At Journey’s End – Thank you for the Adventure

Well, The 9 themed adventures are now at an end! Its been an epic and brilliant adventure. Thanks to everyone who has contributed, encouraged, challenged, inspired and helped me along the way!

There have been many highlights.

Becoming a part of the growing community that is Thank you Today (Gratitude).

Finishing the celebration Journey with Advent, Christmas and being part of a great online community reflecting on Advent with the help of Brian Draper.

Reading and reflecting on the brilliant book Consumer Detox and becoming part of the wider Breathe team. Watch out for more in 2013 (Simplicity and Contentment)

An inspiring and humbling visit to Cornwall which resulted in two great films.

2012 has also turned out some unexpected and very significant events in the form of a new job, the wonder of the olympics and paralympics, the blog and other writing, lots of great meetings.

Its also been great to be part of making more presents (Creativity) and being able to enjoy the moment more fully with family and friends.

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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Today I am celebrating this brilliant thing

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Brilliant Blog post on the beauty and need for distraction and deep rest

Love Restores.

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 16.44.16

I live a high proportion of my life distracted by stuff.

I’m distracted by the glorification of busyness and the thrill of achievements, by the adrenaline of the current challenges I face or the latest drama I’ve entered into, by the allure of what could be, often passing by the reality of what already is. I’m distracted by the promise of satisfaction when I finally get “there”…wherever “there” may be.

It has been a very long and busy year yet it has passed by in a flash – I wonder how many of you can echo that as you look back on 2012.

There’s a striving that occurs in life that allows little time for rest these days. Not the rest that is found sitting around doing nothing, chilling out on the beach or taking a break, but a deeper rest, a rest from all of the striving and self-justification…

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Journey 9 Day 34 – Walk On



I’ve been reflecting today on the shafts, glimpses and moments of great light and brightness that we experience and celebrating those in the context of Advent and asking the question Who are you God and Who am I? I’ve been asking that question a lot this year, in a variety of context and with a variety of emotions and moments as well as how we live this out in the everyday and the mundane.

Who placed himself into our hands, as a baby? Into the Mundane but pointing to so much more!

the pulse of the waves, the rush of the wind, all the unleashed energy of a Big Bang, even,making its presence felt here in time and space, as what? as who? a boy?

Who is this? What does it mean for us, what does it mean for how we live and who we seek to be?

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him;” writes Isaiah, “nothing in his appearance that we should desire him…”  Or, as Francis Spufford puts it, so piercingly: “He has no halo. He does not glow in the dark. Special lighting effects do not announce his presence… “If you cut him, he bleeds.”

Its my final working day of 2012 and my series of Journey’s are also almost at its end. 2012 has been quite a year in so many ways. A new Job, These Journeys, High’s and Low’s, Reimagining, exploring, Creating, exploring what it means to live more simply, humbling myself (and often failing), seeking to be generous, contemplating, seeking to be courageous, taking small steps of gratitude, practising a bit of hospitality and celebrating life in its fullness…. I have kept walking on and will continue to walk on, to journey, to explore, to learn, to share, to give, to receive, to learn, to cry, to laugh, to fail, to get up and retry, to give and receive grace and to WALK ON!


And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring…
And love is not the easy thing….
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t steal it
No they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on…
Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you’ve got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it, can’t buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Home, hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one
Home, I can’t say where it is but I know I’m going home
That’s where the hurt is

I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme.

Leave it, take it, do what you will, But Walk on! Amen 

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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


Incredible insights and stories

the good stuff


(excuse the tiny, dodgy photo, I’m limited by technology in a far flung place).

Today I woke up in the most violent country in Latin America, and not long after breakfast there was a blast of gunfire nearby (or maybe it was just an early morning fireworks display, mum).

But I spent the day in a place known as ‘the refuge’ where flocks of bright green parrots whizzed (and shrieked) overhead, and children of all ages played together in a beautiful garden. Where another kind of life felt possible.

We spent the day with Pamela Leon, a relaxed Guatemalan lawyer in a turquoise polo shirt, who set up the refuge after encountering the horrific injustices and abuses suffered by the victims of domestic violence in her country. Very few of these cases even make it into the country’s legal processes, but the few she saw were enough.

Domestic violence…

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


Journey 9 Day 26: Joy

I always remember hearing a quote about how hard it is to write songs in the good times/times of celebration, mainly because when you are enjoying the moment you simply don’t want to sit down and write but want to be fully present in the joy and celebration.

That’s kind of how I am feeling (particularly in the lead up to Christmas) with this journey. I am still asking questions, learning, exploring, practising and doing the stuff but its also good to take a bit of a different take and just celebrate and revel in the Joy of 2012.

2012 has been an epic year, I’ve grown lots, learnt lots, been challenged lots, and also experienced lots. Just as Sports personality of the year will be absolutely epic on Sunday (so looking forward to it) so to has my year of journeys been somewhat epic (without ever being in anyway comparable)

One of the biggest reasons for celebration is the journey I have been on to be/lead/live out of who I am, to regain a lot of my vision, hope, passion, love and zeal for life and to begin the journey of casting off fear and the fear of failure.

Books, Opportunities, Friendships, Colleagues, Incredible Articles, The Olympics and Paralympics, My unexpected and enforced stopping and deep reflecting, A new job, a renewal and healing of past mindsets have all contributed to this journey. Part of the ‘battle’ has been to believe that change and transformation is possible.

I’m still battling but feel that more of the battle is being won rather than lost. That as more conversations, opportunities, healing, hope and goodness pervade and become more of my lived reality, I am able to move into a place of celebration and deep thankfulness for all that this year has been.

This Advent I have been part of a group and we began with this profoundly helpful reflection

“Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you are lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.” Adela Rogers St Johns
Joy is a light, however fragile its flicker! I love that. And I love this metaphor (from Brené Brown), too: that joy is like a set of Christmas tree lights – small but delightful moments of illumination, strung together powerfully with good things such as trust, perseverance, faith, hope … 

In fact, we’ll use that metaphor as a thread for this series, as we trace our path towards Christmas. And I’m so pleased we’re on our way!

But to return to the light – to joy itself – for starters. Anne Robertson, a Methodist pastor, disentangles joy from happiness very helpfully. Happiness comes from the Greek makarios, she says, which is akin to the freedom from material worries enjoyed by the rich; but it comes and goes, along with our circumstances. Joy, however, is from chairo – which the ancients saw as “the culmination of being” and “the good mood of the soul”. Chairo finds its fulfilment in God, and – fascinatingly – its opposite is not sorrow, but fear.
“Do not fear.” It’s a refrain we hear throughout the Bible, and throughout the advent story, for good reason. And it’s one we’d do well to receive in our hearts, in Advent 2012.
The angel said to the shepherds in the fields, “Do not fear. I bring you news that will cause great joy.” (Luke 2.9) Our advent journey, then, takes us away from fear towards joy. And it starts right here, today, if we are willing to take our first step.
This year has been one of those giant leaps and this Advent has enabled me to take another step!
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Uncategorized




We’re gently taking this season back with a tiny movement in our small corner… #adventwithme

It’s been really encouraging and provocative to discover the ways that people have responded to the invitation to Advent With Me and the momentum that has gathered online, but more importantly in people’s routines and lives in the last six days.

For me I’m carrying this tension of overwhelmedness at work and the juggling of my time with this sincere desire and commitment to enjoy and cherish this season and discover and recover myself.  Less TV is good, already I am more tuned in to how things feel, taste, smell and sound and what nurture and challenge there has been looks a little bit like this…

I’ve been moved to tears on the bus more than once this last week by Caitlin Moran who writes about poverty with such a connectedness to people as well…

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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


Journey 9 Day 20: Community

thankyou today

My celebratory journey is now half way through and so I’m beginning to take stock of the year as well as continue to celebrate. (This week includes a treasure hunt, staff Christmas lunch, Theatre trip and other delights)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my journeys. Its been great to be doing them and to be positive and intentional but more than anything I have come to the conclusion that the best form of intentionality, which leads to honesty, accountability and meaning is to be intentional in community.

