Celestine Insights

I am about half way thru the Celestine Prophecy, a book loaned to me by a friend who has recently read it and found it inspiring and helpful. (BTW – Thanks to those who have left comment about ‘inspiring books’)

A few observations:

* As a novel it is crap! It is nothing more than an excuse to preach. I guess it is to the New Age world what the ‘Left Behind’ series is to Christianity (although I haven’t read Left Behind so I am not sure if they are as crappy as this novel.)

* Many who read it will not see it as a novel, but will see it as a guide to life, although there is no question that this is the author’s intent. The nine insights are supposed to be ‘keys to life’ so to speak, only couched in fictional writing.

* There is huge potential to use this book redemptively. It clearly taps into the spiritual desires of people and articulates something they are longing for. If every culture has its ‘Jesus myths’ then perhaps this is a significant one from our culture?…

Stick with me!

For every insight Redfield articulates there is some kind of Christian equivalent or something that the Bible would say to his point of view to either affirm or clarify. Rather than getting too uptight that its a ‘new age’ book and actually ‘contrary’ to the gospel we can actually see pointers to Jesus and gospel truth within it. I think Paul would have a lot of fun with this book!

Check the first five insights:

#1.) Feeling restless? You’re not alone: Everybody’s starting to look for more meaning in life. Start paying closer attention to those seemingly “Chance Coincidences” – strange occurrences that feel like they were meant to happen. They are actually synchronistic events, and following them will start you on your path to spiritual truth.

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Is there someone out there?… Refield seems to think there is a bigger picture to life than we have so far acknowledged.

#2.) Observe our culture within its proper historical context. The first half of the past millennium was spent under the thumb of the church; in the second half we became preoccupied with material comfort. Now, at the end of the twentieth century, we’ve exhausted that preoccupation. We’re ready to discover life’s ultimate purpose.

Redfield traces the move from premodernity to modernity and finally to postmodernity quite well – emphasisng that we need to find meaning in the spiritual rather than the material or intellectual. He emphasises the place of experience in determining what is truth – something we need to grapple with as Christians from a modernist background.

#3.) Start to get acquainted with the subtle energy that infuses all things. With practice, you can learn to see the aura around any living being and to project your own energy around it to give it strength.

Could that ‘energy’ be the spirit of God?… Could we give words to describe that ‘energy’ more accurately? Redfield acknowledges a higher power at work even if he is pantheistic.

#4.) An unconscious competition for energy underlies all conflicts. By dominating or manipulating others, we get the extra energy we think we need. Sure, it feels good – but both parties are damaged in the conflict.


#5.) The key to overcoming conflict in the world is the mystical experience, which is available to everyone. To nurture the mystical and build your energy, allow yourself to be filled with a sense of love.

A solution to sin?… It seems that he is suggesting that by tapping into the divine energy we can lose the need for oneupmanship and actually love another properly. He advocates the practice of contemplative spirituality as a means of connecting with the divine. Perhaps we would say that when a person is connected to God they can live the fruit of the spirit and love completely.

So far I can work with all of that…

I am thinking maybe I could develop a course that works with the CP and the Bible together for those who are CP fans and open to exploration. It does risk syncretism, but then isn’t that part of the challenge of a missional context?

From 2-7?

In a meeting the other day with Ian Robinson I asked him what shifts he has seen in evangelism over the last 20-30 years.

He suggested a key one was that it now takes the average person 7 years to come to faith instead of 2. Its a much longer journey.

I am very aware of not wanting to short circuit the genuine journey in my endeavours to see people ‘saved’.


I’d like you to tell me what the most inspiring Christian books are that you have read.

I have friends who are reading spiritual books seeking answers and I’d like to factor Jesus into their decision making.

It seems that the key thing they appeciate in a book is its ability to inspire


So… tell me what books would you recommend for someone who is not a Christian to read and be inspired by?

I would really appreciate a few suggestions!

The Good News is…

that yesterday wasn’t seasickness after all. How embarrassing would that be – to have to sell your boat because you get sick!!

After 9 or 10 bouts of vomitting last night I think I can safely conclude that it was a virus. Seems most people in the street have had it so I guess it was my turn.

I have been asleep most of today recovering. Don’t you have weird dreams when you are sick?!

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One Day Late…

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Today I finally got to take the new boat out – and after about 30 minutes I was leaning over the side and feeding my breakfast to the fish. I never get seasick, but today… Well…

It might actually have been a virus as the whole street has been down and Danelle was laughing at the toilet for a bit of last night also. I’m hoping that’s it!

Sadly we missed the good weather by one day. My brother got down to Scarborough Beach yesterday and snapped some pics of the beachies at their best. Offshore, overhead high and very very nice!!

These are specially for you Si.

We’re Up

At last Forge has a new website.

Its still in development but you can get the vibe of what we are on about.

I am convinced that what we offer is probably the best training for first world mission I have ever come across. If you are dinkum about connecting with western people and haven’t checked out Forge as a training form then you really ought to.

With guys like Al Hirsch, Steve Said and Darren Rouse as some of the key players you know you’re in good company.

Leadership Continued

If you’ve been following our journey with leadership then you’ll be interested in what came out of our meeting last Tuesday night.

We finished our biblical reflection and distillation with the following conclusions and over the last week we were going to take time to pray, listen to God and see what he had to say as ‘where to from here?’

I had thought we would unearth some kind of a small team to oversee the wider team/mission and discuss any critical issues of direction and focus.

Funnily enough over the week, although I spent time in prayer I couldn’t sense God saying anything at all – not a whisper!

When we came together on Tuesday we went around the group and I asked people to share what they felt God had been saying to them before I shared my own nothingness. Almost without exception the group raised questions of ‘do we need this team yet? Can we just function as one big ‘leadership team’ and all decide on direction?’

It wasn’t what I expected and not what I was hoping for either. But it certainly seemed like God was saying ‘go this way for now’. The conclusions sat well with me, not because it was what I wanted but because there was a sense of having heard God. This is the value of a team process and the protection against one person’s way of seeing things.

It means we will function as one larger decision making group at this stage – a situation has both pros and cons. It seems everything we do is a series of trade offs, so we need to keep coming back to who we are and what we are about.

In taking this route it necessarily means that some of our time as a group will be spent dealing with directional/strategic questions and that will take away from worship/prayer/scripture/hanging out. But to have a team within a team would also remove people a step from the thinking process of the decisions.

Everything we do has a cost and benefit. If we meet weekly we lose some level of relational closeness that is possible in a small group. If we meet fortnightly then we stop building a sense of connectedness in the larger group.

One of our essential foci is that of being a team of missionaries connecting with the community rather than focusing on us as a gathered community. Its all too easy to default to getting out gatherings right (because they are the visible structural entities) and all too easy to neglect the day to day hanging out and making connections that actually validate what we are seeking to do.


On Tuesday I had a series of meetings at Gloria Jeans Coffee shop at Hilary’s marina. I get sick of cheesy coffee shop crap

“What would you like sir?”

“I’ll have a mochalatte thanks.”

“Can I have a first name to go with that?”

“Sure – Boris.”



“Thank you sir – that will be $4.00”

She didn’t say it had to be my first name” I am wanting to see how many unlikely names I can work thru – next time I think I’ll try for Mohammed, then Luigi” then…