Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I struggle

One of the biggest hurdles i face as a Christian is the "turn the other cheek" syndrome. I'm a man who can very easily kick your head in or shake your hand, depending on how you treat me or those i love. When you push the right buttons i react and sometimes it's not in a Christian manner (what ever that is).  A lot of my life has been spent on the wrong side of the tracks, i have never run from a fight and have the scars to prove it, and a few broken bones, and all of my ribs down the left hand side of my body at some point in time. This is where i struggle, trying to put the old self to bed as Paul tells us too, even as a Christian i can be quick to anger and even quicker to kick off, for me it's a daily struggle just to maintain some form of Christian witness. Not because God is not real, i believe he is beyond reality in my life, he is central to it at every turn, but that old self the one that needs the last word, the man who wants to attack instead of think still has a grip at times. For me it is a real problem as evidenced itself today, when i got carved up and had a real explosion of emotion against the car driver who nearly took me out of circulation for what could have been a long time.

And this brings me to a point which will gain me few friends but needs to be said. When i see Christians slating each other in public, name calling, back biting and bitching it genuinely upsets me. We are called to be a witness to the world, to be different from the world, to not follow it's paths or attitudes. Now most of you will say disagreements are a part of life and yes they are, but slagging of a brother or sister in Christ is not right. Calling into question someones faith because they disagree with you is not Godly or edifying, to them, yourself or more importantly to God himself. It's little wonder at times that the world looks at the church and wonders what the heck is going on, when at times we are no different than the world we live in, no different than those people outside of Gods kingdom.

It's time for individual Christians to rise up and take on the name and mantle of Christ, to be transformed into his image, to be more Christ like and a lot less like our old selfs. This will be pilloried and people will try and justify their actions, but it's not to me that those actions need to be justified. It's to God, and thats what dawned on me today after i had balled out a driver, shouted at my wife and just threw my toys out of the pram. What did God really think of my actions, yes it was wrong what i did and no amount of justifying it to myself was going to take back those words i said in anger, those words shouted, those words that scared and cut deep with people. A lot of my time is spent praying on a daily basis, praying that my example and witness will glorify God, today i dropped the ball. Look at your actions, your words and see if you can truly say, yes God was/is in it. Because for a time today i became the old me, and that person i don't even like to be around.

Have a great Christmas one and all, may God bless you and keep you. And may we all draw near to him.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Toilet roll and Worship.

It's an age old debate that divides people, splits opinion and causes all sorts of ruckass in different houses, what way does the toilet roll go? Are you an over the top type of person, or are you a round the back next to the waller?. Both have benefits and advocates, both do what they say on the tin, they give you toilet paper.

And so it is with Worship, some forms of worship appeal to some and not to others, Some like a Charismatic approach, others like a more structured and sedate form of worship. Neither is completely right or completely wrong, what works for you to enable you to come into Gods presence is great, it helps you connect with God, and that can only be good. But our worship is not only about Sunday, what we do for the rest of the week in our lives needs to contain a regular form of worship in some form. Just as letting the toilet roll get dangerously low or empty, we need to be continual in our worship to God, how that act of worship happens is entirely down to the individual. It maybe a walk in the woods, a ride on a motorcycle, a time of listening to worship music, or even doing the dishes, we need to continually commune with God.

Finally we need to be respectful of the way someone chooses to worship in a church service or privately, too often we deride someone because they enjoy a dance and doing the Charismatic two step. While others would want to kneel in quiet contemplation, some of us combine the two. In between we have people who enjoy a certain form of worship. If it brings you into the presence of God enjoy the way you do it, revel in Gods presence and grace, roll in his beauty and immerse yourself into the life of Christ in God

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The time on the ground is............

Having just got back from a great weekend in Germany a thought come to my mind on the way there. As we were coming into land, the pilot uttered this immortal phrase " the time on the ground in Stuttgart is" It got me thinking was the time in the air over the airport different than that on the ground, did we go through some strange time portal when we stepped onto the tarmac?.
Time is important to us, we are governed by it for large chunks of our lives, when we work, go to bed, get up, meetings, whats on the tv, opening hours etc etc. Time governs our lives, we can't live without it and most of us never have enough of it. Do we really have a lack of time or is it bad management of our time, which leads to problems.

The other day i was talking to a friend of mine who is a good and honourable Christian, we got onto the subject of the Bible, church and God. He had not been to church for about 4 weeks, and had not read his bible in about 3 months, prayed or done any of (as he put it) the usual God stuff he would do.
As we chatted and played catch up, i said to him lets just pray before we part ways, so in the cafe we did just that we prayed, we spoke to our God and communed with him as we communed with each other. My friend asked how he was going to get back into reading his Bible again and doing "his God stuff" It came down to his priorities, that which is important and that which we make important. We loaded a bible app onto his phone, so that when he is commuting to work in the morning he can read or listen to the Bible, Since then he has got back to going to Church regularly, and has made in roads into managing his time better. It's something we all need to do, many of us spend hours a day on the inter web (and yes i see the irony in a web based blog) debating and thinking we are doing good, when actually it's a lot of bluster in a fair few cases, and people thinking of their own self importance. We spend hours discussing how things will change, how they should change, and actually do very little about implementing the change. Sometimes the best times we have are when we are run ragged, other times it's when we are still and just chilling with our friends or with God. But time is always a factor, we need to wake up and see that, time is always going to be, even after we have popped our clogs and moved onward. What happens NOW is important, you will never get back the time spent reading this blog, i will not get back the time i spent writing it. Time is important, it's up to us how we use use it, its up to us to prioritise how we use it. We can choose to prioritise for good or for bad, for benefit or for hurt. But in all of this we have to give God the time he truly deserves, and for some of us that will take up something more important than our time, it will take up our decisions on where God truly fits in to our lives. A few years ago a friend told me a great cliche, and like a lot of cliches it's got an element of truth to it. He said" Jesus is Lord of all or not Lord at all" We need to decide, who governs our time, is it God, or Eastenders? i'm not advocating becoming hermits, i'm not advocating throwing tv's from windows, unless you are a rock n roll star that is. What i'm driving at is a better use of our greatest resource, for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Forgiveness is not unconditional.

