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).

19 Jun 2012

How good is God?

Sunday was Father's Day. The day when we gave thanks for our fathers. The men who bring us up and show us what's what, how to shave and how to look after money. All important things, but crucially not everything. Father's do other things. They let us know they love us. They make us feel safe. They take time to listen to us when we have a problem. They let us be free to mess up and still be there when we return knowing what we did. They try to stop us messing up and are still there when we return knowing what we did. They know what we need even when we don’t.

They are there.

Unfortunately though for many of us they aren’t. Perhaps they have left your family, maybe they have died, maybe they just don’t care.

If you are in this situation it may be pretty easy to understand why so many people find it difficult to relate to God as Father.

And when we find it difficult to relate to God as Father we then view God as being a distant parent.
A parent who doesn’t care, who is angry with us, who is unapproachable, who’s easily annoyed, who is happy with us only when we do well. Or at least don’t mess up.

That’s the kind of God many of us can relate to. Because that’s the view of God we have grown up with. The reasons for this are many. But the reality is when we view God like that we aren’t experiencing the God that the Bible tells us about. Part of the problem is that we don’t always associate Jesus with God. God is the elderly, slightly grumpy uncle where as Jesus is slightly hippy and loves everyone. So ultimately we have to do decide.

Is God good or not?

Is He all loving or does He lose his patience with us?

Is He forgiving or is He constantly judging us?

Because how we answer those questions will determine how we live. Are we hiding because we think God is out to catch us? Are we afraid because we think God has a list which he is checking twice, like some sort of cosmic Santa?

Or do we live in freedom and in complete love with God because we know that nothing can separate us from Him?

Are you able to approach Him because you know that He yearns for you constantly, every moment of every day. Awake and asleep.

The cynical amongst us reply ‘that’s great but if we live like that we’ll go crazy and do whatever we feel like doing’

The hopeful reply ‘then you don’t understand how much God loves you, you don’t see how far He is willing
to go for you and you don’t understand love’.

The irony is that real change arises out of knowing there is nothing you can do to be loved. Not out of fear or trepidation. It’s a gift that never runs out. It’s a gift that was given by God for us to enjoy not to use as a tool in theological debates or as a way of proving that we are right, but to be free to love one another.

So maybe we can solve the dilemma of whether we see God as a good father when we view the love He showed us while we were still sinners. Jesus spent so much time being with people, showing them how to care for each other, showing them that they were important to Him and caring about their lives, especially when they had made a mess up of them. The people that Jesus loved being with the most were the screw ups. The Zacchaeus's, the  prostitutes, the liars, the sick, the stuck up and the weak.

The us.

The love Jesus had, came from His father. The father that He felt he could approach even when He was dying on a cross. The love we often associate with Jesus and sometimes disavow from God is the same.
If we have been brought up in a family or environment where a father is absent we often blame ourselves. We don’t always know it but we do. And when we blame ourselves we feel shame and hide from our fathers. Only we don’t have one so we do the next best thing and hide from God.

But God doesn’t work like that. He doesn’t blame us and He doesn’t want us to hide. So perhaps our hiding from God is less to do with Him and more how we view Him.

Which is why we need to view Him like he really is.


There is no good cop, bad cop. There is only good cop, good cop.

Ultimately God is either good or He isn’t.

Ultimately He is foreign to us or He is close to us.

Ultimately He loves us unconditionally or He doesn’t.

And when we realize that He does, that’s not just the greatest Father’s Day gift.

It’s the greatest gift ever.

1 Jun 2012

Love is...not comparing yourself

Most of us might not like to admit it but we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other. We might not like to admit it because ultimately when we do compare ourselves we’re effectively revealing that we don’t like who we are.

If everyone does it then we’re all just wasting time trying to be each other and eventually none of us will be anyone. And that’s just stupid.

Why do we do it then? Why then in a culture like ours (and I’m specifically speaking of a Northern Irish Church culture) where we are told often enough that we are sinners and need saved, do we not embrace our faults? Our weaknesses. Our insecurities. Isn’t that what we are told Jesus came to save us from? Our weaknesses are a good thing then. Right?

