There are many trials of parenting. When kids are very young, there are the sleepless nights, the lack of a social life and the nervousness that every sniff, knock and bruise brings.
As they get bigger, the trials change. They're mainly to do with how kids find their place in the world. The discovery that people aren't very nice can be quite shocking. The realisation that other children can be selfish, bitchy and downright evil is a terrible revelation, and it brings pain to our kids and to us. What can I do to make it better? Take time to listen, hold them and remind them that they are loved. And teach them not to behave as others do, but to rise above it. It's all part of the growing process, but it hurts. A lot.
Next: how to help a teenager understand that you do know what it's like, because you too were once a teenager.
We continued our series on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation tonight, with a focus on Pergamum.
A marketplace was set up down one side of the church with salesmen making pressure sales. The noise was incredible. The point was to suggest the ways in which we buy in to the surrounding culture, allowing us to be shaped by it. Someone (who will remain nameless) hit the nail on the head during the sermon when she pointed out that seduction is fun!
The danger for Christ-followers in Pergamum was that the culture would assimilate them. They needed to resist, all the time remembering what God had already done for them.
I don't think those insidious pressures have ever really gone away.
BRIAN HARVEY Ex- East 17 lead singer (I see a theme forming here). A power ballad sung well. But again, not very memorable.
BIG BROVAZ Hip-hop artists with five hit singles to their credit. Good song, powerful performance and my tip to win by miles.
CYNDI Fine singer, performing a Whitney Houston/Celine Dion power ballad, with a little celtic melody in there somewhere.
SCOOCH Re-formed nineties pop act do a suitably camp euro number with an air steward theme. Truly diabolical!
HAWKINS & BROWN Justin Hawkins (former lead singer of The Darkness) sings a duet with friend Beverlie Brown. A great performance and it's good to see Mr Hawkins back after his struggles, but it won't win.
Update 10.30pm: I couldn't have been more wrong! I'm shocked by the result. After Terry and Fern announced that Cyndi had won, it turned out that in fact Scooch were victorious.
Mark Lawrence, despite eventually getting the requisite number of standing committee consents, will not become the new Bishop of South Carolina. This is because of "canonical deficiencies". More detail is available here.
I would have thought that "waging reconciliation" might have been a good tactic at this point. You've got to love canonical fundamentalists.
I'm having a weekend off. Well, I say a weekend, when in fact I'm preaching twice on Sunday, but the idea is to have today and tomorrow off, which I haven't managed since the beginning of the year. A combination of Synod, speaking engagements, training days and funerals have made for mental weekends. The plan is to go and see something at the cinema today and do a bit of walking in the country tomorrow.
Sunday brings a preach at Cartsbridge Evangelical Church in the morning and another at 'Deeper' in the evening (on the Letter to Pergamum from Revelation 2). Unusually for me, these were ready to deliver by Wednesday night. How did that happen?
World traveller, entrepreneur and ex-St Silas' boy, Albert Bogle is blogging, and a very creative job he is doing of it too.
The Bogle family were long-time stalwarts of St Silas'. His dad used to visit the neighbourhood getting the local kids to come to Sunday school. His mum ('Maggie') passed away last year, and is missed.
Rev. Albert defected to another denomination, but the Piskie's loss is the Presbie's gain!
Thanks to Peter, I discovered today that Canadian readers are getting this Google Adsense advert: I wonder what militaristic elements of this blog are leading Google to pick this particular advert for readers to enjoy?
On the subject of advertising, I have had the offer of a sponsor to replace the Google Ads.
This is irritating. A man, recently moved to Glasgow, called me ths morning to say that he is getting married down south in a few weeks time and that the vicar officiating at the wedding must have the banns read out in an Episcopal church where the man is living. Technically, it should be the parish church, and as we don't have parishes in Scotland, this poor man is already on dodgy ground.
I'll meet with this bloke, probably acceding to his request (not to do so would be lacking in charity), but it's a silly state of affairs, when I have to explain to the congregation here why I am doing this. Hopefully the bloke will come along for a few weeks to try us out, but it all seems slightly ridiculous: that the banns are read out to a bunch of people who have no idea who this couple are. How would we know if there are any impediments to them getting married? Surely there is a better way of doing things than this?
Englandshire, get your civil and canon law sorted out!