Posts

Showing posts from 2007

Where's the Vicar gone?

It's been mighty quiet around here lately, as you may have noticed - well, not quite on the getting things done front, or the being ill front, or the time with family front, but definitely quiet on the blogging front! In the run up to Christmas thing are always busy but this year has been incredibly so - a couple of weddings and some unexpected funerals (well, most funerals are unexpected!) along with all the school and church events of the past few weeks, combined with a flu-ey type bug I am trying to shake off and my daughter being poorly for a couple of weeks has meant a busy life has just gone from busy to slightly bonkers for a few weeks... I am sure that at some time I will get some more time to engage in my usual blogging activities and visit all my bloggy buddies.... In case I don't get to write anything before - Happy Christmas to you all! Peace on earth and goodwill to all...someday...

Life goes on...pretty much

Obviously the daily posting thing has completely fizzled out! It's been quite a week, since the end of November we've been caught up in the Advent thing, including lots of services on Sunday, all of which went well. Having six Churches in the sticks means that we try to offer a broad range of events and styles in our worship, and Sunday was a very good example of the diversity of our Team... 8.30am was a Book of Common Prayer (1662) Holy Communion, a quiet start to the day, well attended and a gentle start to quite a manic day. Over my years in ministry I've come to love the traditional services we offer, so beautifully constructed all those years ago, yet still with a depth and even a freshness to the liturgy. 10.30am was a Contemporary Language Holy Communion service, from the Common Worship prayer book which is the mainstay of the C of E. Having come from a 'free form' tradition, in the 'Charismatic renewal' branch of the Church, I found the structu

I'm allowed to use a new badge!

Image
Yes, having managed all of the posts for the last month i can proudly (i mean that in the proper sense of a sense of positive achievement rather than the deadly sin variety) display the survivors badge for NaBloPoMo. Not sure where in the sidebar I will put it, but it looks like this Thanks to Quilly for the very encouraging comment on my last post! I will aim to pepper my blog liberally with profound thoughts! And if I get some time over the next few days I will endeavour to tell you a little of what's gone on in my universe for the past month...

A final book a day entry November 30

Image
Made it! OK, so you're sick of seeing all the books in my library and I'm kind of out of ideas, so its pretty much a good thing that NaBloPoMo is over! The best is saved for last It's a bit of a cheat saying the Bible really - not so much a book as a library. Also having this as my book of the day might make me look a bit of a holier-than- thou type - but please let me assure you that I am holier than nobody! The amazing thing about the Bible, well one of the amazing things about the Bible, is that there's no end to it. By that I mean you could read it again and again and see new stuff all the time. I do believe God speaks through the Bible, sometimes as much through the stuff that is all mixed up in culture and misunderstanding (I'm pretty sure there's a fair amount of that in there) as the stuff which is clearer and more obvious. It's a lifetiime study, and the meaning only really comes out when we do the reading in partnership with God. But that'

A book a day November 29

Saving some of the best until last here is one of my favourite books of all time.. So good that even though it is out of print, as far as I can tell, I will still recommend it. Though i see Amazon have a variety of imprints available through their marketplace, and I am sure Amazon.com do as well as our .co.uk branch! The story of the quest for truth and meaning, as seen through the eyes of a supermarket trolley - Scepticism inc is a funny, thoughtful, satirical look at philosophy, institutional religion and ultimate truth. Bo Fowler takes us throught the development of 'metaphysical betting shops' with a funny and intelligent look at the nature of belief, of not believing, of wanting and not wanting to believe - most of the angles covered in the belief department there! It's fun to read and contains lots of food for thought (a sort of metaphysical shopping trolley then) - it does make you ask lots of questions but at the same time you can just lose yourself in the

