Tag Archives: day

The World Didn’t End!

 

For summer break¬†I am reposting some golden old posts, enjoy! Will be back with fresh material in September. Enjoy and have a great summer. ūüôā

Spent the last few days getting over a¬†nasty sore throat fuzzy head thing, not any fun at all. I was so worried about what would happen, if my ministry to these churches¬†would fall apart? It was quite satisfying to note, however that I could clear my diary with ease, and take the time I needed to get well. Guess what happened, the church didn’t implode, Jesus didn’t return sooner than anticipated,¬†because I was having a few days recuperating from a bug. In fact the world continued to rotate as it always has and will and nothing fell apart at all.

I have listened to some people in various jobs who i think may think they are the glue that holds it all together and they portray their own self importance wherever they go. I am hugely glad to say that I am well and remain reasonably unimportant. Awesome.

originally posted in 2009

Easter day +1 Spot The Difference?

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Easter monday is upon us and I¬†wonder what yours looks like? Have¬†you begun¬†to devour your¬†egg shaped mountains¬†of¬†chocolate, or perhaps catch up on world news, as ever peppered with riots, military action and poverty.¬†Whether or not you are relaxing or busying yourself, or perhaps spending time in prayer.¬† For me at least I find myself questioning what difference¬†has Jesus¬†rising from the dead 2014 years ago brought to bear on the world! Sometimes it is hard to see if jesus’ resurrection makes any difference at all, not least in the midst of national and global issues, but even within denominations and churches and personal squabbles against the backdrop of theological or Theo-political viewpoints.

If resurrection day did¬†not¬†happen the world would probably barely know¬†the person of¬†Jesus of Nazareth, He would at best have been relegated to an ancient mythical age of history at the time of Troy, Mary of Rome,¬†Emperor¬†Augustus, and¬†Josephus.¬†Jesus may have made it into Wikipedia entry based on his teachings and¬†assertions. Maybe you would¬†find the odd statue, or a museum exhibition dedicated to Jesus’s life and work somewhere near Jerusalem. For certain some people might have tried to hold onto their faith post Jesus death, but would probably have been¬†regarded as a weird Jewish sect. Except the people as known back then as The Way, grew in faith not shrank and claimed and still claim to have a living real, tangible experience of Jesus in and became known as christians!

I have been celebrating easter in a meaningful way as a christian since I was sixteen some twenty-three years ago. I have sympathy for the viewpoint that the resurrection of Jesus barley turns a head or touches a heart at least in my cultural context. Except¬†I don’t know if you¬†are compelled¬†to acts of grace and mercy because you’re kind or because the spirit of God gives you a nudge. But why is it that when street pastors are out on the street, the police notice a calming influence on the nights revellers, and in some places a reduction in crime, it could be coincidence of course or the power of prayer. What about if you leave some money or a purse at¬†christian functions 99% of the time you will get it back. It was christians who¬†largely initiated education and healthcare¬†systems back in the day because they recognised its need, and more recently in response to the poverty they see around them, christians are heavily involved in the creation of food banks in the UK. There are so called christians¬†who use these¬†Jesus communities which we call Church for their own ends and for abusive reasons, but they are in the minority and indeed tarnish our religious and institutional¬†reputations.

The difference that Jesus’s resurrection makes to society is not always obvious or clear, because it is difficult to separate religiosity from the simple faith that Gods son rose from the dead for you and me. That the things or sin that make it impossible for us to enter into heaven might be cleared away. May our lives before we ascend the heavenly staircase,¬†be a tapestry living¬†faith in the light, and reality, of resurrection day? Indeed live faithful lives loving our neighbour at least as much as we claim to love God,¬†not getting¬†sidetracked by scriptural¬†minutiae, mundane religiosity, or hopeless arguments that this side of glory will never be answered to our personal satisfaction.

