Monday, August 31, 2009

Eyes On The Right Prize

So as you may know I’ve been reading and recently finished what must be one of the best football biographies I’ve ever read to date. It’s by Leo McKinstry it’s called Sir Alf about the rise and fall of the only man to win England the World Cup as manager. It is a fascinating tale of a man who went to great lengths to shut out the media and developed the ideal siege mentality and loyalty among his players in order to gain success but was unable to keep changing with the times to accommodate further success. It has been an excellent read and is remarkable for its ability to tell so much about a guy who said so little. This is a read I’d strongly recommend not just for sports fans but for anyone into decent life stories.

I’ve started reading an unauthorised biography of Diana Ross by J. Randy Taraborrelli. I’m not a Ross fan at all. Indeed I was taken up with the negative press about her. Taraborrelli has written two treatments of the lady previous to this one and I have a vague recollection of his last one Call Her Miss Ross which reinforced the unpleasant diva style that put me off her. So why read about her in this updated completely overhauled version? It’s just that I’m into lives at the moment as you can tell with the biographies I’ve read this year. I want to get a better picture of her through this treatment as well uncover human traits that’s replete with gospel connections and perhaps to see whether it was worth having the opinion of her that I had.

So far in the book I’ve reached the point where Diana has made it to Motown with the Supremes formerly known as the Primettes. She has not made it to worldwide fame and is making her way through education. Taraborrelli makes the statement that Ross just has her eyes on the prize. It is already implicit within the narrative that Ross will use whatever means possible to reach those ends. I imagine the full extent of her machinations will be seen as the story moves on, but when I read about her eyes being on the prize it linked nicely to the major outcome of this month’s Audio August.

Now if you don’t know Audio August it’s a concept that came to me recently based on the importance of taking our relationship with God serious enough to listen to Him. So over the month along with other committed followers of Christ there’s been an effort to pay careful attention to what it is to listen to God, how we do that, obstacles preventing that and ways to overcome that. Most importantly the theme has genuinely been about hearing what God has to say to us. I hope to be able to post some findings of this exercise over on the StokeCOG blog in the near future.

For the time being, however, one of the major things to come out of that session was the word focus. You would have seen it knocking about some of the posts since April, but it has intensified in fulfilling the call of God on my life. The issue then links well with keeping your eyes on the prize. The issue is what prize are our eyes on? As worshipful creatures the issue has never been our lack of focus, the issue has been the target of the focus. This is particularly the case when elements of Christian faith are primarily being presented as solving our felt needs. So the focus is on self satisfaction – the prize is a life that’s alright, that’s comfortable that sees me alright. That is the primary focus – I want to be alright. In fact people searched the scriptures as we discovered recently to find eternal life.

Now what’s wrong with that? Seems reasonable enough doesn’t it? I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m naked, I’m lonely, I’m homeless and I’m imprisoned, Matt 25 talks about looking after those needs right? The problem is that this is not God’s priority for the peak of his creation. Indeed the core of Jesus’ ministry was calling people to forget about self-satisfaction, come across self-crucifixion and find true life in Christ. That makes the prize Christ. This is a common theme in New Testament scripture from Jesus’ own ministry through to all who would follow after Him. If the prize is Christ that’s where come across people willing to give up everything to attain the prize.

Unsurprisingly if you present a gospel where the prize is you at your best and all you’ve ever wanted guaranteed then disappointment is bound to follow. What vacuous and empty prizes we are in ourselves because what makes us who we are is bigger than us and beyond us.

This has further implications for the output of this blog over the next month as we shall see …

For His Name's Sake



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Overcoming Gospel Assumption Challenges

Now relocated back at the Dryden Family base in Stoke-on-Trent and I’m glad for the weekend spent with my brother, his wonderful wife and their beautiful baby boy. We’ve been to Milton Keynes three times in the last two months and it always feels like a bit of a holiday going down there. It’s just cool chilling with them and their hospitality is ace. Sometimes it can be a bit suffocating going from one activity to another and it’s good to break it up with quality family time.

One of the things I learnt whilst down in MK and then in Harlesden for the blessing of their beautiful baby boy was the difficulty it is in actually getting second generation church children to genuinely having saving faith in Christ. In conversations and on reflection I saw how difficult it can be to have children who have been brought up in church to develop their own living faith in Christ that is free from the forms of Christian community in which they’ve grown and is solely based on their relationship with Christ.

