Posts Tagged ‘Questions’

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If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

October 14, 2010

I found myself reading Paul Williams and Barry Cooper’s book, If You Could Ask God One Question, last Saturday. It’s a book published by Christianity Explored, dealing with some of the questions which often arise during the first week of the CE course.

Whilst reading it, I was asked; ‘What’s your favorite part so far?’ I cheekily answered; ‘the bit where Jesus saves the day!’ Only to be caught out by the fact that the book doesn’t cover that explicitly.

So, to answer his question honestly, I think my favorite part was the chapter entitled ‘Why Do You Hate Sex?’ Specifically, I liked the analogy they referred to. After explaining how sexual intercourse binds one man and woman together, to deepen the “oneness” of marriage, they use this story:

J Budziszewiski tells the story of a university professor who tried to make this point to his students. Taking a six-inch strip of adhesive tape, he picked the hairiest student in the room, asking him to roll up his sleeve.

“Now,” the professor said, “Tell the tape not to stick.” The student obliged: “Don’t stick, tape!” The professor pressed the tape down on his forearm and said, “Let’s see whether the tape obeys.”

With a single rip, he tore the tape off the student’s arm. The student yelped.

“Let’s try it again.” said the professor, as he pressed the tape down in the same place, and pulled it off again. “Any better?”

“A little bit,” said the student warily. “How many times are you going to do that professor?”

“As many times as it takes for the tape to obey.”

The professor repeated the process five times and each time, of course, the tape was less sticky than the time before.

After the fifth time, the professor said to the student, “Now tell the tape to stick.”

He did.

But no matter how hard the professor pressed the tape on the student’s arm, it simply fell off again. It just would not stick.

They go on to explain that our sexuality is like this piece of tape. We were made to ‘stick’ to one partner. When we break this bond, we become less ‘sticky.’ As time goes on, the more and more meaningless our sexual relations become. We find it difficult to fit with another partner. It’s not only Christian writers who have observed this, either.

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Church of Coffee?

October 7, 2010

Since starting my role as a Church Assistant, I have made SO much coffee. What is it about the church that requires so much time and money to be spent making small cups of a brown addictive drink? I don’t understand.

I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like coffee. I have never liked coffee. Or the smell of coffee. And since beginning Nutritional Therapy, I rarely drink caffeinated Tea. It’s bad for me. And YOU.

The first Sunday we new, shiny Church Assistants were left to fend for ourselves, we ran out of coffee at church. My colleague wound up running to another church building to bring back enough coffee to get us through the whole day. I obviously didn’t appreciate the grandeur of the disaster we were facing at the time! I asked uninformed questions like; ‘Shall we make instant instead?’ or, to the Rector, ‘can you make an announcement during the notices about the lack of coffee..?’ My colleague, by running and leaving us to deal with ‘real church’ while he ran on his coffee hunt, was heavily praised for his good deed of the day.

I am thankful that considering the amount we consume, as a church, that we are a Fair Trade Church. That does a least make it ethical.

Still, I often wonder what would happen to the institution we know and love, called the church, if coffee was banned? People would go into withdrawal. There would be much lethargy. Worship would be bland. Meetings would turn into siestas. And, seemingly, the church would cease to function.

This came to a head for me when, on Tuesday, for a conference held at church, I spent the entirety of my shift MAKING COFFEE!

I texted my good friend, explaining that I spent my whole day making coffee, and asking;

Did Jesus drink this much coffee?!

He replied with that well known miracle in the first chapter of the Book of Coffee;

And the master of the banquet tasted the water, and it had become coffee, because that’s what the Christian’s wanted. And everyone thought Jesus was awesome.

I mean, how could I forget?

If only we were as addicted to Jesus as we are to coffee. No?

N.B. I would like to make it clear that I do not condemn the social, fellowship, which often occurs over a hot beverage. In fact, I endorse it. I am just making light of the amount of coffee which is consumed in our culture.

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Books

September 19, 2010

Just this evening, on an epic coach journey, I was having a conversation with the wonderful Richard, a music lecturer of mine from LST, about the merits of books, in their physical form. He had explained how he’d been reading The Hobbit this weekend via his iPhone, and how convenient it was for him; that he didn’t have to get out of bed to turn out the light before he turned in for the night, that he could pick up where he left off again on the coach journey, or wherever else he was.

Personally, I prefer having a book in my hand. I like carrying a book in my bag, it may be an inconvenience when the bookmark looses it’s place, but most of the time I am able to find where I had got to with ease.

I like the feeling of holding a book in my hands. I know how much of the book I have read, and how much I have yet to read. The comfort. The smell. The paper. The Ink. The collection of books upon my shelf. All adds that homely, warming feeling to my surroundings.

Maybe I’m not a child of my time?

But I spotted this evening, on my return from Manchester, that Lorraine Sommerfeld has similar thoughts…

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Protected: The reason I hate Facebook

September 19, 2010

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Breakfast Bible Study

September 14, 2010

Today I had my first Breakfast Bible Study shift. As much as getting up at 6:30am is a little painful, I really enjoyed being at work for 7am; it was fresh and had the added bonus of finishing the days work at 2 enabled me to have a trip over to Northwood to visit some LST folks 🙂

I was able to take part in BBS myself, I joined a table to do the study. We’re looking at the 10 commandments in the run up to Advent.

I was really challenged by the three verses we were looking at today; Exodus 20:1-3. We as Christians know what it means to love God, but really, do we actually do it 100% of the time? In 2 Kings 17:9 we read that they were ‘secretly’ against the Lord their God. Ironic, that they tried to do things secretly from their omniscient God! They started out blindly following the other nations, until, before they knew it, they were casting themselves idols. We often feel so distant from the Golden Calf incident, but we, even in the 21st Century, even those of us who work for the church, are not immune from idols.

I was challenged to think about what my idols are today. Obviously, we are surrounded by people who want to get to the top in their work, clothes and the latest fashions are many people’s idol, or the latest car etc… I know that my cello has been an idol in the past, but I realised that some of my friendships have been idolatrous, in the sense that I would turn to specific friends rather than to God. I’m working on it, but I still have a way to go.

It’s simple; Jesus instructs us to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength and soul.

I’m definitely going to make an effort to get to BBS even when I’m not working 🙂

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London-On-Sea?

August 14, 2010

Why in the middle of the night, well, when I’m heading to bed and attempting to sleep, can we hear so many Seagulls in London? I don’t understand… we’re not near the Sea?

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Books..?

August 13, 2010

As part of our Church Assistant Training and Study Programme, we are expected to do a certain amount of reading. Each term we have a core book which we then discuss together at the end of the term. In the Autumn Term we will be reading God’s Big Picture by Vaughn Roberts, Spring Term will be Cross-Examined by Mark Meynell and Summer Terms reading TBC.

We also need to write a personal reading report on another book of our choice each term. I’ve just started reading The Cross of Christ by John Stott, Rector Emeritus at All Souls. Another suggestion has been to read CS Lewis’ The Cosmic Trilogy. I do have a lot of books which I want to read, but I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for my reading this year? Bearing in mind I get a lovely book allowance with my job 🙂

Thankies 🙂