Well if you are anything like me then you know that it’s not that simple. You can submerge yourself in a Christian culture still only deeply rooted in the idea we need saved and still have doubts about who you are, why you’re not as funny as her, why you don’t play as well as him, dress well enough, organize things as well. 

Pick whatever it is you enjoy doing, feel good about yourself because of or are inspired to live your life for and there will always be someone out there better or more talented. 
But if Jesus already sorted our sin and our faults, why do we still put so much effort into comparing ourselves?

Is it that we don’t really understand what Jesus did for us? Is it because we are simply human or is it because we are jerks?

Or all three?

The prevalent teaching of most Churches is that Jesus died for us because we are screw ups and that if you want to go to Heaven you need to be saved or else you will be going to Hell.

Our mission is biased towards this so we focus on winning souls. Our relationships are based on this so we spend most of our time with other Christians. Our teachings are focused on how we live well so we don’t backslide.

But what if we have skewed it a little?

What if we have narrowed the Gospel to simply about a one off event? 

To simply about our final destiny.

What happens in-between?

And how does it affect how we think about ourselves?

Is it possible that Jesus died for us not only because He wants us to feel His love forever but He wants us to experience it now?

Is it possible that Jesus has a plan that consists of more than sitting around, waiting for Him to come back and not screw up in the meantime?

When we look at the Gospel in this alternative way I think it allows us to take hold of our faults and say, even with these Jesus still loved me enough to free me. So even if with your porn addiction or your gossip compulsion or your fear of not being in control, Jesus still went ahead.

Those weren’t enough to put Him off.

But apparently for us they are.

In John 8 the Pharisees bring a woman to Jesus who has committed adultery. In fact she was right bang in the middle of it (Interesting also that the man is nowhere to be seen). They bring her to Jesus for Him to condemn her. It’s a set up. Hundreds of people are surrounding you yelling angrily, hatefully. Jesus has to join them right? But instead he writes words on the ground in the dirt. Nobody knows for certain what, but slowly the crowd peels away. The people have no answer. Soon it’s just the woman and Jesus. Jesus asks her who condemns her. Everyone is gone. Nobody condemns her. And then Jesus utters the words that change her world.

“Neither do I”.

Before that He invited those who had never messed up in their life to throw the first rock at the woman. Of course no one could accept that invite. And yet we feel the sharpness of rocks thrown at us all the time. It just so happens the one throwing the stones is ourselves.

Jesus’ focus is not on what she has to do for Him to love her. It’s not even a factor. His focus is not about her eternal destination. It’s not even mentioned. It’s about here and now.

To embrace His love simply because He is love.

That is his focus.

And it should be ours too.

But so often we forget we are loved, we panic and then look at others to see how we can improve.

Forgetting that because of Jesus, there is nothing to improve on.

Forgetting it’s a waste of time and effort.

And it won’t get us anywhere.

Even Heaven.

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?)

22 Apr 2012

Top 5 Fave 'Opening Song' Gig Moments

Everyone who has been to a gig has had this experience. The band you have been waiting to see forever com on stage and they play the opening bars of the first song and you simply wet yourself. That's happened to you right? No? Just me then. Well that's OK because it was worth the wet trousers to see some of my favourite bands. So without further ado here are 5 of my favourite all time 'opening song' gig experiences (in no particular order). Enjoy and then tell me yours. (Please keep your pant wetting stories to yourself.)

1. Manic Street Preachers- 'Australia' Ulster Hall, Belfast, August 31st 1998

I very nearly never made it to this gig since it was on a Sunday and Sunday gigs were a big no no. However enough pleading from myself and my friend Peter to our parents and we were allowed to join the rest of our friends at this. I will be forever grateful for that decision too since I am pretty sure we had already bought tickets anyway and to see my favourite band of the time, on the night they got their first number 1 single with 'If you tolerate this.. was just incredible'. Life changing.


2. Cliff Richard- 'No idea'- Kings Hall, Belfast, Sometime in the early 90's

So with this entry you can rest assured they I won't put any obscure cult bands that only a few people will have heard of, just to sound cool. Because Cliff Richard is not cool. I know right? Shocking. My parents assured me was. Regardless I did listen to quite a bit of old Cliffy growing up and this was my first actual gig and it was mind blowing. I can't remember what song he started with but the way that the image of him on stage changed into the real Cliff Richard blew me away. It was my first experience of a stage show and it got me hooked on live performances. Say what you like about Sir Cliff but he knew how to get the crowd going... Even if most them of were OAP's.

