In an attempt to achieve some of my goals, I have combined them! So out running this evening I took some mp3s on Jonah. The bad news is: I pulled a muscle - ridiculous. I wasn't even straining and I ended up spraining! Most frustrating I can assure you. I had to hobble home in front of all the kids playing football! :-( Anyway, that's not relevant to this post...
When most of us think of Jonah the OT prophet, we tend to cast him as a Jewish nationalist / racist. It's obvious isn't it? Why else would he want to run away from God's command to go to preach salvation to Gentiles at Ninevah?
Whilst eating my porridge with cranberries, I thought I would see if I can upload a photo to my blog via iPhone. So here's my dinner from last night - a Chinese recipe: Liver, broccoli and ginger soup. :-) (Yes, I know I'm sad!)
On Monday, the lovely OfStEd gave our school "the phone call" so I was on bestest behaviour all week! :-S Whilst optimistic, we can't assume anything and await the formal publishing of the report - a few weeks from now.
As a result, I'm on track with the 1/2 marathon training, (no pun intended) grasping the nettles, literally (and it hurt for over 24hrs afterwards) in the back garden, and I've begun to plough the streets of Whitley in prayer, in hope of a new harvest, but the rest remain, as yet, untouched.
We have my housemate's stag do this weekend. So I doubt we'll see any acceleration in progress just yet. :-)
Now that I'm part time at work, I figure I should probably have some goals to help me focus in the gained time! So here goes, by Christmas I hope to have:
Improved my running up to half marathon distance. (I am currently so unfit I can barely complete 5k without collapsing and I've signed up for the Reading Half Marathon and another duathlon next Spring to encourage some umph creation!)
Finished listening to James Jordan preaching through the OT prophets (almost a sermon every weekday night between now and December! :-S
Planned Biblical Thinking Forum 2012.
Transformed the back garden into an "eat your heart out Eden Project" masterpiece.
Finished at least three books that I've started reading, but haven't yet had the discipline to complete.
Walked down and prayed for every street in Whitley.
Feel free to ask me how I am getting on and I'll try not to get defensive if I'm not achieving (any of) them in the way I had envisaged.
If you're like me, then you will say a hearty "Ay-men!" to the belief that the true God is a loving community of three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You'll also "big it up bruv" (I've been working with adolescent boys for too long!!) when you hear someone say that within that divine community there is equality of personhood, but distinction and subordination of roles. The WILL of the Father is worked out through the OBEDIENCE of the Son in the POWER of the Spirit.
But here's a question. How do you maintain that distinction and subordination without somehow losing the equality? The reason I say that is because in this shadow world where we now live - temporarily, we talk a good game about the equality of humanity but in truth, we don't really believe it. We value some people more highly than others, we just do. The President of the United States is more important than an anonymous nobody fleeing the famine stricken plains of East Africa.
How do you avoid mapping that fallen assumption onto your view of God?
Andrew Wilson is doing an interesting series over at the NewFrontiers thelogy website on one of the paradoxes in the Church, namely: if Christians really believe in the authority and clarity of the Bible, why do they disagree (and fall out) so much about what they think it's really saying?
It's a good question.
As he writes, he cites examples of things he has publicly taught in the past which have turned out to be plain wrong...
Whilst it doesn't apply any more in some "modern" cultures, in many parts of the world, when a man leaves his parents to marry and set up his own family, he will build a house from scratch himself.
Then, dowry paid, he will welcome his bride into that abode and she will take that house and by the work of her hands and the fruit of her womb, beautify it (or to give it a bible term - glorify it) and make it not just a house, but a home - full of life.
Today started as any other, although for me it marks the beginning of a slightly different journey.
If I had said nothing, you probably wouldn't have noticed any change whatsoever, but today I become 0.8 of a real teacher as I go part time.
The theory being I'll work 9-5 Mon-Fri and take nothing home at evenings and weekends (other than in exceptional circumstances). This would leave me free in the evenings for more theological study and pastoral care.
The challenge for me will be in making sure I fill the free time with the right things and knowing when to say no.
It's exciting, but (now it has arrived it's) also a little daunting, as I don't really know where it will lead just yet.
Also, if you suddenly get the impression that my gifts and general hospitality towards you are not as generous as they used to be, you're probably right. Please just smile understandingly. It won't be because I don't love you as much. :-)