A book a day November 28

Image
We're on the home stretch! I have really enjoyed revisiting these books over the past four weeks, and resolved to look out a few again, including today's offering Poems on the Underground is a very simple idea, put a selection of poetry throughout the London Underground system and let people read poetry as they travel around. When I was a student in London I used to love seeing new poems and encountering old favourites as I zipped (or crawled, depending on the time of day) around the capital. The version of this shown on the left here is not the one I own, so I don't know the exact contents, but the previous editions such as the one on the right have combined modern and classic poetry in an inspired selection. In fact it was on the tube , as we call the Underground, that I encountered for the first time Walt Whitman's poem, possibly my favourite poem but then I'm still finding out more, 'What am I after all?' which was in previous editions of poems on t

A book a day Nov 27

Image
Still NaBlo posting, i have surprised myself really this month! A fun offering which I have used lots of times to tell the Christmas story in a different way! It's not one which can be reviewed at length, which is probably a good thing as I am prone to waffle. It tells the nativity story, with very bright, cheerful and funny illustrations, from the perspective of a grumpy inkeeper, with a surprise ending.. It is a delightful book, and though 'Jesus's Christmas Party' is meant to be a children's book, it will appeal to most people who read it. Not all, there are always some grumps :-)

A book a day Nov 26

Image
I haven't had time to post today, so with about ten minutes to go to make the deadline here's a quick thought for a book which you might like... Though best known for his Narnia Chronicles, C.S. Lewis was also concerned to try and explain something of what it means to be a Christian and of his own experience of faith. Into the midst of his writings on faith comes Mere Christianity which is a classic of modern apologetics. By which I mean that C.S. Lewis does a good job of explaining in a relatively straightforward way what Christian faith is about. The drawback is that it is dated and it is written in a particular style and reflects particular social norms of the time, ie the late 1950s and some of the timeless truths of Christian faith seem to be obscured, or at least not as clearly stated, because they become linked with a certain time and place. Despite that, there is a certain longevity about this book, purely because Lewis writes so well!

A book a day Nov 25

Image
A good day today, a couple of services, one of which had four baptisms, and after a quick visit to both of the post baptism parties I then got to enjoy a small but perfectly formed Evening prayer from the 1662 book of Common Prayer. Nice. So here I am getting ready to have some supper and thought that in order to keep up this post a day lark I would get back to basics today. Lots of people ask me about prayer, and it seems to have been a theme at a lot of meetings and in a number of encounters I have had lately. So Christian Prayer for dummies seems a good book to recommend. Of course, as most people probably know, its not really for dummies, in the sense that much of the information in the series is well researched, well written and well presented - at least the ones I've read. This is no different, it actually gives a very good broad brush picture of the variety, nature and purpose of Christian Prayer. It is easy to read, with some good cartoons in! The content is very good

A book a day Nov 24

Image
Keeping up the posting, only a week more to do for NaBloPoMo. I've just got back a couple of hours ago from 36 hours away in North Wales at the Rural Theology Association conference, it was a good time of chatting, learning, thinking and praying about issues pertinent to those in rural ministry and the ways in which the Church can and should respond to the challenges of life in the countryside at this time. So today's book, Theological but not exclusively Rural! In many ways this was a book that profoundly affected many Christians in the UK and could even been seen as part of the birth of the 'emergent' Church in the UK ( Although 'emergent' is usually used to describe a particular movement in the US Church). Dave explores and offers his own contribution to the debate about where the Church is going in the late 20th (when it was written) and early 21st Century. It's a book about the roots of the church and the confusion between Church tradition and Christ

A Book a day Nov 23

Image
Another post for NaBloPoMo A deeply passionate and sometimes disturbing book De Berniers has a way of weaving the comic with the tragic which seems to hit the spot every time. Amidst the gentle life of a greek village he weaves stories of love, hate, pain, despair, joy, hope and some of the most stomach churning atrocities committed in war. This is a powerful novel, and not an easy read, I found some of the descriptions of tortures and mutilations committed in the Greek-Turkish war extremely disturbing, yet I am really pleased to have read this novel. It makes you think about what makes us human, and indeed what makes us inhuman. Read it, it is worth the effort.

