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  • Serendipity?

    This week as I've been pondering the direction to take for Sunday's service, and working up a reflection that I think is reaonsably OK, there have been a few 'hmmm' moments as I've become aware of similar ideas being explored in very different contexts.

    Whenever this happens, at least to this extent, and with something that I feel is fairly specific, I'm left wondering is this serendipity, is it God's Spirit or is it simply that because I am thinking about something that I am specially alert to it.

    I never find a satisfactory answer, which is perhaps why serendipity is such a useful (as well as delightful) word).

  • Restore Factory Settings

    I have a smartphone for personal use (and a prehistoric PAYG for church use).

    Recently the smartphone has been telling me it's short of memory.  So I've deleted or moved Apps, cleared 'recent' files and anything else I could think of, all to no avail: each day it was more choc-a-bloc than the day before.

    So this evening I gave in a did a 'reset' - which took the greater part of a couple of hours by the time I had re-established everything I wanted... but now I have oodles of memory and all the same Apps installed.

    Makes me wonder just what hidden rubbish there was.

    Wouldn't it be great if there was a 'restore factory settings' option on humans!  Clear out the rubbish, put things back tidily and off we go again.  Instead the work of decluttering our lives, minds and souls continues.  Holidays and retreats, journalling and superivsion all help in various ways, as do simple disciplines... but unlike my phone where I've somehow freed up half of its internal memory, I only ever manage to free up enough for the day ahead... but I guess that kind of fits with teaching of Jesus that each day had enough worries of its own.

    After the refreshing rain, it's a glorious evening in Glasgow.  After the reset my phone is working much better.  And after a little space for reflection, my soul is lighter and brighter also. And that, I realise, is good enough.

  • Summer Series 2018 - Questions to Ponder - Week 3 - All for One (Moses)

    Here, if anyone is interested, or would find them helpful, are the questions I offered on Sunday ...

    Questions to Ponder

    1. When you think of the story/stories of Moses, what comes to mind? What mental picture do you have of him?  What do you think he was like as a person?


    2. When Moses encountered God at the burning bush, he did everything he could think of to get out of accepting the call to return to Egypt, notably saying:

      1. ‘Who, me?’ (Exodus 3:11)
      2. ‘I’m no good at speaking’ (Exodus 4:8)
      3. ‘Can’t you send someone else?’ (Exodus 4: 13)

    Do any of these ring true with your own experience when asked, invited, or told try something new or take on a new role?  What other reasons, excuses or get-outs  have you come up with in the past? Why was this?


    1. After the Hebrew people had left Egypt they bean to place more and more demands on Moses, grumbling about water and food, reminiscing about how good life had been in Egypt, and expecting him to fix all their problems. How do you think that affected Moses?


    2. Jethro gave Moses some wise advice – identify and appoint other people to attend to the day-to-day stuff so that you are free to do what God has called you to do and to be. How do you think that made Moses feel?  What do you think he looked for in the people he selected?  How might he have responded if they reacted as he had done in the past, and said ‘no thanks’?


    3. It’s often said that in churches – indeed any organisation – that 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. Clearly this isn’t healthy or sustainable.  It’s easy enough to see the ‘lessons’ to be learned from this Moses story about delegation and about succession planning, but not so easy to live them out.  Is there something that we could do, as individuals and/or as a church to share the load better and ensure the long-term health of (y)ourselves and (y)our church?