Changes seems to be the word which best sums up the past year for me on a personal level. There has been the death of a close relative, the birth of my first child (Sophia Jane Paterson), moving house, starting a new ministry role & travel to Singapore. However it also seems an appropriate word when we consider global politics. This time last year I don’t think there would have been many people who would have expected that Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson would have brought the conservative front bench to their knees. Maybe even less likely was “the Donald” winning the US Presidential election (the only president in history to receive a stunner from Stone Cold). It has also been a year of change in popular culture with the departure of many well loved contributors such as Prince, Bowie, Fisher & Rickman.
It has been a year to pay attention to for many reasons and here are things which have greatly shaped me over the last 12 months; here is my 2016. Continue reading
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
There are some stories of people who have served God which just hit you aren’t there? Christian biography is a wonderful blessing that we have access to as it documents that God is who he says he is; yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). Such stories inspire, encourage, challenge and most of all reveal something of the glory of God. And William Borden’s is one. Continue reading
Christmas, it is a season of contrasts. On the one hand commercial Christmas is crazy busy for many of us. We are running around trying to prepare everything for everyone and never seem to have enough time to get it done. But on the other hand it can be a time of great sadness and loneliness for others. Our friends and family are no longer present, our job is not as stable as it once seemed, indeed the sounds and sights of the season sometimes repel us. Continue reading
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
It seems that so much of life is governed by the overarching framework of transiency. This is something which I’m sure we will all have had connection or experience of in life. Close relationships with friends which are no longer the same. Moving on from a place where we loved to live and have great memories of. The sorrow of death and the finality of losing someone we cared for. Simply getting older and noticing the aging process smiling back at us. Transiency colours the human experience. Continue reading