Thoughts often run through my head at a rate of speed, that i cannot keep up with them, now is no different. I'm a few weeks away from getting married, and there is a lot of stuff to do, mostly niggly little things. But in the last few weeks i have been looking at whether forgiveness is unconditional, whether it requires something from us, or whether it is just thrown around like a cheap coat. The Bible does not teach that forgiveness is unconditional, it requires something from us. Many times Jesus said " go and sin no more", the requirement of that is the sinning no more part. It sets a boundary up that we have to do something. Many people get confused with this because i believe Gods love is unconditional according to Romans 5 v 8, and a vast wealth  of other verses in the good book.  Forgiveness and love are not the same thing, They are different and as much as they can be entwined they do have different ideas behind them.

David and Bathsheba is a great case in point, God forgave David for his killing of Uriah and his adultery with Bathsheba. But the up shot was that the people he led would know of Davids indiscretion, it was not a get out of jail free card, and was never intended to be one. Many years ago a good friend of mine let me down majorly, i was devastated but told him i was going to forgive what he did and that i bore him no malice, but i no longer wanted to see him on a regular basis. The hurt he caused me was very deep, but over the years i have moved on and lived my life. The point is sometimes Christian believe that f we forgive we have to roll over and get trampled on again and again, this is not the case.

Forgiveness has conditions God calls us to turn from our wayward lives. Make Jesus Lord of our lives and walk the narrow path. Forgiveness takes a lot of work, especially for us as we hold onto things for dear life, especially if we have been wronged. It tends to be the hurt we hold onto not the good. There are things we have to do, we have to forgive, we have to accept forgiveness and we have to turn away, from those things that drag us down into sin and stupidity. Forgiveness helps us move forward, helps us grow. We put it into action and let it flow from us. But it's not unconditional, Gods love is unconditional, but forgiveness is not.

The day we stop telling people there is a cost to following Christ, the day we make the Gopsel so watered down it's no better than dirty dish water, is the day we pack up shop, close the doors of our churches and let the people do what they want. There is no problem with calling sin what it is sin. Jesus did it, we can do it. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing, lets not degrade it by making it appear to the masses that we can just carry on as we were, with no remit to change our ways.

Friday, 21 September 2012

An Evangelical Evangelist who would of thunk it?

In certain quarters of the church the word Evangelical is seen as a slur, and the job of an Evangelist is not important or gets (in the words of Stephen Fry in Blackadder) poo pooed. Due to the world we live in, Evangelism and Evangelists are seen as dirty, corrupt, people. People who prey on the weak and vunerable to get a buck here or there. They are seedy nasty people, long on rhetoric short on Love. In the last few weeks i have watched with interest as Billy Graham has been pilloried, that mission is good as long as we do not call people to account for sins, and that the mission we are on is actually more about social care than spiritual care. Now i am not advocating not being concerned for our neighbours, those in society who are weak, vunerable or less fortunate than myself. But when Christians start to make statements about "wether God is real, Jesus was a myth" we have problems. Our first duty as Christians is to LOVE GOD WITH EVERYTHING WE ARE. Our second remit and the command that Jesus left us "is to make disciples of all nations". Now to do this we have no option but to use what the Bible tells us, and our history as church. We cannot expect people to get saved by reading the Beano, the Bible contains our blueprint as Christians as to how we are to act towards God, and the world. If we deride the Bible we may as well use the koran, or like previously mentioned the Beano, it is Gods instruction to us. Many Christians over our history have used that book to great effect, yes at times it has been used badly, but in other times it has been used to bring life to the thirsty soul, life which starts here and gains eternity with God.

I'm proud to be an Evangelist and proud to be Evangelical with all of it's faults. I'm proud that many have gone before me to lay a path for people to walk down that brings life. We are not called to be popular to society, we are called to walk a narrow path, to follow the one who changed the world by his very sacrifice and resurrection from the bloody cross. we HAVE A DUTY TO SAY TO PEOPLE "GO AND SIN NO MORE" not because we are better, but because what we have in Jesus, is life giving, everlasting, totally awesome and is not about popularity, but about rescue. Maybe it's time to get in the life boats and start rescuing a lost and hurting world

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Floating Morals or pick n mix niceness.

We all like to think we have a good moral compass, most of us harp on about it in some shape or form. We talk about equality, inclusiveness and all those nice things that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. But when the rubber hits the road what are we really like? Personally i know if i could be imprisoned for my thoughts, i would be serving a mass of concurrent life sentences and not getting Married this october. Justification is something i use to deceive myself, that at times my thought process is just like Jesus, when in reality it owes more to Satan and hatred and evil. But i will justify it in some way to make myself feel better. Actions can be great for showing, but thoughts are a different matter. They are seldom verbalised and thankfully even less actioned, but there is a real problem when our action and spoken life do not match with our thought patterns. Is it right to pray for someone to die, but then pray for someones healing? Paul tells us in the Bible that the tongue is the hardest thing to control, and since the advent of the interweb, our keyboards need to be controlled. A double minded person is unstable in all their ways, we have to match our thoughts with our actions, no matter how hard it is at times we have to love our enemies, pray for them and bless them. It's a hard one because it's easy to pray blessing on a family member or friend, but a whole different ball game comes into being when we have to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. It maybe the neighbour from hell who winds us up, a boss who is a bully, anything can cause rage to fly within us. Just push the right buttons and let's watch them fly, 20,000 ft and counting.

Over the years i have changed with regards to anger and violence, heck even when i came back to church i was for a time involved in a regular punch up, but broken bones take longer to heal when you get older. As time has wore on i have mellowed, some may even say matured (but they are very few ). Personally i like to think as i have grown in my faith, something of the goodness of God has gotten hold of me and made me a better person, now i'm someone who hopefully thinks before getting to 20,000ft, not because i'm better than anyone else, but because something that is of God is alive in me and changing me bit by bit. Lets let go of the anger, let go of the stuff that stops us reflecting glory, and instead of kicking out against humanity, lets kick the darkness till it bleeds daylight

Monday, 3 September 2012

Black holes and Revelations

It's a song and also in scientific and spiritual terms a phenomenon. Muse are not one of my favourite bands, some good tunes but a lot of it goes over my head. But Black holes and revelations is a stonking track. But a black hole is known for not letting out light, because of it's structure and make up light cannot escape, it just can't the hole for a whole lot of scientific reasons will not let that happen. People i know are like that (and that includes myself) due to a lot of frustration in the last few months i was less than Christian the other day and apologise to those i upset, it was not the intent, but in hindsight it was obvious i was going to put someones nose way out of joint. Personally i let little light out that day, coupled with a prolonged spiritual attack, which manifested itself in the same way as per usual i was fried mentally and emotionally, but that is no excuse for becoming a black hole and not letting the light in me escape. I'm called to be a light bearer a beacon on a hill, i went through a temporary power cut and did not enjoy it in the slightest.

But the Revelation comes from the oddest of places, it's not always looked for but maybe it should be!. My revelation about what really matters came very early on Saturday morning about 2am. A friend of mine was in need of a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to and someone to try and help, that was me. It was a long night for both of us, but i'm more than happy to do it and help out when i can. It was while i was sat on her sofas at stupid o'clock that the revelation dawned on me, and this is it.

Many of us who are Christian or lay claim to the title are so often caught up in the trivial, the ego, the i want, me, me ,me of life that we fail to see the revelation, we fail to answer the call. The lost sheep was all important to God, the prodigal son, the woman caught in adultery. All of them had a story to tell as to how or why they got to that point. Our calling and duty is to be available to listen, to offer revelation, to make sure that just as Jesus took the time to stop and stoop down, slow down we do the same thing.

Our actions and words speak volumes to those inside the church, and probably more importantly those outside of the church. We can choose to be a black hole and not shed any light on the situations we find ourselves in. Or we offer up revelation to those who are hurting, lonely and lost. We offer the revelation of Jesus of a God who cares, of a God that despite what society screams is ready and able to offer comfort, solace and grace in all it's forms.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

RIP METHODISM (the day Methodism died to me) it's unusual to start a blog with an email address. But when you switch off and get indignant, it's best you know where to send your moaning to, because i will not be entering into a public slanging match over this blog. It will probably cost me my place a s a local preacher, either by request or the fact at this point in time im a gnats testicle from chucking it in (and that is after sleeping on it for an evening, and praying about it for a large part of yesterday). I'm not going to name and shame people, thats not why this is being done. This is being written for a number of reasons and they are rambling so forgive me for that. Just do not expect me to apologise for what is said.

Yesterday on the UK Methodist facebook page a poster of David Cameron was posted with the word "Bastard" and "scum" in the titler aimed at Mr Cameron. The poster of it has tried to justify why it was done etc, and the usual suspects on all sides have waded in with "pearls of wisdom". The fact is that wether we like it or not David Cameron is a human being and should be respected as such. More importantly we are taught within the pages of the Bible to pray for those who lead us, not just if we like them but to pray for them, heck we are even taught to pray for our enemies, so there is no excuse for the poster being put up on a forum that claims to represent Methodism in the UK.

But here is where my gripe really starts and if i get a little annoyed angry or passionate deal with it.

For the last 6 months i have been working very slowly with a guy who wanted to accept Jesus as his saviour ( i know some of you don't like the terms i will use but, deal with it) he was on the verge of making that leap of faith into the arms of God, until yesterday that is. He was a man of violence, a fighter, a nasty bit of work. He scares me and i class him as a friend, we have spent many days and hours discussing why he should follow Jesus, foolishly i said methodism works it gets a balance and enables growth. Yesterday thanks to a dumb post being put on the UK Methodist FB page, he has now decided we are no different than the world, we are no different than fundamentalist right wing nutjobs in the USA and worse still that if that is what church is about he want nothing to do with the structure or the God of the Christians. Needless to say i'm heartbroken about this, i could not careless about him being a Methodist or not, but getting saved and right with God is paramount, this is very likjley not going to happen in this case now.

Yesterday for me methodism reached the gutter, nastiness, hate filled words filled the page. People were ungracious to each other and in all honesty despicable towards each other. A group of people who claim to accept Christ should actually claim Christ and not pay lip service to him or the cause.

The usual suspects will rationalise it in their minds, they will make excuses about it, some will not give a stuff about what was said or how it has affected my friend or me. The usual pat answers will be trotted out "We are a broad church" etc etc etc, yes thats true, but broad church or not the attitude of Christ should shine through in all we do. We are told we die to ourselves and live for Christ and in Christ, we put on the mind of Christ, the attitude of Christ.

This will probably cost me my Local preacher status like i have already said, not because they want rid of me but because i am seriously thinking of chucking it all in, and i'm sorry to say that may also include Methodism. I'm not looking for a perfect community. But i'm looking for people with integrity, those people that when a forum is public, when it can be viewed by anybody. Will take a step back look at it without ego or malice and not post stupid things that pull people down, or turn people away from Christ.

If you think this is tough in speech, you should be glad i have slept on it. It will possibly fall on deaf ears, and people will go on their merry way. If you want to really moan My chair of district is the brilliant Pete Pillinger give him a bell. My minister is the equally brilliant Mark Gilborson do likewise if you feel the need to do so.

Finally i'm not a member of the UK Methodist group, but for those reading this who are could you share it on that page. People need to know their actions and words have an effect wether it's positive or negative.

Andy Richardson 15 August 2012.

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Now it's a fact i spend most of my time on 2 wheels, the exhilaration and acceleration is incredibly life giving, and gets my blood pumping. Today i found out another friend had an accident on his motorcycle, a few bruises and broken bones, but he is still alive. So now i'm going to go on a rant about and against people who ride pushbikes with no regard for the rules of the road. If you abide by them this is not aimed at you in anyway, but i have to get this off my chest.

Push bike riders, you DO NOT own the road. you DO NOT pay tax for use of the road, you DO NOT invariably have insurance and finally WHEN THERE IS A CYCLE PATH TO USE, USE IT, my tax dollar has helped pay for it to be built. But the thing that really grinds my gears about push bike riders is when they come to a set of traffic lights, and decide that the highway code does not apply to them. They either jump onto the path and possibly hit a pedestrian, or worse still they keep edging out expecting the traffic coming towards them to stop and give way. Today while on my ride home from my mothers, 5 cyclists (assuming they were on the tour de France) blocked the road entirely, on a bend which was blind. Fortunately i was only bimbling along at 30 mph so i had time to rectify my line in the road and avoid them.

So whats the answer i have a few ideas. ALL cyclist should have a form of insurance in case of accidents. All cyclists should pay something towards use of the road (especially if a perfectly suitable) cycle path is available. If a cyclist is seen not obeying the highway code (jumping lights) at junctions and breaking the rules that car drivers and motorcyclists have to abide by or be fined. Then the cyclist gets fined. If the cyclist gets knocked off his bike by me in a car or on my bike, 9 times out of 10 i will be blamed for it. So cyclists start to use the roads properly, use the highway code and stick to it, all of our lives will be better for it

Monday, 30 July 2012

Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll

Great song by the mighty Ian Dury, but onto the subject at hand.

1) I no longer believe the resurrection is a fact of my faith, it may just be a story to help us along the way.

2) Jesus was not special in anyway, held no divine power and was just a good man who talked a good show.

