Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lost Voices of Mission...Catherine Hine

Okay here's a new trend for all you pomo;; salvo types - forget your goatees; forget your piercings; 'aggresive' battle gear - this is the tattoo you want, I'm almost tempted myself being due a mid-life crisis in June next year!

I photocopied it from the original Chinese corps flag that was planted in Limehouse, East London in the early part of 20c. A fantastic story of Catherine Hine fed up with her HQ appointment, who decided to walk down to and eventually live in the Chinese community of Limehouse. If you want to find a story of incarnation try and find Catherine Hine's story. While working at THQ she spent every spare minute she had in the laundry's run by the Chinese community, getting to know the women who worked there, being part of their community; their lives.

She lived out the gospel without speaking a word of Mandarin; communicating through pictures she made the message and life of Jesus known. A corps was established and quickly grew through the authentic and unrelenting presence of Catherine Hine. A flag was presented and the Mandarin to the left was embroidered on it - Blood and Fire...!

I'm beginning to collect Lost Voices of Mission - Catherine Hine is my number 1.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just a bit of graffiti...

I saw my first major Banksy without really looking last week; a major bit of clever graffiti art, no-one but my Nephew Shae seemed that bothered and so we wandered back for the shot. But I have started looking for some other chalkings that are around the city.

I learned about them at the Drop In that I help out at in King's Cross; basically it is a street code to guide people who are on the street as to what kind of place is safe or not; what kind of place serves food or not; what kind of place is friendly or not; where is good to sleep or not.

It is a fascinating code and now I am on the look out. It is called the 'Homeless City Guide'

I'm not entirely sure how clear this guide will come out - but you'll get the picture.*

As I walked home from Faith House I looked out for the marks - have to say I didn't get to see any; but got thinking what mark would I want to see outside my church?

What mark does your church deserve?

(*Click on the graphic for a bigger image...)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Out of the mouths of a gas man...

A new cooker arrived today. Mick, the guy who delivered it and installed it was interested in that I worked in the Training College. "So what d'you do in there mate..."

Talking to his back while he huffed and puffed to get the cooker connected; talking through grunts and shouts to his mate in the cellar; talking to him while he got me to sign in triplicate - I wasn't sure whether he was really that bothered.

As he walked out, the deed done he turned to me "So what you're telling me is that you tell them how to go in to a place and how not to go into a place..."

Two years teaching neatly summarised - thanks Mick...!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A word of thanks...

"Peter Crouch has urged fans not to make Scott Carson the scapegoat for England's Euro 2008 exit..."

Unbelievable who would think about doing that - the guy is a hero; the saviour of English football, in fact I feel I need to express my thanks to Scott Carson.

Thanks to him spilling a slippery speculative shot and being routed to the spot appealing for an offside we were 2-0 down even before our new small group started last night. Despite almost being let down by a Lampard penalty and a Crouch volley - thankfully Scott managed to push the ball into the net instead of around the post. We crash out of Euro 08 - What a relief! The prospect of embarrassing Steve McClaren directed football has been averted now forever!

Scott - you may not be your clubs no. 1 goalkeeper - but I want to thank you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

messing my trousers...!

I got so excited yesterday I ended up messing my trousers! ... Perhaps I should explain?

I drove Eryn to school yesterday because it was pouring, as I drove home the sun came out and while I parked the car in the college the inevitable rainbow appeared. It couldn't have been better, the sky behind was pitch black as the rain moved away; the rainbow looked almost comically false as it arched over the college tower in the perfect picture. Then it got better. The rainbow doubled; was spectacular and needed catching.

Committed to getting the shot, I run, taking a shortcut across the grass at the back of our house. I'm running full pelt in my Salvation Army uniform when I realise that this wasn't a great idea. The ground is sodden and treacherous and I slip over in a heap and slide along in the thick mud. I bounce back to my feet and disappear into our back garden and run for the camera.

It all happened in a matter of seconds but it is enough for the moment to have disappeared all but in my mind - dripping in mud it has been all for nothing! At least it has given people something to smile about because of course the whole mud slide was well and truly observed! WBC is a small community!

