October 27, 2004

It’s a different world…

I have just received the latest Barna Update,
with snippets re the latest research
to come out of the Barna Group in the States.

These guys do great research.
They also do research in a different context.

This month we are told
Get Ready for Visits From the Unchurched.
The holidays are just around the corner,
which means millions of unchurched or nominally churched people
will be seeking churches to visit. Are you ready?

And they advertise their book.

In New Zealand we have just had Labour Weekend.
In NZ churches empty out at the holidays
as people head to beaches and mountains
for rest and relaxation.

OK, so Labour Day is different to Thanksgiving
and we do have an increase in attendance on Christmas Day
but still it highlighted again for me
just what a different context it is in the USA
and how we need to be very cautious
about importing techniques and programmes
that work so well over there.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 09:00 AM

October 22, 2004

Bliss!

Having read Steve’s blog entry yesterday,
I felt certain it was my spousal-pastoral responsibility
to take him out for coffee after work.

(Anyone whose blog entries give their friends a headache
must need coffee and need it quickly!)

So a phone call decided on meeting at the Dux de Lux in the Arts Centre.

There was a sense of pilgrimage for me
as I loaded the kids onto the bus (5.10pm)
bussed into town
got off at the Art Gallery (5.25pm)
walked down Madras Street in the sunshine,
through the restaurant (in case Steve was already in ordering)
out the other side into the sunny courtyard (5.30pm),
where, despite the fact that half of Christchurch seemed to be there,
there was a lovely table in the sun for us.

A drink.
A sit in the sun.
Nachos and salad.
And off home, restored, we went.

Bliss!

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 10:27 AM

October 20, 2004

A classic book…

I came across a book in the library.

By Louisa May Alcott
(author of Little Women et al),
it is called “The Chase”;
or “A long fatal love chase”.

the chase.jpg

It was allegedly too sensational to be oublished in her lifetime, so came out in 1997.

It is full of delicious words and phrases that I can imagine Anne of Green Gables and Diana building into a tragic/romantic dialogue.

Just classic.

Here’s some:

(more…)

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 09:24 AM

October 13, 2004

Thinking again about Colossians 4:2-6

Quote from FF Bruce
“It remains true
that the reputation of the gospel
is bound up with the behaviour
of those who claim to have experienced
its saving power”.

Operating from a default position of thankfulness,
we are more likely to be appealing!
More likely to present an attractive Christ to our world.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 08:57 AM

October 12, 2004

An angelic interlude

I have just completed and packaged up
five wee paua shell angels to send to a friend in Scotland.
She is giving them as Advent presents for her family.

Shannon helped me make them on Sunday night.

PauaAngels2.JPG

Each of the five angels has a different personality
– one is about to fly off before it’s instructions are fully given
– another is clearly a novice-angel who is still learning to fly
– one is post-novice and desperately keen to get involved!
– one is not too sure about its role – is it really an important job it has been given?
– one is the most experienced angel – solid and dependable

I have told Olive to have fun deciding whom she gives each to!

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 09:53 AM

October 09, 2004

Thinking about Colossians 4:2-6

Thinking about Colossians 4:2-6

I’ve been thinking about Colossians 4:2-6,
in prep for Steve’s sermon.

I like the fact that Paul lumps prayer and thanksgiving together:
I think that’s an excellent and fundamental essential – praying with thankfulness

…So when you’re praying
cos you think something needs fixing,
the thankfulness bit helps you remember the good stuff,
and not get totally depressed and not be totally down on things…

However, it’s not always easy to pray with thankfulness.
I think back to some of my dark-days
and I think, “Did I?”
and really it’s hard to remember.

But I think I did.
I remember peace and thankfulness for life
and hope for more life
going with me and my burst appendix into the operating theatre.
I remember thanking God
for my wee friends Sam and (later) Jackson
who saw me through dark infertility-days.
And I remember writing a poem
remembering the good stuff of someone very close
diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time.

So I think there is that sense of thankfulness
in the rough as well as the smooth…

So maybe I am in a position to say
Pray, with thankfulness
Being glad of the snatches of sunlight
dappling through the shaded tress
Pray, with thankfulness
Dancing in the delicious sunlight
Pray, with thankfulness
Even when it’s dark
… see if you can remember the feel on the sunlight on your back
and let others warm you, at least for a time.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 10:00 PM

October 08, 2004

Birthday season

Next week, 5 members of my immediate family celebrate their birthdays.

Father-in-law, brother, father, brother-in-law, mother-in-law.

All birthdays happening Monday – Friday.

Tis a busy week!

My birthday was earlier this week.
I had a lovely, relaxed day, with nice presents and yummy food.

Had a family party on Wednesday night.
Dad made a chocolote log cake
(lots of malt biscuits stuck together with chocolate icing)

His mum, my Nana, always used to make us one for our birthday.

The birthday boy/girl always got to eat both the ends – the icingist bits.

Delish!

This year, my sister Jan and I shared one
(she was away for her birthday last month).
We got an end each.
I considered giving mine to the children.
Nah, forget it!

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 01:16 PM

October 05, 2004

Dido

Dido’s coming to Christchurch.

Ticketek are keen to sell me pre-release tickets.

I was very excited and tempted.
So I looked at the price details.

But I am too much of a scrooge to fork out the $89.50 for a (B) ticket.
Clearly, I’ve been back from the UK too long to be able to do the “It’s only 30 pounds” justification

I shall put her CD on now, instead,
and know that I can buy her next three for the price of one ticket.

I know. I know. It’s not the same.
But that’s me.
Happily unable to justify the expense.

But keen to hear how it was – let me know if you go!

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 01:54 PM

A warped view of the world

I can get a warped view of the world
from inside my house.

Today I could be forgiven for thinking that it is cold and gloomy
when really it’s quite warm outside.

Over past days, I have found myself raving about the gorgeous weather
only to discover, upon walking outside, that there is a freezing cold wind
blowing energetically up from the Antarctic…

Our conservatory does that – any available sunshine shines on in and heats us up deliciously.

Does that happen in our churches too?

Do we get a warped view of the outside world, of society, because our perceptions are based on what we see and feel and experience in church?

It is possible to take our inside-the-church reality and assume the rest of the world is like that.

We need to keep opening our doors and feeling the wind, experiencing the reality of our world.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 11:12 AM