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Showing posts from 2014

Toys

Some boys like to play with trucks
Other boys like dolls
Some boys practice rugby rucks
Others, gymnastic flicks and rolls,
All that could be said of girls,
Some like their hair short, others in curls A toy’s a toy, a plaything, a tool,
A thing that they learn with, at home or in school.
One child wears jeans and a t-shirt,
Another, a blouse and skirt,
Whether girl or boy, it doesn’t really matter
Help the child feel good, whether thin, or fatter. “Your gender-blender agenda,” I hear you declaim,
“It’ll bring us all down! it’s such a shame!”
I don’t know this agenda of which you speak,
What I know is, God made us all unique.
Now let me tell you that’s not my game,
I don’t want all children to be the same. Boxing or Ballet,
That should be A-okay,
Doesn't matter what people say,
They don't make you lesbian, bi, straight or gay.
Many achievements towards which children aspire,
Whoever they are, let them do as they desire. Some people take toys out of boxes, then
They put their children in,
Nicely lab…

Lady Bishops

Wrote the original version on Sunday. This is a hopefully improved edition:

In the C of E
Now a lady, a bishop can be,
For many years this has been a source of much debate,
But now it's been accomplished, was it worth the wait?

Now we can follow our vocation
Without barrier or equivocation
To pursue the Spirit's flow
Whether woman or fellow

That said, the talking is not at an end,

Some see this as a dangerous trend
For them, the notion of women's leadership —
Nothing but an ego-trip.

As for me, I think it's good
Things are moving forward as they should,
An evolving Church in an evolving world,
Helping the flag of faith to be unfurled

Time for Christians to get real
Helping the poor find their next meal
Not wagging fingers — don't do this or that
But meeting people "where they're at"

All through life there are issues
About which a side we choose
Jesus calls us to love God and one another
Treating everyone as sister or brother.



Silence. Noise. Sound.

Silence
Is there really such a thing as silence? It depends on what you mean bysilence. A complete absence of sound? Impossiblesilence! Being quiet, not talking. Realisablesilence!

Noise Sharp! Painful! Rock-concert - throbbing loudspeakers Bellowing out the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM of the base drum and Ear-splitting screeches of the electric guitar and Vocalists’ vicious incomprehensible vocals.
Fields of war! Sonic boom as the fighter jets break the sound barrier. BANG, BANG, BANG as bombs land and devastate Ratatatat of gunfire, from semi-automatic weapons. Screams of pain, fear and grief. Harsh shouts of combatant commanders barking out orders.
A busy city. Constant rumble and moan of industry and transportation. Shouts of sirens, blasts of hooters and the BEEP, BEEP, BEEP of reversing HGV’s Ring tones and pings of busy smartphones. YAK, YAK, YAK of one-sided conversation Talk on the radio, Talk on the TV. Words by the million, but not much listening Having much to say but not actually saying much.
Inside my h…

Open letter to Mr Rio Ferdinand concerning the "PARTICIPATION MESSAGE"

Dear Mr Ferdinand,
I watched you in your interview with Jonathan Ross on October 25th. You said something that I felt could not go unchallenged.

You said that you were irritated when you hear teachers say, "It is not winning but participation that's important" or words to that effect, and said that winning is the important thing.

I do not deny that teachers, at least many good teachers do say that participation is the primary thing, and I would like to set out the reasons why, in my opinion, this is the right thing to say.

To begin with let me say that the "Participation Message" is not about an excuse to slack off and not try one's best . This was how you represented the Participation Message on the show but that is simply not the case.

We need to firstly put the Participation Message in its proper context. I would be very surprised if the captain or manager of a professional team were to say to the players "The important thing is that you participate…

Sunday Afternoon

I took a wander on my Honda
On a Sunday afternoon.
Headed North to High Beach
Of London, in easy reach.
Behold there in the Epping wood,
Is a small tea-hut stood.

Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW,
Triumph, Moto-Guzzi, MZ
Bikes both old and new.
And amongst these stand their owners, proud.
Gathered there, quite a crowd.
To pass the time of day.

Bullying - what do we tell the children.

A few days ago, a friend on Facebook started a discussion in which she shared how she was dealing with her two 7 year-olds being bullied at school. She went to the school that is in Africa wearing this:

Well there were many comments that followed including one which I have heard before that, in effect says, tell the boys, or whoever the victim is to hit the bully and that will solve the problem. I responded at length as to why we definitely should not be encouraging a tit-for-tat response - here it is: (It was spread over a number of comments in the thread.

