Showing posts from March, 2015

Notes for a group: Passion

These are notes from a young person's group I led. The group was a bunch of young Christian lads ranging in age from 9 to 16.   Let me tell you a story, not about me, not about my father, but about my Grandfather. My father was born just after world war 2. He still remembers food rationing, which went on after the war ended. My father never knew his father, his father died when he was very young. My grandfather was a pilot in the pathfinder squadron. The pathfinders flew ahead of the bombers when they went on bombing raids. They dropped flares on targets, making it easier for the bombers to see what they were supposed to be dropping bombs on. I say “easier”, they still weren't really very good at it. At the start of the war the average bomb was four miles from its target. That's the average bomb. Hitting the target you were aiming at was very rare. Bombing raids were much better at killing and scaring ordinary people than they were at destroying en

Christian Meditation and Mindfulness

For several years now, about twenty years on and off which makes me feel really old, I've been doing a meditation called "mindfulness of breathing". In recent years I've been very disciplined in my meditation, doing at least an hour a day during the week. Meditation has been a driving force for depth in my life, meditation is helping to cultivate mental strength and I've also found an  enormous amount of "soul healing" through meditation. I learned mindfulness of breathing from Buddhists ( Friends of the Western Buddhist Order specifically) in Cambridge in the mid-nineties, and I also do a meditation called the "meditation on silence" that I learned from a book on Christian meditation (known " Zazen " by Zen Buddhists). In this article I'd like to look at why I think meditation is so powerful for Christians. Meditation is a highly overloaded word with no clear meaning. Many people use it just to mean "thinking" (at

Church in the Dirt

As humbling as it is to find myself in passionate agreement with an American Christian... there's a vicar called "Reverend Jeff Hood" I really like. His latest blog post is particularly good (warning - contains vulgarity!). He's talking about the woman caught in adultery, and how Jesus dealt with her:     Instead of picking the woman up, Jesus gets dirty. [...] Jesus was willing to be stoned and die with the woman. How often do we place our bodies into the conversation? How often are we willing to die so that others might live? As far as the traditional churches go, you can’t save someone you have no contact with. The real church will forever be the church in the dirt. He's completely on the nail about the heart of Jesus here.

Notes for a group: Dividing between soul and spirit

These are notes from a young person's group I led. The group was a bunch of young Christian lads ranging in age from 9 to 16. Today we're going to unveil some of the mysteries of the spirit and adventure more into understanding spirituality. So it will mostly be listening I'm afraid. We'll also be talking again about desires, so to sharpen your listening I've brought more sweets to sit in the middle until the end. You'll have to exercise your will power to not touch them until the end, and you'll see in a bit why this is important to what I have to say. The very deepest mystery of Christianity is the trinity. This is something that is “implicit” in all of the bible but not spelled out directly. Who knows what the trinity is? Here's an example of somewhere the trinity is strongly implicit in the bible, in this prayer of Jesus. John 17:20-21 20“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me thr

Notes for a group: Being strong in God

These are notes from a young person's group I led. The group was a bunch of young Christian lads ranging in age from 9 to 16. This world is in warfare. You have to pick a side. By default you'll just go the way of the world. We talked about how being spiritual means seeing things as they really are, or at least a bit clearer. This includes seeing the warfare. Being spiritual also means being changed into what God wants for you. God doesn't want you to be weak. God doesn't want you to be bored. God doesn't want you to be hurt or lonely or afraid. God wants you to be completely fulfilled, to be the best you can be. To be strong and full of life. To be filled with vision, together with a people. Strong and alive together . That's the promise of God, something you can completely rely on, you can bet your life on. If we trust God, if we trust our lives to him, if we love him and follow him, then we'll be filled with life. Like stro