Monday, January 31, 2011

Why I have been scarce lately

Photo-0122 Once upon a time, a few short weeks ago, I was swimming along, minding my own business…



…when I met another Fish.

Photo-0123 Her name was Dori, and yes she is a natural blue.




So over the weekend we sort of officially hooked up.


I like fishing.  Sometimes you get some interesting catches.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Conversion of St Paul

We started the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by examining the Confession of St Peter, who was one of Jesus' strongest supporters.

But of course no story of Unity, or our faith, would be complete without mentioning one of his biggest detractors; Saul of Tarsus.

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything
. Acts 9 : 3-9

Peter was a simple fisherman.  Paul was an educated man.
Peter was a disciple.  Paul hunted disciples.
Peter spent three years with Jesus.  Paul never met him in the flesh.

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.– Acts 9:13-19

Jesus called them both to share the message, even if he had to strike Paul blind for three days to get him on board.

Whoever we are;  whatever we have done; HE has a use and a plan for us.  We just need to be open to it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Cloister Walk – Kathleen Norris


This is a strange and beautiful book. Part memoir, part meditation, it is a remarkable piece of writing… If read with humility and attention, Kathleen Norris’s book becomes lectio divina, or holy reading.”
- The Boston Globe

“It’s like Eat, Pray, Love; only with a point.”
- Sharkbait

I recently got my hands on this book through bookcrossing.  Which is to say I got it a while ago, but only actually read it recently.

How to describe it?

It is a mixture of reminiscence by Norris of her times spent at Benedictine cloisters, essays on religious figures, and meditations on spirituality and monastic life.  It is laid out in a series of short essay-style chapters, with each one standing on it's own, but also being part of the whole. 

I have always been fascinated by the contemplative and community life, particularly that of Benedictines.  I loved the book, and really enjoyed grappling with some of the chapters.  I think I am going to have to give this one a re-read or two before letting it free.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Constant Prayer

 In Constant Prayer explores the ancient practice of fixed-hour prayer, a structure for our lives where we can live in continuous awareness of God’s presence and reality. This classic discipline of praying at fixed times during the day and night has transformed the lives of millions around the world. Learn what the apostle Paul meant when he encouraged the Thessalonian church to "pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."in constant prayer

I don't know exactly what I was expecting with this book, and I am still not sure what I got exactly either.

The book examines the idea of regular daily offices, particularly those of Morning and Evening Prayer. I got the book because I am interested in using the daily offices to deepen my prayer life, and wanted to get some ideas and insights.

Perhaps the problem was that for ME there was nothing new in the book. Chapter one = Prayer is good, daily offices is double good.
The rest of the chapters, same story. So perhaps I was not the target market here, because I was hoping for a little more meat.

Not a bad book though, and very well written. The author is humorous and entertaining. It also includes a very useful appendix section, including study questions, and a sample of a daily office designed by the author.

I am just not sure I really needed the whole of the book to tell me what could have been reduced and condensed into something a lot shorter.

But buy it and see, it might be what you need.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

GOD loves his Church.  Heaven alone knows why, but He sure does.
Sadly, we in the Church seem less inclined to love each other, or ourselves.

Ever since 1908, The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (technically an octave of 8 days) has been observed between The Confession of St Peter and The Conversion of St 
Book-ended between two of the most faithful saints of the Bible, we find a time to remind ourself as the Church that Christ loved us, and wanted us to be united. 

Whatever divides us, whatever differences we have, yesterday reminded us that we are united by one common confession.  And next week, 25 January (St Paul’s day) will remind us that we don’t get to pick and choose who we serve when Christ calls us.

So for now, I am going to be Faithful In Serving Him by praying for unity in his Church.

Join me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Confession of St Peter

Christ_Handing_the_Keys_to_St._Peter_by_Pietro_Perugino 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. –
Matthew 16:13-20

Let’s take a closer look at that picture, shall we?


Sometimes when we are familiar with a bible passage, or story, we lose sight of the important parts.  So we need to take a closer look to find details we may have overlooked.

We remember that Jesus “gave Peter the Keys of Heaven”.  But what was the really important part of this section?


V16 - “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Why is that important? 

Because until that moment, nobody had ever said it before.  What we have here, is the first credo, or creedal statement made in the Christian Church.    Before we had the Nicene Creed, or the Apostles Creed, or the Baptism Creed; we had Peter, the fisherman, saying “You are the messiah, the Son of the living God.”

