Sunday 19 February 2012

New Blog

I don't know if anyone is still out there seeing if I have put anything up but if you are then I have started a new blog. At university we use wordpress a lot and I've worked out how to do, with some help from my younger university friends. Oh the joys of studying with young people. They know so much about technology and are so pleased to share it, esp as I'm not their own mum :-)
So find me now on
I'm trying to do it every day!!

Friday 11 November 2011

Need a new view of life

Life is a funny old thing. The apostle Paul says we do the things we don't want to do and don't do the things we want to do. I know he means this in relation to sinning and pleasing God - as in sinning rather than pleasing God and how much more we do the later even though want to do the former.
I've just started university and have discovered how much easier it is to not do what I want. Yes there is the usual of facebooking, emailing or even blogging rather than doing assignments, but these lasts few days have made me realise how much easier it is to not do what you want. To do what you want involved changing the status quo and can upset those nearest to you.
Those nearest to you have got use to how you are, what you can achieve, and what you can do for them. But when you step out to do something you want, as I have been doing in the last year or so, then it messes everyone else up. No longer do I have the emotional energy to deal with everyone else's emotional stuff, or practical stuff. No longer do have the head space to even care that much to their little hassles.
"I'm scared of the dark" was important when I didn't have a history assignment to try to get into my head, or a writing assignment to try to figure out, but now even though it is something I would like to deal with I know I just don't have the head space.
And that is all it is. I no longer have the head space to deal with all the things that are important to the rest of the household and yet they still want me to, and actually I have tried to still be able to do that, which was wrong of me.
I have a choice today -- a series of choices in fact.
1. to let everything carry on as it is and feel angry and disappointed with myself for not being able to carry it all, and to think I'll get some super reward somewhere if I keep going - which won't happen because no one will notice.
2. I could quit and either stay home and be that housewife/mother that everyone expects, wants and needs, but then I would be frustrated.
3. Or I could say how I feel, put in some boundaries, refuse to do some things and hang the consequences.
But even as I write this I can see why we don't do what we want because setting boundaries, changing things, trying to explain how I feel, and sticking to it, is going to be much harder than doing nothing and just being there when everyone else needs supporting.

Yes Paul I can see why we don't do what we want and do do what we don't want.
I truth I want this degree, I want to change the world somehow, I want to be doing something that I can do till I go totally senile. And maybe through this I will be releasing others, but actually who cares whether I do or not. Let's be selfish and do something for me instead!

Friday 12 August 2011

These Riots

As everyone else is doing so I must put down my thoughts about these riots. I think everyone has looked at it from their stand point - especially these comments in the various papers about the causes, each paper giving a different reason depending on their political sociological background but this article here on youtube seems to say it all so much better than I can.

I started work in the youth service and what I have found is that we so often say "yes you have no hope" whereas this article, but two ex-gangsters who are now Christians who are actually teaching hope. And this is what we so need to do as youth workers. We can say there is a hope, there is a way to change your world, all is not lost. But instead we hand out free condoms so they can have sex without even the responsibility of buying the condoms!

What the young man who first speaks in this news-clip is repeated in a book I've just finished called "The Blood of Lambs" of a PLO terrorist who finds God. And its not that anyone gives either of these people the flat gospel message but in both cases Christians love on them. They give them the unconditional love that they have received from God. With that love these people went on to wanting to know more. And with the PLO guy had an amazing powerful encounter with God which changed him, with the ex London gangster a much more gentle meeting with God that has changed his life.

For me what has come out of this is that we need to be giving our young people more unconditional love but also more hope that they can do something for their worlds. Instead of giving free condoms we should be looking at their gifts and talents, what they can and cannot do, what their dreams are and how we can help them to help themselves make this come to pass.

Faith, Hope and Love - but the greatest of these is Love

Sunday 7 August 2011

Love Wins

There has been lots of controversy over Rob Bell's "Love Wins" book, and some of it quite spiteful. I must say I found it an awesome book and as a friend who borrowed my copy texted me and said "why does it always surprise us that God is gracious and full of love. Great book to read and reminds us that so often upbringing, teaching, etc have caused us to forget that graciousness and love". Sums it all up really so this is going to be a short blog because of Beth's comment :-)
I've also been working through Fawn Parish's compilation called "Deeper Still" and Steve Hawthorne in an article taken from the "Perspectives" curriculum says so often we evangelize to either frighten people into believing in God so they go to heaven or so their lives will be better when in fact we should be bringing people to want to worship God here on this earth. "Now more than ever," Hawthorne says, "believers need to be nurtured into a jealousy for God's glory..." He talks of how Jesus never responded to the "naked need" but "deliberately recast His vision of the same lost crowds as something of greater value..of value to God"
This deals with the whole thought of whether Rob Bell is saying all roads lead to God and heaven or whether he is making evangelism irrelevant but actually saying that our desire, as Christians, should be to totally love God and then share that love so that others come to love and worship Him now on this earth.
As some very old, quite naff pop song of the 70's said "To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him and I do, and I do, and I do". OK so it was supposed to be a love song to a man but actually for us to God its true, if we know God we can do nothing else but love Him and worship Him, but so often as don't truly know Him!

