Thursday, June 04, 2009

Guest Blog: On Blogging

I tried my hand at ‘blogging’ (short for web log, like a diary on the world wide web) on the Dromore Cathedral website a while back and must say I enjoyed the experience and was never short of something to say. Each night I wrote down my thoughts and experiences as I reflected on my day. I must say though, although I do enjoy ‘surfing’, for me the news on the web however will never replace the newspaper which leaves your fingers grubby and is full of little snippets and which you can pore over and then use to light the fire

The trouble with the world wide web is exactly that, it’s worldwide and is very largely unregulated. Before the ‘fame’ of being a ‘blogger’ went to my head, I’m glad I still read newspapers. A journalist writing in one newspaper put it quite bluntly saying that anyone can go on line and “regurgitate bile into the blogsphere”. His main comment was this, “Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t mean you have to give it to people.” It made me think, what is the difference between my opinions, which I write for you to read, and all the bile?

I always endeavour earnestly that everything I write for anyone to read is based on the Bible. I believe in the Bible, in the promises it contains, promises made by God. I’ll share an opinion shall I? It would be my opinion, based on observation, that the world around me will offer me nothing but empty promises. Again, in my opinion, looking to the ‘real’ world, the ‘fly on the wall’, for guidance on how to live my life gives me the latest reality TV ‘stars’ as role models, makes me spend more than I can afford, unhappy with the body I have and so forth. In fact, one sure way to be unhappy with every area of my life these days would be to be unduly influenced by the world wide web and listen solely to opinions.

At the beginning of the month I was involved with planning an open air worship event in Dromore Square, billed as a cross community event to close Dromore’s Civic Week. No pressure there then! And so I prayed for help. Here it was, on the face of it, my big chance to say what I wanted, and my opinions about what people in Dromore should hear. It was cross community, so no just lifting readings out of the Church of Ireland Book of Common Prayer. Yes Easter could have been a theme, but, no. I had my own ideas, my opinions, but no. And so I prayed, and my friends prayed and the Cathedral prayed.

On the Thursday before the event I was in Liverpool airport, returning from a meeting and was irritated when my return flight was delayed and to top it off my mobile was out of charge. It was a late flight, and so the airport was relatively quiet. I found a quiet spot, and decided to make the most of the time. Now this is quite unlike me as I’m usually huffing and puffing and tutting over a delay, but as I sat over a bite of supper, again unlike me, I felt such a calmness descend on me. Most of the mechanics of the worship were in place, but I still had nothing apart from my own opinions to say. For some reason, my little eating spot remained empty with the revellers at the hen and stag parties at the other end of the airport.

I sat in a calm ‘heavenly bubble’. God had watched over me for days, weeks, putting people in my path, but now it was time to talk to me. I sat with a blank piece of paper and a New Testament in front of me and wrote four words. “WHAT DOES GOD WANT?” What did God want for Dromore Square on Sunday 10th May 2009 at 3.30pm? Was there one particular person He would speak to, were there many? From that moment I had such a focus and I soon had a full A4 page of notes for what was only going to be one Bible reading and a few accompanying words. The rest was up to me and He would watch over us all.

In my opinion, what I said in the Square is worth repeating and I’ll close with this.
I read a passage found in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20. “One Body, Many Parts.”
“The body is a unit, though it is made of many parts: and though all it’s parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”

And I said. “A church is not a building with walls and a ceiling. A church is the people inside the building. You are the church.”

(PS In case you wondered, my opinions and what God wanted me to say, were on this occasion really very similar)

This article was contributed by Mrs McF, and also appeared in Dromore Cathedral Parish Post June 2009 edition.

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