Monday, August 30, 2004

The food is crap!

The other week we had an interesting situation with the group of us who hang out regularly in our area. There is a key place where we hang and where we are very much regulars, where we are aiming to build relationships as well as have a "local" and the other week we were faced with a dilemma.
Often the food has been pretty average (with some exceptions like the time we had the best steak any of us have ever had!). On this particular occasion the food was appalling for all but one of our table. One persons risotto wasn't cooked properly, several of us ordered fish that was just plain awful. What do you do? What would you do?

What did we do? We discussed, we were fed up, we wondered what to do. A few people went and talked to the waitress, and we also talked to the owner who we know a bit - there was a new chef starting in a few days time and while I haven't eaten there since, the food looks great. We were polite but honest and used the opportunity to keep building relationships - and we chose to take the offered refund.
I thought that it was an interesting dilemma

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Love/Hate list of Emerging Church

Jason Clark (UK) lists things that he loves and hates about the Emerging Church - loads in there that I agree with. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Birthday Cards

Just going through my birthday cards and noticed a fasinating trend. The only birthday cards with "Happy Birthday" on the outside were from my parents and my aunt - all the rest were plain on the outside - even if specific birthday cards in the message on the inside. Not sure what that says - just was an interesting division.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A Hymn for every Occasion

Yesterday in class we looked at the hymns of Charles Wesley (I am doing a class on the History of Evangelical Christianity this semester). It was a fasinating series of lectures - John Wesley, then George Whitfield and then the hymns of Charles Wesley. But this last hour particularly struck me.

He wrote hymns for every kind of occasion - for when you thought you might be getting small pox, for when you had it, and for when you were recovering from it, for those in child birth ... and the one that seemed strangely appropriate yesterday which was one of the ones that the person giving the lecture (a person doing her PhD in Charles Wesleys hymns) gave us to look at was a hymn to sing on viewing a corpse. The words, I thought, were quite appropriate for such an occasion and it was interesting to think about how they had some way of expressing those thoughts in words that were given to them - especially at a time when words are quite hard to find but there is (in my experience)a longing to express something of what you are experiencing.
Interesting ... no I am not going to become a mad hymn singer out of this (certainly none of you who have sung around me would consider that an option anyway! ... or those of you who know what I think about the way singing can isolated people who are unfamiliar with church norms) ... but it is interesting all the same

Friday, August 06, 2004

How do you remember someone?

Apologies for how long it's been since my last post. It's been such a mixed few weeks. A close friend of mine died last Tuesday (27th July). Words really don't cut it at such times but I'll say a few.

My memories of Paul are wide and varied: they start with buying cigarettes for us before I had my first cigarette, they continue to things like ABBA music, to many holidays together - especially trips around wineries ... Rutherglen will not be the same without him, to living in the same house as him and lots of memories around that, to planning his proposing to his wife and being involved in the activating of that plan, to watching 6 hours of Brady Bunch straight ... and I need to mention The Simpsons, Mad about You and South Park, to lots of msn conversations, to walking through and talking about lots of the crap times in our lives together. Those are just a few of the scattered memories I have of the 13 years I've known Paul.

The last week has been full of lots of grief - and lots of joy. Grief about Paul's sudden and tragic death, grief for us and grief for my very close friend Julie, who is his wife. The agony of his death for many of us is very hard to put words to.
The joy of knowing the end of pain for him, the knowledge of him being with God for eternity - the absolute certainty that we have in his relationship with God and the way that has been proclaimed in this last week has been amazing and a source of joy. Someone has commented that the last conversation he had with them was about how much he longed for people close to him to know God and I'm really conscious that his faith has been proclaimed really strongly in his death - that has been a joy to be around and to be part of. It's also been the place that myself, and many others, have found hope, strength and refuge.