Friday, August 11, 2006

Doing things backwards

I have just been reading this book, see? About this guy who discovered some things that the church had kept hidden for years. And the deeper he dug, the more he found out. And the angrier and more dangerous the church became... I thought I'd read the book, because I'd seen the movie, and in fact, toured some of the locations when I was in Europe. Yeah, backwards. Always do things the hard way, I think that's my motto. Get a paper round, then decided that learning to ride a bike would be a good idea... stuff like that.
Anyway, this guy discovered all these ancient secrets that the church was not to keen to see revealed. Secrets about core belief systems, about faith and grace, stuff about who Jesus really is. Stuff that would turn the church on it's head, and take so much political and spiritual power out of the Pope's hands. And unlike Dan Brown's potboiler, it's all true.
This guy, whose name was Martin Luther, discovered, as he studied the ancient scriptures in Hebrew and Greek, that you didn't need a priest to intercede between you and God; that paying no amount of money to the church or 'good works' would get you into heaven, only by faith; and the traditions of the Roman Catholic church were mostly of man, not of God. Contraversial stuff.
'Only Scripture' was his cry, 'if I am wrong', he said 'show me where in God's word'. Luther's Reformation of the church completely changed northern Europe and Western Civilisation. His translation of the Bible into modern (16th Century) German placed God's word into the hands of the people for the first time in hundreds of years (and actually formalised the German language), so that people could see for themselves what God was saying.
An incredible story of how, after a long period in the Dark Ages, where the light was held by very few, God's truth burst into the world again, and it came through one poor monk who stood up against the might of kings, the Holy Roman Empire and the Church itself.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

now and then...

About two weeks ago I was looking through a few old things and found my photo album from my trip to Amerika, in fact, I found the one that featured Jenn and Andy's wedding. Jenn was one of the team I went to Jamaica with back in '98. Wow, that's 8 years ago! I stayed with Jenn's family for about a month, a period that included the wedding. I thought that the Spangler family were pretty wonderful for taking in a stray, homeless Aussie, especially during the height of wedding preparations! And how great was the wedding? I don't think i've ever taken so many photos in one day, with so many different cameras!

Jenn's brother Scott and his girlfriend Tez (my name for her, it's an aussie type nick), said I should come back and take photos at THEIR wedding too!

Unfortunately they forgot to send me an airline ticket...

Anyway, I was having a spot of nostalgia and was wondering how things were going over in sunny Pennsylvania. As so often happens you make some great friends that you know you will last, but you lose contact. It's sad, but when there is a planet between you, it can be hard, even in this global village we live in. I said a silent prayer for them, and hoped all was well.

Only a couple of days later I got an email. From Jenn! Wow! The timing was uncanny! I replied, and included the address of Honzablog. Next thing you know Jenn has a blog of her own so I can catch up with her news! Two days ago was her wedding Anniversary! Congrats you two! As I said, I was just thinking of you. They have three kids, hopefully all as cute as their mum.

And then a couple of days later, so does Tez! And she links back here! Scott and Tez have two kids (they got married without me...), and I really hope that they are as cute as their mum too!
So, to all the friends of Tez, or Jenn, or anyone who remembers me or Murray from our days in PA, a very big welcome to honzablog!

As soon as I can work out time differences, there are people in Amerika who can expect phone calls very soon! Much to talk about!