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Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Husborne Crawley Sexagesima Massacre

No idea what that was all about. Drayton Parslow came round earlier and challenged us to a paintball contest.  Told me he was only bringing the men from the Bogwulf Baptists.

So I put out the fourth XI. Last I heard, Drayton was tied to a tree and being pelted with onions.

Next time, he really needs to put Marjory in the team. I saw her chase a squad of Royal Marines out of Bozeat Woods once, armed only with a potato peeler.

Drayton Parslow's All-Masculine Sermon

And after that rousing last chorus of "Onward Christian Soldiers", we turn back to our text - "Put on the Full Armour of God."

Paul's use of this extended metaphor reminds us that there is nothing wimpy, effeminate or just plain womanly about the Christian life. It is not about humility, meekness or forgiveness - as President Trump has so plainly shown. No, it is about strength, manliness and a general whiff of the right kind of locker-room sweat and testosterone.

Football, eh? I always wondered whether to support Manchester Rovers or Arsenal City. But eventually, as a young man growing in the faith, I realised that the only club worth supporting was Millwall.  In many ways, the fans of Millwall in the 1970s and 80s were everything that the Christian church should be - small in numbers, beleagured, but murderously aggressive.  As St Paul so elegantly paraphrased in 2 Corinthians 11: "No-one likes us. We don't care."

And going to the pub. Now there's an activity for a proper bloke. I may not drink beer, and after a fourth pint of Cola I may find that I am starting to suffer from the kind of bloating that keeps me awake praising through the night watches. But there's no better place to be - enjoying the manly banter and a few games of pool.

So, brothers and sisters - but mostly brothers - let us go out into the world to tread weaklings under foot, wrestle with badgers, ride at high speed down narrow roads on housing estates.  And in everything we do - let us ask "what would Jesus do?" And then be a bit tougher than that.

This evening's bring-and-share tea has been superceded. I have challenged the Beaker Folk to a paintball competition in their Orchard. Ladies will of course not be required to take part. However if they could be brewing up some particularly strong beverage for the refreshment of the heroes afterwards - some Yorkshire tea, perhaps.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Search for the Hero

Brothers and Sisters! You may find the following quite stressful, and in places needing high degrees of spiritual wisdom and intellect.  So it may be better if the Sisters who read this blog ask their husbands, fathers or pastors to explain it to them later.

The book "Why Men Hate Going to Church" has been very clear on the importance of the need that a church leader should be a "hero". To quote:
So it is my godly duty to be the sort of hero that a hero-worshipper might want to worship.  Not in the sense that I am taking away his worship of God. Except maybe a little bit.

But, brothers (I presume you will keep these doubts from your dependent females) what was I to do? For I am a man in his fifties with no real musculature, no real attraction, no handsome profile.

So in order to make myself the sort of pastor that a hero worshipper might worship as a hero, I took myself off for a five-hour session at the gym.

The doctor reckons it is not a heart attack. Merely a spasm in a chest muscle caused by too many "reps" on the bench press. Being a hero is a painful calling.  But I am ready for the call.

Holding Hands in a Circle Singing "Bind us Together" Group

A strange morning here at Bogwulf Funambulist Baptist Chapel.

I had heard terrible stories of the people whom the soi-disant Archdruid, in her feminised pagan way, had caused to hold hands in a circle in worship and sometimes even caused to sing "Bind us Together".

This sort of thing must cause terrible damage to manly men - especially those manly men who are not quite manly enough to refuse, and nowhere near manly enough simply to put with it while adopting a stiff upper lip.

Therefore I advertised a morning workshop for any who would like to discuss this experience, how terrible it is, and how they felt manipulated into a touchy-feely, emasculated form of worship like this. Then I planned to pray for deliverance from this abomination for all the men concerned.

Oddly, of the nine people who turned up at the session, seven were women. In the circumstances, I took the two men away to the study in the manse, and left Marjory to lead the women.

It turned out that both the men had quite enjoyed the experience. Although both felt a bit guilty at the way they had ensured they held hands with the most attractive women in the group.  I assured them this probably wasn't a sin, but prayed that they had not committed adultery in their hearts.

Marjory has just popped in to tell me that the women in the group are currently throwing stones at a cardboard cut-out of the Archdruid, but she reckons they will have got over the whole nasty affair by lunchtime.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

God Loves Men Who Hate Going to Church

Once again I met Archdruid Eileen today. She was gloating about the vote by the clergy in the Church of England to reject the bishops' report on suppressing ungodliness. And I told her I was concerned that this sort of behaviour was reducing the manliness of the Church of England - if, indeed, it has any left.

Eileen referred me to a book called "Why Men Hate Going to Church", which is apparently being critiqued by a friend of hers on Twitter.

A great book, and one that has inspired me to turn the ethos of the Funambulist Baptist Church to ensure we attract more men.  Doing a quick nose-count of last Sunday's service, for instance, I believe we had 29 women and 12 men at church: roughly a 3:2 ratio.  My ambition for the Funambulist Baptists is that, over the next twelve months, we aim for a 1:1 ratio between men and women.

To that end, I am introducing some men-friendly rules. Although not in a "living by the Law" way - strictly in a "godly behaviour" way.  From now on, men are forbidden from shaving. We shall be more manly within the week.

The 57 Wasted Minutes of an Interview

Been interviewing for a role in the Beaker Bazaar.

And you know how it is. On electronic paper, the CV's great. Every box ticked. Every requirement met. So you bring them in, anxious to meet the genius who meets every one of the 94 criteria of the perfect Beaker shop assistant.

And three minutes in you know this will all be wrong. And maybe it's them or maybe it's you, but this ain't gonna work.

But you're booked for an hour. And you're a human being, and so are they. And you can't just chuck them out after three minutes. So you spend 57 more minutes asking questions that don't matter because you're not listening.

Which means that, in order to be nice, you've wasted 57 minutes of their time, and 57 minutes of your own. Because you know you couldn't be that swine who would throw them out after three minutes.

Which is why the Beaker interview room has a trapdoor under the interviewee's chair. Saves 57 minutes of everyone's time. And you don't have to look them in the eye.

A Warning from Noah's Ark

Just struck me there's another interpretation of the end of the story of Noah's Ark.

If it's raining and you don't see a rainbow in the sky - it may be time to build an ark....

A Time to Laugh, not a Time to Cry

It was miserable yesterday.  It's pretty overcast today. The daffs still ain't out properly and it's still 10 months to Xmas.

So I'm calling a Code 45. As a reminder:
Code 45 is the regulation that demands that all Beaker People adopt shiny, happy faces and a far-away look in their eyes. Everyone is under strict instructions, at all possible opportunities, to count their blessings. Everybody has to look like they've been burning lavender oil while listening to Enya's Shepherd Moons.
It's just like being at one of those Pentecostal churches that call a random person up the front and ask what good things have happened this week, and when they say they've lost their job, their partner has left them and the dog was run over by a steam roller. And everybody goes, it's all God's will. Give thanks in all circumstances.

So to be clear - from now on in, if anyone is in any way looking miserable, it's an official Beaker sin. Get out there and be happy.

Bishop Christopher Presses the Button

Excitement at Westminster as to which bishop rebelled against the Bishops' paper is dispelled as the Bishop of Coventry fesses up. He pressed the wrong button.

I'm  bit worried about the confusion over the voting process that +Christopher blames for his mistake. As this implies he's spent his whole career in Synod voting the wrong way on things.

Still, good news for the bishop as he receives  a job offer. Donald Trump has asked if +Christopher would like to look after the case with the nuclear codes.