Showing posts from February, 2007

The kind of blogger I am

I did another blogthing yesterday, one of these little quiz thingies which tell you something often inconsequential and can raise a smile. I like them cos they take about two minutes and often provide a post when i am stuck for ideas - i genuinely enjoyed doing the ' which muppet are you ', found 'what movie genre are you?' diverting, also liked 'how sinful are you?' ! I have done a couple of quizfarm , slightly weightier things too, which have been fun including 'what theologian I am' and whether i am chalcedon complian t. All good fun. The blogthing yesterday was 'what kind of blogger are you', which i decided not to post just because i thought i would actually say something about it. For a two minute questionnaire it was surprisingly accurate. The phrase that stood out was 'you are friendly but don't give too much of yourself away'. I guess that reflects a bit of how i feel about blogging - i like sharing, not keen on offe

Lost in translation?

Had a thought, actually I had a thought as I posted it, but when i put as the header of my sermon for Sunday 'Christianity is pants' this may well have been a slightly odd saying for anyone outside of UK youth culture... 'pants'= rubbish, crap, worthless and a whole other host of words which have a generally negative vibe. Now, this obviously isn't my opinion of Christian faith, but a reflection of how some Christians can feel about faith when the rubber hits the road, the wotsit hits the speedy swirly bladed thing, or generally life gets tough. Jesus talked about this in the parable we call the 'parable of the sower' (though it might more accurately be called the parable of the seed, or the parable of the soil) as he talks about the soil which is shallow and rocky where there is no depth of faith - people just say 'it's too much like hard work' and spiritually wilt. Or the soil which is full of weeds where the seed sprouts but is choked (in

How to add long posts and not bore the pants off everyone

Actually, that post heading should be framed as a question... I've seen on some blogs that long posts are split with a good deal of the post hidden away until someone clicks 'more' - is there a bit of code that i could add to get blogger to do that? If it were possible then I would be tempted to post that long talk I did yesterday! It went down quite well, so you might like it.... Oh, and yes I did notice how many errors there were in last night's blogposting, but it was late and I feel no compulsion to edit it. This is about as gritty as my blog gets, unlike Jenny Haha talking about wolf crotch ! Which gave rise to some discussion about what Christians might feel appropriate to blog . If you do follow the link to Jenny's site, then make sure you read the comments, funny and thoughtful! And if you are in the mood to surf then pop over to Dr John's blog, always worth a read - particularly as he encourages you to comment (hopefully with more success than

The Perfect Pastor

A great post from 'Standing under the Sky' which is well worth reading and probably sums up the thoughts of many of us called to ministry can be found here . Obviously I fit in to the perfect pastor section at the top of the page. Ahem. Thanks to Dr John for link to this

A quick thought for Monday

I spent much of the weekend either in prayer (good thing) or preparing for worship (sermons, prayers etc) or writing a pretty weighty talk for this evening's 'Lent Talk' series (the talk is 3,500 words long and i think it might be a bit much to post - unless there is some demand! This is obviously a sort of blackmail and I will see if anyone comments in response to this before I will publish it. It is about 'what it means to believe' in the context of our series of talks about the Apostle's Creed). All of today has been spent in meetings, visits and services, so i have not really had time to blog. My only thought for today is Actually, I don't have a thought for today, go and see Dr John, or Jenny haha Cflaw and disorder) or The Old Fart, or Moog, or one of the other very worthwhile folk on my 'recommended blogs;list for something to make you laugh, cry, think, groan or whatever (depending on which one you choose, in fact you may do all at once.) S

Christianity is 'pants'!!!!???

It took a while to get the sermon together today. 2am, now I must go to bed, so i leave you with my thoughts for the week Lent 1 (2007) Year C RCL Principal Deuteronomy 26.1-11 Psalm 91.1-11 Romans 10.8-13 Luke 4.1-13 Christianity is 'Pants' Christianity is 'pants' – at least that’s how someone (who shall remain nameless) started their testimony yesterday as part of our Team Prayer Day! It’s quite an opener – nearly as good as the one on the morning of Jo and I’s wedding day, when we had a service of Communion before our Wedding service and the preacher began with the words ‘One in three marriages ends in divorce…’ and then topped that with the words ‘some statistics suggest that it is nearer two in three’. Of course in both cases what followed was much more encouraging and engaging and these great opening line’s served only to grab our attention so that we actually listened to what came next. Hopefully this introduction has served a similar purpose. I bet

