Church

And while I’m away
I’m leaving the fiancée in charge
Have you met her?
Yes
She’s the one
Who behaves like a whore
Has been unfaithful
On numerous occasions
Been violent
Lusted after fame
And fortune
But what can I do?
I love her endlessly
She’s my bride
And even
If she’s messed
With your own heart
And head
You should love her
And live with her too
Because
Apart from second hand words
She’s all you’ve got
Of me

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Encouragement

I was thinking about encouragement this week. I was struck by two things, firstly I wondered whether I was encouraging enough to my children and family. Secondly I wondered if I sought after encouragement too much from those around me for things that I do?

As a community, I know that we should be encouraging one another, that is one of the reasons to belong to any community, religious or otherwise, but when British reserve, lack of time and my brave face combine, I am left feeling that practically no-one really cares enough about the things that I think, say, write and do to encourage me, beyond clicking a “Like” button.
If there is a God, and all that I try to believe about Him/Her is true then I shouldn’t be worrying about what others think, because surely their opinions don’t matter. I should be secure in the knowledge of an eternal, unending love. But I’m not…
I don’t hear God as an audible voice, he doesn’t send me encouraging texts or give me hugs. He doesn’t respond to my blogs, tweets and Facebook updates and certainly doesn’t need to buy my book. That responsibility lies with the people who are known as His hands and feet, His son’s body. But they’re only human.
So perhaps, I need more faith and belief in a God who calls me beloved, and less expectation of people and myself. Perhaps I need to ask myself:
Would I still write, sing, blog, tweet, if no person cared about what I thought? Or is everything I do an expression of reflected, eternal love, that’s between me and God and everyone in between?

Our second go at "house church"

So I asked God
“What should I do?”
He said, “You already know”
“Love the Lord Your God,”
I replied
“And your neighbour as yourself”
Knowing I don’t do either
Very well
“Do the latter then”
“But who is my neighbour?”
I asked, tongue in cheekily
“Look it up in the dictionary”
came the divine response
Then silence

neighbour n.
1. a person who lives near or next to another


Not rocket science
Not mind-blowing
Not even an answer whispered on the wind
Or prayed over
Fervently by wagging tongues
Speaking tongues

Recipe for mild chaos ensues:
Take two families
Sprinkle a couple of extra
Lovely, loving Christians
Mix in praise
A bible treasure hunt
Prayer
Fold in a pizza or two
Top with cheesecake
From heaven
And bring to the boil
With endless
Cups of tea

Always believe you’ll be blessed


Metaphorical ashes dressed in sacks, 
Knees bent, cursing illness that will not budge, 
Lean on haunting songs as we pray for backs,
Easy tears as makeup starts to smudge. 
Men fall to the floor. Like trees cut above roots,
But some limped on, still lame, still blind; 
Worn with life; searching mustard plant shoots,
Of hope and peace and not being left behind.
Ministry, ministry an ecstasy of tumbling, 
Catching clumsy fallers only just in time; 
But I was crying inside and stumbling, 
And struggling as a fish on a line . . . 
Dragged through darkness, searching for light, 
Under a sea of culture, I was drowning. 
Gasping the atmosphere, losing all my fight, 
Only smiles are welcomed here, not frowning. 
Smothered by the noise of that place, 
The still, quiet voice hidden in the din, 
And a formula sold and found for grace, 
A cure for all sickness and for sin; 
I would hear and believe it, if I only could,
And sing with my corrupted lungs,
Obscene within, bitter as I stood.

While they babble in nonsense tongues, 
I would rather God used my weaknesses, if pressed,
 
Than believe some unreachable, desperate glory,
 
The old lie; always believe you’ll be blessed
 
The charismatic story.

How does an eye look after a foot?

Or a hand look after a belly button?
Except to realise
Make real
the knowledge
belief
and attitude
that one is connected to the other
as one body
when one part hurts
we all
hurt
we weep
with those that weep

the body may function
without a foot
but it will limp
and be unbalanced
surely people
are superior
to prosthetics