About Me

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Having compassion

I live in a rural middle class village. That's not to say there are no poorer areas, there are of course, but mostly it's an affluent village. Many residents commute to the city, on the more rural fringes are some very large houses with lots of land & a few even have helicopter pads!
And I love living here. There is a real sense of community, a lovely village school and an even better pub ;)

The thing I find frustrating is that there are people here, who in the most part want for nothing, they have good salaries (more than good), wives do not have to work, they have horses and land and hunter wellies... ;) But along with that comes a level of judgement. Now I do not wish to be judging them in saying this, because then I come down to that level, I just am trying to paint a picture. That it seems in a large part, (thankfully, there are exceptions to this of course) that the more well off people are, the more those people comment on those around them. Or even the more they ignore the needs of those around them, becoming self absorbed with ones own life. Please don't hear me condmening them for that, we all have times in our lives when things overtake us, but I would just love to see compassion being the first thing that affects peoples judgement of others.

For some time I have felt called to people worse off than myself, broken people, those in pain, or suffering, but I just don't know where to start. I have friends who run various projects in a nearby city and could very easily offer to go and help them. But at the same time, whilst our village may not have heroin addicts on every corner, or high numbers of homeless, there are still those in need, and I feel the need to start here.

Just last night in prayer, I felt God reminding me of this, and then this morning I looked in my daily prayer book (given to me by my Nan) and this line stood out from todays prayer:

....that I may help the succourless and comfort the comfortless, Oh my dear Lord, pardon me for the neglect of this duty and make me to redeem the time....

So my prayer for this year is that God will use me to reach those in need in my neighbourhood, that compassion and kindness will be the underlying sentiments in all those who live and work here.

I read this from Robb @changingworship this morning, via the Big Bible Project. Great story of the church showing compassion to one in need. Well worth a read!

I had a brief online 'chat' with Robb this morning and that old fave from St Francis of Assisi was mentioned:
Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary.

Might be a cliche, but how true it is. As Christians we are all called to represent Christ and that doesn't just mean in word. Robb said this morning: 'Many tell the world it is wrong without offering a good model for how it can be right' and how right he is. It's all very well me noting the judgemental attitudes in this place but what am I offering in its place? What is needed is a catalyst to enable compassion and kindess to overcome the negativity.

and that catalyst is Jesus.

So where I start is by being Jesus to those around me.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christingle: Christmas in pics

Just a quick pic today, of the beautiful chapel at my sons school, for todays Christingle service. I have never been to a Christingle before (sheltered..) and it was just lovely.... and the chapel beautifully decorated too.

I may not be able to post tomorrow, so may I wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas.
xx

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas in Pics: gingerbread house :)

No Christmas is complete without gingerbread! My youngest made this from a  kit we bought at the school fair. And it kind of reminds me of Christmas...
 It was all planned out, pieces made and put in place, but it didn't quite fit together right, partly from lack of patience and partly because it wasn't exactly cut out right. It took far longer to put together than initially thought and once done it is rather wonky but still lovely. It is of course comnpletely over the top, decorated to excess, but with love and with lots of sweets.... But when it comes to the eating, it is delicious and fun :)  not sure the analogy works 100% but hopefully you get where I am heading.... ;)



Monday, 19 December 2011

Day 12: Christmas in pics: vegging out

First day of the school hols... Lie in, time for quiet time while kids have some telly and not so stressed about bedtimes... Tonight we had veg out story time in front of the fire. love it :)

In this season where God is teaching me about rest, being still and so on, one thing I am enjoying so much more is being a mum. It's not that I didn't enjoy it before, but just having more time to 'be' with them is just fantastic. So often I have been in a hurry to get them out the door or off to school or out to an appointment. mostly because I haven't allowed enough time, or I have to be at work. I am sure that is why they are so unconcerend about time and schedules, they have been rebelling against my being in a hurry!

My son made us a Christmas card at school this year, which came in the post via his teacher. In it they had obviously been asked to write about what they wanted to give their parents if they could choose anything. he wrote this:

If money was no object, I would give Mummy and Daddy peace because they work so hard and I would like them to relax.

blub central....

That was about the final straw... If I didn't get the message before, via God, he certainly made sure I did through my son!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Day 11: The Nativity/Panto


So Today was the day of the panto, or nativity, or carol concert, whatever you want to call it... It was a great success! Thankfully. After just one full rehearsal, some initial worries about not being reverential enough and a very early start this morning :)

The pic below is our worship leaders daughter singing a solo of Away in a Manger. She's just 5 years old and sang to the whole church! What a star... :)

One more service to go tonight (for which I have done precisely no preparation, so am completely relying on the Holy Spirit,) and then I can relax a bit.

Bring on Christmas!!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Day 10: Church Set Up



A vid today instead of a photo!

So, I have mentioned before that our church meets in a Sports Hall, rather than a church building. This is because it began as a Fresh Expression in someone's living room and it has graduated through the years to hiring a school.. This little vid gives a small snapshot of what has to be set up every Sunday morning, usually with people meeting from 8am to set up for a 10.30 service.
Tomorrow we are having a panto (sort of mixed with a nativity), which means we have extra set up - 2 screens rather than one, 2 stages, a choir, larger band, all of which means lots of extra mikes/speakers/wires..... So we set up today instead. It's at times like these I wish we had our own  building...

Sorry about the stupid commentary...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Day 9: The Nativity

Missed yesterday so 2 pics today!

This is our nativity set. Made by my lovely friend who is an artist and sculptor. It was actually made as a maquette for a larger version which was for our then village church (which incidentally is still used today and spends all year under the altar, only to be revealed at Christmas!)

She gave it to my daughter (her Goddaughter) years ago and so it comes out every year. I love it because it is so simple, just the natural colour of the clay and yet so expressive. I love Joseph's expression, looking rather weary! perhaps he is wondering what lies ahead...
I also love the little shepherd boy, pointing at the baby in the crib.

