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).

12 Jan 2011

Right on our doorstep

So yesterday was January 11th which was the birthday of Mary J Blige and Rod Taylor (the actor from 'The Birds')

But more significantly than that (sorry guys) it was National Human Tafficking Awareness Day.

Human Trafficking has been the subject of quite a few discussion between Brittany and I recently, mostly because Brittany is writing her dissertation on the subject.

If you are anything like me you probably thought you were 'aware' of human trafficking. But I wasn't really.

I thought it was something that happened in Asia or somewhere like that but the truth is it is a problem on every continent in the world.

It's a problem in Northern Ireland! Yeah. Human trafficking right in our own country.

Right now someone is being trafficked in Ireland. Take a second to let that hit you.

I don't know about you but I think that is beyond shocking.

If human poverty was the big 'buzz' problem we were trying to eradicate in the world in the noughties, then human trafficking could well be the same for the 2010's.

Take a moment and read these crazy statistics and bear in mind that some other reports would have these figures a lot higher.

Maybe. Maybe but really not...maybe we could be forgiven for not doing anything if it was happening in a whole other part of the world. But it's not. It's happening here so we don't just have a responsibility to do something but we are required to.

Just because we are human beings.

As are the millions of woman and men and children that are being tafficked every day.

Let's make 2011 the year we start to make a dent in the human trafficking industry.

9 Jan 2011

Constipation of the Mind

You are reading this blog right now but to be honest you shouldn't be.

The words you are taking in were not meant to exist. The reason being that when I set out to write this blog I had something completely different to write about. Something that I hope will eventually come out but I am struggling to write now. It's my mind constipation.

The thing with writing or blogging is that it takes discipline. It requires making sure that for about an hour or so, three, four, five, gosh maybe seven days a week you sit down and right.

It takes commitment. It takes patience and most of all it just takes action. You only write because you sit down and write. You don't write because you have got all your jobs for the day out of the way. You don't write because you have a certain feng shui in your life that day. You don't write because you have lots of ideas running around in your head for good pieces. What is going on around you doesn't really matter.

You write because you sit down and write.

The same goes for studying for an exam, or for starting a business or for starting a non profit.

You do it because you do it.

There will be resistance, there will be voices telling you, you aren't able to do it (inner voices and not so inner). There will be other things you could do and there will be facebook.

But if you start to do whatever it is you are struggling to get into right now, I promise you will see something amazing happen. You will get into a swing. You will find ideas that you didn't know were possible come alive. You will surprise yourself of what you are capable of doing. You will learn. You will grow. You will go at it like a bullet, you will struggle to keep going....but if you do. You will succeed.

And the best thing is that if you are banging your head against a wall and can't seem to begin that project, job application, book, painting, ministry, then chances are you meant to be doing it.

So take comfort in that and remember beginning is the hardest part.

Now if you excuse me I have a blog to write...

8 Jan 2011

New Year's Resolutions one week in/ Remembering how funny Flight of the Conchords is

It has been just over three years since I began this blog.

A lot has changed. In one of my first blogs before a video of Flight of the Conchords I wrote this
"Thanks to my friend Brittany for introducing me to these funny New Zealanders"

My friend Brittany is now also my wife.

Which is amazing and a lot to change in your life.

Even though a lot has changed, a lot hasn't. I'm still working in the same job that I was three years ago, even though I have been wanting a change for a while. I still struggle to write even though I want to be a writer and in fact my blog posts was down in 2010 from 2009. I still struggle with my own self worth, with God, with love, with life.

This is a late New Year's post but I am excited about the year coming up.

Brittany and I have become part of a new Church Plant recently. Brittany is going to be finishing up with Uni and there is some really exciting potential xxxchurch stuff coming our way this year. I am still blogging for xxxchurch.com. I still have family and friends. I still have God.

So I have a lot to feel positive about even though a lot of the time I get bogged down by my own mistakes and doubts.

Many of you will have made New Year Resolutions this last week and a lot of you will have fallen behind on them already.

I just wanted to encourage you because a lot of people write about how to start New Year's Resolutions and how rosy everything will be, but not many write the "one week in and already I haven't been to the gym for three days failure" post.

This year may be the best of your life or the worst in your life.

But know that today doesn't have to define you. So what if you didn't go to the gym. Or you have stalled on Genesis 2 when you should be on Genesis 8, in your Bible Reading Plan.

Maybe in the past few years your life hasn't progressed like you would have wanted but tomorrow is a new day and God still loves you.

Time to live in that and move forward.

And on that note here is a video which my wife Brittany showed me when we were just friends.

1 Jan 2011

A New Year's Humbug

I'm not the biggest New Year's fan in the world.

In fact it's safe to say I do a great Scrooge impression. It's just a week late.

The last few New Year's I've just enjoyed being at home with some close friends and family and bringing the New Year in that way.

But my problem with New Year's Eve isn't anyone else. My main problem with New Year's Eve is myself.

With New Year comes the inevitable New Year's Resolutions. And with them comes the inevitable failure and let down. Most of the time if I make a resolution I end up making exactly the same resolution next year. So sure I maybe vow to run more and yeah perhaps for a week or two I do. But then I stop and I quickly fall away with my promises to myself. Or maybe I am determined to write more and for a few days I am writing blog after blog. But eventually sooner or later I get lazy and I end up rather sitting on my butt doing nothing, than write.

Now it's not that New Year's resolutions are bad. It's not even that they can't be done. But what is seeming more and clearly to me every year is that when it's left up to me, even my best intended plans will come to nothing.

Which is pretty depressing. Because when I focus on my own abilities I will just let myself down. And I will start to doubt that I am made for anything. Or I will start to beat up on myself because of my inability to follow through on the dreams I want to pursue. Or I will start to doubt my faith and God.

Which is all pretty selfish when you think about it.

Selfish because the focus is on me. Selfish because all my New Year's resolutions are set out to make me a better person. To make me feel superior or have worth.

As Christians we spend so much time trying to do rather than just being. We set out to read the Bible in a year but we get bored at Leviticus. Or we decide to pray more but when God doesn't seem to hear us we give up. Or even when we decide to do something for someone else we get frustrated when they don't change the way we want, to so we give up on them.

But thankfully for us God doesn't work like we do. He doesn't base his view of us on our New Year's Resolution success rate.

Which means we can be free to spend time in his presence and be, rather than doing what we think a good Christian should do.

This year when I think of the things I want to accomplish or the the things I want (or maybe just need) to change about myself I will try and remember that they aren't what make me who I am. It's the God who loves me no matter what that makes me who I am.

And when I eventually forget the optimism and hope I had, I can refocus on what I should have done in the first place.

It's a good thing to be better. There is nothing wrong with wanting to accomplish things this year.

The problem is when we try and do them for ourselves, by ourselves.

In 2011 and beyond, I don't want to make that mistake again.


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