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Archive for the ‘cracked posts’ Category

Imaginary friend

I have an imaginary friend. His name is Jesus. Now, before you all cry “Heresy!” and go running for your pitchforks, I should point out that I also have a very real friend called Jesus, who also happens to be the Son of God.

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Are you being served?

… or am I just doing my job?

Two verses less than a chapter apart in John’s gospel have got me thinking a bit about why and how I use my gifts/abilities (for want of more self-effacing terms) in my work.

The thought has occurred to me before that when I “serve” others , particularly in the context of work, my mixed motives include high doses of “self-‘s”, chief among which are probably self-esteem (from the approval of others) and self-gratification (from the enjoyment of wrestling with a challenging problem). I doubt my motives will ever by anything other than mixed, but I wonder if serving others should feature a little more prominently in that mix?

As usual it’s tempting to leave it there and go off and feel guilty  for a while (and make a few other Christians feel guilty for good measure) about not doing everything out of a pure desire to serve others, but that’s not a very satisfactory, effective or maybe even Jesus-like result. (more…)

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Conspiracy Theory

The world outside and within me have an uncanny knack of conspiring against my best intentions; at least that’s my excuse (or rather one of a vast arsenal) and I’m sticking to it. The current deployment of this excuse is in relation to two seemingly innocuous commands: “Be still!” and “Wait patiently!” In fact “command” seems like to harsh or serious a label for them, perhaps they should be filed under “good advice” or “helpful suggestions”.

But the impact of ignoring these imperatives has been graciously pointed out to me by an unexpected ally. (more…)

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When I do things for you I feel good. But if I think you haven’t noticed or appreciated what I have done, I feel cross and annoyed. Did I do them just for you?

When I do things just for me they can make me feel good. (Why else would I do them?) But then, especially if you notice, I may feel bad, or guilty, or defensive, or self-righteous, or selfish, or sorry, or …

When I do things for You, You always notice. When I try to do something good, or right, or well, You always smile and say “well done”. When I do things that are bad, or wrong or half-hearted You wait for me, sometimes even search for me and then You hug me and say “I love you”, and I say “I’m sorry”.

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I have never regarded myself as someone who believes in “looking after number one”, that’s for those who are not concerned about how selfish they appear. (I, on the other hand am very concerned about how selfish I might appear.) But, I guess that most of the time I do try to look after myself in the midst of doing other stuff, whether good, bad or indifferent. This instinct is weakened, however, when I know that someone else is looking after me. Conversely, the less I feel others are taking care of my wants and needs, the more I feel the need to take care of them myself.

Is it possible that freedom from such self-absorption and mixed motives lies in trusting someone else to look after me? I’m not a small child anymore, so this is no longer a full-time job for my parents (although they undoubtedly still look after me in lots of ways). I hope that my wife and I, whilst we have vowed to look after each other, realise that we cannot carry the burden of each other’s complete welfare alone. (Although I guess one of the clues that has led me down this road is how much better we look after the other when we feel they are looking out for us, and perhaps more tellingly, vice-versa.) So, the obvious answer in the Christian context of my life and blog is (more…)

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Doubtage

“When I was a young Christian I had serious reservations about other Christians who expressed doubts about their faith. Now that I am older I am wary of those who don’t.”

Paraphrased quote (i.e. I can’t remember it verbatim) from an interview with Jeremy Vine, BBC presenter.

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songs

It’s funny how, when the words I sing about how much I allegedly love you do nothing but mock me, the words I sing about who you are and how much you love me seem even more real.

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