Is this about me, or is this about you?

Hi, just thought that I would post a quick intro, seeing as Richard has introduced me.

Twenty years ago my Dad told me to judge whatever I heard in church as it wouldn’t always be right. So, now I’m 33 years old and I’ve tried to live with my eyes wide open and I know that all is not well. Is the problem with you and is the answer with me? Well, that’s really the wrong questions – we need to think in terms of us. We are the problem and you know Who is the answer!

So it isn’t about me or about you – it’s about us, and ‘us’ includes Him, you and me.

I’ll try to be careful, but remember, I’m only human too – we can grow together, if we watch our pride and know love.

Moulin Rouge! hd

Something to think about until next time:
I heard someone say that the ‘gentile’ churches needed to recover it’s Jewish roots and put into practice it’s Hebrew forms and holidays…

Getting it right

Mark has joined Sunday Papers and will be posting from time to time. However it also means that as I have tried to change some of the settings the formatting has gone a bit wonky, please stick me whilst I work it out. For some reason the blogs have moved to the right any suggestions on how to get it back welcome.

More Parables for FaSt

As the FaSt game is back up and around I thought I would start writing some more parables for people to use. Here’s the first, hopefully they will appear on a fairly regular basis.

The Party

Sarah had always had it easy, her father earned money, pots of money. He was well known through out the town for the many lucrative businesses he owned. He had several houses in this country and abroad, and the house he lived in with his family was more a mansion than a house. They had expensive cars, wore expensive clothes and had a great life. So when it came to throwing a party for Sarah’s twenty first they weren’t going to skimp on anything. They started looking for a venue big enough to hold what would be the party of the year. They would invite Sarah’s friends from the private school she attended, her father’s business acquaintances her mother’s friends, the ‘ladies who lunch’, and all the great and good of the community.

After much searching they found the only venue big enough for such a party, was the local football ground. They arranged to put Marquee’s up on the pitch, and booked the country’s top caterers. They sent out invites, on the highest quality handmade paper, each individually printed in gold ink. Everyone knew this was going to be a party to remember.

After weeks of preparation the day of the party finally arrived, the family dressed up in their finest clothes and got into the limousine that was taking them to the football ground. They arrived early to welcome all their guests.

When they got there, what a sight beheld them, the tables were laden with a vast array of food. There was the best food from the Far East; Cantonese, Chinese, sushi. Top Indian chefs had provided a decadent display of dishes. There were the most exquisite European dishes and even burger and chips! Whatever food you fancied it was there.

It was soon eight o’clock when the guests were due to arrive and the family stood waiting to greet their guests. But eight o’clock came and went, then eight thirty and still no guests. Sarah and her family couldn’t understand why no one had arrived. They’d had a few apologies from guests who had other commitments. Some had business meetings to attend, some were going shopping in New York, and some were just too busy to fit the party into their already tight schedules.

They started to wonder whether their friends were not arriving because they were over awed by such a party and that’s why they hadn’t come. They even began to worry if it was because the football ground backed on to the local estate, they were afraid to park their Mercs and Beamers on the street’.

Could everyone have other things to do? Did everyone have some excuse? What had they done to offend people? They hadn’t been boasting about the party, they just wanted to celebrate the happy occasion with all their friends and family.

Two hours went by and still no one had turned up. The family were disappointed and the father was thinking about how all the food was going to waste but it smelt and looked wonderful, his mouth watered and his belly rumbled. Then he thought if all our friends, and business acquaintances, and ladies who lunch and all the great and the good of the community won’t come, then I will go and find people who will.

He left the football ground and the first people he saw was a bunch of lads from the local estate. One was even sitting on top of a phone box sniffing the air, where the tantalising smell of food was wafting. They were talking about what was happening at the football ground and as the father approached the lads looked over at him with curiosity. The father plucked up the courage, cleared his throat and addressed the lad sitting on top of the phone box.

‘What’s your favourite food young man?’ He asked.

‘Chicken Tikka Masala and chips,’ the lad replied

‘We’ve got bucket loads of that in there’ the father gestured back at the football ground. He asked the other lads what their favourite food was, they each said something different. The father told them there was food and drink enough for everyone at the football ground, to go out and grab their mums and dads and all their friends off the estate. To tell them they were all invited to a party.

People piled in, they weren’t what Sarah expected but the evening was a great success. The band struck up, the people were jubilant, Sarah made friends with people she’d never spoken to in her life. Her mother had more fun than at a thousand lunches with her friends and the father surveyed the scene with a smile on his face, this truly was the greatest party ever.

Motivation and Love

I been reflecting a lot recently on my motivation and was reminded of this paraphrase. LOVE: A PARAPHRASE OF 1 CORINTHIANS 13

If I talk a lot about God and the Bible and the Church, but I fail to ask about your needs and then help you, I’m simply making a lot of empty religious noise.

If I graduate from theological seminary and know all the answers to questions you’ll never even think of asking, and if I have all the degrees to prove it and if I say I believe in God with all my heart, and soul and strength, and claim to have incredible answers to my prayers to show it, but I fail to take the time to find out where you’re at and what makes you laugh and why you cry, I’m nothing.

If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for some poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God’s service and burnout after pouring everything I have into the work, but do it all without ever once thinking about the people, the real hurting people-the moms and dads and sons and daughters and orphans and widows and the lonely and hurting-if I pour my life into the Kingdom but forget to make it relevant to those here on earth, my energy is wasted, and so is my life.

Here is what love is like–genuine love. God’s kind of love. It’s patient. It can wait. It helps others, even if they never find out who did it. Love doesn’t look for greener pastures or dream of how things could be better if I just got rid of all my current commitments. Love doesn’t boast. It doesn’t try to build itself up to be something it isn’t. Love doesn’t act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn’t seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn’t lose its cool. It doesn’t turn on and off. Love doesn’t think about how bad the other person is, and certainly doesn’t think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply (as God is) over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth.

Love comes and sits with you when you’re feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you’ll come through just as God planned, and love sticks right beside you all the way. Love doesn’t give up, or quit, or diminish or go home. Love keeps on keeping on, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn’t seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time. That, my friend, is what real love is!


Busy few days, tomorrow Dave is doing a day on Community Organising and Liberation Theology, then in the evening I travel up to do a workshop at the MAYC conference in Rugby on Wednesday, and back for a visit in Frome on Friday. On one hand I hope it snows as much as

Calvin but I don’t want to get stuck. I guess I want all the benefits and none of the pain.


Why are there many more adverts on TV for the Army, Airforce, and Navy than for Nurses, Health workers, Teachers etc. Watching TV this weekend I would estimate that the adverts for the forces have out numbered the caring services by about 3 to 1.

Fairness in a fallen world

I have been in the middle of some complex negotiations at the moment but been very away of the need to maintain integrity. I have been thinking about what is fair and how can we reach a fair conclusion for all parties. My general approach is to sit down and have a chat, but what I think fair, another may not. No one wants to give away too much, people have their own ideas about how much they will compromise. I guess in most circumstances people keep arguing back and forth until a conclusion acceptable to all is reached. How kingdom centered is this approach? I hate the cards close to the chest attitude, but how different is this from saying what we think is fair. Is it really possible in modern society to lay your cards on the table and say this is what I think is a fair price or deal? Do people think that is your opening gambit and expect that you will change? Often people want to come out a winner. Can fairness and openness work in a fallen world or do you become complicit in the process and start lower so you end up with the price that is fair?