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About my blog

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Why the name ‘reform please’? It’s a bit of a play on the whole ‘reformation’ idea - not the middle ages reformation, the other one,  1500 years before Luther got all het up. 

This first 'reformation' was comprehensive. It firstly re-formed people. Then it re-formed society, then culture and then the known world. This first reformation was called the early church.

The global change cascading from 12 once scared, once proud and once ignorant blokes was powerfully pervasive - powerful enough to re-appear even here on a web page: resonating with a God-vibe 2000 years later in the land down under. 

This re-formation - this change-movement - called ’the church' had no colleges, no seminaries, no strategic plans, no motivational speakers and no tele-evangalists (thank God). In the first 300 years it had no bloody wars nor raised swords ‘for god’. It had no bolshey catholic-turned-lutheran priests or catholic-turned-protestant lawyers as champions. It had no champions but one. 

The one who would be almost universally recognised by two powerful emblems burnt not onto a raised battle-banner but onto the heart - a Roman cross bloodied by the God who bleeds and a Judean tomb emptied by the God-man who won't be contained.

This first re-formation took the emptiness of our sweating, burning, working, suffering life-ing…and comprehensively changed it. 

It took the incoherences of sores, fractures, blindnesses, death... and restored. It took the scattered parts, the dying parts of sin-riddled life and re-birthed them. It took existence and formed it anew: truly, comprehensively, re-Formed it by offering the oneness-ing life of God in the death of God. This re-Forming - this drastic and irreversible restoration of life - is what this poor attempt at a website is all about.

Some of what I write is sometimes real personal. I feel that is important if I am to be genuine (the full disclosure thing again). Some, I will tell you now, is probably flat out wrong. I am sorry. But all of it is from the heart. 

I think. 

The nature of me is the nature of this website which is the nature of a lumber jack (no singing please), a painter (taubmans type), a physics student, a lumber jack again, a council worker (handyman-ing picnic benches were/are my specialty), an Army Officer Cadet, an Army Officer, a husband, a very bad pilot trainee, a very good pilot trainee, an Army Helicopter Pilot, a youth worker, an under grad / post grad literature student, a rescue pilot, a military contract pilot, a rescue pilot (again) and a church plant planter (again). 

The nature of this website is also the nature of my friends and acquaintances which is the nature of ochre, salt of the earth, labourers, missionaries, farmers, tradesman, reverends, physicists, literary professors, footy players, military leaders, military followers, troubled youth, content youth, arrogant youth, helicopter instructors, helicopter students, Arabs, Israelis, Germans, patients, victims, the wounded, the lost, the sick, the rescued and...

IMG 8181Well, you get the idea... 

The nature of this website is also the nature of my family which is the nature of german and english immigrants - my mum german and my dad english - with their parents, my grandparents, enemies in the second world war. The nature of this website is the nature of a protestant marrying a catholic, a baptist being a presbyterian and a presby-baptist being a pentecostal. It is the nature of family teachers, welders, social workers, pastors, pastorettes, nurses, and of special-needs orphans. 

If my life was a dog I'd be a 'bitsa': a bit of this, a bit of that. I'd be mongrel. That means this website is also a bitsa, a bit of prose, a bit of poetry, a bit of polemics, a bit of irenics, a bit of orchre a bit of academia

Which leads me back to the concept of 'reformation'. For 'bits' to unite and cohere they need form. That's not negotiable in nature and not negotiable in existence. In ancient times people believed there were five elements: earth, wind, fire, water and the fifth element - the quint-essence - that bound all the others together. There is a 'quint’ or an ‘aether’ in the essence of my life that unites all the 'bits': it is the presence and the life of the tomb-busting Jesus Christ. From lumber jack to military pilot, German mum to English dad, labourer to academic, there is one burning heart language, feeling and expression that forms, re-forms, the parts into one great unified diversity. 

I really, really don't want to say this stuff in a mystical-religious way.  I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but it's there, in all the bits, as real as the eyes reading this text: the presence of the super being known as God who - unlike any other religious hero - took on DNA and then bled it into the wood of a cross.

I honestly can't remember a time since I was first introduced personally to this Jesus in a Zambian boarding school, that I have not qualitatively felt his personhood with me - and his call to me. In some tight flying situations where my german grandfather’s - my Opa’s - prayer was answered over and over again  (‘and underneath are the everlasting arms’) and in the beauty of relationship with a woman whom I love deeply (‘that each year their love will increase’)

He's been there in the radical, crazy call to stop flying and start pastoring youth -  in a completely different, 'un-comfort zone' experience. In the wonder of being a dad to three girls who all bear the beauty of their mum - both skin and soul deep legacies from her. Seeing my own failings and gruffness and selfishness and yet seeing his refining work in me and them. The redeeming, refining, personal constant has always been His precious presence. 

This of course is hardly a suprise, or shouldn’t be: the surprise that Christ can so infuse and bind so many disparate elements, that he could create a life-sermon of unity in personal diversity for those who look on. That’s exactly what he did with a disparate bunch of people in the first re-form-ation 2000 years ago. Slaves and Masters, women and men, rich man and poor man, solider and slave, free man and prisoner, races of all description, all unified and bound in the oneness of the God man and the the heroics of the cross. In fact so powerful was this reformation, this re-Forming, a whole empire was radically changed without a sword or spear ever being raised.

I would like some of that action in my life. Maybe writing about it will help...

 © pastoringpilot@reformplease.com