I leave early tomorrow morning to head home to Inverallochy for the weekend. Having left the small North East fishing village in my late teens, I've now lived longer in my adopted home, England than I lived in Scotland. I am glad that I made the move and have experienced things and expanded my horizons so much. But some how that tiny village will always be home.
To be frank I don't think I could live there long term but there is always a little tug at the heart. Looking back it was such a great place to grow up. There seemed to be so much more freedom. There seemed to be a safety in the fact that you knew everyone and everyone knew you. Although very small and isolated there was so much adventure to be found be it playing down the rack, (Rocks by the sea) acting out war games in the countryside or following the sports seasons.
Football in the winter was followed by Golf, Tennis and Cricket in the winter. Being Scotland even though our village was small it had a great golf course. We had no tennis courts but just made our own with a bit of white wash and fishing net. To be out with our friends was all that we wanted.
It will be great to remember those days, seeing my Dad and spending some time with my young son will be a great way to spend the weekend. After all life is all about relationships its easy to forget that.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 9:19 pm
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I recently subscribed to a Podcast from Mosaic Church in Los Angeles. I first heard Erwin McManus, lead pastor of Mosaic, preach at a Willow Creek conference in February this year. His message found a home in my heart and since then I have read a number of his books which have continued to challenge and stretch me.
In their latest teaching series "Living Beyond Ordinary" Erwin makes the statement that God is not a micro manager. We spend much of our Christian life trying to do what we think he wants us to do. Asking God continually to tell us what to do and where to go, so we never have to work things out for our selves. But God does not want to control our lives, He wants to shape our hearts.
More and more it is dawning on me that God does not want to control me he wants to transform me. This transformation is a process not a one off cataclysmic event. Step by step as I connect with Him and know God in a more intimate way and take on His character I will become who God created me to be.
Its amazing to me that through this awesome relation that I have come into that, rather than trying to control and script me God is actually giving me a great gift free will.
How will I use this incredible gift.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 11:16 pm
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Our Church is in the middle of a preaching series called "Upside Down Living". It looks at a few counter cultural statements that Jesus made, things that seem on the face of it 180 degrees contrary to accepted practice. Today we looked at how Jesus commended marriage.
During the course of the talk a story was recalled that tried to highlight the differences between men and women. It has been said that in thinking process women are like spaghetti and men like waffles.
When looking at how a woman thinks everything is interwoven and connected. To follow one strand takes you on a journey which brings you into contact with many other strands of though. It is all mixed together reminiscent of a plate of spaghetti.
Men on the other hand think in boxes. They have a work box, a hobby box, a family box, each box separate and stands alone. In fact some boxes have nothing in them at all just like a waffle. So girls the next time you ask one of us guys what we were thinking and we say nothing! Remember the waffle and realise we are telling the truth. Unlike you we can think about nothing.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 11:16 pm
Saturday, October 22, 2005
I can not remember exactly when it was but I know who is responsible. One cold Saturday I set off to watch a football match for the first time with my all time hero my diddie. My parents choose to name me after him, William Wood Whyte, who became such an influence in my life. I remember looking forward to the day I would see Aberdeen FC live for the first time. By the time I arrived at Pittodrie stadium with diddie and Uncle Billy I was shaking with excitement.
Half Time we were 2 - 0 down the legendary striker Joey Harper had not had as much as a shot on goal. Had my Diddie lied to me this guy was supposed to be a world beater. Second half Joseph Montgomery Harper scored a Hatrick: 4 - 2. My faith restored in Mr Harper, Aberdeen FC and of course my hero Diddie (Grandad).
Well over 35 years later and Saturday is still a day filled with so much hope but very often ends in despair. Today is no different.
Aberdeen 0 Hibs 1
To make matters worse my new found passion since my move south of the border faired no better.
Aston Villa 0 Wigan 2
they let me down again! But at least when I think about football I remember the man who introduced me to the great game. The person that never let me down my Diddie.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 8:09 pm
Friday, October 21, 2005
After reading a number of blogs I have finally decided to take the plunge for myself. Not really sure what I have to say and even more sure no one else will want to read it but here goes.
The title of my blog is take from the best selling book by Philip Yancey by the same name: What's so amazing about grace. Having been brought up in Church in the North East of Scotland for most of my formative year I heard 1000's of sermons. One of the words I heard over and over again was the word Grace. Although a word and a theology I had become very familiar with it was not till my friend Andrew Shearman, a pastor from the USA, recommended this particular book to me did I really have my eyes opened.
My experience of church and church people was a story of rules, regulations and unforgiveness. I had taken on the idea of God as a great ogre who was watching over me waiting for my inevitable failure, confirming his low expectation of me.
Yancey opened my eyes and revived my fading faith when I picked up his classic book. This was God that was new to me. A God who was more interested in me than what I did for Him. More intent of encouraging my spiritual journey of discovery than pointing to my weaknesses.
In the words of Bono in the U2 song Grace is a thought that changed the world. Experiencing this thought has changed my world.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 6:15 am