Saturday, September 29, 2007

Trapped...



It was a little disconcerting to see Bethan do so well in the role as a saboteur on CBBC's new Friday evening programme - Trapped.

We cheered her on as she lied and cheated her way to the final, dumping her friends as she went!!

Is this what our parenting has produced!?

Oh well - it was good fun!

Tragic...


Leader of The Salvation Army in Pakistan murdered.
More news here
and

Friday, September 28, 2007

Any Cross - but Kings Cross...

There is something new in my life. Faith House. A Salvation Army presence trying to bring something of the cohesion of the Kingdom to the chaos of Kings Cross.
Kings Cross is pretty much as inner city as it gets. The kind of place that people tend to travel through, pretty quickly. Spend time there and you'll soon see all the tale tell signs of fragmentation, obvious, in your face, hardly hidden as commuters rush to their semi detaches in the home counties.

It is said that the name would strike fear into prospective Salvation Officers who would declare "Any Cross but Kings Cross!!!". Within a five minute walk from Kings Cross all the issues of a broken community easily ignored and forgotten were there to be seen. The hopeful girl looking for business, furtive glances of possibly a dealer, angry exchanges, aimless loneliness, homelessness.

There is something new in my life. Faith House. A Salvation Army presence trying to bring something of the cohesion of the Kingdom to the chaos of Kings Cross. A place of safety for the working girls, a place of community for the homeless, simply a place for those that need it. Monday nights will be my time to be involved, hopefully to support, to encourage and be part of a family that will give me more than I am sure I can give to it. Estelle and Christine with a team and network of people try to make a difference. I'm glad that I finally acted on a strong urge to get involved.

There seemed to be an irony, in that having shared sausage sandwiches with 12 or so homeless guys, as I walked home I was run over by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on a bicycle!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lectio Divina - Luke 16:1-13 [NRSV]


Lectio -Read the passage slowly several times.

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

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

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














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.

Proper 20, Year C

Luke 16:1-13

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

16Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.” 3Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.” 5So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” 6He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” 7Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.” 8And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

10 ‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth,who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.’

Social Evils...

What are the three social evils facing society today? This survey might be interesting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

a deeper shade of grey...

I have grown tired of being provoked by narrowness of thought that lacks context beyond that of favoured, well tested quotes and proof texts

The Rubicon team have asked me to blog weekly for a new feature. Here are my opening lines...
I’ve just opened my email box to a ‘blanket’ barrage of Booth and Railton proof quotes, underpinning a message of ‘encouragement’ to do more. Links to sites to encourage me to ‘really’ understand the Great Commission, to truly know what it is to evangelise, telling me how inept I have been, how misguided, how I have compromised the gospel and my calling. Although bereft of context, to try and gain what the author intended, I’ve given the opinion respect and read the email. I feel great having started the day dosed up with some good ol’ ‘black and white’ uncompromising judgement and opinion.

The Rubicon team has asked me to contribute to– the Rubi-blog, ‘we want something pithy, provocative, and controversial’; ironically I’ve said yes. Ironic because I have grown tired of opinion, proof texts, proof quotes the life blood of many blogs. Ironic because I have grown tired of being provoked by narrowness of thought that lacks context beyond that of favoured, well tested quotes and proof texts. I’m tired of people coming into my office, lounge, garden or where-ever my wi-fi enables me and shouting opinion at me. My RSS feeder is clogged with words and opinion waiting to provoke me, while I watch a world largely unprovoked by a church busy making something of the Kingdom that is predictable and bland, wrapping the gospel up in small print and hidden agendas. I’m tired of people provoking the wrong people.

The biggest irony? I’m as guilty as anyone!

Saturday, November 29, 2003 I wrote my first post over at URBANarmy – I wrote “My mulling, musing and pondering probably - no certainly - will be of no consequence to anyone but it will be of every consequence to me!” I hold to that in my first rubi-blog post, welcome to my journey as I mull, ponder and muse! Join me, should you wish, on my journey to an uncompromising ‘deeper shade of grey’, where there are more questions than answers, as I try and make sense of challenge of the Kingdom and faith development within the context of the woven beauty of holiness and of mission.

