Fishers of Men + a generous public

by | Nov 26, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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This morning, a look at the Gaza cease fire – a busy one for the Israelis in my opinions.  Vanessa Beeley steadfastly reports. She expects there will be some type of False Flag operation maybe in he USA to justify a further continuations of the bombings and slaughter. Systematic assassination of journalists? See more here if you wish.

To my Vineyard Church for what I thought was a service but turned out to be anything but. I had obviously missed something. I admit at this point I don’t read fully every email that is sent. This was a time for bringing presents for families who are not so well off and it is from an organization called NEST which has apparently been running for some years now.

We had a short talk with singing and prayers at the beginning of the meeting including the reminder that Jesus asks us to be fishers of men. As a very unsuccessful amateur fisherman this did not quite work for me.

However  let’s think briefly about ‘fishers of men’. In secular terms,  we are hoping for some sort of response to whatever message or product or service we are offering even ourselves as living offerings. We talk about ‘fishing for compliments’. We speak about ‘fishing expeditions’ when we are looking for evidence to support our particular cause, or we can say ‘casting about’  for information that you may be able to use. It could also have a clandestine interpretation meaning that you are trying to find if someone has done something illegal or interesting, but without saying that this is the purpose of your search.

I suppose anyone who joins any organization and encourages others to join is a fisherman. Jesus in his capacity as messenger of God obviously seeks from us something at a higher level and is looking for the very souls of people. This could be seen by some as an overriding obligation in so far as you do care for others. It is something you cannot avoid doing if you believe because you are either a good advertisement or bad advertisement for your cause. What we do, or perhaps even what we are, we will cause people to either want to join and adhere to our beliefs or the converse and this is a 24/7 thing.

The question I asked myself is, what am I advertising? You cannot advertise nothing. Even by saying nothing, you say something

Meanwhile on the business side of the meeting we were then allocated various jobs such as helping to sort the packages that were soon to arrive from the street I decided to be outside on the street welcoming people in.

I had a number of very good conversations and I learn that I soon forget the detail unless I write them down. I was talking about making the most out of every contact that I have. I said that selfishness is a mug’s  game and the more you give the more you learn and then the more you are enabled to give; the process never ends. It cannot end because you cannot cease learning or developing

I said to someone that greyhounds love to run, it is in there nature, and the brain loves to work. It is in its nature also. So you can take anything and so long as you absorb it and really listen to the people in a particular conversation, your brain will soon work out ways to learn and to move forward.

I asked one person what type of experience was most easily and permanently  established in his mind, and he said that songs that he heard when he was young have a whole tranche of memories attached to them.

Just one song or part of a song, had a whole lot of mostly pleasant memories and emotions. I retorted that whenever I hear the word ‘debt’ I recall the phrase ‘one day older and deeper in debt’. This is from the song
’16 tons’ by Tennessee Ernie Ford and it was first recorded in Hollywood California on August the 8th, 1946 It was written about a coal miner, about life in the mines of Mulhenberg County, Kentucky. I said that I thought that as a species we would be the poorer without music.

I asked another person about their ailing mother who has a problem with blood clots and blood circulation in general. I asked whether she was ready to depart this life and the person involved was not sure but she had an image of Jesus cradling someone in their arms moving through the threshold between life and death. I believe it is absolutely necessary to be prepared for death. Death Is But a gateway to more life, like closing a chapter of a book, not the book itself.

I said to someone that I enjoyed coming to Vineyard because it was informal and I did not do very well with a hierarchical system because God is within us all and we should celebrate the fact. Vineyard are very good at doing what they do, getting a balance between social and spiritual and sharing. I said I thought the Methodist Church were nearly as good but did not think that the Catholics were good at this at all. The person I was speaking to disagreed and said that in certain areas, if the bishop is keen on something, it will manifest in the community. Suddenly, leadership in the church is what we require.

We also discussed the optimum size of a group for people feeling comfortable enough to say what they think. I find that grips or between four and six are the most productive. My friend said that he had been in a group of three which he was very comfortable with. As I have said before, I do not do football crowds and although a large number of people together may on the surface seem successful  I question the quality of experience of each person.

In large groups you can too easily get someone who hogs the platform and reduces others to passive silence. I keep on getting the phrase in my mind ‘when two or three are gathered together in my name there am I with them’. The person who said that had some knowledge of human nature so there is something to it.

‘Mrs Jones’  bring along an offering – maybe recycled children’s clothes, which is a very good idea. There is not enough recycling around.

At this morning’s event I was allocated the job of being by the door and welcoming people in with their packages. One came, then two, then another and the stream of people never stopped. Always one or two adult parents accompanied by their children.

Vineyard had decided to offer chocolate sweets as a little thank you. It did me good to see these people coming: how much good will there is in the world, and how willing people are to help out those less fortunate than themselves! It is often the people who are not well off themselves that help their neighbors. ‘upper class’ people were not to be seen. (continued below pictures)

children occupying themselves with games and puzzles

a period of prayer and rejoicing

A selection of offerings brought in by members of the public for distribution

 

Someone else involved in the music business said they had revisited a song theme that they had worked on six years ago and found there was new life in it. I do not think that we are all meant to bring an idea from conception to birth at one go. We can have the idea itself in advance and leave it and then come along again when the conditions are right. It may be worth revisiting our so-called old ideas and see if there is any life in them.

General reflection on the meeting this morning

With regard to such meetings be they religious or otherwise. If I go along with an open mind I always get something out of it. All I want is to have enough opportunity to speak to individuals and find out how they are. I do not take a standard ‘ fine thank you’ answer but a report on their ups and downs in the last week and once people start on this and have got over the original shock that I actually want to know how they are, they are very forthcoming.

Four years I have watched people in the established church for example the Church of England, come into a service, sit quietly waiting for the service to commence, taking part in the service whether it’s singing, praying, or listening to the sermon. They then exit at the end, nodding to one or two and then go home from whence they came. In the last decades, churches have cotton onto the shortcomings and have arranged coffee sessions after the main service and this I thoroughly agree with.

It is a step in the right direction.

To My Working Mens Club, Radstock

I attended for my traditional Sunday lunch drink which consists of a large house whiskey which may or may not be accompanied by a half of Guinness. There were about 12 people in the club but I know the number builds up as the day goes on. I noticed this sign. I will add it to my list of misspelled words for my entertainment. My pet hates are extra apostrophes for example with the plural of a word.

 

 

 

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