A book a day for November 22

Image
Here's a light hearted offering for today. Have you ever felt frustrated that there are no words to describe everyday occurences which we all go through? For instance, who has not felt the need for a phrase to describe the feeling of sitting on a warm toilet seat? Or the emotions felt when first riding off on a new motorbike? Or the guilt felt when caught pulling hairs from one's nose and secreting them in one's pocket? Well all this and more can be found in ' The Meaning of Liff ' - a wonderful companion that uses place names from the most obscure parts of the United Kingdom, and indeed all over the world, to give us the vocabulary we really need. Often imitated, never bettered, The Meaning of Liff is wonderful! And I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but I do love this book, and think every home should have one. though some of the ruder ones might need to be kept from the children!

Don't tend to do this much

I found a guitar piece I love, from Steve Via, one time Zappa, Dave Lee Roth (ex Van-Halen), Whitesnake and Alcatrazz guitarist - not for those who aren't into guitar stuff with a slightly rockier vibe! I'm going to post it anyway, partly cos I love the name Whispering a prayer

A book a day November 21

Image
Very tired today after a late night coming back from London. This morning had lots to say but have lost energy to say it due to meetings and assembly at the local school, i also have a meeting tonight so I might leave what I was going to say until another day. So I thought I would go ahead and post my book for today, its another of the ones that have been hanging around in the sidebar for ages, and by the end of the month i do plan to change them all! But even though it has had a tacit plug by being in my sidebar, I think I'll say a bit more about it because it is the book that we have chosen next for our 'book club'. Brian McLaren infuriates some, and works others into an almost idolatrous frenzy. I happily fall between the two. I do like his style, and I think he is saying some valuable things to the Church and about Christian faith in general. In a society where any kind of spirituality seems valid, or at least that's the impression that is given, McLaren is act

A book a day November 20

Image
Book club last night went well. We talked through and around John Ortberg's 'God is closer than you think' which is a great book. I have previously recommended this as part of my post a day for November , so I am going to move on and recommend a book i should be reading TODAY because I want to use it as a basis for some thoughts tonight.... So Prayer is perhaps one of the most difficult things for many of us to get a handle on, particularly when we feel prayers aren't answered, or that we aren't quite sure what the purpose of prayer is. In fact, this is what I am meant to be talking about at Holy Joes this evening, so when I have some thoughts together perhaps I will get back to you on that. From what I have read of this book so far, it has some very good thoughts on the subject. Interestingly it relates to a lot of what Ortberg says in God Is Closer Than You Think , when he talks about when God feels absent and what our prayers do and don't or may or may n

A book a day for November 19

Image
Today's post for NaBloPoMo - or GloBloPoMo as some are keen to call it, because it does seem pretty widespread... I realise that my usual wit and wisdom, or rather the trivia interspersed with occasional deep thoughts, have been absent as I've focused on NaBloPoMo but I hope a few of these books may strike a chord with you, gentle readers. We have a book group tonight, so I'll tell you a bit about that tomorrow. I can't remember if I've already mentioned the book so before posting tomorrow I will check! Anyway, today's book is funny, clever, and worth a look. If you've ever felt that the world has gone even more crazy for strange ways of talking and thinking over the past few years, this one is for you. Taking to bits our strange western culture in a humourous and thought provoking way, Wheen's style is clever, but not too smug, and well informed without being intellectually snobby. It might be easy at first glance to dismiss the book as the grumblin

A book a Day for November 18

Image
As it's Sunday, another bit of Theology for today's post. It also chimes with the sermon that I might post later... Richard Burridge's 'Four Gospels, One Jesus' is a great introduction to thinking about the 'agenda' behind the Canonical Gospels. By that I mean it offers and overview of each of the Gospels and the particular concerns of each Gospel writer. It's easy to think of the Christian Gospels as all one lump of the same type of writing but Burridge talks of the distinctive nature and flavour of each Gospel in easily understood, well explained ways. As theological books go, I found it very exciting, it made me look again at why the Gospel writers constructed their books in the way they did, and it reminded me how rewarding it can be to spend a little time in study to really get more perspective and more of an understanding of these amazing books in our Bible. Very highly recommended indeed