My small group, family, friendships, Work Colleagues, Rhythms, Breathe, Advent 20 and Thank You Today are some very significant communities which I want to say thank you for and celebrate. Thank you for the honesty, fun and learning that has come from being part of these amazing communities.

I am grateful also for the concept of community in terms of lives lived out that inspire and challenge and encourage and also great perspectives and insights.

The Brian McLaren talk at St Pauls last week was once such example

Being recommended a good read called The Tangible Kingdom after a great conversation was another

The excellent Nomad Podcast yet another

#thankyoutoday for community and friendship

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Passion, theology, Work


Journey 9 Day 16: Advent (urous)

Adventurous Banner by

Today sees the amazing looking event by Greenbelt called Adventurous, At the beginning of the Advent season I am so hungry for a sense of renewal and restoration of my soul, society,church, economy and for my relationships. Its not that its all bad, far from it in many senses. I have a huge deal to be thankful for as I continue on this journey of gratitude and celebration.

However I also know that since the onset of my ankle injury and in the months proceeding I have also been wrestling, things have been stirring, questions that keep emerging.

This wrestling but also this sense of hope was brought to a head this week when I went to hear Brian McLaren speak at St Pauls on the theme of ‘A New Kind of Christianity‘. It was a profound and brilliant talk and Q+A session around the 10 key themes/questions that he raises in his book of the same title. It was a sense of celebration as some major lightbulbs came on for me and it was great to genuinely explore some of these themes in this way and also with friends afterwards. The talk and the book are going to be things that I return to as they seem so significant in so many areas of life, faith, work and relationships and what it means to be human and what my faith means to me in its outworking.

Its not all been wrestling though, The celebrations post Thanksgiving have also continued with friends and family. Highlights for me have included the incredible Ben Howard gig at Brixton Academy, A Great Day of Feasting and celebration and reunion with friends and a great conference with lots of great conversations and new contacts called How is my Neighbour

I am also looking forward this week  to the season of Advent, following a journey with e-help and inspiration from Brian Draper and meeting in a small community to pray and reflect. This week will also see a visit to The West End and a Christmas Meal which should all be fantastic celebrations.

A good friend of mine challenged me a few months back on just how adventurous my life and faith were. I think the space of being able to take these journeys, embrace questions and embrace celebration are at least a start or a step in the right direction. I hope that this Advent and as this season of journeying in these themes nears its conclusion that I will look back and see 2012 as a year of great adventurousness!


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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


Journey 9 Day 8: Lament and Celebration

Having begun my Journey of celebration it feels that events of the past week have made it at times quite difficult to celebrate. The events in the Middle East and the outcome of the Women Bishop’s vote in the Church of England General Synod are but two examples.

Lament is a motif and way of being that is profoundly biblical. I have again been drawn to Walter Bruggemann’s Spirituality of the Psalms. And the Thread of Orientation, Disorientation and Reorientation.

I am thankful to say that in the midst of this Lament and difficulty I have been able to find a way to celebrate with legitimacy and integrity.

On Monday I was at LICC celebrating their 30th Anniversary. I am very thankful for the vision and work of LICC. They have played a significant role in my life, discipleship and growing faith. They have really highlighted the importance of whole life discipleship and the brilliant and releasing truth that all of life, all vocations, all moments are part of who we are and how we can live out our Christian faith.

Yesterday I was at HTB at the Fresh Expressions conference ‘ Following the Missionary Spirit‘. After the events of the Synod Vote it was so good and so encouraging to be able to look at this movement of the church and see its positive impact. Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke profoundly about the importance of the Church being challenged and renewed by the margins, the edges and the bold risk takers and prophets who are prepared to step out, ask questions, pioneer and think outside the box. He spoke brilliantly, honestly and with real clarity about the importance of reimagining church.

Bishop Graham Cray also gave this excellent talk on the reasons to be thankful and also to be hopeful going forward.

It was then great to move from this event to Thanksgiving last night and celebrate and be thankful with a great group of friends.

I am therefore celebrating that even in the midst of some real challenges and lament, there is a place, a needed place, for good and genuine celebration! May the Journey continue.



Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Change, Food, Generosity, Humility