Monthly Archives: March 2009

What Is Up And What Is Down

2 mins What would you do if someone gave you a script of a child’s life just after it was born. You read on that script that the child would experience a reading difficulty in primary school, in secondary school one it’s close friends would die, in the later life it would loose a fabulous job and loose a limb in a car accident.

What if you were given the opportunity to edit the script at the start of the child’s life. Which parts would you edit out.

We belong to the generation of what is called “Helicopter parents”, who like to swoop in and fix everything whenever a child of yours is having a difficult time, who like to steer away our children from difficulty. Talks about the example of a mother who appeared at the door, collecting sweets because their own child found it too wet to do trick or treat.

Lines in the Bible about suffering seem almost insulting by comparison:

Consider it pure joy when you suffer James 1:2

Momentary Troubles – 2 Cor 4:17

6 mins Start to tell the story of Joseph, that he grows up in a difficult and hostile family dynamic and is slow to cotton on. He has the dreams, and you want him to have the social intelligence to keep quiet, but he keeps telling the family “I had a great dream.”

Then Joseph is sold into slavery and all the dreams are shattered.

11-13 Most of us live in an illusion called normal life, and we believe that jobs, popularity, health are the things which make us secure, and then something happens which takes those things away.

15 mins We could ask the question “Why me?” or “Why not me?” or “Whose fault” – Joseph would have had many people that he could have blamed.

18 mins 40 When he lost everything, God was with Joseph.

Various stories of pain and suffering.

The people in these situations would trade all the growth, for the source of the pain to be gone, or for the pain undergone by their children, they would trade all of that. But they do grow.

Joseph – was he a thinker of a feeler – talks about all the weeping that he does. Talk about Jesus weeping.

25 mins If Joseph had been a helicopter Dad he would not have let any of this happen to Joseph.

30 mins We have a God who weeps, and there is nothing else like this in other major world religions.

When someone starts out as a psychotherapist they are told to have a packet of tissues around their office. This is so that when someone starts to talk and the emotion becomes overwhelming, they can be passed these to wipe away their tears. A psychotherapist would always allow a person to wipe away their own tears. To wipe someone’s tears for them is something very intimate, we would only be able to do this for a very few people.

In Revelation 21 however we read that Christ will wipe away the tears from everybody’s eyes. This incredibly intimate moment is what awaits us in the New Heaven.

 

Eternal Trivia Is Not Eternal Vigilance

ParliamentWhen she stays away from secularism, I agree with just about everything that Polly Toynbee writes.  This from today’s Guardian:

But keep all this in perspective. Our politicians are among the cleanest in the world – 16th out of 180 nations and bunched less than two points from the top, according to Transparency International. Below us are the US, Belgium, France and Spain. But from the uproar, MPs stretching expense rules has been made to look like the pork barrel, backhander and bribery scams that plague other countries.

Let’s repeat this: our MPs are rarely corrupt. Our feral press, however, finds growing transparency and freedom of information – brought in by Labour – offers easy meat for cheap stories. These hyped up “scandals” are frivolous compared with serious investigations such as the Guardian’s arduous and risky revelations on company tax avoidance. If only more newspapers gave the same space to investigating opaque corporate bad behaviour that they devote to exposés of minor MPs’ misdemeanours. Eternal trivia is not eternal vigilance.

 

We Are Workers

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
 
We may never see the end results.
We are ministers not Messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
 
Oscar Romero
El Salvador

Remembering Leith Fisher

We gave it oor all but we wurr the wurst team in the league and gotgubbed every week 8, 9 and 10 – nothing!  Honest!  Leith is the only minister I hiv played fitba wi’ who gote sent aff – red carded by the ref furr dissent! 
 
Ah wis a BB officer in they days an the ministers aw gote turns tae take services, Leith’s church services wurr always very good. A very likeable, approachable man, doon tae earth an‘ well liked by everyone, we hid many a great  terr oan that mini-bus, Leith sitting at the front wi his feet up smoking his pipe hivving a laugh wi’ the guys.