the incredible disappearing Vicar

have been moving so fast I've been a blur lately (with a person my size that's quite an achievement) this has left me pretty tired and when I've had energy to blog I've not had the time, and when I've had the time - well, you get the picture. Apologies to those of you who do make the effort to check things out here regularly and have had the same thought since Ash Wednesday. It is now 4pm here and I have spent most of the day at a 'team prayer day' where we spent some time in worship and prayer and listening to the teaching of a Ugandan preacher called John Mulinde - challenging and thought provoking. It was a good day day and reminded me of a little card i picked up years ago about the Lord's prayer (much of the talk was structured around Matthew 6 and the version of Jesus' prayer found there), the content of which follows: Can I say the Lord's Prayer? I cannot say OUR if I live in a water-tight spiritual compartment or if I think a spec

Remember you are dust

and to dust you shall return. Turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. An unusually serious thought for Ash Wednesday, taken from the Common Worship provision for the day. Enough said for today, i think


I don't think I've ever been called campy before - as described in the blogthing I posted yesterday. thanks for the comments by the way, i agree that Showgirls isn't a cult classic, but have now changed it! today is ash wednesday - the least campy day of the year. having started with a eucharist (with imposition of ashes) at 7.30am I am allowing my brain to wake up, between the appointments which are filling my day, and may post later.

If my life was a movie

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few. But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky. Your best movie matches: Office Space, Msr Heulot's Holiday, Dogma, The Big Lebowski If Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?

Intimidating, moi?

Having had two comments about my scary picture on the profile here at blogger, I have reverted to my older picture which doesn't really have me at all, only my handsome son with me sideways with a squishy nose.... Hope this one doesn't upset anyone ;-)

Really enjoying reading

...a book by Sally Vickers called 'Miss Garnett's Angel' - not the kind of novel i would normally read, but a sensitive, thoughtful book about an older woman who travels to Venice after the death of a life-long friend in order to think through life and ends up finding out much more about life, death, faith and love than she expected. It is wonderfully written, and contains just enough suspense to keep the reader hanging on - i am about half way through and savouring the book, though I am tempted to keep reading even when I don't have the time to!

Things that may or may not be true

Following up the query about 'peas pudding hot' I looked up an email sent me a while ago about interesting historical facts, and somewhere in the middle of this is something about that particular rhyme. I have no idea how much of this is accurate... Comments by the author of the email are in green, the important bit is in red... the one that I am pretty unsure about is the 'saved by the bell' which i thought had a pretty straightforward link to boxing.... You couldn't make these up so I think they must be true ? The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s: These are interesting... Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom

Responding to comments - and a sermon

I am reaping what I have sewn, having mentioned porridge in a previous post I now need to try and explain to Jenny Ha Ha (flaw and disorder) the nursery rhyme 'peas porridge hot' - I did recently read something about that, so I will get back to you on that when i can find exactly what it means - the simple explanation is that peas porridge is a simple fare of mushed up peas... yum Also, sorry, I don't know who nutty mummy is, sorry, I do have a sister - well, actually I have eight, and eight brothers, but not one who blogs, at least not one who is a mum.... Actually, going over the comments on your blog I realised that she addresses me and talks about her brother in Scotland (which isn't me)... Confused everyone, you should be - go to Flaw and disorder to try and unravel this... Um, jeff, enjoyed a trip round your blog after a week's absence (on my part, not yours, obviously - and tried to offer some response to your Ask an Anglican question! Betty, thank yo

Back for a moment

Had my week off and now am preparing to go back to work tomorrow. The problem with this ministry lark is that you are never really off, in the middle of the week i had a moment where i was anxious about a couple of parishioners so i was contacting colleagues to make sure they were visited whilst I was away. I did go away to Devon to see my family, but was down there to baptise my latest nephew, Drew, who is completely gorgeous! Lovely day, fun service (in an ice cold country church) great to see family, but still work to a certain degree... i guess car mechanics who go to visit friends get asked to look under the bonnet (or hood for US readers) of their friends and family cars, or doctors get a 'could you have a look at this and should i get it lanced' query at supper time when visiting - so there's not much to complain about. Actually, not complaining, just observing. It's a great privilege to baptise at any time, even more so when it is one of the family. A goo

Going to be a quiet week...