It's so easy to get caught up in all the hype, presents, entertaining and pressures of Christmas, so it's good to have this as a daily reminder of why we are doing it all!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Day 8: Christmas in pics: The Tree

Well I am calling this 'Christmas in pics', and there haven't been many Christmas ones yet, so here is our tree. It has a story of perseverance behind it. It took me 2 hours just to get the thing in the holder... What did I learn from this experience? What little jewel can I share with you, my readers?

I learned not to bodge it (and not to be so bloomin' impatient). I learned that I am so determined I refuse to be beaten (this probably has something to do with what I wrote earlier about being ill...)

In the end I had to go buy a new tree holder, which was the best £16.99 I ever spent (!) and then took me a total of 5 mins to put the tree up....

My yoke is easy..

So, I have said a few times that God has been teaching me about rest recently. Today I was really struck by this passage in Mathew 11:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I was spending some time just thinking about it this morning. It was like I could almost picture Jesus saying it. Earlier in the passage it says he was visiting the towns in Galilee and I just imagined him in a rural town surrounded by all that entails, maybe there are farm animals, people heading out to the fields and so on. In my imaginings he looks out to a nearby cow, with a yoke on (maybe on its way to the fields with its owner) and says . MY yoke is easy (perhaps almost jokingly, not like the cows..), MY burden (looking at the load on the cow) is light...

This passage is quoted so much, and sometimes it really doesn't seem like being a Christian is a particularly easy or light load. Sometimes the yoke seems pretty difficult, not easy at all. When I first got ill, it was within 2 weeks of praying the sinners prayer and giving my life to Jesus. Was that a coincidence? perhaps, but I have always had this thought that the devil would have been pretty pissed after that, so maybe he threw his worst at me. I don't know, perhaps that is refusing to recognise where I was in my life. Throughout the last 2 years I have found it pretty burdensome being ill. I guess to a certain extent I think I have blamed God; not for being ill, but for not healing me certainly. I have fought the illness all the way, refusing to give in to it. It has not been an easy yoke to wear that's for sure. But either way I know that God has been using this illness to teach me about Him and about resting in Him. And, that his burden IS light and his yoke IS easy.
And when I imagine this passage I imagine Jesus stressing the 'my' parts. Almost emphasising that burdens and yokes that are not easy and light are not of him. That if we are finding things a heavy burden, maybe we need to look at that burden - is it really of God? Are we carrying it the way he intended? if it were packed better or loaded in a different way, would it be easier? would it be as he intended? Or maybe we just need to let him lighten the load...   I think my yoke has not been easy because I have been fighting it.  Psalm 32 says this:

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.


Well I have most definitely been that mule, needing a bit and bridle... ;) so no wonder the yoke has not been easy! I think what I realise now is that the load is not of him, the illness is not something God gave me, but perhaps the yoke is, perhaps if I just allow the yoke to gently guide me, then I will find the burden easier to carry, perhaps it will even get lighter. So that's where I am now. Ready to be guided, ready to listen, ready to accept that whatever it is I am trying to get to right now, is probably not where God wants me. And I don't think that decision has come soon enough!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Day 7:Christmas in pics: storm on the horizon....

On the way to school earlier the sky was amazing. There was a storm on the way and the clouds just had such a dramatic break where it began, in comparison with the sun going down in a brilliant blue sky. Not sure this really does it justice but this is it for todays pic, just this lovely sky...

Monday, 12 December 2011

Day 6: Christmas in pics: my guitar...



This little baby is my guitar. (ok so I cheated, as you can probably tell I did not take this picture today, but hey, my rules and I can break them if I like..). Anyway, I wanted to write about my guitar today after an awesome night of worship at our church with some visiting worship leaders.
I love my guitar. I love the way it looks, the way it sounds, the way it feels when I play, and I love that it's mine...

On top of that I love that I can use it to worship God. When I was younger I was surrounded by people who could play guitar (think it's a Christian thing...) but I never learned, although I always wanted to. Then a few years ago, my oldest started learning and one day, on the beach she started showing me some chords. I was hooked. It does help to have an exeperienced guitarist in the house in my husband, so I can get on hand advice for chords and how to play stuff! I am not a great player, in fact I'm not even an average player, I just learn chords depending on what songs I want to play! I can't pick and I refuse to learn bar chords, but I just play for me, so that's what I chose to do!
I love that when I want to worship I can pick up my guitar and just play and sing. Recently I've spent more time singing, especially with my husband and have even sung in the local with him at their open mike night. So I have decided to enter their next ex-factor style competition in January. I keep saying I will go sing again at the open mike, but late nights don't really work for me, so this time I said yes. It's in January and for ages I have been thinking about what to sing. I want to sing something that honours my faith, but without being overtly about Jesus. (It also has to be in my key !) This has not been easy and I have been listening to loads of secular songs trying to find something that feels right. Anyway, today I had an old playlist in my ipod in the background and heard something that I instantly thought, 'that's it'! So I have decided to sing 'Gotta Find You' by Joe Jonas... lovely bit of Disney Camp Rock, perfect for the pub.... ;) or not.... naff it may be but I love the song, I can sing it , and I can sing it to God... (I have removed one verse and edited one line!)

Everytime I think I'm closer to the heart
Of what it means to know just who I am
I think I've finally found a better place to start
But no one ever seems to understand
I need to try to get to where you are
Could it be, you're not that far

You're the voice I hear inside my head,
the reason that I'm singing
I need to find you
I gotta find you
You're the missing piece I need,
the song inside of me
I need to find you
I gotta find you
Oh yeah
Yeah, yeah

You're the remedy I'm searching hard to find
To fix the puzzle that I see inside
Painting all my dreams the color of your style
When I find you it will be alright
I need to try to get to where you are
Could it be, you're not that far

You're the voice I hear inside my head,
the reason that I'm singing
I need to find you
I gotta find you
You're the missing piece I need,
the song inside of me
I need to find you
I gotta find you

You're the voice I hear inside my head,
the reason that I'm singing
I need to find you (I need to find you)
I gotta find you (yeah)
You're the missing piece I need,
the song inside of me
I need to find you
I gotta find you (I gotta find you)


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas in pics, Day 5: Missing the beauty..