Yours is not an uncommon response to the problem of bullying . In fact I once heard a pastor give exactly this advice from the pulpit but I want to provide reasons why it is not advisable for an adult to advocate violent retaliation to a child. 

Reason 1 is practical: while children may find that hitting their bully has the desired effect, if the victim lacks the necessary strength to deliver a sufficiently strong punch , it may serv…

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile smile smile While you've a lucifer to light your fag, smile boys that's the style, What's the use of worrying, it never was worthwhile, so... Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile smile.
100 years since the outbreak of World War 1 and songs that were about this war or made famous by this war, are getting a lot of airplay. I watched a delightful rendition of it on BBC1 just the other day, but what, exactly is this song saying, and is this a healthy message in a time when we know that many people are struggling with depression, and in the shadow of news that a man who used to do a lot of smiling, and made us smile too, Robin Williams, could not face it any longer, and took his life?
Stuffing your troubles into an "old kit bag" - meant that you did not really deal with them and - if you don't deal with them, then they will always weigh you down. 
SMILING is all very well, and it occurs to me, …

Ethiopian Eunuch

The story is well known:

Philip, an ordinary Christian is miraculously transported to the road where the African royal official of Ethiopia is riding on a chariot from Jerusalem to Gaza - presumably on his way back to Ethiopia. He is reading a scroll - the prophet Isaiah - when Philip catches up with him, and asks if he understands what he is reading. He says that he needs someone to explain to him the meaning.

The Ethiopian asks who this prophet is speaking about and Philip explains that it is Jesus and goes on to explain the Gospel. The Ethiopian, hears and readily converts, and so he asks Philip:

"See here is water. What prevents me from being baptized?"

They went down to the water, and Philip baptises the Ethiopian, and then was immediately whisked away leaving the Ethiopian to go on his way rejoicing. And there is a historical tradition that the official returned to Ethiopia to share the Gospel and Christian Church was established there.

The question he asked was very i…

Break out

I wrote this some time ago and entered it for a poetry competition. Unfortunately it did not win any prize so I have decided to put it up on my own page. Hope you like it.
Break Out Break out of Holy huddles in hallowed halls harmonising humdrum hymns or hollering hallelujah harping on about how humanity is heading to hell in a handbasket, while hating homos, hoodies, Hindus, and other heterogenous humans, harbouring hostility towards the homeless, however they lost their housing, in Harringay, Hackney, Havering, Homerton, Hoxton, Highbury or Hounslow. Holding on to historical notions about the hierarchy in church and society ifyou believe in the existence of society, that is, helping yourselves to as much as you can hold  God helps those who help themselves” heaping blame for all societal ills on the “workshy” unemployed Scroungers and “immigrants” who came to steal our jobs. handing out hand-outs and hand-me-downs to the “helpless handicapped” holding placards outside hospitals, …

HINC SPES AFFULGET - Hence Hope Shines Forth

Sitting at the back of St. Mary Aldermary Church in London last Saturday, at a meeting of Two:23 Network, my eye was drawn by one of the stained glass windows and a coat of arms that was depicted. It was the coat of arms for The Worshipful Company of Innholders and the motto that I read was HINC SPES AFFULGET meaning "Hence hope shines forth". 

The theme of the meeting was WELCOME. Innholders were also known as hostelers and hospitalers, and were at least in London the fore-runners of the hospitality industry. The strapline of the Innholders' Company is The home of hospitality since 1473.

There is therefore a link between the theme of the meeting and the Innholders Company. A key to great hospitality is to make your guest feel welcome. The industry has made an art of making people feel welcome. But is the welcome that the Industry extends genuine? The more the guest is likely to spend, the greater the welcome that is extended to them. Is this the kind of hospitality we a…

Don't you know?

Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
I said
"Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me - 
whatever you did to the least of these, you did to me"

Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
I said
"If you disown me before others, I will disown you before my Father"

Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
I said
"Judge not, or you will be judged"

Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
I said,
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength 
 and love your neighbour as you love yourself"

So you call it 'love' when you slam the door in your daughters face
Because she loves someone of a different race?
So you call it 'love' when you write you son out of your will
because he's going to marry Bill?

I tell you whatever you did to those whom you view to be the least you did to me


If you take the good gifts I gave you and throw them in the trash 
(regarding them as cheap), 
you have thrown me onto that self-same heap…