Friday Music

After McCartney, must come Lennon: it’s the rules.

One of the joys about having a child who is getting into music is that he is beginning to discover the same music that fired you. And then you watch as he is equally fired. He has taken to whispering ‘Happy Christmas John. Happy Christmas Yoko’ and then smiling.

What a Christmas song should be: singable, but also with undertones of melancholy.

Bizarrely, this reminds me of one of the first live football matches I ever saw: Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion in the old First Division. I think it was Boxing Day 1976 & this song was played over and over again: I would be almost an identical age to my youngest, music loving, son.


And yes, 34 years ago on Monday, I cried the night Lennon died…

On being a pastor 3: quote warning

(Now that’s a fine goal)

‘Yes. Those are fine as goals. Though you have to be careful about how you present those goals. Are they something abstract that you use to label people and to decide whether they’re in or out? Life is a lot more complex than that. Yes, I have a goal. I want to introduce people to Jesus. I want them to accept him. But am I willing to wait around and listen and see where he’s at work? I had some people in my congregation who hadn’t accepted Christ after 20 years. I waited for them. And I didn’t badger them. I just knew that they hadn’t done it yet. But it’s surprising how many did. I just think goal-setting can destroy our imaginations. We start to focus too much on goals’.

I read this and you know when you get that feeling: ‘at last; I am understood and I thought it was just me who thought the king had no clothes on.’?  I think aims are good: attempting to do new and different things to see what sticks rather than just doing nothing and maintaining a staus quo is inspiring. But this sometimes excessive focus on goals and mission statements never really worked for me.

‘Loitering with intent’, praying, sharing stories, listening for where the Spirit might be active and trying to join in….at those moments I want to shout ‘And I am getting paid for this? But this is fantastic!’ Amidst the present questioning, I know I want to introduce people to Jesus, but as a minister  of the past used to say in quaintly archaic language; ‘do it winsomely’…. I don’t know how long I can exist setting goals and , as I once heard someone say,  ‘strategizing for the kingdom’. I know some measure of goal setting is perhaps needed, but I like the little stories and am closer to what John Lennon sang in ‘Beautiful Boy’:

‘Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans’