(no I’m not…it’s just that all the images I found under ‘Lent’ were so teeth grindingly pious and bad art…)

Last year I gave up booze and posted one graceful thought a day on this blog.

So what to do this year? I could give up booze again, but it has currently opened up a whole new world and I have met so many new people in this community (see no end of previous posts)…….. and in case you think that is selfless, I also like it.

Some people give up blogging for Lent or fast from technology for a day. See for example http://davidkeen.blogspot.com/ who gives some excellent reasons.

But I’m going to carry on through Lent but with a change. As Martyn Joseph sang:-

‘I’m slick with words and sentences, I am silver with my tongue’

I use a lot of words; maybe too many.

So here is my challenge: can I post daily with fewer words?

I thought of restricting each post to one sentence, but then I thought as Methodist preachers manage to break everything into 3, why not 3 sentences? Just 3 sentences daily (although as a Roman Catholic told me: the Lent fast is broken at weekends- I may go longer then; we’ll see) to communicate anything or everything. I don’t aimed to be particularly sacred. I may end up being random (no change there then).

A big change then. And this post has already taken 15 sentences….

Something else from the weekend…

Saturday… the village fun day. This is a BIG DEAL round here. They close off the main road, have go- cart races, stalls and puzzlingly (and probably unethically) ferret lotto. It is a great place to meet people.

Hutton Rudby

From 4.30 (being English- most things shut around then), the village green is transformed into a kind of open-air festival- 200/400 people sit on the grass, set up BBQs and gazebos (it is that kind of place) and watch live music. Actually, they don’t- they eat, drink and chat. For one day a year it seems that any barriers in the village fall down.

So I went with my children. I caused some amusement as wherever I walked I was offered free food and alcohol. It is a kind of ‘Indian holy man’ thing I guess: I seem to have contacts with loads of people….or at least know the ones to walk past looking thirsty… The same thing happened as at last weekend: in this context, people talk and faith comes up naturally- it is not forced (I wonder if it helps that I don’t come across as dead earnest and well-meaning and it looks like I am having fun- I am).

A friend blogs on a similar theme http://blogdyfedwynroberts.blogspot.com/2009/07/context-for-sharing-faith.html, this time from a Plaid Cymru summer school. He notes:-

‘Within that context the opportunities occurred very naturally to share something about my faith. There was no awkwardness about it, no sense of embarrassment. The context was perfect. The common ground was the ideal place to meet.

So have you found your context yet? Are you occupying the common ground on which you are able to talk faith with those who share that place with you?’

I don’t do confident pronouncements well, but I have to say a big ‘Yes’- I love contexts like this- I feel at home there and faith seems to flow naturally (as well as food, beer and music- 3 things I love).

Think about that last paragraph my friend writes and ask that question. Then don’t make excuses- find that place and be in it and start to ignore the voices that say ‘But you should be here’…I’m 43…life is short…

…Like Spinning Plates….


spinning plates

I’ve been running this song through in my head for a few days now; (there is no way I know to describe that properly- my head is like an i-pod- I must carry loads and loads of songs in there…):- ‘Like Spinning Plates’ by Radiohead. I can go back to a specific time and place with that song. But that is what life is like for me right now.

I can remember a scene from ‘Blue Peter’ in the 1970s- a guy spinning plates on sticks and he kept loads of them going. I feel like that- this week has been too intense…. I’ve not kept up with people, forgetting things, family and friends’ birthdays etc…. It is as if I’ve come to the end of the sticks and I’ve still got plates left….

Funny… I pray about it and sometimes my prayers are like ‘Help me to keep spinning’. Maybe God doesn’t want that (now if someone had assumed a beatific smile when I was stressed and given me that advice, I would have stifled an urge to plant them one)- maybe sometimes our prayers are around ‘Lord help me to maintain this lifestyle in the way that I want. Amen.’ And maybe sometimes that is why people get worked up and cry out ‘where is God?’ because he hasn’t….. (there are so many things where it is valid to cry out ‘How long Lord’…… most have little to do with our western expectations).

If you buy into ‘Jesus is Lord’ I think this is what you submit to…. it ain’t about your plans pal. Trouble is when you have been fed the line ‘I chose Jesus as my personal saviour’……..well that can sometimes lead to ‘it’s all about my choice…and look at my household god…isn’t he cute…….. jump jesus jump….higher…..good boy’.

Anyway…no time for blogging- out of my way-hand me some plates….