Bibles, beer and blindness

OK. I’ve been listening to this debate raging among Christians as well as in the general community – all without actually watching the video clip – until now. I’ve just watched it. And I think in this case I’m glad I’ve done it in that order. I’ve watched it with an eye to both (all?) sides of the debate, and I think I can see totally valid points in defense of both the Bible Society-Coopers ‘deal’ and the production of the video. But I can also see very compelling arguments by Christians and non-Christians alike, pointing the other way, suggesting that parts or all of it have been at best ill-judged or at worst a disaster of, umm, ‘biblical’ proportions.

I’ve chosen the words ‘valid’ and ‘compelling’ very deliberately. The central observation many of my fellow ‘conservative’ (relative and over-simple term) Christian friends are making is entirely intellectually valid. The hotly contentious video clip does indeed feature a civil discussion between two protagonists, who differ significantly on a few substantial criteria. It is indeed a cause for sadness that such an event could elicit public anger, opprobrium and even vitriol. It ‘ought’ to be otherwise; it ought to be celebrated rather than condemned.

But what I’m finding increasingly compelling is the metanarrative others are pointing to. I’ll mention two elements in reverse order of significance, as I perceive them. First, a political misjudgement. If Christians want to engage the public in useful dialogue on whatever issue, it’s a good idea to be astute about perception. It’s unfortunately not a good look that the two interlocutors chosen are not only both MPs, but also of the same party – and to wit the party currently in government, and the one most closely aligned with the ‘traditional’ position. We, the Christian community, could seriously do without a public perception that we’re aligned with one (doesn’t matter which one) side of politics. The danger is that that becomes a distraction from the issue itself, or worse – it actually becomes the issue.

And so to the second and I think most compelling metanarrative point. We the Christian community have not covered ourselves in glory when it comes to demonstrating God’s love for LGBT+ people. Plenty has been written and spoken on this point, so I won’t elaborate it in detail. But briefly, we’re fighting a clear public perception, forged over decades, that Christians don’t like gays – as people. Many of us are now working hard to reverse that perception. But as it took decades to establish, it’ll likely take decades to dismantle.

That, as several folk are telling me, is the big metanarrative. Thus when LGBT+ people or their advocates see a Christian organisation having a public discussion on a subject they hold very dear – and on which the general orthodox Christian position is both well known and unfavourable, the metanarrative carries the day. The civility or otherwise of the featured discussion is simply invisible beneath the torrent of long-established distrust of Christians.

That’s how it’s looking to me, anyway.

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The hip pocket verve

Phonewallet

This is one for my fellow suffering blokes. Are you tired of sitting on a burgeoning mound of leather, plastic, cardboard and metal alloys? .. buying new jeans because that mass of keys a jailer would be proud of keeps destroying the pockets? .. buying new wallets because the coins burst the seams (or alternatively tossing a mint-worth of coins in every tip jar you see)? And are you at times secretly envious of the bottomless storage capacity of your significant other’s handbag — but wouldn’t be seen dead with a man-bag? Well then the following may not entirely save you; but heck, you may as well read on having got this far.

Several years back I finally decided to get a compact coin pouch, since storing coins in my standard bifold wallet was getting beyond ridiculous, what with torn zippers, worn leather, and a dead weight in the back pocket. Been through a few varieties; here’s the current one:

Coin pouch

That took care of some of the challenge. But several months ago, I decided the wallet was still absurdly obese. I’d wind up with a crook back after driving a distance with one hip perched over a 3-inch thick collection of everything. Either that or I’d have to think to put the wallet somewhere before starting out, or pull over somewhere mid-journey. (Or there’s continuing on the freeway in cruise control, balls of both feet anchored to the floor behind the pedals, knees and hips held taught and straight, shoulders pressed hard into the seat back, left hand on the wheel, eyes front, right hand wrestling to extract the recalcitrant wallet, before the wallet finally lands on the front passenger seat on a half-volley. Awesome toning for several underused muscles, but probably not in the syllabus for any accredited advanced safe driving course. Not of course that I ever actually did that; and if I had, well you wouldn’t have read about it here, would you?) Oh, and added to that I had a mounting collection of otherwise perfectly good jeans that were no longer functional for general wear, solely because the pockets had been eaten away by the pressure of keys and even the metal edge of my phone.

