Thursday, 30 June 2011

A Diary Balancing Act

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The work I'm doing is all defined 
My diary is neat and nicely planned
The time slots are carefully allocated
With relaxation methods all selected

But then there's an emergency
I'm needed with great urgency
One rest slot after another
Gobbled up as I'm the called to others

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining
Just sharing how my diary's straining
I'm called to this, I find the time
But eventually I get the sign

The sign, that I need to rest
To take some time, regain my zest
Exhaustion strikes, I wake up weary
Not on my knees, my pretty nearly

This is when I make the time
To prioritise and draw the line
I get my diary back in hand
Balance it again as originally planned

I know it might only last four weeks
Maybe a term if I'm on a good streak
But each time I learn a little better
How to care for me as well as others

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Travelling bonus

I've been inspired by Christine Mosler and her post here.  She tells about meeting a celebrity unexpectedly and it making her day.  So here's who my bonus celebrity would be.

A few clues:
- it's a man
- he's had a lengthy and varied career
- Rachel wouldn't know who I was talking about
- Mike would

He's Michael Palin.
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He is my bonus celebrity.

It would be fabulous to meet him; just to meet this man who inspired my travels through his travelling .  Even better would be to ask him about his experiences, his highs and lows; that would blow my mind.

Michael Palin; Mike's comedy genius, my travelling hero; what a bonus that would be.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Baby loss is not murder!

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I'm sure many people this morning will have seen this article in The Guardian. It is an article about murder charges being brought against women who suffer miscarriage and still birth in some American States.  I'm sure most of you are as outraged as I am!

It is completely inappropriate to demonise and punish women who sadly loose their babies before, during or after birth without considerable, undeniable proof of wrong doing. 

Miscarriage is surprisingly common and not something that the women who suffer the loss of their baby have control over.  Those of us who have lost babies through miscarriage burden ourselves more than enough with unfounded guilt without needing societies judgement.

Still birth is a cruel event which causes untold pain and suffering for the parents who loose a child this way.  It is physically, emotionally and socially torturous and in no way something that anyone would engineer.

The article brings together a broad range of issues from antenatal depression to drug abuse to the abortion debate; in fact it can be confusing in it's breadth.  I will not deal with all of these.  But I will say.....

Drug abuse and depression are psychological issues for which an individual needs support not condemnation

Poor diet, smoking and drinking during pregnancy are often the result of lack of education for mothers.

I believe in the value of life.
I long for better care for mothers and babies prior to birth.
I will support women who loose their baby before, during or after birth.

If any good can come from this article is it raising the very real and painful experience of baby loss; the women who have to live through the death of their child need support not accusation.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

The tiny evangelist

Evangelism; scary word, scary idea!
After all doesn't evangelism mean one of these three things:

Standing in the high street declaring the need to turn to Jesus.
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Knocking on doors and trying to share the good news on door steps.
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Boring friends senseless with talk of how good it is being a Christian.
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How wrong these fears are.  How far from the truth these ideas are.  All we need to do is be like my tiny evangelist.  

Rachel knows how to evangelise before she even knows what the word means. She knows that God loves her and she loves God and she's not afraid to tell people.
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She likes talking to her friends about the fun she has at church, and funnily enough they "want a bit of that".
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She's not afraid of inviting her friends to church events, she expects that they'll want to come.
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This is what being an evangelist is these days.  It's knowing our faith, living our faith, sharing our faith, inviting others to see our faith.

And guess what; it works!
Rachel brings her friends to Sunday School and they ask to come back.  They "want a bit of that" and we are always ready to welcome anyone new.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Refugee week: praying for refugees

This week I have read, researched, cried, written and spoken about the plight of refugees.  Now, today, I pray and ask that you pray with me.

Father God, sustainer of life

You know the pain of refugees; through Jesus you experienced it.  
You know the loneliness of having no where that's home.  
You know the fear of not knowing where the next meal's coming from.
You felt it and feel it today with sorrow.

