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Showing posts from 2010

HE IS

A contrived conversation with God on what the future holdsMe: Lord I need to ask you something.God: Fire away.Me: Well, I have been praying for a few things lately - some for others, some for myself - and it crossed my mind that I may be praying for things that will never happen. I have faith in you and that you can accomplish anything but I've given up on the idea of demanding answers as if that proved my faith.God: Your reasoning is sound and it's true that believing harder doesn't justify your faith. You need faith only as small as a tiny seed and so long as your faith is in me you can accomplish great things.Please explain why you think you might be praying in vain.Me: Well, if you know everything that's going to happen it would make sense for me to be privy to that information so I can pray just for those things that will come about rather than running through a wish list.God: But that would give you knowledge without wisdom. Could I trust you with that sort of in…

Ghost of Christmas Cancelled

I decided to work late into the night and complete something I promised I'd do over the last couple of days. At 11.30 I was really tired and a little cold. I wasn't sure whether to push on through the tiredness or lay down for a while and nap but gave in and lay beneath the duvet, fully clothed so that I didn't get too comfortable. At midnight my computer alerted me to the time but by now the drug of sleep had made getting up an unpleasant experience and I gave in and went back to bed. That too was unpleasant as I couldn't get comfortable and as I turned over a part of the bed was cold. I got up, went to the toilet, then made myself a cup of tea and a bowl of cereal and sat in front of my computer. I then, as is my habit these days, pictured what it was that I was feeling and the picture was of heading into a black tunnel - that tunnel being Christmas.There should be nothing frightening about Christmas - nothing traumatic has happened for me to associate it with blackn…

The Teacher

All is nonsense - to paraphrase Solomon's opening words in the amazing book of Ecclesiastes. It's all chasing after the wind. Flatulence will get you nowhere - you might say. Here I am at the back end of 5 in the morning writing stuff and, well, nonsense.I had planned on getting some work done last night but wandering into the slough of despond I opted to finish my online 'A Christmas Carol'. Do you ever feel like you've immersed yourself in a book - identifying with situation and the characters, gripped by the tension, anticipating the climax - only to feel deflated when it all resolves? It's like when your best mate gets married. Yes you're pleased for him but to be honest you feel betrayed. Not that you wouldn't have done the same but that's not the point. I like tunes that end on a second, like there's something else to come, films that leave you in suspense and books that ask more questions than they answer.Life has more commas than full st…

That Great & Terrible Day

with a twistStrange patterns on the surface of the waters
Like cellophane over liquid clay
Almost imperceptibly twisting, shifting, turning
And all becomes clear - it is a whirl poolThe moment is no longer an event
But the tail of a string whose head is hidden
Yet we see it as though it were proud of the surface
So near yet distant, unseen yet filling our vision
The inevitable, the irresistable, the conclusionNo need for oars or compass, sail or sextant
Abandon hope of any other outcome
We all, on that day, will share a common bond
The proud and lowly, the same inevitable fate
When multitudes will rise from troubled sleep and cry
Happy Christmas

Potluck or Pot Bound

I remember as a child building a dam on the beach, attempting to impede a stream of water as it made its way to the sea. It was no grand project. All I wanted to do was construct my own little pool that I knew would eventually be washed away but I hoped, at least, to be able to admire my handiwork if only for a moment. But all was in vain and as soon as I'd fixed one breach another would appear. My sister came to help me as I was reduced to tears through frustration. She knew it was a hopeless exercise and persuaded me to join the rest of the family as they were building a more solid structure further down the beach with stones and seaweed. My tears vanished and my frustration evaporated as together we successfully completed our family project.We all have our own pet projects and rightly want the satisfaction of saying "I did this". In passing exams, attending interviews or taking a driving test there comes a point when we are on our own and, in the final analysis, stand…