It's been an interesting time over the last few weeks, well, last few months actually. Or, in fact, a year... I have written before about being ill and then finding out I have CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I am not going to dwell on that now, but it is key to what I am going to write about. Because, I struggled with being ill (still do), I am a 'doer'. I did things in my own strength. I was a 'strong' person. I did not like to give in to weakness. I didn't even tell anyone I was ill for ages because I didn't want people to feel sorry for me, or to see me as being weak. That was my biggest fear.

Alongside struggling with the diagnosis I couldn't reconcile it with my faith. I believe that God heals, and I believed he wanted to heal me. But I wasn't healed, despite copious prayer. I also knew that he had plans for me, and yet there was no way I could achieve those without having more energy.
Throughout the last 18 months it has been perfectly obvious that God is teaching me, through the illness, about resting in him. About spending time with him, and about slowing down. I think it's only really been in the last few weeks that I have actually accepted that (as I wrote about briefly, here, the other day). And in doing that and spending more time on less things (if that makes sense) I have been able to appreciate those things so much more.
It was a divine coincidence then that a friend of mine posted a link on facebook yesterday, to an article from the Washington Post, 2007. In it the world famous violinist Joshua Bell, is asked to take part in an experiment by playing for one hour in the rush hour in the metro in Washington:

Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he's really bad? What if he's really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn't you? What's the moral mathematics of the moment?

And the really interesting thing is that in one hour, this world renowned musician made just $32 and had only a handful of people stop to listen. Only one recognised him. The paper estimated that just over 1000 people passed by in that time.

The local shoe shine lady says this:
Souza nods sourly toward a spot near the top of the escalator: "Couple of years ago, a homeless guy died right there. He just lay down there and died. The police came, an ambulance came, and no one even stopped to see or slowed down to look.

"People walk up the escalator, they look straight ahead. Mind your own business, eyes forward. Everyone is stressed. Do you know what I mean?"


I once fainted on the tube and people stepped over me to get off. I was with a 16 year old friend who freaked out and still no one stopped. So it doesn't surprise me that no one stopped to hear a busker, even if he was very good. The thing that strikes me though is how much they, and we, miss in life when we are in such a  hurry. We miss the beautiful, the quirky, the one off single-second moments. Not only are we missing the beautiful and wonderful, but we are missing God. When did our world get in such a hurry? Was it after the industrial revolution? was it post-second world war? was it with the technology boom? Or has it always been that way? Do we all just take for granted the beautiful things all around us? Is it that maybe we have been hardened to these things because man is so good at making his own now? With technology we can create music, we can create wonderful images, we can link up with friends thousands of miles away...

God has been teaching me through the simplest of things, like a single red leaf standing out in a pile of brown decaying ones, or the smell of the air when rain is on its way, or as above the wonderful but subtle colours on these pigeons. I saw them sat in a line today, the same bird yet such variations in their feathers. They looked beautiful to me (maybe have lost it.....)

You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate beauty around you, but as a Christian I think it helps us to focus on why we are here, and what God is about. I believe God is in all things, but so often we just hurry past in our whirlwind lives and miss them, or rather we miss Him.

(Incidentally it is quite a long article about Joshua Bell, but it really is very interesting and worth a read if you have the time...)



Saturday, 10 December 2011

Day 4: Christmas in pics: more trees...!

 Day 4: Christmas Tree Festival

Lots of pics today as couldn't choose just one! Tonight we went to the annual Christmas Tree festival at Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield. It was one of those things where we thought we would just pop in, then an hour later I realised we were late picking up our eldest from the station as we had got so engrossed!

Parts of the church are from the thirteenth century, it has a beautiful painted ceiling and carved screen (appears in Pevsner for architecture fans!), then you add in 50 something decorated trees and it just comes alive. 


The trees are decorated by organisations, groups and businesses from the village and it is a wonderful example of what happens when a community comes together. Over the years the standard has risen as groups put extra effort in to their decorations, (I hesitate to say trying to out do each other!!) many being home made. They also have live music throughout the festival, from local musicians, the choir and schools.  It is just lovely, beautiful, heart warming, and really brings the community together, as well as encouraging people in to the church who might not usually come.

On top of that, on the way was a beautiful moon, which, with the floodlit church in front, looked like something out of a Victorian Christmas (yes, ok, I know they didn't have floodlights...). My photo doesn't really do it justice but it was just stunning....


And to think I nearly missed all this as we had had a busy afternoon and were going to stay in and veg out...


Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas in Pictures: Day 3:

Day 3:
This evening was the carol service for our kids local group at the village chapel.  It was wonderful, joyous, heart warming and totally chaotic!

What was particularly lovely was that compared with last year there were probably double the number of people. The kids groups have grown significantly in the last year and that was shown in the number of parents there tonight.

In a world where numbers going to church are falling it was delightful to see something different here in out little village :)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas in pictures 2: slowing down

Day 2:
well I managed to keep this going for at least 2 days...  So, todays picture is pretty poor quality, it was taken by my daughter who was laughing! But I love it because it just catches a moment in family life. Yes, it is me, and I was playing draughts with my youngest, last night.

God has really been teaching me about slowing down over the last year or so, about taking rest, and about prioritising. That is partly why I have not been blogging lately. What I have found is the time to enjoy life, to enjoy being with my kids, to not be rushing them off every here, there, and every where, to just slow down. And moments like in this photo, just stopping for a game of draughts are fab.
Don't get me wrong this hasn't been some dramatic instant turn around, I think I have been fighting God on this for some time. I've been saying, 'oh yes, I am slowing down, doing less', but in reality still not stopping to actually listen to him. And yet in the last few weeks something has finally got through. I'm not entirely sure what or how, but I recognise that when I stop and first give time to God, then I am a much calmer, peaceful and nicer person the rest of the time. I have time to sit and spend with the kids without thinking about all the stuff I need to do. I am less anxious. I am more balanced. And life seems much more enjoyable! Oh, long may this continue....