We ask for your care and warmth on those who are homeless; for your nourishment and goodness on those without food; and your love on those separated from their loved ones.

Bring strength to those who work with and for refugees; bring compassion to those who can make a difference; bring understanding to those who are worried by their needs.

Lord we are your hands and feet, please remind us of this as we hear about the plight of refugees and give us our own ways to help.

Through Jesus we pray.

For more information on refugee week please go to

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Refugee Week: the charities involved

It seems only fitting that I highlight the organisations that are part of Refugee Week.  These charities work together to support the importance of highlighting the plight and contributions of refugees in our society.

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British Red Cross
Freedom from torture
Scottish refugee council
Refugee action
Refugee council
Children's society
City of sanctuary
Welsh refugee council

Together these charities raise awareness, campaign for fairness and provide support for refugees.  If you would like to support the plight of refugees in the UK, please consider donating to one of them.

On behalf of all of us; well done, thanks for all you do and keep it up - it's more important than ever.

For more information on refugee week please go to

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Refugee week: Somalia

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Anyone who saw BBC Panorama this week will have seen the ever continuing nightmare of war in Somalia.  The one thing we know about war zones is that they create refugees; this is as true in Somalia as anywhere else.  

But does the world still know about it?
Its unreported, neglected, ignored.
This week as we think about refugees let us think of those who have been on the search for safety for so many years. 20 years!

Over 750,000 Somali refugees are sheltering in an enormous refugee camp in Kenya; and the numbers increase by almost 10,000 a day!  Huge numbers of people will no homes, no quality of life and no knowledge of the future.  This is what being a refugee is like; it's awful but it's better than the alternative.

What is the alternative?
From what are they fleaing?

It's the horror of Mogadishu!
Gun fights
Pillaging of homes
Rape of women and children
Well over a million people dead

What is being a refugee like?
Not even your basic needs are met.
No shelter from the elements other than stick shelters.  Limited clean water, less than we would drink a day.   Very little food, a share of what little aid makes it's way to them.

Can you imagine living without knowing if you can feed your children?

What can they look forward to?
Nothing.  After twenty years of war how can these people imagine the future? They hope to stay alive, stat together as a family; that's it.

This is what being a refugee is really like.  
This is why people flea their homeland and ask other countries to care for them.  This is why I argue with those who think we should close our UK Borders.  

It is easy to pretend refugees are looking for a free ride; but not when you know the facts.  These are the facts; and I have not even shared the worst.

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For more information on refugee week please go to


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Refugee week: do a simple act

As part of the refugee week campaign I am today doing a simple act:
Find one big or small thing that was created by a refugee.

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This simple act highlights the contributions that refugees make to the world. What better way to celebrate 60 years of contributions by refugees.

So what did I find?
There are too many to mention, so I've gone back to my engineering routes and selected architects.  Two refugees were a key part of the building of the Millennium Dome in London; now the O2 arena.  They are Richard Rogers' whose parents were refugees; and Eva Jiricna who herself fled from Czechoslovakia.

For more about the invaluable contribution that refugees made and continue to make to our society please continue visiting the exhibition at the V&A museum.  There you'll find many refugees without whom we would be worse off including my second choice, Freud.

For more information on refugee week please go to

Monday, 20 June 2011

refugee week: what is a refugee?

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This week is refugee week and today is world refugee day.  So what does the word refugee mean to you?  

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The Collins dictionary defines it as "a person who has fled from some danger or problem, especially political persecution"

But how would you define the word refugee?  
Can you define it?  
Can you tie it down?  
Can one definition encompass all the refugees in the world?

It seems to me that every time I understand what a refugee is, a new trauma creates more refugees and my definition needs redefining.

Today this seems the closest I can get to my definition of refugee:
a person who has, in desperation, left their home to find a place where their life will no longer be at risk.

For more information on refugee week please go to

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fathers day meets the great commission

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Matthew 28:16-20
The Commissioning of the Disciples

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’


It's the great commission.  Jesus' sending out of the disciples.  The great commission which instructs all of us now as much as it did to the eleven then.