3) He was no different than any other religious leader or icon.

4) The bible is a good story book and does not hold the information about will help you out in anyway

5) All paths lead to god, and repentance and forgiveness are nice ideals, but actually it does not matter at all if you want to.

6) Because i cannot comprehend the issue, the virgin birth is not real, because my intellect does not allow me to believe in a supernatural God.

7) Miracles do not happen, if i pray for someone and they get well, it's pure fluke and nothing to do with God in anyway.

8) My faith is not important enough to be solid. So i'm going to change what i believe to appease society and make sure i do not offend anyone.

9) It's not possible to have absolutes, because that means i may have to stand by something, and i have decided being popular is more important than telling the truth.

10) It's okay to believe what you want as long as you are sincere.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Can we have absolutes?, Absolutely

There is a theory that as time moves on and society changes, the church should change. Change to make it's message more palatable to society, to make it trendy, to make it less offensive, to ultimately water it down. I'm a Methodist not by theology or birth, but because it's where i choose to worship, because that is where my relationships with some great people are, people who help me grow and help me to understand God. My background is within Pentecostalism and i'm very grateful for that, and with my hand on my heart after lots of souls searching, i have come to a conclusion I'M A FUNDAMENTALIST. Stupidly i believe what the bible tells me about my God is the truth, that when it tells me he was born of a virgin it's true, that when it says he rose from the dead it's true. That when Jesus says" i am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but through me" it's true. I'm not a liberal with regards to my faith, but my politics tend to be.

The war of words rages on, and on and on and on, and the church seems to have forgotten or worse still pushed to the back burner one of it's main responsibilities, that duty to make disciples. That is what we are called to do as church, to make disciples, not clones, Lord knows there does not need to be another Andy Richardson running around the place.
Have we lost our flavour, have we become dulled to the call of people to the foot of the cross, do we even bother. Yesterday i led a service in our circuit. During that service i made an appeal for people to get saved ( i still use that term) and led a prayer towards that effect. At the end of the service a gentleman told me in no uncertain terms, that "what you did is fine for other churches but in ours we do not make appeals". My initial response was gobsmacked, but once i had gathered my thoughts i thanked him for his input and left it at that, i'm an evangelist at heart and by ministry.

My concern for the church is that we have adapted to what the world want's instead of what Christ calls us to do, we have conformed to the world and it's practises and forgotten that we were told "not to be conformed to the world any longer, but conform to Christ". Personally i have no problem with so called Liberal christians, if it floats your boat great. But for me i need those absolutes, i need to know it's not a case of ifs and ands and pots and pans. Boundaries work in my life, they enable me to function, absolutes for my faith are essential for me to function in it. without those absolutes, it's too easy to be tossed on the winds of change, going where ever the popular opinion takes us, yes we grow, yes we adapt to a degree. But when we water down the very life giving water, to be popular, we fail.

This may cop me a load of flack, which seems to be the norm lately, but hey ho.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Who is John Wayne

On Saturday i attended another wedding (seems to be the year for them) especially as Pam and i are getting married in October this year. This wedding was very nice, a bit posh and they still let me in. But while i was stood in the grounds of the hotel some kids were playing Cowboys and indians, using sticks as guns and whooping and hollering. At one stage a boy ran unto his dad and said look after my guns, and handed him the sticks. His dad said "are you being John Wayne?" the boys reply was "who is John Wayne?" This got me thinking about my own son and what he knows of me, my heroes, my faults, those things i like. If i mentioned John Wayne to Jacob he would in all probability ask "who", but if i mention Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, David Coverdale or any host of bands he is right there explaining to me why they were so good or are so good. music has always played a big part in our lives, he regularly "borrows" dvd's cd's etc and sometimes they do get returned (hint hint) you still have my Whitesnake dvd.

But what does he really know about his dad, my hopes, my dreams for myself and for him. In all honesty very little, our relationship was formed in the furnace and turmoil of my divorce from his mother, his ideals especially when younger were shaped by what he was told about me by other people, and most of that was bad, well bad is a fairly inadequate word to describe how i was, but it will do for this purpose. He has seen me drunk, seen me stoned seen all that was bad about the old man, and if truth be known i still feel bad and guilty about it. He on the other hand never stopped believing i would come good, that i would rediscover my faith, and as he puts it, get back with Jesus and start kicking the devil in the head.

Our relationship is now very different, he sees me as a friend, i view him as one of my best friends, we laugh we joke, we share a lot of the same tastes, he never fell far from the tree. I see how he is growing in God and i'm amazed at it, amazed that again this year he is going on his second mission trip to the former eastern block.

God is a God of the supernatural, a God of healing, not just illness, but also hurt, anger and pain. Jacob and i rarely discuss the bad old days, we are both philosophical about it. But we do discuss what God is doing in both of our lives, he rides me for being in a Methodist church i ride him for being Pentecostal. But we have a bond forged in fire, and built in love. What do you see when you look at God? is it a big stick wielding ogre, or can you see the love he has for each and every one of us. Your view of God will impact on your walk with him, will stop you coming into a full relationship with him. The fathers heart is leaning towards you, and is aching for you, hurting for you. Maybe it's time to shut up and listen to that heartbeat and see what can be accomplished

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Lets throw the baby out with the bat water.

While pondering the title for this blog entry, i had a number of options, but none of them where that polite, and they would have gotten me into trouble. This is going to be a rant, and if you don't like it i'm genuinely not going to stay up all night fretting about it.

The other day as is per usual i was told i'm not a normal Christian (whatever normal is) so it was time to ask the person who made the statement what was a normal christian, what made me un normal and what made normal, this is how part of that conversation went.

" So whats a normal Christian look like, how do they behave, what do they do?" it seemed logical to start from that point. "Well most Christians i have met and i have met a few, tend to harp on about theology, tend to prattle on about who is right who is wrong, while missing the fundamental purpose of why i believe Jesus came to the planet and died for humanity" Unfortunately i could not disagree with him, i was going to reply to his statement, but actually decided against it as i had no real answer to give him, no real reply.

But this brings up a far greater question in my mind, and this is where i'm going to get shouted down. But before you do look and see if what i have written is truthful, not just for you as an individual, but also for the church as a whole, and i include all denominations in that, not just Methodist.

We spend so much time crossing the t's and dotting the i's that somewhere along the line that has become more important than the reason the church was founded by Christ "to make disciples of all nations". It's something we don't like to admit and if we do admit it we justify it by any excuse possible, and in a lot of cases is is any excuse possible. But if you bring this up with Christians apparently none of the ones i talk to enjoy being sat in meetings, so as we have so many of them who is actually going along to them, who keeps these things going?

