Saturday, December 22, 2007
Go and He Goes
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Marilyn vos Savant Puzzle
This is the puzzle which came up on a programme hosted by Marilyn vos Savant (purported to have the highest IQ in the world!)
In a game show a contestant is shown three doors. He is told that behind two of the doors there is a goat. Behind the other door there is a car. He must guess the correct door in order to take home the car. After the contestant makes a guess, the host opens one of the other doors to reveal a goat. The contestant must now choose whether to stick with his original choice or to choose the other unopened door.
What is the sensible thing to do?
I'll put the answer in a comment if I get any other comments to this!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The Whale Caller and other books
I always read, but I am enjoying it more with more space to read in. I read 'Are We Yet Alive' by Peter Storey. A South African book that tries to remind South African Methodists of what Wesleyanism is all about. I was inspired by the commitment that John Wesley had to the poor.
I read The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda. What powerful book. But how depressing. Why do 'arty/cultural/African' books have to be depressing? I am glad I am a Christian. I am glad that I understand grace and forgiveness and that there is always hope and that love is worthwhile. But nonetheless a powerful book and I did enjoy it. I think I will rewrite the ending for myself. By the way, it is about a love triangle consisting of the whale caller, a whale called Sharisha and the village drunk (a woman).
I am also reading 'Let's Both Win', a book on marriage by Arnold Mol (another South African book). My husband and I are reading it together, something we haven't done for a long time, and we are enjoying that. It almost doesn't matter what the book says! But so far, so good.
I'm also reading 'Re-Imagine' by Tom Peters. He's a business motivational guru guy. I am finding the book amusing. I tend to have an automatic antipathy to 'hype-masters', but he makes me think.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I struggle with the ideas of speaking with arrogance against speaking with authority. No one sets out to be arrogant. Do they?
As I result I tend sometimes to timidity.
But Jesus spoke with authority. He was sure he was right. Lots of people are sure that they are right. But Jesus knew.
I read somewhere recently someone saying that he hopes that his own actions and thoughts will come as a result of his prayertime with God and not out of a desire to please a congregation.
Me too. But I'd love to have a congregation or community which also looks for God in prayertime and that we can work together to find what God wants.
I can't afford to abandon God's authority in my life for fear of arrogance. Time for lots of prayer!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Church and Community
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Called by a Carpenter
Rob Bell writes in 'Velvet Elvis' how the rabbis of the time were trained and called people to be their disciples. Jesus was known as Rabbi and in all likelihood was trained as such. So his calling men to follow him was a fairly normal event in those days. Although perhaps his choice of disciples was not. I wonder how long Jesus actually did spend learning a carpenter's trade? That has become a sort of Sunday School traditional understanding, rather than a Biblical one. Although in Mark 6 the people do refer to him as 'the carpenter'.
Why did Jesus appear to wait for John to be put in prison before starting his ministry?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Rob Bell - Too much Noise?
What a waste of money! About two minutes of Rob Bell flicking channels on his TV with a short telling of Elijah's still small voice experience. Then the rest of the ten minutes has Bible verses about noise and voices appearing on the screen. I appreciate that he's trying to make the point that we need silence in our lives to hear God well, but R100 for some silence is not useful.
I guess I was hoping for a cool drama or something to illustrate the point. I wonder what's on the other dvds?
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Tempting the Beloved Son
Continuing reading in Mark, I found that Stephen's comment to my previous post on Mark stuck more in my mind than I expected (thanks Stephen!). The one thing he said was that Mark had ordered his material carefully. Now, I have generally seen Mark as a 'bread and butter' gospel, with fewer frills than the others, but I found myself looking for interesting juxtapositions.
I read about Jesus' baptism. "You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well-pleased." What an awesome encouragement and acknowledgent. Jesus must have felt so good after that. I don't know whether he was prone to doubt or how close he was to the Father while on earth. But, whatever, just then he must have felt all warm and accepted and those good things we humans need.
And then next verse - what a contrast. Off to the desert to be tempted. Mark doesn't elaborate - we know the story. One minute Jesus could have been on such a high, and then the crunch of reality in the human world. Hunger, wild animals, loneliness and Satan.
The same thought I had before, on John the Baptist. We might think we're losing. Stuck in the desert. Wishing for the mountain top experience we had before. Jesus has been there. It happened to him. It's ok for it to happen to us. It's not sin. Or judgement. It's life. And if we're on the mountain top - absorb the love and the strength, because we may need it!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Suffering for Jesus
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Does participation make disciples?
Having put all of their eggs into the program-driven church basket you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.”