"Go and make disciples."
How amazing and terrifying must that have been for the disciples.  I can not know, but I can imagine how they must have felt because when I realise that those are instructions to me as well I feel strong emotions.

What me? 
Make disciples? 
Choose others? 
Lead others? 
Teach others?
Surely not.
Have you seen me?
I'm just an ordinary person.
You can't possibly mean me.

Yet I know God does call us, all of us who know Him, to "Go and make disciples".  
God knows us, He loves us, He values us and He sends us out.  He chooses us exactly because of everything we are, we ARE good enough.

And when fear overwhelms us, all we need do is read the last verse of the commission: 
"I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Jesus did not abandon the disciples to go it alone.  Not a bit of it.  He sent them out WITH him.  Jesus would be alongside them in their mission.  Supporting then every step of the way.  

And He is with US today in our mission.  Jesus is there alongside us.  In fact he is ahead of us.  He has gone ahead and paved the way.  Our mission is to show people what they already know in their hearts.  We do the footwork for God, He does the ground work.

Today is Fathers Day.  
A day when we celebrate the father figures in our lives; those who lead, nurture, support and sustain us. 
A day when we thank God for being Our Father.

What does this have to do with the great commission?

"go and make disciples" - what better message could there be for a Father.  

Father figures are those who lead and teach us.  Those who guide us through our lives.  This is what making disciples is about.  Fathers make disciples of their children.  

In the simplest example our fathers modelled walking and helped us take our first tentative steps.

"I am with you always, to the end of the age" - Our Father is with us.

God is with us always.  He is with us in our need to be fathered.  And He is with us in the being of a Father.  We need not fear, we are not alone, we are supported and guided and loved.  Our fathers continue to walk alongside us as long as we need.  So does God Our Father.

This fathers day we remember that we are chosen as we are to go out in the world and make disciples.  Through our fathering, our mothering, our befriending.  And as we do so we thank Our Father that he goes before us in our lives.  As our own fathers went before us as we learned to walk.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Jonah the groaner

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This week in God Squad at St Nicolas Earley we looked at the bible story of Jonah.  We are following the Lion Storyteller Bible by Bob Hartman and in it the story's called "Jonah the Groaner.

We hear the story; we think about how we are like Jonah; we think about when we can ask God for help and how we can help others; and we make a huge picture of the sea with Jonah and the whale.

Session plan
Message: Jonah hid from God when he was scared to do what God asked him.

Ministry: do we find it hard to do the right thing? Do we groan and run away when asked to do something we don't like.  Is it easy to ask God for help when we feel embarrassed or scared? We are more like Jonah than we think; but God is still always there for us.

Mission: how can we help others as God helps us? Perhaps being a buddy at school, or offering to help people who need it?  This week let's try to help people like God helps us.

My latest dream home

I have previously written about the self esteem activity "dream homes" so I won't go over old ground.  But look at my most recent version.

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How different.
It's more accessible; more inviting; on a beach somewhere.
Ok it's clearly still separated from the rest of the world, it's not in a community; but it's so much more positive than previous versions.

Healing truly did happen over Easter.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Choosing to die

I've just watched the BBC programme presented by Terry Pratchett entitled "Choosing to Die".

I expected to be quite detached whilst watching it.  I expected to feel that it is every individual's right to die; especially if they are suffering unimaginably.  I expected the programme to make sense to me.

But that's not how I feel.
It has shaken me, I have cried and I am coming down on the side against assisted suicide, where previously I wasn't.

Because if it can be this easy I might not be here today. 

I have been depressed to the point of trying to end life.  I have been despondent with no desire to live.  I have seen my future and wished to take no steps into it. 

I've been there.
But I survived.  
I hated the fact that I survived.
It took me over a year to see any benefits in surviving.
But now I am thankful that I did.
I am glad I didn't die.

