BE GOOD, BE KIND, TRY YOUR BEST

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I love being a woman, I always have.  Ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved the fact that I’m female.  I was fortunate to be born into a family that celebrated women and believed that women could do anything.  This was just as well because early in my childhood my mum discovered that she was going to have to do just that – anything and everything.

My mum is one of my heroes.  She’s a straight talking East Londoner who calls a ‘spade a spade’.  She’s comfortable with having an opinion, finding the right words to express herself and is comfortable if you don’t agree with her.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I realised how amazingly freeing this ‘life lesson’ was. I’ve found that knowing that you have the right to an opinion is a powerful tool to yield in life. Continue reading

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IS ‘HAVING IT ALL’ A LONG LOST DREAM?

There has been a lot of discussion in the Blogsphere recently about ‘having it all’ following an article in Atlantic magazine from Anne-Marie Slaughter about her job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department.  I’ve followed these discussions with great interest as I’ve secretly questioned the basic premise behind ‘having it all’ and whether it’s even a possibility.

For many ‘having it all’ means effortlessly juggling work, family, friends and a social life perfectly while feeling equally fulfilled in every role.  Maybe you can get close to ‘having it all’ if you’ve got a job where you get paid the earth for doing not much and can actually pay other people to clean your house, run your errands, do your shopping – AKA run your life for you.  But for the rest of us who get paid regular money for increasingly longer hours I think ‘having it all’ is, probably, fast becoming a long lost dream. Continue reading

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“DON’T YOU DARE BE A HYPOCRITE…”

I was speaking to the leader of a church network recently and during our conversation he said: ‘I like you. You say you’re outward focused and you really are. Some people say they are outward focused but in reality they’re not!’

I’ve been musing on our conversation quite a bit since then. It’s obviously great that he likes me but that wasn’t what struck me. I was struck by his observation that many leaders were claiming to be something they are not. Continue reading

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RICH & FAMOUS FOR JESUS?

I meet loads of people who are passionate about finding their place in the world. In fact lots of people I know are trying to work out where they fit and how they can do ‘something’ with their life that actually matters.

Many of us aspire to live a life that has purpose and meaning. I’ve heard so many times the phrase ‘God wants to do BIG things with your life’ which sometimes and somehow gets translated into ‘I’m going to make Jesus famous’ or ‘I’m going to be a rich and famous for him.’ And, increasingly it actually seems that being famous for Jesus is a valid ambition…

I’ve never been sure about this kind of teaching. I’ve never actually felt like God wants to do BIG things with me. I’ve just ‘followed the road in front of me’ and tried to do the best I can.  Clearly, some times I do better at this than others. Continue reading

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CHOICE IS A LUXURY (HAITI #3)

I’ve discovered that people who live in comfort sometimes say the dumbest things because their comfort robs them of their ability to care.

I absolutely hate the phrase ‘compassion fatigue’ and I always have. And today I hate it with more passion than I ever have. It seems to me that ‘compassion fatigue’ is a phrase which gets used by comfortable people who live in comfortable places with comfortable lives. Compassion fatigue is by definition a luxury. Continue reading

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THE ROAD BETWEEN US (HAITI #2)

At times the gulf between rich and poor seems as big as an ocean… and then at other times it’s just the width of a road.  I took the photo above this post and the 18 feet between me and those tents felt like an ocean…

Welcome to Haiti read the sign at the airport. Once through customs and immigration we joined a bustling mass of people. It’d be easy to think that they were normal travellers but after listening to their conversations it turned out that pretty much everyone on the plane was here to see how they could help the Haitian people rebuild their country.  Realising that there is such a desire to help was inspiring. Continue reading

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IS THERE A CEILING TO HOPE? (HAITI #1)

A phrase I’ve heard a lot the past few months is ‘the church is God’s hope for the world’ – the next few days are going to prove if that is actually true.

I’m sitting on the plane and musing about what the next few days might bring. I’m en-route to Haiti to find a church we can work as part of the Spring Harvest offering. Seems a simple enough thing to do but it’s only now I’m on the plane that I’ve started to think about what we’re going to see, experience and feel when we’re in Haiti. Continue reading