Tuesday, 23 August 2011

If I could ask God one question...

Do you ever wish you'd kept a thought to yourself? A few weeks ago I had an idea for a preaching series, which was "If I could ask God one question...". Rather than come up with the questions myself I asked the congregation for suggestions instead, and for a few weeks nothing appeared. This week, however, a positive flood has come my way. Here's what I've got so far:

  • Why does God in the Old Testament seem to be demanding mass slaughter, whereas in the New Testament God's message is about love?
  • Are you the same God that is worshipped by other faiths?
  • Why do you allow people who you know will do terrible things to be born?
  • Why is it that the Jewish race has undergone such persecution over the years?
  • Should we give all teaching in the Bible equal weight?

That should keep me busy! Any thoughts, anyone?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Norway - a beautiful land

For our family holiday this year (probably the last holiday the four of us will have together, as the boys get older and more independent) we sampled our first taste of cruising. We sailed from Southampton to Norway, visiting places like Stavanger and Bergen and cruising around some of the magnificent scenery of the Norwegian fjords.

We spent a day sailing along the beautiful Geiranger Fjord, with its towering mountains, magnificent forests and impossible buildings perched on the hill sides with little if any means of access.

Hand-carved over millennia:
each drop of rain;
each flake of snow;
each breath of wind;
each grain of rock;
etching, forming, shaping
the rugged beauty.
Each seed, embedding itself
into solid rock,
greedily thirsting for life-giving water;
silently growing
to shroud the hills in green -
towering pines standing evergreen sentry,
singing praise to their Creator.

How do trees hold on
To lofty mountain crag-side
But by God's firm hand?

These are just some verses that I wrote at the time, though I was, and still am, aware of the inadequacy of words in the face of such grandeur.