Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my readers a very merry Christmas. I'll be visiting family for the next ten days so won't be posting here. I'll also be playing with my Christmas present - an iPad! Hope you have also have a blessed time. See you in 2012.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Reflection : There should be more dancing

This book provides some interesting insights into growing old. Margery wants to continue living in her own home until she dies but her failing health meant others were pressurizing her into moving to a place where she could be cared for.

The fact is we will all grow old. If we don't make decisions regarding our living arrangements while we can, then others will eventually make them for us. And they may be decisions we don't like. For Margery, at the end of the book, she ended up with a reasonable compromise, but for how long? If her health continues to slide will she be forced to move?

Other insights Margery provides into old age, were the comforts of routines, the ordinary and the predictable. While we are young we enjoy the challenges of change and variety but when we aged we find comfort in the familiar. But we can't inflict this restriction on the young. Mostly Margery did this well. While she disagreed with many of her children's decisions she rightly kept her opinions to herself.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review : There should be more dancing

There should be more dancing is a mildly amusing story by Rosalie Ham about old age. The main character is Margery Blandon, a woman of strong principles but rather naïve. She is an elderly widow who has lived in the same house for decades with mostly the same neighbours. Consequently everyone knows a great deal too much about everyone else. Margery has three adult children who have not turned out as well as she had hoped. Although she cares deeply for them, she rarely shows it in ways her children appreciate.

Rosalie Ham cleverly shows two sides to Margery’s character. The unemotional apparently nonchalant side that Margery’s friends and children experience and the internal side where she is a caring mother who grieves the loss of her twin sister who died when Margery was young.

Rosalie writes in an easy to read, enjoyable style and manages to keep the reader guessing as to what Margery’s future holds, which turns out to be rather an anti-climax but completely realistic. The story explores the long term effects of unresolved grief and loss in childhood which leaves ongoing repercussions in Margery’s life.

While there was nothing particularly startling in the story, it was well written enjoyable tale.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What I've been reading...

During the week I have been reading Matthew Jacoby's writings on Genesis. I found his thoughts, based on Genesis 12:2 in regard to Abram becoming a great nation quite interesting:

God promises to make Abram into a great nation. This nation would be the nation of Ancient Israel who would indeed be great. However their greatness would be of a particular type. For in terms of political strength they would never be anything like the great empires of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome...But the Jewish people would leave a legacy that would change the world. Though they would not be the most politically powerful nation they would certainly be one of the most influential nations the world has ever seen. Their ideas, inherited through divine revelation, would shape world history more than the ideas of any other people group.

God fulfills his promises but often not in the way we expect.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Devotional Thought : Acts 13:36-37

For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. Acts 13:36-37

God chooses to use people to do the many different tasks that he wants completed. God doesn’t have to use people. After all he could have created robots or puppets but rather he gives us the privilege of being involved in his plans. Since God’s plans are eternal we are involved in something that has lasting significance. We can “leave our mark” on the world by being connected to the One with who has already left, and continues to leave, His mark on the world.

The tasks God gives us are not impossible. In this chapter we read that “As John was completing his work...” (v.25) and “David had served God’s purpose in his own generation” (v.36). John the Baptist and David completed the tasks God gave them to do. Vastly different tasks but both God initiated tasks. Not always done perfectly, David made many mistakes in his personal life. Yet God looked at his heart and said, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do” (v.22).

John the Baptist had moments of doubt. He testified that Jesus was the Son of God, “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me…” (John 1:32-34). However later he was not so sure: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3). Yet ultimately John completed the task God gave him.

Likewise, we can complete the tasks God gives us.

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