One of the reasons that appears to be the case in my particular experience is that the gospel is easily assumed. It is not often refreshed and reinforced in the common life of the community. Likewise individuals are not challenged and encouraged in their sharing of the gospel not only among non-believers but among themselves and their families. Subsequently secondary issues are prioritised and we get wrapped up in petty issues of morality that is unrelated to dynamic spiritual growth in love and even more dangerously is completely detached from the crucial work of marrying heavenly pursuits with earthly sojourning. It is into such petty squabbles that people from the second generation feel obliged to join the church without any real sense of conviction or the desperate need for a new Spirit-filled life in Christ.

You may have noticed the running theme of the last few blog entries or so on biblical literacy. The link here is that in an environment not primarily focussed on Christ but the stuff around that like churchianity the Bible is not seen as a doorway in developing relationship with Christ but as a rule-book to maintain the status quo. Something that Jesus says gets to the heart of the problem with this approach to God’s Word.

You search the Scriptures, because you think you will find eternal life in them. The Scriptures tell about me, but you refuse to come to me for eternal life. (John 5:39, 40)

That mentality of getting the Word right but missing the whole point of the Word still dominates aspects of church life and infects that second generation factor of preserving the status quo rather than growing in grace and allowing others to do so and the necessary changes to church life that will bring. As a result it is no surprise that young people get frustrated with church life and members are virtually dying where they are because events come and events go but little changes in the actual lives of God’s people.

The answer to this issue is the individual impact we can make as we are convicted by the Spirit in how to make disciples. The answer lies in how we can build intentional confessional relationships with Jesus as the priority. The answer lies in how the personal individual vertical devotion and commitment to Christ segues into relational communal horizontal gospel connections that are not about boosting self-esteem but rather focussing on Christ-esteem and the sacrificial lifestyle based on righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

We have a great opportunity of walking with Christ in our day to day lives and episodes of insight He gives as He leads us to fulfil His call on us. Focus on that I believe will have an impact on these issues and see genuine disciples being made convicted of sin, filled with the Spirit and committed to pursuing God with all they have and becoming Christ-like day by day.

For His Name's Sake



Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Day In the Life Of A Google Reader

I’m currently here at my brother’s crib in Milton Keynes. His firstborn was blessed today at the nearest church branch that his wife attends. It was an honour to be there to celebrate with him.

On returning to his crib from the event I settled down to do something I do enjoy doing and that’s trekking through me Google Reader to see if there’s anything of interest worth reading. I subscribe to a fair number of blogs and news sources and what I tend to do is just flick through most of them til I get to something worth checking further. I usually make a note or two on what they’re on. I don’t usually post what I get into, but to give an idea of the sort of material I come across, here is some of the things I noted today.

I’ve never been an Oasis fan. I acknowledge a few catchy tunes they’ve done and also recognise the impact to pop music in the 90’s in Britain. They have been a part of the pop culture for almost 20 years and that’s no mean feat. I’m not a fan, however, but despite this I found the news of Noel leaving the group to be sad especially on the premise of fraternal dispute being the source. When I think further, I wonder how the group survive properly without him because he’s the songwriting hub of it all. Interesting days ahead for the group.

I read this article about Doncaster’s mayor with mixed feelings. On the one hand he makes commendable moves to cut bureaucracy and do what he feels is in the best interests of the area. What’s concerning is his basis of operation ideologically. I get the feeling more than anything it’s proud and isolationist. It doesn’t bode too well if you’re promoting a lot of the Christian values that lead to social justice. I will be interested to see how his mayoral time in office changes the city if it does at all. And any attempt by the Daily Mail to come off as unbiased is shot to smithereens by the tone of the article – nothing screams a right agenda than this does.

So this is the way people say goodbye to Ted Kennedy, quite a turn-out and I wonder if he was held with such esteem while he was alive. It’s back to the theme of thanksgiving while people are around.

Looks like the Archbishop of Rochester is retiring so he can spend more time with his Christianity! Reading this article of an interview with him before he departs from office makes for interesting reading in terms of where CoE stands on a lot of the key issues and with him departing who will continue speaking up for the things that he did?

