Friday, December 10, 2010

The danger of ordering Christmas presents online

I just wanted to alert everyone to the danger of ordering Christmas presents online, to be delivered.

I have ordered all of my Christmas presents for my sons online. One son had a bag from one place and a whole heap of Dr Who stuff from another place. Those two parcels consisted the majority of his Christmas presents this year, besides some minor ones and a big one for the family.

Well according to Australia Post, those two parcels were delivered to me at 5:30 on Thursday. I was home at 5:30 on Thursday and no parcels were delivered at that time. Not only was I home, but I was in the loungeroom, with a direct view out of the window. Plus my dog barks like crazy when someone pulls up, so he would have soon told me if the postal contractor was there. When I'm in my study, I know a parcel is being delivered because my dog lets me know. And at that time, I was actually looking out for the parcels as well. According to Australia Post, I signed for these parcels. I did not sign for these parcels.

I’m not sure what happened. Maybe they were delivered to the wrong address and the person there decided to sign for parcels that were not theirs. If so, they stole a child’s Christmas presents. Or maybe it was delivered at another time and decided to give it to some random person who just happened to be in my yard. Again, if so, that person stole a child’s Christmas presents.
I’ve rang up one of the merchants I bought from. And they are very nicely sending me a replacement. The parcel containing all the main presents for my son was bought from PopCultcha. I only just discovered that that parcel was also apparently delivered on Thursday. I've just sent them an email and am waiting to hear back from them.

But Australia Post refuses to do anything because they say they were delivered. When I know full well they were not. At least not to me.

Now I’m facing the possibility that my son may have no Christmas presents this year. I can’t afford to get new ones. It was hard enough affording the ones I bought.

And I am really upset about this. Not to mention worried about the presents I ordered for my other son. I’m also worried that perhaps that were other parcels that may have been delivered at the same time that were not tracked. I won't know they're missing until they never turn up, I suppose.

My son’s are 11 and 9 years old. One still believes in Santa. I really don’t want to have to tell them that there’s no Christmas Presents this year because Australia Post failed to deliver them to the right person.

My son asked me the other day if Santa was real. I told him that if he believes in Santa, then Santa exists.

Well at least he did. But I have a terrible feeling that Australia Post just killed him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

God said it was good

God said it was good.

He did not say:
…it was unimportant
…it was meaningless
…it was irrelevant.
He said it was good.

God did not say:
It will be good
…once it has been modified, processed, developed
…once it has been exploited, consumed, destroyed
…once it has been value-added, sold and made profitable.
He said it was good.

God did not say:
It is good
…only for the rich
…only for the powerful
…only for those living in the 21st century.
He said it was good.

God did not say:
It is all there is
And humans can discover
Everything there is to know
Just by studying it.
He said it was good.

God did not say:
It is divine,
It is to be worshipped,
It replaces religion,
It replaces Church,
It is God.

But He did say it was good.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful to Be Here

1991 State of Origin

Perhaps it is the spring weather and the fact that all the flowers are blooming, but the other day I was struck by how glad I am to be here. I did not choose this earth for my home. Yet God has placed me here and for that I should be thankful.

Even though life cannot exist on any other planets that we know of, imagine for a moment that one of those other planets was our home. Imagine living in a world with no grass, no trees, no flowers, no birds - a world without the abundance of plant and animal life, with little diversity and even less beauty.

Yes, I know this world is not all good. There is pain, sorrow, grief, disasters, devastation, flood, famines, droughts, injustice, oppression and terrible cruelty. Yet I believe the one of the reasons why we are appalled by such things is because we have seen their absence.

Here on earth, they are not absent for long. But there have been moments when the world really does seem beautiful, when all is right (or at least seems right) in our little corner of the world and there is more joy than sorrow. Even in a sinful world, we do catch glimpses of heaven. If this earth occasionally seems ugly, perhaps it is because we have occasionally seen how beautiful it can be.

There are other species that are also fortunate to be living here on earth. I also believe that all the other species, indeed the whole world, praises God.

Yet humans are unique. We have a special relationship to God. We have souls.

We also have a unique ability to be able to appreciate and be thankful for this world. We can never completely understand God, but we are closer in understanding God than the birds or the grass or the trees or the flowers are. We are the only species in this world that can join with God at looking at his Creation and saying ‘It is good.’

And yet so often we don’t. Instead of thanking God for the world he has made, we complain about our lives. We look at what we don’t have, instead of what we do. We ask why God doesn’t step in and change things, and forget to be amazed at what He has already done.

And honestly, if God did step in and change every thing in this world that seems wrong or unfair or we don’t like, most of us probably wouldn’t thank him. We’d be too busy searching for further things that are wrong with this world. We’re like proofreaders, too busy circling punctuation errors to be swept away by the whole narrative.

Most of us at some stage have found ourselves somewhere where we really wanted to be. And in that moment, everything seems right with the world. Of course there are problems. Things go wrong, as they always will. But when you’re so happy to be somewhere, those problems are only minor irritations. We are so thankful for where we are that we sweep them aside and refused to be bothered by them.

When I was 17, I won tickets to a State of Origin rugby league game. I took my sister, who is two years younger than me. Neither one of us had been to a State of Origin game before. To say we were excited is a huge understatement. Anyway, in the middle of game, when my sister and I had huge smiles plastered across our faces, it started to rain. And I don’t mean just a sprinkling. It poured - absolutely poured. Everyone around us went running for cover. My sister and I just looked at each other and didn’t even say anything. We knew it would take more than a little bit of rain (okay, make that a lot of rain) to budge us. After the game, we had to sit for five hours in soaking wet clothes on a bus. Yet still those smiles never left our faces. Why would they? We had just had the time of our lives.

Imagine if we treated this earth like that. Imagine if we thought of it as a place where we were really thankful to be. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to face problems. It doesn’t even mean that we wouldn’t be bothered by things, sometimes even overcome by grief and sorrow. But perhaps it would give us a different perspective. Perhaps we might even learn to smile, and be thankful, through the rain.     

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Overgrown lawns

A small barn on a low hill (picture taken from the road below), partially hidden behind long grass. Picture from Wikimedia Commons
There are days when the whole street seems to be painted green. These days are first preceded by rainy days, followed by sunny days when you constantly hear the sound of someone’s lawnmower. The result is a street where all the lawns seem to be the standard height, cut close to the ground. Everybody has done their bit to make the street look beautiful.

