Tuesday, 11 August 2015


You see, community is relationship in all its glory, 
sharing laughter, hurt and hearing stories,
It's about walking together and showing you care,
Helping someone to realise you'll always be there,
It's about building authentic relations with a span of ages,
Not just sticking with your own generation,
It's learning to receive wisdom from the old, and helping the young in dismantling the mould,
Society and culture creates this expectation of how we should be,
Telling the old to dislike the young, when once they were just like me,
We have to abolish this system that chooses popularity over friends,
And realise that relationship and vulnerability mends,
Community is about being real and open, 
Showing scars and being broken,
Joining to do life together as one,
Just like where it all began, 
The Trinity,
Father, Spirit, Son. 


*Video to follow*

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Beauty Of A Brutal Death

Over Easter, I was reflecting massively on the crucifixion and resurrection, and what that means for me and my life. Growing up in a Christian family, I knew all about the significance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and had always been taught about what to believe, hearing the same spin on the story again and again. But this year there was a shift. 

I watched 'The Passion Of The Christ' for the first time on Good Friday. In all honesty, I was expecting it to be a lot tamer than it was. I found myself in floods of tears throughout the entire film. Of course, one of those reasons was because of the sheer brutality of watching Jesus being whipped to the point his flesh was torn from him, a crown of thorns forced through his skull, and 3 nails banged into him to support the entirety of his body weight. 

But the thing that probably made me the mascara run mess at the end, was that the very people that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, were then shouting 'crucify' him just five days later. For me, the shift came when I realised that, would I have been a part of the crowd, loving Jesus one day, then screaming for his death the next? The honest answer is I don't know, but I think it's most probable to assume I'd have been in the crowd. And if that was the case, then Jesus died a bloody and brutal death, for someone that nailed him to that cross. Every broken, crowd following, anger driven person stood before Jesus, imperfect, and nailed him to that cross. 

But the beauty of the cross, is that through Jesus being tortured, he takes our brokenness and makes us whole, he takes us from following the crowd and makes us seek Jesus and he takes our anger and restores us with peace. He removes the crowns of thorns we placed on him, and places on us a crown of beauty. Jesus didn't die just to become a figure that is sometimes spoken about, he came to die so that he could radically transform our lives, to take everything that stops us from being in relationship with God, and instead offer us eternity with the king of kings. 

When Jesus died, something shifted. And that shift is still felt today, when we really think about why a man who was pure and perfect faced the most brutal death just for you. 

'From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken: the crownless again shall be king' - J R R Tolkien


Friday, 13 March 2015

'My Plan Is To Have No Plan'

Recently I was chatting to a friend about what their big plan for life was. It was an ambitious question I know, but I expected him to reply with some kind of mundane answer about a job he wanted to pursue or eventually raising a family or something like that. Instead he simply replied 'My plan is to have no plan'. 

When I first heard this I thought clearly that's not a good plan, but then the question on 'why do you have to feel like you have to get somewhere in life? Why can't it be about the journey?' was raised. This is exactly the point I had been missing. 

About a year ago, I could have told you my grand plan for the next 5 years of my life. I would be in New Zealand for a year, then I would be studying theology at Exeter university for 4 years, doing a year abroad in my studies. The reality is, I didn't get into Exeter, I got into Westminster. I came home from New Zealand 10 months earlier than expected. And I have now withdrawn my university place altogether. 

I have no life plan, but I have never felt so relaxed and peaceful about that. Having no life plan and giving it all to God is my new life plan, and I can tell you now, it's working a damn lot better than any other plans I've tried. When I think about it, making plans for what I want is never going to work, because I'm not the only one involved. Instead, I think I'll leave God to make my plans, and I'll take each day as it comes and enjoy the freedom that comes with having no clue what tomorrow entails. 

'In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.' - Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬ 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Jars Of Clay

As we start a new year, there's one thing I long to see in our culture. Something that can seem dangerous, hard, and strips us to the core. It's called vulnerability. 

We are the culture of selfie sticks, image and falseness. You see, we all wear a mask, and it can look different for each one of us. For some, it comes in the form of false confidence, where we boast in our mask, not what is real beneath. For others, it comes in the form of physicality. Dressing up, caking on the make up and pretending to be someone we know we are not. We are a culture hidden behind the mask of social media and endless photo filters. 

Now, I'm not saying that social media, or dressing up is bad, but what I'm saying is stop hiding. Being vulnerable is crazy scary. Opening yourself so people see who you really are, that's knee shaking stuff. But vulnerability in turn carries beauty;

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show us that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." - 2 Corinthians 4:7

Man, our appearances are not what matters, the filters we put on our lives are not what shines. It's being broken, it's not being afraid to tell people you're broken, and it's about letting the real you shine out. You don't have to tell people that 'everything's fine' when really it's not. In your weakness, God shows his strength. In your brokenness, God shows his healing. Life's not about being perfectly put together, but it's about allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and to be broken, because being broken is the realist and most fundamental thing we can be in a broken world. And the best news is, from that brokenness, the treasure that is your beauty of true character, shines forth. 

Happy New Year friends, my prayer for you is to allow God to shine through the cracks and brokenness that have happened, so that your vulnerability is shown through the real beauty of Christ our King. 


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Counting It All As Joy

How annoying is it when things don't work out? Or when reality doesn't quite meet your plan? It's hugely frustrating and disheartening. I speak from experience and say that no one ever thinks that it won't work out when you are so excited for the opportunity in front of you. But sometimes, it just doesn't.

