Showing posts from April, 2011

Easter eggs

About five years ago we decided to stop eating non-Fair Trade cocoa products.  A report from the BBC had recently come out documenting the ways in which children are abused to make our chocolate.  I can't find the original report, but this story contains much of the same information.  My recollection of it is that nearly 1/2 of the world's cocoa is grown in the Ivory Coast and 1/3 of that is cultivated on plantations using child slave labour: children who are taken under false pretences or simply stolen from their parents.  They were then worked hideously hard, "encouraged" by beatings with bicycle chains.

We decided we wanted no part in that.  If we had to buy our chocolate directly from a child who was clearly being so mistreated, we wouldn't just buy it and walk away: we'd try to help that child.  Just because we can't see the child being abused doesn't mean it's not real - it just means that we need people to tell us about it.

Over the course …


This year has been amazing for our wee 'orchard'.  First fruits of our own feijoa, first fruits of our own fig (grown from a cutting from my parents') and now: first quinces :-)

As a child I didn't really like quince, but now I'm looking forward to fruity tagines and a big batch of quince paste.  Yum!

In the eyes of God

I've been praying for a friend who has serious mental health issues and who brings her struggles to God in the same way I bring mine.  I don't know much more about how she understands God than that, and I've been struggling to understand what it could mean for someone like her to be a Christian.  As well as being paranoid and consequently terrified by just about everything, she also struggles intellectually to understand all kinds of simple things.  All of that has made it hard for me to pray for her as I've been limited by my ideas of what God could do for and with her.  I've simply been praying that God would give her freedom from fear and contentment with her life.

Then a few days ago something dawned on me.  For God, the distance He has to condescend to communicate from His infinity to my boundedness is practically identical to the distance He has to condescend to my friend.  He is so far above us, so utterly Other, that the huge differences I see between my fr…

What is scripture?

I've often heard the Bible described as a 'manual for living' or 'God's roadmap for your life', and I think that that's often how I've used it.  I've looked for guidelines to tell me how I should live, how I could expect God to interact with me etc., as well as looked for things to inspire me to keep going in hard times.

Reading through the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles in recent months I've found very little that can be used that way.  I've started to ask: why are these stories here?  They must be important to have made it into the Bible, but I can't see the point of many of them.  That's led to the question 'what is Scripture?'  If it includes these bits, then it can't quite be what I've always thought it is!

I don't have much of an answer to this question, so I'd love to hear your thoughts!  A recent post by Tim Bulkeley from Carey Baptist College provides a partial answer.  He says that the Bible is written…