Tag Archives: musings

Chatting ‘Promise’ With Marc James

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

Stations On The Way To Freedom

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

Beauty From Ashes – Finding God in the most disturbing of places

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

A Phoenix Poem

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.

‘Searching For Sugar Man’ – Music For Searching Souls

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

Why I Have A Semicolon On My Finger

Two passions of mine are writing and tattoos. Not always a common combination.

Most of the tattoos I have are a graphic representation of something which is special to me. I’ve always been frustrated by the fact that I can’t draw for toffee, so instead I’ve chosen to use my body as a canvas with the help of other artists.

My most recent tattoo was inspired by a recent trend (I know, I’m soooo trendy….). I came across #projectsemicolon on social media a little while ago, and was instantly inspired to join in.  Continue reading Why I Have A Semicolon On My Finger

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

On Passing Through An Old Place…

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A Fridge Poem On Consuming

A Fridge Poem On Consuming – you can see what I did there 😉


I wrote this on a friend’s fridge during a party last year. Kind of exemplifies where I don’t fit in to the classic extrovert/introvert paradigm. Yes I want to interect with everyone at the party, and yes I hate small talk and want deep intimate conversation. So basically I try to get real deep real quick with every poor soul in the room. This often results in time to write fridge poems…… #awkwardbeardyguy




On Freedom – Music For Searching Souls

I hear a lot of talk about freedom but I don’t know that I’ve ever really seen it, except maybe in my dreams.

Some see freedom as a chance to escape. To leave and explore far away lands. But I dream of a freedom which lets me truly come home to the land where I dwell, to the person I really am. To be peace with a place. Continue reading On Freedom – Music For Searching Souls

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…

First 1,000 Hits and why I write

We made it to our first 1,000 hits this week, which is amazing to me! In view of this I thought I’d share a little about my background, and why writing this blog as been part of a process of healing for me.

I never thought that writing a blog about my thoughts and experiences would interest other people, which is why I’ve never done it before. But after about 6 weeks of writing I’ve reached over a thousand hits in 32 different countries. I’m not saying this to show off, but because I’m dumbfounded by it. For years I’ve had all these ideas rolling around in my head, and I fantasised about writing a book one day. Not that I thought anyone would want to read it.
Continue reading First 1,000 Hits and why I write

Wrestling with God

One of those tricky Old Testament passages which always confounded me is the famous story of Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:22-32 if you want to read it)

The idea always puzzled me, and more so that Jacob prevailed. How can a man wrestle with God and overcome?!

I received an epiphany of sorts on this, on the floor of a mixed martial arts gym where I used to train. The testosterone fuelled atmosphere and stench of stale sweat didn’t make for the usual setting of such a divine revelation, but hey if God can speak through Baalam’s mule? (I’ve met a few preachers who speak out of their ass too).

We were privileged to receive our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training from a notable black belt, believed to be the first to bring the art to the UK. BJJ is an incredible art, and one that sadly I suck at. All the machismo and egotism goes away when you step out onto those mats. There is only trained or untrained. The art is designed to use an opponents strength and weight against them; I learned this the hard way when I got owned by a skinny 19 year old in my first session. Didn’t see that coming.

What the hell does this have to do with Jacob you may ask? BJJ is a grappling art. Part of the training is to grapple with people of the same level, people of a lower level and people of a higher level. Part of my training was grappling my teacher. Sparring with someone who could end your life in two seconds without breaking a sweat is a humbling experience. The feeling of utter helplessness takes your mind to a place where you face big questions. I have watched people of far greater strength and skill than myself spar with the black belt, and the effortless poetry with which he dominated them was awe inspiring. But his purpose was not only to demonstrate his power, as when God struck Jacob’s hip, but to allow me to fight. To allow me to perform moves which he could easily escape, but didn’t so that I might learn. Sometimes he allowed me to take the victory so that I could learn to struggle and to overcome. Sometimes I think it’s like that with God.

A pivotal moment in my walk with God was during one of the darkest nights of my soul. I time when I stood in the street shouting at the heavens like a lunatic, furious with God and demanding answers like Job. God took me to the point where I hated Him, and yet his love remained faithful to me. That was where I learned that His love and mercy are truly unconditional. My walk with Christ has often been characterised by struggle. I have wrestled with the Master, or rather He withheld His strength and allowed me to wrestle with Him, in order that I might learn to overcome.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Have there been times where you felt like you wrestled with God?
What struggles have you learned from?
I’d love to hear some of your story in the comments section below….

Much peace.

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My shoulders just ain’t broad enough…

My shoulders just ain’t broad enough

This is the conclusion I’m rapidly coming to. Many people warned me, and as per usual I didn’t listen. The cries of, “You’re doing too much”, “Don’t burn yourself out” and “Don’t spread yourself too thinly” all fell on deaf ears.

But the truth is I don’t think it’s how much I’m doing that’s the problem, or even what I’m doing. I think the problem is how I’m doing it. I haven’t even properly started on my change of work balance yet, and to be honest, I feel exhausted. Not really physically – 10 years in construction has taught me to recognise this well, not really mentally, but emotionally. Life was so much simpler when my eyes were closed to the reality of the world around me.

So
Much
Pain

A wise friend once told me that a part of ministering to the broken is to share the burden of their pain. And trust me, there’s plenty of it. So back to my point, my shoulders just aren’t broad enough to carry all this. And thank God they don’t need to be.

One of the obvious pitfalls of sharing God’s love with broken people (including myself) is the constant urge to fix everything. I’m a fixer, it’s what I do for a living and it’s what I’m good at. But people don’t need to be fixed. They need love, they need friendship and they need truth. Most of all they need pointing in the direction of the Saviour. Marriage started getting a little easier when I began to realise this.

My only hope of surviving my imminent foray into a bizarre balance of time shared between working as a good-news-sharer to the poor and marginalised, and part-time construction work, is to grasp this truth. And most importantly to recognise that other people’s burdens are not mine to carry, they are God’s. God’s children, whom he loves. He loves them far more than I do and in a far more redemptive way. Supposedly an old Polish proverb goes “When other people drag you into their mess, say to yourself: “Not my clowns, not my circus!” Love those crazy chaotic clowns!

Today started as a day where I began to feel like giving up, before I’d even really started. I was looking for a back door more frantically than an Irish Priest lost in the lingerie section. Two things have redeemed this day.

Number 1, I arrived home to find a delicious home cooked meal for me and the Mrs left on our doorstep. It was a gift from a busy Mum at our Church. “I don’t have any time or any money, but I really want to support you in what you’re doing”. Cue man tears.

Number 2, reading these two things:

“The mystery Jesus revealed to the Samaritan woman is the mystery contained in the life of each one of us: if we drink from the source of life, which is Jesus, we too will become a source of life;
we will bring life, the very life of God, into our world. Thus we fulfil the deepest desire of Jesus for us: his desire that we become men and women who are fully alive.” Jean Vanier – ‘Befriending the Stranger’

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)”

So friends, if like me you’re getting back-ache from carrying the load, then just drop it. Right at the foot of the cross. Then join me, there’s spot right here on his yoke, saved especially for you. And it’s so much lighter, especially when we all pull it together…