So Tony Blair believes that materialism could be a real threat to the planet. Indeed a lot of the sentiments expressed in the recent speech are noble, but it just feels as though he’s bolting the stable doors after the horse, donkey and my little pony have wandered out. What’s even worse is his role in actually letting the barn animals escape in the first place. For what it’s worth, though I hope that his new Catholic convictions help in his Damascus Road change of heart that will see him contributing to peace in the world.

Should we pay for services? We have it fairly good in this country. Welfare state, NHS, benefits, BBC and apparently free schooling. Sure they take it out of taxes, but we are guaranteed certain privileges in this country that others would have to pay for. I mention this because on face value I thought James Murdoch’s comments on the threat to independent journalism by the BBC were rather hilarious. I also thought the position of News International to charge for online material was also hard to maintain. I thought again, though, not by any means to decry the merits of getting stuff for free from the BBC. The argument I’m making though is that does Murdoch make a point of fairness and righteousness? I mean it’s not free, that’s what the fee covers and is why the BBC are asking for more support to expand its services and keep it going at a quality standard. However if you want things to be fair and encourage competition for the sake of excellence then inhibiting that competition by giving someone a significant head-start over the competition may not be fair. Put it another way, if we pay for basic food goods like bread, milk and the like and also pay for the newspapers and magazines, isn’t only reasonable that a price should be fixed for online material? We’ll see how my thoughts develop over time.

This is a tremendously helpful outline of what it is realistic to expect from a pastor.

God speaks in different ways on the same things and it may help in terms of steering me to something to study and share further. I think it was yesterday or it could have been Thursday when I was considering Biblical literacy. I don’t mean can you read the Bible, but do you love the Word and the Author enough to really develop a way of understanding what you’re reading beyond surface informational input. It is something I’ll write about at some point later. In any case, I was talking about the same issue as it came up in a conversation with my brother today and then tonight I see it popping up through Randy Alcorn’s blog on developing a biblical worldview. The strands are all combining and it’s worth prayerfully pursuing this in practice as well as through further Bible study.

In line with this reading Steve Camp’s blog on the Weapon of Mass Instruction is a great piece getting to the heart of the centrality of the Word in our understanding of God and who we are. I love Camp’s passion for the Word.

So as I’m thinking and believing further for confessional community, the naked pastor posts something of great intrigue as to what his experiences has led him to believe. I wonder what this means as to the reality of seeing such a community develop.

It feels like ages since I’ve read some quality stuff from Alan, not to say he’s not writing it, just that I haven’t been reading it. So it is great delight that I read this brilliant word matching well with the quest for community on what that looks like and how it can work in that love/hate relationship way.

I love the ministry of C.J. Mahaney. He hits a level that I can reach soaked in the Word and Christ and the Spirit without being cloaked in high-faluted, intellectual, terminological jargon that alienates people who haven’t spent three years in seminary. So this great news of his videos online being available shall occupy some hours from now on.

So you’re going to a new church, eh? What kind of questions would you ask of it? As a church how would you answer these questions? Now you’re talking some tough questions! Maybe I should take some time to answer these of my current church experiences!

Speaking of questions – and it is something I want to do more of, asking and answering questions – my man John Piper answers a good question as to whether true believers can be suckered into the prosperity gospel. Again if that question were put to believers in my church and leaders how would they answer?

For His Name's Sake



Getting To Know Me Part 4

So here it is the final part of the series of questions of getting to know me and I must point out that these are questions that were already being asked of me. I didn’t bother to take the time to make new questions with one or two minor exceptions. The irony is that I’d love to be able to do interviews and the such like and indeed have done them before and would not ask these questions. Maybe I should have done a questionnaire with questions I’d ask others. Maybe not. Not to worry – on with this final part in the series!

38. Coffee or tea?

You know I’ve never been the biggest fan of hot beverages. By the time I went to university I gave them a miss completely. Only later on did I see the merits of herbal tea like peppermint tea and especially lemon and ginger. Even then I don’t really have it that often at all. So technically I’d vote tea but only of the herbal variety. Not been bothered with coffee at all.

