Friday, 30 August 2013

Top Class Thinking

Sometimes I have no idea what these people are going on about but today - the final thought from Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks was actually really rather wonderful...Find it here


Thursday, 29 August 2013

A Normal Scene

So... this is a cat, in a shark suit, riding a vacuum cleaner. That's it really. Doesn't seem to be a big deal. I am now off to find out if I can be adopted by this family for whom this is a perfectly normal everyday scene.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Reality of Brokenness

To London on Monday to deliver FOW 2 to Summer School. (Three and a half hours on a train, then, 10 seconds after we get off, she catches sight of the team from UCL. "Bye!" she shouts and runs off towards them. So much for me guiding her safely through London) So I was left, slightly redundant with an afternoon in London to fill.
The British Museum called me and therein a small but beautifully formed exhibition (Room 69a in case you are interested) on coinage in the Bible. I love this sort of thing - real denari(s) ?? and shekels and things. Genuinely fascinating. In the middle of all this, I came across a small case containing 30 pieces of silver. That was all. 30 real pieces of silver. No one was suggesting that they were the actual ones that were used as Judas' pay-off but they were from the same time.
I found it surprisingly moving. Just the reality of these tiny silver coins in front of me. Judas wasn't always a traitor. He lost faith in Jesus - partly because he never really knew who he was. Yet the act of betrayal must have been heartbreaking for both I think. Jesus had lived with the disciples for three years and he loved them. Sometimes people used to say that Judas was put into the disciples for one purpose - to betray Jesus - and it was therefore as if anything he felt was of no value and that Jesus wasn't too fussed about him because Judas was part of a bigger picture. This goes against everything I have ever learnt or felt about Jesus. I don't think Judas was picked to betray. Jesus would never single anyone out as that hopeless. I think that he was aware that if he picked 12 people to share in his life that eventually someone would lose it. It could have been anyone of them. It could have been all of them. For the record, if I had been in the disciples, I think that there is a pretty good chance that it could have been me. Judas never recovered. 
By the Last Supper Jesus knew that Judas was lost. He knew that his frustration and impatience and self obsession had caused him to hand himself over to wickedness. 

The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”
Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”
Jesus said, “Don’t play games with me, Judas."
Matthew 26

Jesus was well aware that he was following the path laid out in Scripture but I don't think it hurt any less. People sometimes say that everything happens for a reason which is probably true but that seems a bit bloodless sometimes for me. Looking at these coins brought home the reality of a betrayal or a hurt of a friend. On both sides. I forget sometimes that Jesus really experienced these things. Loss and loneliness and disappointment. The Son of God isn't just an interested onlooker but someone who recognises the pain of a broken relationship as something that he has experienced in his own life. It would serve me well to remember this I think, next time I whinge to God that he doesn't know what I am going through. 


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Stepping Out....

... with my baby
Can't go wrong 'cause I'm in right
It's for sure, not for maybe
That I'm all dressed up tonight

Well, actually no, not that kind of stepping out. Sorry to get you all worked up. It's this kind of stepping out

Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. Matthew 6 v 31

So I did - (step out that is)  because there was (constant coming and going). The idea was that I would spend a goodly proportion of my jolly hols writing and blogging but I er..didn't. I stepped out of all day to day responsibilities and that included this - what can I say? 

If you missed me (Who? You are thinking) Why thank you. If not - well who can blame you? I have returned now. Not exactly rested but pooped from nice things.
  • We had family down for a few days which was really good.
  • We met a friend in Totnes. Still haven't had a decent cup of coffee there. They could do with a big chain moving in if you ask me.
  • We went to Warwick to look at the university and accidentally called in at Ikea on the way back.
  • We went to Flavourfest which is my favourite Plymouth event because there are lots
    of opportunities to eat.
  • Lots of meals out and long breakfasts on the Hoe. 
  • Lots of dog walking.
  • Cinema and home movies catching up
  • Bit of ironing (Felt I should for appearances sake.)
  • Read two books.
  • Helped get my mum settled in Plymouth.

So, that's my catch up. Wot I did on my 'olidays. Anyway, off to devour a Harry Potter film and a caramel wafer. You can have this from me to you. Enjoy.


Friday, 9 August 2013

The Last Thing

Mark 11:22-25
Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. 

I have a lot going on at the moment. I am in the middle of a few things. Crisis would be too strong a word and some of the things that are happening, we are on the better side of. We will get there. As usual, after a trying time I come back to the same question. Why is praying about it the last thing that I do?

Do I think it seems a bit presumptuous? Well sometimes.

Do I forget? Often.

Do I automatically just jump to sort it myself mode? Yep.

I have an ongoing fantasy about my life (no not the one where I am manager of Manchester United's most successful ever team) In it I am a woman of prayer with a notebook full of prayers - some answered, some ongoing. Some for friends, some for entire continents. The book would be full of different coloured pens and crossing outs and added bits and stuff where God had told me stuff. And I want to be a   pray-er. I do pray. Of course I do but I want it to be my default mode rather than my - "Oh yes I could always try praying" mode. And the thing is that this fantasy is completely attainable. I don't expect a better prayer life will get rid of all my problems. I just expect it to give me a better life because I do the best thing to deal with them.

It's down to me to sort. Puzzling though isn't it? Why I would not run with something so beneficial and so life enhancing? Am thinking it may be time to look at how this is done. All suggestions gratefully received.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Food Issues

Awesome is an over used word but this is the quite frankly awesome Jack Monroe and her son. 
She has experienced food poverty and written very movingly about it on her blog - example below.

"Poverty is the sinking feeling when your small boy finishes his one Weetabix and says ‘more mummy, bread and jam please mummy’ as you’re wondering whether to take the TV or the guitar to the pawn shop first, and how to tell him that there is no bread or jam."

She is now a food poverty campaigner and comes up with great ideas about cooking etc but also about GIVING.
I am expecting that I am teaching masses of grandmothers to suck eggs here but this is where the Christians rise up like the mighty army they are and make it happen. We need to be supporting Trussel Trust or whatever the local foodbank is up to. Loving watching what my chum Pat Cass and Urban Outreach are doing up north as well as Lord's Larder etc. where I am. But the very least - the VERY LEAST, LEAST, LEAST, LEAST any of us should be doing is wapping a bit extra in our supermarket trolleys and bunging it in the cages as we go out. And Bob - i'll est votre oncle as they say in France. 

If you need any more nudging - try Matthew

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

Thems the hard cold facts about our faith. It's who we are.

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