Hopes and Dreams, vision

Dream with your eyes open.

I was at a youth meeting tonight and Jackie spoke about “Dream with your eyes open”.

Which made me ask, do I still dream dreams?

It made me think that so often we have given up, and stopped dreaming dreams.

Or perhaps maybe many of us started out as we began to follow and serve Christ we had big, bold and audacious dreams but now our dreams have been scaled down, reduced, the radical corners smoothed off.

We somehow think maturity is about being jaded, cynical, defeatist and wordly weary, and we think that fire, passion, enthusiasm, vision, drive is somehow naïve and silly, yet this is a lie many of us have fallen for.

When Christ called us to have a childlike faith, I think he meant us to be full of dreams, passions, enthusiasm, vision and drive -its a life of potential and transformation.

I then began to wonder if we have ever given people permission to dream in the first place, often so many people within our Churches just have Church “done to them” and don’t realise that they can, and indeed ought and should, have permission to dream in the advance of the Kingdom.

People need to feel like stakeholders, invested, and taking personally responsibility for something before they dream into it.

We don’t realise we have something worth while and unique to contribute, and often ideas aren’t welcome.

Recently I have also come across a tragic phrase recently which is called “poverty of ambition” which basically a generation or a people groups whose dreams have been burst and their wings cut so their dreams and ambitions are so tragically small.

Sometimes we are scared to dream, to dare to hope that maybe things could look different, because we have been disappointed too often, and the pain of dashed hopes becomes something we try and protect ourselves from.

Too often ideas are like bubbles, nice and wonderful things, but yet ideas and visions need to be birthed. I have met people who have hundreds of ideas -which is great- and yet the ideas are never allowed to germinate and come to birth.

In fact often a dream is followed by another dream and another, and yet no one dream is allowed to be properly owned, shared, birthed and developed, rather sometimes we hide our dreams in a field of dreams.

It takes a risk to turn a dream into a reality.

Perhaps God is saying: “Awake O dreamer and arise from your slumber”? If you’ve had the dream what is stopping you from going and changing the world?

expectations, Fear, hope, Hopes and Dreams, Neighbour, Politica, Risk and Change

Project Fear? Message of Hope.

On the eve of the referendum in have been thinking about risk, about fear, about the familiar and the security of the status quo, even if the status quo isn’t always great, often people want to stick with it just because it is familiar.

Most people fear change.
Risk is something most of us deep down are a little adverse too.
Yet we forget that actually everything changes, and the phrase “remain’ sounds like something unmoving, yet actually Europe is also an evolving movement, the truth is that both are a risk as none of us know what the future holds.
We cannot avoid risk, change of the unknown actually by voting either way in the referendum as both staying or going are not static places.
Sadly too, there has been scaremongering happening about ethnic minorities, asylum and immigration, which has caused us to fear one another, our neighbours and our friends.
The debate has also frightened people with institutions like the NHS and its provision, causes us to fear for our future.
The debate on both sides has got so nasty that it has been dubbed project fear.
Tony Benn talked about “Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison we put ourselves in”
Yet I would say whatever your views don’t let fear take you prisoner, or push you around.
The greatest prisons aren’t places with bars and gates, but actually are in hearts and minds, fear paralyses us, fear reduces our expectations, inhibits our vision and hampers our judgement.
Whatever your views let’s vote from a place of hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.
Knowing that it’s not just a better Europe we are working towards but actually an advance of Christ’s Kingdom on earth we are seeking to live out and usher in.
Remembering that our citizenship is not of Europe or the UK, but of heaven, an inheritance which won’t spoil, fade or spoil.
Yet I was struck by the truth that the Bible says 365 times “Do Not Be Afraid”, one for every day… We are reminded too that “Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear”, and the one who loves perfectly is Christ himself.
community of grace, Compassion, Falibility, Family, forgiveness, Fruit and fruitfulness, Hopes and Dreams, inclusion, inter-dependance, Life Together, Uncategorized

One Another…

Did you know there are 59 “one another verses” in the New Testament?

#Love one another…
#Pray for one another…
#Encourage one another…
#Serve one another…
#Support one another…
#Forgive one another…
#Bless one another…
#Carry one another’s burdens…

Yet bizarrely I find one of the toughest parts of being a Vicar is that you can sometimes feel really lonely. It has been said “Jesus sent the disciples out in 2’s but in the Church of England you’re on your own”!

The Victorians used to believe that a persons religion was a personal and private thing, a lie we’ve embraced as a culture made worse by our increasingly individualistic culture.

We need I believe to recapture the togetherness of when Church is meant to be a family, yet some of us have become so institutionalised into the mould of ‘lone-ranger-vicardom’ that we need the help of this family, to help us learn another way, and another new normal.

We need for Church to become a safe place afresh which gives people the confidence to be vulnerable, because they are held in a place of love.

The problem at the heart of this, as with much in the Church culture, in pains and hurts which causes us to suffer on our own, and often in silence, which causes Church to become polite and even friendly. Yet as I have said before, I don’t want to be part of a friendly Church, but rather work out a way of being a Church where people can make friends in. After all at All Souls’ motto is “where strangers become friends and friends meet with Jesus”.

Perhaps the problem is that in Church people can be more likely to give you a piece of their mind than a piece of their heart.

Sadly we hear these horror stories of people professing to be Christians who…
#hurt one another…
#gossip about one another…
#(try) controlling one another…
#bicker with one another…
#running down one another…
#compete unhelpfully with one another…

All of which makes Churchless and less like the foretaste and outpost of heaven that it should be.

Is our behaviour more the first list or the second?

What do we need to change in us, to help our Christian Communities resemble the one perfect community of love which is at the heart of who God is when revealed as Father Son and Holy Spirit.