And ok that's not the same as the despair in the midst of a terminal illness; but the programme has made me question whether we DO have a right to choose if and when to die.  Is anyone in that position really level enough to make the decision?

There are many others who will provide more theological, social, anthropological and legal reasons for and against.  But for me, today, I have been moved personally and my views have altered based on my experience.

Sir Terry Pratchett; thanks for making this film, exploring the issues and bringing the subject to our thoughts.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sunday school ministry

My first official LLM Calling vlog

Sunday school leadership is a ministry as important as leading the main service

Monday, 13 June 2011

GAVI Summit for immunisations

The GAVI summit was today
Leaders, scientists all to weigh
The pros and cons of their investment
On saving lives throughout the nations

To start, great men did talk to all
Rose our interest, large and small
Across the world their words did carry
So on this issue none would tarry

Children dieing every hour
We do not see from our ivory tower
But just because we do not see
Does not mean it is not to be

One simple jab in every arm
Will save them from diseaseful harm
Diarrhea and Pneumococal dieseases
Eradicated, no more wheezes

Our kids receive it automatic
Part of an oath, hippocratic
Now all children will receive
life, and mothers will not grieve

Urge your leaders to support
this cause to bring about transport
of immunisations far and wide.
Help destroy the health divide

by Emma, inspired by the coverage of the GAVI summit on 13th June 2011.

Being Directed

This is the third post of a three part series entitled "healing, counselling and guidance".
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This series discusses the changes in my emotional and spiritual support over the last few months. Today we focus on the spiritual direction element. Being Directed.

Two weeks ago I finally made the move to a new spiritual director, one whom I had met a few months ago through the Open Door Retreat. I knew she would be the right person to take me through to the next stage in my christian journey as soon as I met her; and it helped that she is a qualified counsellor as well, I need someone who can understand my complexities.

so what is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is the process of accompanying people on a spiritual journey. Spiritual direction exists in a context that emphasizes growing closer to God.

The first session was much more relaxed and positive than I expected. Yet also a lot more challenging in it's aftermath than I hoped. It's all for the best though. I know that this change will help me move forward, that my director will guide me well and also hold me safe.

I would never have imagined the changes over the last few months, they would have overwhelmed and scared me if I'd been told; but looking back I see the massive journey it has been and am thankful for the process as well as the place I'm at now.

onwards we go.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


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The word comes from the Latin "spiritus" meaning breath.  It also has a secondary meaning of inspiration which implies those invisible qualities like love, courage, peace and truth.

Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.  
The breath of God in the world.
The giving of inspiration to our lives.

Psychologists, theologians and anthropologists are forever studying spirituality to see if they can pin it down. 
What does it mean?
How does it work?

I am fascinated by these studies and read their findings with interest.  But am usually left wondering why there is such a desire to academically define spirituality.  

That is until a few weeks ago when I read a book entitled "slugs, snails and puppy dog tails".  For the first time I found a useful categorisation of spiritual connection.  

The author provides five ways that we can experience connection with the spirit, each of us preferring sone ways more than others:
- relational - building relation with God
- aesthetic - art, music, acting, craft
- active - doing, being, giving
- intrapersonal - with/thru others 
- ritualistic - worship liturgy

As we go through our service this morning we welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives.  We connect through the liturgy ritualistically.  As we lift our voices in praise and look at the flags we connect aesthetically.  As we sit, stand and walk we connect actively.  In the peace and at coffee we connect with others personally.  And through prayer, the reading of the bible and taking of communion we connect relationally.  

We experience the Holy Spirit in church.  But how easy is the spiritual connection outside this place?  How easily do we feel the breath of life and inspiration of the spirit at home, at work, at play?  

This morning four of our young people have kindly agreed to share their experiences of the Spirit in their lives.    As you hear their experiences I hope that you may realise the myriad of ways that the breath and inspiration of the spirit are in your lives.

Guys please come and join me.

