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Posts Tagged ‘word’

The Vicar is out at Midnight Communion, aided by The Shropshire Lad, who has stayed for Christmas. The small(ish) boys are asleep (I think) upstairs. The Queen has gone to the midnight service for the first time – a couple of other teens from church are also joining her for the first time. My parents are staying and headed for bed. All is quiet and the fire is still hot. Time to wish you all a Merry Christmas – may you know God’s truth and grace – and see his glory – now and in the coming year.

Grace and truth

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On Saturday I took a couple of lovely ladies from our church to the Midlands Women’s Convention in Derby. It was the first year of a Midlands convention, after last year’s Northern Women’s Convention was sold out, and disorganised bookers (err, like me) missed out on tickets. What an encouragement it proved to be – around 700 women, some great talks and a terrific band.

I came away particularly challenged about my approach to bible reading. The main speaker was Kathleen Nielson, whose background is in the study of English literature. Her great passion is reading the bible *as* literature. I was reminded how easy it is to read the bible quickly, like a Tweet, or even a blogpost, hoping to grab something meaningful in as short a time as possible. In our busy lives and instant access culture the temptation to treat the Word like fast food is ever present. But, as Kathleen reminded us, a diet of fast food can leave us with malnutrition.

Since much of the bible is poetry – not just the Psalms and Proverbs, but great chunks of Old Testament prophecy in particular, we need to remind ourselves how to read a poem. Poetry reading is very out of fashion because it takes time and thought – it’s certainly not something I would automatically chose to do of a free evening! A poem is pretty much the opposite of a Tweet: I love Twitter and the short sharp thought, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take time to chew over the Word and think about what God is saying in a much more reflective way. Even if it’s hard. Which it is when you’re extraverted and easily distracted. Or even if you’re not.

All in all, it was a thought-provoking day. I spent tonnes of money on books too – the enthusiastic Jonathan Carswell and his team from TenofThose had a stall. I also had the chance to talk a wee bit about my blog in a seminar and was very pleased to tweetup with fellow blogger Sara. If you’re now feeling you’ve missed out, there are still tickets available for the Northern Women’s Convention in Manchester next Saturday. Or join us for next year’s convention on 6th October 2013.

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Last week my two younger kids were in bed, but they were having trouble getting to sleep. That was mainly because some of their classmates were still playing loudly in the street below our house. The youngest of the kids still playing out was eight. And it was 8.30pm, so I thought it probably appropriate that they go home and possibly even consider going to bed themselves.

When I proposed this to them, they were incredulous. They didn’t want to go to sleep yet. So I suggested that perhaps they could get into their pajamas and read a book before bedtime. The eight year old then emphatically told me:

Books are for BABIES!

A report from the National Literacy Trust has been in the news this week, talking about how book ownership is linked to educational attainment. We have lots of work to do here if the children of our parish are going to reach their potential. And be able to read their bibles so that they can know the living Word.

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