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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pennies from Heaven

It’s strange how memories flood back with the smallest of provocations. One from childhood spirited itself up when I was trying to find a new idea to centre my Sunday worship’s children’s talk upon. One suggestion was to get the kids to play a real fruit machine. In other words they get handed a bag of mixed fruits and the have to draw out three lemons – or whatever.

In Britain fruit machines, or gaming machines as I suppose they are now called, are usually referred to as ‘one-armed bandits’. A reference to the very high profits these devices generate for their owners. Well, my first encounter with such contraptions was as a small boy going on holiday to Cornwall. In those days, the late 50’s, there were neither motorways or service areas (a possible blessing I hear you say). So the journey from the central belt of Scotland was a two day affair with stops wherever refreshments could be found. One morning, we had stopped at what was then called a ‘transport Cafe’ – not much more than a wartime hut – and I begged 1p to put in the inviting chromium monster in the corner. To my delight, I must have hit the jackpot for I remember laughing uncontrollably under a cascade of copper spewing from this most reluctant of payers.

 

Of course, a penny then was  but 1/240 of a pound. Not a king’s ransom I agree compared to bankers’ bonuses yet each one bought a trip to the loo!

 

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A vexing day

Yesterday was a vexing day! By all accounts it was a vexing day. It started with my car not just failing its annual road test, it also requires a very expensive repair. This bad news was followed by a series of meetings each with its vexing moments. and all this was punctuated by those silent calls probably spewing out from call centres with dubious purpose.

 

Yet through out the various annoyances,  I saw something else. It was flashes of people in need. In fact, folk more vexed than I was and with much better reason.

 

The day ended with me watching ‘My house in Umbria’ in between phone calls. It is a gentle comedy which nevertheless deals with many difficult life issues. And in it we see the various characters dealing with their own and others’ brokenness. In the end, it is their mutual acceptance of what sometimes is vexing beyond solution that they find acceptance – they find healing – they find contentment at least for the day.

 

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Internet killing the Church?

Is the Internet killing the Church? it was a question posted on a Christian forum recently. And it doesn’t half make you think! However having so done – I would say no. Firstly, the question was asked and then debated over none other than the World Wide Web. Next, I know that mini-football, Sunday shopping and the thousand and one morning choices are certainly reducing worshipping congregations to pretty nominal levels. But I don’t see the Internet has having a particularly large role in that equation. But maybe most important of all is to think what the ‘Church’ is. Is it a building that to many teenagers is the 3Bs – big, brown and boring? Is it an institution with all the faults and failings of national and multinational corporations? Or is it the verb of doing worship and community together? If indeed it is the latter then, to a reasonable level, interaction with each other over the Net is not just a possibility but an essential aspect of  future Christianity. Certainly we want to do better with this new medium than we have achieved with television!

 

Has it happened before? Yes, when the printed book appeared in the middle ages it was embraced by the Church and made its own. Let us now do like wise.

Thanks for meeting me on the Net.

 
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Posted by on 26/02/2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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