From Advent to Adventure

It’s the second week of Advent and I’m not really feeling it.

Generally speaking, people slide easily into one of three distinct categories: (1) those who absolutely love Christmas; (2) those who find Christmas super stressful; and, (3) those who are indifferent to Christmas.

I love Jesus but I am planted firmly in the third camp.

So I scour the season, I scour Scripture, both for magic and for logic. Continue reading From Advent to Adventure

Misunderstood: artists, do-gooders and missionaries

The wrong question? As soon as the question escaped my lips I knew that I had become That Annoying Person Who Asks The Stupid Question That Misses The Point. My poorly articulated question spread across the auditorium like a bad taste on the palate. I was at the Justice Conference in Melbourne, and it was an “In conversation with…” session on the intersection of art and justice which ended up … Continue reading Misunderstood: artists, do-gooders and missionaries

How to grow ambition

I grew up with a lot of positive reinforcement and believing in Jesus has both shrunk and supersized that.

On the one hand, ambition can be a bad word because it implies arrogance. I have become less self-effacing, more confident, over the years, but I doubt anyone I know would describe me as ambitious.

There is still this idea that ambition is a cut-throat attitude, seeking to elevate yourself regardless of the cost to others.

Um … not me.

But y’know what, I am ambitious.

And I’m going to start owning that. Continue reading How to grow ambition

Don’t give up on perfection

I am not a perfectionist. Not in the traditional sense of the word – I decided a long time ago that it was too difficult and painful to live that way, that I wasn’t going to be needlessly harsh and demanding on myself, trying to get everything right down to a tee.

But I am, in my own way, a perfectionist. Deep down, I still believe in and long for perfection. Continue reading Don’t give up on perfection

Questions about relationships

Three thoughts chewed over with friends in the last month or so: Religion is a relationship: it’s not really about exactly what you do, but the relationship that those acts and activities somehow sustain and develop. Am I great company but a terrible friend? And what would make me a better friend? Why do we still have reservations about online dating? Given how technology has changed every other way … Continue reading Questions about relationships

Mission made possible

In honour of IJM Bolivia’s incredible month of July (4 convictions, a long-awaited arrest, 60 therapies completed, churches uniting for justice), our team went to see Tom Cruise hang off the side of a military plane, in a business suit, as it takes off into the chilly London air. During the week, our Field Office Director made a number of references to how our work … Continue reading Mission made possible

Stuff that doesn’t make sense

I count the days till I go home and they are too many and yet too few. I think of what happened to her and all my sorrow and outrage leak out again. I speak at length with a friend and have the sensation of being simultaneously trusted and betrayed. I speak briefly with another friend and feel the last month of intimacy chill within a week into a relational … Continue reading Stuff that doesn’t make sense

Trite but true: make this your New Year’s resolution

  First day back at work. It’s cold and not a bit dreary in La Paz. I haven’t had coffee. Three mugs of tea can’t wake me up. Ten-minute siesta on my desk isn’t doing it for me. Streaming Bon Iver and feeling sad. Did I like my job before the holidays? I’m sure I did – but today I’m sure not feeling it. I’m … Continue reading Trite but true: make this your New Year’s resolution