Still going! A book a day for Nov 17

Image
has certainly kept me thinking and writing, and revisiting a few books which I am really enjoying thinking about again, and today's is no exception The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger is a great book, a wonderfully written novel with a huge scope. I love books with big imagination, and this is biiiiiiiiiiiig imagination. A man with a kind of genetic time-travelling disorder flits back and forth through time without being able to control these journeys. It could have descended into a kind of farce with him nearly meeting himself over and over, but it doesn't - there's lots of touching and thought-provoking encounters with the woman who becomes his wife, and lots of reflection on the nature of time, life and who we are. It's a very striking and powerful book, though some of the language in it will upset those of a delicate constitution, it is a great novel.

A book a day for November 16

Image
Sixteen days straight without missing a post, some kind of record, except when I had that blog madness a year or so ago and posted lots and lots and lots and lots etc Not that I'm getting a huge number of comments on this series of books - obviously not firing the popular imagination.... But, this is what I've committed myself to and I am nothing if not stupid, I mean, committed. Today's choice is a bit of heavy theology Actually 'truth is stranger than it used to be' is more philosophy than theology, I think, and if someone wants to pick me up on that definition, then the comments section is open for business anytime! But this book looks at cultural shift and the features of the societal change and 'world view' often termed 'postmodernity'. About which I did a whole load of posts starting here . I do enjoy thinking about this subject, though I realise that some disagree with the very concept of 'the postmodern', but I don't think we ca

A book a day for November 15

Image
Still going, and haven't got to any books I want to read yet... until now, that is, so I can't review it, so any comments, thoughts on this would be welcome... I like Adrian Plass, faithful, funny and fairly thought provoking (couldn't think of any more alliterations there). So is his take on the Bible going to be worth reading? He tends to retain a fairly conservative theology whilst being willing to take a few risks with what he says, so perhaps this book will be challenging, or perhaps it will be a way of trying to explain bits of the Bible that don't fit with retaining a conservative viewpoint. I wonder...

A book a day for November 14

Image
Hey, in stark contrast to my NaMoWriMo progress, I've managed at least one post a day for my NaBloPoMo! So here's another one... Definitely a modern fave for today's choice Donald Miller, though some of what he says seems much more conservative than the central premise of the book, offers a broad and thoughtful look at the state of Christian Faith today. It's all about looking at 'spirituality' in a new way. Whilst holding on to the core values of following Jesus, with plenty of illustrations from his own spiritual journey, he seeks to question lots of the baggage that we put on faith in the name of the Church. It's a personal reflection, and doesn't claim perfection, and as such is a glimpse into the search for meaning in our present generation. It's a very easy read, with no taxing theological verbage, and at the same time is filled with the presence of Jesus walking alongside this guy in his search for meaning. It's a good book.

NaMoWriMo

For those interested in how many words towards my novel for this month I've written I have an update for you none life is full of small regrets...

A book a day Nov 13

Image
Another day, another book, life has left me feeling slightly grumpy and somewhat bemused at the machinations of the church, but going into detail won't help so I won't say any more. So what better than something funny as an antidote... Terry Pratchett has a great style, a seriously funny attitude and a turn of phrase that can have you aching with laughter. His mythological, mystical realm of 'discworld' is full of wit and wisdom, and reflects the absurdity of our own world whilst being totally enclosed in a world of his own. This is a world of magic, dragons, monsters and mayhem, with wizards in the 'unseen university' who have little clue of what the world is about, witches who are basically purveyors of common sense and a small group of people who do have a clue desperately trying to keep things together. The Colour of Magic is the first in the series, of which there are lots now, and the beginning of a long and very funny journey. As you can see it has b

A book a day Nov 12

Image
Today's NaBloPoMo post is a spiritual classic God of Surprises is one of those books I can't say much about, you need to read it for yourself. It's about spirituality always having the ability to surprise, and the book does too. It's not a high-fallutin' kind of spirituality, but accessible, easy to grasp (though hard to practice) and full of depth and riches. A book to come back to again and again.

