Went to bed extremely late last night for the complete and utter wrong reason, I was too tired. Maybe it’s happened to you, you’re ready for bed and you just sit down and have a wee flick through what’s on, before you know it it’s half past two and you can’t bring yourself to move. It is bad, it is very bad, and wrong and I repent from it, genuinely. Because late nights mean waking up in the afternoon, which means missing out on the little sunlight we get this time of year and loads of other joyful things that are to be found in the day! The verse is found in Romans 13:12-13…
So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime.
I had a walk with jonblog two days ago, we walked across some rocks for a good mile to the next coast which is called Clarach, then walked back through a forest. It was delightful. Do read all about it on his blog. I’ll have him know that the shoes are from Store21 and not Matalan, the cheek.
My Father will be pleased to know that I’ve got some use out of the ukulele he got me for Christmas, not that I’ve played anything profound, but O’Hara taught me how to play that song by Noah and the Whale that sounds good on ukulele. It’s a word I only recently learned how to spell, after a particularly difficult round of gnilleps during New Years Cranium session – I thought it was spelled ukelele, school boy error.
A book that was first recommended to me by a certain tie wearing champion and then recommended — via a facebook status — to me by Soli Deo Gloria is called Today’s Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic. I started reading it this week, it’s very short, but I’ve found it extremely helpful. When I think about evangelism I have these preconceived ideas about how to do it, and most of them are quite removed from biblical methods.
Chantry takes the example of a story I never really got, the one where — in my mind — it goes like this… a nice enthusiastic guy, eager to learn runs up to Jesus and respectfully calls him “good teacher” then asks how to get to heaven. It seems like the evangelism opportunity of our dreams, perfect on every level! But Jesus wastes it, by not even answering his question and being picky about his choice of words “why do you call me good? Only God is good.” Then going on about The Ten Commandments and then worst of all says he should sell everything he owns! It really does seem ridiculous.
But Mr. Chantry explains the incident so clearly, and it has completely changed the way I think about how I evangelise, and the way Christians are encouraged to do it these days and the way they talk about it. Jesus firstly wants him to know who God is, the man called him a good teacher, which is what we hear people today calling Jesus a lot, but he wasn’t just a good teacher, he was — and is — GOD!
Secondly Jesus shows him the law, it’s not too hard to get someone to admit they’re not perfect, we all know that, but that’s not going to break their hearts to the extent in which they feel they should turn to God. What can move them is God’s law, they need to know they’ve broken God’s law.
Thirdly, repentance. People are often told to ‘make a decision’ for Christ, but in the Bible, that term is never used, people need to turn around from their sins to come to God.
Fourthly, we need to be preaching faith, faith in God’s son, repentance and faith are Siamese twins. I haven’t read the last two chapters, but they are assurance of acceptance from God and dependence upon God. Christians today need to know this stuff!
I’m off to Morrisons this afternoon, they had the ingenious slogan ‘more reasons to shop at Morrisons’ which on the surface of it doesn’t sound that clever, but it sticks in your mind because it sort of rhymes. Listen… ‘morreesons to shop at morreesons’ my Dad pointed that out to me, very clever.
Another successful supermarket campaign involving rhyming for me is the CoOp – ‘good with food’ again on paper, doesn’t sound that great, but the Scottish guy on the advert saying it? Transformation… “The Cohohperrativ… Gud with Fud.” I can’t see the slogan without saying it in my head.
I should go into advertising, because I think I know what works. For example the current Stephen Merchant Barclays adverts, he’s managed to get me looking up from whatever distraction I have (book or laptop) during the adverts, to hear him humorously talk about current account financial packages, very clever. He will often comment on the fact that there are some ‘unconvincing metaphors’ about in this advert, which gets him on our side, whilst also placing us in opposition to any other bank advert which uses elaborate illustrative techniques to get us to use their banks.
Tesco mobile adverts, also very clever, they start off like a lot of adverts do these days, bright scene, pretty white woman, maybe in a forest or lying down on some grass or on a cloud speaking to the camera: ‘I want to live in a world where I communicate with everybody‘ etc. We are drawn in but not convinced because it doesn’t mean anything. Then an average looking fellow with a regional accent comes onto the screen and tells us he just wants something simple. Brilliant! That’s what we all want! You’re our friend Tesco! You’re not, I know you’re not.
Finally, my favourite advert at the moment is the one for something which can’t be that good because I can’t remember the name of the company or what they do, but it involves a narrative between two toasters, it’s a stroke of genius.