Couldn’t help but think that this was an apple ad at the beginning, boy was I wrong
It felt a bit reminiscent of this quote:
I’m starting to unpack some of my thoughts on mens ministry. I’m aware that i’m not presenting
fully formed thoughts in this blog right now, however, I have to start somewhere.
This first thing that I have to wrestle with is probably the term that is “mens ministry”. I am aware that this one phrase alone stops me engaging with it altogether.
To say a ministry is for “men” is to suggest that all men need to be engaged in the same way as each other and to me therefore denies the fact that men are different. If we say our focus is men then we, i believe, start to have problems. By lumping us altogether suggests the same ministry will be for all of us and would be suitable.
During the last week or so I’ve been seriously challenged about my involvement and understanding in and of mens ministry. This has mainly come from several online conversations with @mikebeecham via twitter. This has been a frustrating experience as, if you don’t know, twitter only allows you to post at 140char at a time. Because of this subtleties and nuances of debate and conversation can be easily lost.
So over the the next week or so i want to attempt to lay out my thoughts, concerns and, quite probably, misunderstandings around men’s, and possibly single sex, ministry.
I would also love to bring in other voices into this discussion. I try, if i can, to fom my opinion based on open discussion and rational thought but know that i am a person who is also very much led by my emotion. I want to wrestle with these things and so want to create a forum to do so, with the series of thoughts from me and others I hope it will help me understand its place in church and my life.
If you would want to give a voice to this discussion and would like to write a blog post, i’d love to hear from you. Comment below and I’ll get in touch
I don’t know about you but I have had times in my life when I have felt disconnected from God. That feeling of connection can be a strong need in us. Sometimes to feel comfort or to be part of something bigger. Perhaps it’s that need to be loved by a heavenly father or simply to know you are not alone. what ever it is this feeling can get us wondering how to re-connect or plug back in.
For me I know i can start to wonder where God is by looking to see what he is doing in me and in the life of my family and I have heard people say “where is God blessing you right now?”
But I have realised that sometimes this is the wrong question to be asking. We had a meeting with a few people today that will profoundly change our lives. So our “blessings” today did not come from God doing things directly in our lives but through people who have listened and responded to his prompting.
So the question that I need to be asking is not, “what is God doing in my life?” but “what is God doing?”
It’s a subtle shift and the outcome was a real blessing to us as a family, but my eyes have moved from my life to a God focused outlook and this is important.
A lot is often said about the importance of rest. In fact not long ago I wrote a post about it myself. There is also a lot of blog inches spent on people taking, thinking of taking or having been on a digital sabbatical and I’m noticing a bit more now the rise of a weekly digital sabbath.
In general terms I think most people agree, to varying degrees, the importance of this process. Stepping back and unplugging from the digital world to engage with our own, for want of a better expression, analogue world.
However in this hyper connected, digital existence, we find ourselves in, not much is said about the importance of stepping back from our busy and involved off line lives in order to deeply restore ourselves.
When i was young, Perhaps about 8 years old, my mum took me to twickenham to watch Bath v Wasps in the cup final.
while we were there i remember my mum talking to a man for a few minutes and then sit down. I remember asking her who it was and was told it was someone who she had been engaged to before she met my dad. this was a surprise to me I turned to her and simply said “so he could have been my dad?”
I’ll try and explain the logic of an 8 year old… In some way it was the obvious question to ask. If my mum had gone on to marry him and they had a child it would have been me, because it was me asking the question. Therefore if i was the child he would have been my dad. Simple.
Sitting here at half past midnight, tired, questioning everything of and about myself, struggling to focus on reading my bible or the other reading I have to do right now and wondering what the hell is going on and how am I going to change it.
Right from the start let me say I am refusing to give up social media for lent but it doesn’t bother me if you do. At all. And if you have given it up then you probably won’t be reading this anyway!
Also this isn’t an anti “giving-up-social-media-for-lent-rant”
I have previously fasted from social media before and I found it incredibly helpful to put aside distractions and make sure that I actively spent time with my bible when I would be otherwise engaged. But this year feels different.
In fact this lent I’m making an active decision to engage more with these forms of media than I have before.
For the first time in a very, very long time for me, and the first time ever for Esther we went to an Ash Wednesday service. Firstly, for this particular church it was a break from the norm. As a baptist church I don’t get the impression that they regularly embrace liturgical practices or indeed silence.
Quite simply, I loved it.
The part that really stuck out to me more than any other was at the end during the Blessings of the ashes: