Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post - Josh Miller (Rest 7)

This week's contribution to the "Rest Fest" comes from my little bro, Josh Miller.  I've been saving this as a little treat for you all (perhaps not so much for him ;) but here is a photo only a sister would put on the internet:  

 He's improved with age!

Josh is (or was, until quite recently) a pentecostal pastor.  For some time he has been on a journey away from institutional religion.  Josh and I often bounce around theological ideas...  I would have to say that he has been one of the main influences in my journey through Christian faith, over the last decade or so.  You also have Josh to thank for the fact that I blog - it was he who introduced me to the blogosphere.  His (unfortunately, now long unused) blog can be found here

for some of you, his thoughts on rest will sound a lot more specifically "Christian" than a lot of the stuff you read here - but I think it is good to see what an orthodox, Christian understanding of rest looks like (especially since I myself have been labelled somewhat of a heretic, of late!! ;)  Interestingly, I see parallels with Andrew's recent post on rest and Buddhist meditation and mindfulness, and Ian Metcalfe's post (the very first) on rest as a state of mind.  See what YOU think!


The Way of Rest
- Josh Miller -

Well, my sister has asked me to write a piece on Biblical rest.  Though I’m not convinced I’m the most qualified to write this I am convinced that if we don’t understand rest then we don’t understand the Christian concept of salvation or the essence of the Scriptures.  I also believe that ignorance/neglect of this concept has led to a whole lot of destructive behaviour in the name of faith.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Still Here... Sort of!

Hey, all!

Just popping in to let you all know I am still on the planet...  My trusty (well, apparently, not-so-trusty) laptop has been in for repairs for a week now.  Fingers crossed it comes back working.  All my blog links, blog reader, and quite a bit of my writing are on it, and can't be accessed until I get it back.  That, combined with a busy week of work (much needed - so that's not a complaint!) has made it hard to do anything much on the blogosphere.

I've been trying to keep up with some of my favourite blogs via phone, but can't access all of them - and can't comment.  So...  looks like I'm having a bit of a "technology cleanse" this week.

Still planning to have a guest post on Rest tomorrow or on the weekend (my dear brother Josh is, hopefully, working on it as I type this!) And hope to be back to something more like normal by next week.

See you all, then!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

NOT a Book Review!

If you haven't done so already, DON'T FORGET to check out yesterday's GUEST POST, by Doug B.  For me, it highlights the notion that rest is, indeed, a gift.  Enjoy the read...  and please leave some thoughts or encouragement in the comments! 

Okay.  I think I've FINALLY finished my "Peter Rollins binge".  I just finished reading Insurrection, and though book reviews are not my 'thing', I thought I'd share some of my impressions, and a few things from the book that I found worth chewing over.

As the title suggests - this is NOT a book review.  I'm not even going to try to do a thorough critique - plenty of thinkers who are far more qualified have already done that - but Rollins' thinking explores some areas I've been poking around in too, so there was a lot in there I was really ready to wrestle with (try saying that three times fast!!)  As far as critique goes, I suppose I'll just say that the book left me with as many questions as answers, and there is a lot in it that really didn't 'click' with me. 

In spite of the 'gaps', there were some strong ideas put forward in the book that definitely resonated with me - so I'm going to give you my rundown on those today.  (True to my usual habit, you really are getting my version - this is what I gleaned from the book, so if you want an accurate understanding of what Rollins is on about, you'll just have to read it yourself...  this is the 'Kerry version' - okay?)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post - Doug B. (Rest 6)

This week's contribution to the 'Rest-Fest' comes from Doug B., a new blogging friend, who blogs over at Groping the Elephant. Doug considers himself a Pantheist; if you're curious about what that means in practice, head on over and check out his own words about it, on his blog. One thing I have already discovered about Doug, is that he is one of those rare individuals who are more interested in listening to and connecting with others, than in arguing about who is 'right'. I'm more than happy to introduce him here :)

Rest Provides Context For Life  
- Doug B -

Rest is natural. No profound truth in that, but I wish to elaborate just a bit.
There is much wisdom to be found in the cycles of life. The sun "rises" each morning bringing with it a world of opportunities and possibilities. It provides warmth and light and a mood-enhancing lift that energizes us as we perform our work or just carry out the duties that accumulate with being alive.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just for fun!

Did I mention how much I'm enjoying being involved with the Southern Highlands Fellowship of Australian Writers??  

We did an exercise on the weekend that was fun... & I was quite pleased with my creation, in the 10 minutes we were given.

SO - Could you, in 10 minutes or so, & just a paragraph or two - explain  WHY a writer would run a red light??

Before you read on and find out what I came up with...  you might like to write an answer yourself!  Go on!  Post it in the comments when you're done!

 Here's my effort:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Provocative Reads...

This is the bit where I throw all kinds of crazy stuff out there, because in one way or another, it has made me think.  Or at least informed some thinking process that's been going on in my head.  And although in my mind there is a bit of a theme going on, it's probably guaranteed to confuse the hell out of you if you try to piece it all together into something coherent.

Nonethless, here is some of what I've been reading of late, and have found worthwhile:

BOOK:  Insurrection, by Peter Rollins

Yes, yes, I know - I've been on the Rollins bandwagon of late.  At the moment, I'm a bit over halfway through InsurrectionSo this isn't a proper review, since I haven't actually finished reading it (& I'm not into doing book reviews, anyway).  So far, though, my impressions are a little mixed.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Guest Post - Andrew Cook (Rest 5)

The following guest post comes from my good friend, Andrew.  I first met him when we were both gangly 12 year olds beginning at the same high school, and reconnected with him late last year.  We've both had 'interesting' journeys over the intervening years, so there was lots to talk about!  I asked him to contribute to this series, because he has quite a philosophical bent, and as a practicing Buddhist, is able to bring a different perspective.  Besides that, he's just good value!  Enjoy!!