Revival Regurgitated

or Revivalism is OTRound Table Christians Part IVAccording to the Online Dictionary, revival means to restore to life, vigour or strength. The word 'restore' indicates bringing something back to a former state that presumably was glorious but has since died, decayed or fallen into disrepair. The dictionary specifically defines a spiritual revival as an awakening of interest relating to personal religion. When Christians talk of revival reference is often made to the Old Testament but unfortunately this is fraught with difficulties as the church is not Israel in revival. Jesus teaches that new wine must be put in new wine skins and that you cannot restore an old wins skin with new leather. We can therefore only draw lessons from Israel's history and infer what God might be saying to us because the church was started from scratch.The New Testament is largely concerned with the birth of the church and spans less than a century so we have little chance of seeing a church in de…

When the Devil Whispers

It's no accident that theatrical tragedies have been so popular for millenia, that clowns wear a frown or success often rises from the ashes of defeat. Is the twisted life of a comic genius the source of his acerbic wit?Through a combination of fault and fate I've walked a rocky path this last year or so and though I've had to face up to harsh realities there have been times when I've wondered if I've been over analytical. The truth is: this has probably been the most incisive and creative time of my life though I would swap it in an instant. It's only through pain you can identify the hurt which I might have missed had I been more stoic. I asked myself if it was wise to seek enlightenment whenever thoughts troubled me and though I concede that bread is more useful than wisdom, on this occasion I thought it worth the detour.And so I thought maybe I heard the devil whisper and was there any benefit in listening. If you read into this the morality of truth or a t…

Hopes Deferred

A PoemWith willing flesh
And heart replete
A thousand miles these feet would walk
In searing heatThese heavy eyes
Would gladly gaze
Upon the sun's relentless
incandescent raysBut heroes faint
For lack of hope
When lesser mortals less prepared
Would somehow copeThe flesh finds strength
From scraps and spills
And breaks out of its boundaries
When the spirit willsBut flesh's
anaerobic burst
Will face the hearts inertia
When it fears the worstThe spirit hides
Behind the skirts
Of fixed primordial paradigms
And ancient hurtsThe heart made strong
With longings stirred
grows weak with dreams betrayed
And hopes deferred© Chris Price 2010

Read Any Good Books Lately?

A Final EulogyIt's been nearly four months since my mum died and this weekend the family got together to scatter her ashes. I was thinking about what would be appropriate to say on this occasion that was not so applicable at her funeral. I gave the eulogy at her funeral and in deciding what to say I went through a few ideas including the concept of the circle of life. While living appears to be linear if you join the two ends you have a continuous line with no true beginning or end. However as this is conceptual rather than illustrative it doesn't really lend itself to a eulogy. Pondering on this about an hour before scattering the ashes the illustration of a library came into my mind (though I can't quite remember how it came about) and as I thought about it the idea of borrowing a book worked quite well and the following is, in essence, what I said.When an author writes a book it first takes shape as a manuscript which goes to a publisher and eventually is printed in sev…

Can I Have a Word

Praying At & Speaking Into (1)Round Table Christians Part IIIMy favourite book of all time is Lord of the Rings and, apart from The Mission, my favourite film(s) would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I don't think its purely escapism that lets us believe in orcs and sentient trees, there is something in us that knows there are forces out there that we do not understand. When I think of the giant redwoods and marvel at the wonder of the oceans I am engaged with nature in a primal union that lies outside of my knowledge. As a Christian I believe that there are spiritual forces abroad and that there is a battle between good and evil just as the Fellowship of the Ring were pitted against Saruman, Sauron and their evil armies. I also believe that I am called to fight with spiritual weaponse6.12 in order to defeat the works of darkness.Unfortunately many Christians fancy themselves as Frodo or Aragorn and actively seek out Ring Wreathes to do battle with. They search the bible for…

The Full Circle

or Why Doesn't the Church Learn Joined Up ThinkingWe had a study this evening (actually it was two evenings ago) on world views. We looked at animism and eastern philosophies, western materialism, post modernism and a biblical, or Christian, world view. We also looked at what the bible describes as the world as opposed to the kingdom of God and the way the world influences our thinking. The debate about post modernism was interesting because the author of the study naively suggested that post modern thinking meant that you simply believed whatever you wanted to as opposed to the biblical view that truth was absolute. Rather uncritically, the study left little doubt that a Christian biblical world view was the one we should hold.For me, the only thing the study proved was that the author was either ignorant or was simply using opposing views as foils to his conclusion. It would have been more productive to explore what the bible meant by the world and how God's kingdom not only…

