Sunday, 31 March 2013

Law or Love?
Recently the church both locally and nationally has been vocally campaigning to save marriage. Many churches and individuals signed up to the Coalition for Marriage's campaign to keep traditional marriage for just men and women.

Now I haven't got a problem with the church campaigning in this manner, I personally didn't agree with campaign - it seemed especially sad that their headline statement talked of exclusion and opposition - however I believe it is important for people of faith to promote the values they believe in.

On this matter I am pleased that both the new Archbishop of Canterbury and the new Pope are raising the issue of serving the poor.

I think remembering and serving the poor is central to the mission of the church, much more so than dictating family structures for people within and outside the church. It seems to me one comes from a position of law and another of love.

I hope all the leaders and churches who spoke out against the government change of the marriage status (which the Conservatives included in their election platform with the document Contract for Equalities in May 2010, see page 14) will also speak out against the changes which are affecting the poorest in society at the moment.

I hope the change we are seeing in the church is the reality of love winning over law.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Personal Values

Awhile back I was reading an article on personal development by Sam Spurlin (he has revamped his sight and removed the article but go check out his site there is some good stuff on it).

One of the key questions it asked was "What are my 3-4 core values" and I guess I've never really thought about this before. I looked through the a suggested list of possible values, all 374 of them! I got down to seven that resonated with me:
Respect, Leadership, Creativity, Appreciation, Amusement, Affection, Acceptance.

After reflecting on these I think I my top four values are:
Creativity, Appreciation, Acceptance & Amusement

Why these four?
Creativity. I have always had a streak of creativity and imagination in me and I have been attracted to things that are different. That spark of the creative in me has always wanted to find a way to express itself. In some ways this blog has given me an outlet.

Appreciation. Being thankful for what you see in others, who they are and what they do - I know I can grow in this and often don't express myself very well but I believe this is something I value. I have even got over my personal struggle of receiving appreciation!

Acceptance. To be accepted and accept others for who they are and not expect any more or less from them. This is something that is effectively tested with every new person I meet!

Amusement. Amusement in all its different forms is something that feeds me. I have to watch that I don't overdo my intake (or output - for the sake of others!) but I have always been one to look on the funny side of things, maybe it is my way of coping with life!

The challenge in Sam Spurlin's article was to look at what I am working on in both work and personal life
that comes out of or is aligned to these values and maybe just as importantly what things I am doing that are not. I know writing this blog has been a real help in working out and working in some of my core life values.
I certainly have had ample opportunity to exercise creativity and part of the self disclosure and sharing of my life that I write about is connected to my desire for acceptance.

I wonder if you were to think of what your personal values are what you would come up with. Why not have a look at the list above and see which chimes with you.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Public Speaking

Ze Frank is an American online performance artist, composer, humorist and public speaker who produces the most inclusive, touching and engaging monologues along with incredible interactive/interconnecting internet activities. He really is one of a kind. If you haven't checked him out go to either:

His website: a show with zefrank -  OR  his Youtube channel:

But for all my friend who speak in public or may need to in the future watch this collection of ideas and encouragements on how to speak in public - really listen and you will be better!

Pin It

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine by Kjersti Timenes
When we receive communion at St James' the invitation often used to invite us to take part in this act of worship is...

Come to this table, not because you are strong, but because you are weak;
Come, not because any goodness of your own gives you a right to come,
But because you need mercy and help;
Come, because you love the Lord a little and would like to love him more;
Come, not because you are worthy to approach him,
But, because he died for sinners;
Come, because he loved you and gave himself for you.

I always find this invitation so encouraging and at the same time full of grace and truth.

Encouraging because it draws me to partake no matter how unworthy I feel I am, no matter how far away from God I think I am - the faint echo of truth in my spirit of how I do love the Lord a little is engaged. I step forward to receive the bread and the wine and this in itself is an act to demonstrate that I want to love the Lord more.

It is full of grace and truth because it is honest about the reality that no matter how I feel or how good or bad I have been or indeed anyone else in the room, we are all sinners and none of us is worthy to approach Him, And yet He died for sinners and because He loved me he gave himself up for me.

It is good to be in a church where the sacrament of communion is served regularly (every other week) and as I get older I see the depth of the liturgy, it is not cold and lifeless but rather a pathway that can bring us into a place of the reality of God.

Pin It