Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Friday, 26 March 2010
chris rea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most dangerous forms because it’s usually diagnosed in late stages, in 1994. Back then he had the world at his feet, preparing for a US tour, huge record sales, several number one albums, no shortage of money in the bank, etc.
when he tells his story today, however, he talks of this as the beginning of a new and surprisingly better stage in his life. he’ll talk about learning what matters most in life is precisely the things we tend to take for granted each and every day, like those closest to us, or even the people whom we are forced by circumstance to be near.
what is especially interesting, to me at least, is the way in which it led chris down the road of playing the music for which he’s renowned today – and the concert we went to last night was a wonderful testimony to that. whilst he had millions of fans before his cancer diagnosis, this is what helped him to decide no longer to play what the record labels told him he needed to play in order to sell records. he now plays the blues – not because he thinks people will listen, buy his records, or whatever, but because life is too short to play anything other than what you love. last year sometime in an interview he said ‘if cancer hadn’t nearly killed me, I’d be just another selfish celebrity egomaniac’OK – I’m a fan already, but chris is a serious talent – the backdrop for the whole concert consisted of his paintings and the music was… well, I think he’s the best bluesman around at present.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
been away at team leaders and national settlement team this week. thrilled about one student being called to a church and another asked to 'preach with a view' whilst i've been away. as part of our time together this month we met with steve chalke and once again hugely encouraged by his energy and ability to take the gospel into places and arenas most don't. i'm in tonight - as i never allow myself any appointments after i've been away and watching 'julie and julia'. i watched this film on a plane sometime last year and thought maggie should see it as it's about cooking. it's no classic, but simply fun - especially if you like food and blogging, which draws me in on two counts - it's based on two books 'my life in france' which is julia child's biography and a memoir by julie powell. in 2002 julie powell her blog, the 'julie/julia project' and started documenting her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Child's 'mastering the art of french cooking'. now this is an awesome project and i'm full of admiration and simply trying to convince maggie into something similar, but as we're both watching the calories at present, i guess i need to give that idea up.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
no blogging for a week is often, in my case, a symptom of not having enough time to simply sit and think and, I guess, that's been the case this week. I was at bu council tuesday-wednesday, which is always a mixture as I came to reflect upon yesterday whilst doing some diy. more about the nature of church and the need to engage today rather than yesterday, however.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Three quarters of people believe that it is better for a child to have two parents rather than one.
In a poll commissioned to coincide with the Christian Socialist Movement’s annual Tawney Dialogue - which will include Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families - more than three quarters of people (79%) agree that it is better for a child’s quality of life to live with two parents rather than one.
Nearly half of people polled (45%) also said they agreed that generally, it is better for a child’s quality of life to live with two married parents rather than two co-habiting parents.
The survey also found that over three quarters (78%) of people believe marriage is a private choice in which the government should not get involved. Nearly two thirds (64%) of people, however, said the government should encourage marriage generally but not through tax incentives.
When asked about improving community life ‘good schools’ (91%) came top of the list of factors which determined quality of life, followed by: lower levels of crime and disorder (85%) and stable families (76%).
These three factors came higher than a strong local economy (71%) and high quality housing (56%).
When asked how important various factors were for couples choosing to get married the poll revealed following results:
Because they love each other 95%
Financial security 76%
To have children 56%
For religious reasons 41%
now, not usually one to venture into general election themes .... I am a little fed up with the majority church mouthpieces trying to be so PC we say little about the positives concerning marriage. Whenever I hear a five live phone-in Christians usually get a knock or two, but surely we can present the positive facts without disenfranchising single parents can't we? I get fed up equally with the assumptions we must be homophobic simply because we think sex belongs within the boundaries of marriage and am concerned we shy away from speaking out a little more clearly.
Monday, 8 March 2010
Thursday, 4 March 2010
i have to do something about getting a small camera. because I only took hand luggage to scotland, i couldn't fit mine in and then we have blue skies and snow on the hills. still, thanks to john greenshields and his wonderful hospitality, i was able to use his and look forward to seeing the pictures in due course.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Well, I've fallen in love with Scotland again. I'm in Pitlochry with what the Scottish Baptists call 'pre-accredited Ministers' for their conference. I'm finding it fascinating teasing out the differences between the Scottish & English contexts and there does seem to be a number. However, there is inevitably a huge overlap too - so my input is not totally out of synch. I admit to being very impressed with a number of these guys early on in their local church ministries and have heard some really good stories. There's alot of humility, but a real willingness to grapple with some challenging questions. I'm using the theme 'roads less travelled' and looking at Ephesians 4 as main text and a template to look at the Minister as a cultivator, follower and multiplier. Andrew Rollinson has also shared something from his paper on 'attentive communities' which is an excellent piece of work and really helpful stuff.