Thursday, 27 November 2008

New Idea

Last Saturday, Tanya and I were thinking, what can we do more of as a family and yet still reach out more. Sort of making sure we are spending quality time with our children, but being open to other people coming along and joining in.

Saturdays can be a bit boring, especially with no money, snow and rain outside, a 12, 10 and 1 year old children, the house can suddenly feel a bit constricting. Tanya is quite good at the old creative stuff and there are games, but keeping everyone involved and enjoying themselves can be nigh on impossible. I suddenly thought of the church, with a lounge and a sports hall, a pool table and other things, which is nearly always closed and unused on Saturdays. I had a word with the church leader and manager, to see if we could use it.

So, as a family, on Saturday, we are going to take our lunch along and go and run about a bit inside, play some pool, etc, in a different environment, hopefully going to be good for us all, and on top of this, we started thinking, there are probably others, who may struggle as families on a Saturday, especially in the current cash strapped environment, and there may be other people who may just want to drop by and have a cup of tea and a chat.

We are going to tell lots of others what we are doing and if no one else turns up, no problem, we as a family are still there, if others do turn up, there can be a great social and family space, nothing organised, just family enjoying the space and resources of the church, in fact you might even call it church.

This is also an answer to one of the questions I asked myself the other day, how do you advertise intimacy?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Prayer Again

When I get up in the morning, I try to get up early and pray, but I am not a great morning person and can get easily distracted and my brain starts wandering off into all sorts of places. One of the things I try to do, if I am not really getting anywhere, other than deciding what will be for dinner, is to go back to the most basic way of prayer I know, the Lord's prayer.

What amazes me is how it covers so much. Yesterday, for instance, as I was saying, parenting is on my mind, and the first line of that prayer is ' My Father..', it makes me realise so much.

It then goes on, 'Holy be your name'- where am I using the name of Jesus, am I misusing it, am I bringing into everything, everychance, every conversation

' Your will be done..'- Am I being the hands and feet of Jesus, am I sharing His love, His ways to this world?

'Give us our daily bread'- Provide me with what I NEED.

'Forgive us.......'- I know I am a sinner, help me to show the mercy shown to me, to everyone else.

' Lead us not into..' -I am weak, I have an enemy, help.

' Yours is the power...' - It is all about you God, you are first.

I know it is simple, but it continues to help me, to know I can just go back to that and then I am able in my thought and speech to focus and say what I want to God.

To the anonymous commentor on self harm, I really hope you don't go back there, break the cycle, people do care, sounds easy just to say, I'm praying for you. Keep talking, one of the biggest problems is always the silence and taboo, break it. Never sounds enough, a few words on a blog, but there are others out there, shouting ' ME TOO' You aren't alone.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


One of my weaknesses I have become more aware as time has gone by, is my inconsistency, it is something I am desperate to change, not in a shameful, I feel so guilty sort of way, in the I am going to do something about this sort of way.

The biggest area of my inconsistency has been my parenting, I need to grow up, not stop having a laugh, being fun, but being more consistent in how I speak and the time I give my children. I have been a bit of a spoilt brat, looking for time for me on a lot of occasions, when I should have been putting my time into my children. I don't think I am a bad parent, I have just been at times, impatient, selfish and lazy. Must do better.

I also think this about my life in general. Following self, thinking about me and what I deserve, has been my downfall on so many occasions, and then no wonder why I have a temperament like a woman ( no offence ), but I can be very up and then very down. If there is no consistency and I can't get over myself, then there will always be a constant battle between my ego and my God.

It is God's way, not my way, I am getting there, in the happy way I need to, challenged, not shamed.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Some Questions

I feel great, excited and up for it, I just don't know what IT is???

I have had a great weekend, the YC had nearly 80 people on Friday night, exciting times. Tanya went to see her mum with the kids on Saturday, which means I got to watch uninterupted sport and read, very peaceful, lazy day, which I enjoyed thoroughly, then there was the snow.

Sunday is the best day for snow, more people can enjoy it rather than having to work in it, as I walked to church on Sunday, I was amazed by it, thinking of God sitting somewhere getting excited all over again about His creation.

I also did the Youth church on Sunday morning, on faith and works and loved it, I am going to do it more often and Sunday night was a continuing theme of alternative worship, which was really great.