When I say everybody, I don’t quite mean everybody. There’s always one person who leaves their lawn long, who fails to get the lawnmower out at the unwritten, but universally agreed upon, time.

This nonconformist is the lawn that everybody frowns at as they walk past. After so many short, and neatly trimmed lawns, it’s impossible not to notice that this lawn is different - and therefore wrong. 

This non-conformist lawn is usually my lawn.

There are a number of reasons why I fail to mown my lawn as often as my neighbours would perhaps like me to. One, I am a terrible mower of lawns. Half the time when I go to mow my lawn, I can’t even start it. So then I have to wait until some friendly neighbour or friend comes around to start it for me. Also, it’s very hard to get motivated to do something that I’m so bad at. One day after I had mowed my lawn, my aunt told my grandmother that it was the worst mown lawn she had ever seen. Sometimes I prefer to look lazy rather than incompetent.

The other reason why I am slack in the mowing of lawns is that I really do not like shortly-clipped lawns. People may think badly of my knee-height grass. Well I really don’t like their ants’ knee-height grass. Give me an overgrown garden over a manicured lawn any day.

When everybody mows their lawn, all you can see is green. It does look painted - and I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. This may sound strange to the Lawn Nazis, but I do get pleasure when my lawn hasn’t been mowed for a while, and you can see all the different varieties of grass. (Yes, I know most of them are probably weeds. But weeds can still be beautiful if you look at them in the right way.) I think my lawn is so much more interesting that the standard, boring, painted green that you get everywhere else in the street.

What does all this have to do with faith? Absolutely nothing. There’s no spiritual lesson, moral or even point to this blog post. I don’t even know why I’m writing it. Maybe I just felt that it was about time that somebody said something nice about overgrown lawns.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Aussie Saint?

In Eureka Street recently, they had a cartoon, showing someone sitting in a departure lounge with a group of people going to Rome for the canonisation of Mary MacKillop. He had an Australian hat on and was waving a flag with ‘Oi, oi, oi’ on it. He was saying ‘Something tells me I’m missing the point.’ Go to and scroll halfway down the page to see the cartoon.

I was telling my son and his nanna about the cartoon today, saying I found it quite funny.

As I watched the live coverage of the canonisation ceremony, and they showed all the people with Australian flags, my son said to me, ‘Do you still think that cartoon was funny?’ And later on, we found out that people were saying ‘Aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi’ as they arrived. No, I don’t think the cartoon’s so funny now - not when it depicts reality.

Now I am a very patriotic person. I have a tattoo of the Eureka Stockade on my upper arm. When I was pregnant with my first child, my sister said, knowing me, I’d probably call the baby Clancy or Matilda. And when it comes to Australia Day, I wave my Australian flag just as proudly as anybody else, usually wearing an Australia Day t-shirt, with green and gold zinc on my face.

But the making of a saint - even an Australian one - is not the time for overt displays of Aussie patriotism.

During the ABC News 24 coverage, Scott Stevens said that we may water down Mary MacKillop’s traits by focusing on things like her egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism, traits that Australians admire and respect.

By focusing on these traits, maybe we do turn her into a saint ‘for all Australians’. But the fact is Mary MacKillop is not a saint because she was egalitarian or anti-authoritarian. She is a saint because she loved God and wanted only to do his will. And that’s the most important thing we need to focus on.

And in watching the media coverage of Mary MacKillop’s canonisation, I sometimes get the feeling that they see her nationality as more important than her religion. It often felt like I was watching an Australian get a gold medal at the Olympic Games. As though they want to portray St Mary of the Cross as a saint for all Australians, so that all Australians can feel proud of its country’s achievement.

But this isn’t a prize for Australia. And it’s not Australia’s achievement. If anything, it is God’s. And we shouldn’t ignore or even downplay God’s part in what Mary MacKillop did. Because if it wasn’t for God, and if it wasn’t for Mary’s faith, it wouldn’t have been done at all.

I am glad Australia finally has a saint. But not so that we can consider her some kind of winner in the Vatican’s saint-naming ceremony. But so that she may serve as an inspiration to all Australians. That is, after all, what saints are meant to do.

Apparently, there have been many visitors to places connected with Mary MacKillop. Many people travelled to Rome for the ceremony. Many people watched the ceremony in places around the country. I believe that many people may have felt an increased interest in religion because of this canonisation. And that is a very good thing.

My son asked me tonight how he could become a saint. I said to him that he can try and be a saint now. How he does that is to try and always do what God wants. And although I don’t expect it to last, he really did try - tonight at least. I could see him be more considerate. I could see him trying to think of others before himself. At one point, I went outside. When I came back, he said that they had said a prayer and he stood up for it, because he thought that was what God would have wanted him to do.

That’s what saints are about. They’re not about patriotism or cheering or feeling like Australia has won something. They’re about providing an example for people to follow. Already St Mary of the Cross has revived an interest in spirituality and faith. I pray that she continues to do so. I also pray that people everywhere try to live like her, not just cheer for her.

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Scrooge

As soon as October rolls around, I start to get that old Scrooge feeling again.

Now I love Christmas - In December. Or the first seven days of January. Or even in July, because the whole seasonal thing of Christmas in July when you’re living in Australia is kind of nice.

But as for Christmas in October - bah, Humbug!

The Christmas items seem to make their way to the stores earlier and earlier each year. We’re not exactly flooded with Christmas products at the moment, but they’re coming out. Warning us that we better buy up quick because Christmas is only - over two months ago. I would add up the days to get a precise figure, but I’m too anti-Christmas in October to even do that.

Of course, it makes sense for businesses to put out their Christmas products as soon as possible. The sooner they’re out, the sooner people will start thinking about all the Christmas buying they have to do. They sooner they start buying things for Christmas, the more they’re going to buy. People who wait until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping rarely go overboard.

But it’s so annoying.

For one, Christmas is not meant to be about buying stuff. And we get so caught up in the whole Christmas buying thing that it makes us stressed and time poor. Instead of spending time with the people we love, we’re out buying them gifts.

But there’s another reason why I hate Christmas in October. We get sick of Christmas before it’s even here. And it ruins the excitement of seeing those Christmas products at Christmas.

I remember when seeing Christmas decoration and products really brought a thrill. Because when they arrived in the stores, you knew that Christmas was just around the corner. Now, by the time Christmas is just around the corner, we’ve been looking at Christmas products for two months. And it’s just not that exciting anymore.