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Christmas in pictures...

Ok, so feeling like my blog needs a new lease of life I am going to take and post a picture a day over the festive period...!
Here is the first.

This is my daughter's school Christmas tree, which the kids get to decorate after school each year, and today was the day. It's always a scrum, broken baubles, lights that don;t work and sometimes with kids actually throwing stuff at the tree!  We have even been banned fromj using real greenery by the school caretaker as it makes so much mess!!
The first few years I was involved I used to go round and tidy the tree up, but to be honest nothing can improve it. If this was in my house I would have to change it, or in fact remove it all together it would offend me so much ;)
But what I love about it is the enthusiasm the kids have for all things Christmas related. Whether it's the dressing up, the nativity, the singing of Christmas songs (anyone else sick of little donkey already...?) and the excitement of advent calendars. Advent should be a time of preparation, hoping, fasting  traditionally. I'm not sure the kids get all that, but they do 'get' the waiting and the preparation, with each week something else festive going on to bring them closer to the day itself.

So this tree (eye-sore that it is...) is symbolising joy, excitement and enthusiasm :)

Mary

Sorry, been rather ignoring my blog lately, will write about that later but just felt inspired by a post from the Curates wife about Mary...

When I was 21 I found myself pregnant. I was iingle and 21,000 (ish) miles from home in Australia. Of course when I say I 'found' myself pregnant, I was responsible for that, it wasn't a divine action in my case... I was, frankly, stupid and should have known better. I didn't realise I was pregnant until a few weeks in. (although I was late and feeling distinctly nauseous). When I did the test I was shocked, to say the least. A bit of background was that at the time I wasn't eating properly. I had self esteem issues and thought that I needed to lose weight (I didn't, I was very thin anyway). I was surviving on a cuppa soup and an apple at most, each day. On top of that myself and my then boyfriend both smoked and were taking a lot of drugs, mostly pot. I also had a job that required a lot of heavy lifting. So although I was careless, it hadn't even crossed my kind that I could be pregnant, I was hardly in the best of health and nor was my boyfriend.

So I sat in this little cubicle in the hostel I was staying in (Aussie backpackers), just staring at the stick and the blue line. I felt sick (more than I had been!). The first thing I did was smoke 3 cigarettes in quick succession (yes I know, but I was in shock ok, and they were the last of the pregnancy!). I was terrified. My job was about to come to an end, I had no money, we were living in a backpackers hostel that was about to be bulldozed and on top of that I was miles from home and no way to get back. My boyfriend was an alcoholic and had various issues, none of which would have made him suitable to be a good parent.

But, even in that fear I knew that I would have the baby. I wasn't anti-abortion, but even amidst that fear and emotion, I just knew. As I look back now I know that God was watching over me. Now I am not suggesting for one second that God made me pregnant or that this was some kind of diving interception, but at the same time I just know it was meant to be. Having that baby changed my life. I was in a dark place back then. I hated myself. I was being very stupid and not looking after myself. If I had not become pregnant back then I honestly don't know where I would be right now. So am I always thankful for the gift of that baby.

I know for some it isn't always a  gift. For some it is hard or impossible to concive. For others babies are conceived out of great pain. But at the same time, a new baby is a miracle of life. aAfew weeks ago I was ill and spent 2 days watching daytime telly. Not the treat I thought it might be, but I did watch 'Pregnant at 16' on MTV. Far from being the trash that I expected it was actually very moving and brought back a lot of memories. I remember coming home from Oz and telling people I was pregnant. No one said 'congratulations'. People showed concern, asked 'are you keeping it?'...  it? it? it is a baby, a new life.  What any woman needs when she finds herself pregnant, in whatever circumstances, is support and love. The last thing she needs is condemnation, disain, judgement.

I do not begin to compare myself with Mary. But one can only begin to imagine how she was feeling when that angel appeared to her. I imagine some time must have passed, before she actually began to 'feel' pregnant. I wonder whether she told anyone, before she knew herself that she was. I wonder if she doubted the angel until she felt those first feelings of pregnancy. I wonder what she told her parents. I wonder what their initial reaction was.  In parts of the middle east today woman are still sentenced to stoning for adultery. I imagine it was far worse back then. Did she have to hide in fear of her life?

My parents were not happy at my news, it's fair to say, but they did stand by me. I was lucky. I may have had the odd remark or disparaging looks, but I was not in fear of my life. Not only that but the government would support me so I would not starve or be homeless.

When we talk about Mary and what happened to her, it tends to have this rosy glow about it. Ah yes, wonderful Mary, who had an angel come talk to her adn tell her she was going to carry the son of God... but the reality? I am sure it was very different to how we tell it...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Developing ones conscious mind... (man)

So this morning I got another event email from the DDO, he sends them round to us on his list regularly, I think the idea being that we should at least 'try' and attend a few.. the last one I actually made it to was a day on rural ministry. At the end someome asked me how I found the day.. the nicest thing I could think to say was 'well, I now know I'm not called into rural ministry...'. Anyway, I digress, this mornings email had info about a local talk on 'Developing Consciousness', the hippy part of me thought 'oh that looks interesting..' and by chance it was early, so wouldn't eat into my precious rest/sleep time! So I went...

Nicholas Vesey, An Anglican Priest somewhere in Norwich has written the book that titled the talk, and subtitled 'A roadmap of the journey to Enlightenment'. If you are interested he blogs here.

I wasn't really sure what to expect but it wasn't what I got! I was really challenged throughout the talk, which is always good, I don't think I've been challenged in this way for a long time. Challenged because to start with I thought, is he actually going to talk about God? (which he didn't directly for quite some time which made me start to switch off), then challenged because of what he was saying which I had to work to get my head around, and also challenged because I didn't think I was even anywhere near what he was talking about. Which in essence is (I think) is this:

He started by looking at consciousness itself, noting that we are all experts on our own consciousness, no one can know more about our own conscious than ourselves. We make decisions based on our own conscious which in turn is shaped by our life experiences, and therefore we make decisions, based on our conscious, not always fully aware of what is shaping our decisions. That make sense? bit like having a mask through which we view the world only we're not always aware we're wearing it...