Psalm 30:5 says "The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter", and I honestly cannot express the reality of this enough. When things don't go to plan or when things go wrong, there will be pain, hurt and I'm sure plenty of tears, but when that season is over, laughter and joy come. There is a quote that goes something along the lines of 'only in the darkest night can you see the brightest of stars', meaning that in our darkest or most challenging times, is where we learn to grow, to let go of baggage, and to step into the glory of a good God, where we can live in joy, laughter and goodness. 

People often say that God's plans are greater than our dreams, and I have only recently learnt what this means. Whatever we plan and whatever we strive for, God can out do us a hundred times over. Goodness is the breath of God, and as his children, he just wants to lavish love and goodness on ALL the days of our lives, and if that means that we have a season of pain then so be it, because when you walk through to the other side you will see life not from your eyes but through the eyes of a loving father. Life is quite like a tapestry, we only see the messy knots and tangled threads of the back, but God sees the full picture, in all its beauty and glory, and it's time we started to truly believe that God's plans really are greater than our dreams. 

To be quite frank, I have no idea what I want to do in life, what I'll be doing this time next year, or what career path I want to take, but I know that if I chase God each day and trust in his timing, then my life will always be full of joy because that is what follows each trial. Don't be disheartened, God doesn't say it'll be easy, but know that what he has planned for your life, will always exceed what you have dreamed.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11. 

He's got your back.


Saturday, 1 November 2014

Fierce, unconditional and relentless. But do you really know it?

Thought that I would jump the gun and just tell you what gets my heart more than anything. It's something everyone knows about, everyone talks about, and deep down something that everyone is created to want, feel and give. LOVE. 

Now, I don't know about you, but I hear the word 'love' being thrown around a lot. 'Ahh I love that', 'yeah I love you bro', 'I'm so in love', the list is endless. But I want to talk about a different kind of love, a life changing love. Now if you're reading this and thinking that I'm going to be talking about a guy that's captured my heart over summer, then I'll tell you that I am not about to spill the beans of my love life, instead I'm going to tell you about the love of father God, the love of his only son, and the love of the Holy Spirit. 

So let me set the scene. I have the most incredible, supportive and encouraging family who love me in every situation, in every condition and without fail show me love every day. I also have a pretty incredible network of friends who daily show me love and teach me what it means to love, and how to give it out. Now, I'd say I am deeply moved and challenged by my friends and family as they push new levels of love each day. That love is pretty powerful and incredible right? 

Now I want to take it that little bit further and say, if that is what earthly love is like, where my heart blossoms and jumps when they build me up and show me love, imagine what HEAVENLY love is like! I don't want to put a box around it because it's just simply too beautiful to even begin to describe the extent. But here's a few words I'd use; fierce, unconditional and relentless. 

Our Heavenly Father, papa G, daddy God, whatever you like to call him has FIERCE love for us. I mean he's constantly fighting a spiritual war, just so he can spend eternity with his creation. Even the ones that don't yet love him back, he calls us home to him, and greets us with adoration and embrace. To fight for a people that can't even love him equally as he loves us is pretty darn fierce I'd say! 
Jesus, the one and only Son of God, hung on a wooden cross, with nails through his flesh, blood dripping from the spear wound in his side, and a crown of thorns shredding his scalp, just so that you could be loved by an UNCONDITIONAL love is pretty breath taking right? An extremely unjust, painful and bloody death, just so that he could love on you unconditionally. Leaves me pretty wrecked to think that someone would do that for a sinner, a broken person, me. 
The Holy Spirit, well heck, it just doesn't know how to leave us. It is RELENTLESS in its pursuit to constantly be around us, constantly showing us love, and constantly bring and being the love we need. The Holy Spirit is in us and never leaves us, and is relentless in all of its ways in loving us.

Isaiah 62:5 says, 'As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you'. The happiness and love I see at weddings is only an earthly glimpse of the happiness and love we get from God. 

Catherynne M. Valente once said, “After love, no one is what they were before". And you know what, it's true. When you experience and feel that fierce, unconditional and relentless love that the living God has for you, you'll be forever changed. So I leave you by asking one question, what's the harm in letting in a love like that? 

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Beautiful Soul

So I came across this list on the Internet called "Compliments that aren't about physical appearance". As I read through the list, I couldn't help but smile at the simplicity but beauty that each one held. In today's culture, to be told 'you're a very warm hearted person' or 'you are so kind', seems to be taken that the person is not physically pleasing to the eye, or that compliments about your character are less valued than those of physicality. Don't you think this is a little messed up? 

I mean, are we really saying that someone that has pretty eyes is more beautiful than someone who is incredibly kind and constantly helps others because they care that much? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you can't compliment people on their physicality, but wouldn't it be much better to tell someone that they have a beautiful soul, a beautiful character and a beautiful heart than just complimenting them on something that will fade. Realistically and biblically, physical beauty fades. We see it through old age, we see it through illness, we see it through the times where life drags us down and we look tired, or 'let ourselves go'. Proverbs 31:30 says 'Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting'. When you die, no one will remember your hairstyle, or how good your skin was on that one day, they'll remember the condition of your heart, they'll remember the beauty in your character and the sound of your laughter. 

They saying goes 'see with your heart, not your eyes', and I don't think it could be more accurate. Yes physical beauty should be admired, but so should the soul, the one thing that is sustained and keeps its beauty and grace through all of life, because when the body is ugly and limp, the soul is what brings life and laughter and THAT is what should be praised and admired aye? 

So I close with this, "You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and the image of God. And you have been given today". Stop worrying about your physical appearance and start loving the beauty of your soul.