Length of a Jetty

My fingertips are cold but not as cold as my heart. How can there be so much noise yet it seems like there’s a deafening silence – tinnitus, white sound that drowns out all sounds of joy and peace but I can still hear the clock ticking and the traffic outside.Where is God in all this? When all the reasoning and words of encouragement have settled like house dust the air is clearer and lines and angles of the furniture and window frame are sharper and clearer. When chattering has ceased the sound of the house moving and settling reminds me that the earth moves.It doesn’t just remain static while humans take care of their busyness and God’s creatures go about theirs. The earth moves – very slowly, definitely, irresistibly taking no heed of our short and hurried lives. But I’m getting older and as long as I’m alive I will be swept down the river of life along with the detritus that brushes my shoulder and muddies my view. And the landmarks become memories as new horizons entice me and ev…

Thankfulness

What can I thank God for?
Preamble: A little background so you can see where I’m coming from, then you will better understand where I’m going. I had a rough day yesterday and sunk into self-pity wondering when my god-awful life was going to turn around. Yet a few days earlier I was encouraging someone to be thankful (it’s funny how you are taught your own lesson). I am slowly learning that good things happen when I am thankful and my life goes down the pan when my head is in it. It’s not magic or even peculiarly biblical.It’s good to thank God when you are happy, successful, content and life feels good but life’s pleasures can be deceitful. And it’s easy to forget God when prayer is routine rather than necessary; when you are crying out for others but have no obvious needs yourself.The world is so deceitful that it will allow you to see its deceit to a depth that will satisfy your self righteousness and guilt and reward you for your apparent honesty and contrition. To this end you can …

The Past I'll Keep

A PoemThey say the pain will surely pass
The tunnel's light will cast its beam
Your feet will touch new blades of grass
New dawn dispel a troubled dream

The lesson of the starless night
Trod wearily with leaden feet
Will soon give way to warmth and light
Your aching bones infused with heat
And though the new seem odd and strange
Familiar faces will be seen
Some things not even times can change
They will be what they've always been
So life beyond the tunnel's end
Will be to you the future's gift
And if you make the path your friend
The journey long may well be swift
But I'll not take the sleeping draught
Or drag my feet as if asleep
Stride to the fore my face abaft
With steely grip the past I'll keep© Chris Price 2010

A Reflection

What Curse is This?What curse is this?
That I find pleasure
In a trickling stream
Refreshing rain
A scone with cream
Disparate thoughts
that come and go
Some small talk
Or a TV show
My company I can happily bare
Come rain or shine I hardly care
As long as I don't have to share

A Bus Called Grace

My Mum was born on 14 January 1924 and died 14 June 2010
On 28 June family and friends congregated at a bus station called Stafford Crematorium where I gave the following eulogy.
Mum would have given you her last Rollo - she was the most selfless person I've ever met - but I recall a charity event which Mum felt she ought to contribute to. She found a birthday card she hadn't used and wrapped it in cellophane. It would have raised a few pence at best. I wouldn't want her send off today to be like an act of charity, wrapped in cellophane, rather more like giving our last Rollo because we would have rather kept her for ourselves.
This is more than the end of a life its the final chapter of a love story stretching back 66 years. Born Edith Betty Holland, she met a man she would dedicate her life to, to honour and obey, till death do they part. Dad died just over 10 years ago and if you knew him you would know that he was a truly great man but as they say, behind every great man…

May day May day

Round Table Christians Part II - Faith & Disability
As is evident from the title of Andrew Wommack's publication 'Gospel Truth', he believes that many of the issues Christians face arise from a misunderstanding or wrong teaching of the Bible, the foremost being the sovereignty of God.Wommack believes that God willingly gave up His right to be God in the Garden of Eden and handed His sovereignty over to us. He also believes that Jesus was spoken into existence and was crucified by Satan. Apparently, God only reclaimed authority after raising Jesus from the dead. Andrew would have his followers believe that this is a revelation from God, whereas it is actually a carbon copy of Kenneth Hagin's heretical teachings. See Andrew Wommack: 'The MOST DANGEROUS MAN On Christian Television'.If he were encouraging his followers to have free sex, live in the mountains and practice polygamy, many would no doubt see him as a wacko and reject his teachings but because, throu…

