Are you comfortably numb?

Monday, October 11, 2004

It has been a ridiculous amount of time since I posted

...and for that I apologise. I know you are all very upset with me, particularly Dan Harman, who first brought my lack of posting to my attention. The truth is, I haven't been in the mood for a considerable amount of time, due to various unexpected and unforeseen events in my life. However now I'm feeling up to it again.

Well, I said I'd tell you about the Women's Convention, so I will. Unfortunately my enjoyment of it was somewhat reduced due to the fact that I got just 2 hours of sleep the night before. And no, before you assume that just because I am between the ages of 16 and 24 I was out having a good time, let me assure you that was far from the case. As many of you know I already had a cold, which was causing my asthma to worsen. On Friday night I accidentally left my asthma inhaler at work. Thus I struggled to breathe, through either my nasal or oral passages, for the entire night, resulting in the aforementioned 2 hours of slumber.

So I found it quite hard to concentrate for much of the day, although thankfully the talks were so good I still got a lot out of them. Highlights were Sharon James' talk "Material Girl", particularly the short time of discussion in small groups, and Lizzy Smallwood's talk at the end on a passage from Philippians. It was a little weird meeting with just women. Particularly the singing was lacking. And I'm not entirely convinced whether there is a need for it... perhaps just a 'London Convention' with seminars for women and men separately would be better. I for one didn't think there was anything particularly special about just meeting with a load of women. I felt like it was sort of a glorified WI convention, without the Victoria Sponge (unfortunately) and calendars with naked pictures in (?).

However, the talk on Materialism was very helpful, particularly as I am reading Christians in a Consumer Culture. Very challenging, as they say. And yes I do actually mean I am going to do something about it, rather than just saying 'Very challenging, hmm, yes' and feeling good about being challenged before going back to my old ways.

I picked up 'Knowing God' by Packer yesterday at church and started reading it. I've always thought it must be really hard to read because it's so packed full of theology (ha!) yet his writing style is amazingly compelling, both concise and at the same time lyrical. I am hoping I'll manage it through the whole thing. It also continues to amaze me how books written decades ago (e.g. the Screwtape Letters) comment on the postmodern and relativist nature of society, because we tend to think it has only taken over in the last few years.

My course is going very well. We're getting into the real nitty gritty of how to counsel now, having to think of questions and comments we'd say in response to certain statements. It's very hard work, and the fact that there are no right answers (but several wrong ones) is both reassuring and frustrating, given the way my brain works.

Church yesterday was great as well. God has blessed me with a real awareness of his presence over the last few days. I woke up the other morning and felt really down, and thought the only way I am going to get out of bed is by reminding myself there is more to life than my own mood swings, so I read the passage of the crucifixion in Mark. It's a great way to start the day - by thinking about the most significant, awe-inspiring event in history. Do you ever start thinking about it and wonder how on earth a physical death can be a spiritual redemption? And then you realise it was God who died... and the mind boggles. Church yesterday was focused on faith in our morning Hebrews series, and then the Spirit of sonship in the evening, which was great. Both were very encouraging and more importantly reminded me what is really worth thinking about and worrying about in life. So all in all I'm feeling very encouraged.

Oh and thanks to everyone who prayed for my Zig Zag talk! It went so well, and the kids were fabulous. God is good!

Must go now a game of literati with my Brazil-bound father calls.

Bec xx

6 Comments:

  • Shame Packer's theology is flawed in places though....

    By Blogger Jon, at 10:55 am  

  • Are you referring to the Catholic stuff? Or things he says in that book? Or other things?

    By Blogger Bec, at 5:23 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Bec, at 12:51 am  

  • I meant in general Packer's theology is flawed... Particularly later on in his career... but there are traces in some of his earlier works...

    By Blogger Jon, at 1:02 pm  

  • Well that was really enlightening Jon. Care to actually explain what flaws you are talking about?! :p

    By Blogger Bec, at 7:25 pm  

  • Mum here:

    We can learn a lot from flaws, particularly our own. Personally I think the best theology is to know God through Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible, but other Christians have much to offer from their knowledge and experiences, though all Christians are flawed, whichever theological camp they have pitched their tent in. It's a very long time since I read and re-read "Knowing God" and it helped me to aim high spiritually. To see being a Christian in terms of relating to our Creator, whose attributes Packer explores with reverence and joy. A profound experience for which I am deeply grateful.

    By Blogger Andrew and Cora, at 4:45 am  

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