28 February 2013

The Second Doctor

Regeneration complete, the series of Doctor Who would go from strength to strength with Patrick Troughton (1920-1987) now in charge of the TARDIS. A deliberate decision was made not to cast someone just like William Hartnell. Quite the opposite - because each new Doctor had his own personality, each subsequent actor playing the Time Lord would be given the opportunity to interpret the role in their own way. Rather than follow Hartnell's rather grumpy persona, Pat's "Chaplinesque" take acted the fool, whilst in reality he was several steps ahead of the others. Producer Innes Lloyd was later quoted as saying, "There's only one man in England who can take over, and that's Patrick Troughton."

Pat was also the first Doctor to have his face appear in the opening titles of the show. Regretfully, many of his earliest episodes were wiped by the BBC, but the surviving stories are well worth a watch. The schedule wasn't an easy one (they produced as many as 44 new episodes a year), but the new actor took the series to even greater success. However, with the emphasis moving away from historical drama to more action stories, there was criticism about the series' growing reputation as a scary show.

Pat stayed three years in the role, only deciding to leave the series in 1969 (amid fears of being typecast). He was succeeded in the role by Jon Pertwee.

More follows...

11 February 2013

Preparing For Lent

John 3:19-21 (The Message)
"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is."

I sat there in the Prayer Meeting, waiting for God. In fact, yearning for God. Eagerly waiting to welcome that God-light into my life. I had come to the meetings today with a formidable list of petitions for my Lord; it had reduced over the course of the day to a mere solitary item. To seek, once again, God's will for my life. The light shone into me; and I got my answer. 

The light revealed to me that there was a practical task, well in reality an awesome challenge, in store for me for the Lent period.

But I'm not daunted. He knows me. He knows I can make it. I just need to keep in the light.

9 February 2013

Sat In Your Lap

"Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap. 
Some say that knowledge is something that you never have." 

Lyrics from "Sat In Your Lap" by Kate Bush - one of my favourite songs. There's a video of the song here. And I've had good reason to come back to this particular song this week. The past seven days has alternated between times when I feel I'm finally getting it - everything's going great - and suddenly it's back to square one, back to the drawing board. (sigh)

I've felt like a winner and a loser, all in the same week. And I don't seem to know how I feel - or should feel - from one day to another. People tell me I'm fine when I really don't feel fine. On those occasions when I start to feel fine, they take me aside to tell me I shouldn't be. Confused!

Today's been a good day to set a few things right again and I'm really pleased about tomorrow - it's a Prayer Evening at the Corps and that's a wonderful opportunity to set time aside to clarify the thoughts that are creeping around in my head about the next few months. There's a few possibilities I need to prayerfully consider. 

Prayer support is welcomed.

Incidentally, I've talked about Kate's songs before, and how they have influenced me in my life. There's an earlier post of mine here.

2 February 2013

Integrity: How Honest Should I Be?

I've blogged quite a bit here in the past about integrity, and following a discussion on the same subject in Bible Study earlier this week, feel challenged to get some further thoughts down in writing.

Now, I've always tried to be as honest as I can be in this blog, but bearing in mind that this is a public forum I have always held back from commenting about things that are a bit too close to home. Really personal stuff, about my family, my work. It's a shame I feel I can't share because that sometimes eats away at me. You can understand that, can't you?

It's funny what the act of writing this blog has taught me. It's revealed and established a strength that I had buried deep within me. Talk to me face to face and I stumble, get tongue-tied. Sit me next to a keyboard and I can write 'till the cows come home - I can emote, compose and rejoice with ease about a variety of topics that interest me.

However, there's a limit. If it's stuff that hurts me, is just a little too personal, or that I find difficult to share, it probably won't get mentioned. It's simply too close to home. Or if I do mention it, it's so heavily encoded that it makes little sense to anyone (except to me and my Lord!). There's an example here.

Anyway, this rambling blog entry eventually leads us to a question, and it's a simple one to ask. I understand that you need to possess integrity, therefore not lie to others. Sure - but what about 'not telling the whole truth'... (Caution: here I'm going to open up a little, be warned. Can't do this face to face, but as it's only you and me, dear reader, that's OK)

It might be something simple, like saying "I'm fine" when people ask how you are. When you are really... not...

It might be something more complex, like remembering the negative reaction you got from people at work when you told them last time all the things you got up to at the weekend - so, you don't stop doing it, but you stop telling them about it...

Even worse, it might be one of those days when you've gone from one voluntary commitment to another without a break; gone without a rest because you want to ensure a particular job gets done. Because without you, it won't get done!

Or when you go out of your way to help out a friend - even though you can't really spare the time. Is that OK?

I think it is - it's going the extra mile (see post here). Because if I told the truth - the whole truth - to family and friends they would try to stop me.

Is that integrity?