I’m looking through “Mentoring Like Barnabas”, by Mitsuo Fukuda, which I think is something that every missionary to Japan should read. Well, that’s sort of why I’m translating it. Anyway, I came up with this nugget: Read more about The temptation to show off
I’ve now been back in the UK almost three weeks, and as my last post implied, have been struggling a bit to define myself. Now things are starting to become a bit clearer. I’m as busy as I was in Japan, but I’m far, far less stressed out: Read more about All the work, none of the responsibility
OK, I've just finished one of my three sermons for this Christmas - it's called, and I kid you not, “It's A Very Liberationist Christmas, Charlie Brown” - and so I'm settling in for a good rant. This one's for all of you, evangelicals and liberals alike.
I'm trying to prepare a bunch of Christmas messages at the moment, and have spent a long time working through Luke 2. The more I dig into it, the more I realise how political it all is. Not just Luke 2 but Matthew 2 as well.
I spent most of today helping to destroy a church. One of our church plants had run out of money, manpower and members, and so we made the obvious decision to close it down, end the contract on the building, revert all the alterations that had been made to it and to return it to the landlord. For some involved, I'm sure it was a sad day, but I have to admit that I took a perverse pleasure in it, laying into bookshelves and partitions with a ball-peen hammer. It's a great way to take out your frustrations. I wish I could call it creative destruction, but it wasn't, it was just destruction, pure and simple. I wish I could say that symbolically I was breaking down the building to set free the church, but no, really, I wasn't. I was just merrily swinging away, laying into pieces of wood that didn't really deserve it. And I loved it.
Evangelistic meetings, at least here in Japan, are a funny sort of performance art.
I was just writing an email to a prayer supporter back home, and I started rambling, and the place for rambling is on the blog, not in email, so I moved everything here, and sent back a mercifully shorter email.
Well, kinda. It's been split for years, but people have had the good grace to bear with one another. But no longer! Bearing with one another is for liberals and wimps!
So last weekend, Nagahama church did the impossible: it hosted our engagement ceremony. It was on a much bigger scale than any of the engagement ceremonies they'd done before. We had much less preparation and many more guests coming than Pastor Takahashi and our volunteers were comfortable with. There were doubts about whether or not it was going to work, and feathers were ruffled. But in the end, it worked. Oh, did it work.