Thursday, 29 November 2012


And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. (James 1:13, 14 NLT)

I was just tweeting this verse because I thought it was challenging. When it occurred to me I should say something about it also. For many people it is easier to blame God or others when they make poor choices but what if you actually had to take responsibility for your own actions. How different would the world be if people actually took responsibility for their own actions? How different would we behave if we could no longer blame drink or someone else for our own choices? Would you make the same choices if you knew it would all be on you? I think if actually I had to honestly take responsibility for everything I might think twice!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Are you Humble?

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
Matthew 5;5 (NLT)

Is being humble one of the greatest compliments someone can give you? I guess the answer lies in what is humility. I think too often we have a false sense of humility and what it means to be humble.

1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
2. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.

It seems to me that we have two ways of approaching humility. We have one for others and one for ourselves. Sometimes people will use humility to almost keep you in your place. If you were humble you would accept a low ranking position below what you are capable of because of your humility. Whereas when we reference it to ourselves it can often be used with a false sense of humility in order to appear more holy.

The truth is that really I think Jesus is saying something about the character of his people. His people are not boastful and arrogant and have large egos. In fact its quite the opposite. Jesus is saying be confident in who you are who you were created to be. Be confident that I love you with an everlasting love but remember with the same measure I love you and have blessed you I have done likewise for others. So remember the needs of others. Don't just think about yourself.

Isn't it true that people who are arrogant and boastful and self serving only seem to have their way for a time then their true colours shine forth and they have the rug taken from underneath them. Don't try to be humble in order to get something humility comes from a choice you make to love others as Christ instructs us. Try to remember that when dealing with the world.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Creation is fun

Today's class went well. The kids were in their usual lively spirits. At the beginning of the session they started to have real conversations about themselves and at that point the lesson goes on hold and it's talk with them. But we got stuck into Genesis 1:20-31 and the fun ensues.

It never ceases to amaze me that a simple conversation about God creating the sea creatures first goes to smelly breath. Teenagers are great at finding connections in the most random things. No wonder innovative ideas come from the young. They really do think in unique and wonderful ways.

We enjoyed finding out how can boys and girls both be made in the image of God. We had to ask ourselves what does God's image actually mean? They didn't let me down and answered with thoughtful intelligent answers.

The other lesson learnt today is that it's so important to read the bible for yourself. Relying on others can lead to danger.

Creation Lesson

This morning I am off to teach Sunday School class for 11-14's. I absolutely love teaching these guys but shhh don't tell them that. A couple weeks ago we started on creation and it was a bubbly conversation ranging from dinosaurs to cavemen to God and all sorts of other things. Up until that moment I had forgotten how awesome it is to be with lively teenagers. It rocks being the teacher of a teens and youth. The energy they have for life and learning is infectious.

This week we are continuing with creation and focusing on day 5 and 6. This is what some would say is the fun bit. This is where the sea animals and the birds, the animals and the humans are all made. So on 3 hours sleep I am trying to think of a way of bringing it to life for them. Although to be honest last time we barely got through the activity when we are all just talking like crazy about creation and all the questions that come up and barely got through the three points I wanted to make. Nevertheless I am thinking of raiding the kids toy box for some inspiration.

I will let you know how I get on but to be honest I am loving it and I'm really looking forward to what zany questions they have for me this week. Now my toddlers are calling so will speak later.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Toddlers, Tantrums and Church

How many of you have had this experience.

Me: "Right time to get dressed for church"
Toddler: "No"
Me: "Well we are going get your clothes on"
Me: "Come on it will be fun we will sing songs"
Toddler: "Ahhhhhhhhh" (pure screaming as you force their clothes on)
You leave the house
Toddler: "Come on mummy are we there yet."
Toddler: "I wanna go home then"
You arrive at church
Somehow manage to survive the whole Sabbath/Sunday school process with only minor cuts bruises and punches thrown at the other children to make it into 'Big' Church.
Then you give them colouring books, reading books, favourite toys, they escape your grasp run up and down the aisle during children's story. You manage to grab back your beautiful child only to have
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (screamed at you)
You flee church child under one arm other hand clasped over their mouth
Outside you start with the real bribery every piece of food you can find thrown at the child. Manage to negotiate getting back into church sit down only to find they are still no where near the sermon and you have another hour of this till its time to leave.
Big sigh how will I cope?
By the end of the service your just desperate to get out as the little angel at least managed to avoiding kicking and spitting this week.

It can be stressful being the parent of high energy toddler. Church can go against everything a toddler is but yet still we expect them to conform to adult standards that if we are honest we struggle with. Well a couple of friends of mine who understand this plight just fine and are actually willing to do something about it are gonna do something for our 5 boys.

I am not sure what shape it will look like but a space on Sabbath where the boys can be boys yet also have a meaningful encounter with God in a way that doesn't leave their parents completely frazzled. Is it possible? Yes but if we work together. I am amazed by how many parents want that for their children but do not want to make it happen for themselves but would rather let someone else do it.

Now don't get me wrong here is the contradiction. I go to church where they have a creche for my angels and I can't wait to drop them off to have 5 mins stress free time to myself. However when the creche leader asked if I wouldn't mind helping out once a month I jumped at the chance not because I love little kids but because I got the other three weeks off and so I would do anything to keep that time including helping out with the toddlers. All I have to do is help once a month and for the other three weeks your gonna help me. Sounds like the best deal to me.

Putting all that aside I ask a number of questions of myself and other church leaders. When we prepare our sermons/service are we thinking about the whole congregation or are we just thinking about people like us. Can you imagine if your 85 and sitting through a service which has more rise and fall than a merry go round. All that up and down can make you feel excluded because you might not be getting up as much as you used to and there is just a see of people standing in front of you.

