Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sigur Ros tonight

off to see Sigur Ros at the Hammersmith Apollo in London tonight. Can't wait. Also can't wait for the ADSL to get fixed on our landline. Sort it out BT! Can't take much more of dial-up. If I'd have known getting a speed upgrade on our line would cause this much grief I'm not sure if I would have bothered. Remember kids - faster ain't always better.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pray as you Go

I am very disappointed with Simon Kirby who I saw yesterday for not tipping us all off earlier to Pray as You Go which is a 10 minute daily podcast for lent produced by the Jesuits in the UK. I haven't listened in yet but apparently each day there is some prayers, music, meditation suggestions etc. It lasts about 10 minutes and a new one is produced each day. So I guess I will just pick up from today's podcast rather than try to work through the backlog.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fasting and Feasting (or - what having a beer can teach you about the kingdom of God)

As those of us from the more liturgical end of the church know, we are in the middle of the season of Lent. And, of course, with Lent being a penitential season it is customary to fast.
This Lent I am fasting alcohol. For me this fast is a good balance between being something genuinely sacrificial - I enjoy a drink and the two times so far this lent I have been out for a curry it's been murder not to have the customary pint of beer with it (I mean, curry without lager is like Morecombe without Wise, Torvill without Dean or Tom without Jerry - you get the idea!)...Jim (who is also fasting alcohol) and I tried Kaliber (a non-alcoholic beer) with our curry the other week but it was disgusting) - but on the other hand it's not so debilitating that the fast becomes the focus of everything (like it can do when you are fasting food etc.)
Lent is 40 days long and runs from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday - but it doesn't include the Sundays in between: those are feast days.
So we don't fast on Sundays because on those days (even in the penitential season of Lent) we remember the resurrection.
So I have a beer or two on Sundays.
At first I just thought - "great, a day off!" but the deeper we get into this season I have started to appreciate the rich theological resonance created by Sundays being a feast day not a fast day.
Not that I get drunk on Sundays or anything like that! But enjoying a beer or two on Sundays in contrast to the rest of the week when I am tee-total really speaks to me about the celebrative dimension of the Kingdom of God and the 'age to come' (which of course is breaking into this present age). When I have a beer on a Sunday night (I would be worried if I reached over for a beer when the alarm went off on Sunday morning - just cos it was Sunday and I could!) I am reminded of the new, resurrection life of the Kingdom - and I give thanks.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spiritual Direction

Recently I have felt led by God to offer spiritual direction to anyone who would find it helpful. Yesterday I had my first session with a person who asked me about it. I felt it was a really good beginning and a real privilege to come alongside and begin to listen to the movement of God in this persons life. I tried to make it clear that our time together wouldn't necessarily be about me dispensing spiritual wisdom but more to do with me joining this person in a very intentional way for the next part of their journey as a human being and helping to discern what God is doing in their life.
If there is anyone else in the Oxford area who reads this blog and who would find this useful to them then do get in touch - matt@home-online.org

Monday, March 06, 2006

Album Leaf videos

readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of the beautiful atmospheric ambience of The Album Leaf (aka Jimmy Lavalle). There are videos of a couple of tracks - 'Malmo' and 'Another Day'- available here (along with clips from a whole load of other peeps that I've never heard of!)

Oscars Party

today I am desperately trying to avoid hearing any news on the Oscars last night (so I am not reading any blogs just in case) as tonight Jim is hosting an Oscars party. He recorded the awards ceremony last night and a bunch of us are getting together to watch the highlights (i.e. skipping the ads and the awards for 'best sound recording in a nature documentary' - that sort of thing). Perhaps there should have been a dress code and jim should have required us to come dressed as if we were receiving an award (cos Jim does look great in a dress).