Personally i have always been a round peg in a square hole, never really fitted into Church life, i try and boy i do try. At times keeping my mouth shut is the hardest thing in the world, because for me the hardest thing in the world to deal with. Is a lost world going to Hell in a hand basket and we are all to concerned about wether to put a fridge in the kitchen, wether to have black chairs, blue chairs, you know the score. My hear breaks when i se good people sidetracked by good intentions, but the intention rarely becomes action, rarely moves beyond an idea. The day i got saved was monumental for me, it changed my life, i stopped doing vast amounts of drugs, i stopped so much it made a difference. Somewhere along the lines we have become sidetracked from being a mission orientated people into an ordered people, not following orders from God but the orders laid down because of our meetings.

Now before all you good people (especially you Methodists)| start jumping up and down over what i have said, i would respectfully ask you to read some of the threads on the Methodist UK Facebook
page. If you think we have not thrown out the baby with the bath water read them and unfortunately weep, because last night i cried a river. And it's not only methodists like i said go onto any denominations site and read the forums, you get very little about mission, but a great deal about how we should do ABC. The fact is that discussing a fridge or the colour of chairs is not going to bring somebody to faith, Jesus said "go into all the world, and make disciples of all men" we are actually in danger of going into the world and making no difference at all.
You can now rail against me but I'm going to ask a favour. If you are going to do so, please do it by email, part of this rant is about how the threads are seen by the public at large and i'm not going to enter into a public slanging match with anyone. If you want to do it we do it privately.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

That little word

Lately i have been feeling drained, worn out and washed out, it's not a great feeling. Sometimes i can't say NO, it's not in my nature to say it, and it gets me into all sets of trouble. Is it my desire to be liked and loved, is it my desire to be helpful, i'm not sure but it's the way i have been for years and years, there is a NO, NO policy and it's not helpful. So how do i/we cope with this? we all live and work in pressure environments, and we have to balance our lives up, balance is the key.

When my life is out of balance i get cranky, i'm not nice, and i can be a pain in the butt, to those around me, it's not good. Years ago i used to make excuses as to why i could not say no, and the truth is they where excuses, my desires to be liked and loved overode everything. Now i have started to say no, some people get offended by it, some people think i don't care and call me names because of it. The fact is i have had to learn, it's not always my responsibility to answer the call for help. Yes i maybe a Christian and part of my responsibilities as a Christian are to help when i can. It's not my sole responsibility, to make sure everybody is happy, it never was and never has been. Regularly i hear of people suffering burn out, getting close to a breakdown, thrust me the breakdown is a pain in the ass. Been there done it, spent my time hiding under the bed clothes, not knowing what day it was, drugged up on prescription meds just to get through the day. It's not a good place to be and i would say it's a nightmare to be in. If you feel that it's all getting on top of you, don't make an excuse, do something about it, take a break, take a walk, do something apart from nothing. You and i have the right to say NO, it does not make us criminals, it does not demean us in anyway what so ever. It makes us human, God rested on the seventh day, Jesus pulled himself away from the crowds to rest and recharge. We can and should rest up, no excuses, no arguments, it's needed. Don't feel guilty when you say NO it's needed.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The glories of online debates

Online debates can be a great thing, they enable people to communicate, get ideas across and have a voice. People who would normally stay quiet speak up. They can have an alias so they are not known, they can be to a certain degree anonymous, people feel valued and their opinion matters, but there is a big downside to online communities and debating. That downside is when entrenched views become more entrenched, people make accusations of others, names are called and people feel threatened or hurt.

This week i joined a Christian Apologetics site, mainly because i enjoy apologetics, and i like a good debate about the logic of things. This site has soon developed an us and them culture, where Catholics and Protestants argue who is right, who is wrong, and how their particular brand of faith is the right one (personally i have never been that proud to say my way is the only way).

This forum has now degenerated into a slanging match between entrenched views, and people are building walls around their particular creed, i made a decision last night that i was no longer going to add comments into these debates, because i think when people who are searching are looking in, it does not glorify God in the slightest if a lot of name calling is going on. All it does is show up a divided people, and a people who are actually so far removed from grace that it's a crying shame.

As Christians we have a duty that our words are edifying, that they bring glory to Christ firstly, and enable people to grow in faith. Yours and mines opinion is valid, but  we need to use wisdom in how we put that across. We have to be careful that our actions and words do not cause someone who is looking to fall.

Email your gripe if needs be, do it privately. Maybe take a chill pill first and come back to a response later in the day.  Words can wound and cause many heartaches, many stumbles and many errors of judgement.
Lets look at how our actions can be perceived, lets look at how they look to those looking in.
Like i said i took the decision to back away from public responses on this particular forum, i will comment again when it actually does what the group was set up for, which is use apologetics and educate people in how to use them, for the time being I'm taking a chill pill. Remember THINK before YOU respond, LOOK at HOW it LOOKS. THINK THINK THINK DOES MY REPSONSE GLORIFY GOD.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Great Expectations

It's a book, a film, a tv series, it's also the way most of us live our daily lives, with great expectations. Dare to dream, dare to win, believe in it are all things we do daily, hoping, praying, just trying to see something we want accomplished with aplomb, or just accomplished.

On Friday night the band i'm in played our first official gig in Exeter, in a really tough spit and sawdust place, with a reputation for all sorts of dubious activity. We had great expectations before the gig, that it would go well, that it would all fall into place, and that the punters would enjoy it, by the way it all did.
Then yesterday i watched the England game against Belgium, my expectations for the Euro competition are not great by any level.

What are your expectations based on? is it some airy fairy feeling of hit and hope, sometimes mine are if i'm honest. Are they rooted in the ground or rooted in the sky up amongst the clouds and the birds. Our expectations should be rooted in what we know, to a degree, what our experience shows us, if we have gone a certain way before and it has worked, there is a chance it will again. This is a tried and trusted formula, but can make us lazy to try new things, to try and stop the norm. If i believed in a previous life, i was probably a pioneer, i love new adventures, love to try and get that new experience under my belt. But that requires a certain amount of faith,. Faith that it will all be right, faith that it will all be good, sometimes it is, sometimes it's a complete nightmare, and i never go back if i can help it.

What are your expectations based on, are they rooted in something worthwhile or are they based on a pipe dream without the pipe. God has a plan for each and everyone of us, a plan that is based on his will for each and everyone of us. It's no pipe dream, it is a great Expectation an expectation of brilliance and success. My expectation for England is that they will not get out of the group stage in Euro 2012, if they do it will be great, but i doubt it, i hope i'm wrong we will see.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Whats in a name.