Monday's my reflective day

It has been quite a couple of weeks, and the way that my time works is that this first part of Monday I usually leave clear after Sunday duties, just to give my brain a bit of time to cool off after lots of 'public visibility' and a fair amount of emotional engagement as part of our Worship services. Particularly after a quite draining Sunday such as yesterday. Quilly is right (I'm sure she's glad I said that) in saying that we remember those who are willing to serve in our Armed Forces every day, but (and there's always a but) there is a difference between our own personal feelings and a public acknowledgement of the sacrifice made by many in wartime. That's why I put so much energy and thought into Remembrance Sunday, my sermon this year was quite personal too, inasmuch as it said why I thought it was an important day - I might post it later. One of the things that I have learnt to appreciate over the past few years is that two minutes of silence to mark t

Blog talkers is back

Image
Not that blog talkers went away, I've just neglected to respond for a few weeks, which is shame as the questions have been good. Life has been a bit busy, and I have tried to keep up my NaBloPoMo postings too... Ironically, this week's question isn't one which I can give such a great answer to, but I'll use it to tell you a little about myself How did your parents’ careers impact your plans for a future career? Well, my parents didn't make career choices, they did what they did to feed and keep the family. Before I was born my mother was a military policewoman first in the air force and then in the army. My 'biological' father was killed but whilst I was still too young to remember my mum got together with a man from Ireland who became, to all intents and purposes, my dad. Dad was a gruff, hard, Northern Irishman. Roman Catholic and Republican to the core (note to US readers, 'republican' here means against Northern Ireland being a part of the

Lest we forget

Image
Today is 'Armistice Day' - Remembrance Sunday - the anniversary of the Armistice which ended the 1914-18 'Great War' (11th of the 11th at 11am). It is, I believe, roughly equivalent to 'Veteran's Day' in the States. Today we have given thanks for the sacrifice made by those who have fought for freedom in times of war. We have grieved at the bloodshed of wartime. We have prayed for those who serve in our Armed forces. We have committed ourself to peace. As a symbol of this Remembrance we wear a poppy, the flower found in abundance after the battles in France and Belgium in World War I. The blood red flower found where so many had fallen.

A book a day Nov 11

Image
Today's book is a slight departure from previous days Joanne Harris' masterful 'magical realism' is tied up with folklore, history and evocative descriptions of France, as most of her novels are set in different parts of la republique... This is a powerful description of an island divided against itself, with traditions and attitudes which bind and blind the people. On returning to the island the main character sets about disturbing the status quo, and the whole island finds itself changed, include the protagonist, by the events which occur through the story. I can't put into words how descriptive Harris' prose is, and how it seems to get beyond the mind into the heart, filling the imagination, and creating a powerful sense of yearning to be a part of this world, whilst being grateful one is apart from it. All of her books are good, I've not read her last couple of novels, but everyone I have read I found to be rich, rewarding and most enjoyable. With som

A book a day for November 10

And we're still here, consistent and steady, rolling through November with a burgeoning library. The question is, of course, what do these books say about me? I leave that for you to decide... Today's book of note is another from the sidebar I warm to much of McLaren's content, though I find his style a bit grating sometimes. There are certain points in this book where you want to say 'stop telling us you don't have the answers and just keep telling us what you believe!' Having said that, the book genuinely feels like a humble attempt to get us to look again at believing and the church and the life of faith - asking questions 'why' with regards to what we do, how we do it, what we expect of church. Its an honest book, and one which is very personal, whilst at the same time one that is obviously written by someone who is well read, thoughtful, committed to Christ and genuinely seeking to grapple with the complications of faith and the burdens often