Plus, we’re so over Christmas by the time it gets here, that we have that one day and forget all about it. Christmas should be celebrated after the actual day, not just before it. It’s not meant to be about - got my gifts, great, now let’s start planning for Easter.

Christmas is a very special time of year. It should be about Jesus, about tradition, about family, about love. Instead, we’ve turned it into a three-month shop-a-thon. And the earlier those Christmas products go out onto the shelf, the less Christmas is about like Christ.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Story of Stuff

'The Story of Stuff' is my favourite video on YouTube. It shows the problems along our current model of consumption. It's 20 minutes, but it's well worth watching.

At first, it may seem like this has nothing to do with Christianity. But I think it does. Because if you do watch the video, you'll see that the current model of consumption hurts many people along the way. As Christians are called to 'love our neighbour', which doesn't just mean the people living next door to us but all of our neighbours in the whole world, we should be concerned about any system that isn't beneficial for human beings.

It's also clear from the video that this current model of consumption hurts the environment. Whether Christians should be concerned about it is a bit more debatable. But I believe the earth is God's gift to us and we should be taking care of it. If someone gave me a gift and I just destroyed it, it wouldn't be showing much love to the person who gave me the gift. The more we love people, the more we value what they give us. I think it should be the same for what God gives us. That isn't limited to the environment. God gives us lots of things we should value. But I believe the environment should be part of that.

Anyway, here's the video. I hope you watch it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Book of Eli - Two Approaches to the Bible

The Book of Eli is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Eli is in possession of the last remaining bible on earth. (It’s interesting that many descriptions of this film say it’s a sacred book without mentioning that it’s a bible.)

Carnegie wants that bible for his own purposes, and will do anything to get it - even kill people. It’s hard to understand why a man like Carnegie would want the bible so badly, until we realise that he wants to use it to control people.

Most Christians, if not all, would find Carnegie’s approach to the bible abhorrent. Yet I’m sure some people have used the bible to try and control people, and probably still do. I think such people probably do not have genuine faith. But I could be wrong. Faith comes in many different forms. And often people who start out with a genuine faith may end up with a very warped faith.

And although we may not use the bible to try and control societies, I think people do often use the bible for their own purposes. Instead of really trying to discover what the bible has to say, they want to use it to show why they are right. The bible becomes just a tool for them, rather than the living word of God.

But this isn’t a movie about one person who has a bad approach to the bible and another who has a good approach. Because Eli also has a faulty approach to the bible. Eli is so focused on trying to protect the bible that he’s forgotten to live by it.

Near the beginning, there is a somewhat anti-Good Samaritan moment. Eli sees some travellers being attacked. Instead of helping them he says words along the lines of ‘Not my concern. Stay on the path.’

And I do think that many Christians, Christians of genuine faith, have the Eli approach to the bible. They’re too busy protecting it, they’ve forgotten to live by it. They concentrate on doctrine and forget about practice. They memorise bible verses but never do any of them.

The bible is not just meant to be used or protected, but lived. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I love Queanbeyan

As I walk along the streets of Queanbeyan, I sometimes get an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness for my town.

I belong here. I am part of the community. And that’s something to be thankful for.

I haven’t lived here my whole life, but I was born here. My grandmother has lived here my whole life and, as a child, we used to visit her every week. As I grew older, I still visited her, though not as often. Plus, I have lived here for the past 14 years.

I love walking down the street and saying hello to the people that pass me. I love going for a quick dash to the shops and ending up in a long conversation with someone. And every time I go to the local shopping centre, I see at least one person I know. On a busy day, I might be saying hello to someone every five minutes. (There are times I have spent more time talking to people than I have in actually doing the shopping.)

I’m upset about the disappearance of the corner stores. (Originally, there were three corner stores within eight blocks of my house. Now there are none.) I think they fostered a sense of community which isn’t there with the big franchises. That said, I have also gotten to know people at my local Coles or BP.  I can talk to the people serving me with more than just the standard polite conversation you reserve for strangers.

I like knowing that, if anything ever happened and I needed help, there are many people around that I know would help me. When my youngest son was only two, I lost him. I had many people on the street looking for him. (It turns out, he had hidden under a lounge-room chair and fallen asleep!) When my grandmother couldn’t walk earlier this year, one of my neighbours told me she needed help and then went to get my youngest son from tennis. Later on, someone else asked me whether my grandmother was okay. It’s good to know I have neighbours who care.

But it’s not just the people - although they certainly are a big factor in making me feel like I belong. It’s the town itself. For all its faults, it is still a part of me. Or maybe I am a part of it. I know its streets, its stores, its river, its parks, its houses. They form the background of my life. Walking across the bridge to go to church in pink, frilly dresses. My cousins and I sneaking into the showground to play cricket or football. Taking my children for their first day of preschool and then school, the preschool I went to and the school my father went to. Sitting in the park, watching my sons climb trees. Even saying hello to the statue of John Gale every time I pass it with my children. And the unbearable sense of loss every time something changes, closes down, gets demolished or, in the case of Spotlight, moves.

It’s hard to convey this sense of belonging to people who don’t have it. People move around so much nowadays. There was a time when you lived in one town your whole life and all your family surrounded you. My grandmother is the only member of my family who still lives in Queanbeyan. Everyone else has moved. It’s become normal for people to live in a variety of different places. And that’s kind of exciting. Sometimes I wish I could do it too. But at the same time, I am thankful that I am still here. Because I think I get a sense of community that other people fail to even realise they are missing. 

But even if I moved, I would still belong somewhere. I would still belong to the Church. And like a home town, the Church has its faults. It is made up of imperfect people. But it is still a part of me and I am a part of it. And it’s nice to know that. And it’s nice to able to recognise how important that really is.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good or Bad, Left-wing or Right-wing Christian

I was watching a talk by Tony Abbott for a theology@thepub event on YouTube. And during that talk, Tony Abbott said that people tend to think of Good Christians as those who were more socialist, while bad Christians were those who were more conservative. And in that light, he was considered a bad Christian.

It probably depends which church (or denomination) you belong to. When I was in the Pentecostal Church, I always felt like I was a bad Christian for caring more about injustice and poverty than I did about moral issues.

