1. December 25, 2013 – January 18, 2014
2. Gen. 2:7 “Then YHWH God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the spirit of life—and the man became a living soul.” What does it mean to be human? Ask the question of Genesis 1-2.
3. Granny & her wisdom.
4. Discovered the book Peter Pan on a shelf. Read it all at once yesterday. Delighted! My Christmas gift from God. Themes: Childhood/Adulthood/Motherhood/Time/Maturity/Growing-Up/Imagination/Adventure/Employment/Absent Fathers/Fairy (Faerie)
5. Absent Fathers
i. Notable by comparison with emphasis on *motherhood* as perfectly personified (& successfully passed down generations) in Mrs Darling and Wendy (perhaps not Jane, but by this point the author is merely using her as stock character to seal point about the ‘heartlessness of children’)
ii. Combined with this we see the contrast between Wendy (successfully mothered by Mrs Darling to be a mother) and Peter & the Lost Boys – who display total resistance to the idea of growing up.
iii. Even the Red Indian leader is a girl: Tiger Lily.
This causes us to look for possible FATHER figures:
a) First, we note that *Peter Pan* — although in Wendy’s eyes a potential Father (and in Tiger Lily’s! “she wants to be more to me than a mother…”) – has no intention or in fact capability of being a father; leaving us with
b) *Hook* & the pirates, whose violence – indeed evil – is depicted vividly. Perhaps Hook is not entirely merciless for the pathetic Smee does make him cry – but i. when the children come into his imprisonment, there is no sign of fatherly tenderness; ii. his leadership of the other pirates is not fatherly but rather lonely & tyrannical — & it emerges that Hook himself is fatherless, raised by a British boarding school which has taught him nothing (apparently) but the need for ‘good form’.
& c) *Mr Darling*. Apparently Mrs Darling’s counterpart but in no way her equal (and so he cannot have the ‘kiss on the corner of her mouth’). Mr Darling is too ‘serious’ for adventure, & too stupid to be respected. It is his fault that the children are stolen away – because of the hypocrisy with Michael’s medicine, and the idiocy of his ‘trick’ subsequently. And his reaction – to live in the doghouse (an idiom taken literally, another eg. of his idiocy) is absurd and ineffective.
— However, the book seems to come to the conclusion that better Mr Darling’s hypocritical self-serious stupidity than the grown-up heartlessness of the pirates. And poor parent though Mr Darling may be, still he reproduces himself in John (for better or worse!) And as Nevertheless, one is left with a sharp sense of sadness at the incompleteness we are left with. If only we had some idea of what a true FATHER might look like!
+ The NeverBird as well: personified mother, no father. And Peter describes himself as ‘a bird’ (to Hook) – but the tragedy is that he is not, he is a “boy” who is “crying”. And the story demonstrates that the reason he is crying is not merely that he doesn’t have a mother (for this Wendy can be—though ultimately ineffectively) but that he doesn’t have a father.
++ And here we lay our theological cards on the table and say that rather than his spiteful fairy (who turns out to be dispensable and easily forgotten by Peter), he needs a *father* who is in fact God.
6. Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush. Grandpa’s Favourite Poem.( http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/darkling-thrush)
7. Christmas videos:
WestJet’s Santa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk
SPAM An Unexpected Christmas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM1XusYVqNY
8. Seth Godin’s books.
9. Joni Erickson Tada.
10. Interview with writer of BBC’s Nativity: http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2010/11_november/26/nativity2.shtml
11. William Blake, “To see a world in a grain of sand…”
12. “Stop just reading the Bible and learn to hear My voice. I’m calling you to be a Prophet-to-the-Nations, and not just a biblical commentator.”
13. My rip’ning bride brought me orange juice to wake me from my slumber.
14. I want to understand the chronology of the NT, the implication of different perspectives of when what was written. I want to understand the prophets and the return from the exile.
15. Starting to put up all our old prayer-letters online.
16. “I am a YWAM leader”.
17. “Stick a geranium in your hat and be happy! Joy is not an option for a Christian—it’s not an emotion, but a decision.”
