Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I was just thinking!

Now there's a dangerous thing to be doing but I have to say I was just thinking about a post over on Methodist Preacher's blog about Cyrille Regis a local footballer and his testimony.

Methodist Preacher is in a sense bemoaning the fact that the language of Damascus style conversion is not often heard in our Methodist churches and I do have some sympathy for what he says. I did comment on his blog but have given a little more thought to the matter since and started to wonder whether one of the reasons we don't hear much of this type of testimony is that the sort of experience we talk about was either that far back that some of our folk have forgotten it or because it has never really been tapped into people feel a little reluctant to talk about it.

One of the other things that struck me was the number of people I know who would not be able to say they had a conversion experience as many of them have grown up in Christian homes and seen themselves as Christians for the whole of their life.

If I wanted to be a little controversial I might even suggest that some may never have actually had a conversion experience and may not know the saving power of the risen Lord - but hey I don't do controversy.

My other thought I suppose is that while Cyrille's story might be very interesting it may only have reasonably local appeal especially given it has been a few years since he was playing top line football.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Is it safe?

I have to admit to finding my self wholeheartedly in agreement with Methodist Preacher on a topic he has posted on today. (I hope nobody holds it against me.

I like him can not stand the tripe that is served up in the name of entertainment under the heading of Children in Need!

I have no problem with the concept of raising money for worthy causes and do quite like Sir Terry but having watched about five minutes of it I can no stand any more - I am glad it is nearly time to go out to the Crystal Folk Club at the Liberal Club in Blackheath.

If it runs true to form we will have around 20 artistes and will hear about 40 songs in good company.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Folk on Friday

Its Friday tomorrow and I had a choice of going to a Winter Wonderland celebration which is effectively our works Christmas Celebration or going to Crystal Folk Club.

Crystal Folk Club won the toss as they say. It will be disco music at the Winter Wonderland thing and last year it nearly deafened me.

I had looked at singing a song written by Stephen Foster called Hard Times but having tried it we think it needs a little more work on it along with the Bob Dylan number we are working on.

We will be singing two songs tomorrow night - one concerns a fishmonger in Dublin and the other was song by Brian and Michael who were also know as Burke and Jerk.

I have not given the titles and wonder if anyone will come back with suggestions of what the two songs are called (Perhaps Richard Hall might be the man to answer this one)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Israel and the Methodist Church.

I have said to myself that I would not get involved in the debates that are going on around this issue but as I continue to read the various blogs and comments I have begun to wonder about something in a sense quite fundamental.

My question is 'How many ordinary Methodists know what the official Methodist position is on this topic?' (Or any other topic for that matter)
This probably leads to another range of questions such as 'will the majority of our folk even be interested?' You can't even get them to cross the circuit to attend circuit events so what chance of them taking an interest in global issues?

It may be too that some of our folk would say it's the other side of the world it doesn't concern me! Why do we have to interfere in other people's business? Will it make any difference? What are the government doing?

Whatever we might think or not think it seems that this particular debate could continue for some time to come.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Special event coming soon.

Any readers who may have a spare evening in December would be welcome to join with us on Wednesday 15th December for and evening of words and music for Christmas.
Tea coffee and mince pies will be served at the end of the evrening.

It's over!

As the late great Roy Orbison said it is indeed over for another six months - all the work is marked, the feedback sheets have gone back to church house and all but two of the students will be very pleased in the next couple of weeks.

I really do not like having to fail anyone as I am still near enough to to the Faith and Worship Course (having only finished in 1990) to appreciate how much hard work goes into the assignments and the study.

It seems to me both from marking and from what I read on the Facebook group for local preachers in training that the biggest difficulty for most students are the exegesis passages. On each occasion I have had to fail anyone it has been on their exegesis passage, and while I realise they are not the easiest thing to complete there is plenty of help available in the tutors handbook on the way to complete them successfully.

I suppose the really important thing is that the exegesis process is a really useful tool for preachers and some of the work I have seen in the exegesis that have been submitted would certainly form the basis of very good sermons.

I am greatly encouraged by the work that I have seen and believe it bodes well for the future of Local Preaching.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Twice in one day - this could become a habit!

I have just noticed the verse for today and was quite intrigued by the concept of becoming like wool. I am sure the writer was referring to the whiteness of wool but when I look in my wife's knitting bag I see all sorts of colours including some wool that has a number of colours in one ball and knits some very interesting patterns.
It's quite funny to me how occasionally something like this will just strike a chord and a scripture you have read many time throws up a new thought - could Isaiah have written this today given the range of different coloured wools available? Would we and do we understand what he means by this or do we get confused by our modern idea of wool?.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Well I hope it will! I am now nearing the end of my marking so may have a little more time to do the odd blog although of course we have the really busy time of Advent and Christmas coming up so that will no doubt take up some time.

I know I have said normal service will be resumed but I am not quite sure what that normal service is or should be - this blog seemed like a really good idea when I started it and there have been some interesting moments on here but I am wondering if it is time for a rethink and perhaps even a new direction for the blog.

I intend to give the matter some thought and while in the past I have made some cosmetic changes I just wonder if it is time to make some deeper changes.

I will share my thoughts here and hope there may be some feedback - it might be that what I am already doing here is OK and readers feed that back to me or it may be readers have some other suggestions. Whichever way I will just say watch this space!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Where have I been?

Regular visitors to this blog will have observed it has been a while since I posted again and the main reason for this is down to a lack of time - I am currently marking 17 peoples submission for section B of the Faith and Worship course as well as maintaining all the other activities I am involved in - this week is the week when I produce our bi monthly newsletter so again that is time consuming as well and of course I work full time.

I suppose a secondary reason but probably as important a reason is my disappointment with the continuing heated debate that seems to be going on across a number of blogs that I read and the tone of both the posts and comments being made.

I have always tried to recognise that other peoples views on any given topic may be different to my own and I try very hard to respect their right to hold such views. I may state my views and say that they are my views and while I respect your right to hold a different view I hope you will equally respect my right to do so.

It seems quite unfortunate to me that this is not happening within the Methodist blogosphere at the current time and having just spent some time reading posts and comments again I am very sad that the language has sunk to the type of thing I would expect to find in the playground at school and not from people I believe to be reasonably intellectual and certainly intelligent.

I have to admit that I do not feel I know enough about the situation in Israel and Palestine to comment in any depth on the issues and my reading of the blogs where these matters are being discussed has not helped me in any way to have a clearer picture.

While realising the importance of the topic being discussed I do wonder how useful it is to continue the discussion given that there seems to be little chance of an amicable resolution to the discussion where it appears that views are diametrically opposed and there seems to be no common ground where a solution may be forthcoming either in the situation in Israel or in the situation in the Methodist blogosphere.

I make no apologies for this particular post and while I realise it may attract some comment (or then again it may not) I really did think I needed to put my view on the situation and to perhaps ask for a little bit of peace and tranquility to return.