Saturday, March 25, 2006

Time with Rev. Ray Simpson

Recently, the Church of Ireland Youth Department invited the Rev. Ray Simpson - Guardian of the Community of Aidan & Hilda - from Lindisfarne (Holy Island) in Northumbria to speak to us on our annual Reflect weekend. It was a real pleasure working with Ray (whom I met a year before on a soul friendship weekend) and an honour to get to know him better over the course of the event. The theme for the event was Roots, Rhythm and Relationships which are all important elements of Celtic Spirituality (or a Celtic flavour of Christianity). The content was superb and God spoke in very encouraging and challenging ways over the weekend. The pictures here are of a trip Ray and I took to the Kells monastic ruins and the Ahenny crosses in Co. Kilkenny . . I think. ;-) I really enjoyed our time together and the discussions that flowed. I have no doubt we will have the opportunity to work together again in the years ahead.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Isn't it interesting?

Isn't it interesting how so many of us want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves in this life? I mean, we truly desire to have some purpose in our lives and find a cause to live and die for. Even people who appear to be lazy and lackadaisical in life can be overwhelmed with a sense of need for a bright vision to lead them on . . to give direction. Maybe they feel so overwhelmed by that desire that they 'hide' behind or attempt to eradicate the desire with apathy. It seems the whole of humanity wants to be known - as individuals - unique and loved for who they are, and this blogging phenomenon is clear evidence of that.

Recently, I was walking through an ancient graveyard with an influencial and respected man. We were pondering on life; it's brevity and the importance of being about what we were made for. I commented while sauntering amoung the gravestones how sobering it was to realise that after we die and are buried in the earth [or scattered as ashes] it is generally only two generations before people are often forgotten about by the living. Ugghhhh . . . a smack in the face of smug self-interest! I often find that the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Bible is good for perspective and insight in life.

I think it was Ben Franklin who once stated that in life we should ". . either write something worth the reading or do something worth the writing", is it too audacious to want to 'accomplish' both?? Maybe it is more healthy to simply seek to be obedient and perseverant in our calling to follow Christ. I would like it to be said of me what was said of David when I'm gone, that he "fulfilled his purpose for his generation and he slept". Peace to you this day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Walk in the Woods

Last week I took Neve and Abby for a walk in a wood near our home in Cloughjordan. It's a beautiful place with some wonderful trails. It's called Knockanacree (English equivalent) which I think means 'Hill of the Heart'. I heard it was 100 acres and so I told Neve that it was the Hundred Acre Wood where Winnie the Pooh and his friends live. While we walked we were just waiting for Tigger to bounce out of a tree or Piglet to go scampering across the path. I was really soaking up the moment, realising that these days of enjoying little people in our home are going so quickly and could pass us by if we don't remain tuned in to life's little joys. What little joys might be passing you by today? How might God be whispering words of love to you right now?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How [Not] to Speak of God

Just saw the cover today for a book that a friend of mine has written. The book is called 'How [Not] To Speak of God' and the author is Pete Rollins. Pete is one of the founders of IKON, an alternative faith community based in Belfast, N. Ireland. The book is being launched in Ireland at an event that Brian McLaren is speaking at on May 22. McLaren says in the forward that it is one of the best 3 or 4 books on theology he has read in the last decade! It will be launched in N. America in June. Haven't read it yet, but looking forward to it!