Wednesday, December 29, 2010

England sprinkler celebs

Nice feeling after 24 years. The last time we had the ashes in Australia I had hair!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cinderella the full Picture...

Having experienced the restricted view of Cinderella it was great to see it without half the stage missing or behind a post! The problem then was distance from the stage. Bringing my binoculars may have stirred some family mirth, but it was amazing how difficult it was getting them back once the ballet started!

Here's Claire Calvert as the Winter Fairy supported if you look very carefully in the background by Eryn!

More images of Eryn's cast are here

Photos by John Ross - used with permission

The Independent -- The Year in Review: Austerity

I saw this article from The Independent and thought it might be of interest to you

The year 2010 began with David Cameron looking into a TV camera and pledging to the British people: "If any cabinet minister comes to me and says 'Here are my plans' and they involve frontline reductions, they'll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again." The year ended with him pushing through the most severe cuts to frontline services in living memory.

© 2009 Independent News and Media

Sent from my iPod

Monday, December 20, 2010

Captain Heimlich ....

"You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing." Isaiah 42:20 "
I'd forgotten this until looking through my ipod, but I doubt the person I performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on will. If WBC allows people who are 'without thinking theologically' to be commissioned 'without thinking theologically', TSA in the UK has more than a few problems. There are people who approach theological thinking in the same way that Kenny approached his baked potato. For some unfathomable reason people do God the discourtesy of forgetting to chew. Forgetting that they have been created with a brain to think, they swallow down whole chunks and then wonder why they start to choke on what Robert Jay Lifton calls thought terminating cliches.

What is amazing is that for some they'd rather continue going red in the face, blue even puce. Morisy quotes Gwend Griffith-Dickson as a possible reason.
High levels of emotion tend to knock out a persons, especially a young persons, critical faculties. With high levels of emotional arousal it becomes difficult for people to 'process', ie to hear without reacting, information that counters their perception.pp 47
For others they catch your eye and between gasps communicate they need help. A quick heave ho and it's time to revisit what should've been chewed on in the first place!!

The kingdom of God and its values is worthy of thinking rather than a thoughtless approach. The Bereans in Acts 17:11 are known for their thinking and openness.

"And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Introducing my place of random and incomplete thinking...

I have a place of random and incomplete thinking. Generally as thoughts occur I jot them down with the idea of revisiting them. They often represent those off piste moments when listening to the thoughts of others as they preach. Sometimes the result of a good conversation. Sometimes something seen on TV or on the radio or thoughts that are inspired by reading. They end up on the evidence of God that is in my pocket, better known as an iPod Touch!

Anyway 23 days ago I wrote this down. I suspect it was in what we call a 'spiritual day' at college when something was said that made a connection with the area of thinking on essence, function and  form.

Holy living is the essence (desire)
Spiritual formation is the function (intentionality)
Christlike action and thought is the form. (expression)

These thoughts feel incomplete for me, but the new label of random and incomplete thoughts will make a hospitable home for now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

There's something to be said for a restricted view!

I'm not sure I'll get used to seeing Eryn on the stage of the royal opera house. Actually seeing her is probably an exaggeration. If you pay £10 to stand with a restricted view you pay £10 to stand with a restricted view!

I wait in expectation as the RoH fills, others come and stand beside me dressed for the ballet. A hopeful man thinking his tickets for the ballet were cheap doesn't impress. They move on leaving me hopeful of B6 as the slight degree improvement gives a slightly better restricted view than B5!

Act 1 she is totally out of sight as the winter fairy jumps and gyrates, skips and twists, or should I say chaînés, sautée with pirouette à la seconde, I know she is there holding on tightly to her mistletoe with the dry ice lapping at her feet. 2500 other people may not even notice her as Claire Calvert as the Winter Fairy captures their gaze. But I do even though I can't see her.