But the purpose of this blog is not to discuss which Christian is good or bad, but the assumption that one is either a ‘Socialist Christian’ or a ‘Conservative Christian.’ I think it’s because we like to put people somewhere on the political spectrum. Are they left, right or somewhere in between? Then once placed, we expect their views to line up with their place on that political spectrum, rather than with Christ.

I’ve had people speak to me who are convinced that Jesus would vote for the Liberal National Party in Australia (the conservative party). Yet I’ve had people equally adamant that he would vote for Labor. As many people have pointed out, Jesus is not a card-carrying member of either political party. In reality, he would probably agree and disagree with both or either side of politics, depending on the issue being discussed.

And in reality we can agree with different policies from different political parties. And there isn’t necessarily a contradiction between caring about certain left-wing issues and certain right-wing issues. One can care about providing welfare and still want to cut down abortions. One can care about the environment and still want the Lord’s Prayer kept in parliament. One can care about funding for public education and still want school chaplains. One can even agree with giving homosexuals the right to marry without necessarily agreeing that Catholic/Christian adoption agencies should be forced to give them children for adoption.

It is possible to care about social inequalities and recognition of God. It is possible to care about injustice and morals.

Indeed, the bible gives a lot of attention to both. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hope for a Fallen World

There are a few things that people aren’t comfortable with nowadays in terms of Christian doctrine. One of them is the Fall or original sin.

I guess there are a few reasons why people don’t like the thought of original sin. One of them is that people like to think they’re good. Another reason is that it seems to offer no hope. We have no chance of doing the right thing if we are fallen human beings. Or perhaps another reason is that we like to tell everyone they’re okay nowadays. Self-help books of full of the kind of pep talk that is designed to make people feel good about themselves. Even Bon Jovi has a line saying ‘Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes.’ We love to feel good about ourselves nowadays. The only time guilt is allowed is when it’s going to make you go out and buy something. Guilt about germs, yes! Guilt about moral choices, definitely not.

Yet removing the doctrine of original sin may make us feel better about ourselves, but I think it leads to a far more despairing view of the world. If there is no original sin, if there was no fall, then that means this world is exactly the way God intended it to be. We’re all just acting according to God’s plans.

I don’t know about you, but if this world is exactly the way God intended it to be, then something is seriously wrong. We hurt people. We think way too much of ourselves. We look after our own self-interests. We either cause or allow injustice and oppression. We destroy the earth that God has given us. We have turned our back on God, each other and the world we live in.

And I sincerely hope that this is not the way God planned it!

Sometimes when I see something particularly depressing on the news or someone tells me a story about the hurt they have gone through, I think this isn’t the way life is meant to be. And of course, this isn’t the way life was meant to be. God planned a better world. But because he loves us, he gave us free will and we have used that free will to reject God’s plans. We have gone our own way, and the mess we see in the world is a result.

Yet the Fall also offers hope. But although it says human beings are born sinful, the bible always tells us that Christ has died to redeem us. Furthermore, even in the mess we see, the mess we have created, God is present. And He is continuously at work, bringing about his purposes. We may have gone against God’s plans, but God has a new plan - and therefore, a new hope.

If there was no Fall, then it would appear that this world is as good as it gets. If we’re not sinful, then what hope do we really have? But because there was a Fall and there is sin, there is also redemption. And Christ offers hope to a sinful, fallen world. 

Original Sin by Michiel Coxie, ca. 1550

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good Search

I recently came across this site called Good Search. You can nominate a charity of your choice and everytime you do a search, they donate money to your specified cause.

I do a lot of searching for things on the internet in my work. So it was great to find something where I could feel that all of that searching would benefit a good cause. It may not be as good as actually giving to a charity myself, but at least it's something.

For certain stores, they also donate a percentage of the purchase amount to a charity.

Oh, and you can add a charity of your choice - which includes schools. I think that may just be for American charities though.

The drawbacks are it doesn't have the Australian option, like Google does. And also you can't search for news, blogs or scholarly articles, like you can with Google. But for everyone else, it seems to be working well.

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fundamentalist Christians and Atheists

The Punch recently had this excellent article by David Penberthy, where he discusses his annoyance at 'born-again atheists'.

I have often thought that fundamentalist atheists seem to have a lot in common with fundamentalist Christians. They're both convinced they're right and they both are determined to convince other people that they're right.

Not that there's anything wrong in believing you're right. Why believe something if you're not sure whether it's the truth or not? And I don't think there's anything wrong in trying to convince other people that you're right either. Most people who are trying to 'convert' others are convinced that people will be better off if they do convert. And this also applies to atheists who believe Christians or other faith adherents will be better off if they lose their beliefs. 

However, what annoys me is how angry, annoyed and patronising some people get. Or this idea that not only are their beliefs the only true ones, but that anyone who doesn't share those beliefs can be ridiculed or insulted. Or that one has to keep arguing their beliefs until people agree.

People are not stupid just because they believe something different. People are not evil just because they believe something different. We're all just people and we all have different ways of seeing the world. And maybe that's okay.

Now obviously as some of our beliefs conflict with others, some people have got to be wrong. That just makes sense. There isn't a world where everybody can be completely right. If two plus two equals four, then two plus two can't also equal seven. But arguing and mocking and looking down on people does not necessarily mean that you're the one with the truth. As I tell my youngest son all the time, shouting does not make you right.

The other day I was talking to an atheist. I hadn't really talked to her much before, but as walked home together we ended up having an interesting discussion about how she doesn't believe in God but I do. When we reached my house, we kept talking for a while afterwards - and this despite the freezing night-time. And not because we were arguing, but because we were enjoying the conversation. One of us is wrong. We both know that. Either God exists or he doesn't. He can't be real and not real at the same time. But just because one of us is wrong doesn't mean we can't talk about it civilly and respect the other person's beliefs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


‘Awesome’ has to be the most overused word of the 21st century. Everything is awesome nowadays: music, movies, actors, haircuts, parties, mobile phones, friends, outfits. My youngest son uses it all the time. He comes home from school - ‘Awesome’. He plays soccer out in the back yard - ‘Awesome’. The next-door neighbour invites him to come and play - ‘Awesome’. We have dessert after dinner - ‘Awesome’.

Of course, none of these are really awesome. They’re good or maybe very good, but they’re not awesome.

It’s hard to even say what awesome means nowadays because even our similes for it have been overused. Incredible, wonderful, amazing, brilliant. We’re so prone to over-exaggeration that we now have no words for when something really is incredible, wonderful, amazing, brilliant - or awesome.