39. When was the last time you cried?

I find myself crying quite frequently when in a session of prayer, especially corporate prayer. I believe the last time I cried was on Sunday evening at a prayer meeting when we were praying and I was getting something on the importance of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob especially the God bit of it and its extension to the God of this that and the other. Remind me to tell you that whole story about the ministry of tears.

40. What is under your bed?

The floor.

41. What did you do last night?

I went to a particular location to take part in a particular corporate prayer session about a particular development that the corporate body is undergoing of significant proposals. Then I had the great pleasure of getting lost and taking my time to be redirected back on track. (Now when I see I, you should know that as a non-driver I’m obviously referring to my wife, but in the best interests of covering her errors, I’ll take it on.) Got home, did some blogging which was good and watched the highlights of the League Cup matches before retiring to bed after 1am.

42. What are you afraid of?

Failing God. Funny thing that really because I fail Him every day in sinning, but there’s a great fear that I’ll not fulfil all that He’s called me to fulfil. I’m only just learning to enjoy God by His grace and allow Him to do what He has called me to do. It’s taking time, but I’m getting there by His grace. Other than that I don’t go for the usual fears. That’s not to say I have no other fears, it’s just that I cannot remember them at this time.

43. Salty or sweet?

Sweet for real.

44. How many keys on your key ring?

Two – one for the house front door and another for the back door … probably, never tried it.

45. How many years at your current job?

Three. The longest time of employment in a single job at a single organisation – I am so thankful to God for that. How long I’ll stay is up in the air, though.

46. Favourite day of the week?

Thursday. Sure I’m learning to love Sabbath, but on a techinicality that covers two of the days in our calendar week and until we live by a Jewish calendar with Jewish days I have to take that as it is. Thursday is my favourite day because historically it was the day my Mum went shopping which meant getting goodies – like the sweets. Since then I’ve kind of loved that day and even though my pay comes in on a different day and shopping is not a priority to me I love Thursdays. I love the day especially as a precursor before the mayhem and disillusionment of the weekend and the pressures of the working week.

47. What are you going to do when you finish this?

Finish watching the q&a that I’m watching. Perhaps I’ll go to bed. Maybe. Who can say? Waddaya mean I can? Oh alright, I’ll probably do some more reading.

48. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends?

I love it. I find people fascinating and I take a great interest in getting to know them and share life together and so I love finding out all this and even more important stuff about my friends like what makes them tick, what broke their heart, etc. That’s what friends are for as well as the helping, sharing and laughter.

Thanks for the questions and onto more blogging on other issues – but don’t be surprised if some other autobiographical stuff pops out of the woodwork.

For His Name's Sake



Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting To Know Me Part 3

Yeah I mentioned someone calling me a friend recently and also made the scandalous suggestion that retirement only happens at death? Now I promised more and this is the penultimate in the series so check these babies out!

26. What are you listening to now?

Don Carson and John Piper talking about pastoral ministry and being a scholar. That’s just the kind of guy I am.

27. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?

To be honest the next significant date in the calendar is June 15th 2010. I don’t make a fuss over my birthday and although my daughters’ birthdays are important, I tend to celebrate their birth every time I get to look at them. The wedding anniversary is the most important date only in as much as a reminder of the date of the most significant responsibility I have knowingly taken. The following of Jesus is one that covers a number of dates, but the biggest human relational engagement undertaken in my lifetime is the biggie. Other than that – whatever comes I’m happy to celebrate.

28. What was the last thing you ate?

Get this. White rice generously sprinkled with grated carrots and sweet corn on which is amassed a substantial amount of veggie chilli and kidney beans with some tomatoes quarterly sliced. In a big ol’ plate. What a way to finish her cooking time with us as a family. My mother shall be missed. Now she’s gone I’ll have to get back in the habit of cooking for myself. Ho hum – keep praying for me.

29. Do you wish on stars?

Not in any shape or form.

30. If you were a footballer, what position would you play?

You know I cannot believe I don’t have an electronic note of this. Still, here goes. For ages now I thought to myself that the way I continue the legacy of my dad is to play in the same position he would have played had he been a footballer. I think in as much as I am useful as a holding midfielder or even as a sweeper, the best position for me on a football pitch would be right back. (No not that joke of being right back in the dressing room.) I guess I fit here because it’s one of those unassuming roles that doesn’t get much attention but is useful and functional in supporting moves from the back forward as well as ensuring the tricky attacks of the left winger can be thwarted by keeping focussed on retaining possession and allowing the progressive players to progress and should the attacking midfielder require overlapping I can provide that. There’s more to that than just a football point, but you’ll have to wait to get the full meaning.

