Friday, January 26, 2007

spring is round the corner

after a long absence, i saw a blackbird in our neighbours' garden yesterday. today i saw a pair of blue tits. i have filled the bird feeder with fresh seeds in anticipation of spring.

Friday, January 12, 2007

covenant thoughts

do we have an imagination adequate for covenant? or has our image of covenant been so eroded by today's stories that we can no longer even drum up the energy to imagine a world where faithfulness is a virtue, and keeping a promise is honourable?

so instead we have a tarnished and tin-plate concept of relationship: something to furtively strip-mine whatever we can lay our hands on before proper disposal (or, nowadays, recycling).

covenant thoughts - god and us (because he started it all!)

god has covenanted to be with us. we cannot grasp this. in his presence a small, but significant, part of us gibbers in primeval fear that, this time, we really have blown it and, this time, he will reject us. we conceal, rather than reveal, ourselves because we cannot imagine that we could be in a relationship in which 'rejection' and 'divorce' are not viable options.

yet we fail to keep our part of the covenant if we hide. covenant requires us to present ourselves to god - dirty, fearful, deceitful as we may be. our responsibility is to take him at his word.

covenant thoughts - marriage (because maybe my feeble imagination can comprehend something of my relationship with god through my relationship with my wife?)

i have several responsibilities in my covenant relationship with mrs hope. one in particular has recently struck me with it's importance: my duty to disclose my baggage to my covenant partner. not for my sake, but for our sake.

in resolving to be open about my baggage with mrs hope, i enable us to reinforce our commitment to one another. i will not go elsewhere with my baggage. mrs hope will not reject me. separation is not an option. by being open with each other we declare we will work through anything and everything no matter what.

covenant thoughts - church (because god uses the metaphor of marriage for his relationship with the church - why can't we?)

what if we committed to one church community for life? what if we gave up our supposed right to ourselves as individuals (or individual families) and joined ourselves to a church community for life? what if all major life decisions were evaluated, from an interdependent viewpoint, with our church community?

what would it say to the world about covenant? about relationships? about courage? about sacrifice, the meaning of success, or living life to the full? about contentment, the 'poverty' of finiteness, self-control? and what would it require from us?
all done

finally finished my links. i have used a section of code which needed adaption for my site - you may have noticed the code was even in use whilst unamended for a short period of time.

no more changes for a while now.

Friday, January 05, 2007

almost done

finished the tweaks for the moment. have only my links to include, but would like (somehow) to have them unobtrusively tucked in, rather than dominating the page like last time. don't have anything meaningful to say, just posting in sheer satisfaction of the latest changes. that's alright, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


moved my blog from the old blogger to the new (google-powered) blogger. a few teething problems getting comments up and running but seems to be okay now.

i'll get my links (and all the other gubbins) back up soon.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

bathing pigeons

grubby street pigeons bathe in the oddest places. but do they look quite amusing when, feathers a-ruffled, they're ducking, shuffling, and squabbling for space in a muddy puddle. and then there's always the question of how do they stand washing in freezing cold water in midwinter (and lately: how dirty do pigeons get in order to feel clean after bathing in a puddle)?

mrs hope keeps a glass of water on the bedside table. not just a tumbler of water, but a pint of water. she normally asks me to fill it up just before i get into bed, so if she is thirsty during the night, she has a full pint to reach for.

about six weeks ago, she had some surgery on her ankle to repair an old sports injury. her immediate instructions for convalescence were for her to be confined to her bed, with her ankle elevated, and immobilised, at all times. these she kept to the letter, despite the increasing frustration of effectively being restricted to lying on her back 24 hours a day. combined with the pain in her ankle, she was unable to sleep deeply at night, and so dozed for snatches of ten minutes or so before she shifted fruitlessly for a more comfortable position.

on one night, about 2.30am, she happened to wake thirsty. reaching for the glass of water by her bed, she slaked her thirst and sank back in a doze. she re-woke with start, remembering she had not yet replaced the glass on the bedside table, and poured half a pint of freezing cold water over me, previously deeply asleep and cosy in the bed next to her.

i did my best to be gracious, considering the circumstances, but i imagine i looked quite like a bathing pigeon.