Retirement gives more time for reflection, and to help me in this I’ve taken to weekly twofold blogging. Weekly to keep me disciplined (as much as I can be). Twin blogs too: public and private, yin and yang as it were. Fred’s Pages are my thoughts on the whole range of who I am and what makes me tick, but there’s a part of my life which I’ve kept mostly hidden until now.
There’s nothing I am ashamed of, but it’s somewhat of a left-field subject, which I and a few people who have shared the same life experience have discussed and explored for some years and which we passionately believe needs a forum. Click on Surviving Infant Surgery in the Blogroll section in the column to the right if you’re interested or just curious!
What else am I passionate about? My religious faith for one! Jesus Christ has always been my Lord (or Boss), real life-changer and greatest teacher, and so I’m part of something huge here, as He has had a huge impact on the whole planet over 2000 years. I grew up in the Reformed and Presbyterian room of the Christian family home, and I really value my this heritage which also connects with the history of Europe, Scotland, and countries like Australia that were built on their people. Although sometimes lampooned (and often rightly so) for its conservatism, rigidity and harshness, John Calvin’s children have certainly been game-changers in a big way, and this part of the family of Jesus is very rich Biblically, theologically and culturally.
But there’s another part to my heritage. My father taught me from the Bible that God has made us each (individuals, local congregations, and branches of the world-wide Christian church) to be unique, and so I have never suffered from the delusion that everyone must believe, think and act as clones of me if they claim to be “a good Christian”. Sadly I’ve been troubled by a lot of “good Christian” people (often Reformed or Presbyterian people) who never seem to have noticed this part of God’s blueprint in their Bible. I am a pastor (read: “people person”) and teacher at heart and work to help everyone on my path to be the best they can be in God’s mega-plan – and not mine! Tracking the course of that Plan is a fascinating challenge! I’m sure I’ll get back to this in future blogs.
Politics is another passion, very much influenced by my faith. As a wholehearted follower of Jesus, I see good and wrong in any and every political grouping and “position”, but also regard politics and government as part of God’s order. Rather than take political sides or take a hands-off or cynical stance, I believe it would be good if many more of us were “swinging voters” and we had more proportional voting and coalition governments.
Countries that have this structure may have occasional times when the public services have to keep things running, but we’d have less of the foolish polarisation and ugly personal abuse that is bedevilling many Western democracies at present.