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Stebbing, Great Dunmow, Essex, United Kingdom
The occasional blog of an Anglican priest in rural Essex

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Bankers will be Bankers

Famines will be famines, banquets will be banquets
Some spend winter in a palace, some spend it in blankets
Don't wag your fingers at them and turn to walk away
Don't shoot someone tomorrow that you can shoot today
Time to end the praying
Listen what they're saying

Get up off your knees
You can wag your finger till your fingers sore
Shake your head till it shakes no more

Paupers will be paupers, bankers will be bankers
Some own pennies in a jar, some own oil tankers
What may sound like tomorrow could be ours today
There's no more need for sorrow if we get off our knees to pray

Time to end the praying
Listen what they're saying

Get up off your knees
You can wag your finger till your fingers sore
Shake your head till it shakes no more

Countries will be countries, borders will be borders
Some have lost their folks at war, some have give orders
Don't wag your fingers at them and turn to walk away
Don't shoot someone tomorrow that you can shoot today

Time to end the praying
Listen what they're saying

that's 23 years old, that song. Copyright GoDiscs 1986. I looked it up after reading Phil's post from yesterday. Just got the CD off eBay for a quid.

Still says a lot to the G20 lot though, let alone the Church.(As does most of the album if you are so inclined)

You wouldn't get away with sleeve notes like theirs these days either (LTRU)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

You make everything groovy

Now this was a great book. I remember reading it to my little brother (little? 6'4 and 39 last Friday!) and then I read it to my kids. How they will make it into a full length film is anyone's guess, but I like the tag lines

... 'til all the world adore his sacred name

Well, that was quite a weekend. Yesterday the PCC and the Ministry Leadership team went away for the day to Shalford Chapel to consolidate our thinking and reflection about Our Vision. The day was facilitated by Revd Dr Tim Bull, who had been sent reams of stuff from our homegroups and prayer night, with which to shape our studies and discussions. We made some good progress and I will let you know.

Then today (passion Sunday)I unusually had 3 services to do. There was a time in my younger years that I could laugh at taking 4 or 5 services on one Sunday. Now three is a challege. I need to get fit! Anyway, I preached about the cross and atonement theories, a sermon that arose from several events this week;
1) re-reading the Shack
2) A 6 year old boy asking me "what is Salvation?"
3) Internet blackout for 2 days for the whole village (stolen cables apparently)

At Stebbing, in our informal New Wine style service, ther were a number of prophetic words and pictures which confirmed the direction we had begun to take at the away day - this is the kind of thing that makes your spine tingle in a good way.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Separated at birth 3

This love link stuff has certainly got me into some wildly different blogs so even just for that it was worth trawling through all my comments to find the 10 people who've been kind enough to share!
This from Topless Robot made me laugh most today. I went there to get a thing about Lost writers making it up, that I'd seen on Sam's blog, and ended up (as you do) looking around. Not sure about that Leia My Little Pony!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

and the eagle flies with the dove

OK so I think I get this.
Gentle Wisdom has tagged me to pass on "link love" by linking to the blogs of the people who have commented on Friends' Meeting House. I guess to make it work I actually have to link to a specific post so here goes

Radical Evangelical
Revise Reform
Peter Ould
David Keen
Pluralist speaks
Phil's Treehouse
Jane Stranz

So now the idea is that these lovely people do the same thing...
Like Peter at Gentle Wisdom I should perhaps say that I do not endorse all of the content of these blogs but am blessed because the bloggers chose to tarry awhile here.
Would have posted photos of Little Saling churchyard but the battery ran flat on my camera. Will try to get some some in the sunshine tomorrow after prayers

Saturday, 21 March 2009

... I'll never be the same (Tim Hughes)

Happy day today

several reasons
1. Sunshine yaay (I think I may be slightly S.A.D)
2. Pulse team training this morning. A more inspirational pair of people you'll struggle to find. They are coming to do our Pentecost Holiday Club (aka Smash Club) and will seriously rock the place.
3. Fulham 2 Manu U (on self destruct mode) 0. Just makes life more interesting.
4. Tagged by Peter Kirk; trouble is I don't have 10 people who have commented so I may have to break the chain!

Friday, 20 March 2009

It's been a long cold lonely winter

Well, not lonely actually; busy would do. Now here comes the sun for a busy spring.
Good week this week.
Went to a New Wine leaders' network meeting in Colchester which was most encouraging (women priests, no toeing the party line, buns, coffee, small degrees of separation).
Steering on the VW camper playing up on the way home was the only downer.

Had a quiet day yesterday (as in a quiet day retreat type thing rather than a day that was quiet). Due to comms failure with East London Franciscans I ended up just going for a very long walk - all around the 4 churches and then home. This gave me ample time to
1) be away from the phone
2) pray
3) reflect on the last 2 and a half years since we got here
4) Enjoy wildlife e.g. hares boxing, harris hawk (with jesses on so escaped from captivity). Also fab flowers in Little Saling churchyard (photo coming soon)
5) plan our benefice Good Friday walk and worship event which will take the same route I did.

We've got a housefull tonight what with ailing relatives, sleepovers and Pulse team members in the house, so I better get the washing up done

Sunday, 15 March 2009

what you get is no tomorrow

Following the good feedback from the last time I did this I am encouraged to try another cross post to my sermon blog (whose days are numbered following an offer I have had to set up a site with facilities for mp3 uploading yaay!)

