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Its been a while since I last posted but I have been inspired through reading a friends blog here .
So whats the problem?It seems the more I read his blog the more challenged I become about how my reading and understanding of scripture is in many ways compromised by the way in which this world system (empire) as Roger calls it has infected me.Its not that I have been completely unaware of this up until now,but his blog posts have forced me to think and pray about how much it affects my understanding and out working of the kingdom.
I understand the need for revelation, it is revelation that leads us to God and helps us continue on our way.But we also need to have our minds renewed (Romans).In order for real transformation to take place my thinking needs renewed.This involves a constant need to let go of the old understanding and the grabbing hold of the story in new and fresh ways.
Last night I attended a showing of the documentary film Persona non grata which was showing at the Glasgow film theartre.before the movie I had the privilege of meeting the film maker and his father Frans Wutak whose life the film was about.The guy was 70 odd years old yet still full of passion for the liberation of working people.
The film itself was fantastic well made and with so many real people from the slums of Venezuela it was difficult not be moved.Frans is an amazing man who was sent there as a priest and decided to live and fight with the people.He was exiled and then returned with the help of freedom fighters but was exiled once again only to be able to return in 2000 after the new government there recognized all he had done for the poor.Men such as him are few and far between and in these days we could do with more like him.
Tonight I get the chance to talk with two amazing people who have the beginning of a small business idea in their heads and more importantly in there hearts.This could be the start of something I have been dreaming of for some time now.
The dream I have of some sort of micro enterprise fund that can give people the opportunity to follow their dreams and begin their own journey into a new kind of economy.I need to be carefull not to project my dreams on to them but rather to allow their dreams to grow .If I can help them with some support and encouragement and also help them with some start-up money which they can either pay back as a small loan or agree to make a donation back in to the fund when they get going.
Both these people are really gifted and capable of doing whatever they set their minds to , my role is simply encourage and support and to help with as few words as possible draw out there dreams.
God always does the best things in the strangest ways.He achieves what he needs by doing it his way and we need to keep returning to the simplicity of that.
Our little group is on the verge of having a seed fund that we can use to kick start the dreams of local people on a small-scale and in a very low-key way.This will give us the opportunity to say yes to people who are not used to hearing it,but we will now be able to go further than just using words to encourage .We will be able to back them with some cash.
God gives dreams to all of us and we all need people who will encourage us in those dreams this is such an exciting development that could almost burst and before we even get started little stories are coming to the surface.So we are getting ready to sow seeds in a new way and I cannot wait to get started.
The new government started to lay out its plans to cut the level of the countries debt.There mantra is that we are all i it together which sounds like we are all equal its just that some are more equal than others.Who will pay and what are they paying for?
It is becoming clearer by the day that the only people who wont pay are the better of people.Those in the middle and the poorer are more likely to pay to reduce the debt,tax will go up and benefits will be cut.the public sector is taking the brunt of it.while we all know that there is much waste in the public sector it was not bin men or nurses or social workers or even road worker that bankrupt our nation it was the private sector bankers.
But there is still no word on them paying.The last government had a one-off tax on their bonus which in the end was paid by the banks themselves,in other words we paid the tax on there bonus.We are now in the face of a public relations storm that tells us that cuts are the “only way” when clearly they are not the only way.The may be part of the solution the state may have grown to large and have too much money but it is not the only way.The private banking sector were bailed out by us the tax payer and now we the tax payer are being told the only way to sort this is for us to pay the debt owed by them.
The real way to bring control to our debt is to make those who put us here pay.We are told that we each owe anything from 20k per person to 40 k per person.If I had borrowed that money I would not mind paying it back,but I did not need to borrow it the banks did.So how will they pay back and how will the be reformed to stop it happening again.The master of all things economic Vince Cable has lost all credibility after selling out for power and I now fear that no one will hold the banks to account or tell the rating agencies to get lost.
Whatever is decided it must have justice at it core.
This is a question Jesus once asked a blind man,seems like a stupid question but I believe Jesus asks all of us this question even if the answer is blindingly obvious.
Last nigh Paul Thomson @hag or http://10seconds.posterous.com/ came by our wee shop and asked us what is it you want to do here in this place.Although we have been there for years and we sort of know what we are doing it was great to see the reaction .The reaction was a stirring inside of what God has already put there.All of this stuff then poured out in a spirit of hope that was really catching .
I think this is the joy of Jesus.We know he can do whatever he wants but we learn that what he wants is to do stuff with us not to us and there is a subtle difference.It that subtle difference that reminds us that we all have a part to play that we all have something to give and that we are all included in the plans he has.We have all had stuff done to us and it hurts even if we don’t know it at the time ,it hurts because it tells us we cannot do it .Jesus came along and said to his pals look at the stuff I have done now its your turn in other words join in on the plans i have to see a new way come about go out and tell people about this new way and tell them to do this stuff to.
Thanks Paul for stirring
What do you say to someone who has just lost their daughter?What do you say when a young life has been taken ?
Turns out you don’t say much at all ,you just listen.There are no words that can comfort the pain of a loss like that, there are no words that can even touch and any words that are used seem to be almost cold.So as I discovered last night on visiting a friend in this situation you just listen.You listen and you pray and as you listen and pray you hear the pain and you also hear the despair,but mixed through all of that you also hear the hope .You hear the words of hope that come from the person who has just lost there daughter and you hear the anger and disappointment of the relationship that will now never be.Gods people never cease to amaze me in the way they demonstrate such amazing grace in such difficult times .
Each year at this time the Network conference comes around and each year I have mixed feelings about the Network and the conference.http://www.networkonline.org.uk/events/events.php
The network is my family and you know what families are like .Sometimes they bring joy and other times you dread the idea of seeing them or spending time with them.So as the conference approach’s it feels like some family event that I must attend out of some kind of family loyalty thing that exist’s in an unspoken form.These events tend to be weddings, funerals, birthdays or some other function and they tend to be the only time you see most of your “family”.
Now and then I see or speak to a few others from the network and try to maintain some sort of relationship with them.But I do question why?Why do I need this relationship ?
And that’s where I start to remember all those things that we have been through together over the years the good the bad and the ugly.I remember that I played a part in the formation of the network that we in Bridgeton have had a hand in shaping the way the network thinks and what it thinks.I remember the mistakes I have made in my relationships with some people in the network and the mistakes they have made in dealing with some situations and then its clear to me that this is my family and I love them even if sometimes they get on my nerves.I feel sure they love me and I know I get on their nerves.
So I will attend the conference and I will leave,reminded that its good to be part of a family where you can find grace .I will leave reminded that it’s a good thing to talk to your old and young relatives to kiss the old unties and listen to the old uncles stories of yesterday and I will thank god for family .