Thursday, 22 November 2012

Luke Skywalker

I am currently reading a book by Nick Hornby, he wrote 'About a Boy' and 'Fever Pitch' which were films I thoroughly enjoyed, and his books tend to get very good reviews, so I thought I would have a go at one that did not have a film attached. In the wonderful local second hand book shop I found 'How to be Good.' I am enjoying it, although it can be a bit uncomfortable at times, I don't know if that is a good thing or not?

At the beginning of one of the chapters, the protagonist states 'I have to be Luke Skywalker because I don't know who else to be.' I though that was a brilliant line and a brilliant observation on the world as we know it,  a world in which people are looking for answers, heroes, someone to follow, more out of life, something else.  The world offers escapism into fiction. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge escapee, but in the words of the poet, I don't want dreams to become my master, they often do. I have now given up the ghost that I will be scoring the winning goal for Northern Ireland in the world cup final and yet I struggle to give up the fantasy of one day headlining Glastonbury even though I can't sing. Are dreams a form of envy, for another life? or are dreams what drive us on? Or are dreams somewhere to hide when it has not turned out the way we thought it would? What do we do with our dreams? I suppose we become Luke Skywalker?

The end of this specific chapter, ends like this...'When I look at my sins ( and if I think they're sins, then they are sins). I can see the appeal of born-again Christianity. I suspect that it's not the Christianity that is so alluring; it's the rebirth. Because who wouldn't wish to start all over again?'

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


I often hear people talking about the UK as a Christian nation, or as other nations 'under God', it really makes me think what that means. What is a Christian nation? what does it look like? is there a Christian country?

Is it the UK a Christian country because the Queen is a Christian?
Is the US a Christian country because the president is a Christian and he has Christian spiritual advisors?
What happens if their successors are not followers of Jesus, does the nation stop being 'under God?'
Is the UK a Christian country in terms of an historical remnant of Christendom, just trying to keep things the way they were?
Or what about regionally? Is Northern Ireland more Christian? Or some of the Scottish Isles? Places which have held onto tradition, have retained who they are and are unmoving on certain issues. I read recently that there are no mosques in Northern Ireland, more Christ like? or more intolerant? Or more secure in who they are?
What about the Republic of Ireland, who this week have had huge protests about the death of a woman because she could not have an abortion in this Christian country?
What about France, one of the most secular countries on earth, who have had large protests this week against gay marriage?
What about Bhutan? Whose government believe that the peoples happiness is more important than their wealth?
What about Uruguay? Whose socialist leader, only takes a wage the equivelant to that of an average worker and gives the rest to charity and lives on his wife's farm rather than the official residence.

How are we known?
I suppose it is the same as personally?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A prayer

Prayer based on the armour of God

Lord, I pray this day that your truth will hold me up and I                                                                                                                       can rely on it, because my very being knows that I have                                                                                                                                                                                               been made right through what Jesus has done and I can                                                                                                                                                                                                    walk forward today, at peace, secure, in your good news.                                                                                                                                                                     I trust you to protect me, for you have saved me.                                                                                                                                                                                              I want to run in spirit and in truth, through my relationship                                                                                                                                                                             with you, your word and the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                                                                                                               Help me to continue to share my life with you through                                                                                                                                                          prayer and shine you into the world. 


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Annie's Song

In about 1997 I went through a period of Monday night jamming with my best Paul, I say jamming, I don't play anything, Paul use to come round with his guitar and I would sing along, sometimes we would write stuff, sometimes we would do covers. It was a really good time, a couple of beers and a singalong.

One night Paul came round and we had heard that day that John Denver had died, so that night we decided to do John Denver covers in tribute to the man. Some absolutely fantastic songs. I love Country Road, but my favourite is the incredibly soppy Annie's Song.

That was a really good night and last night I was reminded of it when Annie's Song came on the radio and I started to sing along, in fact I found my self just speaking to God through the lyrics, of worshipping God in that Song, such great words, 'come fill me again', 'you fill up my senses', it is an amazing song of desire and pursuing, devotional, maybe even obsessional love.

I love it when I see God all over the place, I think it is an important thing to do, to search out, listen out and look out for God, it is a reminder of His closeness and greatness and seeing God everywhere is a reminder of the personal relationship I have with God.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

First Impressions

It just seems so easy to judge, it is something I do loads and something I don't want to do and something I certainly don't want done done to me.

Someone told me that if you type in 'why do Christians...' on Google, the predictive search will come up with 'judge.' I tried it, its not true. But Christians are extremely well known for doing something that Jesus was very specific about saying not to do. In fact the bit that worries me, is that Jesus said that I will be judged the same way that I judge.

So many situations, just coming into contact with people, judgements are made, first impressions, based on class, marital status, dress sense, sex, age, children, looks, voice, the list can go on and on and on. Where does an impression become a judgement? How do I approach people, with the attitude of a blank canvas? Should I? I have to be open to perceive, to try and understand, to notice maybe what is going on in someones life and yet not add my own bias.

Knowing people is key, relationship. Getting rid of internal bias is so important and yet so difficult.

Don't let your mind go there, stop before the judgement begins.

I have loads to say on judging, something that plagues me and something I'm battling through.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Funny thing temptation, it can sneak right up on you nad can easily be about not doing as doing.

Things I want to be doing all involve making an effort, being organised, getting active. It is so much easier not to do, like not writing a blog, sitting here and having to think about what I am actually writing instead of just getting lost in another book or randomly browsing the internet. The reason I wanted to write a blog, involved having loads of thoughts and wanting to put them down somewhere, I still have the thoughts, but they just run around in my head and then end up getting lost.

I am not writing this blog to say I will now be writing more blogs, I just had something in my head I wanted to put down.

The other thing I find with temptation though is what is going round my head, is that God always provides a way out, an exit strategy, sometimes we don't see it, but it is definitly there. A good example is the internet, how many clicks does it take to go somewhere you don't want to be, it still involves clicking, there is the exit, don't click. Sometimes easier said than done, or how about the tv, something on which you really know is not doing you any good and there is a remote control, we don't even have to get up to change the channel, but the channel stays on, the way out is there. I know the places that if I went to it would be easy for me to get dragged down or into something I shouldn't, so it is best for me not to go there.

Always look for the way out, it is there, it just involves making making a choice and actually doing. I know there is more to that, more about breaking cycles and making hard decisions, but I just wanted to get that out of my head.