Today is a special day for me. There will be no party, no cards in the mail, no “HBD!” posts on Facebook and no rights to claim “but it’s my special day!” when it’s time to take the bins out or change a crappy nappy.
Because today isn’t an actual birthday, but maybe the anniversary of the next most significant moment in my life (after being unceremoniously torn out of my poor mother and having my heart re-started back in ’83).
18 years ago in a quiet little chapel in the Buckinghamshire countryside, with one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had, the immanence of God exploded into my consciousness and turned my world upside down forever. I can’t really explain it, I definitely can’t find a formula to repeat it, and I’ve certainly doubted it, but it happened.
Continue reading Coming of Age
I’m not entirely sure what the deal is with 2017 but it’s been fairly sucky for us so far. Especially the last month or two. Amongst the dramas of a car crash, tonsillitis, post-natal depression and the usual ups and downs of life, our little one has had a nasty ear infection which has given him soaring fevers and very little sleep for all of us.
Continue reading Faith Like a Child
Ah prayer, that thing we like to pretend that we do a lot more than we actually do.
In most of the morning prayer liturgies (routines) I use, there’s a part I have started to dread. So much so, that I think it has sub-consciously put me off using the liturgies altogether. This is often replaced with a few desperate, muttered prayers during the sprint to get to work on time.
Recently at a motorcycle rally, a stall vendor remarked that they appreciated my easy-going and slightly sarcastic approach to talking about faith. I replied, “That’s ok, I’m a professional”. In my experience, even people involved in pastoral work and Christian leadership struggle with regular prayer.
Continue reading Prayer for troubled minds
Can you sponsor me to lose weight and raise money for our Fresh Expression of Church?
Can you help Sir Lancelot slay the flab dragon?!!!
I’m looking for people to sponsor me £1 per kilogram as I try to lose some fat and raise money for our Fresh Expression of Church.
In September we start meeting weekly, and will be sharing a meal together each month. Currently we are not receiving any regular funding for our group so we need your help to cover some of our running costs. All moneys will be used for running the group and will not go to any individuals.
Can you help us provide a sacred space for ragamuffins???
Follow the following link to sponsor: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/churchforragamuffins
For more info about what we’re doing take a look at this written interview with CMS or listen to this recorded interview with UCB Christian Radio (2hrs 17mins into the show)!
Thanks for your interest and support, I’ll be posting updates on social media.
Very excited to share this little interview with Christian musician and worship leader Marc James. I’ve known Marc a while, we actually lived in a shared house together for a few years! I’m very thankful to call this man ‘friend’, I’ve learned so much from the time we’ve spent together. Marc is a ragamuffin who loves Jesus, plain and simple.
We talk about his new album ‘Promise’, which is available here.
Continue reading Chatting ‘Promise’ With Marc James
This is an abridged version of an essay I recently wrote, if you’d like to read the full thing do be in touch
It’s probably fair to say that the environment in which we share the Bible in the UK has changed radically in the last 100 years. People are bringing different kinds of questions to the table. As one author noted, the air of expectation and hope of the early twentieth century very quickly gave way to the cruel realities of “Auschwitz, Hiroshima and the Gulag Archipelago”. The West’s great hope of self-redemption and apotheosis through science, technology, education and the secular nation state gave way to a climate of fear, mistrust of institutions, and philosophical confusion. Continue reading Hermeneutics for Ragamuffins: Some things a Calvinist has learned from Liberation theology
Latest blog post – babies, sleep deprivation, motorcycles, philosophy, and Nazis. It’s all here folks.
It’s been a crazy time. Well life is usually quite crazy for us to be fair, but particularly crazy. Our beloved 4 month old son hasn’t been sleeping much, we’ve been surviving (or maybe existing is a better word) on a few broken hours of sleep for well over a month, and it’s taken a heavy toll on all aspects of our life. Continue reading Stations On The Way To Freedom
Infant Baptism. Few matters of contention divide Christians as much as this one.
To our great joy a son was born to us, just a couple of short months ago. So this debate just got really personal. There are myriad books, blogs and articles arguing the issue in great theological detail, and I won’t bother to repeat what has already been said. But for the benefit of those who find what we’re doing strange, I will briefly explain why we are baptising our son. (If you are looking for something a little more theological try this) Continue reading Why We’re Baptising Our Infant Son
I saw the following words glitter in gold print on the wall of a Church in our beloved town of Luton this week:
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”
The bibliophiles among us may recognise it from Luke 2:10. As I stared, and pondered these words, I couldn’t help but wonder what they might mean to those outside the cozy inner circle of religious adherents. That day I had spent time with a lonely immigrant from Senegal desperate for work, a serial alcoholic, a young lady who had recently found herself homeless, a young man suffering from chronic mental health problems, and an older gentleman in chronic pain after a botched medical treatment, and many others with troubling stories. I couldn’t help wonder, what about Christmas is good news for them? Where they might find joy at this time of year save from the bottom of a bottle or a used hypodermic? Even experiences in my own cushy little life had me hating Christmas until recently. Continue reading What’s So Amazing About Christmas Anyway?
It’s been very quiet here for a while, with all the craziness of life – work, studies, Church, and of course family (with the arrival of our son Jared Benjamin). But I’m pleased to tickle your fancy with the news that soon I’ll be publishing an academic piece I’m writing:
Intelligence On Fire:
A Brief Analysis of Rev Dr John Smith – a 20th Century mission pioneer….
They say you can’t steer a stationary ship, and those words took a deeper significance for me about 3 1/2 years ago while sitting astride my old Yamaha motorcycle. I grew up around motorbikes in one way or another, both my parents and my sister had bikes at different stages, but for one reason or another I didn’t get round to taking my test until I was well into my 20s.
Continue reading Jesus Christ, Friend of the Outcast – A Reflection on my journey so far with God’s Squad Christian Motorcycle Club
Something has changed in me recently. Massively so. I’ve become quieter, spent less time opening my mouth and more time listening (much to the delight of some folks). Only a few years ago the world seemed to fit into such nice, neat little boxes, and I had an answer for everything. And so often when you put the world into nice little boxes, what you’re really doing is putting God into a nice little box too.
Continue reading Beauty From Ashes – Finding God in the most disturbing of places
My Faith is a sunrise,
When the thick darkness of night clouds all,
She bursts forth and illumines my horizon.
My hope is a phoenix.
Though burned in the flames of trial,
She arises from the ashes of impossible despair.
My love is a King,
With murderers and whores in his bloodline,
Who died like a criminal.
Every once in a while a movie really captures you, and this one fits the bill.
Without spoiling it too much, it’s basically different take on the usual rags-to-riches deal – an underdog story with a difference. The film is a documentary about a mysterious musician by the name of Sixto Rodriguez, who should by all accounts have been big, but never really made it. Bizarrely his music became hugely popular in South Africa, and the documentary follows some South African journalists who go on the hunt for the mysterious story of Rodriguez. Continue reading ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ – Music For Searching Souls