Category Archives: My Story

Streams In The Desert

I needed to read this today:

“O Thou of little faith,
God hath not failed thee yet!
When all looks dark and gloomy,
Thou dost so soon forget–
Forget that He has led thee,
And gently cleared thy way;
On clouds has poured His sunshine,
And turned thy night to day.
And if He’s helped thee hitherto,
He will not fail thee now;
How it must wound His loving heart
To see thy anxious brow!
Oh! doubt not any longer,
To Him commit thy way,
Whom in the past thou trusted,
And is “just the same today.”

From “Streams In The Desert” By L B Cowman

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Falling Between The Cracks – Disillusionment With Church

I recently wrote this piece for the Fresh Expressions website, which can be viewed here. Fresh Expressions is a network of groups trying to ‘do Church’ differently. Hope you enjoy.

I love God, but I really struggle with His fan club sometimes.

I remember writing words to that effect on my MySpace page many years ago in a moment of desperation.

Continue reading Falling Between The Cracks – Disillusionment With Church

Music for Searching Souls – Strength Of My Life

(Photo taken by me at P.O.D. gig at the Camden Underworld, London) 

Off the bat let me make a confession – I’m a major P.O.D. fanboy. I started listening to their music circa ’99 when I became a Christian. Their music has been like a soundtrack of my faith, and the theological journey of their lyrics through the years is not dissimilar to my own path. Continue reading Music for Searching Souls – Strength Of My Life

Music For Searching Souls

One of the greatest passions in my life has been music. From listening to scratchy old LPs on my parents’ record player, stage invasions while playing drums in a gutter-punk band in my teens, wooing my soul-mate with heartfelt songs at an open mic night and to getting bashed up in a mosh pit at a P.O.D. gig.

Something about good music moves the blood in a way little else can. It somehow captures the soul and elevates us to a heightened state of emotion.

Continue reading Music For Searching Souls

A Poem For Good Friday

As a man of many words, even I recognise that there are times too sacred for my incessant ramblings. So today I offer you one of my favourite poems by John Donne – a beer-swilling womaniser who fell in love with Jesus. He masterfully captures the beauty, the pain and the tension of Good Friday in these words, and I pray you will know something of the majesty of this day as you read these them. Continue reading A Poem For Good Friday

Travelling to the land of my forefathers….

As I write this Jeni and I are sitting on a SleazyJet flight back from Iceland. The reason for our visit was to partake in a ’round-table’ conference for an organisation called ‘Radstock‘.

In simple terms Radstock exist to promote

“Mission at the heart of Local Churches, Local Churches at the heart of mission”.

Continue reading Travelling to the land of my forefathers….

Lord, Lord

Been reflecting on this poem, which is apt for the week I’m having.

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve really had to get my hands dirty as I’ve journeyed with folks who have some complex needs and even more complex stories. And if I’m honest I’ve been wrestling with the complexties of my own needs and story too.

More and more I see what a mess the world around me is in, and my mind is searching for an answer, a strategy or something. 

I got into one of those wonderful open-ended political debates on facebook the other day, with the lefties and the righties duking it out behind their screens and keyboards, and again I feel like the answer won’t be found in another ‘ism’. This is mainly because God did not send us an ‘ism’, but as the message translation so aptly puts it, he ‘moved into the neighbourhood’ (John 1:14). 

I plan to write something a bit more substatial on the subject of ‘Incarnation’ for college, but then more words aren’t the answer either (although they do help in getting a university degree).

As Mr Turner so eloquently expresses it in the poem above, I want to do more than write a poem. And I’m hoping others will join me.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭1-8‬ MSG)

Top 5 Books I Read In 2014

Well folks, 2015 is here! And so passes 2014, a year which departed quicker than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

One of the major changes in my life during 2014 was beginning my studies for a degree in Theology, Mission and Ministry. I know, sounds a little heady for a beardy biker/bricklayer? Of course, even a fairly ‘off-the-wall’ course like what I’m studying requires, or at least is enriched by, reading.

So, out of the selection of laudible, laughable and sometimes lambastable literature I have layed my little hands on, here are a few of the highlights, each with a short review/synopsis. Or syniew as I like to call it.

Continue reading Top 5 Books I Read In 2014

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

When there are more questions than answers…

So, any regular readers might have noticed a bit of a, well, lull in blog posts lately.

To say that the last few months have been busy would be like calling hummingbird ‘slightly animated’.

As if starting a college course and potential career change weren’t enough, we’ve decided to sell our house and move to the area where most of our ministry happens. As I said on twitter a while ago, 

“bureacracy = my kryptonite”

And guess what all of the above involves bucket loads of….

