What's Love Got to do with it?

What if we've missed the point? What if Love Wins is enough? And why Rob Bell may just be right.

Right On our doorstep

Think that slavery is a thing of the past? Think that the UK is too civilised to be part of trafficking? Think again

5 reasons why being married to Brit is great (or 5 reasons to marry an American)

5 things you will never know until you marry an American

Masturbation Month

Giving up masturbation for a month. Why we need to save the kittens.

XXXchurch! Whaaa?

Why I love porn (ministries).

30 Oct 2010

5 reasons why being married to Brit is great (or 5 reasons to marry an American)

Just over 3 months ago I got married to a wonderful woman.

This is her

A woman who makes me laugh and apparantly thinks I am funny. She cares about me and she puts my needs above hers. She puts up with my constant attempts to get her to watch the Simpsons which she has never seen. ( Finding someone who has never seen the Simpsons is the equivolent of discovering there are some dodos left i.e. not likely). She also lets me express that part of me that loves Take That. That is true love right there. Every now and again she will drop a bit of information about my beloved Spurs and it makes me smile so much. I think I am pretty lucky anyway.

She makes me happy. There are a thousand different ways Brittany makes me happy every day but I thought I would share my top 5 favourite things about being married to Brittany.

5. Being American Part One

Even though Americans sometimes have a bad reputation in Europe, we have to remember that America is so much bigger than Northern Ireland. So if even only 10% of Americans were awesome that is still more awesomness than we could handle. My point is Brittany is American and therefore is statistically more likely to be awesome than not.

And she is....Awesome that is.

4. Washing Dishes

I thought I knew how to wash dishes. Ha. I did not. I thought you do not need to rinse the soap off. You do. Now I can wash dishes with the best of them. As long as I am not dropping them that is.

3. Shoulder Dancing

There are two groups of people in the world. The lucky and those who have not seen Brit's shoulder dance. Make sure you are in the former. It has to be seen to be believed. Thankfully I am a believer.

2. Being American Part Two

Being American had to be split into two because this is my favourite thing about Brittany being American and deserves a category of its own. The food. Americans know how to do food. They have great restaurants and they have Thanksgiving. But without Brit I would never have known about the Corner Bakery brownies, Slurpees, Peanut BUTTER m and m's, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Fig Newtons and Chilis. I could list many more but I am just getting depressed how I can't have any of these things and my keyboard can't handle the drool. Christmas can't come early enough.

1. Love

All those things are great but this is the best. She loves me. She has a lot of reasons not to but she does. And that makes me love her all the more. She thinks what I need before what she does. She asks me how I am doing every day. She cares about every aspect of my being. She surprises me with 15's from college. She lets me listen to Take That in the car. She prays for me.

I am glad I am married to Brittany because she loves me unconditionally and makes me brownies. So if you go away with one thing from reading this let it be this....

Make sure you marry an American

27 Oct 2010

Sticks and Stones and the c word

Today I got called a rude word in work.

It's so rude I'm not even going to print it here. Let's just say if I was to say it I would probably be picking the negative comments off my blog for months. It's that bad. Definately not PG.

Now I don't really mind being called names. Sticks and stones and all that. Though now you mention it (or should that be now I mention it) what kind of sticks are so strong they are breaking people's bones. Anyway.

What made this particular name all the more bizaare is the reason I was called it.

So I'm innocently enough serving a customer when in walks a man, who without introducing himself (very rude) asks or rather yells at me, why we let people sit outside the shop and sell the Big Issue? I tell him that they are allowed to sell the Big Issue if they like.

But apparantly he doesn't agree with it. And when he asked me whether I agree with it, my reply of "I don't have a problem with it" really sent him cuckoo.

Which is what provoked him to use the nasty "c" word to describe me.

I have a feeling this may become a regular occurence, where he will come in and quickly put me on the spot to find my stance on a particular issue of the day. He'll jump out from behind the tills and shout "Euthenasia!" and I'll very quickly have to think of all the pros and cons. I can only imagine the fun we will have. Today "Should people be allowed to sell the Big Issue?", tomorrow, "Woman Priests". (wee Father Ted reference there for some of you)

I better start reading up.