18. “Put your hand into the hand of God—that will be safer than any light…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gate_of_the_Year)
19. People should be loved, things should be used. The world is in chaos because things are loved, and people are used.
20. Granny embodies the value of STEWARDSHIP.
21. Blog Idea: Against ‘Authenticity’. (For Transparency, Vulnerability, Finitude, Mystery, Contingency, Humility).
22. “If there’s nothing you’re willing to die for, you’re going to live bored”.
23. The King of Kong: Documentary about Donkey Kong arcade game world-record breaker.
24. The key to being fascinating is to be fascinated. (“But you must recognise the ‘sweet spot of moderation’”) This is why irresistible Christianity must be fascinated with the beauty of an irresistible God.
25. Word for the year: ‘Fatherhood’.
26. Matthew 1 in the ESV repeats ‘was the father of’ thirty-eight times. What is a *father*? More than simply a ‘begetter’. A father is a strong protector, a wise counsellor, a bountiful provider, an enthusiastic coach, a prepared planner, a fair judge, a loving parent, an eventual friend.
27. Matthew’s scandalous women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, ‘the wife of Uriah’, & Mary.
28. 3×14 generations => emphasises Mary as distinct generation.
29. Hearing God’s voice in the Christmas story.
30. Hearing God’s voice the key to righteous fatherhood. “Joseph, being a righteous man…” The challenge of being the human father of God the Father’s eternal Son. How does he do it? He’s open to hearing God’s voice. Lives in context of righteousness. He “knew her not until…” Sexual self-control essential for a righteous man/husband/father.
31. The Star of Bethlehem. Bethlehemstar.net. Star alignment or comet?
32. A confusion of Herods:
Herod the Great (the king) Matt. 2:1
Herod Archelaus (the ethnarch) Matt. 2:22
Herod Antipas (the tetrarch) Luke 3:1
The Herod’s family tree…
33. ‘You shall call his name Jesus’
The common-ness of the name Jesus (Matt. 27:16-17; Acts 13:6; Col. 4:11
The difficulty & significance of naming a child
34. Biblos and communication technology.
35. Comparing the genealogy with 1 Chronicles. ‘From David to Jechoniah there are 14 generations’ – if you skip four?? What does this mean?
36. ‘This was to fulfil…’ Messianic prophecy or shamelessly manipulated proof-texting?
Isaiah 7:14 Consider similarities & differences between Mahar-Shalal-Hash-Baz & Emmanuel; + “a sign deep as the grave or high as heaven” 7:11. Multiple echoes of the one prophetic truth.
Micah 5:2. Straightforward (1 Sam 16 => David is from Bethlehem), but therefore doubt as to truth of Bethlehem birth. L&M both witness to it, but very differently.
Hosea 11:1 cf. Numb. 23:22, 24:7-8, 24:17. Again multiple echoes…
Jeremiah 31:15 Consider context – 31:31 is the New Covenant.
37. Matt. 1:18-2:23
-Hearing God’s Voice
-Abstinence, Chastity & Righteousness
-Confusion of Herods
-Call him Jesus
-Star of Bethlehem
-Messianic prophecies or manipulated prooftexts
-A political Christmas
-Gift-giving & the Magi
38. Matt. 3:1-17
-John the Baptist
-Children of Abraham
-Glimpse of the Trinity
39. Matt. 4:1-11
-Word of God
40. Last year
An accidental fire-work
foolishly forgotten beside the fire’s flickering flames
was set alight, struck by a stray spark,
and exploded into deadly action
knocking my beloved to the ground
–but I caught her in my arms…
41. Huge amount of out-of-copyright video at archive.org
42. “The balloon dog is eternally optimistic”
43. “My desire is that the people who know me the best, respect me the most”.
44. You have permission to pray loudly—don’t let your wife steal that from you.
45. Ps.126 #daretodream
46. “We supplant the God who is able to do immeasurably more than our right brain can imagine, with an idol who fits within the logical constraints of our left brain”.
47. Financial goals:
Be debt-free. Know exactly what we’re spending where. Be able to buy unlimited books and top-range technology. Be investing in ethical businesses whose mission you believe in. Own houses. Backwards tithe. Offer financial advice. Be good stewards. Live economically. Be supported by 1000+ people’s regular gifts. Live very simply—know what we own and why. Always pay the bill at restaurants. Have vision beyond our resources.
48. I am fighting for the purity of my generation.