Friday, 28 November 2008


N.B. *Contains strong opinions* Anyone else been watching 'I'm A Celebrity...'? Normally I quite enjoy watching it, but this series of Celebrities are really beginning to grind my teeth.

There are not many things that really anger me, but this one really has created such a deep sense of injustice and annoyance that it's being embedded in my stomach right now. Sitting down to watch TV this evening, I ended up watching 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!' and was watching the way the celebrities constantly complained of hunger and not having enough to eat. And to be honest, I was quite glad. Maybe after experiencing it for themselves, they might be more wary of so many of the world that experience that everyday, without the thought that it'll all be over in a few weeks.

However, nothing annoyed me more than hearing David Van Day moan on and on about not have cake or champagne for his birthday, and how no-one seemed to care that it was his birthday. He got all annoyed because Brian and Esther didn't destroy 1000 potatoes to win a luxury box - they said they didn't do it because it was wasteful of the potatoes. He said that they obviously didn't care it was his birthday and had a little tantrum. Just shut up! No, I don't care that it's your birthday, because you're not that special, so get over yourself! Eurgh! That annoyed me.

Why does nobody seem to care? Why are people so immune to the suffering that goes on day after day after day? Why is it that massive things, like the Tsunami and 9/11 get so much media coverage, but everyday death and starvation and suffering go unnoticed? Won't anybody listen?

Thursday, 20 November 2008


N.B. It's actually beginning to hurt more and more as each day goes by. Somebody just take me home. :(

Just thought I would share a gem of humour from one of my lovely girlies this afternoon.

Lauren: I think I'm psychic!
Phil: What am I thinking?
Lauren: I'm a weirdo?
Phil: Wow! That was amazing!
Ami: Okay, okay, what am I thinking?
Lauren: How should I know!

And I always thought boys said silly things...

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


N.B. This is pretty much what I preached on Sunday, although obviously, I have changed it a little bit to fit with it being posted on a blog as opposed to spoken in church. The service was all about being the body of Christ, and the young people did so well, bless them. I loved seeing how much they have all grown and changed since I started working with them last September, as many have commented on my development since I started working here. For sure... I would not have been preaching last September.

"We are the body of Christ. We are the Church. We are a group of people travelling together. We are men, women and children of all ages, races and societies supporting one another on our long, and often tiring journeys to our final home. When we share together in communion, eating and drinking the bread and wine, we become that one body. Through the visible, outward sign of the inner grace we experience, we become more than a team, a group or even a fellowship. We become the one body of Christ, the Living Lord, present in the world.

The church is holy, and sinful. It is spotless and it is tainted. The church is the bride of Christ, washed in cleansing water and made one with Him. The church too, is a group of sinful, confused and anguished people constantly tempted by the powers of lust and greed and always entangled in rivalry and competition. When we say that the church is a body, and we too, are part of that, we refer not only to the Holy and faultless body made Christ-like through baptism and communion, but also to the broken bodies of all the people who are its members.

The church is that unlikely body of people through whom God chooses to reveal His love for us. Just as it seems unlikely to many people that God chose to become human using a young girl living in a small, not very respected town in the Middle East over 2000 years ago, it seems even more unlikely to a whole lot more people that God chose to continue His work of salvation in a community of people constantly torn apart by arguments, prejudices, authority conflicts and power games.

In the past the Church has made enough mistakes. We have a history of violence and controversy, judgement and manipulation of people and ideas, as well as constantly recurring divisions to overcome before we can begin to spread the message that Christ has set in our hearts. We need to believe that despite the flaws of every single one of us, as Christ’s body we carry in our centre the Word of God and God’s healing love. In the midst of our human brokenness, the Church needs to present the broken body of Christ to the world as food for eternal life! Because in a world where sin is abundant, grace is superabundant, and where promises are broken over and again, God’s promise stands unshaken.

The grace of God, overspills, flowing further and wider and deeper than the sin that so easily entangles each part of us, as broken members of one body. But by putting Jesus at the centre of our lives, we can gather together and become one whole body, spotless and Holy. Through one spirit and one baptism, we gather together with one hope, and Christ’s one sacrifice is enough! When we have faith that Jesus lives within us, we realise that he also lives among us and makes us into a body of people witnessing together to the presence of Christ in this world.

Every single one of us needs God’s grace. Our children and young people need to learn about it, the people out there in our town, country and world need to hear about it. And just as much, every single one of us needs to accept it. Every single one of us can have God’s grace. It is not something we can earn - it is a gift that we receive. Not because of the good things we may have done, but because of Christ’s love for us. That he died, and he poured out his blood, and washed our broken and sinful bodies clean.

Grace is a gift that when realised and accepted, changes lives. God’s grace is completely sufficient, because he pours it upon our heads day after day after day. He showers us with love and acceptance every time we realise it. It conquers our insecurities, and it wipes the stain of our sin from our lives. So that we can stand and say we are members of Christ’s body. There will be people who need to accept the grace that God is offering to them today. Maybe for the first time, maybe for the hundreth time. Because no matter how many times in the past you have screwed it up and made mistakes, God is offering you his forgiveness. You just have to decide whether or not to take it."

"Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you."
Romans 12:4-6 [NLT]

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Last night at Kids Klub, during the quieter, more God-oriented slot at the beginning, a rather confident 5-year-old called Billy prayed the best prayer I've heard in ages. Well, Jesus did say that "out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast perfected praise..."

"Dear Jesus, I think I really like you.
I hope you will come see us soon...

Monday, 3 November 2008


N.B. No, this is not about the band, but rather, the situation of utter calm that is present in the midst of chaos; oh, will someone tell me where the last two months have gone?

So things have been busy lately, to say the least. Holiday Club came and went, all that time I thought I had to prepare for the youth service has shrunk to just under two weeks, and it's Christmas in just 51 days (my sister's baby is due in just 46 days???) and I haven't even started thinking about it! Time seems to fly when you are having fun or working for a church, apparently. So yeah, September and October seem to have flown by amongst everything that's been going on, and with that has been a great deal of stress, anxieties and worries about a number of different situations, involving and affecting me directly or indirectly.

But looking back on all of that time, I can clearly see that amongst all the chaos that seems to have been going on are a number of situations in which I have experienced God, in fullness of silence and serenity. When the presence of God has cut through the raw and dishevelled harshness of my thoughts and emotions, and brought me a much higher understanding of what I am going through, even if I don't know why. A peace that surpasses understanding, a quiet oasis in the midst of complete devestation and wilderness, a calming breeze in the storms of life: this I have found in my God.

Not suprisingly, a number of those situations arose from conversations I have had with the children I have been working with. It's holiday club during the half-term week, the theme this year being "What's Up Doc?" with a real focus on Psalm 139, and the way God has made each of us in an amazing and special way. And a lot of the teaching was hard hitting, and intentionally so. It is so important for children of that age to know that they are special and that they are loved. To know a positive identity in themselves and in the person they are. Because I know how much will affect them in later life if they do not realise it now.

"I praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
Psalm 139: 14