31. How is the weather right now?

Dark and cold, but that’s usually the case in the night.

32. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

I think it was my dear friend Joyce. No hold on it’s my dear friend Deon. That however was a brief chat. I don’t have many long chats with people on the phone. No reason why, I guess I don’t make the time for that sort of thing as I’d prefer to converse face to face whenever I can.

33. Favourite soft drink?

It fluctuates from time to time but undoubtedly always in the running is ginger beer. What a beverage that is and what a gift it is to humanity!

34. Favourite restaurant?

Now this is a toughie cos we’re regulars at Venus which does a great deal on chips and veggie burger with water (all for £2.50). Edging it however because of the ability to eat indoors on tables and chairs is the Seafarer. I love going there with my friend(s) to enjoy their delicacies.

35. Favourite toy as a child?

Remember the remote control car? Ah how short lived it was, but that’s the favourite one I can recall, although I’m sure there was a teddy bear that grabbed my affections.

36. Summer or winter?

Winter. Love having to hibernate and keep in from the cold and regard the outside world from the warmth of indoors with people and reading and writing. Love the short days and the long nights. I absolutely love it.

37. Chocolate or Vanilla?

Tell me you’re not seriously asking that question. Do you know that for vanilla to even be in the same sentence is a privilege for vanilla? Chocolate is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods to digest. I am to cut down from time to time, but a lot of the time I enjoy feeding on it whether in chocolate bar form or in chocolate ice-cream form. I’ve never been that much into chocolate tea, but other than that I be a chocolate man! Love it!

Nearly done now – one more post on this bad boy and we are done. Don’t miss it!

For His Name's Sake



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Creating Confessional Community

I love Jesus. I don’t love Him because I’ve always loved Him – I have not. I don’t love Him because I recognise all of His goodness – I do not. I love Him because He first loved me. That love superseded any love I’ve ever experienced and was amazing considering what I’ve done to deserve it and what is on offer.

Part of the journey in exploring His love has been this intriguing word – confess. I’m not going to go into great detail in this blog on it, maybe I’ll develop on it further. Confess, though, is as much positive as it is negative. Confessing Jesus Christ as Lord is not a negative thing. (Unless this is the end and you’re in a position to confess His lordship even if you’ve denied it in your lifetime.) On the whole, though, confession is usually linked with bad stuff, and bad stuff that you own because you gave it birth, raised it and got it married to action and not good consequences.

I’m having a real thought about the importance of creating confessional community because of this verse:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)

Sure, check the context. Yeah, go ahead consider the content. Indeed by all means reflect and contemplate on the concept to be found herein. See what conclusion you come to and how you should live. What I get from it, however, is the need to be a part of a confessional community of grace. That level of vulnerability and intimacy is scary stuff and I’m not sure if this is something that your life is meant to be expended on en masse – that surely is not going to happen among hundreds and thousands. It can happen though and that loving community of grace wherein we can support each other in becoming more Christ-like can take place as we’re real about ourselves and each other. We’re real, we are as vulnerable and transparent as we can be within reason.

I am on a journey then to discover more about what a confessional community lives like. I’ll let you know how the journey goes as I go on. In the meantime remembering that our priest now is Jesus and we’re called to a priesthood of believers, this communal expression of confession is crucial to the health of the body of Christ – consider how you practice it.

For His Name's Sake



Getting To Know Me Part 2

Have I mentioned someone calling me a friend recently? So without further ado onto more questions

13. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Scotland. I’ve not been that ambitious a travelling man. I would have said USA on previous occasions, but I’m not so keen and up on going there as before, especially seeing as though with the amount of stuff that comes from there, they are as good as here anyway. Not ruling it out though, with family members being there and all. The Scotland thing is because I’ve been to Wales and I’ve always been fascinated with what goes on north of the border. I like the thought of exploring these British Isles more than anywhere at present. Thankfully, however, I’m married to a woman who has a passion for travel so inevitably somewhere down the line I may pop over to those places far afield.

