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  • ... I wouldn't start from here!

    There was a saying, when I lived in the Midlands, "if I was going there, I wouldn't start from here..."

    For the second time in a fortnight, I've looked at the Bible passages set in the scheme I'm following and wondered how on earth they got from there to the title they propose (and which I blindly and blithely have adopted in the preaching plan).

    To make matters more complicated, the gospel passage I'm currently working with requires me to engage in all manner of mental gymnastics if I am to make any sense of it whatsoever... all my commentaries are at church whilst I wait at home for the bookcase builder, and the online stuff is variable and questionable.

    Not at all sure I can bend the exegesis to fit the title (for the second week running) but it is an intriguing passage to work with, so we'll see what emerges by the end of today when I have to have it done (I am at Baptist Assembly in Scotland for the next two days...)

  • In praise of adjectives!

    The latest version of Microsoft Office's Word has an annoying habit of trying to remove my adjectives citing the need to be concise.  This annoys me greatly, because using them is always a conscious effort on my part (my scientist brain can do concise without thinking, adjectives take a little longer).

    This morning an email arrived in my inbox with a sign off that referred to "this gorgeous morning"... and it really is a gorgeous morning.  More significantly, it was the feel of the greeeting, lost without the adjective, gave a lift to my spirits.

    So, adjectives (and adverbs) are good and, if used apppropriately, have the potential  to transform the boring in to the beautiful.

    Have a great day, gentle reader, and enjoy the adjectives that brighten your own day!

  • ...but Emily loved him

    Bagpuss - a 'watch with mother' programme that aired at a point in my life when I was 'too old and too young' to appreciate it.  Emily was a girl who lived in a curio shop where various ornamental and toy animals would come to life and repair random things she brought to the shop.  Central to this was Bagpuss, who was "just an old, saggy, cloth cat,  baggy, and a bit loose at the seams... but Emily loved him."

    This morning, arriving at church, I paused and snapped a few photos of the building as the darkness gave way to morning light.  I realised in that moment that, whilst I have almost no sense of place attachment (as well, since almost every signficant building in my life has been demolished over the years) that I love this place, this old, tatty, Victorian barn, shabby and decidedly frayed around the edges.

    In a few short weeks, we will have cleared and packed, given thanks for the past and expressed hope for the future, as we enter a period of 'tabernacling' whislt our building is transformed inside and out to become a beautiful, state of the art, centre for worship and witness ... maybe Professor Yaffle and the mice from the mouse organ are embodied in developers and trades who will achieve this for us.

    Still not quite at the point of signing on the dotted line, and definitely not counting any chickens, but it is now just about possible to glimpse the future for which this congregation has been waiting for at twice as long as I've been here.