Many of my friends belong to motorcycle clubs. They have in some cases provocative names, in others just a simple statement of them being bikers. But they are judged for those names, and the perception that goes with the name. A few years back a good friend of mine refused to come to a rally with me because of the name of the club who put it on, and how it would look to those within the established church, if he was seen at this gathering. At the time i was a bit hacked off with him, and let him know i thought he was being stupid. Today it's different, we have the emergent church, we have initiatives with fancy titles for going to the fringes of society to take the Gospel to them. Initiatives that are in some cases effective, in others less so.

Being separate from the world is a requirement of the Christian walk, and over the years many well meaning Christians have taken it to mean complete separation from the day to day, the struggles and the sin that goes with day to day life. But what does it actually mean to be separate from the world? Can we be effective witnesses if we never engage with a fallen broken society, and all those people who make it up. The simple answer is no we cannot, we have to go and proclaim the Gospel, we have to go and proclaim Gods love to a shattered society, a society that we are part of.

Some of us, myself included work better on the edge, it's where i'm most comfortable. There has to be a cliff i can look over, thats when i'm happiest. When i'm staring into the void, chatting with, praying with those people on the fringes of society, thats when i'm happiest as a Christian. The run of the mill mundane drives me mad. It saps my strength and dries me up. When i'm on the edge i feel closer to God, i feel alive. Some of my friends are members of bike clubs, they have names that make Christians squirm, but they squirm for the wrong reasons. We should be squirming because we judge a book by it's cover, we judge according to a name, we judge according to our understanding. If more people squirmed for the right reasons, we could see a massive shift in the way church functions, we can move from the traditional way of doing church into a vibrant, life giving ethos. It's time for the church to decide on wether the status quo is working or wether, we get a new dynamic running parrallel to it. There is a world waiting for the church to rise up, and we have to do it.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Doing the right thing.

In the last few weeks i have had a number of conversations with people about doing the right thing. Some of these conversations have been trivial, you know the sort of thing, do i get another beer, do i have an extra serving of crumble, that type of thing. But some have required strength of character, a sense of honour, and the ability to trust in God that you are doing the right thing. A minister friend of mine who i have known for longer than he would like to remember, made a very serious decision earlier this year, he resigned his ministerial credentials, he just never renewed them. He has over the years earnt my respect and my love for him, despite him being a Liverpool fan has grown in the 22 odd years i have known him. The decision was hard to make but he felt that in all honour and integrity he had to do it.

And this brings us to the crux of the matter, over a coffee at a costa ( i do not attend these places unless i'm with him by the way), he explained his reasonings behind why etc. He had worked within his particular denomination for over 20 years, so it was no drop and run process. But he got me to thinking, as Christians we talk of integrity, we talk about honour, we talk about how we are different than the world at large, but are we? Do our actions get dictated by tradition, do they get blasted by our own desires, worse still do we neglect to consult with God on those things that matter. Integrity HAS to be a large part of who we are, wether we are Christians or not. This last month there have been times, i have been less than honourable, less than nice and far from Christian. My failings have affected relationships i have, but not to a level of destruction. Integrity is not a commodity we throw around, its not a word we chuck in to make ourselves sound superior, it's got to be a life style choice. Sometimes those choices are hard and friends, family and church can poke their well meaning noses into the pot to stir it in the wrong direction. Yes it's good to listen to people, but people can come with an agenda, an agenda of their own that maybe at odds with Gods agenda for our lives. You above all people know what God is telling you to do, you alone are going to be responsible for how you act. Yes sometimes the choice is easy and as we say in my neck of the woods a no brainer. Sometimes it requires commitment and above all sacrifice to achieve the end result. Yes we can have another beer, yes an extra potion of crumble. But lets actually be honest about where we are, where we are going and how God fits into it all. To many people will hold back on doing Gods will because it means the habits of a lifetime need to change, or we move out of our comfort zone. It's time to shape up and let the rubber meet the road

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Emergency only

Last night i was eat on the loo, at our club house,when i got to looking at my mobile phone. Now in the loo, there is no signal, but my phone said EMERGENCY ONLY in big letters. Taking this to mean i could not send a text to whom i needed to, i got to wondering, with no signal how would i make an emergency call. I'm guessing if i had hit the 999 button i would have been able to get through to an emergency service, but how. This then got me thinking on a different track.

A lot of my time is spent praying for people i know who say " i can't pray myself", " i'm not religious" etc etc. So in these instances i pray for them or with them to help them along. It's what we do as Christians, it's part of our calling, to pray for those who cannot for what ever reason do so themselves.

EMERGENCY ONLY: The time when people are at the end of the rope, and cry out to God for assistance, "there is no such thing as an atheist in a Foxhole". So my thought pattern has gone down this road, is it okay to use God as an Emergency service, to call on him only as a last resort. Our ability to pray comes from our relationship with God the father through his son, if we have no real relationship, do we really know how to pray. After all what is a prayer? what does it convey? can we just chuck the odd one up towards heaven as a last resort, my thought is if we profess to be a believer in Jesus, we cannot get away with using god as an emergent number. Yes he will answer, yes he will bend his ear towards us, but is it honourable as Christians to just use God as the world does. No has to be the answer, but what of the world. Those people who struggle with the idea of praying, but get to the end of the rope and plead and cry out to God. It's not ideal but communication with our maker, no matter how small and dare i say no matter for what reason is awesome. God can be used as a 999 service, he has no problem with it. But actually what he really wants is an honest, open relationship. Where the communication is 2 way, we pray, God answers and leads us in what we feel to be right. We listen for that call, listen to hear, how why etc. God is an Emergency service, he wants and loves us to pray, we have to decide if calling on him only in our trials is honourable, or wether or not we want a dialogue with him on a day by day basis. I'm still no closer to working out how i make a phone call to the emergency services when i have no phone signal. But more importantly i really hope i never have to find out how it all works.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Where grace and judgement meet

The other day i received an email, bemoaning the fact that my theology was wrong, and i had no understanding of God. This came about because i stated that God was in the business of Judgement as well as grace. For those of you who want to turn off now and read the paper or watch tv.

I stand by what i said and heres why. God when he applies his grace to our lives and when we accept it, we accept there is a reason behind it. Normally the grace we receive is when we have sinned or done wrong, but this is not exclusive. So lets put this into ways we can understand it, and look at Judgement, grace and restoration.

