Tag Archives: Religion

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




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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

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….

Theology – Retreat or Quest?

Theology. It’s a pretty dirty word these days, even in some Christian circles. It conjures images of ivory towers, sweaty academic nerds, uncomfortable wooden pews and dusty old 9-inch thick text books written by dead German men.

Continue reading Theology – Retreat or Quest?

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)

Consumerist Spirituality – The Lie We Buy

The following is a brief essay I wrote on consumerism and spirituality. It is brief due to strict word count limits but may be of interest:

The question has been posed – “Is Consumerism the default spirituality of our age?”. In order to approach a question such as this, one must paint in broad strokes, and think in general terms about a culture which has attempted to define itself in variety. However, I believe there is value in taking a step back for a ‘big picture’ overview of the overarching (or underpinning?) themes which permeate the tapestry of beliefs and practices which we live among. For the purposes of this essay I will be thinking in general terms about Western culture in the Modern-Postmodern (latemodern?) era, particularly focusing on the middle-class culture of the UK and the US. My argument is this – There is a climate of spiritual consumerism in the west today and it is not a new phenomenon. Furthermore this is an outworking of the ‘consumerisation’ of individuals inherent in a society governed by large political/economic powers, a prime example being the polytheism and emperor worship in the Roman empire at the dawn of the early Church.

Continue reading Consumerist Spirituality – The Lie We Buy

A Different Kind of Kingdom – John 12:20-36

This week we started a new series on the book of John with our Church youth group. The series started with me leading a session on John 12:20-36, and my prep notes ended up being long form, so I though I’d stick them on the blog:

John 12:20-36

John was a first-hand witness of the life of Jesus, one of his 12 closest mates. They journeyed together like brothers, and John particularly had a deep and emotionally intimate relationship with Jesus. John’s version of the story of Jesus was written with one purpose in mind, that it’s readers would “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing [we] might have life in his Name.” (John 20:31)

…“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (John 12:23-26 NIV)

Continue reading A Different Kind of Kingdom – John 12:20-36

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

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

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

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

Christian New Media Awards

Finalist.JPG

Hi friends!

Bit of good news this week, I’m a finalist in the Christian New Media Awards for this blog! 

Take a look at the list of finalists for some excellent blogs and other online content. I can’t honestly believe I’ve made this far given the quality of the other finalists’ work.

 

In the highly unlikely event we make it through to the winner/runner up stage I get to attend the awards ceremony which sounds like a blast.

 

To celebrate this I’ve launched a Facebook page for the blog, so please like the page and join the conversation!

The Roadside Musings | Promote your Page too

Thanks again for reading, over 100 regular readers now which I ever expected when I started!

 

Much peace,

 

Luke

Life on the Road

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”

– ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ – Robert M Pirsig”

 

I arrived back home last night after a challenging weekend on the road visiting our Dutch God’s Squad brothers, and as is usually my way I wanted to write a little to help process my thoughts. So here is a little Chautauqua of our journey. Please forgive any mistakes and poor writing, I have some sleep to catch-up on….
Continue reading Life on the Road