Posts Tagged With: Obedience

Why are we doing this?

Hetty Stok

The following is a post by my wife after observing parliament this week.

At a time when our society is becoming a place where rules are up for negotiation at best and completely ignored at worst, the federal election produced a Prime Minister who promises to go back to the parliamentary standards of the past. Less of the adversarial politics. No more shouty Question Time. Politicians held accountable. Integrity.

It’s probable that the PM himself will have trouble holding to his standards but at least he has voiced them; he has put the parliament on notice.

But our world no longer works like that. No wonder then that when a young new politician arrives in the chamber minus the regulation tie, there is a hew and cry. Just a small hew and cry from a fellow MP pointing out the error, followed by a louder Media hew and cry questioning why this archaic rule still exists. 

Another young, new politician is asked to give the pledge of allegiance before taking her seat in the Senate. She proceeds to make up her own pledge, elevating herself to Sovereign, and then insulting the Queen. The Media’s reaction? Headlines announcing that it’s time to change the pledge and ditch the monarchy.

Has this become the way we tackle the many ‘laws’ of life? When a father tells his child to eat breakfast and then get ready for school, should the child tell her father that breakfast is not to her taste and “Who made you the boss of me, anyway?” Well, yes. Modern parenting says that response is perfectly fine. Any wonder then that school children are allowed to stamp their feet and shout ‘no!’ That young people are encouraged to belligerently demand ‘why?’ And that our leaders, caught in a lie or a corruption, calmly tell us “Move on, nothing to see here.” Or, worse still, they call for a change to the archaic rules or the restrictive system.

Perversely, when we are confronted with people who don’t behave in a way our new society has deemed to be correct, we want politicians to make a law to force right behaviour. And punishment for those who disobey. Yet we have created a perfect environment that encourages disobedience and non-compliance.

Perhaps the real issue comes back to the young new politician who proclaimed she was ‘Sovereign’. Don’t we all like to think we are the ruler of our own world? Isn’t it time we realised that the title ‘Sovereign’ implies care for others, responsibility, sacrifice, dedication, and most of all, unselfish behaviour?

Categories: Hetty's Devotions | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Connection Between Porridge and the Bible

Oatmeal (courtesy Flickr)

One of my favourite poems by the late Spike Milligan is called “Porridge” (see below). Whenever ‘porridge’ is mentioned, my wife or I will blurt out a line from the ditty, such as, “Why is there no monument to porridge in our land …?” or “Oatmeal OBE”, usually in a wobbly Scottish accent. Amongst our girls it’s film quotes. Lines from favourite films (in suitably dramatic accents) will be thrown in at appropriate places. How often have we heard, “I am a military man. I want a military meal.” (Toys). “Mustard! Don’t lets be silly.” (Alice in Wonderland). And there are hosts more; too many to mention.

It caused me to pause and think. How much is our speech seasoned with helpful aphorisms from God’s Word? Direct encouragements, challenges, comforts, wisdom and more can be declared directly from the Bible. In order to do that however, we need to know the Word and have it inwardly digested. Rather than our fill of mindless TV or internet trawling, we need to spend time taking in and appropriating God’s Word. No I am not ‘anti film’, in fact I love a good movie and I also enjoy the banter that our family has with film and other quotes. Where would I be without a good Mark Twain quote? Far more life enhancing though, is to know and share where life to the full comes from.

The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  Psalm 19

How much time are we spending, not just reading, but ingesting,  memorising and clothing ourselves in the living Word of God. The theologian Karl Barth believed that the Word of God came alive (my words) when it was acted upon – other than just being dry words on a sheet of paper. The Hebrew word ‘dabar’ which means ‘word’ or ‘talk’ cannot divorce itself from the action it is declaring. In fact, Jesus is the Word come to life in human existence. Our challenge is to clothe ourselves in the “dabar’s” of God and speak and be the Word of God to each other and the world around us.

… and Spike’s suitably bizarre poem …

Porridge

by Spike Milligan

Why is there no monument
To Porridge in our land?
It it’s good enough to eat,
It’s good enough to stand!

On a plinth in London
A statue we should see
Of Porridge made in Scotland
Signed, “Oatmeal, O.B.E.”
(By a young dog of three)

Categories: christian, Christianity, Devotional, Faith, Family, Life, Obedience | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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