Thursday 28 July 2011


It is very interesting that when the disciples are hesitant about going to see Lazarus, who is now dead, it is Thomas who seems to understand more about what is happening with his "if we are to go die with Him then we must go" statement. Why then do we remember Thomas not for this but as "Doubting Thomas"? Is this just a British thing? So often as Brits we remember the negative of what people do and not the positive. We so often raise people up so we can knock them down, though in this case it is John who records this. Maybe to show the other side of Thomas? Maybe to stop him being judge as a doubter? Maybe so that he can be seen as all of us are with many facets to our personalities?
I need to try and remember this that people must not be judged and boxed but that in different situations, in different times of their lives, in different moods, people react differently.
A lot of us parents at the moment are saying how we need to remember what are children were like before they became challenging teenagers and also to look to at they might become. Like Thomas who at one point rallies the disciples, another questions and then goes on to take the gospel into India, a brave step even then, and is supposed to have been crucified there. I do 3hrs a week for a local authority youth service and so want others there to not label the young people as problems but to give them wings so they can fly, but society isn't quite so keen on all that.
Today as I go to work I will try to remember what the Gospel of John tells me about Thomas, and what it tells me about myself and those I know. Don't put people in a negative box!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Jesus rides into Jerusalem

I was thinking and wondering about how I would've felt on that first "Palm Sunday" with Jesus riding in to Jerusalem and all the crowds cheering. As I got thinking I wondered actually if the ordinary people were excited because here was a man who would maybe not over throw the Romans but might just over throw the controlling religious system the Pharisees had put them under.

Never once in the gospels does it say about Jesus coming head to head with the Roman government. In fact he says one should be paying taxes. But there are many records of Him coming head to head with the religious leaders. The people must have always struggled with the religious laws and of being outsides and here comes a man who flouts the religious laws but for good. He's not antagonistic for the sake of it but to heal, to save life, to feed, to restore and release.

I think Jesus was showing the people how to live in God's freedom under an oppressive government but free from religious oppression. I wonder if this is why people in the parts of the world where one is persecuted for being a believer in Jesus do can hang in there, because they see what He has taught on how to do this.

Often the Church can be accused of being the same as the Pharisees, and then a new freedom with God comes into being but then becomes religious again. But we need to remember when we see this that Jesus did not come and flout the religious rules to be mean, to cause hassle, to be sarcastic, to think He was better, but He came to do good and so must we.

Thursday 21 July 2011


Its the summer holidays so I have a bit more time to think and blog!

I am reading my way through the Gospel of John at the moment and noticing things about the disciples that seem to be overlooked. Judas has always been seen as an evil man. He has been totally demonised. At the beginning of John chapter 11 we are told about Mary pouring expensive perfume over Jesus, unknowingly anointing Him for burial, and Judas challenging this. John uses this chance to inform us that Judas will go on to betray Jesus and we view his comments about it being a waste, John's comment on Judas taking from the shared purses, and Jesus "the poor will always be with you" statement.

Why did Judas take money from the common purse? What was there for him to spend it on? Why if Jesus knows all things did He pick Judas? And why did He give him the common purse to look after if He knew what he was like?

These guys are wandering around Palestine. What is there to spend money on? Did Judas sneak off for a quick cigarette? A craft drink? Womanizing? Or I wonder if he was giving money away to those he thought needed it but without Jesus' say so, and this is where I wonder if Judas is more like we are than we would care to see. How often do we do good deeds but do not check what Jesus wants? using the excuse that "its obvious"? How many projects, plans, desires, good deeds, missions, etc are not what Jesus wants and yet we do them anyway because we want to be compassionate? I do wonder if Judas was doing lots of good things and the point John wanted to make was that we should not do things, no matter how good, without the authority of Jesus otherwise these things are just us being the amazing humans God made us but not following after Jesus. It is said, in the commentary in my Bible, that Mary was honouring Jesus whilst He was here. I have heard many, who are extremely compassionate get upset when money is spent on churches, church projects, even looking back on the amazing gold and decorations in the medieval churches, and complain that it could've been spent on the poor, on justice missions, on "good deeds". In fact I know I have been guilty of thinking and saying that! But who is to say that those who put into His Church are not like Mary honouring Him whilst there is still time. As one knows in reading about Christians in other parts of the world they cannot even meet together let alone build a simple church without the risk of persecution and death. Perhaps we are meant to glorify His meeting places here?

Judas betrays Jesus, but there have been some thoughts on this that he did it because he could see where he thought things were going and wanted to make it right, want to manipulate Jesus into His kingdom on earth. The musical Jesus Christ Superstar explores this briefly. But again how after has the Holy Spirit started to move and we have enjoyed it but then seen a "better way" for it to be going in and so manipulated things. And then, like Judas, been remorseful and guilt ridden after wards, with some turning their backs on Jesus because of it.

So much of our view of the Bible, of God, of Christianity, has been tainted by what we've been taught, read, hear from others, read in classic and popular literature, with many thoughts from the superstitions of medieval times, that often we just regurgitate, whether believer or not. I believe as Christians we need to open our eyes and start learning straight from Jesus and asking for release from what we think we know. Judas may not be the bad guy we've allowed him to be made but maybe just like us in that situation!