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  • Metaphors

    My fave metaphor for theology, and for thinking of God, is the kaleidoscope, an image I first encountered in a little book by a guy called Paul Minnear on Images of the Church.

    Each new insight is like another chip of coloured glass and/or another twist or shake of the 'toy' and every new design is amazing.

    This morning as I've laboured with my sermon it's been because the beauty of the images is too amazing to express in mere words.

    Hope I can transmit some of my wonder to others and help them find new images/patterns of their own.

  • Formatting

    It appears this blog platform has undergone some changes which impact the format of posts... apologies for any confusion this may cause as I try to resolve the settings!

  • Silence and Shouting

    This is the name of a book of prayers by Kathy Keay, but it is also the two words that came to mind after yesterday evening's TV viewing.  Scheduling in Scotland is subtley different from England and Wales, so maybe the connection only works for those living in this TV area.

    Firstly I watched the programme on BBC2 about people searching for silence, The Big Silence, which happened to include a delightful Glaswegian, so there was some 'home' interest.  As someone who regularly spends many hours in a kind of silence, but who is also (normally) very busy it was interesting to watch these folk seeking space.  I was challenged by the idea of hearing the stars, though hearing a candle flame is in my experience; I'd like to hear the stars singing...

    Then I watched The Apprentice on BBC1, full of noise and nonsense and people who (as portrayed) postured and in one case had the audacity to accuse Mancunians of being backwards (OK my interpretation of what he said).  There was a lot of shouting, people talking over each other and not listening, as each sought to show that they were the one to be kept.  The contrast was stark.

    And yet silence and shouting need not be opposites - sometimes it is in the silence that our deepest cries find articulation and we are able to shout silently.  The trailer for coming episodes of The Big Silence hints at the way silence opens us to express our shouts as well as maybe finding stillness.

    The Elijah story of God in the sound of sheer silence is overworked, but it is notable that the story also includes a lot of shouting too.

    Sometimes in the wee small hours, when sleep is evasive, and the drug effects causes thirst or discomfort, I find it is good just to be still in the silence and let the unspoken shouts of my inner most being wing heavenward where they are transformed into singing.

  • Triples

    The first triple is triple B... Broadband Behaving Badly, which it has been doing all day today.  If it stays up for three mintues at a time I'm pleased!  No idea what the problem is, just seem to have to keep resetting this and that... maybe its the rain, maybe it's a butterfly in outer Mongolia.  Anyway, it seems to be a little more stable now so I'll blog while I  can!

    Sunday coming we are finishing our series on the Bible with a service called 'Bible Inspired Living' a rather grand title for the thoughts I will share, but one that seems fitting as an end to a few weeks that have been fun and challenging.  Three lots of triples I want to hold together, and not sure if that makes it a 'cubic' (for those who think I'm a bit algebraic ;-) ) or what.  Anyway....

    Triple 1 - the three persons of the Trinity

    Triple 2 - faith, hope and love

    Triple 3 - upwards, inwards, outwards

    Not quite sure where it'll go yet, but it's fun playing with the ideas.

    (And amazingly my broadband conection has stayed up long enough to type this!)

  • "First Tuesday"

    Is the official day of today in at least three contexts I connect with.

    On the first Tuesday of each month our local C of S friends have breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by prayers and then a minister's meeting.  I am invited and usually try to get along; recent events mess that up a lot but today I will endeavour to get there for a while before returning home to do a little more flopping.

    First Tuesday is also the day Scripture Union set aside as a prayer day, so their email landed in my inbox this morning, full of new ideas and products and with requests for prayer as they seek to bring the Good News to all sorts of poeple.

    Then today is also the first meeting of the newly reshuffled Baptist minister's gathering in North Glasgow.  Alas to go to this would be too much today, but these are good guys seeking to serve their churches often in tough settings, and I pray they will find some fellowship and support as they gather.

    For me, in my personal three-weekly cycle, first Tuesday is when I wait for the "dimmer switch" to turn up again and my energy levels to pick up.  It is a tad frustrating having to say 'no' to things I'd normally do, or having to leave early, but I know it is for a season and I know I am learning stuff as I go along the way.

    More on that some other time, it is almost 8a.m. and my second breakfast beckons...!

    PS apologies if there are even more typos than usual, blame it on brain-mush and left-armed vein-pain