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Category Archives: Courage

Journey 8 Day 40: Hosting and Growth

For me this article on hosting and being hosted well in the context not of ‘the home’ (although similar principles could apply and no doubt reap great results) but of ‘the workplace’ has been my stand out and most helpful and profound insight on this journey of hospitality. I’m seeing it and experiencing it more in my life and workplace and it is bringing huge hope, inspiration and opportunity. I am thankful for my ‘hosts’ and hope also that I am beginning to do a bit more of this type of hosting myself? If not then I certainly desire to learn more about how I might be able to. Some of it is stepping out in courage and with freedom (losing the fear) and some of it is being yourself and just going with it!

Linked to this for me is the concept of Being Loving, Being Interested not interesting and The idea of the happy manifesto .  All things that have inspired the idea of hospitality in a much wider and much more helpful context than I have previously imagined. Things that make me want to journey in this direction more and more and enable the idea of hospitality, growth and opportunity to be more prevalent and possible in my life.

That said, the more traditional aspects of both giving and receiving hospitality have also remained special. Being able to bake for others, Being able to have people into our home, being able to be hosted by others and gather together as a group of friends and extended family have all been so great.

Hospitality – The giving and receiving of it, is a special, profound and deeply human, spiritual experience and one to greatly cherish.

I heard this interview yesterday which inspired me and highlighted the importance of giving to others and being in relationship with others. I then had a day of wonderful meetings, connections, conversations and experiences. Truly wonderful.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Courage, Generosity, Journey 8, Passion, Play, theology, Work

 

Journey 8 Day 34: Follow Friday

Twitter users will know that on Friday’s there is a thing called ‘Follow Friday’ known as #FF

This Friday in the spirit of hospitality I wanted to share some sites/links/good stuff that I have been finding helpful as I have been taking these journeys and just doing life in general as a disciple and human being.

I do this in humility, knowing that others have loads more to offer and share but also in a spirit of community and sharing and recognising we are better and stronger together when we resource and encourage, challenge and inspire each other.

Talks:

Greenbelt Talks (Loads of great talks, lots of free ones as well from previous years)

Rob Bell: The Two Kinds of New (Just a great talk and so helpful in so many ways)

Pete Rollins: Being Human (From Mars Hill Bible Church, October 2012)

Tom Wright: Forgotten Message of the Gospels

Podcasts:

Nomad Podcast (Great range of interviews exploring community and new forms of church)

Websites:

Breathe Network A Christian network for simpler living.

The School of Life The School of Life is a new enterprise offering good ideas for everyday life.

Rhythms Great ‘Village’ website with articles and amazing interactive space for action!

Blogs: (Where do you begin! So many, so here are just a few)

Jonny Baker Another World is Possible

A New Name Emma Scrivener

A Servant’s Life Frank Ritchie

The Good Stuff Jenny Flannagan

David Westlake What on earth is God doing and how do I join in

Rachel Held Evans asking big questions about faith, doubt, culture, gender and the Church.

 

Journey 8 Day 8: Hospitality, An uncomfortable truth? An Opportunity!!

A year ago St Paul’s Cathedral welcomed/allowed/accepted a group of protestors known as Occupy to reside on its front steps/area after it failed to access its target of the London Stock Exchange. What followed was an incredible drama, but also arguably a wasted opportunity for the church or an exposing of the complexities of the church (at least some of it) being seen as an institution with links to aspects of the establishment and ruling (financial) elite.

The truth is almost certainly more complex than this and its not as if the church is really idle on this. So many churches and Christian groups are actively bringing hope and healing to very broken lives and situations and with real compassion and integrity.

These 3 excellent, provocative and challenging (all in that order in my opinion) go to highlight the challenges and questions that this whole story raise not only for the church but also for society.

What kind of people, church and society are we and what do we want to be, what can we be?

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2012/12-october/features/features/still-preoccupied-by-occupy

The next steps in this ongoing drama will be interesting. But they also need to be restorative and hopeful. I think that much of what the church does to genuinely tackle poverty, injustice and to bring benefit to society is often lost or not heard or held with a degree of suspicion. That to me is sad as I do not think it to be the case.
The church at large is at work in so many ways to tackle injustice and poverty and bring genuine hope to the millions of people that are impacted by the reality of brokenness in Britain. The Church is bringing hope and is on a journey of rediscovering and recovering its servant, prophetic, engaged and compassionate edge and character. It is alive and is not the stereotype its is made out to be so often.
These films and many other examples show and speak of a church that is alive and is willing and able to bring hope and healing.
 

Journey 8: Hospitality Day 2

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9)

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)

And so my penultimate journey of 2012 begins! Its one that I have been equally dreading as well as looking forward to if I am honest. Its summed up well in the two quotes from the bible above. In one sense I love hospitality and rarely do I grumble at the prospect! I love being around people and using space, a home and an opportunity to show hospitality. I think some of that is rooted in deeply cherishing time with people and growing up in a home where hospitality was regularly exercised!

The party we held over the weekend for my Son, Having people round for a meal after church, hosting friends and family and many more things beside. Great memories and great experiences. Just brilliant.

However its the other verse, The Hebrews one, that makes this whole hospitality thing harder and why I was, if honest, also dreading an aspect of this journey. Showing hospitality to ‘strangers’ to people not ‘like’ me, not family, friends or people who I might more naturally connect with. That’s true, deep, rich, real hospitality. But a hospitality that is so much harder to exercise and live out. But one that is clearly an imperative and an outworking of true compassion. Taking hospitality and generosity to a deeper level. That is a hospitality that calls for true sacrifice and love in action.

The biblical case for hospitality is clear and extensive. What is also clear is that whilst we can exercise hospitality to those we know we must also clearly do this with the stranger, with those who we do not so easily resonate with. We must be able to show the grace and willingness of The Good Samaritan or The Loving Father who welcomes back without hesitation the prodigal. To invite the outcasts and the forgotten, the downtrodden to the feast.

The have’s must share what they have with the have not’s. This was brought home afresh to me in these biblical stories as well as in Masters of Money: Marx and today’s excellent thought for the day.

But as I know. Actions speak louder than words. Will my words lead into action?

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Courage, Generosity, Journey 8

 

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 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