"Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day,
so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words
of this law. They are
not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live
long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."Deuteronomy 32:46-47
In our pastors' Bible reading group we've been in Deuteronomy this week. Coincidentally, I've heard the following said several times this week; "I'm glad that the God of the Old Testament is not the one we worship today". So, there are different Gods in the Bible? Who'd have thought it? Try this for size. This is the same God. The blood and the tough judgement that we read of in Deuteronomy, shows that sin has serious consequences and must be dealt with, but also points to the Father doing that through the blood of Jesus Christ. Yet again, we were all humbled by the enormity of this.
Last weekend was the thirtieth anniversary of the day I consciously decided to follow Jesus Christ. Amazingly, I've been reading Deuteronomy this week. The church where I came to faith spent what seemed like an eternity studying this book in 1979-80. It's my first memory of taking the Bible seriously. How good it has been to be reminded of God's love and grace seen in what seems at first glance to be a difficult book.
This is for some friends I spent time with tonight. You know who you are! Praying.
The beardie in the picture is the genius that is Paddy McAloon. Not sure about "guardian angels" (hope that doesn't provoke a chain of comments like the last post did), but it's a stonking tune. Link to the CD this comes from is in the right-hand sidebar.
However, sprinkled throughout the book, Young’s story undermines a
number of traditional Christian doctrines. Many have gotten involved in
debates about Young’s theological beliefs, and I have my own strong
concerns. But here is my main problem with the book. Anyone who is
strongly influenced by the imaginative world of The Shack
will be totally unprepared for the far more multi-dimensional and
complex God that you actually meet when you read the Bible. In the
prophets the reader will find a God who is constantly condemning and
vowing judgment on his enemies, while the Persons of the Triune-God of The Shack
repeatedly deny that sin is any offense to them. The reader of Psalm
119 is filled with delight at God’s statutes, decrees, and laws, yet
the God of The Shack insists that he doesn’t give us any
rules or even have any expectations of human beings. All he wants is
relationship. The reader of the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and
Isaiah will learn that the holiness of God makes his immediate presence
dangerous or fatal to us. Someone may counter (as Young seems to do, on
p.192) that because of Jesus, God is now only a God of love, making all
talk of holiness, wrath, and law obsolete. But when John, one of Jesus’
closest friends, long after the crucifixion sees the risen Christ in
person on the isle of Patmos, John ‘fell at his feet as dead.’
(Rev.1:17.) The Shack effectively deconstructs the holiness
and transcendence of God. It is simply not there. In its place is
unconditional love, period. The God of The Shack has none of the balance and complexity of the Biblical God. Half a God is not God at all.
I saw the Carolina Chocolate Drops tonight, who transported us to the mountains of North Carolina (one of my most favourite places). Stunning vocal harmonies, much swapping of instruments, and mesmerising performances, kept me smiling throughout.
Much joy tonight for Joyce at a little get together to celebrate her being granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It only took ten years. Praying for others I know (and those I don't) who are still in the midst of the immigration process.
Prayers for Kenny and RW following the freezing damage to the new rectory.
Joy that people are still being dug out of the ruins in Haiti. Praying that medicine and food will reach people quicker than it has done. Prayer too for all those in situ who are trying to bring aid.
"Paranoia Alert" - Is someone monitoring my blog playlists? Florence & The Machine, Little Boots, Vampire Weekend, La Roux, The Temper Trap, Miike Snow, Hot Chip, Devo, The XX AND Porcupine Tree (among many others) are all appearing on the same festival bill in April. The only trouble is, it's Coachella in California. Mind you, it's post-Easter and I'll need a week off.........
My contract with T-Mobile is coming to an end, and I'm not sure what to do. I'm thinking about unlocking my phone and moving to 3, thereby halving my monthly costs. How are they as a network? Or Orange, or O2, or Vodaphone? Who has the best 3G coverage in Glasgow? Comments appreciated.
A bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church has spoken out against a great moral scourge - Buckfast Tonic Wine. This follows the report that five thousand crimes over the last three years were related to it. One of our congregation regularly shows up at church with a bottle up his voluminous sleeve and he's not averse to getting into a bit of a violent contretemps. He showed up on Sunday night, bottle of Buckie and all. When sober he's a nice man. Drunk, he's nasty. Why are Weegie drunks either all, "Ah luv yoose!" or "Ah'm gonnae kill ye!"?
I see the damage Buckfast does close up and I'm thankful for Bishop Bob Gillies speaking out. As with most things, it's not that Buckfast is in itself bad. It's our ability to abuse it that is the problem and the fact that the Church is facilitating such abuse by producing the wine. I wonder what else the Church says and does that causes others to stumble? (see 1 Corinthians 8:9)
At Sunday morning's "Together", we were thinking about how we take care of the earth. I got to beat Nick Cox up (in my dreams!) as an example of how the effects of our sin can be obvious. In response to the question (about not seeing the damage we do), "Where does our rubbish go?", Hannah replied, "It's taken to a big hole in the ground, then covered in soil, and no flowers will grow there." We couldn't have planned a better answer or expect greater knowledge from one of our younger members. It was an awesome moment.
Vestry agreed with the suggestion that our collections should go to the Haitian Earthquake relief efforts. Over £1500 was given. It seems that we are joining with the whole nation in responding to the Haitians' plight. Many of us are also shocked by some Christians decidely odd explanation of this disaster. I wonder how those in Haiti, including very many Christians, who have lost loved ones and are suffering, receive such comments?