Category Archives: Church

Theology alert…

Skip this bit if you’re not interested in this sort of thing.

I’ve come to the conclusion, over the last few months, that I don’t believe in “vision”. At least, I believe that God does, from time to time, give individual and collections of Christians a glimpse of the bigger picture, but that actually, nine times out of ten, we wouldn’t understand it if we saw it, and the search for a vision is likely to represent a huge distraction from the job in hand.

Maybe I underestimate the value of a vision, because of having no great personal need for one. Maybe people who need and value this overarching sense of what they’re working towards function better that way, and I’m just differently made. On the other hand, maybe they’re almost all missing the point.

The way I see my Christianity, I am called to live my life in close proximity to God. I am called to pray regularly, study the bible, and meet with other believers. Through these activities, and, in fact, through any other activity God pleases, I am given the opportunity to hear Him speak to me, in a personal and individual way; to discover what specific things he would have me do and say, and when nothing in particular seems to be pressing, to generally live my life in accordance with the teachings of Jesus – in a way that demonstrates the loving of God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (that doesn’t sound right, I can never remember the order), and the loving of my neighbours as I love myself.

Frankly, I see that challenge as being quite enough to go on with. Loving my neighbours is a tricky business. Don’t even like some of ’em.

I don’t really understand why I need a bigger “vision” than that. If, within that, God tells me to go talk to someone at a bus-stop, be a missionary in Timbuctu, preach hell, fire and damnation in the city centre, or quit my job and become a hairdresser, then that’s what I’ll do. Or more likely, I’ll object profusely, argue the toss, and fight him every inch of the way. Fortunately, God’s very patient with me over my attitude problem. Nevertheless, my experience is that God VERY RARELY explains why he wants you to become a hairdresser, he just makes it quite clear, over a period of time, that he does, and years later, you look back and see how well it worked out.

This is becoming rather Adrian Plass like, but I find the idea of waking up in the morning with a fully formed picture of the hairdressing ministry that I’m going to start, the hundreds of people who will be involved in it, converted through it, etc, etc, quite alarming. In fact, I just don’t trust it. If God says be a hairdresser, be a hairdresser. If he uses your hairdressing to bring people to know Jesus, that’s great. If he uses it to do people’s hair, well that’s not so bad, either.

The Daisy whirlwind…

Has definitely hit our house, we’ve never had so many visitors, so little sleep, and so many presents.

Daisy is doing fine, she is having trouble remembering how to breast feed, but today, she seems to be remembering and we’ve just had a good 13-14 minute feed, with virtually no hassle!

The nights are the thing you can’t prepare for, sleepless nights, are something we have all experienced, but sleepless, coupled with the need to actually get out of bed, and do things, makes the world of difference, it’s still early days, so night times, are still quite clumsy, so once daisy has woken us up, it’s about an hour before we are going back to sleep.

our big plan for today, is to go to church. Not the whole service, just tea and coffee afterwards, this will be daisy’s first trip out, (apart from the trip home from hospital) so we all get a chance to try out the new pram, and Daisy gets to be the center of attention (again).

Life’s gone all Hectic

At the Moment it feels like I have quite a hectic life and deep down I?m not actually sure that?s true. The weekend seemed to get quite frantic, but mostly that was down to my volunteering for something I didn?t want to do, and parties, and the house being a tip, and not sleeping and visiting my sister.

Volunteering: How you should only volunteer for things you don?t mind doing

Last Sunday, I was cornered and asked if I would do some Christian Aid work, basically dropping a leaflet through people?s door, and then returning sometime later and asking them for it back preferably with money in it.

Now, I foolishly felt a bit cornered and said yes, which gave me a number of moral problems.

  1. I don?t like unsolicited mail, I feel that if I wanted email from somebody I would ask for it, and if you drop something through my door, you can?t expect me to give you it back at a later date.
  2. I am against pressurising people into giving money, now call it my catholic upbringing, but It felt terribly like people where treating the Christian Aid thing as a bond, a sort of ?If I don?t donate I won?t go to heaven thing?. Now I?m not going to go into a big long theological discussion just yet, but the whole entry into heaven thing isn?t really down to how much or little you donate to charity
  3. I am not very good at talking to strangers especially when I?ve just randomly knocked on their door.

So it has to be said, all through the week I kept putting off going and delivering these letters and I almost just raided my slummy jar and filled the envelopes rather go round knocking on peoples doors, but Ruth persuaded me, that I had to offer people the opportunity to donate, and I had committed to it when I said yes.

I would just like to say at this point that I don?t object at all to the work Christian Aid does, in fact I don?t think the method they us to collect the money is necessarily wrong, it?s just that I find it uncomfortable.

Now the weekend’s over, I thought it might all calm down, but I arrived at work today, to find we had lost our student system and a weeks worth of data, And one of the main SQL servers had fallen over with a disk fault and JMU World was off.

oh well.

What do you think?  Do I look pregnant?The weekend WAS nice. I, too, attached all my multitudinous fears and worries to a small stone, and threw it in the river. Kevin dropped his from the bridge – I lobbed mine into the frothy bit at the bottom of the waterfall.

Mostly, it worked. The effect is starting to wear off, now, but for a while there, I was pretty content with it all.

One of the exercises, to do with the “outward journey”, involved taking a photo of the whole group, and projecting it on to the wall. The idea was that you look at yourself, on the picture, and try to see yourself as God sees you, and as other people see you – the person who is taking God out to the rest of the world.

To my unbelievable surprise, I liked what I saw. I thought I looked well, and happy, and… pregnant. Inexplicably, because there’s not much to give you away at six weeks, and if there is, it’s usually to make you look LESS well.

What do you think?

It may sound clich?d to talk about the church as my family, but we were especially family-like, this weekend. People were so pleased for us, when we told them, and so careful of us. It was very special. I wouldn’t be without that group of people for the world.

Especially when the car broke down, and they all ganged together to make sure we got home OK…