Just in time for a book a day November 9

Image
Left posting until very late today, as have been enjoying a day off, or most of a day off - there always seem to be a few things to do! So for today A book I reviewed for Christian Marketplace Magazine a few months back... Presenting a theological reflection on the understanding of Christian life and transformation this book is a challenging, well researched, thought provoking piece resounding with depth and creativity. Written by an accomplished theologian and drawing on Church history, liturgy, poetry, art and hymnody this is not a book to be taken lightly, but one which rewards careful study. Though firmly rooted in liturgical tradition – something that is more pronounced as the book progresses – there is an exploration of the nature of worship and the way that God changes us as we encounter Him in prayer and praise which offers material for Christians of any tradition. Irving explores deep theological concepts with a deftness and clarity which makes it well worth the time a

A book a day Nov 8

Image
Keeping up the daily posting with a classic book which is worth reading What can I say about this book? The master of surreal sci-fi and humourous observation's most famous book, taken from the radio series of the same name and followed by a TV series and movie which are all equally funny. Arthur Dent is about to have his house demolished to make way for a bypass when his friend Ford Prefect takes him off to the pub and reveals that he (Ford) is an alien who is writing for the Galaxy's most popular publication 'The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy' and has discovered that there is a fleet of Vogon Constructor ships on the way to demolish earth for a hyperspace bypass. Getting off the planet by stowing away on one of the ships with the aid of an electronic 'thumb' Arthur and Ford get through a number of increasingly strange adventures as they seek the meaning of life and basically try to stay alive in order that Arthur doesn't have to go to heaven with

Still Reading! A book a day Nov 7

Image
Still posting too, must be almost a record to keep going so long without a break Had a long day today, so this is posted later than usual, perhaps more about that another time... For now its And the book for today is I love Terry Pratchett, and you may well get a recommendation from his Discworld collection later on in the month, but for now this funny novel co-written by Neil Gaiman is a great one to read if you like stuff that has eternal battles between good and evil, the four other horsemen of the apocalypse and a race to the finish sports car chase along with your wit, wisdom and surreality. Basically the story of an Angel and a Demon who are trying to avert the apocalypse because they are quite happy with things as they are, thank you very much. It has lots of improbable events, along with the real reason the M25 is the world's largest car park. Pratchett is his usual witty self, and Gaiman injects a bit (or a lot) of dark humour too! Not your standard fantasy fare, nor

A book a day for November 6

Image
Another NaBloPoMo post I may get around to telling you about my life, but first a book I am currently reading, and getting a lot from I don't know how he does it, but Ortberg seems to hit the mark again and again, his book The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (terrible title, sounds like self-help rubbish, better understood by its subtitle 'Spiritual Disciplines for ordinary people') is one of the best 'everyday Christian' books which I've read - by which I mean he takes some quite difficult ideas, and ancient spiritual practises, and makes them accessible and usable in our everyday walk of faith. God Is Closer Than You Think is nothing short of excellent, at least what I have read so far is. As always, it is written in an engaging and accessible style, which is entertaining and amusing enough to make me laugh out loud in the coffee shop this morning (I do get some down time!) and yet at the same time doesn't shy f

A book for November 5

Image
Continuing my NaBloPoMo trek through a few faves, or ones I want to read, here is today's offering: Prolific as he is, Coupland seems to sum up current 20/30 something mentality perfectly. I started reading his stuff as part of my 'Postmodernity' module on my MA and have picked up a number of his novels which I have enjoyed and which give some insight into contemporary culture. Generation X is a good one to start with in terms of getting to grips with cultural shift whilst still being entertained, but JPod is one of his latest - slightly more surreal than other ones I've read, and more self-referential (perhaps this is a postmodern thing) he even appears frequently as one of the protagonists, weaving himself into the story by meeting the main character in some unlikely settings and variously stealing information from the main character by taking his laptop and personal files as the story progresses. It's all based around a group of games programmers who work tog