I'm officially on holiday this week, and making the most of time with family, so I expect my blogging will drop down the 'to do' list - if I don't get any posting done in the next couple of days please feel free to amble around and see what else is here - or follow some of the links in the sidebar, or just chill, put your feet up and relax, use this as an opportunity to take a two minute break from your busy schedule and just stare vacantly at the screen for a bit. On the other hand, if I do have some time in the next few days I might feel inspired and blog like crazy. Who knows?

Stealing stuff from other blogs

Well, that's what the blogsphere is for, isn't it? As long as you let them know you've swiped it. Here's a meme I half-inched from The Old Fart (thanks for the comment on the last post!) who filched it from Dr John (thanks for the comment on my last post, and mention in today's post on your blog) who had taken it from Margaret (thanks for the comment on my last post) and who had mentioned this meme (Old Fart that is) in a post on plagiarism . I had great difficulty thinking of synonyms for stealing in that short paragraph above as well as trying to get the syntax right so that you realised the end of the sentence after all those parentheses was again about The Old Fart, in the end i had to give up, as you can tell. Definitely time for bed, once I've done this meme... 1.Four jobs I have had in my life: Barman Spare rib ribcage cutter upper (yeuchhhh - but fun at the time) telephone market researcher (NOT sales!) Dishwasher at Wimbledon tennis tourn

Sermon for 2nd before Lent

Yes here it is, all new and shiny, the sermon for tomorrow... Don't tell any of my parishioners, they are all, obviously, desperate to know what i have to say.... ha ha ha ha ha 2 Before Lent Year C RCL principal Genesis 2: 4b - 9, 15 - 25 Revelation 4 Luke 8: 22 - 25 Be Still I don’t know about you, but I’m sure the world seems to be getting faster and busier and more frantic as the years go by. It’s not just a case of time passing quickly, which I am told seems to happen more and more as one gets older, and makes me worry that by the time I am in my fifties I will be missing whole weeks if I blink! I do think that western society is obsessed with haste and with just ‘doing’ things all of the time. There’s not very much space in our world for relaxation, rest and stillness. There are not many places where we can enjoy silence any more. There is not much time for the spiritual and emotional part of our lives to be dwelt on and reflected. Our lives our so full and so

Not going anywhere

My car has conked out, and the repair services are so busy at the moment i have to wait until at least 3pm until they arrive, so i have four hours to fill, or rather I have to rearrange my plans for today in order that i still get done what i need to get done... Plans for today were hospital visiting, then service planning and sermon writing (I have a complete block on doing sermons before Saturday, maybe because my first Vicar was so good at getting things done early in the week and wanted me too as well.) So it I am taking the time to do the service planning and sermons now. This is unusually organised and may take me out of my usual 1am to bed pattern as i will have the usually frantic late night put together taken away from me! Better stop blogging and get on with it then...

Who we are...

Reading Quilldancer's blog she say 'Inside me is a thin person trying to get out'. My take on that would be 'Inside every fat person is a thin person trying to get out, but i keep mine pacified with cake'.


We've got real snow today, and the kids have had great fun playing in it (whilst I was inside keeping warm and my wife was running around after them) Don't think the snow will last for longer than a day or two, though, and none forecast beyond today. It doesn't seem to have curtailed much activity today except prayers with the other ministers in the area this morning as the roads were blocked by accidents. I did get to the funeral I needed to this afternoon and I still, i believe, have a meeting this evening in one of my local villages. Perhaps if i get my act together there will be some photos later (of the snow, not the funeral or the meeting...)

How to complicate things...

This morning saw me going into the local school, where I am a governor and my daughter is a pupil, to help out one of the teachers with a lesson on 'The Bible' as part of their Religious Studies series on 'sacred texts'. The kids were 9 years old or so (Year 4/5) and I was there just to give a general overview as to why the Bible is so important, a bit about what is in it, and a bit of where it came from. What struck me as i spoke to these interested, enthusiastic, thoughtful children was how complicated it is to try and explain things in simple terms when one has been 'theologically educated'. I knew that it would be a waste of time, and totally irrelevant, if I started talking about 'sources' or 'form criticism' or 'redaction' - things which so easily trip off my tongue when I talk to other Christians about Scriptural matters. In the end these things didn't matter, they wanted to know why I believe that the Bible is 'God'

Warm and fluffy feelings

It's great to come into contact on the blogosphere with those who you know in this 'oh, too solid flesh' world, or meet those who also blog (see Dr John for some thoughts on that, particularly in the comments - its also a theme which has run through a few blogs i have visited lately). Jem is one of those who I know in the real world beyond cyberspace - though his personal blogging has kind of dwindled into nothingness lately (work blogs are apparently v busy, but i need to search those out) and now here is another - Twisted Shadows of Naughtiness - fellow cleric in the Ely Diocese who I can't find anywhere on the net and whose profile is blocked - thanks Ed! Anyway, it is good to know that real people are out there - I know you are all real, but sometimes I need reassurance. With Ed's comments - gladly received - I now have an appropriate warm fluffy feeling inside...


