Just for info I have added a new category to keep the various advent and Christmas thoughts in one place, and thought James’ God Giggled was worth a repeat.

It was the first Christmas and:

God giggled
God farted
God burped
God gurgled
God needed a cuddle
God was a baby¦

Christmas reminds us:

That we don’t have to find God, he finds us in our humanity
We don’t have to go up – he came down
We find God in the physical, in our bodies, in material, in humanity.
God became one of us.

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year, to everyone.

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For Christmas day

more on the same theme from me.. this is part of a liturgy we use at home for Christmas day.

Today we celebrate God’s entry into the world as a baby.
And this God is:
A small God
A weak and helpless God
A vulnerable God
A dependant God
An incompetent God
A powerless God

When we look into the face of a Child
We are looking at the image of God
God draws us into his presence
By allowing us to hold him and cuddle him
Which makes us feel good The Mission release

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He allows us to giggle and coo at him
Which gives us life. Material Girls trailer
We gaze into his eyes
And God looks back at us with complete trust and love.

This is the God that we celebrate at Christmas
A God who needs humans to take care of him
A God who suckled at his mother’s breast
This is the Word who had to learn to speak
This is the Way who had to learn how to walk
This is the Bread who had to learn to eat solids
This is the thirst quencher who had to learn to drink from a cup.

Encountering the mystery

There is new book out published by YTCpress and supported by International Association of Youth Ministry that I have written a chapter on Church on the Edge. Edited by Paul McQuillian in Australia it draws together several key thoughts on as it says on the cover “discovering God with young people in a secular world”

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Campaigns about positive images of young people:

19 Under 19s is a campaign by the Department for Children Schools & Families (DCSF) aimed at revealing the true image of our nation’s teenagers.

Local authorities and community groups were invited to nominate young people, aged 19 or under, who are making an active contribution to their local area and, crucially, a positive difference to their own lives. From these nominations, DCSF selected the most inspiring 19 to become the face of real youth in England.

Not only does each of these 19 Under 19s have a great individual story to tell, but together they reveal an important, but too-often overlooked, truth about today’s teenagers.

Namely, that rather than hanging around on street corners or engaging in anti-social behaviour, the majority of young people are instead using their free time to get involved in a huge variety of positive activities. These range from sports coaching, dancing and drama to vital roles in local youth groups and community action projects.

Through Aiming High for Young People and the work of the Youth Taskforce, DCSF is investing a total of £679 million in creating opportunities for young people at a time and a place that suits them, including Friday and Saturday nights.

ACTION: Consider nominating any young person you have given an Alternative ASBO to.

This is run by the Member of Youth Parliament for Birmingham. It is becoming a fairly aggressive campaigner (in the best way, not negative!) for the Press to change their representation of young people to become fairer and less discriminatory using the Press Complaints Commission.

ACTION: please visit the website and keep an eye on the website. Maybe you’d like to get in touch with your Youth Parliament and ask them to link on this campaign.

A positive response for the Christian community to use – to encourage engagement and prayerful support for young people, highlighting the contribution young people make in your community. FREE downloadable resources – sermons, prayers, images, creative ideas, video clips etc.

ACTION: get downloading now and give to your Vicar, Minister/Youthworker and organize a Young People’s Sunday service.The X-Files: I Want to Believe psp The Moving Finger the movie

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The spiritual task in the wait of advent

Finding God in the wait of advent, admist the chaos of the commerical christmas is a particular task. I came across the Augustinian notion of God in memory a few weeks back and and been reflecting on this for a while. Paula Fredrikson writes on Augustines take on God and Memory that “memory is nesscessary not simply for recollection, but also for cognition and persception. It is through the exercise of his or her memory that the individual – time bound, imperfect, mortal – is enabled to know and to recogize both him/herself and most especially Truth….. Put simply memory is the site of our illumination. Memory is our bridge to the world outside ourselves, to ourselves, and to God.”

In the wait of advent even in my most disciplined moments christmas memories (time bound, imperfect, mortal) creep in. To borrow from the traditional christain language I wonder if this is the devil invading the space I seek to encounter God. So is the spiritual task in the wait of advent to exercise the memory of Truth, and exorcise the memory of the time bound, imperfect, and mortal, redeeming these memories and preparing us to experience the renewal that the new birth of christ brings.Fist of Fury (aka Chinese Connection) download

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Prayers for Christmas eve – not all my own work and can’t remember where I got the refrain from …”help us make room for Jesus – be born in us tonight.” a bit long as well – verses can be cut out at will…

Tonight we celebrate the birth of Christ
We celebrate the birth of a baby
We celebrate a small God
We celebrate a God who became one of us
We celebrate a God who makes his home in us

Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

For those of us who have everything
Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

For those of us who are competent
Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

For those of us who are independent
Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

For those of who are strong
Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

For those of us who have all the answers
Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

For those of us who need to be in control
Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

And at this time of the year we pray for the powerless, the small people who go unnoticed, the poor , the weak, the beggars, abused children, the outcasts, the ugly, the smelly. These are the people who Jesus identified himself with. So lets pray for the world and allow ourselves to hear the Christ within ourselves and see the Christ in others.

Holy Child
Whose parents found no room in the Inn;
We pray for all who are homeless

Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

Holy Child
Born in a stable;
We pray for all living in poverty

Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

Holy Child
Rejected stranger;
We pray for all who feel lost and alone
All who cry for loved ones

Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

Holy Child
Whom Herod sought to kill
We pray for all who live in danger
All who are persecuted

Help us to make room for Jesus
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Holy Child
A refugee in Egypt
We pray for all who are far from their homes

Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

Holy Child
Help us we pray, to see the divine image
In people everywhere.

Help us to make room for Jesus
Be born in us tonight

Advent Grace

We give thanks for the journey of this food
The waiting involved
The hiddeness of the seed
The fragility of the egg
From the seed to the fruit
From the egg to the bird
From the field to our plates
Giving us life and energy

As advent reminds us of your conception in us
The miracle that God makes his home in us
Help us remember the miracle of the seed
planted in the depths of the earth
Help us remember new life
Which grows and feeds us.

We give thanks for the small God
We give thanks for the small seed
We give thanks for the fragile egg
We give thanks for life.For Love or Money the movie Ocean’s Eleven dvdrip Imprint movie download Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie video

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Affirmation of faith during advent

I believe in God, who had the wild idea of becoming one of us
I believe in Jesus, who restricted himself to Mary’s womb for a while
I believe in the Holy spirit, who overshadowed Mary,
I believe in the incarnation of God,
I believe that God lives within us
I believe that God is with us.Alive or Dead release