Today we celebrate the spirit.  We feel the breath in our World.  We know the inspiration in our lives.  As we go out today I hope that you take the holy spirit with you, into your home, work places and communities.  Amen

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Friday, 10 June 2011

End of a counselling era

This is the second post of a three part series entitled "healing, counselling and guidance".
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This series discusses the changes in my emotional and spiritual support over the last few months. Today we focus on the counselling element. End of a counselling era.


After my Easter experience I went to counselling a few weeks later with a weight lifted. On the way to the session my mind was thinking back 7 years to how I had felt and been when I first walked into my counsellor's room.

I had known I needed to be there, after all it had been me that had researched and found her. But I was wearing my protective mask, the one that I needed just to function; the one that hid the fearful child inside me and projected a professional successful woman.

It took well over a year for me to loose the mask in therapy, and at least another two years for me to destroy the mask altogether. In that time I worked on my worth, my acceptance of myself, my own faults and strengths and generally worked through my emotional life from toddlerhood to adulthood. If that sounds easy, it wasn't; but it was worthwhile.

Seven years later I have self examined, learned, cried, laughed, despaired, almost given up, driven through, grown, accepted and forgiven myself. It has been hard work and worth every single bit of it. Without this work I don't believe I could have got to the point I was at Easter. I did the hard work I needed to, I could then truly ask for the healing I needed from God.

This was how I went into my counselling after Easter. I was a different person and my counsellor saw that. She saw the change in me; she saw that final corner turned; she saw that it was time to say STOP!

STOP Emma, you don't need to keep coming to counselling.
STOP Emma, it's time to go it alone now.
STOP Emma, STOP relying on therapy.

There were tears and reminiscences and fear, but it was OK. We worked through those in our last ever 10 minutes together. This was the end of an era and we both knew it.

Vlogging, a new way of blogging

Stripped back
Laid bare
Fear filled

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Poor Kids; society is failing them

Late on Tuesday night on BBC1 was an amazing documentary called Poor Kids. I'm not sure how many people watched it, it wasn't prime time and I didn't see it advertised; I was lucky enough to catch it completely by accident.

For an hour I was mesmerised by the children that were the focus of the programme. I was shocked by the conditions they lived in. I was full of admiration of their maturity, sense and intelligence. I was dismayed by the fact that so many live in conditions that are sub-human.

I thought I knew.
I thought I was beyond being shocked.
I thought that poverty like this was rare.
I was wrong.

How can we let anyone live in these conditions?
How can there be families in the UK forced to live like this?
How can we live with ourselves knowing that so many have so little?
We must help.

Who is to blame for this?
Who can live knowing this is life for some?
Who do we need to make understand this is wrong?
We must tell.

Go and watch this programme.
Go and admire these children.
Go and petition your MP and Government.
We must act.

Healing at the foot of the cross

This is the first post of a three part series entitled "healing, counselling and guidance".  
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This series will discuss the changes in my emotional and spiritual support over the last few months.  Today we start with my experience over Holy Week. Healing at the foot of the cross.

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Holy Weeks over the last few years have been traumatic for me, they've been an overload of emotions leaving me feeling drained.  Easter Sunday has always been a relief, but not a healing of the under belly of emotion.

Over this last year I've been focussing on trying to accept that God forgives me for my mistakes and wrongdoings.  "Jesus died for our sins; my sins; I'm forgiven" has been my mantra.   

I have been holding onto guilt, both true and false for many things in my life.  It had become debilitating and had been getting in the way of my development in ministry.  I just couldn't hand it over though; couldn't forgive myself for my failings and couldn't accept an amount of the guilt was unfounded. 

This Holy Week it has all been lifted from me.  I prayed for emotional healing every day through Lent.  I additionally meditated through Holy Week on "God loves and accepts and chooses me as I am". Then on Good Friday at the vigil, I felt a lightening, a lifting, a true forgiveness.  As I mourned the death if Jesus I knew for the first time that he died to save sins, including my own.  What a miracle.  What a change.  What a healing.

Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Life is ....