Considering Dave Walker's reflections on Giles Fraser's reflections on bloggers, or rather (as Dave points out) on blog commentators, perhaps I will stop encouraging comments on my blogs - its a very scary blogsphere out there! Populated by very scary people... Go on, prove me wrong :-)

How frustrating...

The day i don't have time to blog, or even to check out my fave blogs on the sidebar, is the day that my sitemeter tells me i have most visitors! Sorry if you popped by yesterday and were hoping for something new, i hope the chance to amble around the archives was enjoyable. It was a very busy day yesterday, but quite rewarding - early service was small but perfectly formed with a good response from the congregation. My main service at 10.30am was slightly disappointing attendance wise (after the time put into preparation) but the lack of numbers was more than made up for by the atmosphere of worship and the participation of those who were there - God is good, no matter how many get together to remember that! My very traditional Evening service, from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, on the other hand was well supported (for a trad service on a dark and cold night with freezing fog in one of the smallest villages in our team, less than 100 population) and

Dr. John's Fortress: Why such a rush?

Dr. John's Fortress: Why such a rush? Here's a great reflection on the lemming like rush to Windows Vista... And for those taking notes, I know I am posting it a day late, but i never really thought about it until today. Today's post from Dr John is good too.

Preparing for Sunday

Another busy week nearly over, but today needs some time taking into preparing services for tomorrow and the start of another week. I guess most people think that because Anglican services are liturgically based that everything just happens like some kind of 'holy sausage factory' churning out the same stuff week by week, but we try to offer something that is within a framework yet reflects the freedom that comes from the life of Christ which we share. I have a traditional service to start and end the day, but our main morning service is an act of all age worship which involves making our time together meaningful and at the same time accessible. I think I've managed to get something together which works - I just need to print it out now. Also, I am just working on a sermon for tomorrow, and having looked through my old sermons I thought i might talk again about our own calling to serve God - a calling that is not just for Clergy or lay ministers or those who work for t

For lovers of 'Father Ted'

If you've not been there before, the only search engine you will ever need is Doogle...

Family Friday

It's friday, no really, so I am going to spend time with my family today. I was hoping to go the MCN motorcycle show but my wife is afflicted with a very heavy cold/infection thing which has now kept her off work for a couple of weeks and shows no sign of going. The bike will be repaired today so I may well get to ride it at some point in the next day or two - hooray! So I may or may not see you later...

In case you read comments

You may have seen in the last post where I got all deep and meaningful for a mo, a comment from flawed and disorderly in which she undergoes some deep mental struggle before saying what she really wanted to say... Go here to understand what that was all about.... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Death in/of the community?

In villages the size of the ones I minister funerals are not exactly rare, nor are they frequent. We've a had a couple of really tragic funerals lately, and in the time I have been ministering in this area we've seen a number of such funerals. The bereavement ministry we offer on the whole, though, is what most would consider 'natural' deaths - often at the end of a long life. On the whole these funerals aren't considered in the same way to be tragic, though every death is heartbreaking and - to quote the Revd Ken Howard of Curb your Dogma - 'death sucks'. However, there is a kind of creeping tragedy coming over many of our rural communities - with a number of deaths over the past couple of years we have lost some real village 'characters' - people who had in their time significant influence on these communities. We've lost old time poachers, and those who worked on the land, members of our Church communities, even a few of the much loved

Lack of motivation

Having one of those days where blogging seems to have dropped off of the mental 'things to do' list due to brain being full. Have got that previously mentioned document about 'What God is doing' (which I keep misremembering as 'What is God doing in our team....?') to finish, and before it gets dark i need to remove the battery from my motorbike in order that i can put in the new one tomorrow and get to the motorbike show in London. If you are there, i will be the fat, hairy one in leathers... That'll help ;-)