I think when we’re confronted with true awesomeness, we don’t even say awesome. We don’t speak. We don’t even think. We are lost in the wonder of something beyond ourselves.

A newborn baby - awesome. This world - awesome. Sacrificial love - awesome. An all-powerful, all-loving God - awesome. A fully divine, fully human Christ - awesome.

We may use the word a lot, but I don’t think we’re that great at recognising true awesomeness. Maybe we need to stop saying it and start seeing it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Funerals are not a celebration

There's been a bit of coverage in the media lately about secular songs being played at funerals. 

The guidelines for Catholic funerals state they should not include secular songs, as they are not meant to be a celebraton of a person's life, but a reflection on our Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I agree that funerals should focus on Christ. And if people don't get reminded of eternal life at funerals, some people may never have to think of eternal life at all. Plus, the Mass is probably not the best place to play your favourite footy song. Much as I would love to hear Bon Jovi songs at my funeral, I don't know that it would really suit a funeral Mass. (Actually, I just realised I wouldn't actually be hearing the songs as I'd be dead.) Okay, much as I would like to torture people by making them listening to Bon Jovi songs even after I'm dead...

Yet at the same time, even though the Catholic Church says funerals should not be a celebration of a person's life, people do usually go to a funeral usually to remember a person. And one way of doing that is by playing certain songs. It seems a bit sad that people may hear songs at a funeral that mean nothing in term of the deceased's life. As Bishop Tomlinson says, a wake or family gathering outside the church may be a good place to have these types of things.However, a lot of people may only attend the funeral and not any informal gathering afterwards. It would be nice to think that there is something there to help them remember the person.

Anyway, I'm still not decided whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. What does everyone else think?

Here are some of the recent articles on the Catholic Church's stance on funerals:

Funerals Should Not be Celebrations - 3AW
Chrch Drops Ball of Funerals - Geelong Advertiser
Funerals No Longer a Celebration of Life in Catholic Church - PM
Funeral March: the day the music died - ABC

Factory Farming

Today, I came across an interesting article The Christian Post by Jonathan Merritt on faith and factory farming.

Faith and Factory Farming

I agree with Jonathan that being a Christian does not mean we should not eating meat, but it should make us think about our treatment of the animals we do eat. We should also think about the impact of factory farming on the local people and environment.

It's probably impossible to avoid factory farmed meat altogether. Yet we should think about where our meat comes from and how the animals are treated beforehand. We also need to think about what is happening to our meat before we eat it. Nowadays, the drive for increased profits, along with genetic engineering, means that factory farms can modify animals so that the profits they receive are even greater. Some animals bear little resemblance to their original forms.

For the producers of meat, profit often matters more than what is good for the animals or what even is good for humans.And that's one of the reasons why I think Christians need to care about factory farming. Because Christians know that there are more important things to worry about than profits.

I also believe there is a spiritual dimension to the food we eat. It comes from God and has a touch of the divine. Yet the more we modify our food, and the more we raise livestock in conditions that are far from natural, the more we lose that trace of the divine.

I don't think we can avoid factory farming altogether. We need to feed people and sometimes factory farming is the most efficient way. Yet I certainly think we should think about how our meat is produced and try to go for the better, more humane, more natural options as much as possible.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Body Corporate

Body Corporate is a recent Four Corners program that describes the impact of patented genes by corporations.

When companies patent isolated genes, medical tests are much more expensive than they otherwise would be. Furthermore, scientific research is often held back, due to the huge sums involved in working with patented genes.

This is just ridiculous. The drive for profit impacts so many areas of our life. But when it stops people getting the best healthcare they can, or makes medical tests extremely expensive or stops people from doing medical research, then something is horribly wrong.

In the documentary, it was pointed out by some people that, unless people knew they could make a profit out of it, medical research wouldn’t continue at all. Now I can be quite cynical at times. But I do have enough faith left in humanity to believe that some of the people conducting medical research out there aren’t actually doing it solely to make a profit. They’re doing it because they want to make a difference. They want to help people.

And if medical research is going down the way of ‘making profits’ maybe that’s because we’ve let profit-making invade every area of our life. And making if we stopped allowing corporations to make a profit off anything and everything, people would be a lot freer just to get out there and help people.

The documentary is still available on ABC iView and can be found here:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Catch the Fire Ministry Disappointed with Election Result

A recent post on the Catch The Fire Ministries website, by Pastor Daniel, shows his deep disappointment at the re-election of the Labor government. His main reason for disappointment seems to be that we now have two atheists running the country ( Julia Gillard and Bob Brown). I suppose it is this which makes him say it is a ‘very, very sad day’ for Australia and that we have put in place a ‘wicked government’.

Just because a leader is an atheist does not mean they are wicked. Or that they will run the country in a way that would be displeasing to God. The bible often talks about helping the poor and the needy. And unfortunately, sometimes it is the people who are not Christians who care more about the poor and the needy than the Christians do. I’m not saying this is the case with Julia Gillard and Bob Brown as opposed to Tony Abbott. But it is sometimes the case. It is also unfortunately the case that the Liberal Party often seems to care more for business and the economy than they do for people. And as Pastor Daniel points out, people on both sides of politics have a belief in God. So I’m definitely not convinced that a Labor government is necessarily ‘wicked’ or a ‘sad day’ at all.

It appears that Pastor Daniel had a dream, which he believed came from the Lord. In the dream, Julia Gillard conceded defeat. He apologises for the dream and says he must have been mistaken. No doubt if Julia Gillard had conceded defeat, he would have been certain that God was speaking to him. One problem with prophecies and prayers is it’s so easy for people to say they are mistaken when they get it wrong. But if they get it right, there’s no doubt in their mind that God was talking to them. How many times has Pastor Daniel told his readers that he has proof that God speaks to him, because what he prophesied has come true?

And speaking of prayers, apparently the many prayers of people helped keep Labor as a minority government rather than a majority government. I wonder what part prayers played in the big swing towards the Greens.

But what I found most interesting about this post was that ALL of the comments were in agreement with Pastor Daniel. I find it hard to believe that no-one has disagreed with him. So I’m guessing they only allow comments they like onto the website.

