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Category Archives: Work

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 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 2 Day 39 – Journeys End Pt 1

And so my journey of simplicity is now almost at its end. Its been a challenging, humbling, eye opening, helpful experience overall and I am thankful for what I have learn’t and experienced. I’ve been made very aware of just how much I love good food, how much of a ‘consumer’ I normally am in terms of food and other things. I will be reflecting more on the simplicity journey in my final post of this journey tomorrow.

At the beginning of this journey I set out my simplicity charter to give me a very practical outworking of the Journey. Food, Time and Money. 3 key areas in seeking to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, a whole life as a disciple of Christ. So how have I done?

Food: Overall pretty well. I’ve certainly been aware of just how much good food I have had to turn down and abstain from. I’ve also been aware that its not in my nature to take small portions and eat meals days on end without meat. I am glad for the opportunity quite soon after the rice and beans challenge to eat more simply and save money and also weight gain!! I count it as an achievement turning down so many of Hazel’s cakes, lots of nice stuff when on holiday and also some fine cakes and snacks after church on several occasions.

Time: I’ve found this the hardest. I think in all honesty the word is ‘epic fail’. There have been some moments of great balance, being present in the moment, having fun, resting, rediscovering the joy and need of comedy, which have been brilliant. But I have overall failed to stop cramming to much in and also wasting a lot of time.

Money: I have abstained from purchasing my usual favourites on many occasions. However In have not always succeeded and so with moments here and there, coffees bought and even occasional lunches etc, my ‘glitch tax’ stands at £28.50.

Overall its been a rewarding experience but overall if I am honest I am not sure how deep rooted these changes will be. I am so aware of how easy it will be to slip back into my more usual way of life and living. As Consumer Detox has taught me, consumption is inescapable, and in many ways is a natural and vital part of life. Good Consumption is vital to bringing hope, justice and transformation in numerous ways.

However Consumer Detox and this journey are also teaching me that consumption must be thought through, challenged, questioned and reflected upon more. Contentment, being more thankful and stopping are all vital and possible and can be more deeply ingrained into our lives and lifestyles.

I am also aware that the key to a lot of this is grace, patience and building in good rhythms which make contentment and simplicity seem more natural and a joy rather than a challenge that could turn nastily legalistic! Thanks Mark Powley for this traffic light guide and these thoughts on Rhythms of life to create a more meaningful and sustainable simplicity.

Some friends at Tearfund are also about to embark upon a major new project called Rhythms. Rhythms is a brand new website and app that will help you follow Jesus. It’s all about taking actions to change the way you live so that together we can change the world.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Food, Journey 2, lent, Money, Play, Work

 

Journey 2 Day 33 – Stop

A Story of great inspiration

Today I had a truly amazing morning. I stopped to listen to a whole bunch of stories of transformation. One of which is in the video above. I stopped to think about the question of character. Who is it that we are becoming? And how in the whole of life, work included, this is vital to operate with integrity. Who we are, how we operate and where we find and outwork our identity is important. It was great to stop and hear about so many stories and signposts of hope. We then did this in the Context of Philippians Chapter 2. What a great passage of scripture to reflect on in the context of character, working together and laying aside agenda’s.

The third sermon in the Less Stuff More Life Series is also on the theme of Stop. Its a must listen unpacking the importance of Sabbath and its potentially positive implications for our lives.

There is also a great song (not by the spice girls or Erasure I might add) called Stop.

The problem and challenge I have is that stopping is often quite hard! When I do it I realise how important it is, how refreshing it is and how it puts so much into proper perspective. Action is often my more natural orientation and default response. There is a time for action. But oh how there is a time to stop and reorientate heart, mind and priorities.  I need to do this more.

Thank you God for opportunities, people, readings and stories that encourage me to stop and gain a true perspective of your world and your goodness.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Journey 2, theology, Work

 

Journey 2 – Simplicity – Day 1

Your Journey toward a richer, simpler, more generous life. Consumerism is everywhere. It shapes the way we eat, shop, rest, think, love and believe. We can’t escape it, but how can we live well in the midst of it?

