Category Archives: modern life

To Do :

Of course!!!  To-Do Lists!

That’ll sort me out…!

Not just one list (that would be silly) but several.

Number One To-Do List is the one where the things on it are ABSOLUTELY URGENT.  Like, write that report that was due yesterday, post the expense claims (cos we’re always broke without them), mop the red wine from last night off the carpet…

Number Two is the one with things that need to get done BEFORE SUNDAY.  Wash clothes (that are appropriate as “Good-Christian-Girl-On-A-Mission-Team-In-A-Sunny-Country” attire), iron clothes, pack clothes etc etc…

Number Three: for the near future, things that if left undone you may lose your job (which might not be so bad, as then you might actually finish a to-do list or two…).  For example, contact that student you were meant to chat to (ENTER sub-to-do list ‘3b’: all the things you said you’d do just to shut him up and let you enjoy your coffee in peace), reply to that nice minister who wants you to come and tell his church all about your work, or tell your boss what you’ve been up to for the past three months for which he hasn’t received a time sheet…

To-Do List Number Four: The things you will do in the abundance of time when there are no students around, like read books, reply to 6 week old ‘urgent’ emails, sit down…

To-Do List Number Five consists of all the things you’d like/need to do in your spare time such as pack up two years’ worth of guff to ship off to a different (as yet undisclosed) location (sub-list 5b: Find a house to ship guff off to), get your hair cut and eyebrows waxed, write a blog about Worship…

You get the idea…

Eventually you end up at To-Do List Number Seven Hundred and Forty Three which – regardless of whether there actually are 742 preceding lists or not (#743b Count To-Do Lists) – will, let’s face it, never reach the heady heights of the recycling bin.  It’ll never actually get done.  For example… be more organised, get fit, clear out the filing cabinet, defrost the freezer, finish the To-Do Lists…

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Filed under modern life, random

Read this

No conclusive thoughts as yet, but interesting reading!

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_single_young_men.html

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Filed under culture, modern life, random, relationships

Enough is enough

Right.  That is IT.  I am learning to knit.

Turns out its THE productive pasttime of 2008 and I want to be cool.  My granny will turn in her grave out of pleasure that I still remember the rhyme she taught me: “In through the bunny hole, round the big tree, out through the bunny hole and off pops she!” 

Pity she won’t be around to cast me on (or whatever the opposite of cast off is…).

knitting.jpg

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Its in the blood (or at least the air…)

union-jack2.jpg

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So, I went to my “cardio kick” exercise class on Monday.  A proud moment of self-control and discipline in the face of i’d-rather-die-than-go-ness and a event of marvel in itself.  We’ll skip over the fact that my punches and kicks were rather half-hearted and that I only did one sit up for everyone else’s two…

Being still relatively near the start of a new year there were lots of unfamiliar faces there.  A couple of late teens were there with their mum and were wearing Gaelic tops.  Instantly I felt intimidated.  Now, its not like I’ve never seen people in Gaelic tops before – I work with an all-Ireland student movement after all.  But this was different!  This was in a town not known for its peaceable catholic-protestant relations; in what should have felt like neutral territory.

I leant towards my friend and whispered “Its hardly the place to wear Gaelic tops, is it?”.  She agreed: “It makes quite a statement doesn’t it?  We wouldn’t wear Rangers football tops here.”

Now, please don’t misunderstand me; these feelings of intimidation did not incite religious hatred nor strong desires to assert my identity as a British/Northern Irish Protestant (though I’m pretty sure those things would be low on my list of identity definers if they made it at all!).  It was simply a reaction to the association with a ‘side’ that has become common in Northern Ireland.  Like, even seeing a huge Union Jack flying outside a house last week put me on my guard…

…then I remembered I was in England.

Back in the leisure centre up the road, though, I was feeling uncomfortable – but I didn’t really think too much about it until I realised I was wearing my Christian “CSSM” t-shirt.  Why, if I could wear that, could they not wear their Gaelic tops?  Why did it matter?

Basically, it shouldn’t matter – and in terms of my feelings of non-hatred for people from a Roman Catholic background it doesn’t matter!  Rather, it seems to be that I am a victim (awww poor me! 😉 ) of the culture of bigotry I’ve grown up in – not from my family’s influence, but more I guess the divided school system, the eventful news, the ‘no football tops’ signs over bowling alley doors… 

Meaning that, rather than a sports tops reflecting an enjoyment of the sport or a flag being a symbol of wholesome patriotism, I have grown up interpreting these things as a political statement:

“This is who I am and if you’re different, you’re my enemy.”

If that’s me, from a middle of the road un-bigoted Christian family, I can only imagine the depth to which such lies run amongst those for whom painting curb stones and hanging flags is an ‘innocent’ past-time…

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Filed under culture, fear, modern life, Norn Iron, story

Another (similar) Kerfuffle…

Not wishing to diminish the impact of my announcement of The Great Crash of January 2008, but just something for those with some time on their hands to consider and wrap up neatly for those of us who take much longer to form an opinion…? 

At a friend’s house for dinner the other night, she drew to my attention a Kerfuffle within the Presbyterian Church which the Belfast Telegraph have been reporting on over the past few weeks.

The crux of it is that one minister (male) refused to let another (female) preach in ‘his’ pulpit at a joint Christmas service.  The event of a joint service between these two churches in the same town has been happening for years and years, but only recently has the female minister been installed at the church.

Some interesting questions raised by both journalists and citizens who wrote in.  The following are in date order.

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The earliest article I could find (kind of ugly, but later articles paint a different picture of the lady’s reaction).

Regrets expressed over inability to find compromise.

The ‘unholy row’ – call for consistency within Presbyterian Church policy.

Some comments from the Moderator

Letter of support

Journalist (and choir member) opinon – quite random, done in context of the new Irish Presby hymn book!christinab_262288d.jpg

“I will not back down”

Letter of disappointment with how the situation has been handled. 

More general article on the challenge facing the Church in secular society.

… 

You see, randomly enough – this stuff makes me think about the should-have-been post on the blame-claim culture RE The Great Crash of January 2008 (my neck’s doing well, thanks)…

Larger questions about the assertion of ‘rights’ by Christians.  Jesus gave up his rights to defend himself and was pretty selective in the battles he fought, right?  So how do we know when to stand up and fight and when to make sacrifices or put up with losing face?

Much wisdom, grace and love required methinks.  Especially in current politically correct culture.

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Filed under church, freedom, grace, modern life, questions

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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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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