Showing posts from October, 2011

Martin Luther and a great sound

On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther, a German Roman Catholic priest and theologian, one of the key inspirators of the Protestant Reformation nailed his 95 thesis to the chapel door of the University in Wittenburg. In doing so he challenged the corrupt practices of the church of his day and called for debate on those issues. Some Protestant churches observe today as Reformation Day. The Church of England commemorates Martin Luther today.

So, remembering him, if you enjoy organ music, listen to this magnificent work based on Luther's hymn, 'Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott' (a mighty fortress is our God). Luther's original words are based on Psalm 46. Here is Willem van Twillert playing Max Reger's Phantasie uber den Choral, 'Ein Feste Burg is unser Gott', Opus 27 on the organ of Grote of Magdalena Church, Goes, The Netherlands. I love the way the organist needs not one but TWO stop pullers to assist him!

St Paul's, protest and reaction: a round-up

Here's a quick round-up of comments that have caught my eye or ear in the last few days, in relation to the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest and the behaviour of the church.3 days ago, after Giles Fraser's resignation as Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral (London) Dave Perry's post The Christian Church in an age of protest: no signals no hope? says (among much else worth reading) that Christianity is in tune with popular outrage at the economic and social chaos which the elites of the global banking and financial systems have brought down upon the masses worldwide. For the church to offer no signals and no hope at a time like this is just unforgiveable. It empties the gospel of meaning and reduces it to something vacuous, facile and futile.2 days ago, in Capitalism and the Church of England, Lay Anglicana's blog enjoys the irony of the fact that the address of the London Stock Exchange is Paternoster Square. (Pater Noster = Our Father, just in case your La…

Who Needs a Drink?

"Water can be art, or can be drink, it's up to you, but actually, we need water" is what Jose Carlos Norte has written about this image - an interesting comment about both water and art. I used this image on 14 October for my first #digidisciple post at The BIGBible Project. This was the first of a monthly series about women of the gospels. Here is what I wrote:
Welcome to the first of a monthly series: ‘Blogging Women of the Gospels’. Not that any woman  in the Gospels had a weblog,  but their remarkable stories still resonate with lives in the digital age. I begin with an unnamed woman fetching water – what millions of women still spend hours working at each day, leaving little time for much else, as this 34 second video from Water Aid highlights. As I turn on the tap and clean water fills my glass, it’s shocking that millions in today’s world don’t have that luxury. The story of a woman’s unexpected meeting with a man resting at Jacob’s Well  is also shocking.  He asked…


Water is such a precious commodity. People like me, with easy access to clean drinking water from a tap at homes, take it for granted most of the time. I never wonder if water will flow at the turn of the tap. I don't have to get up early and walk miles to the nearest supply, carrying heavy water containers home on my head, shoulder or back. The only time I have ever had to walk to fetch water is while camping and then it's been fun and only for a week or so and only across a field. 
It's shocking that about 1 in 8 of the world population do not have access to safe drinking water. Diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation result in about 4000 child deaths per day. If you want to help change this, have a look at Water Aid, an international non-governmental organisation with "a mission is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities". Water has been on my mind recently as I've thou…

A Commitment to Blogging

I don't have to blog. No-one is paying me to do so. It doesn't make any difference to whether or not I eat. I can write a post when I feel like it and have the time. When I don't I can just leave the blog alone for a few days or weeks. So why do it at all? Because I enjoy it. Even if no-one reads it I would probably still do it.

Now I've taken a new scary step in the blogging world. I've committed myself to posting on the 14th day of each month as a #digidisciple on the BigBibleProject. My focus is 'Blogging Women of the Gospels'.  There are some wonderful stories and they all resonate with experience of people today. Some things are timeless. When I listed them (including those without names) I was surprised how many there are. This could keep me busy for a long time!

My first #digidisciple post will be published on Friday 14 October at 2 pm. This is about an unnamed woman in John's Gospel who was  such a credible witness to Jesus that many come to belie…

Whoever has ears, let them hear!

I'm pleased to hear from the BBC that Lambeth Palace has confirmed that the Archbirshop of Canterbury's hoped-for meeting with President Mugabe of Zimbabwe is to go ahead. 

Yesterday Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury preached to 15,000 Anglicans in a sports stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe. His inspirational sermon was on the gospel of the day, Matthew's version of Jesus' parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22: 1-14). It included some very direct references to the suffering of the church in Zimbabwe and criticisms of Mugabe's regime.