I realise that this is a very critical post. And I don’t like being so critical. But articles like this really annoy me. Atheists can do good things. Christians can vote Labour - or even Greens. And not all prophecies or visions or dreams actually come from God. And just because we think that a certain thing can happen in an election doesn’t mean that God is going to agree with us and answer our prayers.

Here’s a bit of shocking news for them. Some people were praying for Liberal to be defeated! Some were even praying for a swing to the Greens! Maybe God was answering those prayers instead.

Spirit of Australia: Religion in Citizenship and National Life (ATF Science and Theology) (ATF Series) (Bk. 1)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mad Monks

At the beginning of this year, I wrote an assignment about the early monks. I hadn’t really learnt too much about the early monks before. And I have to tell you, my first impression was that they were all completely mad!

These are not just people who left some of the pleasures of life for a while. Not only did many of them live alone for years, but they chose extreme self-deprivation. Going without food and sleep. Sometimes doing seemingly inexplicable things like standing on top of columns or spending months in a mosquito-infested swamp. Their aim was to forego all fleshly desires. The more they suffered, the more they believed they pleased God.

I think the reason why those monks seem so mad is because they have a completely opposite worldview to people who live today. Nowadays, everyone seems to be telling us that we should be comfortable and happy. Sadly, it’s sometimes even the churches are spreading this messages. Instead of seeing sacrifice as something we do for God, many churches tell us that God wants to make all of our prayers/dreams/wishes come true. I’ve even heard it said that, if we are suffering, it may be because we have sin in our life or we’re not praying enough or we don’t have enough faith.

You would almost think that the religion of the early monks was an entirely different religion from the Christianity practised in the 21st century.

But maybe we’re the ones that are mad. Maybe we’re mad for thinking that our one aim in life should be for comfort and happiness. Maybe we’re mad for thinking that we can get (and should strive to get) everything we want. Maybe we’re mad for believing that Christianity is a religion where we receive, rather than one where we give up.

I got a letter from my bank today. It very nicely informed me that I don’t need to wait for anything I want. All I need to do is apply for a loan. It didn’t really explain to me what exactly is wrong with waiting until I have the money. I guess that’s a question we’re not supposed to ask. If you want something, you get it. Now. End of story. Who would wait when you don’t have to? In fact, trying to convince someone that waiting for something is actually good can sometimes feel like a losing battle.

I still think those early monks were mad. But I think they have something valuable to teach us. Trying to live like they did would be almost impossible for most normal human beings. But maybe if we learnt to live a little bit more like them, learnt not to be so concerned about our own happiness and comfort, look to deprive ourselves just a little bit, learned that Christianity is about sacrifice and not just blessings, we and the world would be a much better place.

Maybe the monks were mad. But maybe we could all do with a little bit of that same madness.

Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church (History Lives series)    Ordinary People As Monks & Mystics: Lifestyles for Spiritual Wholeness    The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks (Penguin Classics)

Let's try again

I keep leaving this blog and then returning it. Although I always have good intentions, life gets in the way. I get busy and my blog suffers.

I have decided to try posting more frequently again. Part of this will be posting shorter posts, sometimes that may only have one or two paragraphs or a link to something else, instead of writing longer posts all the time. Although hopefully writing the shorter posts will motivate me to write more longer ones as well.

Anyway, this is my hope. Whether it actually happens remains to be seen. I know this is generally the first thing to slide when I start getting busy.

Anyway, we'll see how I go.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Stranded on a desert island

Tonight at dinner, I asked my two boys what they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. I expected them to say something like playstations or TVs or chocolates or footballs or books. But when they replied, I discovered that I have the two most wonderful boys in the world (although I may be slightly biased).

My youngest son said that he would take me. I was really touched by this, not only because I was his first choice, but also because despite all the material things he could have chosen, he wanted love instead.

Our family doesn’t have a lot of money. And there are times when I look at the catalogues and think of all the things I wish I could buy my children. And I know there are times when they wish we could afford a lot more than we can. It can be hard living in a world that constantly tells you that you need this toy and that game and this food and those clothes, when you can’t really afford to get any of it. But in the end, I wonder how much it really matters. Because when given a choice of anything, most people would prefer to have love. It is so much more important than material items. And I am so glad my son recognised that.

As for my eldest son, he chose the smart answer. He told me he would take a ship so that he could get off the island. Love is wonderful and important. But I have to give credit to my son for thinking about the future!

As for my answer? I’m almost ashamed to say it now. What I wanted to take on my desert island, the very first thing I thought of -- it was my iPod. It didn’t even exist 10 years ago. Now I can’t bear the thought of any length of time without it. Okay, if I had really thought about it, instead of just saying the first thing that popped into my head, I would have chosen my children. I’d much rather have them than my iPod any day. But it’s pretty sad that I wanted my iPod on a desert island. In fact, I’m still having trouble thinking of how exactly I would survive on a desert island without my iPod - or diet coke for that moment.

In a way, we are all stranded on an island. It’s an island floating in space. As much smarter people than me have pointed out, this earth is all we have. We don’t have anywhere else to go.

And we need to ask what it is we really want while we’re here? Are we going to use up the earth’s resources making things like diet coke and iPods? Treat them as our main priority. Or are we going to recognise that love (including love for others and love for the planet) is far more important than material things? We don’t have a ship that can take us to another place. But maybe we should start realising that we need things that can guarantee our future.

I sometimes get pretty depressed about where the world is heading. But as the boys and I gave our answers around the dinner table tonight, I felt a glimmer of hope. It was obvious that the younger generation has a far better idea of what’s important than I do.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beauty Queen

I learnt when I was 17 that love was meant for beauty queens. And when I was 37, I learnt that I wasn’t a beauty queen because I didn’t have silky, shiny hair and pearly white teeth and full pouty lips and curly defined lashes and flawless skin. The good news was I could become a beauty queen if only I bought the right products. I guess if I couldn’t afford to buy the right products, I would just have to continue being ugly - and not as worthy.

I’m about to get quite personal here and share some thoughts that I’ve only recently admitted to myself. I feel less worthy because I’m not beautiful. When I talk to people (men and women) I sometimes get the feeling that they won’t want to know me because I’m not that beautiful or I don’t put enough effort into my appearance. When I compare myself to people who are more beautiful than me, I feel like I am worth less than they are and not nearly as interesting.

