Embarrassing Dads, Sporting Pride and the Presence of God
“Your Dad isn’t what I expected a priest to be like”, said one of my son’s friends the other day. A priest huh? I am usually called a pastor or maybe a minister – by nice people anyway. My wife calls me something weird. I prefer to be called David.
This young man then asked me what I did. We were in a pub, about to leave, surrounded by Newcastle revellers. I guessed I had 30 seconds. Here’s what I said. "I guess you could call me a faith community leader, because we have gathered a bunch of people to do life together as we find out about following Jesus. Two things are important to us: firstly, we make a safe place where, with Jesus’ help, people can begin to get their lives sorted. Secondly, we train and equip them to go out and make the world a better place".
Everyone around me nodded approvingly and then went back to work on their cocktails. We drove home down the A1.
Last weekend was a busy one on the sporting allegiance front. Firstly, cheering on Yorkshire at the Twenty20 whilst providing a cricket tutorial to Ivan, our favourite Mexican friend. A tied result was a disappointment until my mother provided some strange consolation by reminding me that I have traces of the Red Rose in my blood. Secondly, cheering on the Welsh Lions as they mauled Australia. They are meant to be the British Lions but with 10 Welshman in the starting 15 my support was tested as I can’t lay claim to any Welsh genetic modification at all. Thirdly, cheering on Andy Murray as he bludgeoned the Serb into submission, meanwhile laying vigorous claim to my Scottish ancestry – my father’s mother hailed from Ullapool.
The Presence of God
Last Sunday was a special one in the life of the Vineyard with the presence of God blessing us at Ralph’s in worship, prayer and friendship and then a remarkable evening of prayer and worship led by the T4:12 band. Great music, creative prayer and, once again, the manifest presence of God. Boom.
The text of my talk on Romans 1:1, “the Gospel changes me”, is here.
The podcast (and text) of my talk on Acts 2, “a new Pentecost”, is here.
This Wednesday the Healing on the Streets team meet at the Wilds on Wednesday evening and Ivan & Libby are hosting a Mexican evening at Anthony & Jane’s on Friday. On Sunday I will be continuing my series on Romans (I should get past chapter 1 verse 1).