Monday, July 21, 2008

Amongst other things, I am not my father

It was my birthday last week, and I bought myself a pressie – an iPod nano – and very lovely it is too!

My family bought me a very very cool bedside digital radio / alarm / docking station thing which I’m enjoying playing with, and loving the huge assortment of stations now available to me.

One of the reasons I wanted an iPod was to listen to some teaching when I’m walking the dog and going to and from the church building. So I’ve been downloading some samples of teaching, there’s a great choice of free stuff on itunes alone.

So far I have listened to Walter Brueggemann give an overview of the whole of Isaiah, a surprisingly good podcast of Rick Warren sitting with some church leaders and chatting about ministering in an urban context, and most helpful of all Paul Scanlon preaching a message entitled “I am not my father”, which I found helpful, moving and healing.

If, like me, your own experience of being fathered wasn’t great, then I want to highly recommend you listen to this teaching, which is both an introduction to a book he’s written (on order, I’ll review it once I’ve finished it) and a stand alone message of hope and encouragement that we’re not doomed to repeat the patterns of our parents, but free, as followers of Jesus, to live a new life. He has some interesting things to say about generational cursing too, which I found quite sensible.

I’d only heard the briefest teaching by Paul Scanlon before, and I confess that I didn’t expect to enjoy the message, but his humility, brokenness and faith shine through.

I’m also reading “Jesus for President” by Shane Clairbourne at the same time as “The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama – it’s fascinating to read these two as companion texts, and it’s given me some faith to pray for America in a new way.