It was thirty years ago today!

Well, yesterday actually …

Here I am, sipping champagne & orange juice, left over from yesterday’s breakfast, when we celebrated the Pearl Jubilee of my parents getting married.

Pc280290_2                         Such a cute couple, aren’t they?

BB Resquiat in Pace

As we all probably know by now, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated yesterday.  I’ve been reading through the comments on the BBC website’s Have Your Say thread, and it’s quite revealing as to the state of people around the world.  Some shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Well, that’s what Islam seems to specialise in’, others raise their fists in anger at the West for the destabilising effect it has had on the region, and others just argue with the ones that said something else.

When things like this happen, I’d prefer to mourn.  We have such a fun time in Britain, predicting the outcome of the (2009?) election, basically because we have an underlying assumption that our political leaders will survive that long.  In such a situation, I wonder what I’d do: probably keep my head down and delegate the decision-making to someone else.  Poor Pakistan.

Also, what would I think if I was a Muslim?  If I had been brought up to believe that my brothers and sisters in Islam are living in a way that is (nearest to) the solution to the world’s problems, by now I would be getting more cynical by the day – there’s only so much you can blame on an extremist minority.  That’s why I feel sorry for Muslims just now.

I guess (due to our glorious history), Christians have had to chew this sort of stuff over for centuries – I hope we have been anyway.  For most of the Christians I know, dealing with our violent/crap heritage is just part of the story now, and in many ways that can be quite helpful.  It’s helpful for me, anyway.

In one of our tea-drinking sessions the other week (with Maria, Tom, & Clare), we were talking about how you only really have the right to criticise something if you are part of it – ie. I can criticise the Church, because I’m part of it; because it is me.  This means that I tend to be very open and even-handed when talking about people with whom I do not share beliefs, whilst being quite stinging about Christendom, but I realised that that’s because I love it and care about it too much to not have strong opinions.  I’d say that this is why I can’t point fingers at Muslims (or Pakistanis) – they aren’t me.  My job is to mourn.

Advent Reading #4

Town …

                   Oh holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in – be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels, the great, glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us, O Lord, Emmanuel

And was Jerusalem builded here?

Dartmoor_prison This is Dartmoor Prison – almost the epitomy of ‘dark satanic mills’ as far as looks are concerned – and tomorrow I get to go inside!

It’s been nearly 3 years since I first got asked to go and ‘do something’ in a jail, but it’s never happened.  Tomorrow, it will.

As a treat – and by way of a Christmas present for the poor lonely souls who vacate this page of mine – I thought I’d give you a copy of the song I’ll probably be singing tomorrow.

Here it is: Download 08_my_fathers_eyes.m4a

[recorded at the Factory years ago, with my friend Rami from Egypt on violin …]

Advent Reading #3

    Abraham was the father of Isaac,
         Isaac the father of Jacob,
         Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
         Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
         Perez the father of Hezron,
         Hezron the father of Ram,
         Ram the father of Amminadab,
         Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
         Nahshon the father of Salmon,
         Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
         Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
         Obed the father of Jesse,
          and Jesse the father of King David.

     David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
         Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
         Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
         Abijah the father of Asa,
         Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
         Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
         Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
         Uzziah the father of Jotham,
         Jotham the father of Ahaz,
         Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
         Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
         Manasseh the father of Amon,
         Amon the father of Josiah,
          and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers
          at the time of the exile to Babylon.

    After the exile to Babylon:
         Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
         Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
         Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
         Abiud the father of Eliakim,
         Eliakim the father of Azor,
         Azor the father of Zadok,
         Zadok the father of Akim,
         Akim the father of Eliud,
         Eliud the father of Eleazar,
         Eleazar the father of Matthan,
         Matthan the father of Jacob,
          and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary …

                         … of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.