Saturday, January 26

I'm moving

After four wonderful years I'm moving to Wordpress due to the extra capabilities and control I can have with my ipad/iphone. I'm hoping that due to the very nature of the fact that I often only use my laptop just to blog, I may feel that now I have more of a chance through the abilities of my other software.... Please now find me at:

Yes, I've kept the name to make it easier.
See you over there


Tuesday, January 22


I mentioned in my previous group about one of my lovely youth groups. Its reasonably small and all the young people come from a church orientated background or have been going to church for a while. We  started back in January and as a leader theres that post Christmas panic when you realise you havent planned a session let alone the rest of the term. So I used a cop out, I used my first session back to help get the young people to plan the sessions - brilliant, right!

Over the last five months in post here in Conwy, theres been a real theme emerging from my work and my visits and my volunteering/volunteered(ness) at things like Faith and Order and 3Gen. This is the idea of questions and having a safe space to ask questions discuss them and not necessarily come out with a definitive answer, but having explored deeply the topic at hand. At Uni I hated the big questions discussed late at night, when one should have been writing assignments because then it felt like work. Now I really want to delve into the big questions and the little questions, not because I have the answers but because its a great way to start discussions (note not massive arguments  that rely on not just scratching the surface but that involve real meaning and a deep sense of authenticity... 

So, back to my youth group (bless them).... I gave them paper squares and a writing implement and asked them to write down any question they ever wanted to ask, there was no limiting wether it was a church based question (I'm very lucky the minister who hosts the group has a degree in Chemistry - plus theres always google) and gave them the evening to write down these questions. They were however not allowed to share these questions on the night. I collected them in, and was surprised by the amount of questions (I'm not sure why) but even more surprised at the range of questions. Tonight I want to share them with you: 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write any comments, suggestions, ideas, knowledge on any of the questions (they are numbered). You as a reader here can add depth to my youth group discussions. Give me pointers or help. 

The Questions:

1.     Should we suffer as Christians?
2.     Why didn’t God just kill us off and start again? Or why didn’t he just get rid of the devil?
3.     How would you just casualty talk about God to an atheist?
4.     How do I show I’m a Christian in school?
5.     Can you be religious and scientific?
6.     How do we know we’re right? Are all other faiths wrong?
7.     Relationships?
8.     What are pastafarians?
9.     Does God hate people?
10. Why did people think the world was flat?
11. How fast can a cheetah run?
12. How many people are there in the UK and the world?
13. How big is the sun?
14. What is the speed of light?
15. Is the ark of the covenant in Ethiopia?
16. Why does God always appear as a cloud?
17. Is it good to have different denominations in Christianity?
18. Why did God kill Uzzah?
19. What is the strangest thing in the bible?
20. What is the longest chapter in the bible and what is it on?
21. What is the shortest chapter in the bible and what is it on?
22. Whose is the most important women in the bible? (excluding Mary)
23. How do fizzy drinks have bubbles?
24. What is fire?
25. What is the meaning of life?
26. What is gravity?
27. What happens when you die?
28. How does the brain learn about the brain?
29. How did language start?
30. What happens to the disciples after Jesus went to heaven?
31. Will there be a new bible one a day if Jesus returns?
32. Are there pagan religions left?
33. Why don’t some people believe in God? As in how do some singing sciency things, suddenly prove that God’s non-existent?
34. Do animals have a religion?
35. Why do so many religions originate from Israel and Asia?
36. How many wise men were there really?
37. Why did God choose Israel of all people to start a new religion?
38. When will Jesus return?
39. What is epiphany?
40. How much of the Da Vinci code is true?
41. What happens when we die?
42. If there are overly-extreme Muslims, are there overly extreme Christians too?
43. Why did the disciples becomes disciples? Why did Jesus choose those particular people?
44. Why didn’t God make one world for animals and one world for humans?
45. How old should we be when we marry?
46. Why did God make the world?
47. Should we remain virgins until we marry?
48. Am I worthy?

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write any comments, suggestions, ideas, knowledge on any of the questions (they are numbered). You as a reader here can add depth to my youth group discussions. Give me pointers or help. Is there a question you've ever wanted to ask? Let me know.

Saturday, January 19

The Covenant Prayer (pt.2)

I've sat down to write the second part of this blog many times, but it wasn't until a conversation I had yesterday that I realised where I was going with this. The previous blog I spoke about how the covenant prayer as an individual was really important to me. Two weeks later I still have my head reeling in the enormity of the promise made through the words. I was however slightly disappointed that none of the young people in my one of my Youth groups had been invited to join in that part of the service involving the covenant, nor did they know what a covenant was, (you will get to here a lot more about this particular youth group as we explore some big questions they've asked). So we looked at the prayer and with an honesty and a conviction said that it would be difficult for them to pray this prayer and truly mean all of it and rejoice in it. I admire their honesty as it is a difficult prayer. Even when I pray it, I strive to achieve the covenant I have made, knowing that I am truly relying on the Lords grace.

As a Church however are we committing to these words:

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

Each Church has a community in which they live. What does it mean to be Christ among that community. Not differentiating or discriminating on gender, age, income or background. Not only that but as a Church we can be a catalyst for change in our society for acceptance. We have a saviour who hung out with the unemployed and the rich, the prostitute and the hard working labourers.

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

I often wonder how as a church do we cope with suffering as well as we could do. Do we allow time for mourning in our worship, we praise and adore God but do we allow time for lament, praise and adoration through our suffering.

