Thursday, 14 March 2013

long time no talk...

Aloha, I realised recently that it has been over 4 years since I wrote anything on this blog. I set up the blog a while ago as a place to reflect; to muse over the things in life that I saw that made me really think.  So much has happened in those 4 years that I'm not sure its even worth to catch everyone up.  So I'm starting fresh here and now.  I now live in Hawaii. I have been here a year and its been a tumultuous year at best.

Recently I have realised that my life is no longer as intellectually stimulating as it once was. I spent more than 20 years of my life in formative education; learning, teaching, growing and expanding my brain.  Lately I have felt at a loss as to how to ensure that this continues.  I don't necessarily wish to go back to university (again!) but I feel I need to be finding a way to think bigger more than I have been.  I am going to use this space, that I started so long ago to do just that.

Perhaps nobody will read it and comment and perhaps they will. Either way, taking the time to write it will give me chance to think and rediscover some for mof intellectual pondering that I have been missing the last little while.  

Hopefully I'll be more disciplined this time and actually take time to sit and write - this is the first step though ... 

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

pardon the brevity:

I was asked to say grace at a couple's golden wedding anniversary at the golf club the other day and it was so well received that i promised i would pop it online so that people could get ahold of a copy, so here it is.. my grace.. for those of you who are copying it - enjoy and God speed.

Glory to our father and heavenly host,
Christ the Son, and holy Ghost
For friends who’ve come from far and near,
For beloved family whom we hold so dear.
For love that through the years holds fast,
WE love because you first loved us.
For laughter, joy, distress and sorrow
And the strength you give us for each tomorrow.
Lord Bless these people and this day
And the comfort you’re only a prayer away,
Blessings on this food and on this couple as they celebrate their Golden wedding

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Perhaps I Just don't get it. . .

Some of you may be aware of the court case that made the news yesterday of a 14 year old Weslh Sikh girl who won the right to wear her Kara to school despite their no jewellery rule. This has been met with some of the most wideranging comments on the bbc radio 1 "newsbeat" website. People's comments range from
"Why is a 14 year old girl allowed to dictate what goes on. She is still a child and should abide by the rules, not demand things change to suit her."
"I think the point here that everyone is missing is the fact that the girl and her parents were well aware of the rules surrounduing the wearing of jewellery before she stepped through the school gates;"
"Someone wrote that while it is OK for this Sikh girl to wear her religious jewelery, because it is a religious tenet,' no one should be allowed to wear a cross in schools, because that is not a religious tenet. Come on, all you Christian, put the laws to the test - all turn up wearing crosses tomorrow, and let's see what happens"

Now I am no more educated on the Sikh Religion than most of the average Joes that walk down the street on a daily basis, but I do think that perhaps there are some things that are being missed in this whole debacle. As a liberal progressive Christian, I fail to see why it is offensive that we allow others to practice their faith in the way their faith demands. People say we are a "Christian" Country and oh how I wish that were true. It is true that we are Post Christian. There was a time, yes, when everyone went to church on a sunday. When school rules were school rules and when those of us who didn't like what we were hearing didn't have a leg to stand on because we were kids and we ought to know our place. Now we live in a different world. We live in a country with 12 year olds getting pregnant, where it is necessary to give sex education to 4 year olds, where members of the NHS are asked to remove cruicifixes so that they don't offend anyone and where children win court cases over religious symbolism.

As a Christian I do not understand entirely what the Kura means to a Sikh, but having had a sikh friend in Switzerland I know that it is a very important part of their faith. As one of the 5 K's it is an important thing for a Sikh to wear. Christians choose to wear a cross and to say that we wear it because we are commanded to would be wholly unjustified - I mean for goodness sake some churh denominations still can't agree on whether or not it is infact sinful to have one on. (See the reformation debate on imagery)

My bugbear here is that I fail to see why something like this made it to court. Why, when by their own description, the kura is made of steel so as not to be an "ornament" is it such a big deal that the girl wear it. Why does it matter to the school? I just don't get it. I used to wear my cross to school under my shirt. We weren't allowed jewellery there either - i Know, i'm bad.

