Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm still using Drop Box....

I had a friendly reminder to keep on using Drop Box
and so have back up all my photo's on this helpful little resource. There is even an app for it for iPhone/ iPod.

If you use this link you get an extra 250mb of storage - oh and so do I :o) if you use this link

I know a shameful approach to trying to get more storage!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

ETL Network 2010 - Hungary...

It was good to meet with other other Salvation Army Training staff to look at and to explore the issues facing TSA as it trains people for leadership. Last year the focus was that of looking at the essence of training, this year we looked at the function of training exploring what it is to develop leaders before next year moving on to looking at the form of training. It was interesting to see and hear the wide variety of opinion as people engaged with the programme.

An evening and a morning in Budapest was enough for me to fall in love with what seems a remarkable city. Looking out over the Danube from the Fisherman’s Bastion was spectacular. The SzĂ©chenyi Thermal Baths were something different, it is not everyday that you get to swim outside when there is snow on the ground and it is -4 C!

It was good to get to see something of the SA at action in Hungary, up to 500 meals a week for the homeless of Budapest served at the railway station seems pretty significant example to me. The hostel was old but impeccable, the corps officers brimmed with passion. It was all good to see and experience.

Free time at the conference on the Saturday was a hard choice, a dolls house factory, a hike or a couple of hours ski-ing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Types of Christian Spirituality...

It is easy to think and to limit ourselves to a single approach to Christian spirituality. A 'if it works for me it should work for you approach' tends to narrow our appreciation of other ways which actually impoverishes our experience of spirituality.

Urban T. Holmes has developed a means of exploring spirituality and helps develop an appreciation through discovering links between spirituality, temperament and predisposition.

The diagram illustrates his ideas together with potential inherent dangers. The vertical continuum speaks and helps us understand our relational orientation to God. This ranges from engaging with God through understanding and theological process to a more emotive response.

Horizontally speaks of a persons preferred means of pursuing the spiritual life. Kataphtic speaks of affirmation and the need of something tangible in an individuals spirituality- this may take the form of worship, art, even imagination with the use of metaphors, symbols and images playing a central role. Apophatic sees a more emptying approach to prayer and spirituality embracing more of the mystery of God where God's hiddenness is emphasised. Clearly, no one is one extreme exclusive to any other as we are a complex composite. What is releasing is that we are different, it is worth trying to understand that difference.

Boa points out the potential dangers of extreme to look out in each quadrant:
  • Quietism - where at extreme it is possible to be excessively introspect to the exclusion of the world;
  • Rationalism - reflecting an approach to spirituality that could be overly dogmatic, stressing logic to the exclusion of mystery;
  • Pietism - characterised by an extremity of emotionalism, experientalism and anti-intellectualism;
  • Moralism - with mindset of cultural condemnation and an emphasis on action over being.
Boa, K. D. (2001). Conformed to His Image. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lost Lyrics - We have caught the vision splendid

Howard's Yoder's The Politics of Jesus is a fascinating read that challenges what he calls the introspective and emotional stance with regards to justification that stems from the contemporary and partial translation of understanding of 2 Corinthians 5:17.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Yoder's point is that rather than 'the ontological or metaphysical transformation of an individual it really points to a new social reality'. Mirroring sentiments elsewhere (Galatians 6:15 Ephesians 2:15. 1 Peter 2:13) Yoder argues that Paul's 'putting to rights' had in mind the fulfilment of new humanity; that Jews and Gentiles one become one, the reconciliation of different kinds of people; a new community where the brokenness of humanity is put right.

Could be that Doris got it right when she penned song 833

We have caught the vision splendid
Of a world which is to be,
When the pardoning love of Jesus
Freely flows from sea to sea,
When all men from strife and anger,
Greed and selfishness are free,
When the nations live together
In sweet peace and harmony.

Doris N. Rendell

Yoder, J. H. (2002). The Politics of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Say no to 0870

Here's an interesting website if you are fed up of paying 0870 rates. The site lists many well known companies, and their equivalent geographical numbers.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Non-Manipulative Church... evangelical trademarks, not an Alpha logo in sight, no buy a Christian slave in Sudan posters, no telltale signs of supposed liberalism , not even any fairtrade biscuits...

Carolling seems a distant memory now as we head off into a new year. Driving around Clapham Common I can't help but be reminded of one fairly nonsensical evening when we were invited to play in the middle of the common at night. The idea to accompany the carol singing from the church members on the common probable once had merit as some kind of outreach to its community but on a cold rainy day there were only cyclists and joggers there to run/cycle around the group of singers enjoying the carols. It was a bit precarious - we could hardly see our music let alone anyone see us!

Less nonsensical was the sharing of coffee and mince pies afterwards in the church. What was interesting was that the church while beautiful was nondescript, there was nothing really to work out the brand of Anglicism it represented. So we played 'who would worship in a church like this....' it was difficult, no evangelical trademarks, not an Alpha logo in sight, no buy a Christian slave in Sudan posters, no telltale signs of supposed liberalism , not even any fairtrade biscuits. We trawled the lobby for clues and made our assumptions. In the end I gave up and asked the Curate, I loved his response.

"So what kind of church are you..."

"Actually we like to think of ourselves as a non-manipulative church...."

Friday, January 01, 2010

Books 2009 ...

Top Reads

Wink, W. (1992). Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (The Powers, Vol 3). Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers.
Wallace, D. (2008). Friends Like These. London: Ebury Press.
Scorgie, G. G. (2007). A Little Guide to Christian Spirituality: Three Dimensions of Life With God. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
Dostoevsky, F. (2003). The Idiot. New York: Vintage. - only in that I made it through - I think! It did my head in and pretty much became the over riding novel for the year as I refused to give in!