He went on to talk about the distinction between our own consciousness and the divine consciousness. To be honest, I really didn't get to the bottom of this one, had a chat with him after but I wasn't actually sure where the distinction lay (have got the book, will have to read up). I think he was saying that there is a Divine something that is outside us, but that by focussing more on the self, on ones own conscious, that one can have greater access to that divine something; God, whatever it or He is.

In talking to him after I realise that I don't think I have a problem with the idea of focussing on ones conscious because actually, what he is essentially encouraging people to do is to seek God. But I do think there is a danger in the trying to reach some enlightened point whereby we can meet God. I think the focus can become too much on the self and not on God and in fact on Jesus, who didn't get much of a mention during the talk.

What he is doing is finding a way to tap into this trend for people seeking some sort of spiritual experience, but almost surrepticiously guiding them to God. I'm not sure what I feel about that. I mean it's great to be guiding people to God, but I can't quite reconcile what he is talking about with my own perception of God....

The book is titled 'Developing Consciousness' and is available for £11.99 via amazon

Where are our standards?

I don't know, maybe I'm getting all middle aged and moaning about the state of our society but this morning, via the wonders of Jeremy Vine & Twitter, I read this article about Kate & Gerry McGann and their treatment by the papers after the disappearance of their daughter Madeline.
It's quite shocking reading and paints a picture of a media industry that is totally out of control. It has become clear through the recent inquiries that the phone hacking scandal and the methods used by the News of the World are not isolated to that paper. (although anyone who has ever read the daily mail would never had doubted that anyway...). And it makes me wonder what on earth we as a nation are coming to? What on earth would make someone stoop so low as to accuse a couple who have lost a child of selling her into slavery? Is this industry so far gone that there is no come back? do people not think about the individuals involved? It seems their only focus is selling as many papers as possible and making as much money as possible.
Of course, I read this via The Guardian, and in the same way as I was prompted by a tweet, others are prompted to more sensational articles in other papers and online. It's not just the press, we, the common people, want to read it too. Have we all become brainwashed into thinking that reading about someone elses tragedy and being encouraged to form judgements on those people, is ok? and not just judgements either. I remember in the aftermath of the disappearnace of Madeline the number of conversations at the school gate, how did it happen...? did they? didnt they? all fuelled by the media frenzy surrounding it. And it's not just this story, there is plenty of it. That's why I dislike the Daily Mail, it just gives people half the facts, makes a few snide suggestions and then incites people to believe them.

In Dawkins book 'God Delusion' he says that we do not get our morals from religion, or from God, but it's interesting that as our nation becomes less Christian, moral standards are falling, in some cases rather rapidly.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Being in the Church of England

As I approach the next step in the ministry discernment process I think I am probably getting what is usually termed 'cold feet'. I don't know maybe it is that, or maybe it's the illness worrying me, or maybe it is that I am really not sure I want to go into the Church of England. I feel very strongly about the CofE and I know that is part of my calling. I am not naive about it either, I know the kind of organisation I would be getting in to. I don't always agree with decisions from the top, I worry about the place of women, I worry about the treatment of homosexuals, I worry about the treatment of priests in some individual circumstances. But I still feel that I need to be in it. I often say to people that a friend in ministry, said to me that I should not go into this thinking I can change the Church of England from the iniside, it will eat you up and spit you out (or something along those lines), but I do feel that God is raising people up to have an impact, people who are strong enough and prepared enough to take a stand, prepared to fight for change.

BUT.. I find myself at a point where I am really not sure this is where I want to be, there is so much bad feeling around the CofE at the mo, and I find myself thinking, why on earth would I want to be part of that? I don't know maybe I'm feeling too tired for a fight right now, but I am really not sure...

In this weeks episode or Rev the archdeacon says to Adam: 'young dynamic women are not exactly queuing up to joing the church you know...' to which my husband and I chuckled as we know a few who are! But really a truly it seems like I am at the bottom of a huge hill and I am just not sure I want to climb it...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Being a 21st Century Woman

I feel completely blessed that I was born into a time when women have rights (perhaps not quite equal rights), where women can have a life outside the home, where women can go to work and have kids too, where we can do all kinds of things are predecesors couldn't. We have choices. However I think that now, more than ever, we also have pressure. Pressure to work, to be a perfect mother, to have a home worthy of Country Living Magazine, to be HSBC Business Woman of the year, in fact to be a bloomin' Super Woman. With the availability of choice, actually comes less choice too. Where 50 or 60 years ago a large portion of women would have stayed at home with their children and been a 'home maker', and the pressure on the men to be the breadwinner, now the pressure is shared.
I think for a young woman, particularly once she starts to have children, there is this unspoken rule that she will not only look after the kids, clean the house, cook, etc but also she will work.

I am white middle class. Theres no shame in that, it's just what I was born into. I don't assimiliate to all the typical white middle class ideals, but much of my life is in that bracket. And I notice particularly within this bracket this pressure on women to be everything. To make the decision to be a stay at home mum is a brave one round these parts. And if you do become one then you are expected to join the PTA, village organisation and help at the toddler group. So then you become a working mum too, you just don't get paid or any credit for it.

The other type of mum becomes someone who works from home or runs her own business, in the hope that it will fit round the kids but also provide some income (or as one friend termed it some 'pin money', cough, splutter...;)  )  Without fail everyone then moans about this as it invariably does not fit around the kids... Some of you will know of my own experience running my own business, which I no longer do. It left me with a feeling that it is simply impossible for a woman to be a housewife and mum and work, and to do all of that well. Something has to give. (unless of course you earn a packet and can afford a nanny and that is a whole other discussion...)