We do wrong and a judgement has to take place, i know i have spent a lot of time in courts, being guilty of one thing or another. Then Grace gets applied to the situation, a loving hand, a helpful word, but somewhere along the line grace gets applied. Then we have restoration, the reason for judgement is that restoration can take place, this is a biblical precedent. Any time Judgement is meted out, it's to restore the person back to where they were, but with a better understanding of their mistakes. The Prodigal son, the thief on the cross. Discipline brings restoration, Judgement brings restoration it has to do so.

I'm a parent i think i'm pretty good at it, if you ask Jacob he will have a different take on what i'm like. But we have an odd relationship, we are best mates first and foremost, I'm his dad i embarrass him, because i'm meant to do so.

When i left his mother and he was growing up i was awful as a father, i let him down regularly, and our relationship was non existent for a long time. But over time i have learnt some valuable lessons, some of those things i wad doing had to be bought to account (Judgement) i had to clean up my act, leave the peruvian marching powder behind, and straighten out. After that initial period of straightening out, grace was put into action and the discipline i had undertaking started to pay dividends to me as an individual. Restoration followed. Firstly to my God whom i still let down, but also more importantly to my son, as a friend and a father. My family who had disowned me are now back in my life.
That process that i went through, the judgement, the grace, the restoration of my body and soul was needed.

Yes God is a God of grace, but he is also a God of judgement, he does it to restore us back to himself. It's never for any other reason. If you remove judgement, you remove grace they are intertwined. As the song by the great Frank Sinatra says "love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage". We may not like it, but these things go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mission possible or getting the balance right.

Sat looking out over our back garden, the rain today is lashing down, and has been all morning so far. Our garden is a mess, over grown, and it seems like it will be a thankless task to get it done and sorted. But we have Mission Possible on the horizon, next weekend various friends are coming over to lend a hand, eat some food, drink some beer, and more importantly help with the garden clear up. It is for me a God send as i cannot stand gardening, our friends will help out, and in return be fed and watered, it's a good deal for all concerned. It's a mission that will be accomplished.

This month our group of churches are running podcasts on the book of Acts, and some of us have recorded a 3 minute study on the subject, mine is on Acts 5 and deals with a harsh reality, that as people we do not want to deal with, but as Christians we run hiding from it, try and justify what it means, and how we can make it more palatable for a world that is looking for answers. Getting the balance right between showing God in all his power and glory, is an art that at time i sadly do not possess. Tending to lean one way or the other, it's not a crime, but it does do God a disservice of sorts.

We all want to look at the God of love in the Bible, we all like the gentle Jesus meek and mild, and the Jesus who wants us for a sunbeam (so wrong on so many levels). But what do we do when we are confronted with a God who actually is going to call us to account for our actions? We can run and hide, we can deny god as judge, which far to many Christians do. God is a God of balance, the universe, life, it's all a balancing act. If we accept Gods grace we automatically accept his judgement on the issue in hand, we are saying "okay God i want you to forgive me, because i know i have done wrong", then God in his grace forgives us, but to forgive us he passes judgement on the matter.

Acts 5 tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira husband and wife and very well to do. The church had just been born and people were flocking to join it's numbers. Then hubby and wife tell lies to the disciples, they hold back what they had no reason to lie about (money) and are struck down dead. It's harsh it's brutal and judgement is passed automatically ( read it, its only about 14 verses long). We try and worm our way out of this story by making all kinds of reasoning behind it, we try and take the onus from God for his actions, and try and sugar coat the pill. The fact is God is in the business of judgement as much as he is in the business of grace.
It is a balance, if we deny some of the actions God takes to make them sweeter, we detract and take away an element of his power. If we labour too long on death and destruction we take away his grace. Balance is key, balance is what makes it work. Our friends will help us do the garden this weekend, and it's also Pam's birthday, balance. The Garden gets done, our friends come over to help and to celebrate her birthday. Think on this Mission impossible, is actually mission possible if we get the balance right. In areas of our life wether we are Christians or not, balance work , rest and play are what is needed.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Potholes and Manholes

Being on a motorcycle is a great thrill, it requires skill, determination, experience and a certain amount of luck. Your concentration levels need to be high and the determination of some car drivers to be blind to your presence on the road is a pain. But onto the title, potholes and Manholes. When our road system was designed, I'm sure the designers thought to themselves lets make it purposely difficult for those people who insist on being on 2 wheels. You rarely notice the Manhole in a car, but on a bike every single one is always in your riding line especially on corners and roundabouts. When wet they are lethal, and require skill to navigate them. Potholes are much the same hit one wrong and you can say hello to the tarmac, and watch your bike slide up the road. This has been done by myself on numerous trips sideways up the road and has resulted in broken bones and A&E visits.

So why do i carry on?, simple really it's in my blood i come from a long line of bike riders and it's something i enjoy with all my soul. Being a Christian is like riding a motorcycle, it requires skill, determination, and the steady hand of God. Experience because we learn how God operates, what he expects, his ways etc. Determination because sometimes when things go wrong we wonder "why God why?" and need to rethink certain things we believe, certain ways of doing things. Also when we have been on the road for a while, we can get lazy with God, we take our eye of the prize and drop the ball or fall in someway. In the same way that on a bike you need to be 100% commited to what you are doing and the line you are taking. The same thing applies to God we need to stay focused on him, on what we know of him, what we understand of him. At the bottom of our road is a mini roundabout, when i turn right at said roundabout, there is a man hole cover right in my line of riding, followed very closely by a pothole the size of a moon crater (well thats how it appears to me). Even though i know it's there i keep alert and treat it with respect, because i know one false move and i'm kissing tarmac. If we stay concentrated on God, keep our eyes on him, stay alert. We will not spend our time kissing dirt or in A&E, but have a long fulfilling relationship with him. We will have trials and problems, but they will never be more than we can handle. Even if at the time they seem insurmountable, they are all overcomable in God

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Life is a Rollercoaster

Fear not dear reader, i have not been listening to Ronan Keating songs. But this week has been a hell of a ride. Passport problems, people messing about with Pam's bike and mine. It's been interesting to say the least. My anger at times this week has been immense, when people mess with things i care about, and if your'e  a biker you understand this. Mess about with my pride and joy, pouring oil over the tyres etc, you have no understanding of the level of contempt i have for the idiot who is doing this.

Then i have had problems due to past illegalities, with getting my Passport sorted out, so this weekend i am meant to be in Germany with my Brothers from the club, but will be at home in England, what goes around comes around. So all in all i have had the week from Hades and am still in it to a certain degree.