3. That That- 'The Opening'- RDS Arena, Dublin, June 28th 2006

Not so much an opening song as an opening video. Intercutting sound bites and footage from their breakup press conference with footage of the band being brought back to 'life', I was genuinely ready to cry. Am I embarrassed about that? Not at all. You weren't there ok? I was there before Robbie came back! You don't understand! (Runs off crying) Alright, so maybe the soldier in a war syndrome analogies are going a bit far but standing there waiting with thousands of other people when the biggest boy band ever to reform finally appeared on stage was pretty awesome. The next 3 hours were even better. The little girl at 1:07 pretty much sums up how I felt. Pop at it's best...And they are a man band now so it's ok to like them alright?! Haters... back off!

4. Radiohead- 'There There'- Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, May 21st 2003

When Radiohead's tour of 'intimate' shows were announced I knew I had to be in Edinburgh that night. I knew tickets would sell like warmed through cakes and I was going to be at a computer when they did. The day they were released I slept in. I didn't get tickets. Radiohead were clamping down on touts so even after I bought a ticket for 80 quid off ebay I couldn't take it. Imagine my sheer abounding joy when one day in the computer labs in Stirling Uni. I saw that more tickets were being released. I had been given a second chance and I was not going to mess it up. Radiohead were amazing and the opening song of 'There There was a great choice with it's drum intro and the dull, wet setting of Edinburgh was perfect for the night. Standing there watching Radiohead for the second time was all the more satisfying because of the trouble getting tickets...And I'd do it all again.

5. Pearl Jam- 'Sometimes'- The Point, Dublin, June 1st 2000

Some bands are worth missing school for. Pearl Jam are without a doubt one of them. Not least because of the way they change things around. While I was used to hearing bands start off with big, fast songs; Pearl Jam don't follow the established way of doing things and instead opted for the quiet and subdued 'Sometimes' off 'No Code'. This was brilliant not only because I didn't see it coming but also because it set up the second, faster, jumper friendly song 'Breakerfall' perfectly. Yes. Definately worth missing a double History for.

What are some of your favourite gig opening song experiences? 

Tune in for more top 5 gig lists where I reveal my top 5 'crying at a gig' experiences and 'trying to get served drink while underage' gig experiences. Some of which strangely overlap. Go figure.

15 Mar 2012

KONY 2012. Why laziness is the best critic.

Kony2012 has been blogged about, reported and analysed countless times since the video first aired last week.

There have been supporters and critics in probably equal measure. But there are a few things we can notice from the Kony 2012 campaign and it's commentaries that we should take notice of.

1/ It's easy to criticize. Making fun of something is easy if we don't do the proper research. In other words. Journalists can be lazy. We must not.

2/ Sometimes when we criticise an organisation or person, we actually find we have more in common than we think. So if those that accused IC of presenting false or at least misleading facts looked closer they would see that IC also encourage the practice of conducting proper research into a situation. Or in other words. Bloggers can be lazy.

3/ This blog won't tell you everything you need to know about KONY 2012. So why do we assume one video will tell us everything we need to know about Joseph Kony and the LRA. Of course it won't. But it should get you asking more questions. But sometimes we won't. In other words. We can all be lazy.

4/ It's OK for a non profit to spend money on media. If your plan is to make billions of people all around the world aware for the first time, of an atrocity being carried on children, somewhere in the world, then a cleverly marketed and inspiring video is money well spent.

5/ It's not enough for a non profit to just spend money on media. Which IC don't. But regardless, a movie won't change the world. But millions of young people calling, emailing and talking to their Government can. A community committed to educating themselves fully and then making sure that those that can do something about it hear them, can.

6/ We can get carried away. We can be moved by a video beyond the point of actually caring and just wanting to be involved in something 'cool'. Which is great. Until being involved becomes the complete opposite of what we are trying to be involved in. Because executing Kony is different from capturing him.

7/ It's easy to attack back against our detractors. But it's difficult to respond graciously to them and give them the answers they want. One is more noble and productive than the other. 