So after that update, here are some questions that are running through my head.

How do you advertise intimacy? ( You want to be closer to people, but they don't know it)

Should we be looking at more space or less, or does more space give people places to hide?

Should mission be under one banner, does different activities spread a church thin, rather than a smaller group supported in being committed to mission in general?

Is there enough prayer? Is prayer a reflection of our desire for chasing after what God wants, is a lack of it an indication of where our priorities are?

How much am I ready for my life to be seriously interupted?

How does a young family become missional on its own?

Do we all need to take some white paint to our whole lives and start again, I mean really start again, different meal times and practices, throw out the TV, anything which is a routine, or a norm, change????


Friday, 21 November 2008


Following on from what I was saying about joy, I believe it is important to celebrate what I have, to run forward in expectation, to look at things in love. If I am not joyful, I am like a light under a veil, not fully hidden, but not shining as bright as I can.

This came up again and again in my small group last night. There are several of us reading John Ortberg's 'The life you've always wanted' as part of an older youth programme the church is running. In one of the chapters he talks about a DeeDah day, about the discipline of joy, about the relationships we don't and do have, the time we do and don't use, this was talked about last night, and there was loads in the bible to support our need to be more joyful, we are told to be joyful always. This isn't walking about with a permanent fixed grin, it is being aware of the life we have been given and living it.

This morning I was up early and I could hear the cockerels crowing, it really made me smile, to think they are declaring the beginning of a new day, a new day which belongs to God, He declares His mercies are new every morning, every morning.

I don't really know where God is leading me right now, I feel a need to be more missional and more outward looking, while being more intimate with those around me, I don't really know how to go about it, but thats ok, I am going to try and run, run like I'm running down a hill and can't stop, I know I'm doing things now which are exciting and new and God is in them, I don't know it all, I am going to run with joy anyway.

We have had a donation of some money for the YC and this week have bought a table football table ( That doesn't sound right) and an xbox 360 with fifa 09, and some other stuff for the PS2, I am well looking forward to tonight, I am going to share some joy.

I might finish the day with a beer and celebrate.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


I can very easily start to take myself far too seriously, as I said yesterday, I'll soon jump on a bandwagon and start ranting, in fact I am very good at ranting and do it quite often. I then get caught up in something too much and lose my joy.

One of my favourite psalms is psalm 51, David writes asking God to restore the joy of his salvation.

I, in petty arguments, taking things far too seriously, worries and everyday life, sometimes ( probably a lot more than sometimes) forget the joy of my salvation.

I am saved, I will screw up again, I am saved, there will be more worries, I am saved, I have a life now like I have never had before, I am saved, I will not always agree with others, I am saved.

Not only should I hold on to that joy to remember who, how and what I am, but also to show the the rest of the world, who and how and what I am. Saved and joyful.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

In Spirit and in Truth

I have recently read a book by RT Kendall called 'The Anointing' and there is a point he makes in the last couple of chapters that has opened my eyes a bit, he explains that we must be open to the word and the spirit.

I have seen some people recently who are very spirit driven, desperate for more of the Spirit, wholeheartedly chasing after God, but some things that have been said are not biblical, they are not of the Word. I am not knocking anyone and try to make sure, especially before making a statement like that, that I am not just being proud and closed to the Spirit or the Word. I know an awful lot more people who can be so into their bibles, but not open to the spirit, and not be spoken to through the word, only use it to justify themselves or their position.

It may be hard to acknowledge and I really humbly acknowledge that I can jump on bandwagons and get caught up wanting to see more of the power of the spirit, without it being backed up by the word of God and there have probably been times that I have used the Word out of context, balance is needed, self searching is needed, time and prayer are needed. Test everything.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


I can be argumentative, it is not hard for me to start getting impatient or annoyed with someone spouting rubbish, or just spouting. In other words I get very quickly defensive and touchy when people start speaking stuff that is just not true and when people want to talk without substance, just to bring attention back to themselves.

I try to question what I am hearing, but in this, am I becoming cynical and unable to be taught. I have tried lately to shut up more, it is important. It is important to listen and be open, even when I am being told something which is uncomfortable, that is in fact what I am afraid of missing out on, God telling me to sort myself out in some way and me being too proud to notice or take it on board. So I pray for more discernment, knowing when something is from God and when it isn't.