I am of course slightly biased as by working so hard I made myself ill. But at the same time I am almost angry that we put this pressure on ourselves. And it's not just ourselves, it's the fact that we are capable women and society and Country Living magazine tell us that we can have it all and be wonderful, beautiful, smiling examples of womanhood...  Ok, so I am having a bad day... perhaps this post is rather one sided... But seriously why are we never happy? and I speak to myself here too. Currently I am in a place where I think, Ireally know that I need to be spending time at home, to be spending time being a mother and housewife. It may not be forever, who knows, but I am finding it very hard to stay there. I seem to be torn between being a stay at home mum (with some voluntary work on the side) and being a dynamic young woman setting off to change the world (tongue firmly in cheek there...)


Incidentally in the middle of this rant I had a deja-vu moment and realised I have written some of this before... see here for more..!  #not leanring from past rants

Monday, 14 November 2011

we all need a little mystery, don't we..?

So, I am reading 'God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins at the mo, (yes, I know I am way behind most of the world..). I am actually finding it very interesting. Some of my friends have questioned why I am reading it, but I think you kind of need to know what you are up against, don't you?!
I find I like Dawkins. Which was a surprise to me as I thought I would hate him. I don't. I like the way he writes. He makes his point simply without using too much techho stuff or long words that would bamboozle the average reader. (I do have some issues with his writing whch may form another post...)

But what I found in reading the book was that actually I feel sorry for him. Because he can't seem to live with unanswered questions. He seems to have this insatiable desire to get to the bottom of every mystery. Perhaps that is what drives him. Near the beginning of the book he is talking about the power of the brain and how it can turn unknown noises and images into recogniseable pictures. He gives an example of himself as a young boy hearing what he thinks is a whispering voice, in which he can actually hear audible words. Now I suspect that most kids would either be freaked out by this or perhaps call for a parent. But the young Dawkins decides to go on a mission to find out the source of the sound and he follows it until he finds wind whistling through a key hole. It was not voices after all, just wind. I find that so sad. That even as a child he had such an inquisitive mind that he could not accept a little mystery.

This isn't just about faith, I'm not trying to score any points here, just that I think life is made far richer by a bit of mystery, the unknown. Is it really necessary to try and erradicate that unknown element of life? Our generation has so much more knowledge than our ancestors. We know so much more about how life works, how the world functions, how illnesses start and how we can end them. That is fantastic I am not disupting it, but I am wondering if this thirst for knowledge is just going a little bit too far....

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Key to Freedom: Human Trafficking

I know today is Remembrance day but I am taking part in another event, KEY2FREE for charity A21.Today they are encouraging women to hold 'KEY2FREE' parties to spread awareness of human trafficking. So that is what I am doing... Please spend a few mins watching the vid below... This is a very real issue for so many hidden and lost women. We need to stand with our sisters and do something about it. We are the KEY 2 their FREEDOM...




www.thea21campaign.org

Saturday, 5 November 2011

healing testimony



I've been reading a great book about healing by Bill Johnson recently, and I will definitely be blogging about it soon, but in the meantime I've also been looking at healing testimony. I totally believe God can heal, but as I have never had first hand experience I sometimes struggle with believing other peoples testimony. Quite often you hear of testimony that can be explained away, or that there could be other reasons for the healing. This above, from New Day, (and there are others in the series on you tube) is far more believeable because of the medical evidence before and after.
Hearing this testimony (which a friend had flagged up on facebook) gave me goose bumps. We serve an awesome, almighty God :)

One Solitary Life

I just came across this via The Christian Medical Comment blog but it is in various places online.. I expect many of you will have read it before, but it's good to be reminded...



'One Solitary Life'
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

This essay was adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”). If you are interested, you can read the original version .

Friday, 4 November 2011

CFS/ME

So I think most of you know now that I have been diagnosed with CFS. It has its ups and downs. Sometimes I feel ok (and by ok, I mean really tired, but no symptoms of illness) other times I am totally exhausted beyond belief and feeling really ill. About a month ago I got a cold and it has lingered. This isn't unusual as the one thing that has shown up in the endless tests I have had, is low white blood cells, so my immune system is not working at 100%. But it means that a little thing like a cold can wipe me out. I used to be the kind of person who didn't like taking pills, hey even my kids haven't had all their jabs, but these last few weeks I couldn't have got through the day without stacks of nurofen, I am practically rattling.... Thankfully this week I feel much better and have gone 5 days with no pills :)


Mostly I am ok with it. It is not fun, but I can deal with it, with Gods help. But today I am feeling pretty lousy to be honest. I am feeling particularly tired which tends to be when I hit a low emotionally too. Some friends prayed for healing last night too, which was really cool and unexpected, but I guess it's contributing to my lowness today, because obviously I am not healed...


Anyway, I was just sinking into feeling sorry for myself when I saw a post on my friends facebook about ME (her teenage daughter has ME)...(the vid below is a different one to the one she posted..) and I was reminded how thankful I am that it is not worse for me. At least I can carry on a reasonably normal life. Others are not so lucky. Others are confined to bed, need feeding tubes or in constant pain. sometimes for years. And all that with people saying their illness is psychological, it's all in the mind... believe me, it isn't.


So today I am thankful. Thankful that I am blessed in so many ways. That I have a beautiful family and wonderful, caring friends. I know God can heal me, I'm just not experiencing it yet.


.

d

Monday, 31 October 2011

Christmas presents: to give or not to give...

'More Presents!' photo (c) 2005, Aaron Jacobs - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
So.. I just had an interesting, errrr, 'debate' with my husband. To be fair this is not a new debate, it has reared its head several times in the last few years - usually at my insistance, I just can't seem to help myself... As soon as the subject of Christmas comes around we discuss whether it would be better to give the gift money to charity or a needy cause, rather than buying tat for our nearest and dearest.

Most of the people we buy Christmas pres for are financially blessed. They really don't 'need' anything tangible (if they did I would feel better about this whole debate!), or anything that we could buy. Kids that we buy for, have ooodles of presents, on top of the already overflowing toy boxes. It seems to me totally wasteful and wrong to be buying presents for these people when we could be really and truly blessing a family that is in need, or providing food for a starving family, or sleeping bags for the homeless. The truly in need.

