I’m thinking about grace part 7

Ok, by the rules I set myself, I should talk about yesterday….. and there was lots- a good conversation in the school yard that turned into music and then into real openness…grace in an unlikely place….. I don’t believe we take God to places….he seems to be there already, kind of looking at his watch and saying ‘Oh, I wondered when you would turn up.’ Maybe the key is for us churchies to live large, joyfully and openly and see what happens…

birthday

 

But……I’m 43 today…. I love birthdays….plus I’m spending most of the day with good friends.

I am H-A-P-P-Y!

I’m thinking about grace part 6…

I’ve been reading this book by someone who comes from the perspective of a Jewish atheism/agnosticism:-

aj-jacobs

It is called ‘The Year of Living Biblically’ and subtitled ‘One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as possible.’ I am so loving this book….. it is by turns funny, moving, hopeful, insightful and irreverent. Go read!

In this bit he describes trying to learn how to pray from never having prayed before…. I saw grace in this yesterday (p156) and I thought… ‘You seem closer to heaven than I am…’

‘The prayers are helpful. They remind me that the food didn’t spontaneously generate in my fridge. They make me more connected, more grateful, more grounded, more aware of my place in this complicated hummus cycle. They remind me to taste the hummus instead of shoveling it into my maw like it’s a nutrition pill. And they remind me that I’m lucky to have food at all. Basically, they help me get outside of my self-obsessed cranium.

I’m not sure this is what the Bible intended, but it feels like a step forward.’

I’m thinking about Grace part 5

This is getting hard!

A reminder (see also http://diggingalot.org/diggingalot/?p=1144) – my project- for 50 days, to restrict myself to a posting a day and to blog solely on an instance of grace I have experienced/noticed each day. No ironic posturing and no backbiting, no ‘woe is me’ and no straying into being a ‘shiny happpy person’. Plus- fairly short posts. I want one post a day- a kind of Lent discipline.

It is hard- as at least 2 posts a day leads to a higher blog count, which feeds into higher self-affirmation….. perhaps in a little way, in an affluent, get anything you want when you want society -this could be what Lent is all about?

cycle-jonny-baker

This made me think of Grace yesterday (HT http://jonnybaker.blogs.com/jonnybaker/)….

Also, a conversation with the child (about my age) of church members who is very intelligent but speaks with difficulty. I really had to listen carefully. By the end I could understand some things by watching, listening, thinking and waiting. I never put as much effort into listening to anyone else. Perhaps I could do….maybe that would show a lot of grace.

I’m thinking about grace part 4

van-morrison

 

There is a line, I think it is from ‘On Hyndford Street’ (Van Morrison: Hymns to the Silence) where Van Morrison sings:-

‘Can you feel the silence at half past eleven on Sunday night as the wireless played radio Luxembourg…?’

I like that…. ‘can you feel the silence?’…… that was Grace yesterday….. meeting a colleague of another denomination… we prayed briefly and then there was a moment/moments where the silence…well you could feel it… almost touch it.

One more thing…making pancakes late in the evening with a U2 interview on Radio 4 and the noise of a the family. As the great Van suggests:- ‘you must remember; there will be days like this…’

‘I’m thinking about grace’ part 2

I said I would explain yesterday and here it is…..

Blogging is great- it suits ‘Generation X’ (that would be me)- you get a chance to take a pop at things you don’t like, write about what you do, indulge your ego, have a kind of private confessional that can be read by billions (now there is irony for you) and generally say ‘Yeah, but so what?’

Coming back from a time away, I’m thinking- but is that all there is?’ Is it possible, without being very sugary and yucky, to ‘blog gracefully’? So, I’ve set myself a challenge- call it ’50 days of porpoise TM‘ or for that matter any other aquatic mammal ….