We are frightened all the time that what we say will offend, we are constantly worried as a people that we may irritate or upset our neighbour and so must be politically correct and are happy to condemn cases like these as they seem to be a "totaly waste of money" but, were the shoe to be on the other foot, would we not fight our corner with every fibre of our being? Would you not stand up and defend something that you believed to be true?

One comment on the newsbeat site said that it was offensive to Athiests that this religious bangle could be worn - i'm sorry, What? Why? I'm not offended that you don't believe, so why should you be offended by my jewellery, unless of course it makes you uncomfortable in your position!

Anyway - she won, she gets to wear the Kura, and all the bored people who have nothing better to do, can go online and call her names for having the courage to stand up for what she believes in. Centuries ago, people from our Christian nation were given sainthood for standing up for what they belive in - now we just slate them.

I guess I just don't get it. I want to live in a world where people can be who they are - who God made them. I want to live in a place where everyone has the right to their own opinion, to happiness and to freedom of religion - where this right is an actual tangable right and not a ideal that is all to quickly dispensed with when it doesn't suit. I don't know if that place exists, but I can always pray.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Progress in the fundraising

Well things are progressing pretty well. After looking for a job everywhere I could think of, I finally got one in a law firm in town. Its a nice job and the Solicitor who is the Partner is lovely. I am really enjoying working there to be honest. That, combined with my golf club hours, donations, sale of my swanky cell phone and 2 broken iBooks and a little bit of car bootsaleage I think i've raised about £1100 toward my £4000 goal. Whoop.

God is good you know. I was worried that I wouldn't find a job, and many people were praying for me, for which I am most thankful... anywho a job not only turned up but was one that was very interesting AND she wants me to work for her in the future - you can't really get much better than that now can you??

Anyway - thanks to everyone who is helping me to do this Post Grad - i'm really grateful of any and all assistance that you give me. Keep checking in...


Friday, 4 July 2008

Facebook Plea

You know its a sad day when you put a sort code and account number in your facebook profile and ask friends to give toward your tuition fees, but that day has come.  I figured if i have 396 friends and each one gave me £10 I could pay my fees EASY :) and even if they don't it was worth a shot, right?  Well I'll sure as hell let you know... So I guess it may be an idea to give you guys all an outline of what it is I intend to do in this my 3rd and 4th degrees then eh?
My faith is very important to me, and more than that, that the out workings of my life are concomitant with that faith stand point.  Christian Ethics is a growing and important field and my interest in environmental care is one that has been with me for many years.  I feel that society takes things for granted.  We get upset when the water board makes a mistake and our water stops for a little while, but how often do we give a thought, on an ordinary day, to those without water.  We are angry when the video games store runs out of the newest play station game, but how often to we give a thought to those who don’t even know how to play as they are too busy working to survive.  We get frustrated with the fuel prices rise as it means that holidays will be too expensive, but how often do we give a thought to those who will never leave their hometowns because they are stripped of even their most basic human rights.  Jesus taught us to love our neighbour and it seems that that has become a very narrow thing for some Christians and faith groups.  My goal with my research is to look at why individuals, specifically Christians, feel the need to fill their lives with material objects and consume to the extent which they do.  I want to look at ethically how looking after the environment is also a justice issue and something that we must do if we are to love our neighbour as ourselves.  I feel that it is important that we begin to look back to the gospels and focus less on others interpretations of them and more on what we were taught as disciples and followers of Jesus.  While my main focus will be environmental care and trying to construct a Christian ethic that moves away from a stewardship model toward a Christocentric approach focussed on neighbour love I do intend to look also at the consumer market and to discuss what consequences being a consumer has for Christians and indeed the importance of being a conscious, responsible consumer.

My hope is that with my life experience, my different educational experiences and my desire to make a difference that I will be able to write in a way that will inspire others to make a difference.  Its our world and there needs to be a voice that will call us to action to make it the world we want it to be, to make it look the way God calls us to make it look - while I am not arrogant enough to assume that I am that voice, I think that the Theophany is heard through all of God’s people making a difference and I believe that it is important that we start where ever we can.  So I plan to start here. 

So there you have it... This is my plan and this is why I need help... God willing, I'll get it..