Here is is the concluding section:
"Dear friend in Christ, you have given so much to the Church worldwide and to your neighbours in this great and troubled country. Day by day, you have to face injustice and the arrogance of 'false brethren' as St Paul would call them. You must often have prayed with the Psalmist, 'We have been treated with so much contempt. We have been mocked too long by the rich and scorned by prou…

Thanks: a Round-up

Yesterday I promised a round-up of some bloggers who have helped me on my way, challenged or amused me. There really are too many to list or thank, but here are 5 for now. Please do not be offended if you think I should have included you. I'm grateful to you all, especially those who write the blogs I regularly follow. You can see the list towards the bottom of the right-hand sidebar. Many, many thanks.

That "snapper-up of unconsidered trifles" Autolycus was one of the first people to comment on my blog when it was a baby. Thanks to Autolycus and the link in his post Belgium Invades I now know what Rockall looks like. This huge rock (tiny island) was just a name in the shipping forecast before. This post includes a video clip of the brilliant Flanders and Swan with their song 'Rockall'. Autolycus regularly posts excellent photos with well-written comments, mostly London based and with an eye for the unusual.

The Beaker folk of Husborne Crawley blog often makes me l…

Missed marking the 200th Post

Yesterday's post was the 200th published on this blog. So this is number 201. Not many in 2 years and 5 months - not compared with people who regularly blog daily. But more than I thought I'd manage when I cautiously began blogging back in May 2009.  

I'm annoyed I missed marking the 200th post in some celebratory way yesterday. I blame my house keys - they decided to get lost. (Yes, it must be their fault. It couldn't possibly be mine, could it?) So I blogged about lost keys instead. A comment on that post suggested I should change the blog name to 'Finder' but I'm sticking to Seeker. The reason I chose that name is still important to me. You can find the explanation on my 'About' Page. To save you time, here is what I wrote there:

"Why is this blog called Seeker?I chose the name when I started blogging as a complete novice in 2009. I've stuck with it. It fits. A saying of Jesus I find challenging is "Seek first the kingdom of God and h…

Lost Keys

Do you hate losing things? I do. Today I lost my house keys. I've tried every technique:

retracing my stepsaccusing my husband of pocketing themlooking in the places where they should belooking again where they should belooking in unlikely places - the fridge, the washing machine, in the bed, the laundry basket etc.looking again in unlikely placerelaxing with a cup of tea hoping for inspirationhaving another cup of teaforgetting about them and working on a sermonforgetting about them and blowing paint across paper with a straw (watercolour technique)praying to find them (yes - my last resort in this case!)contacting some other peoplegiving up and writing this post instead
Professor Solomon boasts of having an 'amazing method' for finding lost objects, based on his 'Twelve Principles':

Don't look for it.It's not lost - you are.Remember the 3 C'sIt's where it's supposed to be.Domestic Drift.You're looking Right at it.The camouflage effect.Think b…

Francis of Assisi

Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone (1181 - 1226 A.D.), one-time rebellious rich young man who didn't get on with his father, is better known as St Francis of Assisi, a Friar and Founder of the Friars Minor.

His commemoration is today.

You can read his story here or here.

Here is one of his best loved prayers:

Canticle of the Sun
Most high, most-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, honour and blessings. To you alone, Most High, do they belong; no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
We praise you, Lord, for all Your creatures, especially for Brother Sun who is the day through whom you give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour, of you most High he bears Your likeness.
We praise You, Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars, in the heaven You have made them bright, precious and fair.
We praise you, Lord, for Brothers Wind and Air, fair and stormy, all weathers moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.
We praise you, Lord, for Sister Water, so us…

Top Ten for September 2011

Here are the 10 Most Read Posts in the last month according to Google statistics for this blog. These aren't the posts I would have chosen, but it seems these got visited the most.

Saying Sorry Isn't Enough was posted in July 2011. I say it isn't enough because it needs to be part of a process. These thoughts were triggered by Rupert Murdoch's 'We are Sorry' advert in UK national newspapers following the News of the World scandal.

What we British Really Meanposted in  May 2011 is about how saying what you mean doesn't always mean people will understand what you mean. It includes a helpful Anglo-EU translation guide for common British phrases such as 'very interesting' which can be taken to mean 'they are impressed' but really means 'that is clearly nonsense'.

Forgive How Often? posted in March 2011 is about Peter's question to Jesus about how often he should forgive his brother. Is 7 times enough? Peter thought that was a lot. Jesus…