So I began researching both slimline (or ‘minimalist’) wallets and alternatives for carrying and storing keys. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to discover a plethora of options out there: innumerable styles of wallets, cardholders, phone + card holders, money clips, coin purses, coin + key wallets, key holders, and the rest …

In the end I’ve accepted that the traditional notion of having everything in one place and grabbing a single bundle from the drawer beside the bed in the morning, just isn’t compatible with 21st century life. So some few dollars later, I now have a collection of four separate leather accoutrements, of which at most times three will be upon my person, typically one in the left front pocket, two in the right front pocket, and gloriously none in either hip pocket. In addition the old bifold wallet sits in the bottom drawer, as a storage for rarely-used cards. More on cards later … So now here’s the run down:

 

Cardholder

 

  1. Phonewallet  (see featured image at top)There are a few others similar to this one, and it doesn’t show up until about the 3rd screen on Google. But it’s designed and sold by a one-man Aussie small business, and is half the price of similar items. The guy is also very responsive and helpful, and his sense of humour ain’t bad either. Supporting him felt good, apart from anything else. But that aside, I’m sold on the product. Brilliant and functional. Quality leather, comes in a few choices of colour, and there are a few sizes to fit various phone models. A bit of a fiddle answering the phone, if like me you were used to just pulling the phone straight from your pocket. But a more than fair trade-off in my view. The other adjustment to make is having a much tighter space for cash (notes, I mean). No more opening the wallet to flip through a pile of notes laid out flat and in order. Rather you have to fold them in half and stuff them in. Again, an adjustment but worth it. Fits ok in front trouser pocket, if just a little wrestle to get it out. If you’re a jacket wearer, it would go well in an inner jacket pocket. Holds 7 cards, which I reckon should be enough for all the regular use cards most of us need.
  2. Coin pouch. Not much to say really. Plenty of them to choose from, although can be surprisingly hard to find in department stores, and even specialist bag shops don’t often have much of a range. Buying online may prove better. I’ve had zippered ones, which I think are as good as any. I lost one recently, and couldn’t find a suitable zippered replacement. So went with the the one pictured above.
  3. Cardholder. I’m not a formal wear person, so this one sits in the drawer 98% of the time. But worth having as an alternative if going somewhere and/or wearing gear with limited pockets and/or snug fitting clothes and/or wearing something that would be spoilt by a visible bulge. Sits nicely and unobtrusively in any pocket, including even a standard top shirt pocket. Just swap up to four plastic cards you think you’ll really really need into the slots and if needed stash some cash into the spring-opening central cavity.
  4. Key Cover. This one took some finding, involving the frustration of first spending good money on another device that held promise, but proved no better for my purposes. (I’m referring to the KeySmart. Holds the keys together ok, but with the keys only partially covered and the device itself also made of metal with a hard edge, the pockets suffered just as much as before. So then I tried hanging the device-with-keys on a belt clip. Saved the pockets, but eventually decided it looked silly; and it would catch on things when I sat down, etc. Enter the Key Cover. How I wish I’d found this ages ago. Awesomely functional, keeps four keys in a compact bundle, completely covered by a tiny but solid leather case that shuts with a simple magnet. No key edges in contact with the pocket. Key bundle sits neatly enough in the right front trouser pocket along with the coin pouch.

Key Cover open

Key Cover closed

There’s just one more aspect to cover, with a quandary still remaining. The most obvious reason wallets have ballooned out exponentially in our lifetimes is the rise and rise of cards, whether plastic or cardboard. What mainly kept me from acting sooner on my hip pocket bulge was that it seemed all too hard to cull out the cards without the nagging internal question, “But what if I’m out somewhere and find I need that card … ?” So I just kept the pile growing.

Well my new regime has a substantial but not complete solution. Like almost all solutions to twenty-first century problems, it’s a phone app. (What else?!) There are a few of these around, most of them free so there’s nothing to lose really. The one I’ve now settled on is called Stocard. Whichever one you get, it’s pretty simple. Just scan in all your loyalty cards, rewards cards, membership cards, etc. (Or you might have to manually type in numbers for some, especially if they don’t have a barcode). This has certainly reduced my felt need to carry around quite a few cards. So I’m a fan. Many of them will scan straight from the app at store checkouts, just as if you’d presented the physical card. At worst you sometimes have to ask the checkout person to manually key in the numbers; e.g. some older scanners can’t read from the app.