This is the opening line and question to introduce the book Consumer Detox by Mark Powley, Founder of the Breathe Network. Its a question I intend to explore and wrestle with in my 2nd Journey of this year into simplicity and a simple lifestyle. If I am honest I am both inspired and daunted by the prospect.

I’m so aware that my life is full, but is it fulfilling? There is a desire for simplicity and clarity, and yet life is also complex and messy. That’s what is brilliant about Consumer Detox. The Honesty, The Humour, The sense of being able to fess up and say…. ‘I am a Consumer’. Its not a quick fix guide, with 50 top tips for how to live a more simple and fulfilled life, but a chance to honestly explore how living in the reality of the complex consumer driven 21st Century world need not be one journey just dominated by Promotion, Product, Price and Place!

This book is not about guilt.  It’s about life. It is a gift to be able to stand up and say with Powley, “I am a recovering consumer.”  Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President

I’m going to be returning to Consumer Detox and also Tearfund’s Carbon Fast (Where I will have to give up using the car except for any emergency or absolutely essential Journey’s so bike and public transport here I come!) for Lent (22nd Feb – 7th April) to help me along the way in this journey and also the next (Humility). There is a 7 week Lent Course on Consumer Detox and also a Blog that will run alongside the course, as well as weekly talks, It looks like being a very helpful and challenging experience.

As well as these two brilliant and helpful things I’ve decided to create a ‘Simplicity Charter‘ to enable me to live at least a little more simply on this journey. It proves to be a challenge and an adventure. Just as the rice and beans challenge highlighted just how little I really understood about what it really feels to be hungry, I sense that this journey will challenge me about just how little I understand about simplicity, contentment and being satisfied with enough. I’m taken back again to the simplicity, generosity and energy that I experienced in all of my travels with Tearfund to date and the amazing lessons I learnt and need to go on learning in the art of contentment and simplicity.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Food, Journey 2, Play, Work

 

Journey 1 Day 26 – Inspiration and Possibility

Its been one of those days….. no, not the kind that can leave one feeling down in the dumps and questioning your value and existence, but one that has reignited joy, hope, possibility, the chance to dream and to be freshly inspired.

It started with Anne Atkins thought for the day on being a committed, loving, don’t hold back amateur and also some brilliant early morning conversations at work over Coffee. Which included a very interesting tip about an ancient book called The Gift.

People, projects, possibilities have also all contributed to making this a day to be thankful for.

London School of Theology has also really inspired me today. First and foremost through their brilliant and updated magazine called Insight. The latest edition is full of some great articles and it been brilliantly (re)designed. They have also inspired me with their approach and flexibility with course modules and seeking to draw a wide range of people into being part of a community to share life and faith together in dynamic and creative ways.

Then tonight I’ve been inspired my preparations for speaking on Psalm 34 and also challenged by this rather stop you in your tracks film about destiny and living a truly fulfilled life. I’m not sure I agree/resonate with all of the language and perhaps even approach of all of it, but its pretty inspiring and humbling stuff. I love the stuff about The Well and also the sheer diversity of approaches taken to bring hope where there is hopelessness.

Inspiration and Possibility…. words…… but also creating the possibility of life being lived in all its fullness. Psalm 34 talks about being ‘delivered from fear’ (v4), that we can taste and see that the Lord is good (v8) and that whatever our ‘cry’ (v15) God is attentive to it and can redeem and restore us to a newness and fullness of life. Life is never going to be easy, always fun and always good. However, even in the midst of pain and anguish there is hope and reason for enabling us to trust in the goodness and love of God.

Inspiration and Possibility. I’m in for the ride! I’ve only got 2 weeks of this Journey left and so far I’ve not created that much in the sense of songs, poems and outworked receipes…. But I have created space to think, explore, reflect and it takes me back to one of my original posts and comments that Creativity can and must be reimagined and cannot be boxed into just producing things but also its to be seen in a much wider sense!

 

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Change, Journey 1, Work