My husband totally disagrees with me and so far we have not managed to come to a compromise. we have done things like buying gifts from charity shops (marginally cheaper, but lower class of tat...) or for own own kids asking people to combine to get a larger gift that we couldn't afford. This is all well and good, but doesn't solve the wider argument. My husband believes Christmas is the perfect time to be showing Gods love and by blessing those around us with a gift, (tat ot not). I understand where he is coming from but I feel that our nearest and dearest are far more blessed by coming to spend time with us as a family, sharing lunch, dinner, Christmas day etc, and equally we are all blessed by that too.

What really gets me is the needless waste of money Christmas is. Our parents are not easy to buy for. they have all they need and are usually unforthcoming about present wishes (if there are any). The huge number of kids on our lists are all very blessed and do not need any more toys! other random adults tend to get random books or other tat, as we have no idea what to get them.

I would much rather bless those truly in need but am I being too 'bah humbug' about this? are there better ways to bless people at Christmas, or is it just about giving, regardless of the gift?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Biblical Metaphors: The Temple

Hmm, just a thought that came to me this morning... When we see Jesus turning over the money lenders tables in the Temple... could it also be a metaphor for us, ridding ourselves of the sin within our own bodies? In order to honour him?

This just came to me this morning, prompted by the word 'temple' in a tweet! So much of the bible, uses symbolism and metaphor and can be read several ways, not sure if this is just me putting my own spin on it. But...

Mathew 21: 12 - 14 says this:

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

 I know the obvious point being made in the Mathew passage is about the temple not being used as a house of prayer, as a sacred palce but when where dishonesty is thriving. However if you look at the use of the word temple in the corinthians passage, relating to us as Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, one can read the Mathew passage a different way...It implies to me that when we sin, we allow it to enter our own bodies, (perhaps through thoughts, it doesnt have to be an internal thing) and therefore, then we are dishonouring God but by allowing that within our own temple, our own body, as it houses the Holy Spirit...

Thoughts anyone...?


 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Stuff I like..

I know everyone else has been doing this for yonks, but I keep coming across other peoples posts that I want to share. So here is my first round-up of stuff I like...  (and twitter names in brackets for those that are that way inclined..)

Which aptly brings me to the first post from Jon Acuff at 'Stuff Christians Like'. This week I loved his post on people praying with British accents... :   @jonacuff
I know that your prayers don’t travel on a more direct route to God than mine. I am well aware that there is not an “express prayer lane,” that gets prayers to heaven faster. But every time I’m in a prayer group and someone prays something with the “Queen’s English,” I’m pretty sure that prayer gets heard by God first.

Banksy goes for religion. Thanks to 'Changing Worship' who in turn pinched this from Richard Littledale. A fab new work from Banksy, collaborating with MOCA in L.A. Just love this picture on so many levels...  @changingworship

God of the Moon & Stars. A friend used this clip in a talk recently. The video is a little cliched but I just liked the song. The lyrics are quite thought provoking in places. (may blog on this at some point...)

A21 Campaign:  I know I have flagged this organisation up a few times, but if you haven't checked them out, please do: Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide.


Worship Central: Spirit Break Out  (@worshipcentral)
The Worship central guys are based at HTB, this is their latest album and I LOVE it! the title track 'Spirit break out' is amazing (although the rap is very HTB, darling...!!)

Inherit the Mirth... a whole selection of faith/church based cartoons. I admit I have totally used this one without permission so please do go look at their site and maybe buy a card or two!







Monday, 24 October 2011

Primary School Sex Education

So, ok I know I have written on this before but this time it was flagged up by 'Christian Concern'. Now, I know what you're thinking, but don't dismiss it just because it was raised by 'them'. Today the Lords are debating the issue of sex education in primary schools. CCN says this:

Sex education campaigners, and some backbench Peers, want to make sex education compulsory in primary schools by forcing a vote at the Report Stage of the Education Bill on Monday 24 October. At present primary schools are not forced to teach sex education, yet if it becomes part of the national curriculum then highly expicit resources are likely to be used for children as young as five.

This concerns me I have to say. When I wrote about this issue before it was in reponse to a Catholic blog where I was concerned by the  extreme reaction of some parents to the issue. However I still find myself concerned with it on a personal level. As a parent, and perhaps as a Christian parent, I want to protect my childrens childhood. We live in a society where kids are exposed to sexual images in advertising, on the TV and elsewhere from such a young age. Of course it isn't just sex, it's violence, swearing and so on, too. I feel a bit like Mary Whitehouse as I write this, and perhaps there is still a place for someone like her, well not perhaps at all... There IS more of a need for someone like her now. The 9 O'clock watershed seems non-existant anymore and I have even turned off breakfast radio on occasion as I have been concerned about the discussions.

Don't get me wrong, I am no prude, and I do extol the benefits of sex education. Regular readers will know my background, I was not a 'no sex before marriage type', and in fact I got pregnant at a young age. (I did get decent sex education at secondary school - I was just filled with the idiocy and arrogance of youth and was having a good time...) BUT... I think it is so wrong that our kids to exposed to so much at such a young age. Thankfully we live in a small rural community and so they are quite protected here.

What worries me about this issue, is firstly, the fact that schools will have no choice over whether they teach it or not (and this is to kids from the age of 5). I know, living in a small community that the lives of my children are very different to those living in large towns or inner cities. The experiences of kids within more urban areas, more naturally, are exposed to things earlier and more frequently than those in more sheltered areas. Schools are different and they should be allowed to make decisions on this based on their own demographic, their own pupils. Too many of these decisions are made at a national level and foisted down the line without taking into account individual circumstances.