How. Awesome. Is. That????

Out of that one statement, it became necessary to amplify who Jesus was, and how he fitted into the world.  Many creeds were drawn up, and attempts were made to understand the world. 

But at the end of the day, doesn’t our entire faith come down to our accepting this basic truth about Him?

He was the messiah (Christ, Saviour)
He was the Son of God.

On 18 January, we commemorate a very FISHy fellow.  With the Feast of the Confession of St Peter

Friday, January 14, 2011

Musical FISH

As you may have noticed, I have chosen my One Word for 2011 as being FISH. (Faithful In Serving Him)

Well, I have been thinking a lot about what that means lately.  I think part of being Faithful, and looking to Serve, is choosing to do the right things.  Choosing to do what Serves Him, rather than what I want.

Let me give you an example.


children-musical-instrument-cartoon-fish-pull-xylophone-toy-orange-xs0009080523c I love music. 
I am not a very musical fish.

But such was not always the case.  Once upon a time, when I was very young and still cute, I used to sing like an Angel-fish.  I had a beautiful voice.  However since then, my voice has abandoned me, and despite all my best efforts, I have never managed to teach myself to play any musical instruments.

GoldFishGtrI can tap out a few tunes on the piano, and I have tried on about 20 or 30 occasions to learn how to play the guitar. 


Because chicks dig a fish with a guitar, don’t they?

But mostly I fail.

I have just never been very musical.


I am also not very good at leading worship.  I have tried a couple of times, and it just never works.  It feels awkward, and not really very successful.  I know God is in control, and it is not about me, but…

It doesn’t work.

I am however, very good at planning and presenting lessons, and designing Bible studies.  I can spend hours in preparation for a fifteen minute session, or do an hour impromptu lesson with no fear or nervousness, and people will say it really helped them to learn more about God.

I think if I spent an hour a day playing the guitar for the next year, I could probably get quite good at it.  Possibly even better than some of the worship leaders I have heard.  I probably could invest that time into improving my musical abilities.

But it won’t help me to become a better worship leader, I don’t think.  I know worship leaders who can use their gift to bring people right into the presence of God.  That is what they do with their gift.  I don’t think he has called me to do that. 

Let us say my musical ability is a 3 right now. 
In a year I could make it a 6.

If my lesson planning is a 5, then with an hour a day, I could make it an 8 by the end of the year.

I think God would rather I improved myself in the areas where he wants to use me, rather than in the areas that are just about making myself look/feel cooler.  I could make myself into a
guitar-playing fish, but a real FISH would use the time to equip himself for service.

And that what being a FISH is all about.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I hate it when she’s right

3288740726_7a2e897ea4 “One day, there's going to be a lot of people kept outside the gates of heaven... And those inside of the gates will be the reason for it. I think most of the crying that will take place from the believers on that day will be out of shame.” 
I “borrowed” this quote from my writing buddy StillDormant.  <’)))><
I had planned a detailed post about it, but now that I have posted it it seems to speak for itself.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bloggers Prayer

I’m an Upside Down Blogger

I found this prayer over at A Holy Experience

Go read it now.

It might just change the way you blog.

That is all

Monday, January 10, 2011

Faithful FISH

I chose for my One Word this year, the word FISH. 

Faithful In Serving Him


As I spend this year trying to learn how to be more FISHy in my life, I decided that one way would be to learn from great FISH of the past.  Men and Women who have been BIG FISH
(Believers In God – Faithful In Serving Him)

So I will be following the lectionary of Saints Days this year, and picking out a few to honour.  I hope you won’t be too bored, as we try to learn the answer to the age old question…

What goes well with FISH?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I just want to be a FISH

I have never been one for New Years Resolutions.  If something is worth doing, there’s no reason to wait until an arbitrary date on the calendar.  I just do it. (Or don’t )

Apparently Alece over at Grit and Glory feels the same way.  She has a project called….

Go over here and learn more.

So I am choosing my One Word for 2011, and I am going to cheat. (Twice)

The word is….


  • Cheat 1 : FISH is short for Faithful In Serving HIM.  So it is actually 4 words.
  • Cheat 2 : Since it is the reason I call myself Sharkbait, I suppose it has been my theme for a long time.

But I don’t really feel like I got it right yet.  So I will keep trying;  Keep striving; Keep aiming to be

Faithful In Serving Him.

What about you?  What’s your One Word for 2011?