 3, which is inextricably linked to 4(a). All of which are hampered by my inability to stop daydreaming about number 2, which takes up time which is valuable to number 1.

In conclusion...please Jesus help me to not spontaneously lose my mind to legislation and jurisprudence and comparative law and law reform and political ideologies and constructivism and the Enlightenment and the crap that is not purely, passionately, beautifully, YOU.

5.6.11

i'm gonna take off the mask for a little bit.

just a little bit...

being away from home sucks.
wanting something that is so far away sucks.
wellington is cold;
i constantly have to wear socks or ugg boots, but even then my toes are cold.
i used to be a happy, happy person,
now i'm just kind of skeptically amused.
university is full of unnecessary stress.
i have been thrown in to a completely new world
for God, with God.
i wish i could say it's exciting, but really,
it's just hard.
Jesus is beautiful.
i'm in awe that He loves me,
but i find it hard to let him love me.
i struggle with weaknesses,
and sometimes they take me over.
but then i remember that He will love me through those weaknesses.
i am the daughter of a king,
my God.

adsfgdfhkjfglkfd

"They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain."
Revelation 21:3

4.6.11

broken and called to be broken

Last night Jessie and I were walking down to see a movie and get a drink with some friends. As we were on our way down Courtenay Place, I saw a guy, about 25 or so, sitting on the edge of a step on the side of the street with a sign that said. "Nowhere to go and nothing to eat, anything would help me."

And I almost walked past him.

The funny thing is, in the last month or so, I've been really asking Jesus to break my heart. And He has! I have been broken and falling in love all over again with a God who loves the poor, and weeps for them. But it's been pretty safe so far. Images, websites, campaigns, my politics lectures. I have been broken, but not like last night. I think I almost walked past him out of habit - I always claim to feel "so bad" about people who are on the street and begging, but I always have said "well what can you do? I'd rather make a change at the top level, change the circumstances, not just throw them $2." But then I read Matthew 25, and Jesus told me, "whatever you do for the least of your borhters and sisters, you do for me." That is the kingdom of God on earth. That is Christs' ministry.

And so Jessie and I backtracked. I said hey to him, introduced myself, his name is Clinton. He hangs out in the city, usually the same place, just before the pool room next to Espressa-holic, and stays in the night shelter. He said, "I don't have much more of a choice. I'll be here, trying to get enough money to get through the day."

It's heartbreaking, for sure. Loving Jesus isn't pretty. All Jessie and I really had the power to do was buy Clinton a burger meal from Nando's, love him like a real person and then say good bye as he made his way to the night shelter before it closed up. It wasn't glamorous, or exciting, and his life wasn't radically changed. It was just sad.

But I guess thats where me asking Jesus to break my heart leads me to. I can't ignore the people on the side of the street any more. They are people with brokeness and stories, just like me, or you. They are no better or worse than me - they have just been dealt a bad hand in life, and God has blessed me so that I am able to bless others like them. But it sucks! It is SAD. And whilst I am filled with joy and praise for the King of Kings that I serve, I am far from happy to see the pain that this world holds. But that is my calling. That is the calling of everyone who calls themselves e follower of Christ...because Christ himself said, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Matthew 25.The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

1.6.11

food for thought...

I had a dream that my friend Michael and I were playing in State of Origin. We were playing in these ridiculous three-quarter tights that American football players wear, but I was being totally abused from the sidelines by all the men in the team, because I'm a woman and they didn't think I should play league.
It was such a strange dream! But I was thinking...us New Zealand women are so blessed in the fact that we can live in a society that doesn't restrict us from our basic human rights. We don't have to deal with female circumcision, we don't have to put up with widespread acceptance of domestic abuse...we are given equal opportunities in education and we have the right to vote, the right to have our say.

But then again. Women in NZ still have a battle to fight. The following stats are from the NZ Ministry of Womens Affairs website...
Comparing women and men against key indicators, 2008

Women Men
Percent with a post-school qualification 48.6% 52.9%
Representation in Modern Apprenticeships 9.4% 90.6%
Median weekly income $413 $690
Representation in Parliament 33.6% 66.4%
Proportion who are victims of sexual offences (2005) 4% 2%
Health expectancy (2006) 69.2 years 67.4 years
Satisfaction with work-life balance 77.2% 74.6%




Median hourly earnings by gender and ethnicity, 2008







Weekly income distribution, by gender, 2008
Figure 25: Weekly income distribution, by gender, 2008


We, on average, are on par with men when it comes to education (European women actually are slightly more likely to have a tertiary qualification than European men - the fact that this is opposite for Maori and Pacific Islander women is a different, and more heartbreaking, story). Yet womens' median weekly incomes are 40% lower than that of men, and we are completely under-represented in Parliament.

And then we come to income disparity. On average, women succeed more in school than men. Women dominate in lecture theatres arund the country. Why is it then, that women earn on average less than men? NZ has legisaltion forcing employers to pay women and men equal amounts for the same job. Therefore, the obvious conclusion is a) there are more men in the workforce or b) more men occupy more highly paid positions than women. Why is it that in such a blessed and prosperous nation, women are still not equal?
A (fantastic) friend of mine told me that in his sociology class, they were told that the only profession in which women dominate and are paid more than men in is the pornography industry. Does that not say it all? This objectification of women is stagnant. Being taken advantage of is a story that echoes through the generations. Yet we learn so slowly...

There is so much injustice in our backyard, and gender inequality is just one of them. What are we doing to teach our children, our people, our communities, not about about stereotypes or what is "normal," but the differences that make us beautiful, the differences that unite us as one body under our Lord? One body that is free of injustice, inequality, free of the pain inflicted by big egos and the abuse of power?

When will we learn about the Jesus that loved us all so much, so equally?

http://www.mwa.govt.nz/news-and-pubs/publications/indicators-for-change-2009-1/indicators-for-change-2009