Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bad blogger

I am a bad blogger- I know. Facebook has taken over for me. I have it on my Blackberry so it is really easy to update. Besides I don't really have anything useful to say in a blog. I am not a very deep person and I don't articulate what thoughts I do have very well. Ally and John, Wiggy and Phil, these guys know how to blog. They have depth and they write out of it, whereas I just ramble. Like I am doing right now. Sorry.

However, I have friends and family across Ireland and further a field who like me to blog so that they can keep up with my busy life of ministry and mayhem. So I will endeavour to try harder to blog.

News on the Baby front, is that there is still no sign of Peanut coming out. Poor Rebecca is exhausted, not sleeping, carrying a huge bump around. It is hard to watch. Pregnancy is a funny thing, it highlights the glory of femininity while it completely immasculates the male. Here I am a big tough weightlifting rugby playing man and my little wife is struggling, is heading into labour where she will undergo huge amounts of pain and challenge and me...well I can do nothing to help her, I just have to sit by and watch. I feel useless, completely stripped of my ability as a man...actually maybe pregnancy is a bit like the church... this leads me to my next point!

So one of the buzz conversations at the moment is around the church and it's huge sway towards the feminine and as a result men don't like going to church. Check out Wiggy's blog for a more indepth evaluations. I actually read a book 'Why men hate going to church' by Dave Murrow about 6 months ago. I played around with this idea for a I not like going to church because it is more geared up for women, with its soft emotive worship and it's safety etc etc.

So a few months later here are my thoughts. Even the best church is at best slightly relevent to real life! I don't know if I believe that there two simple 'inities!' as in, this is masculine and this is feminine. For example if you believe this, then John Eldrige paints the picture of a real man, loving adventure and risk and climbing mountains and wrestling with bears and smoking cigars. Actually most of this stuff does not appeal to me at all. I love going to the gym, putting on my cycling shorts and doing a spin class with a load of other lycra clad individuals. Does this mean I am feminine? My conclusion is that men don't like church because we have become lazy and can't be assed, not really anything to do with the 'DNA' of the church. Because even if church involved wearing camouflage, doing paintball worship, climbing mountains and wwf style preachers like Todd Wam Bam Bentley we would get fed up with that. Because we are programmed as Post Moderns to challenge the norm, to want the new thing and to put ourselves first. Actually a better book on all this is 'The McDonaldization of the Church' by John Drane. The problem with the church is that we are in it! Anyway that's my rant over...

A while ago, actually a year ago I posted on things I hope to do before I turn 30. Sadly, this is now less than a year away. I am scared and slightly depressed about that. I have this huge fear of getting old and having done nothing for God. I actually live most of my life out of this huge fear of failure in relation to God. I probably need some counselling. Anyway here is a wee update on some of the things I had set out to do.

  1. Get fit: well this last year I have trained my butt off...quite literally. I have been pounding away on my spin bike at the gym and I have successfully kicked off 3 stone in the last year. I have got down from 16.5 to 13.5 stone. I am chuffed about this but more chuffed about building the discipline into my life. I leave my house every morning at 5.45 to go to the gym. Getting up early is amazing. I find by the time I get to my desk at 8.30 I am awake, alive and pumped for the day ahead. Sadly I have become addicted to spinning and I hope to take my instructors course in the Autumn and start teaching classes.

  2. Travel: I said I wanted to travel more. So in the past year I travelled around the world with Becs and our friends Johnny and Susanna. I was in Calgary preaching with Pete Morrison and I was in Moscow with Malcolme J from YFCEE. I am not gonna get to travel much in this incoming year but I am hoping if I can save some money...a first...that maybe Rebecca and I could go to New York for a few days for my 30th.

  3. Ministry: I also set out to preach more in the run up to my 30th year. I used to preach every week but then I had taken a year off to get settled in Emmanuel. When I started preaching again I had lost my confidence so in the past year I have tried to take more dates on and try to find a rythmn again with the Word. So in the past year I have taken 6 or 7 Weekend Teaching events across NI and 1 in Canada and then in around 20 churches and around 20 youth groups. I am starting back to Bible College, one day a week in September to take my ministerial/pastor training with the Irish Baptist College for the next four years. I am hoping that this really adds depth and experience to my preaching and hopefully I will mature into a wise and able communicator.

I have had a few other personal targets, some are going well, some not so well. But life is a journey. A couple of things I am thinking about, are deep thoughts that others have spoken into my life that are helpfully transforming me as I try to figure out there application in my life...

  • "Think of your life in decades...figure out what God wants you to do for the next ten years" Brian Heasley (24/7 at True/Emmanuel). As I approach 30 I am feeling the challenge of this almost daily. God what do you want me to do for the next ten years? Could I ask you a favour? If you have identified gifts or ability in me or if you could advise me..would you comment on the blog or email me and let me know? Please! Proverbs 20 Verse 5 says "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out" I love this picture... my heart and my dreams are like a well and I need some wise people to reach down with a bucket and pull some stuff out...

  • "Think of a country and ask God to give you it...and if a country is to big a city, pray for a city and ask God for it and if a city is too big a church and find what fits you and give your life to it" Graham Wylie, Roscommon (Church planter/Apostle). Graham shared this with Alain Emerson and I as we travelled around Ireland in the Axiom van. It has messed me up big time. At this moment I lead a national ministry, in other words I have a country...but if I am honest it feels to big for me

So...that's where I am at and throw into that our little baby due anyday now...these are exciting, scary, challenging this what it means to live by faith?


charlie said...

Good to hear from you Mr McCready. I love a considered blog post... sounds like you've been brewing over these things a fair bit.