Secondly I worry about what they will teach them. The Christian Institue have produced a report here. showing various 'approved' literature. I am sure this is produced to make their point, but much of what they show worries me. I have no problem with kids being taught the facts, from a reasonable age and when it is appropriate, and with the correct terms, but really do they need to know about m*stubation and where the clit*ris is? (I am probably opening myself up to numerous spam bots here, hence the *s and not because I am being  a prude!)

Lastly, I really don't think this will make a jot of differnce with the teenage pregnancy problem in this country. Most teenage pregnancies are over the age of 13 anyway, by which stage the kids will have had sex education at secondary school. My own opinion is that whilst there are a minority of kids who really may not know the consequences of sex, the majority do know the risks of getting pregnant. The problem is no different to 50 or 100 years ago, we still get pregnant in the same way as we always did. It's just that now it is so easy to do it! It's hardly surprising that as more and more kids are experimenting with sex before marriage or even just at a younger age, statistically the numbers of kids getting pregnant are going to be higher.

And thats before I even include my Christian views as to what they are taught about when to have sex, and whether they should be taught about 'waiting' or what the bible tells us about sex.

Really, do we need to expose our primary school kids to this? At our local village primary they cover it in Class 4, (which includes years 5-6) which for our local area is absolutely perfect. They chose what to cover and how, according to the kids present. What is so wrong with that? Why does it need to be dictated from governement down...?

DDO update

So... my twitter followers will know that I saw the DDO on Friday for the next step of my discernment jounrey. To be honest I had no idea what to expect. I knew my VC had completed her report on me but I didn't know what it said. I almost half expected the DDO to send me away for a 6 month placement  or similar, before going further. And I was all prepared for a bit of a battle.. but thankfully, grace abounded and that was not necessary!
So it was 3 hours... but we basically went through his previous report on me and what my VC had written step by step and filled in any gaps. There were a lot of questions and a few 'ok, anything else...' prompts in places. It was hard to know what to say as I couldn't see what he had written in front of him and I think I missed a few key points because of it. For example when asked what I felt ordained ministry was, I didn't give a list of roles of the Ordained Minister, I told him what my key aims were. So needless to say he told me the Bish will want to hear more on what ordained ministry is. Good heads up and I will gen up.
Also realised I must not ever, EVER,  tell the Bish that I take communion without a minister present as it is against Church Law. Oops.. (note to self, shut mouth on this issue, do not debate whether this is right or not!) more on this in another post..

All in all though, it went well and he expects me to see the Examinig Chaplain in November and the Bish before Christmas, with BAP in the spring... Blimey..

So whilst I still stand by the fact that I will not jump through their hoops unnecessarily, or tell them things they want to hear if they are not true of me, I do feel a little bit of 'genning up' is required. It is probably 9 months since I read 'Being a Priest Today' and to be honest I did find it rather dull (to say the least), so perhaps now is the time to study it with more interest!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What is worship?

I've been thinking recently about what worship is (again)... I have been challenged by some things at church, where changes have been taking place.  But within that, it is abundantly clear that regardless of anything else, God wants us to worship him.

Aside from that, my Spiritual Director has been advising me on studying the bible via topic, so I have been studying worship, what the bible says about it and what we think it is.

Worship to many, means the music in the service, and I admit I am probably one of those, I always confuse my non-evangelical freinds when I talk about 'the worship team'. Evangelicals know this means the band. But of course they are right to be confused. God doesn't just ask us to worship him in music.

The bible talks about bowing down in worship; kneeling. The wise men (oh, oops I mean Magi) came to worship the newborn Jesus; it tells us to honour the Lord, to serve Him. I love in Mathew where it talks of the women seeing Jesus after his resurrection. It says:
And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. (Mathew 28:9)

I really wonder what they did. It says they grasped his feet and worshipped him. I don't suppose it means that they burst into song. Perhaps they declared their love for him, perhaps they were bowed down in front as they grasped his feet (probably couldn't do that standing up, let's face it..). I imagine they were delighted, relieved maybe; laughing, smiling perhaps, and even fearful - after all they had seen him die. I think if I were them I'd give him a big hug. Could all of this be worship?

I love the Changing Worship Blog and came across this post recently looking at the Lenny Kravitz song 'are you gonna go my way', which idiotically had never occured to me that it was about Jesus. derrr...;)  But that's beside the point, the point is I love the blog because it (I mean him - Robb, the writer) is focussed on alternative worship, usually rock-based, and I love that. If the church is going to move forward, we need to look forward. And not only that we need to look out - to people who are, lets face it, never going to come to a 'normal' church. Not difficult really, but to some it seems like the end of the world... If the bible can refer to worship as many different things, shouldn't we be drawing lessons from that?

I'm sorry this post isn't longer, there is so much going round my head, but I think there will be more posts as I analyse it all (probably too much...) and I would welcome input or suggestions of places to visit on this subject. thanks :)




Dominant Christians

Ok, we all know one, don't we?  a DC - dominant Christian. You know, the ones who hog all the prayer time, speak out prophecy at every opportunity, can talk for hours on the subject of faith and what it means to them. To be fair, some of them are truly inspiring (and I know a few of them too), others just get up everyones noses, even though we try not to let it, because 'that would not be very Christian of us, would it?'

I have been struggling with some things that have been spoken to me and about me, prayed over me, or revealed to me, in prayer by a DC. I have felt pressured, condemned, have lost belief in myself in some areas. Last weekend I had a revelation (and I don't use that word lightly), when I realised through a series of events, that these things are just not true.

I actually felt like someone had lifted a weight off me when I realised what had happened. These things had been spoken over me and I had believed them, I had taken them in and accepted them.
I was reminded of the scriptures:

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it's fruit. 
Proverbs 18:21


"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Mathew 12:36

When we are children we proudly chant 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me'. The thing is, that's just crap. Words really do have power, and when we speak them over someone, they really can cause damage. Particularly to the vulnerable. And especially if spoken by someone who seems to have authority. It's hard to disagree with a DC isn't it!?

We have to be so careful what we say to people. If one really feels they have a word that could be negative, then we have to weigh up so carefully how and if we should share it, not speak out all over the place, regardless of what damage may be done.