I looked today and the skid marks were pretty significant!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shiny Headed Prophet...

Always good to meet up with Rob AKA theshinyheadedprophet who has yet to prove himself as a mad axeman! I am always grateful that I started blogging when I meet people that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thank you...

Israel 2 v 1 Russia!

Please England don't mess up on Wednesday!

(A polite note to Hezbollah - this is about England almost off the hook thanks to Israel's recent victory over Russia. I'd be grateful if you didn't kidnap me or blow this blog up for my support of Israel this weekend - thank you!).

Friday, November 16, 2007


I always have an inward smile when people feel the need to say on their blog that they are speaking at a conference somewhere abroad!

Anyway ... !

Back on Monday!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Long way up...

If you are going to spend 16 hours in a car you couldn't do much better than travelling with a good friend who has a deep and enquiring theological mind.

We were driving to a Salvation Army conference in Glasgow with the gear for an Alt. Worship experience called 'A Deeper Chill....' that the college put together as an after hours event.

I knew that I would have to drive the gear up, so I twisted Matt Spencer's arm to come with me on a road trip north. 800 miles later we had covered a lot of ground in more ways than one and I was better for our time together.

Father and Daughter...

Nephew Ollie took this without us knowing while we were watching the Lord Mayor's show.

I liked it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Out and about...

It has been some time since I was a tourist in London; Kate's family was up for the weekend so we had a good excuse to see some of the sights, I even took the camera and enjoyed being a 'sight-seer' for the day.

I enjoyed getting along to see Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth or the 'Crack' in The Tate Modern. I started something off by getting this picture of Eryn from inside the crack!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

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

Nothing too spectacular with this last Blue like Jazz highlight; but a profound reminder how spiritual formation makes sense of mission and mission makes sense of spiritual formation.

"Love your neighbour as yourself" pp231

Here's the point. 'So how do you do that if your self esteem is as low as it gets?'

Miller, D (2003) Blue like Jazz - Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Monday, November 05, 2007

The loss of a friend...

There was a sadness at Faith House tonight.

I didn't know James' story but he had friends at the homeless men's drop in that I help out at on Monday evenings. James was someone who had moved on from where a lot of the men find themselves. He had been there and 'come through'; he even helped out in the kitchen cooking the food for the guys as they gathered as family.

Apparently James had been clean of drugs for some time, but James died last week, of a perhaps a drugs overdose, or a pretty potent batch that he was unused to. I could tell those who thought much of him, they were quiet and left early.

There was a sadness at Faith House tonight.

Friday, November 02, 2007

the agenda of surprise...

Recently I came to a surprising conclusion.

While 'Evangelical' is a loaded word with uncomfortable connections with narrow fundamentalism, there is a central construct of evangelicalism that is essential for me. That is the importance and centrality of the 'inspired word of God' as a guide for faith and Christian living.

I could be open to major misunders-tanding here -neither wanting to appear critical, judgemental or an evangelical of the nutter variety - but I think the problem I have is that 'We're not evangelical enough!!

I am increasingly conscious of how disposable and 'off pat' phrases like salvation, heaven, gospel, righteousness, holiness, kingdom, evangelism and of course mission have become. Used like glaced cherries on iced cakes, because what is an iced cake without a glaced cherry! The trouble is I've never liked glaced cherries, I generally spit them out, now I don't even consider them!

I wonder if we have become lazy with our exegesis *, our understanding of scripture; in it's place a diluted form of understanding shaped not by scripture but a 'pass the parcel' form of theology akin to Chinese whispers that results not in deep nuggets of truth but glaced cherries waiting to be spat politely out!

I could be open to major misunderstanding here -neither wanting to appear critical, judgemental or an evangelical of the nutter variety - but I think the problem I have is that 'We're not evangelical enough!!' Let's do the exegesis properly and cut out the 'Chinese whispers' and re-discover the task of the church in God's creation.


* extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text