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Life is like a tree
In many way I find
Starting hidden far from sight
Growing from the ground

First shoots sprouting quickly
Every day there's one
Rapidly it's growing
Reaching for the sun

Over time it starts to slow
Focuses on life
Leaves to sustain itself
Fruit which flowers provide

Now it is established
Mature, majestic, proud
Standing tall for many years
On it's roots it's sound

Written for my Dad's 70th birthday.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Top 5 Decisions I'm glad I made

.....with God

1. To Listen
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Don't get me wrong, sometimes I long for the time before listening to God, it can be inconvenient when His plans on my life conflict with my own.  But mostly I am extremely glad that I started to listen, continued to listen and keep listening.

2. To trust
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Yes, it was a decision to trust God to lead me.  I'm not good on trusting.  I prefer to rely on myself.  But God requires my trust in Him and I desperately try to do my part.

3. To like me
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It has taken me 35 years and it's a work in progress, but I am really starting to accept and like 'me' just as me.  To hear that I'm good enough.  To know that God chooses me as I am.  It's hard to hear, hard to accept, hard to know; but I'm getting there.  

4. To take time
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I am happy being busy.  I like to be occupied.  Just look at how much I blog.  But I am learning that I need to make time for me, which means taking time whenever I can.  I now value this time.  I value it for me, for Mike, for Rachel.  I value this time to energise myself and allow me to think and reflect and just be.  I appreciate the time I now take for me, and I'm so glad for being taught how.

5. To blog
When I started blogging I thought it would be a record of my calling, selection, training and ministry.  Nothing more.  Three years on I am amazed at how therapeutic blogging is to me, how many people read my ramblings and how much I value the community I have met through it.  I am even starting to think of my blog as part of my ministry, but I don't want to get carried away.

Thanks for this blog post go to This weeks Listography by KateTakes5.  Please visit her post and list here

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Art as Altruism

Today a new undertaking has been launched

Art as Altruism

The blog brings together artists, poets, writers and crafters who are passionate about charities and charitable giving. It will also feature articles on art and acts of altruism.

If you would like to be involved in this exciting new project then please contact me.

May we have unity

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John 17:1-11

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
 "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.  "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.  For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.  I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.  I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name---the name you gave me---so that they may be one as we are one.


What more amazing prayer is there?
What a humbling experience it is to read Jesus' prayer to his father.

It is a conversation between a father and a son.  A request by Jesus to be brought back into the glory of God that before his earthly life he had lived.  

I have completed my task.
I have done my job.
Please accept me back.
Let me sit beside you again.
Bring me back into your glory.
"Father, glorify me in your presence."

He had lived as a man, worked as a man, followed his call, made disciples, healed the sick, taught the many, shown God through himself, given himself to suffering and death, been resurrected and now just wanted to go home.  What a human plea.  What a very real request.

However that was only the start.  Jesus then prays for his disciples.  Prays for their safety and protection.  Jesus knows the risks they will take, the danger they will face.  He loves these men, he knows these men, now he just wants to know they will be safe.  Jesus' last request is to keep his disciples, his friends protected.

Then we come to the last ten words: "so that they may be one as we are one".

Jesus prays for unity.  
He prays for togetherness.  
He prays for the church. 

Jesus knows that the disciples will travel far and wide; that they will be geographically distant from each other.  He knows that this separation could cause differences and variations.  So Jesus prays that as God and Jesus are one in communication and love, so may be the disciples in the establishment of the church.

Unity within the church.
What a dream that would be.
How far from that is the church now?

We have denominational differences and theological differences and human differences.  We are all Christians, yet I don't think we could even pretend we are "one".  In Earley alone there are at least seven very different churches.  At times we come together and are united, halleluia!  But not often; mostly we keep ourselves to ourselves.

As Jesus ascended into heaven, to be again with the father, forever; his prayer was for unity in the church.  And so today may we pray for unity.  Within local churches, within communities, within denominations, between denominations, throughout the world.  Unity.  


