Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Giant of Faith

This song raised the roof at New Wine North and East at the Newark Showground

Monday, August 04, 2008

Six Weeks!!!!!

Every year parents all over the country get to a point where they need a rest - the terms have been long and hard - the struggle to balance childcare and home time takes its toll - the pressures of work in all it's forms demand a time to recharge, re-energise and relax. So what happens..?

The schools close and the kids spend 6 weeks at home - 6 WEEKS!!!! - As a child I looked forward to the holidays but as an adult - 6 WEEKS!!! - it's CRIMINAL.

Joking aside - rest is an important part of our lives. Our bodies are designed to need rest every day - if we are doing it right nearly a third of our lives are spent in bed asleep. We need a daily pattern of rest. God ordained a weekly pattern of rest - "for 6 days you shall labour but the seventh day is to be a day of rest" - He knew that we needed times to rest, to have fun, to enjoy. Sadly in our modern lifestyles that idea of rest has gone - I'm not talking about the "Keep Sunday Special" campaign or the Scottish Presbyterian stereotype "You shall sit still on a Sunday unless you are in Church and you shall not do anything fun at all" - I'm talking about the fact that many lives are so pressured that we don't have time in families simply to enjoy time together, playing, talking, walking, whatever.

There is a balance between Work and Rest and our society is losing it. Sometimes the Church can lose it too. We see fun and enjoyment and relaxation as being "Unspiritual" - either in worship or in family life. I long for us all to rediscover the gently swinging pendulum between work and rest - this summer to find times simply to rest and to enjoy spending time together as families and as the church family.

So this summer I want to give you freedom from guilt about taking time out to rest - that's why our evening and midweek services won't happen again until September - try and find the God who created laughter, who put beautiful views at the tops of mountains, who made the sea to play on the beach and the sand to be perfect for sandcastles and who said "Come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest"

Ignorance is Bliss

"Ignorance is Bliss" goes the old phrase - my response is "If that is true, why aren't there more happy people around!".

A curious way to start I know, but I've been struck over the last few weeks by the way some people behave. On four separate occasions when out with our two sons in town we've stood to one side to let someone come past us - usually when we could have kept going but I decided to teach our children the manners I was taught at their age. On these four occasions the people we let through said absolutely nothing - they saw us and what we did and chose to ignore us completely. One of the stall holders in the market even commented to us on the rudeness of the person in question - they had seen what we had done - and they went on to say they saw it all the time.

I hear a lot said these days about the way that young people have no respect at all - yet each of the four people we encountered were over 50. I know that there are problems, many of them in this village - the new play area has already sprouted the usual "Kaz luvs Kev" graffiti, much to my sorrow - but can we expect respect from a generation who are shown none? If those of us who are adults chose not to acknowledge the times that children and young people show us respect, how can we expect them to continue so to do?

Recently a team of seven young men and women from the Adwick Detachment of the Army Cadet Force were our waiters and waitresses at a meal for Bishop Jack and his wife Judith - many commented at their attitude and politeness - it stands in marked contrast to the attitude of many adults in our community.

Our children look to us to set an example - the book of Proverbs says "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." Perhaps before we criticise the children and young people of this generation we should take a long hard look at the example we, and our society, have set them.