Friday, 31 August 2012
Deflecting good natured criticism from colleagues, I suggested, tongue in cheek, that I would write a theological exposition on the books finding in the books, as I did, themes of healing and forgiveness, of redemption and the transforming power of love. As well as movement from darkness into light.
Today, on a leadership course, I was reminded of another useful concept from 50 shades - the efficacy of solutions focussed coaching rather than problem focussed. The vulnerable Christian Grey in 50 shades while undergoing therapy begins to experience healing when he is encouraged by his latest in a whole string of therapists to move from concentrating on how he has become so damaged and turn his attention to how he wants life to be, seeking a solution rather than dwelling on the problem. Working that premise through today with a colleague in a training session opened up real possibilities and gave cause for optimism. Another positive from 50 shades!
Monday, 27 August 2012
But in my rose-tinted romanticised view I see street artists as free agents, liberated to indulge their gifts and to share those gifts to lighten others' days by providing bright spots in otherwise gloomy landscapes.
In street artists I see the calling fulfilled that belongs to us all - to share our gifts for the benefit of others, creating a world in which our mutual sharing lightens the load and makes each day that bit brighter. We are all called to practice our street artistry.
Saturday, 25 August 2012
How transformative would it be if we were so careless with our energy, so easily distracted, so relentlessly hopeful.
What if, even in the midst of clouds, we retained the awareness that the sun is only temporarily obscured and let that knowledge affect how we expend our energy - unafraid of the extra trails but ever hopeful. Knowing that death is already defeated and that every new trail brings life-filled adventure. Daring to practice resurrection.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
- When I return home awash with coffee because I've gone from home to home, admiring people's family pictures, hearing people's stories, enjoying the luxury of pastoral visits.
- Driving or walking around the parish and being greeted by name by school children and, often, being introduced to their parents.
- Having the opportunity to share and articulate a family's memories as they pay tribute and say goodbye to a loved one.
- The sense of "ownership" of parish and the responsibility of loving and caring for souls.
- The knowledge of God present in every chance encounter.
Monday, 20 August 2012
Saturday, 18 August 2012
The glass ceiling
They say it’s no longer an issue
But that’s just the men
We women know the truth
that they refuse to acknowledge-
That they are the esteemed,
the honoured members of the exclusive club
the ones who make decisions
who hold our future in their hands
In a church that claims to value
the gifts of all God’s people
those who are in reality acceptable
have to have the correct anatomy
and those of us missing that significant little feature
can run around in circles
loving, caring, making a difference
but not to the institution.
We can get close to the people
live out the incarnation
but be rejected and despised
by colleagues whose positions we threaten
Our warmth and sensitivity,
our caring and compassion
are looked on with suspicion at best,
contempt at worst..
They bury their heads in the sand
and deny the truth
gush about being open and affirming
while firmly closing ranks.
We are not interested in competing,
but a leveling of the field would be good.
or at least the honesty to own
that the ceiling has not disappeared
not even been lowered
but is still firmly in place and being reinforced daily.
Liz Crumlish January 2010
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
At the end of NYA yesterday it was tempting to clear up and rush back home to pick up on all that had been left behind.
However, an extra night spent with new friends made on the journey, reflecting on all the opportunities that the event had provided is a much better place from which to return, ready to hit the ground running again, bridging the gap between the euphoria of the National Youth Assembly experience and whatever awaits us in the communities to which we return.The bonds forged by those sharing a common task are strengthened by taking time out to laugh and learn together before we move on.
Monday, 13 August 2012
- I don't have the stamina I had 20 years ago
- I can't party all night and function productively the next day
- Many young people have impeccable manners
- Sometimes I have wisdom to offer - BUT
- More often, there is SO much to learn and so many teachers around.
- While, for me, young people are simply an integral part of the church, they still need their own forum - just like, for example, the Guild.
- and finally, but most painfully - I am no longer a young person :(
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Lots of folk think of God as pretty Grumpy - and certainly, the God portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures does seem to have good days and bad days and is pretty fickle at times as well as blood thirsty and vengeful and generally not the sort of God you'd want to know.
Another barrier that Jesus came to break through - to reveal the God of love who created the world, who lives in the heart of all creation, in whose image we are created, the God who loves us back to faith and to life in all its fulness.
Saturday, 11 August 2012
Staff worship this morning reflected on Shrek and his desire to build a wall around his swamp. As he explained to donkey: "...the world seems to have a problem with me. People take one look at me and go, "Aah! Run! a big, stupid, ugly ogre!" they judge me before they even know me. That's why I'm better off alone."
The sad fact is that folk often feel judged - particularly by those in the church.
Here's to a weekend of working on breaking down those barriers with the God who knows and respects no bounds but insists on breaking in to our world.
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Owl Magic only brought their smaller birds for the children to handle at our Holiday Club. But the perspective got me thinking about the images we create and the impressions we leave as we journey through life. Often we are unaware (perhaps blissfully) of the effect we have on others. It may be that we have more influence than we could have ever imagined. Or leave a lasting imprint. That can be both salutary and humbling. A testament to the hope and trust that God places in us. Even we can make a difference as we blunder on. By the grace of God may that be a force for good, building up and affirming all God's people for all bear the image of God. The power of love helps us get that in perspective.