Showing posts from October, 2010

Monsters V Anglicans

Whatever has happened to Halloween? In 2001 we spent a collective £12m in the UK, by last year, this had grown like a prize winning pumpkin to a big fat £235m!
Shoppers to the nations favourite supermarket, Tesco (where every little helps, apparently) can pick up a 'Devil Witch' costume, age 3-10. If these tough economic times are straining your Halloween budget, you can settle for a 'Devil Alice Band' for £3 - I always thought there was something dark about the Alice band.

Before 2001 it seems we were happy spending our money on just the one big festival at the start of the winter season - Bonfire Night. Invented by our Anglican friends to help fuel anti catholic feeling & necessitated by fears of invasion or terror attack. Substitute Catholic for Islamic, add 500 years, & this festival sounds surprisingly contemporary.
You would think that in our current climate of fear, stoked up by an eager press, Bonfire Night would be the perfect symbol of our struggle for f…

'I've got news for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's'

Calvin Harris sang recently,'I've got love for you if you were born in the 80's'. Thanks for that Calvin, I'm a bit old for you on that basis! However, I've got news for you, for Calvin & for anyone else interested in the development of corporate worship in our churches. If you were born in the 80's you would assume singer-songwriter worship leaders with guitars & bands backing them had always been integral to church life. For todays generation, this is worship – therefore, the best kind of worship is the biggest kind, the conference, the Soul Survivor, New day, the Worship Event.This style has become the definition of worship when in fact it is only one model, & one which probably reflects our pop culture more than the scriptures.

Us charismatics, we’re probably to blame. I remember the 80's. Harris is right. His song develops....'I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's'. Was he in some of our early charismatic mee…

Miner rescue, major questions?

Our culture has been numbed: Emotionally & spiritually stunted: Watching minor celebrities come out of a Big Brother house or the jungle, growing fat & helpless on our DFS interest free sofas, living interest free lives.
This week, for once, we have sat up. Emotionally overwhelmed in a genuine 'world' event, watching miners who are now majors. True celebrities emerging from a hole deep underground.

The whole planet was gripped for a few hours. Whatever your time zone, this scene became the sole focus of our attention, the subject of our water cooler conversations at the office. TV's, the internet, blogs & good old fashioned newsprint had our real attention again at last, & recalled how to hold it, how to keep us there for 'just one more'. People couldn't go to bed. Grown men from Hemel Hempstead wept tears for the first time since they stayed up all night to cheer Rhona Martin onto Curling gold at the Winter Olympics in 2002!
Even the inevitable jo…

Saved by a walrus - in the footsteps of Archibald Lang Fleming

When we first moved as a family to Oldham, on the slopes of the Pennines, we were told by our neighbours that we wouldn't last one winter. There's nothing like a warm welcome to the North of England for Southern softies! To be fair, they were almost right, though by sheer brute force, ignorance & many layers of clothing, we eventually managed 9 winters & even became accepted & assimilated into this tough northern tribe.

I've been reading this morning of a feat of endurance in the North of Canada which makes our northern sojourn look like a Sandals holiday. Archibald Lang Fleming arrived amongst the Eskimos as a missionary in 1909. Ok, he was a hardy Scot from Clydebank, but nothing can have prepared him for the extremes of this kind of living. Remember,these were the days of Empire, when British explorer types set off up a mountain or into the Amazon armed only with a machette, a tweed jacket & a fine handlebar moustache!

Fleming needed more than a tweed ja…