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).

27 May 2012

To filter or not to filter

Porn is everywhere. At least that is what we are told. Even though much of our media has been influenced by porn I think that the reality is closer to the fact that it is much easier to access than ever before.

The internet has brought that world right into our homes, our offices and our Pastor’s offices. No longer do you need to go to the seedy end of town, late at night, to get your fix.

But this isn’t new.  

We’ve known that this is how it works for a long time.

It’s only now that internet providers have been sitting up and taking notice, trying to decide how best to protect our children from porn online.

The debate recently has focused on how ISP’s (companies like Sky, BT Broadband, Talk Talk etc.) are going to deal with it. Companies such as Talk Talk have introduced network filtering where porn would not even make it into the home.

But there are still questions that need to be answered.

Who decides which sites are blocked? Will it be full proof i.e. will non porn sites be blocked too?

Will they work on everything? What about file sharing networks, facebook, twitter, message boards?

Will we be forced to turn on filters?

Isn’t that dangerous?

Coming from a position where I work to see people free from porn, where I am passionate about men and women reclaiming their lives, where I want our children to be protected, I think filters are so important.

However, I don’t agree with censorship. If you want to look at porn you should be free to. As a Christian some may view this as a strange stance. As someone who has struggled with porn it may seem even stranger. But God isn’t interested simply in us not sinning. He is interested in us entering a loving relationship with Him where we are transformed into people who love others and who find something greater than porn to live for.

If you want to quit looking at porn you need a filter. You need to tell someone. To be open and honest with someone you can trust and will guide you.

But you need more. You need to work through issues that maybe led you to porn in the first place. You need God’s help. You need other people to help.

If you want your kids protected from porn you need a filter. You need to watch what they are watching.

But you need more. You need to show them how men should view women. To protect them. You need to not be looking at porn yourself. Sounds obvious but…

If people want to look at porn they will find a way. Millions of people found a way before the internet and they would still if the internet vanished.

At the end of the day if you really want to look at porn you will. But the questions Churches should be asking are “Do we talk about this enough?” “Do we create a safe environment for Christians to get help?” “Do our leaders have a problem with porn?”
And just as important..

“Are we letting the internet babysit our kids?”

23 May 2012

Follow the leader

We spend a lot of time reading book on how to become a better leader. Or spending money on conferences for leaders. But there is a question that I think is so important in answering this but is often neglected.

Who leads the leaders?

What does the leader do when they need help? When they are struggling personally? When they get burnt out?

I asked this question once in a group discussion about leadership and I received blank stares. It never occurred to the group that perhaps leaders can be vulnerable too.

Sure we needs leaders who are strong. Who make tough decisions. Who swim the opposite direction sometimes. Who the people can trust and feel secure under.

But sooner or later it will catch up on them.

Then what?

We're told leaders need to be strong and perfect. That she needs to have it all under control. But a good leader is not one who doesn't see when they are struggling; a good leader is one who is vulnerable too and knows it. Then gets help. Talks to someone. Takes time out of their schedule to focus on themselves for once.

Because you can't tell people it's OK to need help if you don't accept it yourself.

You can't tell people community is important if you don't have a community of your own to go to.

What do Rob Bell and Don Miller have in common?

They are both considered by many to be Christian leaders in their field today.

They also both understood that they needed counselling and they didn't have it all together.

If you're a leader you don't need to be perfect.

But you do need to know that you're not.

11 May 2012

Killing boredom

Reading an article on boredom is actually very interesting.

Boredom is the new interesting.

Which is why this article at Relevant got me thinking.

What was life like before smart phones, heck even before dial up connections to the internet? When to make plans with friends you would call them and if they didn’t turn up you were screwed. When I knew 3-4 of my best friend’s home phone numbers from memory.

Have I changed? Do I think differently? I don’t ever have to be bored. But in reality I am.

I’ve been finding the internet increasingly boring. Facebook bores me. Even twitter has lost some of its appeal. Sure I need these things sometimes. They are useful tools to communicate and spread ideas and learn and be conscious of the world around me.
But what happens when those things actually become inverted and rather they become about me rather than others? Do I really learn anything then? Am I really concerned about how the world works?

Frankly, I don’t think I do. I become numb to information because I always have it. I become numb to my friends because I only interact with them through social media. I miss talking. I miss thinking. I only want people to know about me. Even the causes I genuinely care about and feel passionately about are just a vehicle to spread the idea of “me”.

If I have spare time, instead of doing something productive I sit on facebook or twitter. I visit the same 2 or 3 websites over and over. Clicking the curved arrow on the top of my window every few minutes. Watching nothing happen. I spend time on the internet searching how to be more creative, when all I am doing is stifling it with too much noise.

I’m not giving up facebook or twitter. As I said, I need them. Culture has changed and like it or not a lot of the world interacts online. Most of you have probably stumbled on this article because I tweeted it or posted on facebook.

But..they are not everything. So I have now included them on my x3watchpro (download here) blocked sites. When I am alone I will not be able to view them.

Hopefully this will mean I will write more. Or get out more. Or run more. Or just think more. As a Christian be around God more. Figure out who I am more. Listen more.

Or even just be bored. Because boredom can be interesting.

Or are we just not interested enough to try it?

(And if you find this blog boring..good! Because this is the kind of drivel the internet produces sometimes. What if we are the drivel? What if we need to really connect and get offline to get away from it?)


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