The challenge is this: is it possible to post and to notice signs of grace when you are part of a generation where irony etc rules the day? Why 50?: simple- I’ve only just had the idea & in 50 days it is Easter Sunday. Perhaps by doing that I might train myself to be more graceful and notice grace. Plus, I’ll try and cut my verboseness…

So here is part 2:-

The feeling I got yesterday lunchtime when I led an act of worship and it felt good. Not that everything went to plan and it was ‘dignified and reverent’ (that is not worship- that is a performance). But the feeling that musicians have when you get lost in the music and it is not just about you but you become part of something bigger. Anyway I had that yesterday and I liked it.

 dignity

Why the title…’I’m thinking about grace’? Well it is from ‘Dignity’ by Deacon Blue as any fule kno:  despite all the attempted ‘right on ness’ I was formed musically in the 80s…

Of course I could have had ‘Breathe’ “I found grace inside a sound / I found grace, it’s all that I found / And I can breathe“……… hey….. only 7 days to go…

‘..I’m thinking about grace’ part 1

More on why this is ‘part 1’ tommorrow. And more about the title then.

scotland-national-museum

Friday- National Museum of Scotland- Edinburgh. We eventually found a table to share an overpriced cup of coffee and a packet of crisps. As we left, we offered the table to an older couple. One said ‘It’s a miracle; thank you.’ She looked round and said to her husband; ‘O look- there is someone else without a table- they could share with us. Do you want a table….?’

I never did find out the end of the story…….

And I’m thinking of those lines from ‘Coney Island’ by the legendary Van Morrison ‘…wouldn’t it be great if it could be like this all of the time?’

Add New Post

I’ve just got back from a few days away. I haven’t blogged. That feels kind of relaxing; I think I was getting kind of anal about it.

ghy

This is the best I could do with this image. Go and see the website http://www.godhatesfags.com/. At first I thought it was a spoof but it is sadly real. Apparently they are trying to enter the UK to protest. The Evangelical Alliance and others don’t want them to come.

It is a very sad organisation. It is very easy to ridicule an organisation like this. But then- how many times have you or I ‘pointed the finger’ in the name of God?

Free stuff!

Ok, I’m trying to get more hits by putting a good title on the post…..

free

(neither of these is me- my beauty is too staggering to appear on this blog, plus I don’t like suits- see no. 10)

…..but there is going to be free stuff in this posting. I’m off today……Penrith…Edinburgh…. and back on Saturday night.

So no more posts for a while. If you will miss that I can provide you, for free, a genuine ‘diggingalot TM‘ experience:-

1:Over use (a lot) of parentheses (haven’t a clue what they are) in your postings.

2:Don’t finish sentences with a full stop………

3:Have a lots; of bad grammar in your: postings.

4:Be too introspective for your own good.

5:Be too self-deprecating for your own good (hoping that people will like you. A lot.).

6:Occasionally lose people with your attempts at humour.

7:Have a kind of love-hate-love-hate-love-hate (and back again) relationship with the Church.

8:Really love doing what you have been called to do, but go through periods of wondering ‘why?’.

9:Have a profound suspicion of ‘shiny happy people’.

10:I still find cool John Lennon’s line from ‘Crippled Inside’- ‘You can go to church and wear a suit; one thing you can’t hide is if you are crippled inside.’ I don’t like wearing suits, can’t understand why they exist and have to work hard to overcome a suspicion of people wearing them.

11:Like mainstream music that has a touch of ‘leftfieldness’ about it. Get a quiet pleasure when you can riff on bands that no-one has heard of.

12:Maintain a touching, yet incomprehensible devotion to U2, cricket, steam railways etc.

13:Watch your blog count like the anal retentive that you are.

14:Have a belief that one day you will play guitar in public (hey- at the moment I can play ‘The Lion sleeps tonight’ complete with reggae strum pattern. Nice.).

15:The longer you are a Christian, realise more that you are less like Jesus. You want to be more like Jesus; he both comforts and scares you. You fear the cost….yet he still really intrigues you.

16:Like meaningless lists. It makes a random world more bearable.

Alternatively…. there is a better solution- just be yourself!

That’s enough for now- miss me a lot!

Grace and peace

Graham

Quote of the Day

Have had this for a few days now from http://jonnybaker.blogs.com/jonnybaker/2007/01/artists_are_poo.html and have been thinking about it. I’ve often thought that ministers should have the mentality and practice of artists and not CEOs or administrators (unfortunately the quote is not gender neutral)…

‘No matter how the artist chooses or is forced to resolve the problem of his livelihood he is likely to be poor’.

…so at least on this measure of an artist, I am right….