Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two seasons in one

Good morning, yes, the morning is good.  
I ranted and raved yesterday morning in my half sleep state after a dire meeting concerning the circuit in PMB. When I send a blog it goes rocketing into my facebook account and I thought I would remove it from there as my experience is that 'real' feelings are often divorced from these social platforms. 
Thanks for listening to my groans and pains.  Sometimes one has to be honest with your feelings and not put on the mask of respectability we prize so much. 
By doing so I received the greatest of gifts.  I received emails from old time friends that were most encouraging and wise.  I want to thank you for you love and your support even after these many years - love you all.  

Just to say, I am so encouraged by the local church in Hilton.  Just before the ghastly meeting I mentioned I had been in a Society Steward's meeting that was so alive and ready to fulfill mandate of the Spirit.  It was such a contrast to then walk slap bang into a age old personality church controversy issue later on.  So the sun does shine, the seasons often being two in one and I will take my slingshot faith and slay that Goliath. I love my name.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mourning to Morning

I literally weep for the church this morning. We are so lost at times that one wonders how God persists with us. 
John Wesley's dreadful fear that Methodist's would ever become a dead sect was realized in a Circuit Quarterly Meeting last night. 
"I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out."
I am not going to go into any details as this will not help anybody but I just express my feelings - broken, disappointed, angry, powerless. 
But, there is always a but in the Christian faith, the risen Lord lives in the hearts of his people and will rise up and have the last word.  As the Psalmist wrote: " My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning."  (130:6)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Books - our friends

I am so enjoying John Van der Laar's book "The hour that changes everything". All those involved in worship ought to read this and gain a new depth in how worship transcends the mundane bringing new perspective on life. John brings theological depth to a subject that may seem cliched in some circles.
It also provides great resource for small groups, sermons, personal devotions etc.

My next reads are can you believe it a Bill Hybels book called "Just walk across the room." I have a nature that stays clear of hype and popular church expressions but I know I am prejudiced and need to hear what God is doing in these circles. Then I have Ronald Rolheiser a Catholic author that I have only recently discovered, this book is called "Forgotten among the lilies - learning to love beyond our fear." The previous one I read was an extremely well presented theological reflection on loneliness in the human psyche and helped me appreciate that this is the sole consequence of human sinfulness.

May we continue to be stretched in wider community than our own.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A new future

I have been wrestling with the joys of ministry, minister's retreats and fitting in my long leave. 
Writing routines have been rather broken of late but I am still around for those like Delme who keep reminding me I have not written a post in awhile. 
What inspires me to write this morning is a meeting our circuit (group of church's) had last night.  I only slipped into my warm and cozy bed at 11:30pm but there was a glow around me and here I sit at 5:30am awake and ready for take off.  The reason is that decisive and clear decisions were made to see certain parts of the church die in Pietermaritzburg in the hope of it rising from the ashes (or should I say grave?).  The old proverb of the people perishing if there is no vision was witness in reverse last night.  It felt as if somebody barren for many years whispered in my ear - "Guess what, I have fallen pregnant".  To think I would feel this about the Circuit? One will go through all pains to see birth of a new child.  May the proposal of joining the two inner city church's be a blessing to all.