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



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