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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Journey 7: Gratitude – Day 1

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F Kennedy

And so my latest journey begins. Gratitude. Its an attitude and state of being that I aspire to model and live in. I sometimes do it sucessfully, but in all honesty, I do it rarely. Despite being open, relaxed and in many ways content I am all to aware of my shortfalls. Comparing myself to others rather than being Grateful for who I am. Coveting more stuff and more full stop rather than being Grateful for what I already have, which when I put it into perspective is a lot!

Contentment and Gratitude are things that I don’t always seek or easily model and live out.

In some ways I am glad about this. Restlessness, discontent and striving for better can be good things. I certainly struggle with the idea of being content, complacent and comfortable. However sometimes those things are good, right and I do yearn for them! Gratitude as a way of being seems to significantly increase happiness and well being. There is something wonderful about appreciating people, family, a moment, circumstances and life.

I’m aware that Gratitude is not something that is possible or indeed right in all circumstances. The importance of honesty and recognising that there is a time for discontent, frustration and complaint is right and valid and important.

However there is also a valuable importance to grasping gratitude and living out of that attitude in the every day.

For me the gratitude that I have so often witnessed when Travelling to Kenya, India and Malawi to visit and work with Tearfund partners is very humbling and inspiring. It puts a lot into perspective when people who have relatively little can be so grateful, generous and hospitable with so little.

I want this journey to enable me to grow in contentment, thankfulness, gratitude and to say that what I have in my life is good and to be appreciated much more.

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Journey 7

 

Journey 6 Day 40 – Meet the Superhumans

I began this journey in a cast and using crutches, having ruptured my Achilles Tendon in Late June. I end it in an air boot, still some way off full recovery. My recovery is going well. My Achilles has ‘healed’ and is back to being rejoined. Physio and extensive work are now the key to my full restoration and being able to fully walk and function again with full use of my Achilles.

This journey also ends as the London 2012Paralympics is about to begin. The stories of many of the athletes are simply incredible, inspiring. The courage is impressive. I have loved the build up to the Paralympics courtesy of Jon Snow’s Paralympic show. The stories and the conversation have been great.

I’m looking forward to lots of myths being shattered during these games and more great stories of courage, triumph over adversity and and great sporting drama and excellence that raises the profile but also respect of these amazing athletes.

I feel inspired, humbled and thankful and am so glad to be going to several events during the games.

Roll on the opening ceremony, which in itself looks set to challenge and inspire, and let the contest begin!

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Courage, Journey 6

 

Journey 6 Day 39 – A New Name

There is something incredibly liberating and freeing in living out of and in the light of our true identity. There is also something very courageous about it. To discover it and then be bold enough to do it is really very hard, but if we can do it then we may be a significant step closer to being able to live life in all its fullness.

Yesterday I began reading ‘A New Name’ by Emma Scrivener. I have since found it almost impossible to put down. The book is so well written. Human, Harrowing and compelling. Its quite a story and quite a journey. The honesty in the book is hard reading at times but also makes it so compelling and profound. I am glad that Emma has the courage to do this.

If you want to read the story more briefly Emma has provided this summary on her brilliant website.

I have found the book helpful in all sorts of ways. Thank you Emma

Thank you to the many people who have demonstrated and modelled the importance of courage and being courageous.

I feel that I am still in my infancy when it comes to living courageously. I am very keen to grow in courage and definitely taking steps to courageously live more out of who I really am and my true identity. To have courage to Let me Yes be Yes and My No be No. This journey, this blog, developing honesty relationships and facing up to and into conflicts and challenges are all helping. What is also helpful is discovering more and more about true identity and the writings of Henri Nouwen, John Eldridge and Maggi Dawn have further helped and inspired me. As have family, friends and colleagues. Thank You.

The journey is almost at its end. I move onto ‘Gratitude’next. I’m far from having perfected that art either, but it is something that I do reasonably well. My natural positive, encouraging and contented nature helps. But looking forward to being able to live out gratitude more fully.

 

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Journey 6

 

Journey 6 Day 37 – Courage and Compassion – What a Combination

Courage and Compassion together are a truly wonderful and very powerful combination. I want to acknowledge the courage and compassion of a handful of great organisations that I have been finding out about this week. Organisations and mini movements that are providing hope. People who had courage and compassion to start something and make a positive difference.
Its making me ask myself some questions. Where is my courage and compassion? What could I do to be demonstrating a greater degree of courage and compassion?
Massive respect and appreciation go out to these amazing initiatives. The Church is alive and at its best in these sorts of ways. Its inspiring, will it inspire courage and compassion and creativity in me?
Refugee Support Network
Reachin Higher
Camborne Parish Church – Cornwall (DISC)
Wadebridge Community Church – N Cornwall
The Sanctuary, Newport, Wales
NetworkFour, Birmingham
Memorial Community Church, East London
Hope into Action – Peterborough
Love Streatham – S London
 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Courage, Journey 6

 

Journey 6 Day 33 – New Beginnings

Today I began a new role at work. It started in style in the wonder that is Richmond Park. A truly stunning and amazing park and a place to think big, dream dreams and literally touch and see an incredible expression of the beauty and creativity of God and the beauty and creativity of his Kingdom. I loved that my new job could begin in this way and thanks to my new team leader for the idea and the innovation.

