Friday, August 31, 2007

Cotterill Drought breakers...

For those that really think that I exaggerate about the change in weather whenever we get our tent out!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Some links...

Predictable weather meant lots of reading and scrabble - happy to pass my holiday scrabble crown onto the victorious Kate (for this year). Of course the inaugural summer Kubb championship was won by yours truly!

Anyway, I've just added these links to my Spiritual Formation collection to explore at some point.

centering prayer

The Merton Institute

The Lay Community of St. Benedict

finding sanctuary

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Holiday 2007

It's that time again.

Weather forecast seems predictable for a Cotterill camping expedition!

Lot's of books and Kubb queued up.

Back in a fortnight

Friday, August 10, 2007

Three reasons why...?

Conversely - again stay anon if you want - but how about three reasons why...?

Three reasons why not...?

I've been working on a chapter of a book with another member of staff. The book is looking at the concept of Call and Commission and the chapter we were asked to write is on the Institutional Churches response to the falling away of those entering training for ministry.

Stay anon should you wish but if anyone has time to comment by leaving 3 reasons why Colleges is not the route for them to fulfill the sense of God's direction in their life.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...

Yesterday we had a family trip to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang thanks to Grandma in Southampton.

Ok - a flying car on stage was pretty good! Watching the eyes pop out of Eryn's head was even better!

Lectio Divina - Luke 12:32-40 (NRSV)

Lectio -Read the passage slowly several times.

- Reflect on the text of the passage, thinking about how to apply to one's own life.

- Respond to the passage by opening the heart to God.

- Opening our mind, heart and soul to the influence of God.

Proper 14, Year C

Take time to read through the account slowly- possibly 2 or 3 times, then...
  • Identify what 'shimmers' for you?
  • Where is your focus drawn in the account ?
  • What for you is the main point?
  • What is your point of contemplation?
  • Which word or phrase has touched your heart?
  • What have you "heard" or "seen"?
Only one rule - remember that this isn't a bible study more a place of contemplation of scripture, so read comments with respect and be released from needing to respond to someone else's comment.

Luke 12:32-40

‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Watchful Slaves

‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lost Themes of Mission - Judgement...

God's justice is not simply a blind disposing of rewards for the virtuous and punishments for the wicked

I've been spending a bit of time in NT Wright's writing recently and it has inspired some new 'lost themes of mission'

The whole concept of judgement seems to be a pretty loaded word. I remember as a kid watching a guy walk up and down Oxford St in London with a sandwich board informing the tourists and shoppers that God's judgement was at hand. Hell and damnation, eternal rest the destination of such judgement - the communication of eternal sentence.

NT Wright points out in Evil And the Justice of God that

"God's justice is not simply a blind disposing of rewards for the virtuous and punishments for the wicked, though plenty of those are to be found on the way. God's justice is a saving, healing, restorative justice, because the God to whom justice belongs is the creator God who has yet to complete his original plan for creation, and whose justice is not simply designed to restore a balance to a world out of kilter but to bring to glorious completion and fruition the
creation, teeming with life and possibility, that he made in the first place."(2006:36)
Wright, N.T. (2006) Evil And the Justice of God

It seems that the whole concept of judgement becomes ever so much more than merely that of a sentence of reward and punishment - it is that of a 'putting to rights' that which is wrong. "Judge me O Lord" becomes a plea for a putting to rights that which is wrong; "judge our nation" becomes a plea for a putting to rights that which is wrong. This makes sense within a culture and through judicial metaphors that would seek judgement for redress of what was wrong.

The guy with his imminence of judgement placards - is right, the church has to communicate that which God means by judgement, but like so many others he has got the wrong of the stick. Shame his message was not more reflective of the restorative judgment that says "God is wanting to put this world to rights!"

The task of the church is to reflect this sense of God's judgement, to be part of God's redemptive plan by being signposts of God's saving, healing and restorative justice. Being part of God's judgement in the sense of putting the world to rights is most definitely mission and while understood by a sizable majority in terms of merely an eternal sentencing remains a lost theme of mission.


Lost Themes of Mission - Holiness...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Up Up and Away...

I love my wife!

Kate and our friend Tania's surprise early 40th birthday presents worked out pretty well at the second attempt without so much of the surprise!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The worst of Religion...

Having finished Richard Dawkins The God Delusion I have to say I thought I was going to have a bit more than I bargained with but I was pretty disappointed. His arguments seemed to be based around the worst that religion has to offer - so ironically I found myself not disagreeing with a lot of what he had to say. An argument based on the best of what religion has to offer might have been interesting.