Does the restricted view matter? Does it rob me of the beauty of the music, the movement the experience? Not at all. This restricted view is different from the last restricted view there is something new. OK I still can only see Eryn through the crook of an elbow and a shade of a lamp and past the neck of another if they all line up, but does it matter?

Not at all, I know she is there and I can appreciate it all restricted view or not. At the interval B7 and B8 leaving gives hope of a new experience of a new restricted view.

Next week proper seats, full view - I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hagberg on Faith Development 2/6

Summary of Stage 2 - The life of discipleship - grounds us

From awe and wonder the desire in faith becomes everything about absorption. Like a sponge the books, DVD's, CD's are soaked up in an insatiable desire to learn. A Christian Marketing dream! Faith at this stage is all about learning about God. Being part of a group is essential and meaning is taken from belonging and agreeing within what is seen as orthodox. The charismatic leader still wields immense influence as  answers are not individual or unique but found in a leader, cause, or belief system.This stage is characterised by the groups sense of rightness and security is in 'Our' faith. What holds people back at this stage is a rigidness in righteousness which is sustained by a 'we against them' attitude that is seen in a resistance to any thinking outside what is seen as correct. The tribe continues to hold and shape. Moving on begins to happen when people see themselves as contributors to others rather than recipients, the catalyst being the need to take risks and accept others.

Hagberg's key question for those at this stage:

When have you felt a part of a faith or spiritual community?

Hagberg, J. O. (2004). The Critical Journey, Stages in the Life of Faith, Second Edition (2nd ed.). Salem, WI: Sheffield Publishing Company pp 67

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hagberg on Faith Development 1/6

Janet Hagberg's Hagberg, J. O. (2004). The Critical Journey, Stages in the Life of Faith, Second Edition (2nd ed.). Salem, WI: Sheffield Publishing Company is an unknown classic. I came across it by accident but haven't seen her referenced too much, it might have something to do with the price of the book in comparison with other similar books. Her approach to faith development is refreshing and really insightful and one that I have found probably the most helpful, not least for the reason of perspective and warning she brings.
"In each of us a wide mixture of behaviour both wise and unwise, healthy and unhealthy, appears.... when that behaviour begins to dominate or when we become obsessed with how we need to behave or how others need to behave, then we have a clear sign that we are becoming caged. Another sign of stuckness is having to be right abd convincing others of our rightness.... rightness becomes more important than the journey." pp11
Summary of Stage 1 - The Recognition of God - humbles us

This first stage is all about faith as the discovery or recognition of God. Driven by a desire or an aching need for greater meaning in life it is characterised by a sense of awe and a sense of innocence. Hagberg speaks about people within this stage of faith being held back or 'caged' by feelings of worthlessness, spiritual bankruptcy, martyrdom, ignorance and to move on there is a need in discipleship to align with a strong group to find a charismatic leader to follow in order to discover the way. This is the beginning of forming within the tribe that becomes what Fowler calls significant others. Through this there is a move from isolation as self worth is accepted.

Hagberg's key questions at this stage  are:

How and when did you first recognise God in your life?
How do you experience God most, by awe, a sense of need, nature, or a search for greater meaning?
When have you recognised or felt God strongly in your life?

Hagberg, J. O. (2004). The Critical Journey, Stages in the Life of Faith, Second Edition (2nd ed.). Salem, WI: Sheffield Publishing Company pp 49

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Emotionally Healthy Church...

Some good resources and thoughts here. Looking at the inventory resource in particular.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shouting Jesus...

Our Territorial Commander has a powerful resonating preaching voice. Anyone who has heard Commissioner John Matear preach would not have lost the irony of him saying "... and when you've finished doing good you don't need to shout Jesus at them!"

Recently I found myself listening to our Territorial Commander as he outlined TSA's essence and calling to punch holes in the dark; I was more than encouraged. In fact it was the most powerful declaration of mission in a sermon I have ever heard. I'm still trying to processing the impact it had on me and it will remain with me forever.

It was Leslie Newbigin who said something like words without action are dumb.