**No potty mouth warning, but a request for you to read with grace**
Today's "to-do" list was short from the off. I had decided that there was going to be a single item on it, and I was going to do it well. (Granted, I had forgotten about the assembly that I had to deliver this morning, so that added to it).
Today's "to-do" is simple:
Read and reflect upon "God in Love Unites Us - The report of the Marriage and Relationships task group, 2019"
The list is simple, the task less so.
The task is bound up in my history, my upbringing, my theological journey, my desire to see God, my longing for others to meet him, my calling to "Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with my God".
Wherever my journey with this report takes me, I have to submit myself to God.
I'm going to have a rant... You've been warned.
"This just makes me angry.
WHY did they need to include the last paragraph!?
All it does is justify the church being a crap, unwelcoming and baffling place for the world, rather than encouraging significant change and positive contextualisation, on the basis that if God wants to convert them, he'll do it without us having to make an effort to be a people and place that outsiders want to be part of!
Surely it would be more helpful as an account without the closing paragraph?"
"Our Calling" is the vision of the mission of the Methodist Church.
It boils down to how we honour the good news of the Kingdom of God through four areas of our lives:
Part of my Methodist Local Preacher's course entails various portfolio pieces in various media. Here's one of the questions I have tackled recently:
Produce something in a verbal medium (poetry, a talk, a meditation, a PowerPoint based on words) that you could use: (a) to share with a group what ‘calling’ means to you; and (b) to help them reflect on what 'calling' might mean to them.
Part a: Sharing what Calling means to me (in the medium of Poetry):
I get it. Really, I do.
The church has a limited number of young people within its walls, and we're desperate to keep them there, and therefore we think the way to do it is to get them involved. They have to be seen, and then they'll want to stay, because we let them do the teaching once in a blue moon, and bring out the drums and guitar.
The rest of the time they can sit and listen to the way we've always done it, and that will be ok. They'll be happy, us older people will endure what hardships we have to to keep them there, and we haven't had to change.
That's the only way to do it, right?
The immortal words of Tiny Tim seem to be the best way to sum up this week's reflection on the Christmas story.
The account of Jesus' birth is given, and best understood by reading the accounts in the early chapters of both Matthew and Luke. Both tell different parts of the story, and are written to different audiences.
I was always taught that we need to read more than just the story when we come to the Bible, and look at who wrote what to whom, what the message was they were trying to convey, and what that means for us, especially as we read it through our cultural lenses.
So what's the Christmas story all about? I think it's about God blessing us, every one.
Here's today's revelation, which I came across in my reading:
Contemplation is the action of be present in the temple.
"contemplation (n.): c. 1200, contemplacioun, 'religious musing,' from Old French contemplation and directly from Latin contemplationem (nominative contemplatio) 'act of looking at,' noun of action from past-participle stem of contemplari 'to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate,' originally 'to mark out a space for observation' (as an augur does), from assimilated form of com-, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + templum 'area for the taking of auguries' (see temple (n.1))."
For as long as I can remember I have wanted a dog. Not a sorry excuse for a dog that could be mistaken for a rat, but a proper dog: One that I could wrestle with, play with, and then have climb up next to me on the sofa for a cuddle; One that would be strong enough to protect my family, but gentle enough to let children play with him; One that I could take for a walk and then have him curl up under my desk when I work.
There’s a story involving year 8 and my parents which I could go into, but near on 20 years later, it’s still a sore point… And 9 years into marriage (ish…) I have petitioned Suzanne (let’s use that word instead of moaning or begging…) to the point where I have a firm promise of “Maybe one day” I can get a dog. I’m thinking I’ve only got another 12 years of “petitioning” to go…
But what many people don’t know is that I already have my own dog...
I've got the rare opportunity to do a 2-part series with one of the churches in the circuit. They're a smaller congregation, but the are faithful, and active, and proved to be excellent company yesterday morning.
Part one, yesterday, was titled "Mountain High", and in a few weeks I'll be back to do part two "Valley Low."
Let us take a moment to thank Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell for the title:
Literally, a recipe that led to victory! Or more accurately, three recipes.
Hucknall Central Methodist Church have a men's group who organise a family "Chilli and fireworks" evening each November. Jacket potatoes are accompanied by any number of different chillies that are made by men from the church. To spice things up a little (see what I did there?!) it's turned into a competition.
For two years in a row, I have entered chillies and have walked away with a prize.
Here are the recipes I went with.
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.