His arguments seemed akin to someone writing off science based on the worst that science has to offer - which of course would be a ridiculous thing to do. Incidentally, today is the anniversary of Hiroshima.

This care of Jim Wallis' blog

Mitsuyoshi Toge, born in Hiroshima in 1917, was a Catholic and a poet. He was in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city on August 6, 1945, when he was 24 years old. Toge died at age 36. His firsthand experience of the bomb, his passion for peace, and his realistic insight into the event made him a leading poet in Hiroshima. This poem is from Hiroshima-Nagasaki: A Pictorial Record of the Atomic Destruction (1978).

How could I ever forget that flash of light!
In a moment, thirty thousand people ceased to be,
The cries of fifty thousand killed
At the bottom of crushing darkness; Through yellow smoke whirling into light,
Buildings split, bridges collapsed,
Crowded trams burnt as they rolled about
Hiroshima, all full of boundless heaps of embers.
Soon after, skin dangling like rags;
With hands on breasts;
Treading upon the broken brains;
Wearing shreds of burn cloth round their loins;
There came numberless lines of the naked, all crying.
Bodies on the parade ground, scattered like
jumbled stone images of Jizo;
Crowds in piles by the river banks,
loaded upon rafts fastened to the shore,
Turned by and by into corpses
under the scorching sun;
in the midst of flame
tossing against the evening sky,
Round about the street where mother and
brother were trapped alive under the fallen house
The fire-flood shifted on.
On beds of filth along the Armory floor,
Heaps, and God knew who they were?
Heaps of schoolgirls lying in refuse
Pot-bellied, one-eyed, with half their skin peeled
off bald.
The sun shone, and nothing moved
But the buzzing flies in the metal basins
Reeking with stagnant ordure.
How can I forget that stillness
Prevailing over the city of three hundred thousands?
Amidst that calm,
How can I forget the entreaties
Of departed wife and child
Through their orbs of eyes,
Cutting through our minds and souls?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bureaucratic creativity...

“How can forward-thinking people stay creative and productive within highly bureaucratic organizations?”

Joe Noland is a retired International Leader of The Salvation Army. His blog slightly irregular is one that I like to pop in and out of.

He seems to be starting a series of posts where he hopes to tackle the question “What can be done to change the establishment?” with the sub-plot “How can forward-thinking people stay creative and productive within highly bureaucratic organizations?”

Here is the context through which he hopes to answer these questions...
As a young Divisional Secretary (Doris L.O.M. Secretary), we had had it up to here with the establishment, made an appointment with the Chief Secretary and requested a return to Corps work. We were even so brash as to ask for one community in particular, Santa Rosa, California, for several reasons: There was no band and songsters and population studies projected phenomenal growth for the future. We desperately wanted to be the Army’s avant-garde in that rapidly exploding community.

On appointment day eve, we received a telephone call from the CS, the then Colonel Will Pratt saying, “We can’t give you everything you asked for, but we can give you the best half of it… the Santa half. You are being appointed to Santa Ana, California” (Will Pratt is one of the premier TSA communicators, obviously).

Horror of all horrors, Santa Ana was a very large traditional corps, band, songsters, timbrels (100 strong) and a transplanted congregation of Salvationists, British, Canadian and American-born who had relocated from the city to the sprawling suburbs of Orange County. Our first thought was, “What can we do to change the establishment so firmly entrenched in Santa Ana?” Perish the thought!
He's caught my attention! I'm interested in that I worry that a creativity drain occurs when people can only express themselves by opting out.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Brueggemann MP3's...

I've been trawling around looking for some Brueggemann to listen to and this site has some. The site has been a little hit and miss but I managed to get hold of some material to while away the ironing!

Just discovered that Snapshots allows you to play the mp3 within URBANarmy.

Introduction, Friday Evening





Introduction to the Prophets





Introduction to Wisdom Literature

Wisdom Writings




Oh Boy...

Tim has an incredible youtube video here.

Tim says "Prepare yourself. It’s offensive..." Tell me what you find most offensive the language or the attitude. No wonder Richard Dawkins has sold so many of his book The God Delusion.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

God's Politics...

I keep an eye on the Sojourners site, but I have just discovered the Godspolitics Progressive Christian blog by Jim Wallis and friends
The monologue of the Religious Right is over and a new conversation has begun! Join the God's Politics dialogue with Jim Wallis and friends Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass, Becky Garrison, Gareth Higgins, Shane Claiborne, Mary Nelson, Gabriel Salguero, Tony Campolo, and others.
For all those who make the trawl through different blogs to keep up to date - there is a better way bloglines. Godpolitics is about to be added.