Mike`s Blog

The musings of a Methodist Minister

Archive for May, 2012


Posted by mike redshaw on May 22, 2012

I`m here in York for a few days as part of a national Superintendents Consultation, staying at the Royal York Hotel next to the railway station; very swish !

  This is the view outside my bedroom window. Honestly, the ferris wheel is that close and it certainly makes a walk in the hotel grounds a unique experience.

  If you look closely in the picture you can see York Minster in the background, and earlier today as I looked out the window I thought what a contrast between the modern and the old; the secular and the sacred, but which is which ?

   It’s very easy to talk about the wheel representing hedonism, greed, self-centredness and all that’s wrong with the world and to talk about the Minster representing Gods presence, the need to worship God, the call to glorify Him.

   But who`se to say that God isn`t riding the pods on the wheel alongside people in their moment of pleasure, whether they recognise it or not ? And if He is with them does that make the wheel a Holy place, sacred ?

York City Centre (including York Minster), in ...

York City Centre (including York Minster), in North Yorkshire, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

   And if a Minster or a Cathedral or a Church conjures up for some people difficult memories of abuse, or boredom or irrelevance does that mean God isn`t in a place of worship ? Jesus said in Matthew chapter 28 “………I will be with you always till the end of time.” For me that is not only a comforting thought but a salutary reminder that God is everywhere. He is in the places of difficulty but also the places of pleasure; He is in the places where Christians meet but he equally can be found in places not ostensibly Christian. We cannot limit Him to a small box. After all we recognise that He is omnipresent, everywhere. So if I find time tomorrow for a ride on the wheel I will use it as an opportunity to praise God for His wonderful world and for the engineering marvel right outside my bedroom window. English: Gardens of the Royal York Hotel With ...




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Weight loss week 3

Posted by mike redshaw on May 10, 2012

Sorry to have to tell everyone that I had NO weight loss this week !

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Ouch !!!!

Posted by mike redshaw on May 10, 2012

View IMG099.jpg in slide show  This is a picture of my car after it was hit by another vehicle earlier today. I basically slowed and stopped at a roundabout and as I waited for two white vehicles to go past I suddenly felt the shunt from behind. “Oh great” I thought, “First day of a three-day break and I get hit !” Got out to see little more than a bump and flakes of red paint. Now I know I`ll be taking it to the garage to ensure there isn’t any hidden damage or even visible damage that my eye cannot spot, but it feels good to know that my Skoda Roomster (so derided by many) is a tough little car. The other car (can’t show photograph, as I don’t want to internet the number plate) has a smashed number plate, a dinted front and damaged paintwork and was looking very sorry for itself as it drove off !

1-0 to Skoda I think

More importantly of course is the fact that neither I nor the lady involved were hurt, a fact that I had to reassure her about as she kept apologising profusely; she was quite upset. I felt I was glad that it was me she`d hit and not someone who would have shouted at her; it gave me a chance to give her my calling card (with job title on it) and allowed me to have a Christian attitude towards her. I simply pray that God can use this in some way to warm her heart towards him (if she hasn’t already given her heart to Jesus).

What am I to take from this ?  Firstly, that in all circumstances I need to represent Jesus; secondly, histrionics isn`t going to help the situation; thirdly, other people’s feelings are also involved in any given situation and its no good `going off` on one as if only mine mattered.

The older I get the more I come to realise that we live in community and more effort is required to `get on` with each other, whatever happens.

Skoda Roomster

Skoda Roomster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having said all that (and I believe it too) I still can’t help going to bed tonight  feeling smug !!

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No entry

Posted by mike redshaw on May 8, 2012

  Thought you`d be interested to see the sign that has appeared on our downstairs toilet door in recent   weeks. Alison has cleaned the carpet (all the carpets in this house, laid by the previous occupant, are  cream !) and so wants to keep it that way as long as possible, understandably.

  Maybe its set my strange, warped thinking off but I`ve begun to ponder on the idea of Holy Ground,    and in particular Moses before the burning bush, Exodus 3:5 `God said, “Don`t come any closer. Remove     your sandals from your feet. You`re standing on Holy Ground”`

  The removal of sandals has always been taken to be a sign of humility and respect in the ancient Near East,  but it is still a practice followed by Muslims before entering a Mosque. It’s not to say that the building or the  ground is holy by nature, but it is to recognise that it is made so by the divine presence of God. So it can be recognised that holiness involves being consecrated to the service of our Lord and being separated from the day-to-day world. My Ordination into Ministry didn`t make me special but marked me out for a Holy task; my Church buildings are simply bricks and mortar, but are set aside for a special purpose and so become Holy.

I`ve reached that time of life when, coming home at night from a meeting, I frequently rush into the house and make a dash for the downstairs loo. Now I have to pause and remove my shoes before I enter. In life we are rushing all over the place and rarely stop and pause. We rush from activity to activity, meeting to meeting, and always keeping an eye on the time. In many ways the computerisation of the world has added to the hurly-burly of modern life.

A pair of size 10 sandals for men

A pair of size 10 sandals for men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Certainly in my case my life is dictated by the demands of my diary and each day I have to look to see whats booked in for that day. Because of the business of life we compensate by finding ways to cope. We have drive-thru and fast-food restaurants, ready prepared meals which we can then eat in front of the telly, our attention span has decreased so that we can cram more bite-sized chunks into our brains and our lives dwell around Facebook or Twitter as that saves us the time of making real relationships.

In reality we should be dealing with the business by stopping and considering things. In scripture we find many instances of times when people did just that, including Jesus himself.  He went into the desert to spend time with God, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane but my favourite is the lesser known account in Mark 1:35-37. It doesn`t stand out as a major turning point in His ministry, or miraculous event but it is recorded as a perfectly normal and natural thing to do.

Later this week I will be taking my quarter days leave. Every three months Methodist Ministers are entitled (and expected) to take three consecutive days leave to recharge our batteries. Few Ministers manage it with regularity, but I`m managing it this week and very much looking forward to it. I don’t know what I`m going to do but I will be having time away from the Church and Circuit, not because I don’t love them or anything, but because I need to spend time relaxing and especially finding time with God. It should be the same with all of us; we need to stop from our business, spend time with God (a holy activity) and allow him to recharge us.

So, will you find time this week to engage with God ?

Stop, take off your shoes and let him change your life just as he did with Moses all those years ago.

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