Round Table Christians Part One

Sorry, I'm not talking about knights and chivalry here. Gloves off, I'm a Bible believing, born again Christian. I've been there, done it, got the fish sticker, but I've repented and managed to reverse the frontal labotomy. I never wanted to be normal but prefer not to be wierd.
I think the Bible is an absolutely amazing book but unfortunately some Christians take their meat pre-chewed so when they talk its not the real deal. Its second hand theology that they have accepted as new. And they sometimes retell accounts that they have not witnessed or tested in the light of what we call the Scriptures. Or they replay scenarios that have little to do with the real world. As someone has said 'tell a lie often enough and it will become the truth'. Similarly, a myth told often enough will become history.
If you believe that the earth is flat then you will also believe that if you sail into the sunset you will drop off the edge. You can demonstrate this by pushing an obje…

Mountains and Mole Hills

Everyone knows the saying about making mountains out of mole hills. Its all about keeping things in proportion, whether its refusing to see an innocent remark as a slanderous insult or accepting that a broken finger nail isn't life threatening. But the saying can only really apply to yourself. Just because you can't see someone else's mountain, it doesn't mean its not there.
You might cut yourself and say "I'll survive" but if you suffer from haemophilia any cut is potentially life threatening. You might say to someone "cheer up, it might never happen" but if the bottom has fallen out of their world, it already has. And like many sayings its 'a' truth but not 'the' truth. In other words its OK as far as it goes. Not only do we overestimate the scope of our wisdom we also underestimate our tendency to pigeon hole. Someone will say "boys will be boys" as a way of dismissing laddish behaviour but when that behaviour becomes…

Ask How - The Why's Can Wait

The recent earthquake in Haiti asks many questions, not least of which is 'how can I help?' The truth is: there is little most of us can do to alleviate the suffering today, tomorrow or even in the coming weeks. The food, fresh water and other aid has already been paid for. Much of it is already on the Island waiting to be dispatched and the workers with the necessary skills are queuing up to do their bit. Having said that I would in no way discourage giving because the suffering will go on long after the media has found another crisis to report (which is what the media does, no criticism there). But the burning question on everyone's mind is: How did it happen and why?
Of course the movement of the tectonic plates was the main event, and being so close to the surface it had a devastating effect. However the terrible loss of life and consequential suffering would have been lessened significantly if the buildings had been constructed to any sort of standard. Rationally you …

Who is Forgiven Most, Loves Most

Did you ever feign illness as a child to get the attention one of your siblings got? Do you remember any feeling of joy or comfort or is the only abiding memory that you feigned illness? Its often said of an experience "it's like hitting your head against a brick wall, its great when it stops." But if you were just pretending you really can't say that with any conviction.
I can't claim personal experience but I am told that while child birth is excruciating, as soon as the baby pops out, the pain, and even the memory of the pain, goes. What a reward - all the joy and none of the pain. A lovers tiff often ends with rewards that more than justify the initial upset. Some of our fondest memories are of times when we suffered through loss, pain or illness and received love and care from someone close to us. Its hard to imagine a child having all the pain and none of the reward.
I wrote a song called 'The Beauty of Grace'. The message is that God takes no delight…

Where the Heart is

I've been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach 2 or 3 times and as well as other rides I've been on Infusion and Pepsi Max. Infusion is a suspended monorail. You sit in a seat with your feet dangling but your torso is held in a yoke that locks around your waist. The main feature on Infusion is the corkscrew which tosses you round and its not gentle. Pepsi Max is more traditional roller coaster but it is very high and the initial drop is near vertical (not for the faint-hearted). Your feet are in the car and you are securely held by a yokeSomehow, on Infusion you feel more secure because you can sense that you are being held around your shoulders and you feel attached to the vehicle by your upper body. On Pepsi Max you don't get that sense of security because its your feet that feel secure. On New Year's Eve I felt quite insecure riding into 2010, not because I couldn't call on people who cared for me but because the security I longed for wasn't there. It struck me that …