But the glaring gap, especially for us coffee drinkers, is that wallet full of coffee loyalty cards. 9 out of 10 of them don’t have serial numbers (never mind barcodes) or associated member accounts. Amazingly no one, not even in the hospitality industry itself, seems to have found a way forward for this one. I’d have thought someone would have made their fortune on it well and truly by now. But it seems not. I do have an app called HeyYou, which potentially could do the job. But in several years of coffee crawls, I’ve found maybe five cafes using it. All the rest still use printed cards. So the pile grows. With my new system, I’ve ended up largely consigning the periodic free coffees to the dustbin of history. Having just bought an awesome automatic coffee machine for home will help considerably. But that’s another story …

Happy minimising.

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Video

Mercies in disguise

Being a fogey I naturally don’t keep up with the latest in contemporary Christian music. So an awful lot passes me by, interspersed with haphazard moments of discovery.

A couple of weeks back I happened to be driving and chanced upon a Christian radio station. A song I’d never heard was playing, and I was transfixed. The song was released in 2011, and deservedly led to awards and heightened recognition for the artist, Laura Story. (Yep, you guessed it .. I hadn’t heard of her either. That will let younger Christians know what sized rock I’ve been hiding under.)

The song is simply titled “Blessings”….

 

It’s seriously one of the most moving and theologically satisfying songs I’ve ever heard on the theme of suffering in the journey of discipleship. As so often with musical or other reflections on suffering throughout Christian history, the rich biblical insights the song expresses are borne of real trials in the life of the artist. The following line from the refrain says so much …

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

This song ministers mightily to my spirit, as it clearly has done to many many others over the past 5 years. Highly recommended to any who’ve been hiding under the same rock as I …

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Batting for Jesus on a rough wicket

The teacher set the class the common task of designing their own respective coats of arms and matching life mottos. Our son’s motto was simple and to the point:

Cricket. Nothing more, nothing less.

Cricket always was a metaphor of life, and that includes the Christian life surely. Listening to the commentary, one learns that there are many types of wickets. Flat wickets, grassy wickets, crumbling wickets (and that’s quite apart from the dreaded and proverbial ‘sticky wicket’).

Another is the rough wicket. The kind you might get on day 3 of a test match, but never ever for T20. Spin bowlers relish it. No one wants to bat on it. But alas, that was just the kind of pitch prepared by the curators down at the ABC for last Monday’s test match under lights, otherwise known as Q&A. And a handpicked Christian side were sent in to bat. No one saw a pink ball, but it was tough out in the middle.

But as often happens at the cricket, the crowd reaction was at least as interesting and varied as anything on the ground. The reaction of fans was richly varied; everything from those who rated the batting side’s performance a raging success to the ones who felt utterly let down by a singular lack of courage and not a single boundary.

Now one can understand the disappointment, the sense of lost opportunity. But here’s a thought … Maybe the most dejected fans were the ones who hadn’t thought carefully enough about the batting conditions. Nowadays rough pitches are the norm for Christian batting in what has become a very secular game, in which we’re by and large the minnows. That’s a frustration for those who recall the glory days of Christian ascendancy in the public sphere. And it’s a bore for those who now think the real action is in T20, where every second balls is lofted into the stand.

On my take, the batting conditions for Christian engagement in public discourse today (of which Monday’s match was but a single session in a very long game) are like this: The program’s brief was to evaluate Christianity’s contribution to modern Australia. A utilitarian approach, in other words. That means the secular world’s asking the questions, and we’re answering on its terms. That’s a big determinant of what can possibly be said (what kinds of strokes can be played). I thought the panel did pretty well with the rough wicket they were batting on.

Or to put it another way — The Q&A setup is more a test match pitch with mainly spin bowling, meaning a batsman who expects to hit 4s and 6s won’t last long. 2 runs an over and maybe the occasional 3 all run is a good strategy, even if the crowd does get bored and start throwing beach balls. 

I suspect many Christian critiques of the program come from folks who’ve gotten a little too used to T20.

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Cakes, weddings and Jesus

I’d like to raise a question I haven’t raised before anywhere. I’m thinking aloud, so this isn’t a ‘position’ in any sense. More an exploratory question …

To date I’ve shared common Christian concerns for Christian bakers, photographers, etc as we anticipate an altered social and legislative landscape with ‘same-sex marriage’. And I do want to see religious freedom appropriately enshrined in our democracy. Among other things, I want our’s to be a society where the bakers and the rest are able, should they so choose, to make socially unpopular decisions according to religious conscience, without fear of prosecution.

But all that said I’m just wondering whether our approach to the matter needs a rethink, at least in part. It’s one thing to want the protections I’ve just referred to, to be in place. It’s another to recommend that such stands as those taken by the now proverbial bakers, necessarily be taken.