When we get together as Christians and call it church it should be a time when we feel at home with one another. Isn't it a time when we should be considerate of the needs of those around us instead of thinking all the time what am i getting out of this service.

I can now speak as a parent and tell you that going to church is not easy when your children are usually well behaved and lovely till you ask them to sit still for three hours in a row! So I will join with some friends and see how we go in organising a place for our boys to get together so that I can stop feeling so stressed every single week.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Been a long day

Today has been one of those that doesn't seem to want to end. The kids are on super hyper and even though they normally sleep through the night today have been in and out of bed several times. All evening I have been wondering what to write as I really couldn't get my mind to focus on one thing. So after sifting through a million emails and sorting out various other things I decided to let the bible do the talking.

My verse for today happened to be Romans 13:15 which I couldn't believe as it seems perfect for me right now. It made me smile when I read it and I hope it makes you smile too.

I pray that God, the source of hope will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NLT

There in that verse lies the simplicity of our faith. If we put our faith, our trust in God then he will give you something so unbelievable that it flies in the face of what happens in this world. Joy and peace. In a world so filled with all sorts of turmoil to be given such a gift is truly amazing because it gives us hope each morning that this life is only temporary and the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

She's Too Young

I thought I would unwind before going to bed and came across a film called "She's Too Young". Unfortunately it had the opposite effect. I desired a chill out moment and happened on a film that documents the story of a local community dealing with a syphilis breakout among their teens. Each story they told was more painful than the story before.

The central character a "good" girl who went to church with her family. A former geek who is noticed by the popular set and a mix of peer pressure and bad choices have a disastrous result and this 14 year old virgin contracts syphilis from a boy she has oral sex with. The reoccurring thought that I am plagued with is how can we help our young people to make better choices.

The difficulty from both parents and teachers as well as teens is how to negotiate a world in which sex has completely change. Obviously not the bare basics of sex has changed the mechanics may be the same but all of the feelings the morals and the ideology has changed. I can't help but think that as we have devalued sex and have used it for our own gain that our children might be suffering. Girls and boys younger than 14 with over 20 sexual partners and contracting among other thing syphilis. Its a scary thought to think that one day that could be my kids or my friends kids.

I could give the cliche answer that prayer that's what we need to do. Don't get me wrong prayer is at the centre of our Christian walk but so is action. Now here is my question what action can we take to help the next generation live healthy and safe lives.I am not sure that I know the answer to that but looking at the generation now I have to question if the current techniques are working and what can we do to make it better?

Online taking over real world?

This is gonna be a strange post from me who has chosen to work online but here goes anyway.

So has anyone else noticed that your online world is fast taking over the vast majority of your time and so your real world contact has reduced drastically. Can I just say that sometimes I miss people. I mean actual people. You know who you are. The ones we hug. the ones we hold hands with, share popcorn with or day I say laugh at a joke together in real time. Seriously, I can spend my whole evening checking email responding to email filling out forms or on various social networks communicating with people I haven't laid my eyes on for years. Now for the contradiction.

I love my virtual world it keeps me in contact with you and so many people I love and miss but I can't help but wonder if in someways my life is poorer for over relying on social media to keep in contact. It seems I live in a catch 22. I might be one of those rare people who like to have lunch with a real person and leave my phone in my bag. I might even be stranger as I like (deep breath) paper and pen, shh seriously I shouldn't even type that. But I also cant live without all my various social media and communication tools which allow me to talk to you. Oh what do I do?! I spread myself too thin trying to walk the fine line between archaic tools and new fancy ones :-)

Isn't it Ironic

Isn't Ironic that after a long break from Pastor Purple I decided to return during the aftermath of the General Synods vote in the Church of England not to ordain in women bishops. It makes me smile at not only my timing but also at the affect of the vote. In essence the vote was lost by 6 votes in the house where there are more women than any other section. This is ironic.

But regardless of the vote it is time for me to get back to work. I can no longer deny that not only have I not being doing what God told me to do but that I have missed it deeply and I have been writing blogs in my head and missing sharing my thoughts with you.

So I am back. This time however I have a plan and not only does it involve me and my calling from God but this time I am accountable to others. My husband has made a huge investment in the ministry and this means I definitely am accountable for making sure its used appropriately. One of my best friend has spent many hours with me praying and fasting for what the ministry should look like and how I should do it. Finally a colleague has volunteered for their youth and teens to create some content specifically aimed at teenagers. What does all this mean? It means that I can no longer bury my head in the sand and pretend that I don't need to work for God. Because guess what all these people are holding me accountable and ensuring that the lazy evenings of falling asleep after looking after tiring toddlers are over get on with it Purple!

So hear I am smiling that while the Anglican church in this country might have the time to put of change and movement forward I no longer have that luxury. In the next few days I will be sharing with you my vision and purpose as well as some of the things that you can expect from pastor purple in the future. Guess what one of them will be and this is quite exciting for me. I am going to be doing a video blog as well as some other video content. How exciting is that. Bear with me because I have no idea how this fancy technology works but I intend to learn fast on the job.

Oh I have loved writing to you its been brilliant taking this first step. I have missed you greatly but have been scared to come back (shhh don't tell anyone). But really being able to talk with you and share my ideas is the most awesome experience especially since you can let me know how you are doing and what questions you have. Please remember this is now and will always be a conversation between us. A moment in the day to share with a totally human Pastor whats on your heart and have an honest response in love.

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be here again its taken me by surprise. So I am gonna sign off now but will probably be back in a few moments gushing with some new chat. I look forward to speaking with you again.
God bless