I am not diminishing the importance of scholarly debate far from it, or healthy discussion and disagreement¬†between friends, but some of the answers we seek won’t be found now, but the answer to the question did Jesus rise from the dead is before us and what is its value in society,¬†it appears at least for me in my 23rd year of following Jesus to be more true and meaningful than when I¬†first became a follower. I see his resurrection affecting the lives of some, bringing hope security to the dying, and purpose and promise to those who know him. I see what motivates my congregations to care, love and serve their church and community sacrificially, not expecting anything in return. I hear the impassioned¬†pleas¬†on behalf of the poor, impoverished and broken, by men and women of God rooted in the understanding and belief, that God so loved the world that he gave his only son that all, and I mean all may know the depth, breadth, and love of God through his son Jesus Christ.¬†Who I am sure will have a¬†long list of questions to answer and with those questions and eternity in which to answer them.

So live today and tomorrows, tomorrows as easter day +1 in all the awe, wonder, worship, brilliance and giddiness that might bring, as we unashamedly live out our faith, not expecting or manipulating a response other than perhaps putting a smile on someones face, and being a genuine blessing to others, on behalf of others, willing for them the best life ever.

Does Peace Even Have a Chance?

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“World peace is an idea of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare:.-wikipedia

Sunday was the United Nations world international day for peace, I didn’t even realise it had happened, did you?

The day didn’t even make the news, which heralded the latest footage of violent clashes across the middle east, and in the divided Ukraine. One might have hoped for an coinciding announcement some political agreement on unprecedented financial backing, to train peace makers over and above that of training peace keepers?

As a christian sometimes I find it hard to know what to pray, or indeed do, when there is such hatred and commitment to conflict in the eyes of those who would kill us to get there way. So perhaps I might hold the big picture of a world in chaos before God, remembering that there are moments when peace can break out even ever so briefly.

Such a day was 25th December 1914. The history books recall that the day before German soldiers began singing christmas carols, this lead to conversations between the warring sides, leading to the moment on christmas day, where soldiers tentatively trusted that the other side wouldn’t open fire, as they walked onto mans land, and together the germans and british shared gifts and played football.

But as I hold that wide picture before God, I set about seeking God with the vision of my local situation. Trying to answer the question of how I can be a peacemaker in my own back yard? Whether that is the class room, work place, family or church. How can I enable change in those who slander, or spread the cancer of cynicism and violence?

Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred, let me bring Your love, are the opening lyrics to the famous hymn of the same name. When it talks of Gods love, I do not think of his love as being soft, but instead, tough. The harder than nails kind of love.

A Love that demands sacrifice, that compels us to challenge those places where violence has become the norm. To restore peace, to bring about a rediscovery in the innate God given value in humanity and the individual right to live, life in all its fullness and potential.

Lets pray

Jesus may we have the courage to be a peace maker, that those through circumstance, the conviction of others or themselves may choose life above death, words above the gun or bomb. Finally lord if I am ever faced with the opportunity to inflict harm on those who  harm my own, compel me to choose peace.- Amen

The Love Of A Son

I have been looking forward to sharing a brilliant and moving¬†story called Father Forgets. However¬†it seamed more¬†appropriate¬†to wait until nearer Father’s Day (uk time).¬†William L. Larned,¬†Father of thirteen children and governor of New Jersey, nearly three hundred years ago summed¬†up a truth¬†of parenthood.¬†That¬†as parents¬†sometimes we¬†‘visualise (our children) as grown up.’¬† Or in other words rather than seeing ¬†our kids as our young¬†we put unfair expectations upon them or bend their spirits with overbearing criticism¬†or so called words of wisdom.¬†Enjoy.

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Father Forgets

Listen son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before you friends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.¬†You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself overt he wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but¬†a boy – a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualised you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

I have to say I unashamedly sobbed listening to this something I rarely do, it touched a deep place in me. Not just of my own experience as a child but also for the times I forget to see my own beautiful children as my babies, who are as important to me as the breath in my lungs and the blood in my veins. So Fathers (and parents) let us, if needs be, rewrite our historical narratives of negative fathering, draw strength and wisdom from the good experiences of being fathered and step into the shoes of our offspring whenever we can, that their might be true connection that is meaningful, lasting and defining.

Happy Fathers Day

To See Father Forgets on you tube click here

The Essence Of Fatherhood

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Being A safe Place

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Going the distance no matter what, not just when your children or others see you.

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Fatherhood is doing the small but important things well consistently.

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Fatherhood can be unconventional

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Fatherhood is sometimes about denying self and being an anchor point for others.

 

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