I’m thinking about where we are now socially, versus maybe 50 years ago, re de facto marriages and single parenting. Back then (ok, so I was only 7) it wasn’t uncommon for clergy to insist that a non-church couple living together separate and/or cease intimate relations as a condition of a ‘church wedding’. Likewise some would refuse (politely or otherwise) to consider baptising a child whose parents weren’t married. People living in de facto relationships and unwed mothers had good reason to feel uncomfortable in churches. They commonly felt they were being gossiped about and judged; and they were probably right very often. Similar observations could have been made in the wider community among professionals such as teachers, doctors or even shopkeepers; the more so if the service providers were evangelical Christians, but not them only.

To relate the matter more closely to the subject at hand, I’m wondering how a Christian baker in 1950 might have taken a request for a ‘Christening’ cake for a child whose parents weren’t married. Yes, it’s a hypothetical; people didn’t have parties and cut work-of-art cakes every 5 minutes back then. But if such a thing did happen, my guess is an awkward transaction at the very least, and maybe even a decline.

The picture nowadays is I think rather different. It’s not that evangelical pastors, churches or people have watered down our moral convictions about godly living according to Scripture. We still teach and disciple our church members by the same standards as our forebears did. But what has happened, as I perceive it, is a realisation that we ain’t living in Christendom. We don’t expect regenerate lives and behaviour from unregenerate people. We haven’t decided that de facto marriages and single parenting are perfectly ‘ok’ now. But at a pastoral level we’re inclined to live with some moral ambiguities, even if only as means to the end of people being among us long enough to see Jesus’ lovely character in us, and of us having an opportunity to invite them to receive salvation in him.

So my question is for the Christian community generally, as we anticipate the altered landscape that’s likely ahead – and that won’t be a passing phase. I ask it of Christian providers of goods or services to the general public, and I ask it of my fellow pastors – we who will counsel, disciple and encourage the former among us. Will it be biblical and best serve the cause of the Gospel, for Christian providers of goods and services, particularly but not only in the ‘wedding industry’, to decline service to same-sex couples or families on grounds of conscience? Or might we rather serve graciously and generously, regardless of our vastly differing moral convictions, so as to be able to serve the Gospel? I submit that we’ve largely adopted the latter perspective with de facto couples and single parents, and rightly, in my view. Is it not likely that the same will become our approach to same-sex couples and the children they raise, in a world where – failing an extraordinary work of revival – we will be increasingly peripheral?

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Jesus and Anzac

I’m just back from a half-day’s Anzac Day commemoration here in Cooma. Part 1 – the Anzac Service at the Cooma Cenotaph. Part 2 – the semi-formal lunch at the Cooma Ex-Serviceman’s Club, complete with post-lunch two-up in the presence of a passive and smiling police inspector. Another welcome cultural experience for this still fairly green country town pastor.

It was my lot to be the ‘Anzac Chaplain’ for 2014. This consisted of delivering the ‘Anzac Oration’ during the service, and saying grace before the subsequent lunch .. oh, and a seat at the high table too.

Some random reflections …

  • probably about 1000 attended the service. Not too shabby in a town of 8000. A fine opportunity for further public exposure, which is pretty important in rural ministry.
  • a privilege to address the Anzac theme so closely in the shadow of Easter. Gold, when one considers the shrinking scope for pointing largely non-church Australians to the gospel of Jesus in a public way. Praying that some people were given cause to consider Jesus as the preeminent exemplar of humility and self-giving in his Cross.
  • thankful that in a country community the church and clergy are still at some level embraced as central to the community. For how much longer? Who knows … but may we use the resulting opportunities, such as this one, well.
  • perplexed by christendom’s death throes. ‘Chaplain’ kind of says it really. That and the fact that the traditional RSL Anzac service is basically a liturgy of Christian hymns and prayers (albeit with a little doubtful theology here and there), but in language Christians don’t use anymore and with the ‘chaplain’ as an invited guest for a single part. Not whinging at the latter, please understand, but certainly much pondering.
  • wondering … Is there a possibility of recovering a more central role in this event (given it’s tacitly ‘Christian’ nature)? Or is it better to let it gradually die and seek other entry points?