A book a day for November 4

Image
Sometimes I like to lose myself in a good thriller, and this is one, though Dan Brown gets a lot of stick, especially from those who take his writing too seriously (a la DaVinci Code) he does seem to have the hang of writing a good page-turner. i read this one on holiday and it was a ripping yarn and most enjoyable... I won't give any of the plot away, but like most of Brown's books, it is full of twists and turns with real characters and lots going on. Even if I said what the premise was it would give away one of the early twists so you'll have to take my word for it that it's a good story and well put together.

I did write that sermon

Having preached this once today, thought I should say that, with interpolation this was today's offering - very much a 'bare bones' sermon despite being in script form... 4 before Advent (2007) RCL Year A Principal Isaiah 1.10-18 2 Thessalonians 1 Luke 19.1-10 Out on a Limb …(pun intended) Zaccheus is a very attractive figure from scripture, or rather the quaint story that we associate with him being a little man who shins up a tree to see Jesus is attractive to us. From the Sunday school song ‘Zaccheus was a very little man’ which I remember from ‘days of yore’ (whatever that means) to the wonderful transformation that sees him giving back what he took from others and following Jesus. But I doubt he was a very attractive figure to those who knew him. We all know, I’m sure, that tax collectors like Zaccheus became rich by adding to the burden of tax demanded by the Roman authorities. Not only were they collaborators with an occupying power, but they were – more ofte

My Harry Potter Alter Ego

Image
Still doing the distraction thing, but have pretty much finished now nearly time for bed but first Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...? created with QuizFarm.com You scored as Albus Dumbledore Strong and powerful you admirably defend your world and your charges against those who would seek to harm them. However sometimes you can fail to do what you must because you care too much to cause suffering. Albus Dumbledore 100% Remus Lupin 80% Hermione Granger 75% Harry Potter 70% Ron Weasley 60% Ginny Weasley 60% Draco Malfoy 50% Sirius Black 50% Severus Snape 35% Lord Voldemort 15%

Because I should be writing a sermon

or my NaNoWriMo stuff, I have found a distraction, thanks to Dr John ! I have half-inched a meme that he in turn says he took from Practical Chick and edited... So here's my responses to the Dr John version 38 things I know that you want to know... 1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? My son, Jack, he's got a great sense of humour for a toddler 2. What were you doing at 0800? In bed feeling grumpy with a stomach ache. Seems to have calmed down a bit and I am now in my study trying to get a sermon written 3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Thinking about writing a sermon 4. What happened to you in 2006? I bought a lovely new motorbike 5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Night (to my mother in law who is staying and likes to go to bed early) 6. How many beverages did you have today? Not as many as usual 7. What color is your hairbrush? I use a comb, usually a blue one, though I have a black one too. 8. What was the last thing you p

More thoughts on NaBloPoMo

Image
It's quite fun looking at some of the bloggers who have signed up to NaBloPoMo. You can always click the randomiser below if you want to see a few, meanwhile here's a groovy badge which I thought i would share with you... Before, like one NaBlo commentator, you start making comments about the spelling, have a look at Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog and see where the idea seems to come from! And here's a randomiser (or randomizer as our US cousins spell it)

I just thought you should know

In case any of you were under the impression that I might be perfection personified ha ha ha here's one of my major vices I am 85% Addicted to Coffee Get a cash advance

Another book, day 3

Image
My next book is one which has sat on my sidebar for ages... actually they all have, about time to change them I think Anyway a deep, moving, grace filled book which I would say comes high up my top ten Christian books of all time, it's called 'Free of Charge' by Miroslav Volf Volf's exploration of 'Giving and forgiving in a culture stripped of Grace' as the subtitle describes it is rooted in everyday life, yet is an expansive vision of God's love and Grace and the understanding of God as the ultimate giver. It challenges us to consider again our attitude to all that we have, and to consider the very foundation of our faith. In between these mind-blowing concepts are some very personal stories which he shares to illustrate his thesis. There is a lot of theology in this book, but it is neither overly dense nor over abstract. It is a book that I found gripping, though others in the book group that I shared this with said it took some effort to read but was w