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

When God first touched me

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This was the sight out of the window this evening; the sun streaming through the clouds.  

It spoke to me, reminded me, so I took the photo.

Now it sits at the start of this post where I will share the time God first touched my life.  I guess you could say this is my testimonial.

It was 1993.
I was at the Grand Canyon.
I felt lower than ever before, or since.
I was completely overawed by the canyon. 
It blew me away with it's creational majesty.  
I just wanted to stay there;
permanently; for eternity.

Then the clouds opened.  
The sun broke through. 
The rays of sunlight came from the heavens to the floor of the canyon.

And I knew!

I knew God was there.
I felt His presence in my life.
I accepted that yes, God was there and had me safe in His love.

I stepped back from the edge of the canyon.
I stepped back into God's arms.
Right then I knew His love.

It took me another 11 years to find a church.
Eleven years of seeking,
loving and knowing
that God had me.

I am blessed to be here.
I am thankful to God for stepping in that day.

Forever rays of sun through the clouds will remind me of that day when God first touched me. me.
11 years of seeking,
loving and
knowing that God had me.

I am blessed to be here.
I am thankful to God for stepping in that day.

Forever rays of sun through the clouds will remind me of that day when God first touched me.

Psalm 22 rewritten

Where are you God?
Why don't you help me?
I cry for you
Why don't you answer?

You are Holy Lord
All generations praise you
You delivered those who trusted
You saved those that asked

But I am despised
People mock me
They say you won't rescue me
Will you?

You gave me life
You have always been my God
Don't be far away
I need help

I am surrounded
I am threatened
I am shrivelled
I am close to death

Don't be far away Lord
Come to my aid
Save my life
Deliver my soul

You have rescued me
I will shout your praises
"Glorify the Lord
He came when I cried"

The earth shall remember
All will turn to you
The generations will worship you
You rule all nations Lord

All will bow down to you
All will live for you
All will be told of you
All will proclaim you Lord


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Friday, 3 June 2011

Spiralling Faith

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This doodle inspired the poetry

Starting small
Exploring slowly
Every turn
Something new

Growing bigger
Confidence growing
Listening more
Following you

Journey lengthens
Turning less often
Relying more
On you, my guide

Spiralling further
Away from the start
Reliance needed
On You, my source

Looking back
So far I've journeyed
Learned so much
Where you lead me
Spiralling faith
Growing and growing
Leading me onwards
I'm following you.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Whispers in the quiet

The clock ticks
The sleepers snore gently
The heating hums
The quiet is plenty

It's silent, almost
As quiet as it gets
Its perfect for hearing
Whispers, and yet

Its nothing major
No great shout
The clues in the name
A whisper's about

A thought or word
A feeling, not call
An image or tune
Slight, that's all

But slight they're not
The whispers to me
They sustain and inspire
Show me what can be

So I sit in the quiet
Enjoying the time
Hearing the whispers
Accepting then as mine

God's in the whispers
Talking to me
I hear him gently
Telling what's to be.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Abbey Cloister

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The abbey cloister 
Is peaceful and quiet
Sitting on a bench 
I now reflect

Monks of the past
Once lived and prayed
Perhaps sat here
They did contemplate

Same bird sounds
Same bright sun
In the ruined cloister
I can relate

Where else in our world
Can we find such peace?
Places like this one!
We must save their fate

Inspired and written in the Beaulieu abbey cloister on 1st June 2011.

Away from it all

Leaving home soon after five 
I packed up earlier for the drive
Buckled up
Ready to go
Even turned off the mobile phone

One hour later, slower we drive
We know that soon we will arrive
Forest trees
Sea of blue
Away from it all; a world or two

By seven pm we're home from home
By the sea we wander and roam
Watching waves
Feeling at peace
Away from it all, stress will cease

Just like that we've slowed right down
All is smiles, no more frowns
Lazy mornings
Lazier days
Time to relax, think, laugh and play

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Written at Barton on Sea on 31st May 2011