This is a sermon about Jade Goody and our society's lust for fame. It turns out btw that the bloke who has just re-opened our village shop went to the wedding. and the woman priest who took part in Jade's baptism was our college librarian back in the 90's! Talk about degrees of separation.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Orange slices and that Fall LP

Well, it was like finding a lost treasure in the attic.

Something you'd always known was there but had let the dust settle on it for so long that it kind of just blends into the background and becomes indistinguishable from all the other memories.

What am I on about? Its my affection for "The Wedding Present", a late 80's early 90's "indie" band who made a lot of noise coming out of my car stereo at ear bleeding volume in those days.

I lived in York when they first came to the attention of John Peel (pbuh) and they were a staple on the student union circuit - I think I saw them at Leeds Poly, Leeds University and Hull University. If you meet me and I can't quite hear what you are saying it is probably because of those gigs!

The best way of sharing this with you is to show you this

Nevermind the visuals, turn it up and feel the volume of "Take Me". It does have some lyrics at the beginning, which are typical angst ridden boy girl bitter sweet stuff, but I just loved and have rediscovered a love of that wall of noise (even if it does turn into Status Quo for a few bars). I just got 2 of their CD's , George Best and Bizarro off eBay (being permanently behind everyone else I am buying up CD's while the world goes digital!) and have been subjecting the children to them ever since!

Makes me want to compile a list of my favourite songs that are more than 9 minutes long, so that'll be along in a while. Better say they'll be from after 1980 otherwise I'll look even sadder than I already do!

that is what we are

Since we're having a half night of prayer tomorrow as part of the Our Vision process I will miss comic relief, so I enjoyed this today ...

In the 80's we enjoyed this in its original version in a somewhat ironic sense. I recall that "Kenny Rogers!", accompanied by a stroking of the chin, took over from "Jimmy Hill" as shorthand for "I don't believe you". Or was that Kenny Loggins, I forget.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

I've opened up the door ...

Dear Readers
Perhaps you would be kind enough to have a look at this blog post by Cranmer's Curate aka Rev Julian Mann, and help me out with a few thoughts of your own on the subject. Cranmer's curate has been laying into Fulcrum in recent days which has then precipitated an attempt on his part to reopen old wounds at a time when evangelicals are trying to foster a sense of unity.

Post comments here or there, whichever you like.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Subtle innuendos follow

So, Jade Goody.

If you dislike cynical blogging, look away now.

Big Brother for me is a bit like Manchester United - something I used to be into but have now undergone a conversion experience such that I would now rather stick needles in my eyes than watch it. Ms Goody (Mrs Tweed) has a lot to do with that.

Jade of course has made herself more widely available thanks to a tabloid induced extended 15 minutes of fame. We are all gripped by her illness and pleas to "kill me now" etc. OK so she is reported to be reading the Bible which is of course a good thing, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't touched by her fragile elegance in the footage of her wedding (I could be linking all this but frankly can't be bothered).

But that's it of course, it's all in the footage, in the papers. We do not know this person from Adam (or Eve) and we never will. We do not have any relationship with her in the real world, any more than we did with Diana Princess of Wales. Yet the nation including the Prime minister is expressing condolence and "thoughts going out" to her (what a useless empty phrase).

My problem with this is that people across the nation are investing emotional energy and time (and probably some money, thanks to Max Clifford) in a non-relationship with a dying person they have never spoken to or met; at the same time these same people are living lives full of dysfunctionality - in the workplace, the church, the community and supremely the family. People are not getting on, are actively falling out, arguing, splitting up etc.

I think the emotional energy of this nation would be better spent in building up and restoring rocky marriages, dodgy working relationships and strained parent-child bonds. But I am raging against a big machine. Everyone (including me) would rather surf the net, watch TV read Hello or heat or whatever, than make that difficult call or write that emotion-shredding letter. so we all love Jade and follow her every move instead, and our families and friendship networks limp on, when they could be so much better.

Of course it's not Jade's fault; reality TV would never have got anywhere without a public to consume it, and consume we do; Jade and her fellows are exploiting our strange desire to follow from afar, to pry without ever fearing discovery into the intimate details of a stranger's life. Jade seems to love the camera, but I truly hope and pray she has the sense to die in private and in peace.

Relationships can happen by proxy in the media - if I don't believe that what am I doing in the 'sphere, but the archetypal relationship, the ultimate intimacy, is not a cyber or virtual phenomenon; you can't know Jesus Christ just by reading about him online or in a magazine, you have to encounter him in the real world in Word, Spirit and Sacrament; this relationship is not a spectator sport, like Jade watching or Britney or Amy Winehouse or whoever.

I'm not saying they are without worth or talent or beauty, I'm just saying there are people nearer to us that need us more and won't disappoint us as much.

Here endeth the rant
(and I will probably regret this if Jade dies)

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Mysterious Ways

Dunno if this is "separated at birth" or "son of ..."

Happy Birthday (Altered Images)

If you want a new definition of "miraculous" have a look at this from the BBC

Mind you you can take it too far; the same clip is up on YouTube introducing "New evidence of the Bible's historicity"...

Does that mean if he was wearing a black hat he'd have been squished (or is that just Hollywood!)

Interesting that he regards himself as having been born again (birthday cake etc)