Saturday, July 8, 2017

Psalm 3

A David Psalm, when he was running from his son Absalom.

Oh Lord, I've got alot of enemies
Loads are rising up against me
Loads are saying of my life
"God won't rescue him"
But you are my shield, my glory, you lift up my head.

I yell to the LORD and he answers me from his holy mountain.

See, if I lie down and have a sleep, and then I wake up again from that sleep; why is that?
Because the Lord has sustained me.
So, I won't fear the thousands circling against me.
Rise up LORD
My God, recuse me.
Punch my enemies in the face
Smash the teeth of the wicked

Rescue belongs to the LORD

May your blessing be on your people

Psalm 2

Why are the nation's all worked up?
People muttering over nothing?
The king's are all set,
rulers of this earth plot with each other
Against the LORD and his Messiah
"Let's chuck off their chains, let's bust off their ropes"
The one who lives in heaven laughs,
The master takes the piss out of them,
Then turns on them all angry and speaks
And makes them all "oh...shit" with his fury
"I, I put my King on Zion, my holy mountain"
Wanna know what he set?
He said
"You are my Son. I made you my Son. Today. Myself. Ask me, and I'll give you the nation's. Your inheritance, the ends of the earth will be yours. You'll smash them with an iron bar. Smashing up like a porcelain cup"
So, listen up kings
Be warned rulers of the earth
Worship the LORD with fear
Rejoice, but tremble
Kiss the son, in case he gets pissed off,
Because his fury can flare up in a moment
And all those people who find refuge in him,
They're happy

Psalm 1

Do you want to know who's happy?
The guy who isn't walking around getting advice from the wicked;
Who doesn't stand himself on the offender path,
Who isn't sitting down making plans with mockers, schemes with scoffers.
He is chasing though,
Chasing after the LORDs teaching.
You can hear him muttering it night and day as he reads.
That fella is like a tree near a good stream.
Nice ripe fruit,
Leaves that don't wither.
Whatever he's doing, he's doing alright.
Not the wicked but.
They are like dead grass husks
Blowing in the wind.
They won't stand up under judgement.
You won't have offenders standing  with the righteous.
Because God loves the way of the righteous.
The way of the wicked though?
It'll die off

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fear of verbatim

As part of a pastoral course we were required to do a verbatim. That is, we had to make a record of a pastoral conversation, then bring it in to be scrutinized by or peers.
The idea filled me with trepidation, but I couldn't quite tell why.
I brought in a fairly intense conversation from my workplace, though at the time of the conversation I felt fine about it. But after the verbatim I welled up tears, and a couple of hours later when my wife asked about it I was cagey and aggressive and then sobbed uncontrollably for some time.
I just figured out why.

Last year I had to report someone for covering allegations of abuse and for abusive behavior themselves. This person was always changing their story, always shifting..basically always lying. And so at the end there I got into the practice of trying to keep exact notes of our conversations..much like a verbatim.
Of course no one has an exact memory, and so as you make notes you are reconstructing the conversation. As you reconstruct, you are faced with the choice of remembering yourself in the best it worst light. In the abusive situation, I tended toward viewing myself in the worst light. I realize now that I did the same with the verbatim, portraying myself as the worst possible pastor, because who wants to construct themselves to look good?
And then there is the panel of your peers...who assess and judge the situation from outside,
Very much like the stressful situation of explaining yourself to a bishop/mediator/warden who doesn't seem inclined to believe claims of abuse.
So now I know... Verbatims trigger me... Not quite sure how I will get through another semester of them

Friday, November 7, 2014

I've been feeling spread a bit thin lately.
Doing two part-time ministry jobs. I crunched the numbers, and it made me realise why I'm feeling a bit thin.

2 Jobs...
5 days a week...
6 different talks/ teaching elements to prepare each week...
to present 8 times to 8-10 completely separate groups of people...
total pastoral responsibility for 350 people....
but only 50 are stable...
the others churn every 3 months...
so about 1250 people a year....
which means I can give each of you about 1.8 minutes of my time each week....

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ministry expectations

Miracles should be expected of the clergy, otherwise it may seem the job could be done without them

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I sit at my desk. (ie. A table at the local cafe).
I have my UBS 3 Greek new testament open. Bruce Metzger's textual commentary. Commentaries from longenecker, Hays, Silva, martyn. A big fat book of Doug Campbell. My laptop is open and receiving notes. My brow is furrowed in thought.

Someone taps me on the shoulder. A paishoner.
She smiles
"Just taking a break?"

I don't know what to say