Exiles in the everyday

Our world thrives on material things. For some parts of the world, predominantly westernised nations, it is to consume and to consume some more. For other parts of the world, predominantly the two-thirds majority world, the idea of such a life and existence is the dream which is flaunted before them. Coupled with this is the fame game. The desire for other people to know our name, for them to hold us in high regard, that is something worth living for! And sadly, even within the church, the lure of the material and the desire for self-aggrandisement is never too far away.  Continue reading

Lessons From the Cherry Blossom

Cherry blossoms are a big deal in Japan. As spring progresses there is expectation in the air. Many across the country are waiting to see the trees erupt into full bloom. People travel the length and breadth of Japan for the simple purpose of getting the chance to soak up the wonder of nature. There is even a cherry blossom forecast estimating which date is likely to be the best for witnessing the spectacle. Continue reading

Lent: Giving up or Gaining all?

Around this time we hear a similar phrase being used in everyday conversation. It usually goes something like this; “what are you giving up for lent?”, “I’m giving up….. for lent”. For many this act of abstinence will normally involve setting aside something which we really enjoy for the allotted time. Common “vice’s” are chocolate, take-away’s, alcohol, TV, even social media. And with great enthusiasm people begin this time of setting aside, but it doesn’t tend to last. What began with zeal tends to tail off after some time (usually 2 days) and what started as a cheeky square of chocolate turns into a massacre of wrappers lying across the table. Continue reading

Can There Be Joy In The Everyday?

Each morning as the alarm sounds at 6.30 it does not to fill me with joy. I don’t know about you but it tends to bring out an uncontrollable desire within me to dive under the covers for at least another 30 seconds (which turns into 10 minutes). Yet the inevitability is that I need to get up and get on with the tasks of the day. And I’m guessing that you need to do this too. So how is it possible to experience joy in the everyday?  Continue reading

Macbeth And The Search For Holiness

Why is the human heart so determined to grab hold of things which we have no right to? A simple look around our world will prove this point to be true. Having been to see the most recent cinematic production of Macbeth it is clear to see that Shakespeare understood this. The fatally flawed warrior who would be king is an excellent insight into the huge contradiction which runs directly through every person. Continue reading