Eloquent Silence

No, this post title isn't an allusion to my recent approach to blogging. Just a desire to share something from this morning which has pretty much left me wordless. not a bad thing, really! I'm good at talking things through, I can intellectualise, theorise, spiritualise and ...ise generally over many things, including some of the deeper things of life! But words can also be a defence against truly engaging with some deeper meanings too. This week I am engaged on a prayer pilgrimage arranged by one of our local clergy. I went along with the idea partly because, in theory, it seemed like a good idea, and not having seen my spiritual director for far too long I thought the opportunity to reflect with someone about prayer in general and my own spiritual life would not be a bad idea. I should say that this prayer pilgrimage is not actually a physical pilgrimage, except travelling to the venue to meet with a prayer guide. It's setting aside half an hour a day for a week

A book a day for November 2

Well, not a bad start, two days in a row is pretty exceptional for my level of blogging over the past coupla months... today's book Theissen does a great job of writing a book about Jesus, without actually having Jesus in it. All the stories are told from the periphery of events in Jesus life, and the result is an intriguing and thought provoking book. Theissen himself is a Biblical scholar and theologian, so has a very broad understanding of the 'source material' and context of the Gospel stories. I should also say, it's entertaining and a good read.

NaBloPoMo

Image
Not got to my NaMoWriMo start yet, in fact am drawing a total blank over that, but here is my first posting for NaBloPoMo I thought I might try a book a day for November, these will be books I've read, or am reading, or even want to read, so you might find a combination of heresay, (hopefully not heresy!), opinion, critique, misunderstanding and perhaps even some useful information in this lot! A strange choice, perhaps, for the first day - as being a Christian Minister, some might wonder at why am I promoting someone who is so blatantly anti-religion - but lets start with something different Yes, Richard Dawkin's 'The God Delusion' is one of the books I've read very recently, in fact I've mentioned it before in these postings. It isn't a bad book, really! I quite like Dawkin's style, and despite the fact he is very misinformed, one sided, and has very little understanding of faith as opposed to religion this book is full of stuff that should make any Ch

Did it!

I did get a sermon written, thanks for your help and suggestions folks! And thanks to Quilly for being very helpful with her 'build a Quilly sermon v.1.0' feature that may find itself in use sometime soon! So, I preached on the Bible, though not 'from' the Bible, normally I am careful to link what I say with the Lections for the Day, but this time I let them speak for themselves and did a little bit about how we approach scripture. I think many of us have a very limited approach to scripture and just see it all as one big lump of inspired 'stuff' without thinking or learning about what actually makes up our Bibles. But rather than launch into sermon mark II I will do my usual of giving you the opening bit and then letting you follow that up at New Kid Deep Stuff by clicking on the [more] at the end. As for how I ended up with this sermon, I actually used the basis of an old sermon and extensively rewrote and added to it! For those who are used to the 40

Searching for Something for Sunday

It's Bible Sunday tomorrow and I thought I should preach on the Bible... Pretty simple, you might think, but thirty years of being in the Church (yes I was eight when I started) and twenty years of more formal study make it a huge subject and I am having real problems narrowing it down. What makes it more difficult is that the theme given by the Bible Society is 'a feast of God's word' which is essentially what I have been saying over the past few weeks as we have been studying the Bible at our teaching evenings. I know that most of the people who will be coming to my main service tomorrow haven't been at our evening sessions, but some have, and i wonder whether I am selling them short, as it were, by re-using material I've used before. Some Clergy reuse sermons all the time, we have a three year cycle of readings, so three years down the road it is possible to pretty much preach the same thing - I know of one minister in a University who did exactly that, b