The Red Pill, and a mixture of meanings

  When I named this blog (such a long time ago) it was because of a number of things: The Matrix was a favourite movie; I saw a parallel between the Christian experience of conversion with the taking the red pill, and if you don’t know what that means, watch the movie (unless you’re Bill, who falls asleep in movies, don’t be Bill); I love the idea that the world is a much richer place that we might imagine, and that we miss so much by caught up in the routines of our everyday and our lack or curiosity. Now, in recent years, many groups have sought to adopt the metaphor in ways I’d profoundly disagree with; right winger conspiracy theorists; incels; people with some really screwy ideas about masculinity; racist nationalists. That left me with a dilemma, and wondering if I should rename the blog. But no. I like it still, and although writing here has slowed to a deafening silence, I’m thinking my original thought is fine. So, if you stumbled over this because you were looking for t

Waiting, Exile, Liminality (Jeremiah 29)

Here's a message that was shared recently in many Baptist Churches in the UK. I pray it will be a helpful blessing to you too. We are in strange times! There is no going back to how life was before, and we are not yet in what some people are calling "the new normal". This in between time needs new understanding, from timeless wisdom.


Here in the United Kingdom there have been a number of inquiries and reports into the racism, injustices and prejudice faced by people from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities.  These have made hundreds of recommendations that successive governments have not acted on. A petition, on the official .gov site, is calling for parliament to begin enacting the recommendations. If the petition reaches 100,000 UK signatures it has to be considered for debate. Please help us reach that target by signing, and please do it today. Thank you. Click here to sign the petition

A chance for light to shine

Lent begins today, so what? Well, since the earliest of times in the Christian Church, followers of Jesus have observed some form of season of preparation in the time leading up to the greatest Christian festival of Easter (or Resurrection Sunday / Paschal Sunday depending on where you live and worship). This preparation time has seen an emphasis on acts of penance for wrongdoing, and a strong practice of fasting (going without some food, or all food for a set period) as a way of focusing the mind and spirit on the things of God. In our contemporary culture this has morphed into giving up other things, like coffee, chocolate, social media, newspapers, buying clothes, alcohol etc. And, along with this, we seem to have lost the idea that it is a season of preparation so that we are fully ready to enter into the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection free from distractions and other desires. Now, it seems, it’s a season to break a habit or to have a bit of a purge, or spiritual

Ephesians 1

I promised in church that I'd blog my notes from this morning, as there was a lot of information shared quickly. I commend these to you for further reading. Remember - these words name what God sees in us, what He is calling us into being. I invite you again to ask for more of His Spirit that the eyes of your hearts might be enlightened. I also reproduce below the notes and the spoiler warning the text of the letter I referred to from Three Billboards Outside Epping Missouri. (I used the way Chief Willoughby calls out the better nature he sees possible in Officer Dixon as a way of understanding in part what Paul is doing in Ephesians 1) The notes were to guide me, they are not the message in total - that will be available on the church website next week, and available to  download by clicking here Ephesians Chapter 1 Verse 1 - You are holy, you are faithful 3 - Blessed in heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ 4 – Chosen to be holy & blameless

I'm still here. There's just a little less of me.

I've been meaning to get back into blogging for a while, and just struggling to find time. I haven't given up on it, but the limited time I've had for online stuff has been mainly on Facebook and Twitter, and a little on instagram (I know, i need to get with it...). I'm writing this blog today to encourage a bit of accountability for myself. Truth is, I'm a sinner, and one of the areas of real lack of control has been around food and exercise. I've been greedy. And I've been lazy. At Easter I decided to make some gentle changes, and then during my sabbatical in autumn I got more serious, eating less and increasing the amount of  walking I do. The upshot is that weight is slowly shifting, and quite a bit so far, but I know I will struggle to keep it up. So here is my permission to you to challenge me on it, and to ask how i'm doing. It's not going to be a big thing for me on social media, and although I have wondered about starting a new bl

Loving Your Enemies by Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jnr

Our current Sunday morning teaching series is called "Red Letter Commandments", and takes a look at the places in Matthew's gospel where Jesus gives a commandment that we feel is still relevant to us today. Last week I preached on Matthew 5:38-42 and Jesus command to us not to take revenge, but to engage in creative nonviolent resistance. This week I was speaking from the following paragraph Matthew 5:43-47, Love your enemies. I remembered that I had once read a sermon from Dr King on that text, and so I read it again in preparation. It is an amazing sermon, far better than I could have aspired to, and I shared that fact this morning. I quoted from one section, and said that I would share the text from my blog for those who'd like to read the whole thing. This is a transcript from a recording made November 17, 1957 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama. Right in the heat and turmoil of the civil rights movement. I pray his call to radical love will