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!

Community and Interdependence

John Donne  Meditation: XVII (1603)

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated ... as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness ...

No man is an island, entire of itself ... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Book Review: That was the Church That was

No one believes the public myth but there is nothing to put in its place[1].

A damning indictment and one which assumes that there is neither hope nor future in organised religion - at least as it currently expressed through the Established Church.

This book is a pacy, page turning, rip roaring commentary on English Christianity through the last 30 years. Few escape the authors’ excoriating pen (moving regularly beyond satire and caricature and veering towards the vitriolic), with any credit. Successive Archbishops are singled out (“… Rowan was completely defeated by the Ministry of Magic”[2]) and it is hardly surprising, given the gossipy tone of some passages, that a nod to “Non Acknowledgements” is necessary[3]. Presumably this satisfies the lawyers (publication was delayed by almost 6 months) and protects “sources” unwilling to be identified publicly.

Embracing Kingdom Values

I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.

(Justin Welby)

Some psychologists maintain that when we meet someone for the first time, we make up our minds about them in less than a minute. The way they dress, speak and conduct themselves all contribute to our first impressions which then have a significant impact on how we see and treat them in the future.

Snap judgements are based on our experiences and our prejudices – the base line usually being our instinctive comparison of others to ourselves.

It’s a common problem and one which Jesus tackles head on in His teaching about the Kingdom of God. Whilst not rejecting the importance of spiritual discernment, He condemns any attitude that puts us in the driving seat - the place where God should really be.

Our part in God's plan

Wild living; a pop star royal; feminist icons; intrigue and spin doctors by the bucketful; ethnic cleansing; a beauty parade for political expediency; executions left right and centre. No, it’s not a satirical comment on New Labour (nor on any Government I know alive or nearly dead). Nor, is it a commercial for life beyond graduation. It's not a Soap Opera, though I must say that, taken as a whole (which is what usually happens), it would make a great plot line for a particularly colourful episode. It’s certainly not the sort of thing you’d expect from a respectable Cambridge College.

Into this chaos came a young woman who would change the course of history forever. Whether you use the name her own people gave her or the one she was forced to adopt after her marriage, there is no doubt that the girl who became Miss Persia 478 BC at a still point of the turning world, came for such a time as this.