Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas from WEBA

A terrific short video by Var Smallwood: Still Small Films


Also, thanks to Ruth Whiter, our WEBA Christmas card: to all who pop in here not privileged to receive an original! 
May you know the peace and the joy Jesus has brought 
for you this Christmas.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Nativity Factor

This is just great from The Nativity Factor ( www.naticityfactor.com ) If you're into short clips for Christmas services, you could do alot worse than this, which will open up people's minds for you to expound something more:


Personally my input to the public Christmas festivities is finished, for this year. I've thoroughly enjoyed engaging in an Advent series of three evenings at my local church. Had some great responses, a number of people took some of the steps I tried to encourage - of Hope (looking through Mary's eyes); of Faith (looking through Joseph's eyes); of Truth (looking through the Magi's eyes). It's made me think about next year and I've realised, again, how most churches waste the greatest opportunity of the year to take the good news of Jesus' birth out from their buildings and church services. I feel a need for a Chris Duffett conversation coming on, to get us galvanised into action.

Talking with my friend Aaron last night. He went on a walk with Lindsay Hamon, through Bedminster in Bristol, where we're re-planting the gospel after years of shrinkage. He told me of a real openness from people to talk about how they might receive God's love in their lives, prayed with several and linked up a number with local churches, following prayer, etc. 'Out there' people are more happy to talk and seek God than many of us give credit for.

Friday, 6 December 2013

The camera never lies unless you have Photoshop!

Amanda Allchorn, who I always thought was a friend (!) sent me this photo. A few years old, but I can't recall anything about it, so have some doubts about its authenticity. Still threatened with putting the negs up for sale, I thought I'd publish it first, which seems to be all the rage …

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Advent through different eyes.

Oh no, it's Advent. It always has a habit of sneaking up on me, so when I start to 'prepare', I realise I'm not, so Advent always (it seems) begins with an awareness of my guilt. Of course, guilt's out of fashion in the mainstream culture's, which appear to be sweeping along the remains of Christendom in their flow!

So, having been rightly rebuked for my blogging lapses, I'm getting stuck into advent. A particular delight is my agreement to lead an evening series, at our church, in a moment of weakness. I recall perching one advent sunday last year, making the comment to our administrator I really missed leading series in the same place and Bob's probably her uncle. 
We're making use of The Nativity (surprising that, but I'm talking about the BBC DVD of their 2010 series with Tatiana Maslany as Mary and Andrew Buchan as Joseph). I said it then and a much more careful viewing, this year, has not changed my view, it's brilliant in many ways.
So, one week down on Advent - through different eyes. Last week was built around Mary and we had some great responses, which were prompted by the call to ask where people wanted to look for the hope of God again in their lives. I've been surprised how many people are yet to see the DVD, as this is a real gift. Tony Jordan, who wrote it, comments:  the biggest challenge was to find a fresh way in to tell a story that has been told a million times before – and to make it believable to people. For example, when Mary tells her fiancĂ©e ‘I’m pregnant but it’s God’s’, he says he wanted to show Joseph’s behaviour in a way that would make down-to- earth viewers say ‘OK, I sort of buy that’. If I can help with that process, great.
Next week, which prompted this blog, is Joseph and no, it's not yet prepared!