Posts filed under ‘general’

touching down on word press!

I've ported over my blog from Blogger.  That was good platform from which to begin, and I'm grateful to them.  But I got to the point where I was being put off by the appearance of the blog!  I wanted a template that looked clean, clear, inviting and contemporary.  That's the problem with the blogoshpere – you start coveting your neighbour's blog layout!  Very bad for the sanctification!  WordPress gives me what I need.  But now it's the grind of reconnecting with all my favourite spots and slowly building up circulation and readership again.  My fault for neglecting this. 


22 May, 2006 at 3:50 pm 3 comments

so why aren’t we all on skype?

Skype’s the way that the whole world can talk for free – or at least, the online world! It turns your computer into a telephone, and the quality is superb! I was talking to the minister from Australia who’s coming to Carver Church on an exchange, and we could hear each other as clear as a bell. Much better than my home phone. And of course, it’s free. So why aren’t we all downloading it? It’s a great way to follow up some conversations. Go to skype and download the software. Then go to “share skype” and you’ll find buttons for your blog (you’ll see mine on the sidebar). Go on – what’s to lose?

29 August, 2005 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

just chillin’

It’s one of the great things about living in the Lake District – after working today on the service tomorrow, I was down on the beach at Miller Ground, swimming. The water was like a warm bath – at least for the first 12″ or so. Cold after that! But a quick drive, or a visit to the lake, or a river, and it feels as though you’re on holiday! And I get paid to be here … eat your hearts out, fellow bloggers!

16 July, 2005 at 11:39 pm 3 comments

starting it all off…

I’m the Director of the Windermere Centre, the United Reformed Church’s residential training centre set in the Lake District. I cut my theological teeth in South Africa. I began a BTh with Unisa, and one of the first compulsory courses was something called Missiology. The lecturer was a guy named David Bosch. I was singularly unimpressed at having to waste my valuable time being diverted away from the real stuff – Old Testament, New Testament and Systematic Theology. Two hours into my first reading, I was more excited than I’d ever been in my life! Here was someone who was saying something that really mattered – and it began to change my whole understanding of what faith was all about. God was a missionary God – with an ongoing mission of salvation for the world. And the Church, if it is truly to be the Church, exists to serve that mission. Some years later, reading Theology at Durham, I wrote an undergraduate dissertation on Bosch’s work. The research involved travelling to South Africa in 1986, where I landed in the midst of the Kairos Document furore. It became a different trip altogether.

Fast forward to Cambridge, 1987. A doctoral student, working on South African political theology, I was reading the story of Beyers Naude and the Christian Institute. Now what I haven’t mentioned so far is that I grew up in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). As a keen young Christian, I left school and spent nearly 3 years in Ian Smith’s Special Branch, working in political and military intelligence. My job was extracting information from people. As I read Beyer’s story, my blood boiled. Here was a man who was doing what he was because of his faith. And the people who were persecuting him were supposed to be Christians! How could this be? Suddenly, the penny dropped: Lawrence, in Rhodesia, you were on the other side!

Life fell apart in an instant. How could I have been involved in something so profoundly anti-Christian? How come my parents – or school – or church didn’t tell me it was wrong? Worse, why did they encourage me in my “god-given duty” to protect Christian civilisation from the march of godless, atheistic Communism? And, when they had all failed me, how come God (to whom I spoke at length every day and listened to through reading the Bible) didn’t let me in on the fact?

My slow, painful quest to rebuild my faith and theology began. And the question that hammered at me with agonising insistence was, “How can it be that so often the Church is part of that from which the world needs saving?” How do we live and build a world that is a sign of God’s grace and God’s kingdom, rather than one which leads people to believe that resurrection has never happened? Who is the real Jesus? And what would the Church look like and be like if it was the institution God intends it to be?

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he taught them to pray, “Your kingdom come – which means, ‘Your will be done on earth'”. What that means in our contemporary world is what this blog’s about.

17 June, 2005 at 11:28 pm 3 comments

Time to move …

... to my own hosted site on See you there.

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