I need to have a ‘fast’ from the internet. No blogging, no random youtubing, no news-reading, no online shopping, no nuffink for the duration of November. Why? Because I had a setback, health-wise, and it’s been getting me down. After some thinking and talking to God I realise that maybe this ‘setback’ is not really a setback. Maybe it’s just my ‘thorn in the flesh’.

…I was given a… physical ailment… Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

extract from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (GNT)

Like I say, I’m beginning to think this is actually a way to keep me focused on what’s most important – to help me keep my eye on the goal, as Paul wrote elsewhere. I do have a tendency that, when things are going well, I am so determined that they will stay well, or I’ll achieve whatever I set my mind to, that I end up denying the fact that I’ve been so unwell in the first place (which is ridiculous considering this illness – Myalgic Encephalopathy – has been part of my life, on and off, for well over two decades) and that I’ve had to face so many enormous emotional difficulties what with all the traumas, etc. In conclusion, then, I need to take some time to refocus on my health, my family, my marriage, my home, my studying and, most importantly, on God. It’s part of spiritual discipline, I suppose, in the sense that ‘discipline’ and ‘disciple’ come from the same root.

So take care. Stay well. Keep on loving Jesus.

See you soon x

The Miracle Giver

“…wise folk never reject the possibility of miracles… [but] it’s less important to seek after miracles than it is to hunger after the miracle giver… Many folk wear out the path to a miracle or something they believe is of God, but they don’t bother to seek the Lord and Saviour.”

~ spoken by ‘Mammi’ in ‘The Love Letters’ by Beverly Lewis

Reblog: Giving Bartimaeus a Voice: Hearing those with disabilities in our churches (Mark 10:48-52)


Amen! Excellent post. As a wife and mother of people with sensory issues, I really appreciate the fact that that’s had a mention! It’s usually overlooked. I would also extend this invitation for accessibility to include those with mental health difficulties. The church often has very little room for those of us whose brains don’t function quite right and/or who have been traumatised so often that it has altered the way our brains function.

Originally posted on The Left Hand of Ehud: Matt's Bible Blog:

BartimaeusSo Jesus and the disciples are heading out onto the pilgrim road to Jerusalem. They’ve fallen in with a large crowd, because you don’t go from Jericho to Jerusalem without expecting to go toe-to-toe with bandits, and this crowd attracts the attention of a beggar sitting by the road. He’s a blind man, by the name of Bartimaeus, and when he hears that Jesus Is coming, he starts shouting out to the Son of David. Of course, people tell him to shut up, because that’s what people do when tramps start shouting and embarrassing everyone.

Bartimaeus has been pushed to the margins. He’s living out on the edge of town, and when he tries to speak out, he’s immediately silenced. Maybe that’s due to his social status, maybe his disability, maybe both, but no-one expects him to have anything useful to say. No-one, that is, except Jesus.

Jesus immediately gives…

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Autumn Skies

Sometimes when I look at the sky I am astonished by the otherworldliness of its beauty. No wonder the great painters through history have imagined it as the heavenly realm! The fact that it changes so quickly, can go from a sheer, dull bank of moist grey to this:

Evening view

~ View from our bedroom window ~

is amazing.

When I look at the sky, which you have made,
    at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places—
what are human beings, that you think of them;
    mere mortals, that you care for them?

Yet you made them inferior only to yourself…

Psalm 8:3-5 (GNT)

I know many people think the beauty and wonder of the world and the processes of life can’t be argued to ‘prove’ God on an intellectual level (I personally would disagree, although I haven’t figured out how to express this coherently yet) but when I look at the natural world I see God at work. And His work is exquisite.

Sam, the Recipient of Crumbs

I sat there in the office all morning and only a few Negroes came in, although the teenagers on the streets with ballot boxes were having better luck… The longer I sat there, the madder I got… If Negroes truly wanted to vote, they would have come in the office and done so. “They know it’s just a freedom vote,” I thought. “They also know Aaron Henry is a Negro. After three weeks of walking and talking until we were collapsing in the streets, these are the results we get… Until we can come up with some good sound plans to help the Negroes solve their immediate problems – that is, a way to get a little food into their bellies, a roof over their heads, and a few coins in their pockets – we will be talking forever. They will never stop being scared of Mr. Charlie until we are able to replace the crumbs that Mr. Charlie is giving them. Until we can say, ‘Here is a job, Sam. Work hard and stand up and be a man.’ Not until we can do that or find some way for Sam to do that, will Sam stand up. If we don’t, Sam will forever be a boy, an uncle or just plain Sam, the recipient of crumbs.”

~ *’Coming of Age in Mississippi’ by Anne Moody

Good intentions, the best of intentions = not worth much when people are hungry, or homeless. A person’s dignity cannot be realised when they’re unable to provide for themselves and their family. I am reminded of Thérèse of Lisieux – I can’t remember the exact quote and I can’t recall which book it’s from(!) but she wrote that, although every one of us is sinful and broken, we have a God-breathed dignity that means that we can stand before Him (and before the world), small as we are, without shame. We should treat one another in the same way, especially those who are suffering. God gives some of us more than enough so that we can share – and I don’t just mean handouts, I mean treating one another with the respect that a God-imbued dignity deserves.

*’Coming of Age in Mississippi’ is an incredible book. It is the autobiographical account of a young woman’s life in rural Mississippi as a black, abused child, and how she grew up into a strong, determined woman who decided to take a stand against injustice. I’ve been the victim of abuse (though not racism) so can relate to an extent, but the fact that Anne Moody chose to put herself in harm’s way to advocate for the rights of black people in Mississippi and elsewhere is nothing short of amazing. She is no saint – and paints no one else as saints either, just as the complex beings that we all are, even when we have the best of intentions. That makes this book all the better! It is an honest, detailed account of one person’s experiences in the mid-20th century and imho should be required reading for anyone who thinks they understand what constitutes racism and/or misogyny (especially if they have, by default, experienced neither). 



Thinking of Dorothy Day’s words reminded me of this post written just after Holocaust Memorial Day.

Originally posted on multicolouredsmartypants:

Holocaust Memorial Day was commemorated on 27th January and a documentary, Touched by Auschwitz, aired by the BBC. I watch little television, but I was particularly interested in this documentary because although it focused on what happened at Auschwitz, it gave equal weight to the lasting impact that Auschwitz had on the survivors’ lives and on subsequent generations. It was clear to me that some of those filmed still suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This interests me because I can, in part, relate. Readers of this blog will know I am currently receiving treatment for PTSD. I don’t claim to know what victims of the holocaust went through, but I do know how PTSD, especially that gained through years of repeated trauma, haunts you in the here and now. I am also trying to come to terms with the impact my PTSD has had on my children and on…

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Reblog: To Throw Our Pebble Unceasingly


Dorothy Day is featured in the book ‘Streams of Living Water’ by Richard Foster. A fascinating figure, especially because she wasn’t a nun (not that there’s anything wrong with being a nun!) but was just an ordinary lady. I like the pebble analogy. I can cope with pebbles. Kindness could be a pebble – a smile, a friendly face. Too often we put pressure on ourselves because the world is such a sad place and we so desperately want to share God’s transforming love. So we try to ‘save’ the world and then everything becomes overwhelming. Dunno why we think we can ‘save’ anything since Jesus already did that, but… pebbles. I can do pebbles, by grace. Thank you, God, for changing pebbles into waves and waves into tides. May we never underestimate what you can do through one small act of love. Amen.

Originally posted on Contemplative in the Mud:

dorothyday4What we would like to do is change the world… by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world.
Dorothy Day (1897–1980)

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