If you are more comfortable with ‘black and white’ rhetoric, you might want to give me a miss!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Miller, D (2003) Blue like Jazz - Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality ... 2/4

I don't think any church has ever been relevant to culture, to the human struggle, unless it believed in Jesus and the power of His gospel.

Another Blue like Jazz highlight...
A friend of mine, a young pastor who recently started a church, talks to me from time to time about the new face of church in America-about the postmodern church. He says the new church will be different from the old one, that we will be relevant to culture and the human struggle. I don't think any church has ever been relevant to culture, to the human struggle, unless it believed in Jesus and the power of His gospel. If the supposed new church believes in trendy music and cool Web pages, then it is not relevant to culture either. It is just another tool of Satan to get people to be passionate about nothing. pp 111
Miller, D (2003) Blue like Jazz - Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

I have this idea buzzing around my head that the shame of the church is that it is less and less able to share and communicate the gospel, because essentially it doesn't understand the gospel for itself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I met Rick today...

It was good to sit with Rick as he drank two cups of tea - he finished his and started on mine.

It was a bit of a busy start to the day. I had two guest speakers coming to talk about the 'Mission Development Plan' that TSA in the UK encourages its churches to work through. Before anyone gets excited and writes asking for a copy it is essentially not as exciting as its title.

The phone went and it was reception, I ran down the stairs to meet the guests but Keith nodded in the direction of Rick. "It's not who you thought it was .. but can you help....!". Rick is quite obviously a man of the road. His long matted hair and beard smother his face, but his eyes look hopeful and kind.

We chat and I find out a little of Rick's life. Rick is going back to Australia in 5 weeks, but in the meantime he is living in the park. He hasn't had a hot meal for 5 weeks and is pretty hungry. I'm loath to give tins to guys likely to cook the tins up on a fire. My memory of Marcus at Poplar coming to see me after he had almost blown his head off with a can of beans is still pretty fresh. But that is the best we can do.

It was good to sit with Rick as he drank two cups of tea - he finished his and started on mine. I'm not totally certain that Rick's story measured up, but nevertheless I met Rick today and I was the better for it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Roadside Pulpits...

I've a growing fascination with the message churches portray with their posters or 'roadside pulpits'. You know the phrases we throw like incendiary devices into our communities in order to cajole, entice people.
We are ordinary people trying to change the world.
Join us.

There is one church on the way to Thornton Heath in London that has a black 15 foot board outside their church declaring about the 'wages of sin etc...'. I should try and get a shot of it the next time I pass. I sometimes try and imagine the inevitable church council meeting that came up with the decision of what to put on the board .... "this'll get 'em". I'm probably being really unfair and have really misjudged the church, the sad thing so have- I would suggest - the 100's even 1000's of people that pass that church probably every hour.

Perhaps the eden project are on to something.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lectio Divina - Luke 14: 1-14 (NRSV)


Lectio -Read the passage slowly several times.

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

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

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











Proper 17, 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 14:1- 14

Jesus Heals the Man with Dropsy

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?’ But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?’ And they could not reply to this.

Humility and Hospitality

When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable. ‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place”, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

Eryn's first day at Junior School...

I don't know who has been more nervous!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Miller, D (2003) Blue like Jazz - Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality..1/4

This was a quick read, a welcome break from some heavier stuff I am trying to get my head around. Nevertheless there were some highlights...
They felt like they had to sell God, as if He were soap or a vacuum cleaner, and it's like they really weren't listening to me; they didn't care, they just wanted me to buy their product.


The thing I loved about Nadine was that I never felt like she was selling anything. She would talk about God as if she knew Him, as if she had talked to Him on the phone that day. She- was never ashamed, which is the thing with some Christians I had encountered. They felt like they had to sell God, as if He were soap or a vacuum cleaner, and it's like they really weren't listening to me; they didn't care, they just wanted me to buy their product. I came to realize that I had judged all Christians on the personalities of a few. That was frightening for me, too, because it had been so easy just to dismiss Christians as nuts, but here was Nadine. I didn't have a category for her. pp46
Miller, D (2003) Blue like Jazz - Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

The power of being an uncategorisable Christian ... not too sure how good at that we are?