14. Are you an organised person?

You want to read something funny? I’m not all that organised unless it’s on the laptop. There’s something about having folders here that means most of my files are put in a specific location in which I’m able to recover it relatively quickly. I’m into that level of organisation. Other than that, I’m not really fussed about organisation other than in my hand – i.e. it may not look like a mess, but I know where what I need is.

15. Where would you retire to?

The grave. My concept of retirement is death and even that is temporary if you get what I’m saying. As long as my faculties are functioning I’d like to think I’d still write and read and that is the basis of my working life – all I ever do is rooted in my reading and writing. I’ve not really got it into my head to think of a time where I’m ‘retired’. Retired from what? Of course that is not a solo decision so I’m sure the wife might want to settle down elsewhere, but as far as I’m concerned as long as it has space to read and write and I feel relatively comfortable in the environment I’ll flex with her desire. Don’t tell her that, though, it might give her ideas.

16. What was one of your most memorable birthdays?

Never been that big on birthdays at all over my brief sojourn on planet Earth. The one I remember most is the one when I was around 5 or 6. Living in Minerva Way, there was something of a gathering and I believe I got a remote controlled car for my birthday. Another one of those significant sacrifices by my mother. The only reason why it was memorable was because of the gift and the fact that it didn’t take me long to wreck the present. Pity, that, but it is the thought that counts.

17. Do you make friends easily?

Well I can read this question however I wish. My definition of friend is not light or shallow and I find a number of people seemed to prepared to deal only at that level. I can be an awkward case at times, what with thinking all the time and all. So I’d say I don’t make friends easily, but I’d like to think I make friends deeply and I enjoy it when I do make a friend.

18. What’s your favourite pastime activity?

Have I mentioned reading and writing?

19. When is your birthday?

21st November 1977

20. Morning person or a night person?

I’m a funny one where that’s concerned. Some of my most productive hours have been in the early hours of the morning, where others have been into the night. I’m just funny that way.

21. What is your shoe size?

12 – at times I’ve been accused of being like a penguin with me big feet, but I is happy with what I have.

22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?

None whatsoever … at this time … to share … with you … yet

23. What did you want to be when you were little?

Bigger. I believe my job dreams were journalist and lawyer. I might have wanted to be a detective as well, but that didn’t last long. The main ones were those first two.

24. How are you today?

I am in fair spirits. It has been a weird day today involving many different emotions and sentiments, but I sit here at 22:00 listening to some good preaching about the miraculous work of God in making a new creation out of that which was dead and I am grateful that He would extend such a grace to me.

25. What is your favourite flower?

This question always sounds better spoken that written cos then I can crop up with the quip of plain or self-raising! In any case I’m not really fussed about flowers. I don’t have a particular favourite and will not be tasked with the challenge of plumbing the depths of my head and flower-kind to discover what I like in that area.

Right enough of that for now – more on the way in a blog entry coming to you soon. Cos the more you get to know me, the less you can say you don’t know me – and that’s a good thing, right? Right?

For His Name's Sake



Will He Find Faith?

I could have left the blogging to that this evening, but there was a bugging issue that I made a note of, that I thought would be well leaving as a note on a blog like this.

You ever have those times when you’re reading a scripture and you’re asking the question, ‘Why is God asking that question?’

"Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" (Luke 18:6-8)

I’d like to hear what Jesus is meaning by this rather awkward question. For here He is talking about persistent prayer and how the God of all justice will speedily execute justice on behalf of those He has chosen. The issue is not the character of God, the issue is the character of those who claim to follow Him, those who claim to believe in Him and believe Him.

The immediate context would not suggest that Jesus has any desire to answer that question and leave it hanging there almost as a challenge to believers as to whether or not they will persist in prayer for the things of God.

The reason for this note in particular, is because during prayer this evening this song ‘These Are They’ popped up to put things in the larger perspective of why we do what we do. I then considered how our lives are measured by the standard of Christ – Old Testament being about the Jesus to come, Gospels being about the Jesus come and the rest of time being about the wait of the Jesus to come. In the light of that then, the issue for me as a believer is whether or not I’ll be in a position of eager expectation for His return.

Will I be about the business for which He’s called me – proclaiming and demonstrating the Kingdom come and will done on earth as the heavenly pattern dictates? Will I be passionate about seeing people dedicate their lives to the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world?

