. . . is drawing to a close and there is so much to be thankful for that I might still be here when tomorrow gets underway. I've managed to be involved in an Ofsted inspection, taught Values and Standards, engaged with senior school pupils on a variety of issues and topics, been out on a community engagement thing, did study on the radio and been to Lichfield for too!
There have been a number of warm and fuzzy moments today - I don't think I missed any of the opportunities that arose and neither did I force the issue either. I've played with technology on the web and done some post-production sound engineering and enjoyed reading the Word and chatting to the Boss.
It's amazing how chilled and positive life can be when you fill it with people and God at every possible opprtunity - I love listening to God and think making connections between Him and the world He made for us is perhaps the greatest privilege and joy open to us.
Conversations with those who are 'far off' is often more Christocentric that those which occur with those who might otherwise consider themselves to be near, how strange is that?
Weirdest conversations today's all related to whether groupings were. hristian or not. We kicked off with the Jehovah's Witnesses (must stop calling them witlesses, sorry Lord) and then another and then another regarding the Morons (I know, I'm trying to change, honest God)! Just got through the Charles Taizé Russell and Joseph Smith and their 'dodgy' bits when up popped a Quaker issue - problem was they assumed that they were all Christians groups, even though they acknowledged that all three surely weren't. There are times when the need to draw lines and the desire to minimise the potential for conflict just become too difficult, I took the easy route and told the truth.
The Most joy from conversations was found in conversations about what is orthodox (right thinking and theology) and what is heresy (wrong thinking and doctrine) and find myself agreed with my logic endorsed. When the darkness appears, turn on the lights and let all see by the light.
Most difficult conversation has to be the person who wanted help but didn't want it to come for free. "If I don't pay, how can you do what I need they asked?" Explaining the Jesus came to bring eternal life for free and how the inability to flash the cash and pay 'your way' was one of the tests of a situation to permit others to step into the gap; and reflect on how we can neither 'outgive' God nor reduce the Lord to a token role, especially at Christmas, was something rather important.
The sad bit came in the death of a nice bloke leaving a family broken at the fragility of life. Seizing the day and living life to the full is essential for we have no idea how long we have. All the days numbered for us were written in the Lamb's book of life before one of them came to be.There is nowhere, and nothing, that can separate us from God's love. So we pray for the family and commend the person who has gone to grace, love, care and mercy of God and be willing, and be ready, to be part of the healing if we can and be caught up in prayer regardless.
So there we go, a busy day mades pleasurable by the people with whom I have engaged - and the greatest of these is, as ever, God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) - and challenging by the person I am. Changes: Good, bad and indifferent are always present. HElp me to take the opportunities for good, shun the opportunities for bad and take the opportunities to change and become more like you. Tomorrow.
Goodnight Lord, let's do this all over again; exactly the same and yet different - counter-cultural, diverse, one.