Monthly Archives: November 2007

If I ruled a country… (inspired by a true story)

Its amazing the things you learn from students.

Sometimes its about Irish politics, sometimes its about psychology, sometimes its about God… But today I learnt about Sealand.  Sealand is a unique country (or principality actually – though I didn’t learn enough to work out the difference between those two terms) ruled by Prince Roy (is that why its PRINCE-ipality and not a kingdom?  Nope.  Still don’t get it.).  This guy Roy is a genius.  Let me tell you why…

Once upon a time in WW2, the British built an off-shore aircraft landing training site, 7 nautical miles off the East Coast of the UK. 

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 The training base was basically big enough to house quite a few soldiers and trainers etc and its skyline included a Fortress.  After the war ended, it was basically abandoned by the British and became derelict as you would expect.

Enter H R H Roy.

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Basically this guy has a few chats with some pretty smart lawyers who fill him in on all sorts of delightful little laws that he realises give him a great opportunity to go on a pure power trip for the rest of his (and his descendants) living days.  He packs up his family and belongings and sails out to this disused man-made island, pretty much sticks up a flag and flips the proverbial bird at Britain by declaring it his own.  Makes himself a Prince, creates a currency and designs passports and then starts shooting at any intruders.

Genius.

Like, seriously.  The “country” has its own newspaper.  Its own National Anthem.  Its own BAFTA equivalent awards.

Its own currency:

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Its own stamps:

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Its own flag:

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Even its own flipping football team!team.jpg

 Well, apparently its actually a Finnish team just named after Sealand, but still!

Seriously, there’s a LOT of info on this place.  What a crazy world we live in.  But it got me thinking again about what I would do if I ruled the world…  Most of the things I wrote in that first post would probably remain on there but now that I’ve got something to compare it to here’s a few more things to add to the list.

I’d make sure my small corner (ha! see what I did there!?)…

…had a more imaginative name than ‘Sealand’.

…was off the coast of somewhere more exotic and sunny than Britain.

…had more trees and pretty things to look at.

…had much more space, and many more inhabitants.

…people couldn’t buy status in my land for £20.

I’m sure there are many more things to go on that list, but frankly I’ve already spent too much time writing this post.

The good news is, apparently all of Sealand would only cost $750,000,000…

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A True Story (poetic license aside…)

He watched her from across the room
And knew he was undone.
He’d tried to build a barrier,
But all resolve was gone.
He felt laid bare for all to see;
He wasn’t in control;
The heart he’d tried to keep himself
Was no longer his own.

He stole a sideward glance at her,
Wiped off his sweaty palms
And checked his watch about the millionth time.
The night was nearly over
But not a word was said
Of the twisting turmoil
That was filling up his head.
For years it had been brewing,
This exquisite sort of pain,
But now he knew his secret could simply not remain
Unsaid.

She, smiling, turned to say goodbye –
His tongue had turned to dust;
He weakly raised his hand to wave
Goodbye to all his love.
But as she walked into the night
His heart would not stay still
But propelled his legs into the dark
And hammered on until
He spoke her name…
She turned around;
Looked into his eyes,
He swallowed fear
Then spoke his love
And boldly said:
“Be mine?”

When it had started he didn’t know
Nor how it all would end;
He only knew he wanted
To be so much more than friends.
He knew she might say no
And that word would break his heart;
But he couldn’t bear not knowing anymore.

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The problem with being single… Mark II

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Okay, so I posted something on this last night then TOTALLY chickened out of it.  Because one of the perpetual problems of being single is actually more about how other people view your singleness, rather than focussing on your own views (it didn’t help that I get a comment from some site called bestdates.wordpress.com or something.  Feel free to look up the site – I’m not judging internet daters…!).  This insecurity pops its head up and down (much like a chicken, you might say) and so popped its head up this morning, having had its head firmly down last night.  So that’s the problem with being single.

But that wasn’t what the post was about.

I thought about putting it back up, but I think I’ve actually deleted it, lost it forever kind of deleted it. So it’ll need to be re-written.  And I’d need to be feeling brave to do that.

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Second Rate – Two things to remember…

This is all a little overwhelming for me, all this discussion.  Never in a million years did I expect such traffic through my small corner!  I’m glad it has come up (kind of) and I’m glad its given others a chance to ruminate, illuminate and elucidate!  Most of all I’m glad that this is bigger than me.  Permit me, however, to share where I’m at in it all since it all began…

I think there are two reasons to proceed with caution here…

Firstly, its so helpful to have input from people who have had time to think through this stuff and are further down that road in general.  I’m aware that I’m not quite ready to do all the reading myself.  Not because I enjoy the torment of not really knowing, but rather that I’m still relatively new to this whole issue, as are – and no doubt will be – a lot of women out there.  To have spent my life so far eking out what it really means to be feminine from all the messages bombarding me only to come face to face with people who believe that my worst fears of not being what I should be are confirmed ‘clearly’ by God in the Bible – that is pretty damn difficult.

