Apr 04

Places of refuge

View from Masada

The Church is a often seen as a place where people are right, or think they are. Wouldn’t it be better if it was a place where people went when they needed love?

I am just back from Spring Harvest 2013 which was great, if a little cold. One of the highlights of the week was listening to Gerard Kelly’s wonderful teaching on John’s first letter. The central point that both Gerard and John were making, over and over again was that love is overwhelmingly the most important aspect of Christian life. Continue reading

Sep 09

Jesus never met a prostitute

Mary MagdaleneI have a couple of pieces on the go at the moment and I am happy with neither of them: hence the long gap since my last post. This, then, is a bit of a ramble – but then that’s sort of the point, isn’t it…?

I want to be better than I am. I want to be generous, brave, wise, loving, gentle and patient. I want to be fun, happy, honest, caring and strong. I want to be fit, energetic, kind, compassionate and sociable. Oh, and I want to be holy, too.

I have said before that I am cursed with a perfectionist streak and that this, when combined with my chronic idleness, is one of the chief reasons I get cross. This is glib, yes, but it is generally true and it often surfaces.

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May 26

Reason grown courageous

Martin LutherWe tackled one of the many difficult bits of James last Sunday, the bit about faith and deeds.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? James 2: 14

It is easy to get hung up on this, many people have, but I do not think there is any need…

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Apr 14

Oh ye of little will

Will ShakespeareI disappoint myself a lot and always have: I continually set expectations for myself only to fail to meet them. This makes me cross.

I have always envied those who appear to have bags of energy and an iron self-discipline. I seem to have zeroes in both of these attributes. When I was at school and college I performed magnitudes better when external discipline was high, often falling to pieces when left to my own devices (A-level Maths being a particularly striking example). Similarly, I have always performed best in team sports where I can rely on others to help set the pace and provide persistent focus and motivation. In the workplace, I have learnt to harness deadlines in order to drive myself, but even now I often rely on last-minute efforts to deliver.

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Apr 10

Why the Cross Christian?

The Cross ChristianI am a cross Christian.

A cross Christian? It jars a bit doesn’t it? Surely, Christians should be happy all the time? Well, I am not. In fact, as I get older I realise I am getting crosser. Or at least, as I get older more things make me cross.

When I first started thinking about writing, I wanted to put the world right, to express myself honestly and to make God proud. I also wanted to see if I had any talent, to see if this was something I could actually do.

However, I realise that a lot of what I want to say is angry and that I am in danger of just adding more rant to an already angry web space. The amount of bile and hatred and the lack of consideration and love on the social web makes me… er… cross.

I think I can legitimately be cross while trying to put the world right and I can certainly express myself honestly through rant! The main challenge is to tackle the last one – making God proud. This is where I need to think and pray. This is where the hope Jesus gives me needs to be brought to bear on my cynicism and I need to turn anger and crossness into joy. Frankly, that sounds rather hard, but I shall give it a go.

On the upside, I also realise that it might be constructive to tackle this anger in the open – after all there might even be one or two others like me, Christians who get cross. I strongly suspect so. I hear things you know, and I read things too.

Finally, I am also a Cross Christian. Did you see what I did there? I believe that Jesus died for me on a cross and that because he did; I am forgiven and get to live forever. That is very cool.

M