Friday, 29 February 2008

Denying myself

Ah, the joys of Lent! If you're anything like me, the willpower is starting to wane, and the things I'm fasting are proving very attractive!

I read this in UCB's Word for Today the other day:
If you're serious about building strong character, set higher standards for yourself and refuse to lower them. Need a role model? You won't find a better one than Jesus. He said, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself' (Matthew 16:24 NIV). Each day look for an opportunity to say 'no' to yourself in some small area. Try it; you'll be surprised how hard it is. But the payoff will come when you need to say no to yourself in some big area of life. Like saving for a rainy day, you'll have spiritual strength to draw on when you need it.

Ain't spiritual discipline grand? Tough at the time, but worth it in the end!

Friday, 22 February 2008

The Peace of God

I was reminded of the verses from Philippians 4 again this morning - Rejoice in the Lord (which was pretty much my life motto when I was in school) and a few verses later, the promise of the Peace of God that passes all understanding.

Seems to me like we all need a bit of peace. And God's peace is real peace. There don't seem to any pre-conditions attached to receiving it, but I think the preceding verses say something about a life-attitude that aids and abets a peace-full life:

Rejoice in the Lord
Be gentle (how many 'gentlemen' do you know?)
Pray about stuff (rather than dwell on it and not let God in on the problem)
Be thankful (there's always something to be thankful for)

These are life choices - either I decide to live this rejoicing, gentle, prayerful, thankful life, or I don't.

Something I read today (from http://www.goshen.edu/devotions):
In choosing joy, I make a conscious effort to think of all that I am thankful for
and I am reminded of how blessed I am. In choosing to worship, in choosing joy I
find the darkness of the day lifted and I am reminded that I am not alone. During
this season of Lent, may we purposefully choose joy and experience worship.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Dishwasher Day

One of the hardest days of the Carbon Fast is upon us - Don't Use the Dishwasher Day!

The purchase of our dishwasher was one of the best decisions we ever made for our sanity, work-life balance, back aches and general peace in the house.
But it is indeed a huge user of electricity: combined with the tumble dryer, we'd use a lot less carbon if we permanently fasted from these utilities.
So if you see me, make sure you ask whether or not I washed a load by hand rather than pushing the button.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Happy Slapper?

I just read about a 15-year-old girl who's going to go to jail for recording an attack on a man on her mobile phone. The man later died from his injuries.
"The message is this: if you stand by and watch your friends committing brutal crimes and video their acts for yours or for others' amusement your actions will not be ignored by the law enforcement agencies and prosecution may follow."

Seems clear enough to me. Standing idly by, holding a phone, and pressing one key, is enough to get you convicted of aiding and abetting. It certainly adds a bit of weight to 'Do unto others as you would have them do to you'.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Pancakes

Good evening and welcome to Pancake Tuesday! Or Shrove Tuesday. Or, if you're in America, Super-Duper Tuesday.

Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, when the Church enters a period of self-discipline called Lent. A time for prayer and fasting, for solemn reflection on the state of our community and soul.

This year, in addition to the annual sacrifice of foregoing Audrey's scones (which is a HUGE sacrifice, let me tell you!) Kathryn and I are going to give Tear Fund's Carbon Fast a go. Wash the dishes one day instead of using the dishwasher. Don't use the car one day. Take out a lightbulb tomorrow and replace it on Easter Sunday. These are good ideas! And we need to do something to put a stop in our addiction to consuming fossil fuels...

Why not give it a go?