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Gun control and all that – a critical response

On the Second Amendment

In the course of a discussion on Facebook the other day, a friend referred me favourably to the above post, asking my opinion. In reading and then pondering it, it occurred to me that my gradually forming response to the article might of itself be worthy of my own published reflection. So what follows is in one sense a respectful critique of the article, but also more broadly an expression of my own thinking on the current gun control debate, especially in the US.

I want to emphasise at the outset that I greatly respect this writer, whose public profile is considerably higher than mine. I respect him as a Christian brother, with whom I profoundly agree on many matters of current public discourse, not least the fundamental integrity of faith-driven perspectives and hence their right to an equal and respectful hearing in the public square. It’s out of that personal respect that I’m omitting his name from this critique of mine, even though his identity is no secret in the article in question, published on his own blog.

I’ll follow the formal convention of calling him simply ‘the writer’. Notwithstanding all I’ve just said, I have to say I’ve found his approach here quite disappointing, and will now elaborate on why.

The heart of what disappoints me is that in this and sadly also several other articles, the writer has surrendered to the ‘left is bad, right is good’ temptation. So ‘lefties’ are anarchic extremists who want to rob society of all that’s right, good and true, out of a worldview built on naive simplisms. Conservatives, by contrast, are savvy, well-informed guardians of the good, drawing from the deep well of cultural history. What this polarisation too often produces is a style of writing that holds one’s opponents up to ridicule, as simpletons whose opinions don’t deserve the time of day from thoughtful folk.

Such an approach ignores the reality mature Christians should instinctively know, that all humans are sinners, having a universally compromised grasp of what is good and real, and imperfect in their living of it. One learns that one’s opponents sometimes get it right. It’s therefore wise, quite apart from simply kind, to treat them and their views with the kind of evenhanded patience one hopes to have returned. Ridicule fails to produce helpful public discussion, because it commonly portrays the opponent with a kind of caricature, which in turn results in a failure to interact with the real substance of their case. The caricature becomes the entire object of engagement.

Such an approach is disappointing at the best of times. But what makes it most saddening in this writer’s case is the irony that this parodying style of argument is precisely the kind widely used against Christians by the most aggressively atheistic sectors of the media. Make all people of faith look like gormless simpletons, so no one will take us seriously. Christian writers, of all people, should avoid emulating that style of discourse.

Now to the subject itself: the ‘Second Amendment’ to the US Constitution, and the modern-day question of gun control

There may well be a class of agitator who seeks the dismantling of the 2nd amendment in the name of pure pacifism. But I at least have yet to encounter any such participants in the course of the present gun control debate. The mainstream of gun control advocacy is frankly uninterested in the 2nd amendment, for or against. Our concerns are almost entirely with the pattern of random mass murders of innocents, carried out with semi-automatic guns.

It’s therefore simply perplexing that an article such as this from this writer, published only yesterday right in the thick of the aftermath of the Connecticut school shooting, would address the gun control debate entirely on the 2nd amendment and with not so much as a mention of this or any other mass civilian killing.

Right about the middle of his piece (the 14th paragraph), the author reduces the entire gun control position to a single sentence comprised of three snappy but very simplistic sub-clauses – and then responds to that, as if it were the whole substance. For just one example, I’ll take the aspect in my view most central, namely the 2nd clause of the three: “that [the 2nd amendment] only applied to weapons of the day”. That, with respect, is a lazy parody of the point gun control advocates are making. The real point is about the contrast between the firearm technology of the late 18th century and that of today. The “arms” the writers of the US constitution were referring to – the only kind in existence in their time – were muskets. Even in the hands of the most skilled marksman, a musket could fire two shots in a minute, at best. Put that beside a semi-automatic assault rifle of today, and there’s simply no comparison for destructive power.

The fathers of the US could not possibly have conceived of such weapons even being developed, much less the scenario of them being in the hands of hundreds of thousands of citizens. It seems extraordinary to appeal to the 2nd amendment, which is about military defence against national tyranny, to oppose any restriction on weapons which are now being used to kill numbers of defenceless non-combatants on the random impulse of a lone gunman. Liberty and security are not about enabling or even allowing citizens to kill eachother in peacetime.

These perspectives have been expressed far more eloquently by any number of writers, recently and in the past. Here is but one, which I commend: How the Right Has Twisted the 2nd Amendment.

More broadly I urge all reasonable people, and Christians most especially, to think very critically about the linking of the 2nd amendment with gun control, for which we may thank the National Rifle Association. The uncritical adoption of such an association has resulted in the extraordinary modern phenomenon of people, who by all accounts should passionately champion the defence of human life, defending instead a position which demonstrably serves the opposite end. In this strange new world, people who denounce late-term abortion can be the same ones who defend a ‘right’ that makes ongoing multiple child murders all but a certainty. Simply senseless.

