If I chose to hide you away, it is for a reason.
I have brought you to this place.Drink in the silence. Seek solitude.
Listen to the silence.
It will teach you. It will build strength.
Let others share it with you.
It is little to be found elsewhere.
Silence will speak more to you in a day than the world of voices can teach you in a lifetime.
Find silence. Find solitude, and having discovered her riches, bind her to your heart.
Frances J. Roberts
Via The Northumbria Community
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves
as if they were locked rooms
or books written in a very foreign language.
Do not search for the answers, which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually,
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
I had found as much peace with being rejected for ordination training as was possible. Questions remained over what had happened before, during and after my rejection but the answers remained stubbornly on the horizon. They hung in front of me like an elusive carrot on a stick and for all my efforts to reach them they remained out of reach.
Was the Bishop’s Advisory Panel (BAP) and the preceding period a stand alone lesson to teach and transform me into the person God wanted me to be for the next stage of our journey together? Or was it part a series of lessons, and if it was what was the next one? Was it to attend a second BAP ? Did I even want to go to another? Was it to be ordained? Do I even want to go to a second BAP ? Linked yet separate questions with fathomable way of being answered.
Knock-backs and rejections had robbed me of confidence in myself and my abilities. My doubts and confusion clouded my judgement so it was no wonder that trying to discern what God was trying to teach me in this period did not bring the clarity I needed.
Pursuing answers had become fruitless. To find the answers I had to stop searching for them. Continue reading
If like me you seem on an endless quest to discern where God wants you to go, or what He wants you to do, you may find this prayer by Thomas Merton helpful. As others have probably said: the purpose is in the journey, not the destination.
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following Your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please You.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust You always,
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death,
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and will never leave me
to face my perils alone.
Find out more about Thomas Merton here.
Gardening with God
Perhaps you have noticed how when a tree’s branches are exposed at this time of year they look like upside down lungs. That’s just what God’s designed them to be: our lungs suck the oxygen out of the air and feed it into our bodies; trees suck in the carbon dioxide we breath out, use it and give us back the oxygen we need.
Like a tree takes the waste from our lungs, Jesus takes our rubbish, our sin, and transforms it into food to enrich us and the rest of the vine. Like a tree connects each leaf, twig and branch to each other by virtue of it’s relationship with the trunk, Jesus does likewise with us.
God started with my head
It’s been a while.
As I enter into a new season it seemed sensible to bring this blog up-to-date with a review of time past, present and future.
Whatever your view on marriage, whether you hold to the traditional man and woman model or a gender-blind union, the case of Ashers Backing Company vs Gareth Lee mirrors troubling characteristics of our society: a misunderstanding of tolerance and a gladiatorial approach to deciding what’s acceptable. Continue reading
I was invited to speak at Holy Trinity church in Combe Down, Bath on 15th February 2015 on the subject of Extending God’s Kingdom Reach. The 2 readings during the service were 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 and 2 Corinthians 5:16 to 6:2. Below is an edited version of what, after much prayer and contemplation, I felt called to say.
It isn’t easy being green
There sat Kermit, all alone. Blending into the background, feeling overlooked. Everyone, everything, seemed so much more attractive than he felt. He felt anything but special. But…
But Kermit realised that there were some wonderful things that were a bit like him. They were big, they were friendly and important. The thought perks up Kermit, he rises to a brief high before coming down to a level where he is able to accept that he is who he is. He’s not jumping for joy but he’s not in the depths of despair. Kermit feels okay.
Kermit had had the Big D. Continue reading
I was invited to preach at Holy Trinity Combe Down in Bath on Sunday, 18th November 2014 as part of their ‘Gracious God, Generous Church’ series, with a focus on grace. Here is the gist of what I said.
How we view our relationship with each other affects our chances of getting along with each other.
Turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open your social media apps and one thing is clear, we don’t seem to be able to get on which each other very well. For a supposedly tolerant society, tolerance is in short supply. Continue reading