I want to do better next time.

5 Oct 2010

Church Sex Scandals

First Ted Haggard was accused of having sex with a male prostitue, then the whole Roman Catholic Church abuse issue. Now, not to be undone, Bishop Eddie Long of New Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, USA has found himself in the middle of allegations of abuse from young males of having sex with them while they were under his leadership and care in his church.

It seems that every few months the Church is due another huge sex scandal and right on cue it has happened again. And I think that there are so many issues that will arise from the Eddie Long situation. From Everything that has happened to Ted Haggard and what is going on in the Catholic Church right now. How we deal (and how we have already dealt) with these scandals is important.

1/  Baby Steps

First off, all these allegations and cases of abuse begs the question, how do certain Church leaders get to this point? Well as Jon Acuff points out sin doesn't just come knocking one day. Especially sexual sin. We don't just start looking at porn. It is a culmination of lots of baby steps. If any of these allegations against Eddie Long turn out to be true, you can be sure it wasn't like he just woke up one day and decided to sleep with these young men. He would probably have been struggling with sexual issues for a while. Maybe even started looking at porn leading all the way up to sleeping someone. Sin comes to visit and before we know it is sleeping on our couch and wearing our clothes. Which leads to the next question..

2/ Why can't leaders feel they can talk about their sin?

If our Church leaders won't or don't feel they can talk about sexual temptation, what hope is there for the rest of us? Maybe the pressure of being seen as perfect and then admitting that we aren't is too much to bear. Why is the Church environment not conducive to talking about our sin? Because keeping our mouth closed is easier than dealing with the fall out. We have groups for AA and drug addictions but we don't want to talk about, whisper it, S.E.X.  Maybe pride tells us that we can beat temptation, that we can stop it before it goes to far. More often than not, we can't. We need help. The sooner as a Church we can start being free and open with our struggles to each other the better. The sooner leaders get this, the better. 

3/ Homosexuality isn't the isssue, hypocrisy is.

Sure there is an debate in the Church right now about how we view homosexuality, but is this the real issue? Or is the real issue that some of our Church leaders are condemning homosexuality on one hand, while on the other are engaging in the very acts they talk of being abonimable? How can the Church claim to lead the way in moral issues if we don't really believe what we say? I think the simple answer is we can't. Too often Christians are seen as high and mighty and as looking down at others. The reason? Because so often we act that way. We contradict ourselves and when we so publicly do, we are killing ourselves and each other.

4/ Hiding behind the sins of others.

Right now the easiest thing in the world for me to do right now would be to condemn people like Ted Haggard or Eddie Long. But the truth is if I did, I would simply be hiding my own sins behind theirs. We love to see huge, famous people fail. We love scandal because it makes our own sins seems pretty ok. They aren't. The truth is I'm not much different than them. The moment I start saying I am, I lose sight of Grace. Sure they have forgotten the whole removing the plank from your own eye, before removing the splinter from someone elses, by their actions. Not just because of their sexual sin, but by condemning others for theirs. But as soon as I start condeming them, I am doing the exact same thing. It doesn't matter if my sin isn't exposed so publicly to the world. It matters because it effects my world; it effects my relationships with the people I love and who love me. (This doesn't mean their sins should be looked over. They need help and love and grace and discipline as we all do. The whole point of removing our planks is so we can effectively help others with theirs, not that we can be perfect.)

These recent sex scandals should serve all of us to look at ourselves. How we put leaders on pedel stools. How we need to match up what we believe and what we do. (Let's not just think this is about sex, it's about what we do with our money, whether we gossip, whether we literally help the poor everyday, it's about being truly transformed by God's love so it permeates into everything we think and do).

Imagine the hurt that could have been saved if Ted Haggard had sought help before things got out of hand?

What do we do now?

We find places and people that we feel free to be honest with completely. We don't hide behind a facade any more.

That's not easy. Which is exactly why we need help.

Who will go first?


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