Saturday, June 26, 2004

26/6/04 13:09
Raining; a blog lets me be heard from places where I used to be inaudible.

Friday, June 25, 2004

I seem to be working my way through a serious crisis of faith. It's come about for a number of reasons.

My daily bible reading (courtesy of Scripture Union) is taking me through the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. It could be argued that the major player who dominates the action is not Peter but the Holy Spirit. To me it is inescapable that the presence of the Holy Spirit can be felt. Nobody has to argue that every believer receives the Holy Spirit. Rather, people remark that the Holy Spirit has been poured out, because they see something happening. This is in contrast to our day to day religious experience, where, basically, nothing happens.

Several weeks ago, I caught a cold. I'm still coughing, with a sore throat. Typically, I catch a cold, argue for a few days with God - why doesn't he heal me? - but it goes, and I carry on. This one hasn't gone (or, if it has, it's left a legacy). I'm still suffering. Not much, of course. You'll think that I'm whingeing. I'm not. It's OK. It's just that day after day I'm reminded that nowadays God does not heal. At least, not in the spectacular way in which he healed in the time of the Gospels, and in the time of the Acts of the Apostles.

Maybe I've got stuck in some unhealthy patterns of behaviour. I simply do not have a regular opportunity to pray in a traditional manner. I've tried alternatives, such as transcribing my prayers on to a handheld computer. But this highlights the situation - communication with God seems to be happening in one direction. Possibly, writing my prayers down has misrepresented reality. Perhaps, when I pray, quietly, alone, uninterrupted, God speaks to me as I pray. I hear him, without hearing an actual voice. I sense his presence.

But what can I do?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Then and now

Then the Holy Spirit did things. Now he doesn't?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A question
Read in the Acts of the Apostles, in chapter 8, starting at verse 15, and through to verse 17. Philip had evangelised a town in Samaria. The people (many) had become Christians. But they hadn't received the Holy Spirit. Only when Peter and John arrived were these people given the Holy Spirit.

Let me say this again - black and white. Some people became Christians. Some days later, they received the Holy Spirit. It is possible to be a Christian, and not to have received the Holy Spirit.

I simply daren't apply this to myself, but the inference is clear.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Another step

How can I describe myself? An unbeliever? No - I believe,
I just don't think that I measure up. We all know the parable
of the talents (if you don't, you can read it in Matthew's
gospel, starting at chapter 25, verse 14). I identify with
the servant who buried the money he was looking after, afraid
that he might lose it.

Monday, June 14, 2004


Luke 14:33 means that I am not a follower of Jesus. Perhaps it would be more honest to say that a combinatign of Tony Byers' preaching and a persistent sore throat have finally breached the defences of my faith. The words 'honest' and 'honesty' keep cropping up.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


How many times have I asked God to take away my sore throat - why hasn't he answered me?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Religious zealotry

Love God with all your heart, mind, strength, and soul,
but also love your neighbour as yourself.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise! Fine words, a great story, but it doesn't happen any more. Not here, not now. So why tell us that we should be spreading the good news the way Peter and his friends did, when we lack the basic resources? If I was able to tell a lame man to get up and walk, then, just maybe, people would pay attention when I tell them the 'good news'. If I tell them a story they've heard over and over again, that 'Jesus died for their sins', they say 'huh?'

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


At the beginning of the book we know as The Acts of the
Apostles, there is an episode where, in quick succession,
a husband and wife die, having tried to pretend that they
were donating the entire proceeds of a sale of land to the
group when, in fact, they were keeping some of the money
for themselves. Not sure if, to our eyes, the punishment
(if that's what it was) fits the crime.

Monday, June 07, 2004


The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples on what we call the Day of Pentecost (because it coincided with the Festival of Pentecost). Views differ (enormously) on how we should expect to experience the Holy Spirit to-day.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


A ballet rehearsal, then photos being taken ... stuck ...

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

22/5/04 17:07 Grandma's house

Summoned to fix a television, then required to find a post office book somewhere in a pile of rubbish on the floor. Son, unfortunately, wee'd in his pants. Should I hide my feelings? Smile through gritted teeth?