Honest Christianity – all that you are

all you are.jpg

I sent this image out with our weekly rota this week, I had some nice feedback and thanks from the staff I sent it to. Within the different teams I am a part of, we do a reasonable amount of staff support and care. One aspect that comes up on a regular basis is how we see and treat ourselves. It seems we are rarely gentle or as kind to ourselves as we are to others. This is what I had in mind when I added this to our mailing, not to focus on on our deficits, but our assets. For the reader to remind themselves, I am loved unconditionally by God, made in that God’s image, I am at least reasonable at my job and seek to do my best by my family and friends. God is for me, not against me, and most of the time, I desire to do God’s will and fulfill His purposes. I am a human being entitled to being treated with respect and dignity. I am sure I am not perfect but I am more than my weaknesses. So, how about this week, we concentrate on the positives God says about us, rather than the small voices in our heads or the oppressive voices without.
God can not love you any more or any less.



Friday photo – boat rocker

This picture on Twitter jumped out at me yesterday. I have been in a lot of conversations recently about change and am grateful that usually the conversations are with boat rockers which is exciting but I am always mindful of others who are not so comfortable with the process.

Wondering Wednesdays – priorities


This was a laugh out loud birthday card from my lovely friends Jo and Paul and certainly reflects what I enjoy! However, for my birthday I finally bought a fitbit. I am yet to decide if this was a good idea or a bad idea! I have become better at making looking after myself a priority and while it will not be helpful to add another set of oughts or shoulds to my daily life, helping me to be more mindful of the way I look after my body I am hoping will be helpful. I am trying to be realistic about goals as psychologically for me it is better to achieve a realistic goal than not hit an unrealistic one so I am looking at starting off with 5k steps a day not the much quoted 10. I am doing pretty well with my water intake and will be interested to see the statistics on my sleep. I don’t yet understand the heart rate information and I have only done the breathing exercises once. I am hoping I can make my fitness and physical wellbeing a priority but will not stop enjoying a visit to a good cafe on a day out!

Honest Christianity – Trinity: join with or become divine?

“The spiritual journey is a struggle to be ever more available to God and to let go of the obstacles to that transforming process. The gospel is not merely an invitation to be a better person. It is an invitation to become divine. He invites us to share the interior life of the Trinity”. Thomas Keating

This week I was facilitating a teaching day on Trinity. It is one of my favourite days teaching of the year. Least you become confused, not because I think I understand it any more than the next person, but I have reflected upon the insights and implications of the applied principles of the interaction between the persons of the Trinity.

I enjoy and concur with Keating that one of these implications of the Trinity being a community, is that we are invited in to and not excluded from. This is so exciting to become included in the most secure, affirming, dynamic interrelationship going. Personally, I don’t think this means we become God, the divine, but join with the divine, to belong, interact from within an including, welcoming, got room for all us communal God.

Friday photo – golf watching

Down to Reading for birthday meal and North London derby tomorrow. On my way stopped off to meet adorable nephew at the golf club. Watching him hit the ball is amazing. I was there when he hit his first ever shot on a proper course and even then you could see he had a natural talent. I was teaching on Wednesday about spirituality and how for me sport is part of that. The line in Chariots of Fire ‘God made me fast’ is one that resonates.

Wondering Wednesdays – why I keep writing


I blog twice a week, not a lot of words but it keeps the discipline of writing alive for me. Last Friday we ran our annual writing day for the Grove Youth Series encouraging people to write a booklet or anything else they wanted. It is always an encouragement to have conversations with people about how they can share some of their thoughts and insights with the wider world. On Friday this ranged from explicitly missional under fives work to school and church relationships, and doing detached work. And those were just the conversations I had.

Several of the Editorial Group gave some input around different aspects of writing and participants got a pack of notes. Next year’s is on February 1st!

I also read about writing and am enjoying pondering on these reflections:
Active writing at least, where we sometimes write through what we think we know in order to discover that we actually think something else entirely. Thus writing changes the writer as much perhaps or even more than the reader.

Objectivity does not necessarily get lost in this mix but it does disguise itself sometimes in subjective language, just as subjectivity often hides behind the refusal to use the personal pronoun.

From John Freeman Remaking Memory Faringdon: Libri Publishing 2105 p27

Honest Christianity – spiritual democracy or dictatorship


There are so many ways in which we seek to make sense of miracle blessings and inconceivable evil. As some of you may recall, I am a big a fan of the book The Shack, and while away recently away reading, I read Randal Rauser’s reflections called Finding God in the Shack.
In one part he reflects on the thoedicy of the story.
“By the same token, God could have created creatures that could not choose evil. But instead He created free creatures with the potential for evil, recognising that ultimately the good of truly free creatures would more than offset the limited dissonance……Papa explains that ‘all evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice. If I were to simply revoke all the choices of independence, the world as you know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning’” (p109-10).
This is one of the ways in which I can at least, if not go as far as say’ng makes sense of suffering, enables me to go back to work tomorrow ready and prepared to come alongside those in some of the saddest situations life can bring and be able to say that the God of love is with and for you.