|View of the "Pretty City" Dunedin, from my Mountain top yesterday.|
|Ex firefighters hosted by current firefighters for a pre-christmas dinner. I was privileged to be invited.|
|I am enjoying the re-read years after my first read.|
|Walking with a friend this afternoon. She took this interesting photo of a creek near a reservoir.|
On Monday I took the funeral for a man who died still too young from cancer. It was the second St John Ambulance related funeral in the last few weeks. I spent an incredible amount of time in preparation for the funeral. It did not go as well as I wanted but nobody else knew that. I have received so much very positive feedback. I am good at funerals, but I think it is more difficult for me now than it used to be. I think when I was young I tended to confidently present what I thought was a pretty good funeral. It was OK, but each funeral was not tailored as much for each family. I was then, "God's gift to the Church." These days I am much more sensitive and aware of others' needs, so I make it much more difficult for myself. I am very sensitive to each family's needs and demand of myself a very high standard. Each funeral is a nerve wracking experience for me, but it is so good when you know you have not just been "the minister" but that you have actually ministered.
I am reading more theology and books about recent biblical interpretation. I have been enjoying an ongoing study of Jesus. I think I a have become an amateur "Jesus Scholar" or theologian. It is all part of my journey as a follower of Jesus. I love being able to still grow and adventure in my faith journey. I love that my experience of following Jesus has a consistency and for me a sensibleness for me. My theology is a part of my life. It is interesting lately that I have gone back to reading the Theology text book we had in College in the 1970's, "Principles of Christian Theology". I recall that we had to do essays related to a few chapters in the book. My essays were late because I decided that, to understand it best, I had to read the whole book and not just the chapters we had to respond to. I enjoyed the book back then and my copy has so much underlining in it that shows my appreciation of it. He is an existentialist and systematic theologian. Over the years I have dipped into it fairly regularly, and reread bits relating to subjects I have been exploring. I am enjoying it again, but strangely understanding it better and able to dialogue with it more. I am different than I was when I was in my 20's. I recall being disappointed when he got to the last section of his book, "Applied Theology". I wonder how I will find that section now after 40 odd years applying theology.
But some don't keep growing...
I need help. I listen to sermons locally on Sundays. I have given up trying to look madly supportive and interested. It took heaps of inner strength not to yell "Bullshit!" last Sunday. These parsons are lazy about preparation and have poor presentations skills. But it has become evident that they are not still growing... they have confused thinking, old fashioned perspectives and disjointed theology. To any young ministers reading this, for God's sake, keep growing, learning and tying life together. Your experiences in life, your reading and your theology must be tied together and current and "burning" in your inner being.... not something from the 1950's. Keep journeying! .... I am still perplexed what to do about this local church. Do I stir things up or just quietly move elsewhere?
I love the variety in my life. I visit a brewery nearly every week. I talk with and sometimes ride with ambulance paramedics. I am part of the culture and family of the Fire station and sometimes ride the fire trucks. I have a friend who trains racing trotters and visit his stables often. I get to climb and walk in the local bush. I enjoy fresh vegetables from my garden. I do DIY stuff and build. I have competed in half marathons and triathlons. I have dabbled in painting pictures... etc... Tomorrow I go to a friend's yacht. I am looking forward to this new adventure. I am so privileged to have this variety of experience in my life.