Charismatic past and present or coming out the closet

There has been much talk in blog-land of the stuff going on in Florida and John Crowder’s approach to correlations between the effects of the holy spirit and drugs (I might be inclined to call this re-contextualisation in a similar way to how we use Flow, – maybe I am not as on the edge as I thought). One the best posts by far is by zoecarnate The Last Unicorn full which also has nearly all the links you need if you are unaware of what i am toking about.
As well some questions about the methods, much of the criticism is linked to the label of revival being given to this and the lack of impact on the community. There are questions and references made to the Toronto stuff a few years back and again the impact and the outworking in communities was a factor in this at the time.

Now I am an open skeptic, and back when the 1990s was uncomfortably linked to a house church that openly embraced the Toronto blessing. Skeptically I went along to a meeting, and sitting quietly at the back, could not get my head around what was going on and didn’t agree with the antics, so just thought I might as well use the time productively and quietly prayed. My main motivation for skepticism (as someone committed to the wholistic gospel and social justice, and living in a marginalised community) was exactly the same as many have now ie why isn’t this affecting the streets, why not the poor, where is the kingdom outworking?) but as I sat skeptically at the back praying slowly my hands started to heat, until they were what I only describe as vibrating with an intense heat as if on fire. As I went to stand to try and talk about it with a friend, I staggered as if drunk, and all I could say to my mate was “my hands my hands” repeatedly. At which point someone suggested I lay hands on him and as soon as I moved my hands towards him, he collapsed (i didn’t get as far as touching him). This and a few other strange occurrences happened at the time, and the explanation (or word) suggested at the time was that God was loosening some things in me.

In the past few years as I have reflected on that time I have come to understand that I would not be where I am now without those experiences. There was some real loosening, I do feel God implanted a real courage to move out in mission with the community, that I have become aware of in recent months, and that the work I undertake around Flow and the creativity stems from this releasing by the Spirit, and yes it does have an impact on the community, the kingdom. (At the time it did have an impact on the young people I was working with as well and many became Christians and are still pursuing God)

Now how much of that outward impact is due to me being in a place where that is/was my focus i am unsure. Are we expecting God to bypass the church in seeing this stuff happen on the streets, and are we advocating our responsibility by this expectation? What I find interesting is that some/many people who I now see as kingdom activists or emerging church activists, have had charismatic experiences of one kind or another in the past, but have moved on? into more grounded community/mission and do not see a link. Certainly many who comment on the various posts, acknowledge a charismatic background. So although I remain an open skeptic I am very glad the impact that this had in getting the conversation going about the charismatic in emerging circles.

Treating church as a fetish

Richard emailed me a link to Pete Rollins’ latest blog post:

Night of the Living Dead ipod Gothic movies
Tides of War move

When a Man Loves a Woman trailer

Real Genius trailer

So I had to comment in support:
I very much agree with what you say Pete. My approach is that I go along on a Sunday morning to ‘church’ because I want to have contact with people who believe (pretty much) the same stuff as me. I do not support the singing, preaching, sound system, car parking, etc. because I pretty much entirely disagree with the grip that Sunday morning services have on church and indeed disagree with what actually happens on a Sunday morning.

I’d been encouraged not to cooperate partly by Steve Chalke when he basically said not to support the status quo at your church if you didn’t agree with it, when he was speaking at Spring Harvest a number of years ago!!!

However, I think that cutting myself off from the established church would not help change happen. I guess it is the church renewal v. church planting argument at this point. I choose to not abandon my brothers and sisters. So I do feel subjectively connected to the people (which is the church), but I do not feel subjectively connected to the ’service’ activity (which is not the church after all).

The Garden grows

So far the potatoes look good, carrots (purple and orange), beetroot, parsnips, lettuce, spring onions, spinach and cucumber are all popping out the ground. We are hardening off the corguettes, squashes, peppers and tomatoes, and have wild strawberries scattered around. Now the issue is to try not and let the slugs near or lose the veggies. My issue is that i have been quite disciplined this year with weeding so far but the idea of slug hunting by torchlight or keeping weeding is not my idea of a good night out. As a weak completer/finisher in personality type I see this now as an area for personal growth as well as veggie growth, but even typing about it fills me with horror. i fear the challenge is beyond me, can we overcome my nature with a little nurture?

Gothic buy

Creepshow III dvd Thunderbolt and Lightfoot psp

Crossing Over buy

I love detached work – informal education works

great night out on detached, about 30 young people who we knew. people hanging out in the early evening sun, good conversations, important support and ongoing contacts.

One lad we had passed on the details of a possible job too, had rung the boss to arrange an interview. the boss in turn rang my co worker to say how impressed he was by the telephone manners and confidence, and was looking forward to meeting him. This lad was so reluctant to ring the councillors when we were fundraising for the skate park and took lots of coaching and support, and always in the back of mind through that process was that it was the informal education not getting the money from the councillors that mattered, and 3 months later it all clicks together.

The Passion of the Christ psp

Hard Luck dvd

It’s Pat psp

Forbidden Planet full

A course for community development workers and activists

Exploring the Impact of Travel / Transport on Communities Course code B2
A course for community development workers and activists

Monday 2nd June 10.30 am – 4.00 pm (Tea and arrivals from 10.00 am)

Venue: The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA

The Federation for Community Development Learning are in partnership with TWICS as part of the Every Action Counts programme.

The Every Action Counts programme promotes collective actions and work within the voluntary and community sectors. Our overall programme aims to unlock learning, transferable knowledge and greater understanding of how to promote inclusive and accessible environmental actions for community groups and organisations.

This course is designed as an introduction to the impact of travel and transport on communities.

· Introduce the principles an processes of community development as a way to challenge social exclusion and injustice

· Explore the themes of environmental and social justice as approaches and principles to travel and transport issues for communities.

Participants will have the opportunity to:
Identify the key themes and issues around transport affecting communities they are part of or are working with

Discuss the relevance of environmental and social justice approaches to taking action on travel themes with communities.

Identify opportunities for taking community action in response to themes raised during the course.

How to book a place
For more information and to reserve your place please download a form from our website at or contact FCDL at or call us on 0114 253 6770 for a booking form and more information.

London Voodoo hd

Being there costs fathers

I haven’t really talked much about the personal effects the current government system has on me and how it penalises people particularly fathers who try and be there for their children. I want share from my own perspective, – Tuffty and Clive are great kids and I want to be around them as much as possible, so they stay with us three nights a week, and at their mums four nights – it is the closest we can get to genuine shared care. So I am in an enviable position for many fathers who have restricted or no access. The issue here however is that although I have the children for almost 50% of the time, I cannot get access to working families tax credit, or share the family allowance and still pay maintenance. Based on our family income (which working for a charity is modest) if tuffty and Clive were registered at my house or stayed here for four nights instead of three we would qualify for working families tax credit of £256 a month and get family allowance on top another £120 a month.

Now I have no issues with fathers being expected to pay maintenance or that there some poor examples of men out there who try to duck their responsibilities, but I have already had to sell one house due to the child support agency fiasco – which does not truly recognise equality, and impinged such high maintenance costs on me and didn’t take into account that in order to see my children regularly I had to make long journeys to work. What was worse was that Tuffy and Clive didn’t receive any of this money as their mum was claiming benefit.

the 10 pence tax rate was not the only issue that government did not examine the detail on.