For His Name's Sake



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting To Know Me Part 1

Someone called me a friend in an email I read recently. Yeah, honestly, me – a friend. I was surprised too. So this was one of those emails that ask loads of questions about things to find out about you. At first I was going to reply to the email … then I thought, nah. Then I thought … better still why don’t I blog my answers. So having not had a third thought since then here is the beginning of the answers to those questions. There were quite a few of them, so it didn’t make sense to place them all here, especially as though some of my answers reflect my usual approach to making a story out of a sentence!

1. What time did you get up this morning?

8.35am. My usual waking up time is earlier and ideally I’d even prefer to get up at about around 6 or 7am. I would be up around that time when the children get back to school, but for now, with the transition at work and other factors that is the time I got up today.

2. Watches or Rings?

Watches. Although to be fair I have a ring, but no watch! That’s only because it’s the ring I got when I got married. Not really been fussed for jewellery really. Never saw the need – still don’t to a large extent, whereas a watch has a function!

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

G.I. Joe. Disappointing, very disappointing.

4. What is your favourite TV show?

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (the ones with Goren and Eames especially). I’ve written about them elsewhere. Other than that I’m not really a television man – only because I got my quota in when I was a lot younger!

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?

Fresh Air. I’ve not got into the discipline of having a slap-up breakfast until recently with me Mum and all. When she goes I’m not sure if I’ll get into the discipline, but I do see it’s merits, as I’ve written before.

6. What is your nick name?

Don't have one really, only me wife calls me CD from time to time, not that I answer to it all the time, you understand.

7. What food do you dislike?

Egg and cheese in particular. I would have started a society against especially cheese but because of the harassment I would have received, death threats, persecution, rejection and sponsorship by Edam I just thought it was not worth my while. But be in not doubt, I am still a cheese-hater!

8. What is your favourite CD at the moment?

CD? As in that thing from which you can often receive audio entertainment? Man, I don’t use a CD no more? Why when most of my music is on me laptop which is the only source from which I get me music and I can set up playlists that will last a lot longer than what a CD would manage. Sure I have to endure my wife’s impression of good music when I’m in the car, but that’s the Lord teaching patience and endurance and exhibiting gifts of the Spirit. Nah, man, CD is so not me at the moment.

9. What kind of car do you drive?

I have not learned to drive. I have not taken the theory test or practiced for it. I have no intention of doing so either at this time. However, the car I would have driven ideally had I bothered would have been a five-door black Golf GTI. Recently I’ve also been interested in driving a Ford Focus – black as well obviously … and five door as well, obviously.

10. Favourite sandwich?

Sandwiches? Seriously. Man what kind of questionnaire is this? I am not into sandwiches friends, I find them to be pathetic efforts at satiating the craven ravenous hungers of a man like meself, especially those limp pieces of dry bread between which are put in an assortment of equally pathetic condiments. However, I have been convinced of the power of Subway and they have proper filling ‘sandwiches’. As you may have gathered by now I can be an awkward so and so, but when I’m at Subway, despite the extortionate prices, I enjoy indulging in a 12” Veggie Pattie with corn, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and a Thousand Island dressing. Typing that reminds me of how long it’s been since I last had it. That should be some indication of two things – how busy I am and how much money I have – remember those (three figure plus) donations by cheque should be made payable to Mr. Christopher Dryden. All donations will be graciously received.

11. What characteristic do you despise?

There is a good question. Wilful ignorance is one I’m put off by. Bullying superiority complexes are also a particular pain in the neck.

12. Favourite item of clothing?

A recently purchased pair of black jeans. I’m not really fussed about my clothing as the fashion police have pointed out to me on a number of occasions, but I did need a new pair of jeans and having waited so long for it I was overjoyed to be getting my mitts on it. I have been a blue jeans man of late, but I felt it was time for a change and so plumped for the black look. It turned out to be an inspired choice for once and has made the ever growing frame that bit svelter and that cannot be a bad thing can it?

OK more questions and answers in the next entry where among other things you can find out when my birthday is, my most memorable birthday (and when you say it, it can sound like you’re mumbling!), and whether I make friends easily! That and some actual stuff worth knowing about me in a blog to come soon!

For His Name's Sake