Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Good Thing About Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall

It's really nice when you stop.


Isn't it funny how the folk you never hear from and compete with you and make fun of you are your true friends, and those who profess to care for you treat you like dirt when it suits them? Who woud you rather be with?

When something is broken you have to ask whether it's worth fixing or whether you should just grind the pieces even smaller until there's no trace at all.

It's Good to Be the Star not the Dummy

Now I've got that out of the way I can go back through the week.

Yesterday, Woodpusher 3 was suddenly the hero of the night (in contrast to the first half of the season); with the scores tied and the last game lost, a swindle turned it around for an important win. Everyone played their part; playing a man down two wins and three draws gets a result.

Not Listening, Not Listening, Lah Lah Lah

What do you do when you tell someone something and they don't hear you? Do you shout louder, or give up talking to them? You can lose your voice shouting.

What do you when they are rude to you all the time? Listen carefully, or ignore it?

What do you do when they tell you what already know about how you should be, but they don't do it themselves? Is it worth listening to them?

When they tell you all your faults, should you tell them theirs, in the hope they can hear you?

When they tell you that they know best, but what they tell you is false, how do you behave? Search for the truth?

What do you do when you are fully alive in one place, and half-dead in another? Avoid the whited sepulchre?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Seminar Day

Today I am going to learn about druids. Whether I shall learn anything about the Chalcedonian position vis-a-vis physicalism, I don't know.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Green-Eyed Monster

So I've been trying to do what I challenged the folk at Badminton Road to do, to look at one Deadly Sin every day and see how I'm doing.

And I've got to Envy. Which I thought wasn't a problem.

Except that some people have really interesting creative asignments which inspire and enthuse them, and some of us have really dull essays to do which no-one could be interested in writing, or reading, unless they have to.


Returning to a Previous Life

Did something yesterday I haven't done for two and a half years. I taught a mathematics class (three in fact, five hours total). Just like riding a bike - you don't forget.

Was it fun? Yes. Will I do it again? Yes (next Monday). Have I missed doing it? No. Will I mind if I don't do it again? No.

Also this week - planned a service I didn't attend - first time ever; played chess - first since Christmas - won! - first this season; went to a Lent group - first in a dozen years; validation panel for Local Preachers - first ever.

A varied week. As will next week be.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hymns for a Service

Here is what we chose:

Silent Night, Holy Night

Come Holy Spirit, Quickening Dove

God of Love and Truth and Beauty

As Your Family, Lord, See Us Here

Jesus, If Still The Same Thou Art

Works for me ....

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Two Does Go Into One, If You Squeeze It a Bit

A popular fantasy staple, from the Belgariad onwards, is The Man With Two Lives. The main difference between them and me, I think, is that they usually do it sequentially, whereas I seem to be doing it in parallel.

Which is why I end up writing this at this time of night. Still, it isn't dull.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Competition Time

I think I can blow my own trumpet for once (but not my own psaltery - cymbals or tambourine would do). Our team of three has just won the Fairtrade Quiz Night. Apparently there was great excitement in the marking booth when we overtook our main rivals in the penultimate round - the Bible round. In which it did help to get the 12 disciples, the three temptations, the greatest commandment, the last book of the Old Testament and the man with the talking donkey. Sadly we only got two of the instruments in Psalm 150. Can anyone confirm that the psaltery is a form of lyre? Nor did we get the Gospel with two feedings of the multitude or the number of times Paul was shipwrecked.

Particular kudos also to Rachel for the Number 1 single and recognising the Black-Eyed Peas and to Angela for knowing where Augusta is. A lucky guess got us when Nelson Mandela was released and we were close with the release of Tears in Heaven.

New Organisation

I wonder what the record is for being kicked out of the ordained ministry. I think I may be about to break it, not even being there yet. I have just formed, with a young man from my church, the CRCS - the Campaign to Reform the Covenant Service.

What he said was, actually: "Let's you and me sit down and rewrite the Covenant Service in language that means something to folk today." And I said "OK." And then I pointed out that the words are selected by Conference and that I am under (or will be) the discipline of Conference. And then we decided to still go for it. So I am going to potentially be in a lot of trouble. Hey.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Why am I suddenly reminded of the Neil Diamond song I Am ... I Said?

Hide and Seek

Lady Fuschia and the Lion went to play in the garden and who should turn up but Chicken-Little, who they hadn't seen in ages. So they invited him to join in their game. But he wasn't very good at it and never knew where to look, while Lady Fuschia, even if she didn't get it first time could usually get the right sort of area.

But they didn't make fun of Chicken-Little and still tried to include him by not hiding in very difficult places. And Chicken-Little knew he had some good friends.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Golden Bough

In order to be admitted to the Sacred Cave on the Island of Dreams, a Knight must acqure a fragment of the Golden Bough; without this entrance is refused. To obtain his personal token, he must travel to the Glade of Unkown Dreams and confront the mysterious Mindstealers.

The Glade is a secret area in the deepest, darkest part of the Connected Forest and is protected from all sides by the Fog of Unknowing, for the Mindstealers jealously guard their secrets. It is not known how many there are in the tribe, for they are shapeshifters and appear in different forms at different times. - sometimes as an evil, flesh-eating troll who regards the brain of a Knight as a particular delicacy, but they can also appear as beautiful maidens (who are reputed, howver, to appear in this way to catch doughty adventurers off guard) or as wise women.

Sometimes the Mindstealer who is summoned (by the Psychic Horn) will warmly present a branch to a traveller and sometimes it must be wrestled from his grasp in a terrifying ordeal. On a few occasions the Mindstealer will present an additional gift. Such was the reward offered to Dances With Snakes.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bad Manners

Now then. There was I thinking that if you spotted a flaw or a weakness in, or a mistake made by, a Christian brother, the pastorally sensitive and caring thing to do would be to quietly and directly let them know without embarrassing them in front of their peers, so that they can get on and correct their mistake.

Instead it seems that the correct thing to do is to get a third person, who is not and should not be involved, and indeed who has no business knowing, to do it (and also thereby to embarrass that third person). Somewhat unprofessional, it seems to me.

It is particularly important to be sensitive when you do not have all the facts. These should always be carefully checked before you "go public".

Of course, making direct contact also enables you to be helpful. Clearly this is not something a Christian needs to be bothered about either.

It seems I am learning all the time.