I’m in mourning. I don’t mean that I spend every waking moment thinking about this stuff, so sorry if that sounds pretentious, but it’s the best way I can describe it – mourning.  I could discover a whole list of convincing arguments, but the fact remains that there are people (not just men!) within the church of Christ who exclude and judge not only me but everyone of my gender: they have done so and will continue to do so for years.

Ouch…

It is good to know, though, that I’m not alone on the road much less travelled.

Secondly, the problem with having lots of convincing reasons as to why my instincts are right, is that the temptation to clamber up on a high horse is immense.  For whilst clever reasoning shows that Jesus’ ministry displays much counter-cultural grace and acceptance of women, doesn’t it also model the rejection of judgementalism and self-righteousness…?

I wrote about a friend who told me I was thinking too deeply; but in his defence, I hadn’t thought it worth much consideration either.  I don’t think I realised that it would ever really affect me until very recently.  Naïve, I know – especially for a woman.  But if I have been ignorant, then can I really condemn men for not considering the issue at length when they’re even further from the equation?

I nearly walked away from a conversation in church this morning about this ‘kerfuffle’, because my feelings around the debate are still red raw and more often than not, tears spring unbidden (as in, more so than usual!) – not so much because I know what ‘side’ the person in front of me is on, but more because I don’t know how I’ll handle it if they disagree with my gut instincts.

The hijacking of ‘feminism’ which gives the term a very negative, militant connotation is deeply regrettable and is not something I want to be associated with.  Especially not in the name of the gospel.  I don’t want to react in a way that makes men everywhere to feel guilty over the way this has all panned out.  Okay, let’s be honest here – part of me wants them to feel the crapness of it all and to wallow at length in the mire that has been perpetuated ever since the Fall.  But is that the gospel?  Nope.  Not as I understand it.

How then…?  What do I do with all this?  Where do I go from here?  Am I ready to move on?

I’m still not sure.

In the end, I had that conversation over coffee in church.  It was good – it was just a young man and a young woman discussing the fact that their thoughts on the matter are inconclusive. And you know what?  If a conversation like that helps just one person to open up to thinking about the role of women in church, then I’m going to try not to walk away from that.  Even if it means being in a public place, a snivelling wreck covered in snot.

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Filed under church, fear, freedom, gospel, grace, questions, women

Modern Life: Blogging Peril

When this young bright-eyed, bushy-tailed blogger began a timorous voyage into the previously uncharted waters of the blogosphere, she started out with innocuous dreams of ruling the world and rhymes about teddy bears.  This ‘self-confessed un-intellectual’ soon struck out for deeper waters: tremulously sharing thoughts verging on philosophical about the perils of modern life and the moral codes of blogging.

Confidence in her place within the community began to build as she found herself at home on the green, green grass of blog; the stats rarely being too high or low to stir too much pride or too much insecurity.  It was perhaps this heady cocktail of peaks and troughs mixed with refreshing banter on the proverbial lawn that led to our timid heroine’s (!) demise…

Being somewhat impartial to a slice of healthy optimism with lashings of heart-on-your-sleeve, her innocent paddling became a full-on skinny-dipping adventure (metaphorically speaking, of course) as she plunged into 365ing and then la goutte d’eau qui fait deborder le vase…

Second Rate.

She wrote the post late one lazy Sunday afternoon, little knowing the effect it would have on the blog world at large.  Tears shed; friendships broken; families at odds – and that was just over Voxo’s addiction to stroking his Leopard.

Many things can be learnt from Modern Life, not least the fact that we should never take it all too seriously!

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Filed under blogging, modern life, story

Modern Life – Swinging

(Remember I’m a closet goody two-shoes and the title will not mislead)

I love to chat and dream about changing lives and by extension, the world.  I love to think about the way things could be ‘if only…’ and inspire others to think about similar things.  I love to feel so passionate that I could just break down and cry for love and excitement about something or bounce up and down like a loon.

But, I also hate it.

I hate discontent because it brings frustration when others don’t (or won’t) engage; boredom with the status quo; depression over the lack of change…

Reminded tonight that our culture is one which only enjoys things if they happen immediately – fast food, miracle diets, next-day delivery.  We’re not used to waiting anymore, not used to working to see results.  I am realising that I’ve been sucked right in.

So I swing from elation to despair, because I see how it could be but get bogged down when no-one else is getting inspired by the vision, and no change is visible.  I could scream with the sheer frustration of it all.

My comfort tonight is that Jesus knows how I feel:

Mark ch 8:

14The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

 16They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

 17Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
      “Twelve,” they replied.

 20“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
      They answered, “Seven.”

 21He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

 

But change comes slowly by slowly and I’ll just have to wait.  Perhaps tomorrow I will dream again.

This is all getting very serious, isn’t it?  Have a look at this to lighten the mood.

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Filed under change, hope, modern life