Friday, December 19, 2014
Searching for an old friend on the Internet, I was surprised to come across old images of mine on Google+ Photos, both published and unpublished, if one can speak of unpublished (since they are published, though most of them unpublished). At any rate, I didn't know that they existed in the public domain. Most of those at the above link would be around ten years old, and give a "snapshot" of life and ministry at that time. OBSERVATION: But actually, what is Google doing publishing unpublished images? Someone else commented: "Yikes!" Their unpublished images were out there, too.
OBSERVATION: Some local homes keep this tea continually simmering on the stove, so that the whole house is filled with the aroma.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
During the past week, I "had a stab" at the philosophy of Aesthetics, in Part XII of my Society project. Part XIV is on Free Will, while Part XIII is pending. I would hope that Part XII makes viable suggestions as to how some of the conceptual problems of aesthetics may be solved. OBSERVATION: Part XII, for me, represents a return to aesthetics after many years away from the subject (apart from casual reading). Many years ago, I studied aspects of aesthetics under Professors Francis Schaeffer and Marthinus van Schoor.
An insight which may be valuable to ministers is that, where one discovers what I call "twisting and turning", one may well be dealing with some form of corruption. It may be referred to more commonly as "moving the goalpoasts". I first encountered it in a big way when I was framed once. A consultant took a look and said: "Look at the twisting and turning!" Which happened every time I produced an alibi. Basically, whatever the context may be, if one reason or rationale morphs into another, or if one gets replaced by another, be alert.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I had a so-called health scare (although I didn't experience it as a scare). After a few tests, it was downgraded from emergency to routine. Today I was admitted to what my father once referred to as "the Alcatraz of hospitals". They were very pleasant there, and more or less efficient by South African standards. However they didn't have the equipment they were thought to have. So I, already under sedation, with a swollen hand (from finding a vein), was sent home. Then I was hit by withdrawal from the sedative -- I joked that I could have jumped into the Molteno Dam. OBSERVATION: I did think things seemed to be running a little too smoothly for our state system ... (Follow the sequel on this blog).
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The Congregational Church has a unique teaching on employment (Latin implicare, to enfold). Congregationalists do not use the word -- and at Congregational conferences I have attended, the word "employment" was religiously avoided. Rather, ministry is viewed as liberation from employment, to pursue God's call. The "textbook" on evangelical Congregationalism Evangelical & Congregational makes four plain statements: 1. "A Church does not employ a minister. It releases him from the need for secular employment," 2. "He is not a servant of the Church but of the Lord," 3. "The Lord may give him a vocation wider than the narrow interest of a particular congregation," and 4. These principles depend on "mutual love in Christ, mutual understanding and support". OBSERVATION: When I say that this is a "unique" teaching, I myself have not come across it outside the Congregational Church. I have in fact come across the opposite -- namely that Churches employ ministers.
looking at a multi-faceted approach to security at our cottage in the country. It's been a long time since I looked at laser beams, so I was surprised to see that they are available in Cape Town for a mere R15 / $1.50 each. Laser beams are an ideal security solution (an invisible fence), except for one drawback: they need to be very firmly and accurately mounted, which is time-consuming. And a smaller problem (assuming one knows how to address it): laser beams need to be "immunised" against falling leaves, flying insects, and so on, which need to be distinguished from humans.
Monday, December 15, 2014
My aged mother had a hip replacement last week, being virtually lame. Five days after (which is today), she was already walking better than she did before. She thanked me for the spirit I brought with me today (sherry), joking that it was purely for medicinal purposes. OBSERVATION: She suffered a very serious leg injury when she was a teen -- she hit a rock beneath the snow while skiing. Yet it is her good leg which failed, after doing double duty.
/ US10¢ each.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
I find that there is something that the "big boys" in ministry have in common here. That is, mature ministers who have had a profound impact on their Churches. One such minister said to me over lunch: "I don't have a clue how to run a Church." OBSERVATION: Does he really have no clue? Or is he expressing something else? I myself frequently refer to the words of Solomon at his coronation: "I know not how to go out or come in" (1 Kings 3:7). By way of contrast, there are those who feel well qualified. The leadership literature is replete with examples.
We just went through another power failure in Cape Town. I first noticed it when it was over and my computer reported: "Your battery is now charging." When major power failures began six years ago, I decided to make my office "bomb proof". Even today, I could keep it up and running almost indefinitely, with Internet. I started off with an intelligent charger and inverter in my office -- now it can be switched to solar, too (without the charger). OBSERVATION: I am surprised how few homes just "carry on" when the power goes down. Last week, when the power failed, ours was the only home that could be seen to have light -- and a few hotels.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
There is an unspoken view in the Church, that a true Church is meant to be a Utopian Society. Nothing should disturb the gentle surface of the waters. Yes, God's elect will always be growing in glory by the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18), and that gives one hope and optimism for ministry always. Nothing stops the Lord, who has promised by His grace both to create and shape His people. However, there will always be "awkward sheep", and there will be the goats. Jesus, Paul, Peter, and others all tempered the notion of a so-called Utopian Society by speaking of wolves, bad leaven, false prophets, and so on -- and of spiritual warfare and demonic attack. One needs to fully reckon with the same.