It’s been a amazing and exciting time, but it’s also been a little tough. I haven’t been sleeping well, and I can hardly think about anything other than how damn powerless I feel. And that is pretty much the key point.

Continue reading When there are more questions than answers…

Roadside Interview: CMS Pioneer


I was recently asked to do an interview with Helen Harwood for CMS Pioneer where I’m currently studying for a Diploma in Theology, Mission and Ministry. They send out a monthly update to anyone interested in supporting the development and training of new lay and ordained pioneers. Check out http://pioneer.cms-uk.org/cms-pioneer-friends/ to find out more!

Many thanks Helen for letting me re-post the interview:


Helen Harwood meets new Pioneer student Luke Larner, “a rough-round-the-edges dude”!

 

Continue reading Roadside Interview: CMS Pioneer

What does it mean to be a “Jesus Freak”? – guest post

Check out my guest post on my dear friend and travelling companion Graeme’s blog:

http://www.revgraeme.net/2014/11/guest-blog-luke-larner-jesus-freak.html

 

The subject is, “What does it mean to be a Jesus Freak?”

 

Hope you enjoy, and be sure to check out his other posts.

 

Much Peace.

Roadside Update – Laying Foundations

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything so I thought it was time for a brief update.

 

 

A little ‘Steel Therapy’ from last week, most of my guts are still on the inside which is a bonus

It’s been an exciting and challenging month in many ways. I’m starting to settle in to the change of lifestyle a little more since going down to part-time work to free time up for our mission dreams. This in itself has been a challenge, to begin with my energy levels were a bit all over the place spending half of my week very emotionally and mentally draining and the other half very physically draining working construction. I’m getting used to it now though just in time for another change, but more on that later…
Continue reading Roadside Update – Laying Foundations

On Thought, Action and Order

This is my attempt to make some sense of a struggle at work in my mind and in the wider Church. For the sake of argument I will be generalising and using stereotypes, so forgive me…

 

So let’s start with some background. Sometimes I fear that my present situation will result in some kind of theological personality disorder (and don’t you dare say schizophrenia, it’s a totally different thing). I attend a reformed evangelical church, with a very strong emphasis on Bible teaching. My own theological position has strong Reformed and Calvinist leanings, and I have generally held to the old war cry of the reformers ‘Sola Scriptura, tota scriptura’ – ‘Only the Bible, all of the Bible’ for the basis of my ‘theology’ – (for the purpose of this exercise I’m treating theology as an umbrella term for interpretation of the Bible, understanding of God and a ‘Christian outlook’ on life). Beyond this I have even been influenced by the (what some would call extreme fundamentalist and right wing) Christian Reconstruction movement. Broadly speaking my theological position could be described as a ‘systematic theology’. Bearing this in mind, most of my life and ministry is spent among emergents, charismatics, fans of liberation theology, left-wing, and generally non-‘sola scriptura’ type people. So basically I have feet deep in both the liberal and conservative camps, and yet I don’t fit into either of them. And I’m not alone.

Continue reading On Thought, Action and Order

The Warrior Poet – King David and Beyond

In 1997 Paula Cole sang, “Where have all the cowboys gone?”. The meaning of the song has been taken in different ways but it seems that Cole was expressing something of the tension of the 90’s man. My teenage years took place in England during the 90’s, and I too felt something of this tension. The term ‘metro-sexual’ hadn’t yet been coined and there was still the expectation of men to be tough, strong and physically capable. This came with a shift in the emotional and domestic expectations on men. “I’m a man of the 90’s” would come dancing off the lips of guys who started paying more attention to learning to cook than how to change a spark plug. Gender stereotypes were being challenged, it began to be socially acceptable for men to moisturise and discuss hair products. (I’m a cocoa butter man myself)

As a casual observer what seems to have followed is a challenging time of testing gender stereotypes and roles, people (especially men) seem to have built their self-understanding on shifting sands. Self-assured men and boys seem to be polarised between flamboyant eye-liner-wearing metro’s and misogynistic-chauvinist bully-boys. Left in the middle clambering for a foothold are the rest of us, with few strong male role models left in the home, the big screen and especially in spheres of leadership. “Where is my John Wayne?” asked Cole, but today the John Wayne’s of this world don’t measure up to the expectations of men to be as adapt at expressing their emotions as fixing a leaky tap. (N.B. I am not saying this in support of strict gender stereotypes, just as an observation of the shift in western culture).
Continue reading The Warrior Poet – King David and Beyond