Hoddidodds for BeeverSteve

something gritty to chew on

Welcome to my blog.

These are not the voyages of the Starship Enterprise but the reflections and musings of a local church minister about to begin a period of sabbatical study.  Some entries will have practical applications whilst others may resemble a Daliesque stream of consciousness. Those are the more personal entries as I’m holding up a mirror to my own thoughts as I reflect on my faith and life’s journey.

Feel free to comment but please respect these words, thoughts and ideas for what they are.  Most of them come from experience; others will reflect my reading and travel experiences over the next three months. Some are reworkings of older material (where is that PhD when you need it?) – a few will probably be written with the effort of getting my allotment ready for winter. (There’s a message in that somewhere, I’m sure).

Some will provoke, others warn or warm – some may even move you. When you do read, ask God what He might be saying to you. I’d love to hear about it.

The working title for my blog comes from two dialect words in use in rural Cambridgeshire until the 1970’s. A slap up meal at Mrs Miggins’ pie shop for anyone who deciphers the true meaning!

Where do you find God?

A journey on foot across the desert takes a lot of guts and application. It’s not something you do on a whim – it’s an act borne out of a well thought plan, of necessity perhaps even desperation.  When it takes you 41 days to complete the journey, it pushes everything to extremes: plans, purposes and personal resilience..

No one in their right mind contemplates such a journey without back up or a support team. (Even with such a team, one ex Prime Minister’s son got lost very quickly). Today it would mean Land Rovers, Sat Nav and a team of people helping you adjust to conditions, treating all your physical aliments on the way alongside nutritionists to ensure the right balance of food and carb intake to keep you going.

Elijah was on his own. There was no back up, no idea of where he was going and he was keenly aware that there were problems hot on his heels. It’s a long way from a mountain top to a cave in the back of beyond when you are running in fear of your life.

Grasping new Opportunities

It’s reassuring to know exactly where we stand and, to have the answers to life’s tough questions. But, getting the responses we are looking for isn’t always an easy journey.

Confronting the issues that lurk at the very heart of our understanding of the world will, by its very nature, take us to a place where we have to take a long hard look at who we are, what we believe and how that might work out in practice. There’s no better illustration of this than the uncertainty - not to say, instability - that has been evident following the referendum on our membership of the EU.

What do we really mean?

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone

At around 9 am on the 8th September 1969 I stepped into a new world. It was an arcane environment with its own police force, punishments, shop, timetable and distinctive rules. It had a language peculiar to itself, a bizarre mixture of 60’s slang, Fenland dialect words and made up Latin (who now remembers what the Pensum was?).

The cream doughnuts in the shop were in such short supply that no more than about 20 people ever stood a chance of getting one. If you happened to be in Room 1 – and you weren’t unduly delayed at 10.45 am – then it was quick dash down two steep flights of stairs into the basement. Within minutes the whole area was a seething mass of bodies resembling a giant Rugby scrum: anything up to 70 people could be involved. To the shout of “Bundle[1]” the pushing and shoving began. The sugar rush of a real doughnut was a potent drug indeed.

Small wonder, then, that it made such an impact on Roger Waters (“I hated every second of it [school] apart from games”), that it gave him the mechanics for the most commercial song from one of the best rock groups ever[2].

Back to the Future Part 1

The latest reality TV program will soon appear on BBC2’s autumn schedules. It follows in the (historical) footsteps of similar programs as it catapults a group of people into an environment where their ingenuity will be tested to the limit and their physical endurance pushed to the extremes.

BBC 2 describe this program in the following terms

 …one corner of the East End of London will be taken back to the late Victorian era – a time when East End poverty began to make the headlines. For three weeks, modern-day Britons will make it their home. They’ll experience the tough living and working conditions endured by the millions that made up the urban poor in Victorian Britain. In a world with no safety net they’ll be expected to earn enough to put food on the table, pay their rent and keep the roof over their head.

The working title of the series is “The Slum.”