A #thread about the end of a #decade. A ramble at times but hey ho. As we draw the 2010s to a close it is natural to reflect on what has gone before and try to sift through the memories, both good and bad, to form some lesson to take into the next decade. What a ten years it had been. I started this decade with almost every area of my life barely holding together whilst delivering what I believed was an Oscar worthy performance of ‘successful man in his late twenties’ for all to see. I had found that … Continue reading A thread for the end of a decade.
To the fellow #parents of autistic children for whom the school Nativity is painful. We had ours today, he stood out amongst the sheep, wisemen, shepherds and camels; a star with ear defenders and ipad sat at the back on a TA’s knee. He was the one who stayed sitting as his classmates stood up to sing. He was seemingly oblivious to the script and the songs the cuteness of Joseph and Mary. He didn’t sing, he didn’t have a part. He had an iPad and ear defenders. Yet he lit up when he noticed us. He waved and … Continue reading Nativity: today as a parent of our autistic boy.
Thinking of #clergy, #pastors and #ministers today who often struggle in silence with their poor #mentalhealth. It is not weak to talk, get therapy and take meds. All 3 have changed my life. DM to talk. Tag your pastor/leader. Call them. #WorldMentalHealthDay2019 #mentalhealthday I’m an ex-pastor. It was the hardest job I’ve ever done. It made me very ill. I lost all perspective on most things. I sometimes think that pastors are the least mentally healthy people I know. The emotional and relational capital they spend on others far outweighs what comes back. Add a mental illness like I had … Continue reading Pastors. If you need help, please get it. #MentalHealthAwarenessDay
These were my resolutions in January this year. I think I’m actually pursuing most of them. This is a first for me. How are you doing with yours? —————– I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I did join a gym in January once but it didn’t work out well (oh dear – an accidental pun). I’ve had these phrases or some nebulous form of them in my head since December 31st. These are what I’m telling myself as I start 2019. —————- You get to decide what parts of 2018, 2017, 2011, 2003, 1998, etc. that you’re going … Continue reading Resolutions for 2019 Revisited
A few months ago, half-tongue-in-cheek, I wrote the outline of a book inspired by Marie Kondo’s tidying up system. How can we recognise what is cluttering up our faith i.e. what are the practices and beliefs we are carrying around that are either not giving us life, or if we are honest we don’t really believe at all. I wrote a very rough draft of a first chapter and have sat on it for a few months (with two or three friends who have helped me think through the language and style). I however, have not found the energy or … Continue reading Heavy Soul: How to declutter your faith.
After I posted this and this I got messages from a number of people asking for books to help them navigate through a changing faith. Here are five books that have helped me a lot as I rediscovered my faith and the church.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation in which someone said something like, ‘people who deconstruct their evangelicalism, and move towards progressive Christianity or liberal Christianity, only ever do so because it is convenient for them to do so.’ I have thought about it every day since. Continue reading “A Lost and Found Faith of Convenience?”
I’m amazed at how upset I have been at the passing of someone I have never met. What a loss. Her poor family. They say, don’t meet your heroes, and in my experience that is true. I’ve met three of mine in all, and those three were as human as me; tired, at times obnoxious and prone to mood swings. They were all slowly making their way through the world as best they could, just like the rest of us. Another, as of yesterday, I will never meet, unless the faint hope I cling to by my fingernails, that there … Continue reading #BecauseofRHE
Here are the chapter titles/ideas for a book I’ll never have time to write. The Life-Giving Magic of Tidying Up Your Christianity or Kondoing Your Faith. 1. Your faith is cluttered. Everyone’s is. You have picked up beliefs and behaviours without even noticing. Some of them are nonsense and once you notice them you’ll get rid of them. Until age 14 I believed that Bibles couldn’t burn because I read it in a Christian kid’s book. Then I watched someone roll a joint with a page of 1 John from his Gideon’s Bible. 2. If a belief or practice doesn’t … Continue reading The Life-Giving Magic of Tidying Up Your Christianity or Kondoing Your Faith.
I’ve now worked for Trussell Trust for 7 months. I had another of what I think of as my ‘reality of foodbank’ moments today. We were in a meeting with someone who wanted information about how a Trussell Trust foodbank works. As we explained the model that we use, causes of food poverty and talked through some statistics of foodbank use in Northern Ireland and the wider UK network, I was again experiencing the contrast of feeling that comes with this job. Working with foodbanks is simultaneously saddening, infuriating, uplifting and inspiring. Working with people of such passion and commitment … Continue reading 7 months of foodbanking.