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  • Roger Hargreaves meets the Church?

    All you Mr Men/Little Miss lovers simply must check this one out - it's fantastic!

  • To Avoid Disappointment...

    ... this blog is not a good place to look for Shrek, Donkey or Eeyore despite what the 'serach terms' aggregator would suggest.  One post on one service using these characters a good while back, and ever since people have come looking.  So: I don't have Eeyore!  I don't have Shrek!  I don't have Donkey!  I have nothing against them, you just won't find them here.  And just maybe Google will now give enough of these words to save you a wasted trip...  Good hunting elsewhere.

  • Highs on Lows

    This Sunday (Low Sunday) we are taking the show on the road to a local sheltered housing complex.  A couple of folk are coming round to my house in the morning to make up 50 plated sandwich teas, then in the afternoon we descend en masse to the lounge of the complex for our songs of praise type service.  The 'talk,' such as it is, is taking the theme 'lost and found' and will spring out of the parables of lost sheep and lost coins.  The idea effectively is that maybe we feel as insignificant, or even as lost, as said item/animal but that we are of inestimable worth to God.  I think that this fits for folk who have had to give up their own home to live in a sheltered complex and some of whom have no family nearby. I am hoping it will give folk a bit of a lift - a little 'high' - from the flatness of the post bank holiday humdrum.  I'm not over enamoured with their choice of hymns, they are, on the whole, a bit gloom laden, but at least they have chosen them.  Let's just hope they arrive to sing them and that the church folk don't decide to take the day off...


  • God in History, God and History... Gaps in the Story

    After a lapse of a couple of weeks, today I am back reading - and tracking down stuff to read - so that my forthcoming week in Wales will result in an essay fit for presentation when I next go to Manchester.  Hmm, yes, well, never mind.

    Today I've read a couple of papers, by two suitably erudite Baptists (Paul Fiddes and Rob Ellis) each entitled 'God and History.'  They were good papers, I enjoyed reading them - but they left me feeling an odd mixture of 'well at least I haven't found out that someone else has done it yet' and 'why this enormous great gap?'

    Each of these papers set out to explore something about how God acts in, and is revealed in, human history, most notably in ways that may appear 'special.'  Much of what they said was useful grist to the mill of what I'm researching and thinking about but, ultimately, each of them turned to the historicity of the resurrection - something that is problematic for historians because it doesn't fit any schemes or methods they may have.  That is fine, it's a good topic to turn to undoubtedly, but it doesn't help me very much, since the kind of events I am interested in are much more 'common or garden.'

    It seems that what we have is people mooting that God acts in history - now as then - but leapfrogging everything that lies between the resurrection (or certainly the Acts churches) and now.  The fact that if God was active in the first century and if God is also active now means that God was active - and to some extent being revealed - all along doesn't seem to get connected very much.  Whilst both writers note the dangers of trying to discern HOW God's activity might have been at work in such diverse situations as the Falklands conflict or the assassination of JFK, they still seem to be fixed on 'big' world-stage events.  What about the relatively humdrum machinations of the dear old Baptist movement in Blighty?  Surely we think God is/was active in that too?  I'm not so sure it matters that I can discern the HOW or even the WHAT of God's activity in Baptist history, so much as that it surely happened, in so far as frail and failing humans could 'tune in' to it.  But, unless somehow this can be written into the tale, tentatively, do we just end up perpetuating the gaps in the story?  Hmm.  Tricky.

    Ah well, back to work! 


  • The mysteries of insurance costs...

    The end of March sees me playing the annual game of checking out car insurance prices - and then deciding whether it is worth the hassle of changing insurers to save a few quid.  It is a very odd game and the advent of price comparison websites only makes it more so, since you are rarely comparing 'apples with apples' as you try to fathom out why insurer A wants up to three times as much money as insurer B for the same car driven by the same person.  Beware small print seems to be the key - what are the excesses, what is included or excluded, etc etc.  Beware monthly payment plans which carry pretty high APR levels.  Oh, and can someone tell me whether it really is worth paying to protect my no claims discount when the whole reason I have it is that in 20-odd years I've never needed to make a claim...?

    In the end I opted to switch insurers this year - notionally saving myself £50-£100 on the way (do you actually save what you have not spent?) - and earning a few supermarket loyalty points to boot!  At least that job is now over for another 12 months and I can get back to doing more interesting and rewarding things - like the study I'm meant to be doing this morning.

    PS If anyone can explain to me why all my insurance policies increased noticeably when I changed from being a professional engineer to being a minister, I'd be very interested!  Are 'vicars' really a bigger liability?!!