Friday, April 27, 2007

Emerging Chat

Apparently the word "debate" shouldn't be used to describe what I went to on Wednesday night. clarify....the emerging church talk wasn't a debate in the number one meaning of the word in the dictionary.
There was no arguing, no taking sides, no "does this house decide" this or that.
I used the word meaning "CHAT" or "TALK" or "DISCUSSION".

Another meaning of the word debate is to deliberate or consider and that was what I was trying to do and hopefully my previous post shows how much I enjoyed that!

oh no, if I have to weigh up the appropriate usage of every word I type on my blog.......I'm in trouble otherwise! At least I know it's happened to most people!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Emerging debate

I have taken down yesterday's post about my nervousness of going to this meeting (see Brodie's blog for further info) as I had a lovely time, in particular during the hanging about chatting for half an hour afterwards. Always my favourite kind of event.

Only two beards were in attendance, one neatly trimmed one and one rather majestic one. Chin scratching was witnessed but the perpetrator was the "feeling mischeivous" Rev Blythe. I only heard Volf mentioned (DW!) oooooh and McClendon (SB!)

FIVE women were present - wow - enough for a deaconate/leadership team/kirk session.

Everyone was very friendly, attentive and good thoughts and opinions were shared. I don't think I offended anyone, though I feel my weakness is that I can never express what I want to say cleverly; it's sometimes comes out all warm and fuzzy; HOWEVER it felt like you could say what you thought even if you weren't as knowledgeable as others in the gathering.

Plus Amy Winehouse was playing in the background. I felt mellow.
Thanks to Brodie for preparing a discussion paper and Stuart for organising the event and welcoming people in. (remember: Glenrothes in Nov!)

Was also delighted to see Dave was there as I didn't expect to see him, so that was a lovely surprise. Dave used to deliver my family's papers; beat my brother up once; ran amok in my estate wearing a Rangers strip (nothing's changed there then!)

I came to faith through his sister and we all grew our faith together from mid-teens onwards. And I got to chat to some other really cool people - who I'd like to talk to again :-)

And I didn't buy the Rocket Dog shoes spied in a nearby shop 5 mins before the discussion began.....................I resisted! Victory over the flesh.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crazy Ma-aa-aa-aa-aan!

I recently found this and would like to recommend it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Status of Children before God Part 2

Back in March, I outlined six possible views of the status of children before God. I ended with this:
I will outline a seventh possible answer, and the one which governs my vision, my mission, my role to educate parents and fellow kids team workers, makes sense, encourages me and motivates me to be both evangelistic and nurturing towards children. I will set this view in the context of Westerhoff's stages of faith development. Come back soon!

Answer 7: All children begin with God, but will drift from that position unless an effective nurturing or evangelistic influence operates in their lives.

Key to this is that the child’s belongingness to God may become rebellion. There is no assumption that the belonging WILL become rebellion. This answer takes account of humanity’s rebellion against God and the child’s potential to be part of that. But it holds that potential in tension with Jesus’ own teaching about children and the Kingdom. Taking that teaching seriously, it holds that all children begin with God, but that they will drift from that safe position unless the drift is halted and reversed. So we need to have a VISION to cater for this; both within the Christian family and amongst the children's team.

The answer also makes sense of the fact that the faith of many adults began with Christian nurture in the home and grew into mature Christian discipleship. Some adult Christians have never doubted that they belong to God. They have been nurtured in that sense of belonging; they have agreed with it; they have grown in it.
They have never consciously said “no” to Jesus………

I sometimes feel that we inadvertantly devalue the testimonies of people who grew up knowing Jesus, unable to put an exact time and date on when they were converted to Christ. In guest services and in evangelistic events we favour the dramatic and sudden turnaround conversion stories. I must stress that these are great stories to hear and real faith-builders! But I have now come to a point where I celebrate amongst the children I work with the fact that they love Jesus. They cite their earliest memories of being "Jesus' friend". I encourage them to continue on in that, encouraging them to "keep saying yes to Jesus".

This makes sense of Westerhoff's theory of faith development. A child begins their faith journey on an experiential basis - if they experience the love of God from kind and caring adults who nurture them, then they will accept Jesus at that level. (so put your best child care workers in the creche!) The next stage; the affiliative stage is where a child will take on their faith because of who they are affiliated to i.e. who are their friends and what do they believe in? This leads to the searching faith period - where a child/young adult asks questions; tests us to see if what we talk about is true in our own lives; wrestles with big issues perhaps; looks for reality in what they see in the church around them. As an aside, many adults have not left this stage! The final stage is owned faith - where the individual makes their faith their own; to the point of being willing to lay themselves down for their faith.

And so I hold that children are on a journey that starts with God but may not end with him. They are part of fallen humanity and will revert to that default position - hellbound and lost without God - without a twin strategy of nurture and evangelism. Incidentally - and for another post I throw this controversial comment out - many church-going parents may not be fulfilling their God given role of nurturing their children in their faith (see Barna's important research on this topic in the USA; where the USA go, we usually follow......)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Still Small Voices - Bob Holman contributes

Please see Still Small Voices today for a contribution from Bob Holman, a retired professor of social policy. He has written an open letter to the Minister for Immigration (google alert time!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Google Alert - Nicola Sturgeon

Came home from ten days away to find a personal note on a letter from a well-known politician who just may have been mentioned in the last entry or two.......