But what have i learnt, in truth probably very little what so ever, but i have seen people help and support me, through all of this and have made me smile and laugh, so for that i'm very thankful.

This brings me to the spiritual dimension, over this week i have had a few debates with other Christians where i have been called names, and branded in one case demon possessed, because i dared to say that being a Christian did not exempt me from lives difficulties. The so called prosperity gospel is a twisting of the bible to make people feel good if they are receiving. If they are not God has let them down, God has forsaken them. None of which is Biblical, in fact it's a very dangerous idea, that if you are not rolling in blessing then, you are some how in sin. This is wrong WRONG WRONG on every level. If you do not have the valley's then you never learn how to appreciate the mountain tops, you never learn what is important, and what is temporal.

My friends mean the world to me, they make my life what it is. Wether they are believers or not, they all make the tapestry of my life what it is. If i go through valley's, if i stumble and fall, they help me out, they rally around me and pick me up. Being a Christian for me is not about being perfect, because i will never be perfect. It's a path i'm on, i'm aiming to perfection, I'm aiming to be the best i can be. Yes i will screw up, yes i will let people down. But those that matter, know my heart, they know me. They know Andy can be a pain in the butt. More importantly my God knows, he knows everything about me, good, bad, indifferent, and the darn right nasty, because i can be at times. My walk, my pilgrimage is based on honesty, between God and me, and to be honest thats all that matters. Yes it's good to be liked, it's good to be loved. But it's more important to Love, to show love and to say hey i'm here for you.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Where the rubber meets the road.

There is a Meatloaf song called "where the rubber meets the road" from the Welcome to the neighbour hood Album. Today for various reasons i have been pondering the whole concept of the rubber of my faith hitting the road of life.

Life can sometimes be trying, it can be a chore and one heck of a struggle. But through it all, we survive, we strive and we get it right (eventually). Our friendships help shape us and our thought patterns, and enable us to grow and more importantly help. Today i appear to have achieved very little, on the surface it seems very shallow and inconsequential. In truth it has helped a number of people out, and enabled them to see things differently. So what do we do when God ask's us to hit the road. Do we slam the brakes on, because it makes us uncomfortable?. Do we not even bother starting the wheels in motion, handbrake, on keys in our pockets, and God surely you would never ask me to......... Fill in your own blanks.

Our faith requires us to start, to put it into gear, to drive. We have a responsibility to let the rubber of our faith hit the road of life. It maybe uncomfortable, it may make us wonder at times. But it's a ride we are on, a wise man told me once "buckle up" our God is in the business of moving. We move with him or stagnate. Lets make an effort to let the rubber hit the road, sand check out the Meatloaf song.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

One of those days

Ever had one of those days when it was just manic?, well today has been one of those. If it could go wrong it did, if it could have gone right it didn't. The hair i have if i could have been bothered would have been pulled out. Then to round off the day i'm pondering what, why and who cares.

As a Christian i sometimes fall into the trap that everything should be a rose garden, even though God never promised me that in any shape or form. If i'm honest i wondered at times today where was God in all of this, and it's been a struggle. Was he moving away from me, was he not listening?, or was it more to the point that i was letting the situation get to me. The answer was i let it get to me, God never moved the goal today i just lost sight of it. Circumstances do affect us and at times they over whelm us, but how we deal with them is what matters. I'm blessed to have some phenomenal friends, who care for me and help me out. Sometimes that help comes from the most unlikely place, as it did tonight.

So what am i saying amongst all this inane rambling, it's something i have said from the pulpit time and again, Look up, rise above the problem and look at it through different eyes. Yes it hurts, yes it can be a pain. But if we look from a different angle, the problem is never as bad as it seems. God is never going to push you beyond what you can take, it's really that simple.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Are you a good Methodist

A short time ago, i was asked if i was or felt i was a good Methodist. This came after a Sunday morning worship setting. The question did not confuse me but got me thinking, what is a good Methodist, and after pondering the question i have no reply. But i changed the question in my mind to, what is a good Christian, what makes you a good Christian. In my life i have been privileged to know people who for me represent the Kingdom of God, and how it is played out. Now this will embarrass those people but i will name them, because they have influenced my life for the greater good. If you are not named, it's not that you do not matter it's that you have not known me long enough. We can all name the big names who have influenced us, and for me that person is A.W. Tozer, a man i never met. But what of those people who make my christian life a joyride with all of it's up's and downs. These people have influenced me one way or another, and I'm going to publicly say so. Anna Williams is the person who had the tenacity to try and get me back into fellowship and succeeded. The Noronha clan  is another who through their grace, enables and teaches me great things for the kingdom. Mark Gilborson is a man i admire and respect because his ability to make me think is brilliant. Then we come to my old sparring partner Bob Hyde, a man who many years ago took a chance on a snot nosed Evangelist, put up with complaints, and moaning but saw something in me that made me partly what i am today, he is a genius and a great friend. Then we have those who are outside of the kingdom. Satan slaves who make me think about what i say, Skyra members whom i love, my family whom are non believers, but make me think about the kingdom. This for me is the crux of the matter, all of these people and loads more make me think about what it means to be a good Christian, what it means to think about and represent Jesus on this planet. I let them down, and they don't bitch. i let God down and he does not bitch. So what does it mean to be a good Christian, the ability to reel off masses of scripture to prove a point. The ability to be judgemental and less than gracious, the capability to run and hide when the chips are down?. For me it's none of the things i mentioned, it's the ability to take part in the world i live in, to show a loving God to a Godless world, to let people see that perfection is not what it's about. To let them know they are loved beyond reason or measure, to show them something of the Kingdom and it's king. Yes i fail, yes i let them and God down, but through it all God listens and acts and reacts to the situations i find myself in. I will never be perfect, never be what some people think is the ideal of a Christian. But i will be honest about my God, the situation around me, the people i interact with. So am i a good Methodist? NO I'm not, am i a good Christian probably not, but i'm honest, too much sometimes. I'm in love with my God, and despite some of the people love them. So i guess i'm  good in part, but human. Those things that bug me will never be as big as the God i serve or his love for me. I'm a saint in his kingdom and for that i'm grateful beyond belief, and for those of you who have an influence, i'm more than grateful that i know you.

Monday, 16 April 2012


New to this whole thing, but i think it needs to be done. Then my insane ramblings will be seen by the few not the many. If your offended easily it's probably best you close your eyes, i shoot from the hip, and in the words of AC/DC i was born with a stiff upper lip. Thats it for now.