I want to act correctly though when I hear rubbish, I am still unsure how to do this without causing huge waves and pain, is there always a way, sometimes is it best to be blunt. Just after I became a christian, I got a picture of a sledgehammer knocking down a wall, and I believe that God wants me to be His sledgehammer at times, I just want to make sure I knock down the right walls. I have written and rewritten this post loads for all sorts of reasons, I hope I am understood.

Friday, 14 November 2008


Moving was stressful, it really wasn't that bad, it was quite easy, unrushed and we had plenty of help, but I managed to become mr mood. I have over the last few weeks become very snappy and lose my temper very quickly, mainly it has been me not communicating how I feel and then losing it at people for not noticing, I can be a bit spoilt like that and start to feel sorry for myself, especially if I am doing loads and I don't feel supported. Instead of asking for help, I let things boil up and then I blow.

This is something I really have to get into my thick head, how can I serve efficiently and properly if I have to whinge, I'm not serving then, I'm being a drain, sitting there saying what about me, am I serving myself or others? Do I seek recognition from man or God? Am I wanting people to come and help so they can see how hard I am trying and doing? When really I could do so much more, if I didn't get so caught up in me and waste so much energy on being negative.

I know God made me big and loud, excitable, encouraging and fun, with a big heart, when I am a moody, angry and selfish, all those good traits might not as well be there, because no one can see them. I think God, as He is changing where we live and what we do, is challenging me to look at me, and start being what He wants me to be, which is the 'who' I really am ( I hope that makes sense).

I love the film Chariots of Fire, and especially Eric Liddel, here comes the quote

Eric Liddell: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

Change fast for passionate or encouraging or a singer, or writer, or speaker, or tea maker, or.......

Thursday, 13 November 2008


I watched some TV last night, some quite contrasting viewing. I was in with the kids, Tanya out helping one of her friends with something, so I got everyone settled and sat down to watch a documentary on Prince Charles. I am a bit of a royalist and I think the queen has been great, consistent and has set a great example, Charles can be so easily judged, so I am going to try not to. I saw a man last night of passion and drive, using who and what he is to try to help and make a difference, in a difficult position of having to always trying to remain unbiased and nonjudgemental. A similar position that christians are in and although I do not agree with his desire to be a defender of faiths, as I see it as a bit of a contradiction, and I don't really know where he is spiritually, I was a bit inspired last night, what can be done if we do not rest, we dream, and get out there and see what is going on.

The contrast in viewing happened when I flicked over to see on channel 4 what is being done in the name of Jesus in Nigeria. Young children being denounced as witches and wizards by christian pastors, of scared families dumping, torturing or murdering their children because of these lies. I cry to see children being hurt in this way and after getting very angry, all I can say is that Jesus said anyone who causes one of these young to stumble, would be better to go and tie a millstone around their neck and jump in the sea. These pastors are relying on superstition, they, on many occasions claim they can help, but charge huge fees, I just get so frustrated even writing this down, I will name ' liberty foundation gospel ministries' as one of the perpetrators of this practice, how can they use the words gospel and liberty in their name, I do not know. I have to hold back, because I am aware that God can defend Himself, I just get so upset by the evil done in His name and the damage it does.

I then watched Heroes, it is the programme, that Tanya and I watch together, and she made it home in time, I am also speaking on heroes next month, hope its good.

My night of TV done for the week.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I'm Back

I am back, the internet has been switched on at this, my new address. It has been frustrating not being online, but also quite freeing, as in not being so dependent on being online, a forced break from checking in on emails and blogs and facebook and loads of other things that have managed to work their way into my routine.

There was one problem, I was waiting to hear from the prison service about how I got on with their recruitment day, I ended up going to the library to find out that I have passed that part of the selection process. Which is great, but now I have to wait for the vetting procedure, which involves credit and medical checks, which have me a bit concerned, all in Gods hands.

I do also find I have a bit to catch up on, people to get back in touch with, things to sort out. I wonder if I could break from the internet voluntarily for a period of time, that will be a challenge of mine next year. I will hopefully be able to update more tomorrow, but for now, there is plently to praise God about, and He is doing so much.