I shared this because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. And I don’t think it’s any surprise that I feel this way. Advertising agencies spend a lot of money trying to make me feel this way. Every time I turn on the TV, I’m bombarded with ads telling me that I can have silky, shiny hair and pearly white teeth, et cetera, et cetera. And the advertising agencies don’t just want to make you feel like you can have all these things. They want you to feel like you need to have all these things. No ad is going to come out and say you’re worth more if you’re beautiful. But the message is there nonetheless. Anyone who feels completely fine and worthy the way they are, and the way they look, is not going to spend a large amount on beauty products.

However, my feelings of worthlessness because of my looks got a lot worse when I joined the Pentecostal Church. On the face of it, this doesn’t appear to make much sense. Christian books, DVD, study groups, sermons and TV programs spend a lot of time telling woman that they are beautiful -- and that God thinks they are beautiful. So Christian women should think they’re beautiful, right? Well no. Because it’s still reinforcing the message that woman want to be beautiful. So if you’re not beautiful (even if God thinks you are) you feel sub-standard.

Christian marriage books (of which I read many before my divorce -- obviously they didn’t work) spend a lot of time telling women that men care about looks and they should put effort into their appearance. I was listening to a radio program where James Dobson was interviewing someone (sorry, I’ve forgotten his name) about how women should make the effort to look beautiful for their husbands. And ‘making the effort’ meant putting on make-up. James Dobson asked him whether women should wear make-up when they go to bed at night. I was relieved to hear the interviewee say no, but horrified at what came afterwards. James Dobson said that that really surprised him. The interviewee said that wearing make-up at night wasn’t good for the skin. In other words, the only reason why women shouldn’t be made up 24/7 is because it might make them look uglier in the long run.

Now I have nothing against women wanting to look nice for their husbands. And I think women like to make an effort sometimes, which often means putting on make-up. But I have a real problem with a world where women are expected to wear make-up. Because what make-up really is is a mask. It’s hiding the way we really look under a new improved version. And from a Christian perspective, it’s basically saying well the way God made me isn’t good enough. I need to look better.

One thing that makes this worse is that we are constantly seeing images of beautiful women. One hundred years ago, women were thought beautiful who wouldn’t even get a second glance now. I went to high school with a girl that everyone thought was beautiful. I think she’d be overlooked in a high school now. And I don’t think it’s because of fashions changing. I think it’s because our standards are so much higher. When just about every single woman we see in the media is made up to look their very best, we start to think that’s what beautiful is. And anything less than that isn’t good enough.

Not only that but we’re losing our appreciation of natural beauty. The type of beauty that can be found in very ordinary faces. We don’t see it because we’re too busy comparing the faces we see in real life with the made-up, altered faces we see on our TV screen. And we’re too busy hiding our natural beauty beneath a fortune of beauty products that the ads tell us we need to be beauty queens.

We’re also busy hiding imperfections. Beauty products are only part of it. There’s also cosmetic surgery. And if there is any imperfection on your body anywhere at all, there’s something you can do to get rid of it. If we continue to simply hide or remove imperfections, will we eventually reach the stage where any imperfection at all is automatically seen as devaluing? Will a woman’s worth be automatically rejected because she has a big nose?

About three years ago, my sons were talking about beautiful women. I can’t remember how they got onto the subject. At this stage, they were five and seven, which seems a strange age to be talking about beauty. But anyway, one of them (I think it was my youngest) said that the most beautiful woman at our church was the pastor’s wife. I don’t want to go into all the ways the pastor’s wife fails to live up to the ‘magazine ideal’ because that would be contributing to the problem. But let’s just say she’s not conventionally beautiful. But yet to my son, she was the most beautiful woman in church.

Last year, we were watching TV and some ad came on for a skin moisturiser. My son said to me “You should get that.” I felt like crying. Not because there was the insinuation there that I need a beauty product to be beautiful, but because his idea of beauty had changed. The media and the advertisements had finally influenced him.

I wonder what he’ll think of as beautiful in another ten years time. Will he have so many images of beautiful woman in his head that no-one in real life can compare? Will he fail to appreciate natural, ordinary beauty? Will he only look at women whose imperfections are hidden or corrected? Will he think his girlfriend isn’t making an effort if she doesn’t wear make-up? Will he think a woman’s worth is dependent on her beauty?

I hope not. And I like to think that I may influence the way both my sons see beauty. I hope that they can learn that someone doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. And that a woman’s appearance is not the only thing that’s important. I hope they can appreciate and recognise the beauty in a person’s soul.

But then I can’t expect the media not to affect them at all. I know how much it has affected me.
The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Trinity

To be honest, the Trinity is not something I’ve thought a lot about. Making the sign of the cross is about as Trinitarian as my thinking gets. It’s not that I had a problem with the Trinity. I think I just put it in the too hard basket. The Trinity is a hard concept to get your head around. It’s easy to say I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the one Godhead. It’s a bit harder to understand how that actually works or what it means.

And I think, honestly, how it ‘works’ may almost be a bit beyond us. We’re too likely to think of it in human terms. In ‘The Shack’, the members of the Trinity were presented as three different characters, in human form. It was one of the reasons why I didn’t like ‘The Shack’. Although we can think of Jesus as a human, the Father and the Holy Spirit are not. We can’t imagine three different human people sitting up in Heaven and having tea together. Somehow one, but somehow different. And yet if we do not think of them in human terms, how do we think of them?

I like to visualise things. I also like to use metaphors. But when it comes to God, our imagery and metaphors will never be completely adequate. We are using earthly concepts to describe Heavenly realities. That’s a bit like trying to describe colours to someone who has been blind from birth. Nothing on earth, nothing in our understanding, can fully explain God.

But when it comes to the Trinity, I can’t even think of a metaphor. I know that people in the past have used things from earth to try and describe the Trinity. St Patrick’s three-leaf clover for example or Augustine’s idea of the human mind as the Trinity, divided into memory, intellect and will. However, these metaphors don’t really get me any closer to understanding it. They can point towards the reality, but they don’t really explain it in any meaningful way.

One approach that does help me get a little bit closer to appreciating the Trinity is to split it up into three distinct persons and imagine what they would be like in isolation, separated from the Trinity. God the Father may be seen as a very distant God, unconcerned with the world. Jesus may be seen simply as a prophet, providing us with a good moral example. The Holy Spirit may be seen as a warm, fuzzy spirituality and that’s about it.

