Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Evolution of the Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge: Have some iced water thrown over you, give money to support research into Motor Neurone Disease, and nominate some other people.

Ice Bucket Challenge 2: After watching 14 video clips on Facebook, you now know about the Ice Bucket Challenge, but can you remember which charity it's in aid of?

Ice Bucket Challenge 3: You've been Iced. Will you remember to donate to charity?

Ice Bin-It Challenge: A bearded man throws some ice cream into a bin in a tent in a field. You are the BBC, can you turn this into a ratings winner and front-page news?

Nice Bouquet Challenge: You are a man, you want to buy your wife some flowers. Do you get some at the petrol station (cheap, convenient, sachet of that powdery stuff that's supposed to keep them alive), or a proper flower arranger (a what? more expensive, but more thoughtful). Or do you abandon the idea because making the right decision is too stressful?

Ice Bouquet Challenge: once you've bought the flowers, how do you make them last as long as possible? Tip: don't put them in the freezer. The wife can't see them and the flowers die.

House Pack-It Challenge: How many party donors can you get into the House of Lords without causing a national scandal? Quite a few it seems.

House Quit-It Challenge: You are a Tory MP. You have some sympathy with UKIP. You have even more sympathy with keeping your job. Your parliamentary seat is on the coast. Do you jump ship now and take a risk, or wait until Carswell wins and look like an unprincipled opportunist? Are you an unprincipled opportunist? Sorry, silly question, you're an MP.

Ice Baptism Challenge: You are a vicar in a suburban church who spends hours preparing for and doing baptisms for families you never see again. How might you show people, that baptism into Christian faith is a bit more demanding than showing up once in your life in a white bonnet, and cut your workload at the same time? Can you fit an ice machine into the vestry?

Ice Baptism Challenge 2: A fresh expression of church among the Inuit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Training your dog in evangelism

A friend has the maxim that, if he has a bright idea, he waits for at least 2 other people to come up with the same idea before doing anything about it......

Being out and about is vital as lots of life in Derwent is conducted out on the street so we got a dog, and it was brilliant to see the kind of 'God things' that happened as a result. Billy looks like a greyhound on steroids but he's actually a lurcher/Staffordshire bull terrier cross so he has got quite a lot of street cred because of his quite 'tough' appearance. When we first took him out for walks, people would say things like, 'Would you look at the muscle tone on that?!' The irony is that he wouldn't hurt a fly, but Billy's unconventional looks have certainly sparked many a chat we wouldn't otherwise have had. There are a number of neighbours we now count as friends through these haphazard conversations. (read the full story here)

and from a new book on sharing faith:
Some of their ideas are pretty quirky - like getting a dog just so you can chat to your neighbours when they happen to be in their garden - but the idea behind them is the same: to get talking to the people around us.
Their ideas are laid out in their new book from Moody Publishers - A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel. 
"Walk your dog when your neighbors are outside. Strike up conversations. Invite them over. No dog? Here's your chance to guilt trip your spouse into getting one," they write.  
There. You were thinking about getting a dog weren't you? Not that 'guilt tripping your spouse' is a great way to conduct your marriage, though I'm hoping that quote is tongue in cheek. 
It's also an ethical dilemma: how does a Christian (or any person for that matter) justify spending money on feeding, insuring, housing etc. a dog when there are human beings who have neither food or homes? 
I once did a research degree on a chap who declared that his dog was his spiritual director. It took me years for my attitude to our canine friends to recover, though now we own a dog, I can occasionally see what he was getting at, even though I disagree with just about everything else he said.