How do we hold in contention lamentation and praise. How do we work through Psalm of lament or disorientation, such as Psalm 137?

let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,

How as a church do we cope with the idea that some churches (not with a capital C) have to die and be laid aside for the Kingdom of God. How do we let go for God, but also discern what is his will to keep going. All churches have seasons, and I truly believe that sometimes a church has to go through phases of smaller groups to give it a chance of regrowth.

exalted for you, or brought low for you;

What would this mean for the church? It could be suggested throughout the history of the world Church, there have been times when the church has been the key resource within civilisation, but there are also times when the church becomes the margins are part of the margins. In some places Christians are not persecuted but there are many places where being brought low can mean persecution, toture and death. Its often in these places that the church is growing. (I had a friend at Uni - bible college uni- who said if they ever became prime minister, their contribution to the Church in Great Britain would be to persecute it to help it grow.)

let me be full, let me be empty,

A little more on the on the seasons stuff (particularly thinking on the Ecclesiastes 3). I know very little about growing plants, but I am aware that for some plants it is essential that they have to be pruned to grow to their full potential. I think this is a very similar trait for the church. Its probably the same for many things, so let our churches be full and empty in relation to your will Lord. When we are empty Lord let us grow deeper, set down stronger roots.

let me have all things, let me have nothing:

Sometimes as a church its great to have amazing resources, to have a full PA system and the volunteers to run it. sometimes having no volunteers and being resourceful can be a tool to aid the kingdom. Sometimes having nothing means we're left to work with nothing but the people in which we can authentically connect with.

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.'

A covenant for the whole church. All we are, the coffee mornings, the mums and tots, the youth groups, arts and crafts group, book groups, bible study, sunday mornings, ladies circle, mens breakfast, football teams, boccia teams, friends who meet for cake, or fellowship with a movie, all of the churches activities are God's. Its not the Sunday morning, its the whole week 24/7. I had a small trip to A+E this week and it was the love of the church (with some help from my mum) that got me to A+E to make sue I was okay. Trying to convince a church that they have an outreach to over 30 families even if they dont appear on a sunday morning is hard. But it is all for the Glory of God. So le it be. Amen

On a further note, I think its possibly harder to hold on to God in the easier stuff, where as when life is harder, you have nothing left to hold on to but God.

Monday, January 14

No two days the same.

I was walking to my car this morning and I had this sudden thought 'next week everything will be back to normal.' I've had a reasonably hectic weekend travelling to be part of an amazing rep training weekend for the youth reps of the Methodist Church (I will be one of two youth reps on the Methodist Council) and this coming weekend, if the weather holds out, I'm heading home to my family and home church to be accredited as a local preacher. Them two events are enough to make life hectic, add in the exciting launch of the CYWeCare campaign (see what its about at the blog or follow it on twitter @CYWeCare) and boom another non normal monday. SNOW yes its also is snowing.... life at the moment is not normal.

Then another though occurred to me, my life is never normal. After next weekend there will be no normal week. No two days are the same. Even when you think its just meetings or planning its still different conversations, different questions, different people, different opportunities.

No two days the same.

Would that excite you or terrify you? I love not knowing what life will throw me each day I love the unexpected. I can imagine many people would not feel the same.

Saturday, January 5

Covenant Prayer (pt1.)

Happy 2013.

(2013 is so hard to type I keep having to correct it from 2012)

I could make the usual promises to blog at least once a month or even once a week, but as these never last maybe not. However, my boyfriend keeps saying that I haven't written lately so I'm sure his prompting will help me blog more regularly. 

However this weekend is the first weekend in 2013, and that means that for many in the Methodist Church they will be juggling Epiphany and the Covenant service. 

Its wasn't until the year before Cliff that the Covenant service became such an important thing for me. It was there that the Covenant prayer became very real in conversation with a member of the Salvation Army. That night was a huge night in my life because of the life changing decisions, a story I've only ever told in person and never written here, its one of them days where God starts to join the dots, and even now as I think back I only just start to see how clearly that day was a life changing day. 

So the Covenant Prayer means even more to me now than it did then. Its been used it many situations and different places to add to its meaning, and each time I read it, or say it, or think upon it something new always comes out of it. 

So today I'm thinking on the lines: 
I am no longer my own but yours. 
Your will, not mine, be done in all things, 
wherever you may place me, 
in all that I do, 
and in all that I may endure;
Methodist Worship Book p.288

I love the reminder that I am no longer the most important thing in my life, that this life has been paid for by someone else life, it is something I often forget and with that fact I often forget that its not my decision it God. In everything in my life I need to be searching and preparing and carrying out God's will. Today I'm hosting an event that I feel that no one will turn up to, faithfully I have bought 14 Jacket Potatoes, I accept that God may mean me to eat a lot of Jacket Potatoes in the next week but faithfully I see this as his will, even if it looks like this event will fail. As for where God places me, I love where I'm living its truly beautiful, but when I had to leave home, or rather a second or third home which was very comfortable and very safe I wasn't so sure. I love Wales and I love my job and the people here, but it's lonely. I rejoice often about that fact that I don't have to share my flat (and consequently my mess my bizarre eating hours and even crazier showering times) with anyone else. That I can be alone after I've finished at work and relax in peace, but having lived in a community for three years, a sort of community over the summer and my family before that I'm discovering that I often miss the things that annoyed me when I lived with them. I miss being able to just chat to someone about the weather or take a walk with someone - conversation with myself is just not as thrilling. But God has called me here, I'm not alone, just lonely. I have my computer music on shuffle and the song You won't relent keeps playing and theres a line 'I don't want to talk about you like your not in the room.' The almighty is here I know that and I need to find joy in his presence not as part of a community but by myself this 2013. 

I have one sure thing in all this. I am (trying to anyway) following God's will, in which there is only one outcome, I will endure and all for his victory.