But it is when we see all three as part of the one Godhead that we can better appreciate who God is. Father, Son and Holy Spirit do not stand alone, even though we might think of them occasionally as if they did. God the Father is not just an absent God, but he sent his Son to reconcile us to Him and he sends the Holy Spirit to work in the world today. Jesus was not just a prophet, but God, sent by the Father to redeem us. The Holy Spirit is not just a disconnected spirituality, but a real person, sent by the Father and the Son to accomplish their purposes.

I still cannot visualise it. I still can’t point to anything in the world and say the Trinity is like that. But to think about how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all part of the one Godhead, relating to each other and connected to each other, helps me better appreciate each one. It is also by reflecting on all three persons of the Trinity that I better appreciate who God is, what He has done and what He is doing.

(Image details: Holy Trinity. The Icon from the Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe from the village of Borodava near Ferapontov Monastery. 16th century. From Wikimedia Commons.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I’m back again. It seems my big break may not be such of a big break after all.

I have just spent the last two days at a residential school for my Introduction to Theology unit. During that residential, we were asked to spend 20 minutes reflecting on a passage in Migliore’s Faith Seeking Understanding. Then we had to share our reflections with the group. People seemed to like what I shared, so my first reason for returning to this blog is to post that reflection on here.

Afterwards, the lecturer mentioned that doing reflections like this can be very beneficial. It helps us to see what we react against and question why we react in that way. I reacted against a few things during the residential. So I thought it would be good for me to spend some time writing and reflecting about those things. It would also be useful to use my blog more to write about my learning, the readings and any essays. One of the reasons I decided to stop writing the blog was because I decided I didn’t have the time with all the uni work I have to do. But my blog can help me in my university studies.

Anyway, here is the reflection. I only had 20 minutes, and that was writing by hand. So it’s not particularly well structured or written. But I have kept it exactly as I originally wrote it, rather than changing it.

Sometimes Christianity can be a bit like sitting in a cupboard saying God make me brighter. It is better to be a flickering flame out in the world, sharing my light, than a very bright torch, sitting in a cupboard where no-one benefits from the light.

To live an individualistic faith, where we are only concerned about what God is doing for me and what God means to me is to never really change. We are by nature selfish people. Yet we are also unfulfilled people. There is a yearning inside us that tells us there should be something more.

But it is in losing ourselves that we truly do find ourselves. When we help others, we often forget about our own worries. To join with people for a greater cause not only reminds us of how insignificant our own problems may actually be, but it takes us beyond them. We see them from a different perspective.

Today’s world often tells us that we find happiness by concentrating on our needs, our desires, our wants. Maybe it can give us a shallow temporary happiness, but never true joy. Because true joy comes not from focusing on ourselves, but on taking the focus off ourselves.

The most wonderful moments in life are not those when we were thinking about ourselves, but those when we forget about ourselves.

Although it’s not related to service, we may forget about ourselves in a piece of beautiful music, for example. Maybe Christianity, at its best, is when we lose ourselves in the beautiful music of God’s purposes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Looks like I'm not waiting until June to do a post after all. I couldn't let Good Friday go past without doing at least something.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break from this blog for a couple of months. I'm very busy with uni and there's a few other things going on. Hopefully I will return to posting in late May, early June, after things have settled down a bit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When Will It Stop Bleeding?

I don’t usually write much poetry. But very occasionally, I feel inspired to write some. This is what I wrote today. And I am going to be extremely brave and share it with you.

When will it stop bleeding?

A pain-filled room
littered with tears
and guilt-filled tissues
huddled in groups below each chair.
Misery loves company.

The women speak
with choking sobs
and folded arms
and hands that clench and fidget
and cover their faces,
to hide their shame.

Their words are not words
but poison-tipped daggers
piercing all who listen
to the womb.

Their right, they said.
A simple procedure.
No need to ruin your life.

Tell that to the women
who cry,
not silently, softly,
like a lady in mourning,
but loudly, angrily,
violently, uncontrollably.
The cries of a woman
who not only lost her child,
but could have saved it.

A tissue seems so inadequate.
Somebody pass her an exorcist.

When the stories are told
and the tears are shed
and the shame uncovered,
they will go home,

But their wounds will remain.
Not scars
for they never really heal,
but bleed afresh
with each new knock to their motherhood.

This is no fresh, bright red blood
But dark, clotted, almost brown blood.
(Is that a blood clot or my baby?)

These are the cries of woman with a choice,
unable to change their decision
once they made it.
(You live with it forever, you know.)

These are the cries of women with dead children,
of graves with no gravestones,
of grief with no sympathy,
of guilt with no understanding.

These are the cries of empowered women,
feeling helpless.

(Nurse, something is wrong.
I had a procedure.
I can’t stop bleeding.
There are so many blood clots.
And I think I saw my baby.)

(Nothing is wrong.
The baby is gone.
The bleeding is normal.
The blood clots are normal.
It will stop in about three weeks.)

(But Nurse, when will it stop bleeding.
When will it really stop bleeding?)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beautiful Letdown - Switchfoot

Time for me to share another song. This one isn't because I heard it and loved it, or because it ties into a special day, or because it's sung by Bon Jovi. I am sharing this song just because I wanted to listen to it. And so you get to listen to it as well.

Here are the lyrics:

"Beautiful Letdown"

It was a beautiful let down
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone unknown and hurt
It was a beautiful let down
The day I knew
That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in, fit in,
Until I found out
I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
But I don't belong

It was a beautiful let down
When you found me here
Yeah for once in a rare blue moon I see everything clear
I'll be a beautiful let down
That's what I'll forever be
And though it may cost my soul
I'll sing for free
We're still chasin our tails and the rising sun
And our dark water planet's
Still spinning in a race
Where no one wins and no one's one

I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I'm gonna set sight and set sail for the kingdom come
I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
But i don't belong
I don't belong here
I don't belong here
Kingdom come
Your kingdom come

Won't you let me down yeah
Let my foolish pride
Forever let me down

Easy living, not much like your name
Easy dying, you look just about the same
Won't you please take me off your list
Easy living please come on and let me down

We are a beautiful let down,
Painfully uncool,
The church of the dropouts
The losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools
Oh what a beautiful let down
Are we salt in the wound
Let us sing one true tune

I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I don't belong here
Feels like I don't belong here
Let me down
Let me down
Feels like I'm let down
Let me down.
Cuz I don't belong here
Won't you let me down?


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