8/ Did you read the the criticism of the Kony 2012 campaign from Resolution:Possible, Resolve or the Enough Project? You didn't because there wasn't any. These organisations realise that they need each other and this is not about beating each other to the punch. Work with people. Share your expertise. Share your stories, inspiration. You don't know everything.

9/ Read, watch, learn, question, educate, dare, create, ACT

10/ Never give up. This could happen.


2 Mar 2012

I think I am in love

Ryan Gosling is pretty much the perfect man.

Women want to be with him and men...also want to be with him.

He breaks up fights in the street. He has a 6 pack. He believes women are awesome. He did Ballet as a kid. He has a 6 pack. His face. Even when he is a dick in movies he isn't. He cares about kids in Africa. He is in a really weird band that is incredible. He has the best dance moves. He makes George Clooney look ugly.

And yet you never get the feeling he is full of himself.

There is no deep message in this blog.

Just, if all men were a little more like Ryan Gosling maybe the world would be a better place.

Just a thought.

26 Feb 2012

Us V Them

There is right now, a myriad of organisations and charities that are taking steps and actions; sometime big loud, freedom cry,ear shattering actions to end injustice, to end suffering and to end misery.

This is great. There will probably never be a time when there is no injustice. This isn't meant to depress anyone, it's meant to move us. We are called to fight this. I don't think this is a Christian issue, it's a human issue. But if anyone should be at the forefront of tackling this, then surely Christians should be there looking it squarely in the eye.

Which there are. Water, porn, trafficking, poverty. We're looking around at the world and realising it's not enough to just sit back and wait until some unspecified day when we are all going to be whisked off to the sky somewhere. We are meant to act this morning in anticipation for this evening.

To get to a state of injustice requires some sort of mess up. Something that usually was caused by an act of one person on another. With trafficking, it is someone using power over another to control their movements. Where they can go, what they can eat, who has sex with them.

So our natural inclination is to help the trafficked. To free them. To work endlessly for their freedom. To take steps to ensure it never happens again to that person.

But if we achieve this and see that as job done I think we miss something.

We miss the one who carries out the injustice. The one who God saw fit to tell us we were to love. Our enemies.

There has been an amazing petition going around which is striving to ensure that all magazines and products that contain adult material like Zoo, FHM, Nuts etc. be covered up in newsagents, so children will have one less avenue of being exposed to it. Please sign up here to add your name to help out.

I also read a blog which called us to boycott those magazines. To even boycott magazines from the same company that published Zoo and Nuts. Which meant to boycott 'Horse and Hound', 'Anglers Mail' and 'The Field' along side of many other innocent magazines. (Maybe the writer also really dislikes the countryside). The writer even admitted this would cause people to lose their jobs and livelihoods, but he was at 'war'. 
Which raises the question.

War against who?

War against the writers of NME, Horse and 25 Beautiful Homes?

War against people who make porn? With everyone else as collaterel damage?

It's easy to see it as so simple. I wish it was. But it's not. Jesus called us to love our enemies. Is that easy? Of course not. But does that matter? Really?

Christians have a lot of enemies it seems today. Homosexuals, Muslims, Pornographers, Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell (ha)... We like to see it as an us V them situation. God is on our side, not theirs. Seeing it like this though just pushes people away from God's love. But really there is no divide. We are all 'them'. We are all 'us'.

Should we be fighting to put an end to the porn industry or should we be doing our best to show the porn industry that Jesus loves them too? To talk to them, to show that we don't hate them. I know what appeals more to me. In fact, I know what would appeal more if I was working in the adult industry?

Justice will never fully be complete until we look to seek freedom for both sides.

Sin will never stop having an impact until we learn to love those who sin against us.

And love will never fully win until we realise we all need it. 

...Check out what happened when The Godfather of Porn came to Church

16 Feb 2012

Why Jesus loves porn shows.

Travelling into the unknown takes guts. It takes someone who has an idea what they want to happen and also knows that it could go completely and disasterly wrong...but still goes ahead.