I massively respect and give thanks to all that has gone before, Its brilliant and has made me the person that I am today. I am also excited and inspired by what is ahead and what possibilities and opportunities lay ahead in this next chapter or stage of my life.

I feel that the week leading up today has also been significant. I’ve had a great week in Norfolk and space to play, rest, be, relax, think and take time away from any form of work. It has been brilliant. Alongside this I have been reading John Eldridge’s rather fabulous book called ‘Waking the Dead. The Glory of a heart fully alive’. Its been timely to rediscover the importance of coming fully alive. Fully alive at work, in relationships, with family and friends and every aspect of life. To be truly at peace with self, thankful, grateful, inspired and rooted in my true sense of self and identity. To be fully human and flourishing.

In the book I came across this rather brilliant and challenging quote from Nelson Mandela.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Create in me a new heart O God and renew a right spirit in me (Psalm 51)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Courage, Journey 6

 

Journey 6 Day 28 – Where I am honest and courageous

Will the real Matt Currey please stand up!!

If you were to read my blog or meet me in person I think you would find me quite a positive person. I am by nature an enthusiast and an encourager. I love that quality and I love that quality in others. Its winning, its drawing, it makes we want to be with people like that and reflect that more and more in my life. The Olympics have been a prime example and I am glad that I was able to embrace the games with so much enthusiasm, energy and positivity in a way that our nation and indeed the world seemed to. It was fantastic.

A good friend pointed out to me that my use of the word ‘brilliant’ was one of the most regular features about my blog. I am proud of that! I want to be positive, to be an encourager, to champion things where they need championing.

However in being honest and courageous, I am going to have to admit that I don’t always feel and think so positively as I can sometimes come across. I am certainly not advocating that I want to or feel inclined towards cynicism. That would feel like I was just killing off my natural and inbuilt ability to be positive and encouraging and seek to see the good in people, situations and life in all its fullness.

However what I am advocating and seeking to embrace is a realism and the courage that enables me to face honestly into challenges, issues, difficult relationships and seasons and moments of great pain. I am looking for the courage to be more genuine, empathetic, open and to embrace things in a way that is authentic. I’m aware that there have been times and seasons in my life where I have sought to do this or journey in this and times where I have backed away out of fear.

So Yes I want to be able to stay positive and an encourager when I can and when its authentic.

But I want to grow in the art and skill of being honest and real in my struggles, in difficult relationships, when questions arise that don’t have easy answers, with my family, friends and colleagues. In times of great laughter, energy and creativity but also in times of sadness, frustration and struggle.

I honestly feel that I have hidden away in me and towards others the ability to challenge, speak truth in love and speak critically. I am grateful to the many people who are my friends, family and colleagues who love me for who I am and for what I bring to things. But I want them to know that I have this side to me that is crying out to be more real, more edgy, more authentic, less fearful and less positive when I am not always able to encourage.

I want to encourage, cheer, champion and be positive. But I also want and need to get angry, ask questions, have doubts, weep and speak more truthfully. It will enable the real Matt Currey to come out and stand up and be counted.

The Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jesus weeping and getting angry, what people have modelled to me and many others things scream out to me for the need to be real and honest.

I’m hungry for reality. I’m hungry to encourage, to accept and to welcome. But also hungry for being more real.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Courage, Journey 6, Passion

 

Journey 6 Day 23 – Courage Is……

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” Ambrose Redmoon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXrWRM0E6YA

I am very thankful to the wonderful Jenny Flannagan for writing such a great blog on courage. She is currently performing at the Edinburgh Festival with the brilliant Ruby Dolls. Her blog is brilliant and speaks so much of the art, need and importance of courage. The stories and the singing in the blog speak of great courage. Just Brilliant.

The Olympics continue to dazzle, wow and amaze me! So many great stories of courage. I was especially impressed by the amazing story of courage the BBC highlighted from 1968 just minutes before the Bolt/Blake show! Its stories like these that highlight the transcendent and epic wonder that is the Olympics!

Having ruptured my achilles tendon in June I was also so impressed by the courage and absolute determination of Alastair Brownlee. He injured his Achilles tendon earlier this year but still took Gold this week in the Men’s Triathlon. Stunning! There are so many great stories of Olympic courage.

And of course there is the amazing story of Manteo Mitchell who broke his leg during the 4x400m relay and continued to run to enable the team to qualify!

For me its also about making courageous decisions every day, small little steps, that enable greater achievement, healing and impact through little acts of courage. Tough Love and speaking the truth in Love, but also listening to it and receiving it are not easy things. However it seems they are important and necessary to enable us to overcome fear and live more fully in a place of freedom and of who we are and want to be rather than what is expected of us!

Help me to live with more courage, or at least with more of a desire to be bold, even in the midst of fear, doubt and anxiety!

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Courage, Journey 6