History Repeating

My excitement worries me

If there is doubt, a maybe or simply a curiosity about something it is always worth at least a precursory exploration of the issue rattling around within your thoughts. That exploration may quickly dispel the ‘what if’ and enable it to be forgotten, but it may expand and take you to new places and opportunities that you would have missed had the thought been left unexplored.

That is how the exploration of ordination began for me, and it has both transformed me and served up opportunities I may otherwise have missed. Continue reading

Strange days (aka Going to a BAP)

A sanctuary for strange days

A sanctuary for strange days

It is done.  My Bishops’ Advisory Panel is over.  It was quite an experience, quite a week.  There are many people’s experience of a BAP that can be read, many practically focused, some even dealing with the pain of not being recommended.  This is my account of my experience; an account of the emotions, fears and joys that someone has and can go through and that needs more words than other types of accounts of going to a BAP.

So if you’re willing and ready, read on! Continue reading

Oh no, not again!

“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”, Douglas Adams

There I was: sitting down, contemplating the future.  Six months in which to prepare for a Bishops’ Advisory Panel lay before me.  Plenty of time to sit back, read a bit, debate a bit and contemplate all that God has to offer.  No rush, no pressure.

In the midst of this peacefulness my computer and phone sang out in unison. I had mail.

It was the DDO.  She had a surprise.  I was being invited to attend a BAP in mid-May.

I didn’t expect that.

The tranquility shattered and, not for the first time on this journey, everything that I had envisioned doing fell apart.

Continue reading

A Tale of Two Storms

I walked right into an Agatha Christie novel.

I started work on Monday with the security of a ‘permanent’ contract (there is no such thing as a truly permanent contract of course).  There were important deadlines to meet but they all seemed achievable.  For the first time in a while work was not going to be causing me any stress.  It was just as well for it came thick and fast from the ordination path. Continue reading

God at work is a risky business

Sometimes God takes us right up to the edge

When is a good time to tell your employer that you are exploring ordination and might quit the job?  A good time would be well away from any contract renewal discussions.  Just after a job contract is renewed might be okay, although the employer might not be so pleased.  How about at the meeting with your boss to discuss the possibility of renewing your contract?  Now that would be stupid. Continue reading

Grace on the roller-coaster

“Life is a roller coaster, just gotta ride it”, The wisdom of Ronan Keating

After an intense period of writing over Christmas (see my last three posts at the bottom of this post) I had a momentary break from thinking and writing. It had been a fruitful period and God had helped me make some great progress in finding out who I was and might become. Continue reading

An overwhelming Advent

Advent may have be an overwhelming time for me this year, but it is nothing compared to how overwhelming it was for Mary and Joseph.

It is no wonder that stress levels and tempers rise just at the time of year we are preparing to celebrate the greatest birthday that has ever happened.  The period of Advent comes some time after many people have had a holiday.  Months of working, schooling, and household chores without a break takes its toll on us all eventually.  Hopefully by stopping to think about and prepare for Christmas will result in us not loosing site of what the big day is all about. Continue reading

Release the pressure

Something has to give when there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it.

A year ago life was family, work and getting used to the school run.  That seemed pretty full-on then, now that feels leisurely!

It feels like every so often God has raised the bar and then given me the capacity to reach it.  Suddenly though my diary commitments seem to have gone exponential.

I’m reading at every opportunity: baptism, prayer, leadership and a book you may have heard about called the Bible.  I have so many thoughts weaving in and out of my consciousness. Continue reading

There’s a whole lot of uncertainty going on

If there's one certain thing about life it's that life is uncertain.

If there’s one certain thing about life it’s that life is uncertain.

It’s been a week of contemplating what trusting God means by putting that trust into action.

Prior to going on the Men’s Ministry Weekend at Lee Abbey the previous weekend (see State of Love and Trust) I had applied for a church-based job.  From the advert the job looked to be a perfect fit to my skills and experience but would make getting my children to school and nursery a logistical nightmare.  Having seen the advert late I didn’t have time to think about much; I had to apply for it and trust that God would bring about the right result.

The day before the weekend at Lee Abbey I got a call at work.  I had an interview. Continue reading

State of love and trust

IMG_5445The flaming torch I held lit up the night as the rain, driven by the wind, lashed at our faces. We were climbing a hill to stand at the foot of 3 crosses perched on the edge of a cliff. It was the beginning of a men’s ministry weekend at Lee Abbey on the North Devon coast.

Our speaker began to talk. Slowly the worries and anxieties leading up to the weekend faded as God came into focus. The raw power of nature amplified the retelling of Jesus’s crucifixion. Continue reading