Which is how I am sure Craig Gross felt when 10 years ago, armed with only a bunny outfit and some t shirts he went into a porn show as a Pastor, to tell people working in the Adult Industry that Jesus loves them. Maybe little did he know but 10 years later xxxchurch.com would grow into being the one place where people could get help for porn addiction and where porn stars could feel loved and not judged.

Where the religious and 'sinner's' live on an even playing field.

That's church.

I love that. I love that you can have many people tell you what you are doing is wrong and will end in tears, but still know that you have to follow what God is asking you to do. Jesus never asked His disciples to do things that were the norm. Jesus never had dinner with the people that everyone else wanted to be around. He dined with prostitutes and He told the religious they were wrong.

He threw the rulebook out the window.

But when the rules are gone, all that is left is God.

I've been helped by xxxchurch more than most of you will ever know and I have been excited and honoured to have worked with them by writing blogs for the last few years. So when my friend Shaun and I both had the idea indepentley to bring xxxchurch to a porn show in the UK, God was obviously going to make something happen.

That's why we are going to a porn show. That's right. A porn show. We are bringing xxxchurch to the UK and we want to launch it by telling porn stars that Jesus loves them. How else would you start it?!

And we would love for you to help.

Here's how.

We need Bibles to give out to porn stars. And that costs money. So I am asking you for money. Straight up.

If you help us every £ you give us will go straight to getting Bibles that will be given out for free to people in the Adult industry.

People who have been hurt by the Church. People who probably think God hates them. People who need to know that Jesus loves them unconditionally and has so much more for them.

We will have a booth and a team of volunteers who will share that Jesus loves them at the Erotica Porn Convention in London this November.We will listen to their stories.

And we need prayer.

Prayer for the team to come together, prayer for the logisitics and most importantly for God to change the lives of people caught in the world of porn.

Why should you help us out? Because Porn Shows are exactly the type of place that God likes to show up and surprise us. Because Porn Stars deserve to be loved too.

And you can help make that happen. £5, £10, £100?! Whatever you can give could be the difference between a girl in the industry feeling hopeless or lost and from knowing that she is special and loved by God.

There are a few ways you can donate. You can go here and donate online. Or you can go here and here and donate to our marathon fundraising pages.

And if you want to get more practical you can run with us for porn stars in the Belfast Marathon this May or have me come and speak in your Church about our vision and plan for the show.

Thanks for your support!!


2 Jan 2012

The most depressing blog post on New Year's ever.

It's pretty hard to come up with something unique for the obligatory New Year blog post. What could I write about the New Year that hasn't been written on a thousand blogs already?

You are supposed to write about new year resolutions or about how you have grown so much in the last year. But if I am honest with myself I don't want to make myself feel bad and think over all the things I said I would do last year but never did. We are supposed to look forward. Put the past behind us and be positive about tomorrow. A new start. A fresh page.

But what if you can't see a way to start again and you already feel, just two days into the New Year that you are already cruising down the same path you took last year. What if the things or the issues that you are dealing with, still exist and that midnight on January 1st 2012 didn't bring the magic turnaround in circumstances or feelings that we are made to believe it is supposed to.

In fact a lot of people find themselves in this position. They are still dealing with depression, or addiction, financial worries or any number of things that is making their life a misery. This blog is for them. It's for the people who find themselves stuck. The people for whom it could just as easily be the 2nd January 2011 as it is 2012.

In 2011 I did something that I had wanted to do for a long time and finally got off my ass doing. When I went for my first meeting with a counsellor in September I was scared, excited and slightly relieved. But ultimately having someone who I could talk to about things in my past and help me deal with them in a way that would bring me freedom and some hope, was an amazing experience for me.

And that is why this year I will be looking back more. Because if I learned nothing else from counselling it was this.

Sometimes looking back is the only way you can look forward.

Sometimes dealing with our past is the only way we can have a fulfilling and hope filled future.

Maybe you need to do this to get out from the stone you find yourself. Maybe you need to remember a time when you were happy and free and remind yourself that person is still in you somewhere. No matter how muffled their voice has become. Are there things from yesterday that are preventing you from creating tomorrow?

Because there has to be hope. Sometimes we need to fight for it and if a fight is what is needed, fight. Find people who can fight for and along with you if you can't. Maybe they are the ones who will help you look back.

Because this year your past might just be your new future.

And we need you.


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