To close very concisely: Why should Christians, above anyone, support gun control? Simply because our Creator God sets the highest value on all human life. (Gen 9:5-6). No person’s life is of lesser worth than internal security.

 

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Now the jokes are on the Mayans

From little things slightly larger things occasionally grow. Here’s a slightly matured expansion of a recent Facebook status update …

  • What will the Mayans give eachother for Christmas this year? Nothing – it’s not in the calendar.
  • A Mayan walks into a bar, and the barman says, “Why the long face?” The Mayan replies “My sundial’s jammed, and I don’t know when it’ll all end.”
  • How do you know when your car’s been driven by a Mayan? The clock’s stopped and the sunroof’s open.
  • What’s the Mayan national food? Dates.
  • How many Mayans does it take to change a light globe? 5,000,001. One to hold the sundial, and 5 million to find another solar system.
  • How is a deserted husband like a Mayan astronomer? They both got the date wrong.

… to be continued …

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Living with grey

Even for those who believe unfashionably in absolute truth and absolute error (notably we orthodox Christians), mature engagement with the world demands a basic recognition that some things really are grey, almost never black and white. That’s especially so of people, and the systems they form in plurality.

I presume that most people who’ve been Christians for more than 5 minutes would be well aware of this reality of life in the world of this age (i.e. between the Cross and the Lord’s return in glory), and that a glance in the mirror alone would remind them, especially if accompanied by reflection on the Scriptures and/or the self-examination that rightly occurs when believers confess their sins together as they gather for worship. Yet it both strikes and puzzles me that political discussions seem to possess a capacity at times to drive even very thoughtful, mature and intelligent believers to a kind of trench warfare that presumes every politician is either a goody or a baddy, devoid of nuance.

The events of last week in the Australian Federal Parliament, specifically the exchange between Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Julia Gillard over Peter Slipper as Speaker, seem to have produced this effect dramatically. I’ve nearly lost count of the number of discussions I’ve scrolled through on social media, in which death-or-glory type positions have been adopted, demanded and zealously expounded. Depending on which trench one is fighting in, it’s either that Ms Gillard has seized the high ground of principle over the base misogyny of the now exposed Mr Abbott, or that she has shown herself the ultimate pragmatist devoid of all principle in the face of true moral courage. With that seems to go, whether explicitly or implicitly, a righteous certainty that one must be respected and the other despised. A bit of both, it seems, is not possible.

So I’m perplexed. For in Scripture itself and all history since, God who alone ultimately determines who’s in authority, persists in raising up the most complex people to employ for his sovereign purposes in the world of people and nations. He vests authority in people such as Cyrus who don’t even honour Him as the one true God, and high esteem in Kings like David, notwithstanding the grossest of sin. Christians should remember that the only messiah the world ever had, and will ever need, is the Saviour from Heaven. All the rest are much like me. But the real power is in the safest of hands.

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A neglected gift

Last night I discovered my daughter’s hidden blog, to which she has clearly posted rather erratically. That fact, together with many of the blogged ruminations themselves, is ample evidence of the old proverb ‘the apple never falls far from the tree’.

I’m prepared to risk my daughter coming upon this post, thereby revealing the truth that I’ve kind of stalked her online. After all, if she did find this post, I’m sure a first year law student could argue that she stalked me. And besides, her blog makes the occasional reference to me. So it’s only just. (And she can hardly unfriend me on my own blog, now can she? Hmm? Yes you see, there’s no answer to that one, is there?) [Rationalising digression ended.]

It seems my daughter and I share quite a bit, maybe more than either of us would wish. The family line is glutted with the writing gift. Authors and journalists abound. She and I love writing. We also love procrastination, clearly. Perhaps ‘love’ is the wrong word. No procrastinator takes extended delight in their repeated dilly-dallying and certainly not in the resultant missed opportunities. But however one may spin it, we clearly share the capacity to identify endless distractions to attend to ahead of the task at hand, even if the task is something we enjoy, such as writing. So we have in common sorely neglected blogs, punctuated by spasmodic short-lived resolutions of sedulity.

Herein is my latest resolve to write more, allowing due passage to the branch of God’s creative spirit most evident in me. Being between ministries there should be no excuse for laxity. But then again, there are so many tantalising possibilities for … well, anything really … I’ll be back.

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