Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mother's Day or Mothering Sunday?

Today is Mother's Day in England. It's also called Mothering Sunday.
In church today, I learnt that Mother's Day was started by a Pensylvanian woman in 1905. Meanwhile in Britain, we celebrated Mothering Sunday, which was the Sunday that you went back to your 'mother' church.
During WWII, American troops stationed in Britain started giving gifts and flowers to their landladies, which was ever so popular, and we adopted Mother's Day, combining it with Mothering Sunday, but holding it on the British Mothering Sunday, rather than on the American Mother's Day.
This answered a question I've had for years, so I thought I would post about it, but I've just realised that you Americanadians probably have never used the term 'Mothering Sunday', so I'm now in two minds as to whether I'll actually post this or not.
Either way, this is another opportunity to thank God for our Mothers.
Oh, yeah, it's my mum's birthday today too! Happy 25th Birthday Mum!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nightmare on Sermon Street

So this evening I was preaching at a church in Birmingham (the original one in England, not Alabama).
I haven't been well for the past couple of days and my condition remained throughout today. Nothing big, just a sore, raw and raspy throat. And I don't remember putting anything up there, but my nose was blocked up also. These symptoms along with an energyless body caused me to stay bed-ridden until last night, still not having prepared my sermon. I was still hoping on God for more inspiration and the words to say up until this afternoon, after my lecturer had preached in the morning. But no, I had parts still missing.
During the last worship song before I preached, I got a small kid to get me a glass of water to soothe my throbbing larynx. He did, and I got up to preach.
About 10 seconds into my my first illustration, which was meant to be a rib-tickler, I realised I had left my water down by my seat, and was about to motion someone to carry it over to me, when a phone rang. Yep.
It wasn't one of those repetitive monotones, but one of those catchy cool tunes, which you'd usually let ring a couple of times before answering. However, this was not the time. I paused momentarily for someone to turn it off, but I suddenly realised, it was coming from behind me. In a jacket on a chair behind me, this phone had been set to the ringing mode where it gets progressively louder the longer you don't answer it. Suddenly from amidst the congregation, the pastor shouts, "Oh, man, that's mine! That's never happened before. It'll stop ringing in a sec." But when it didn't stop, he had to come up out of the congregation, and pick it up.
This totally threw me off my sermon, but worse was the fact that it was all being recorded to be assessed for one of my modules.
Anyways, after the proverbial diarrhea had hit the fan, I cleaned it up and finished my sermon. There were some really good points in there, but overall it lacked the total enthusiasm and passion that are usually habitual of my sermons. I put this down to the lack of focus. That and the freakin' pastor's phone too.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We're all the same

Over the last couple of days, some people's stuff has gone missing here at college, including an iPod. A Honduran guy was suspected by the Koreans, who had been watching his shifty behaviour which coincided with the appropriate timing of his departure from England. So, going to the authorities, they asked to solve the whole thing by searching his room. It had to be explained to them that this was not legal without his permission, which he would not give, being adamant that the impertinence of even suspecting him was absurd and out of order since he led worship back at his home church in Honduras. Then when the Honduran happened to be absent from the college premises one night, a couple of the Korean guys (just think of Kyung Taek and Yi Ho but even less outgoing), climbed up the wall outside and in through his window to search his room. They found the iPod etc in his coat, and took it back.
Upon telling us the story, we had to inform the Koreans that they could not report this to the authorities, as they could be charged with breaking and entering. The Honduran was told what had happened, but denied everything, sticking to a story of evidence planting. Nothing more will be done and everyone has their stuff back, but the people who know the truth do not look favourably upon the Honduran.

However, I am reminded of how theft is still in the same bracket as coveting etc, and that we all have problems and still sin, so technically are no different.

On another note, the night the two Koreans searched that guy's room, many people were praying for God's justice to be done, and the Honduran just happened to be out of college at the time because he was in hospital, having played football, had fallen awkwardly, and broken his arm.
This may or may not have been God's judgement, but some would say that going to play football on a stone floor after just stealing from prayerful Christians was only inviting God's vengeance. I don't happen to agree with either, but who knows. It's just funny how things turn out.