It said: "came across your blog the other day. It was a bit spooky reading it so soon after our conversation in your garden, but it was very good".

On opening the letter, I hadn't reckoned on the power of Google Alert and I ran back to see what I had written :::::phew::::: I posted something honest and not unkind; attempting to live out what I believe (don't always manage this to perfection!). I only exaggerated slightly when I said "Lynn cross-examines famous politician". I didn't really do any Donald Findlay style cross-examining (don't know the words of his songs!)

Nicola Sturgeon will face much tougher opponents than me asking a few questions, and as a law grad, she is well able to argue her party's case. I remember going to a hustings meeting in Govan, at the Pearce Institute, in, I think, 1997 (?) and had never heard such a bunch of mumblers as Sarwar and his attendants; did Labour no favours at all. A very young Nicola Sturgeon spoke superbly (I think we're the same age). However, I placed a lot of hope in TB in those days.

And so.....two weeks to the election. I agree with Stuart here on the Scottish Christian Party; it's not for me.

PS Nicola, if you're reading this, please have a look at Still Small Voices.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Down in sunny Enger-land working with 360 five to seven year olds here The theme is "On The Beach" and that's where I'm off to just now!

I see someone has left me a pleasant message (??) on my P45 entry. That's the thing with anonymous posts - you don't know whether they're written in jest or not!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Lynn cross-examines famous politician!

Guess who sat in my garden today? This woman here ----->

Yes, its election time and the canvassers were out in force round the doors today. As I opened the door to the young woman representing the SNP I asked her if Nicola Sturgeon was with her as I had one or two questions for her. To my great surprise I was told she was in the street so would I like her to pop by? Yes, I said, bring her round to the back garden!

And so I got 15 mins with the SNP's Deputy Leader, to quiz her on what I felt were the two main issues - immigration/asylum policy and Trident. I explained my political position (disillusioned Labour voter), what I did for a living and briefly described the strength of feeling about asylum seekers amongst members of my church.

I explained that I was disgusted by the callous treatment of fellow human beings and the way I saw Laboour's wholescale movement from left to right (I'm not even going to use the word "drift" here). John Reid has been a tough nut indeed.

She listened intently, answered well and I warmed to her very much, if I am to be honest.(although of course the SNP's hands are tied; the two issues I raised are reserved matters. And I am still not sure that, at the end of the day, a nationalistic party, had they more power, would be totally and 100% behind the cause of asylum seekers. There would be too much economics to sort out)

And here endeth Lynn's party politics for today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Me again

Deleted the shaky and shoogly pic from a few days ago to replace it with one from today. Not that I am a narcissist or anything :::::laughs::::: but I got my grey hairs touched up today :-)

Money money money

My kids are away to grandma's for the day and my husband and I had our bi-annual trip into the city centre on a shopping trip. Clothing, shoes overhaul Essential, but not a good experience.

I LOVE going into town and going round the shops. It's something I have done since I was about 14 years old; heading off "up the town" with my friends, wandering around shops, trying things on, picking things up, talking, laughing, chatting etc
I really enjoy this, even if I don't spend very much money.

However I don't physically go round the shops for pleasure very often now. A big reason for this is that browsing doesn't hold the same enjoyment when someone is shouting "I need a pee....NOW" or "I'm thirsty/hungry/bored/tired", "when are we going home" "what chocolate treat are you getting me" etc etc. Double those shouts by adding child # 2 to the mix and you'll even use online shopping for a pint of milk.....

I also hardly ever go because now, when I go, I feel rising feelings of "I wish"....."I wish I could afford that". "I like those". "if only I could get that, that and that". I feel a heightened vulnerability to become a slave to materialism, consumerism and pressure to conform.

* Is it because I am getting older and wish that I had nice things to make me feel young? I don't think so, I am not that impressionable.
* Is it because I now work for a church and have less money that I used to have to spend? Not really. I have what I need (but I'd never say no to more, in case anyone with influence is reading this :::grin::::)
* Is it because I have two children who need far more than I do because they grow out of things fast? Do they demand lots of the latest "in" things? No, not really (bless'em! They have learned that mum says "we can't have that; it's too expensive/we don't need it" and they genuinely seem accepting of that)
* Is it because the "spirit of this age" whch blinds the eyes and hearts of the unbelievers is at work even when a Christian goes shopping? Do I sound mad by saying "yes" I think it is? I think consumerism and the expectation to have/spend/throw away/upgrade is a strong and mighty force. I really feel it; as I walked round I could feel my heart wishing I could buy certain things and I had to CHOOSE to think "NO" and pray out that I have all that I need; that God is my provider; that I have all I need.

Wonder if I am alone in this? Is this unique to Christian women who go shopping? I don't get this feeling in Tesco's when doing the grocery shopping; just in all the lovely clothes/shoes/jewellery shops in the city centre. I admire Guacamole Girl because I know she resists this strongly in her shopping habits.

Thoughts, please!