‘Pedalling’ the Gospel

A friend of mine won’t be with me when I attend our Sunday service tomorrow. It’s not that he doesn’t have a spiritual hunger, it’s just that he’ll be ‘enjoying community’ with a bunch of other cyclists on his regular Sunday morning ride. This morning we sat around at a coffee shop and chatted for quite some time, and it was him that started a conversation about the Bible.

I’ve been riding with him and a bunch of other cyclists every Saturday morning for a few years now. We ride about 40 km and then sit around eating choc-chip muffins and raisin toast as we sip long blacks, flat whites and cappucinos. I’m one of only two Christians in the group. Everyone knows what I’m about but I’m still just one of the guys. I love being with this bunch. There is a natural friendship among the participants. There is an openess with each other. There is a real bond that most churches would do well to take onboard.

This friend has a few ideas about the Bible. He can see stuff that it talks about starting to happen in our world. He thinks that Mormons talk a lot of rubbish. He has a friend that ‘reads the Bible a lot.’ He is a unique kind of guy and while I’m praying that he’ll meet Jesus, I’d hate to see him forced into someone else’s idea of what a Christian should be.

I hope you’ll pray for me as I continue to build friendships within this group. I don’t want to build friendships so that I can peddle (excuse the pun) my message. I want to build friendships because these are good people that I want to know better and I want to introduce them to Jesus.

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I Need the Wild Truth

T-Bone Burnett is a name that you might never have heard before. He’s a muso and music producer.

For anyone who has known anything about ‘Christian Music’ for a while it may interest you to know that he is married to Sam Phillips – formerly known as Leslie Phillips.

T-Bone Burnett is a well respected professional who has toured in Bob Dylan’s band and produced music for Counting Crows, The Wallflowers, BoDeans, Los Lobos, Bruce Cockburn and others. He is also a Christian. However he doesn’t serve up the usual themes in his music. He releases his music to a secular audience and tackles a huge range of ideas.

I like his music and I like his attitude. His lyrics make me think. He is quoted as saying, “You can sing about the Light, or you can sing about what you see because of the Light. I prefer the latter.”

Maybe we should take a leaf out of his book and make sure that everything we do and say is ‘about what we see because of the Light.’

Here are the lyrics to just one of his songs. It’s not his best or most insightful, but trying to pick which song that would be is a task beyond me.

The Wild Truth

from The Talking Animals

you never said it was a bed of roses

but you never said it was a bed of nails

you never told me ’bout the rubber hoses

or how unsteady were the justice scales

i need the wild truth

on the street there are a billion people

they got no love, they got no hope

they got no youth, they got no beauty

they’re looking backwards through a telescope

they need the wild truth

(Spoken)

whatever happened to the man walking down the street

with his hands in his pockets whistling a tune?

science fiction and nostalgia have become the same thing

i don’t know how to make any choices anymore i mean,

who do i vote for? i get the feeling that as soon as

something appears in the paper it ceases to be true

i have to meet the man who can crack this world of justice

like a safe. someone with the courage to allow room for

good things to run wild

into the wild truth

we don’t need no voodoo stories

from no magic president

who tries to make a dream a fait accompli

by using phantoms for his evidence

we need the wild truth

i tell a hundred thousand lies that twist me

into the noise where i hide my sin

my shame and scandal pull me down and kiss me

i can’t live a life that might have been

i need the wild truth

(Spoken)

are we supposed to take all this greed and fear and hatred

seriously? it’s like watching dust settle it never changes

it’s too consistent

mercy is not consistent it’s like the wind

it goes where it will. mercy is comic, and its the only

thing worth taking seriously

i need the wild truth

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God is Cool Again

Hey guess what. We can all walk around with our heads held high.

news.com.au is asking the question Has Guy made God cool Again?

I hang onto a lot of my clothes because I’m sure they’ll come back into fashion sooner or later, and now I’m glad I stayed connected with God because he’s cool again too. (Please excuse me, my cynicism is showing.)

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Yearning for India

It doesn’t take much to have me yearning for India. I only spent a couple of weeks there earlier this year but hamo’s post about eating curry had me thinking of my journey yet again.

We didn’t eat much curry there …. only curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. (You really ought to try a big dish of curried potatoes for breakfast sometime.) I wasn’t really a big curry eater before but since the trip I regularly suffer withdrawals.

The trip was an opportunity to export the ‘Bike for Bibles’ programme to the north west region of India. We worked alongside The Bible Society of India to create an even that was specifically Indian in nature. The last thing we wanted was to try to place somhing culturally relevant to Australia into India. That would serve no one.

I cycled from Agra to Delhi over several days and then cycled around Delhi for three days visiting a range of Christian churches. It was a stunning trip which was all videoed by a good friend. I’ll have to tell you some more about the trip sometime.

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And the Winner is ….. Guy

Well, it’s over. Our ‘Australian Idol’ is Guy Sebastion.

As I commented on Darren’s Blog, I hope that Guy is able to make the sort of music that he feels God wants him to. I would hate to see him pump out ‘Christian’ music just because it’s what people expect. He would probably have a greater opportunity to share his faith if he remained in the secular sphere. I hope he does.

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