                 Rest in All Things               
                           - Andrew Cook -                          

It’s been a little while now since Kerry asked me to contribute my perspective on rest and amongst the hectic maelstrom of chaos that is my life, sometimes, it seems as if rest is a far-flung luxury for the rich or lazy…

Having being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder some ten…no twelve years ago now, did provide me with a degree of insight into self and also a key to managing this hectic dance that is my life. Another integral component to this self-management, which came about around the time of my diagnosis, was an introduction to Buddhism and its practice in mindfulness and meditation.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ahem! Freedom... now where was I??

I was headed somewhere, with my post about freedom...  and as discussions often do, the thing has taken quite a different direction, and a life of its own!

The conversation about what freedom really is (and whether we are free agents at all) has been fascinating, & is still going on - so feel free to jump in, if it interests you.

The interesting thing to me, whether you view "freedom" as merely being unhindered in following your own biology, or something more transcendent, is that we all DO value it.  Take away your "right" to choose who you will marry (if you are a westerner), where you will live, what career path you will take...  and there will be protests!

Imagine a world where an external authority dictates what you will wear, the style and colour scheme of your house and car, the food rations you may receive...  It would be impossible to maintain.  People would continue to find new and inventive ways of expressing individuality and pushing for freedom, and ultimately it would lead to revolution.  We've seen it happen!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why Freedom?

Image Credit:
Is "freedom" something that matters to you?

Do you resent being told what you can or cannot do?

Do you vigorously defend your own right to choose for yourself?

Do stories of oppression make your blood boil?

If you are anything like me, the answer to all of those questions would be a resounding YES.

Yet, is "freedom" even real?

Some would say, perhaps, that we are not free at all; that our behaviour is completely determined by the interaction of our genetics and environment, and that although we perceive ourselves as autonomous, self-determined human beings, we are in fact nothing but a sum of (at least theoretically) predictable probabilities. 

But if that is really the case - why is the idea of 'freedom' something we value so highly?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guest Post - Stuart Mawbey (Rest 4)

What can I say about Stuart?  Regular readers of this blog will already be familiar with his encouraging, challenging, and always thoughtful comments.  Without Stu's contribution, there would often be little discussion going on.  Stuart and I met via the blogosphere some years ago, now, and over the course of time he has become a valued friend.

One of Stuart's passions is Haiku, and he has created a beautiful Haiku collection, encapsulating his thoughts and feelings on "rest".  I suspect one of the reasons Stuart loves this form so much, is that it is never didactic.  Each haiku gives a momentary glimpse of something much larger, and requires the reader to immerse themselves in that moment, in order to feel its wider reverberations and import for themselves.  In other words, nothing is spelled out - you, dear reader, will need to imagine yourself in Stuart's haiku "moments" and let them to speak to you.  It is worth taking pause to do!

Enough from me.

Haiku Meditation
- Stuart Mawbey -

Image Credit:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Starting with Wreckage.

Wrecked car, near Goulburn, NSW (Photographed by Toby :)
My heart has been struggling with some heavy questions, of late.  I feel laden with news of tragedies, the despair of friends begging mercy from a seemingly empty heaven, and the interminable, and unanswerable question, "why?"

In the ebb and flow of life, there are weeks that seem more laden with tragedy than others.  The reality, of course, is that life is both beautiful and terrible, and at every given moment, unspeakable atrocities, unremitting tragedy and unrelenting pain are present, somewhere.  Often much closer to my own "safe" world than I care to realise.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Now it's YOUR turn!

Well, I've been fiddling around with my blog layout... and being a bit of a "reno-chick" I can feel a few blog-renovations coming on...

But TODAY, I added an Un-Lurk page...

Because I want to know about YOU.  Anything at all!!


I know I'm a big-mouth - but the thing I love MOST about this blog space, is the interaction between people.  So for all you mysterious lurkers, out there...  THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!!  I'm busting to know who you all are!

& to all my very beloved regular commenters - jump in and tell me something I don't know about you!!

I'll start the ball rolling...  Think you know all about me??  Well think again!!   To see what I've written, head to the new De-Lurk page, and scroll down to the comments section!

(erm... the pic is meant to be me, BECKONING - just in case there's any confusion!!  ;)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Post - Adrian Waller (Rest 3)

I stumbled on Adrian's blog quite recently.  At the time, he and his wife were experimenting with keeping a sabbath.  It was his experiment, in fact, that gave me the idea for this series on rest.  When I asked if he would contribute, his immediate response was positive, even though he knew very little about me.  In fact, I think being positive and encouraging is one of Adrian's special gifts to the blogosphere, along with his great thoughts and writing.  I'm more than thrilled to introduce him here... after you've enjoyed his contribution to the rest-fest, head on over and check out his other work on Life Before the Bucket.

- Too Busy to Not Rest -
Adrian Waller

My journey with rest began long ago time ago. At birth, in fact.

Until recently, though, it’s been a failure.

I once equated rest solely with sleep. And though that is sometimes the case, sleep is not the end-all be-all of rest. In fact, it’s only a microcosm on a spectrum of restful habits that we can engage in.

This perspective changed recently, though, when I discovered a book that wrecked my life.