Tuesday, 29 April 2014


There are sooooo many times when I am proud to be a Christian - in a non sinful humble sort of way obvs. Everything about Jesus makes me pleased and yes proud to have my name associated with his. Yet sometimes Christians make me go "Really?" 

You have probably heard of Vicky Beeching. You will almost certainly have sung her songs including "Yesterday, Today and Forever". These days she is probably better known as a social commentator with a strong stance on women in the church (Or anywhere really - she would describe herself as a feminist) and same sex marriage which she is in favour of.

I know very little about Ms Beeching as a person or a Christian. I follow her on Twitter though and I find her approach to her Christianity both thoughtful and graceful. I may or may not agree with everything she says but ultimately that is irrelevant because we worship the same God and we should be gentle and caring to one another.

Why then does someone who calls themselves a Christian feel it is ok to send her this photo when she has expressed her views about controversial subjects

It will not do you know, it will not do at all. It is disgusting cheap bullying. I thought long and hard about even reproducing this but these people need calling out. Just stop for a moment and imagine Jesus with a roll of gaffer tape. Unrolling a strip, biting it off and sticking to a person's face. struggling with that image? You should be - it is the very antithesis of all that Jesus came for.

In my more generous moments I am thinking that these people think that they are upholding Christian principles. But these generous moments pass pretty quickly. We should be different, full of grace, preferring the other person, slow to wound and quick to bless. These are the standards we uphold. These are the principles that should govern us. Twitter is full of anonymous bullies. But not the Children of God surely? 

Colossians 3:12

The Message (MSG)
12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Shoppy Saturday

I usually avoid Plymouth city centre like the plague on Saturday but this weekend there was a vintage thing on at the Guildhall so we wandered over to have a look. I'm hoping that any vintage fans aren't too upset by this but the whole morning did my head in. First of all it was packed. Lots of ladies of a certain age and income bracket with their elbows held high - all the better to give you a nasty shove in the ribs if you were about to get to a stall before them. Then, well I found it a bit expensive. I spent most of the morning picking things up and thinking how much cheaper they would be at a car boot. Mind you, these people have a living to make like anyone else so, if you want the stuff, I suppose you should pay a fair price for it. I found that I didn't really want it enough. Also, I would have thought that there was a limit to how many chintzy, tea cups anyone needs - especially at £3.50 a pop. Lastly, I found it all a bit - knowing or self referential. Pretentious was the word HOH used. I'm all for re-purposing and frugality and also for promoting crafts but the whole thing seemed to have its head up its bottom as we say up north.

FOW2 had come with us but she left at the first whiff of "In the Mood" from the speakers. (Actually, I quite like In the Mood, especially the version by the chicken) So HOH and I wandered out into Plymouth Town Centre. Man, it's crazy out there on a Saturday. We though about a quick lunch in MacDonald's but that looked like a Hieronymous Bosch painting so we gave it a miss. So HOH and I wandered about like two old people at an exhibition about the history of rap or something until FOW2 texted us and we could go home. There comes a time when you are just too old you know and there is no shame in it. At all.

The reason we had agreed to trip out was that FOW2 is awash with money because she turned 18 this week! Hurrah! We are now officially redundant as parents. Until someone wants a lift. Happy Birthday Elle!

Ooooh. Just a ps. Am I the only one still in therapy after the end of Endeavour last week? Good Grief - didn't see that coming.


Monday, 21 April 2014


So, I have had a few days to think about what I think about Noah. First thing to say is that this is not a review -  because I have no qualification to review anything really. Also reviews tend not to include spoilers AND HERE BE SPOILERS so leave now if you would prefer.

I have to say that it is good to see someone taking this fantastic story seriously enough to throw money at it and do it properly. I have seen enough low budget Christian movies in my time to leave me with a permanently tightened bottom and a dis-inclination to watch anymore. ( I saw something about the Second Coming once that was so excruciating, I genuinely thought that they were playing it for laughs.) 
You can certainly see where the money went. The special effects are great, the animals, the ark, the flood sequences are all suitably epic. Acting wise, well I rather like Russell Crowe. Noah was a complicated man and if the portrayal sometimes tips into completely raving mad, then I'm not sure it is his fault. Although I think he was more into portraying the getting slaughtered on wine and then getting naked more that the essential greatness of the man to do what he did.  Emma Watson plays Emma Watson very prettily. Douglas Booth plays her love interest (Possibly Shem - I got a bit mixed up.) He has outstanding lips. Jennifer Connelly as Noah's wife/partner/rubbing rag is great. She gives it heart. She made me cry.
Don't come to this expecting a direct Biblical account. Someone somewhere lost their nerve I think and there is a lot of preposterous flimflam about The Creator (cue wooey-wooey spooky music) But I did like the ecological view about man messing up a beautiful earth. 

For me there were three main problems. 
  1. I suppose because it is a 12A certificate you are a bit limited in showing the extent of the fall of man that led God to wipe them out. Consequently, it seems that God did what he did because man turned away from vegetarianism and Ray Winstone was a bit free and easy with a pointy axe when it came to people's heads.
  2. BIG SPOILER. Ray Winstone sneaking onto the Ark. Noooooo! Unacceptable. No. The shutting of the ark door signalled the end of the old world. Bridge too far for me.
  3. By trying so hard not to put too much God into it, the film has lost its heart, it's centre. The Noah story is about God as well. God's relationship with his people. And it is a relationship. The lack of God is really a big hole and I don't mean that as a Christian thing. It is a story with the absence of its main character.
Despite all this, I did like it quite a lot. It is a bit weird really but immense in scope and it is what it is. Suspend your sensible thinking and give it a go.


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Saturday

Painting of Dead Chrsit in the Tomb. Holbein

This is Easter Saturday. A Holy Day for many Christians. A day of complicated theology. For me Easter Saturday means something else. It is the day before the miracle. The day when the tomb was still well and truly shut to those outside. A day when Jesus' followers were saying - Well what was all that about then? A day when the promised end seemed impossible. A day when God's power may not have seemed as powerful as they had hoped. The day that followed the darkest day and it showed no improvement - no sign of what was to come. Only cold, dark quiet. No signs from God, no encouragement, no answers.

Easter Saturday resonates with anyone on the journey of faith. A silence from God. A pause in the plan. No clues as to the coming miracle. Just a quiet, waiting game. We know now that Sunday came and with it, the extraordinary. But the Easter Saturday experience is just as important. The faith. The waiting. The unbelief. The expectancy. The confusion. This is where the pattern for faith is set. This is where we learn who God is, as we wait.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Opposite Ends of The Speculum....

As Victoria Wood used to say.

Watched two films this week which makes me a saddo. Ask me if  care. Both were excellent. Am aware that I am miles behind everyone else but that is my default position these days and you can live with it or....well not live with it - up to you.

First up...Frozen. I don't get to see the animated stuff much these days. After years of being forced to every kids movie as it opened. (One day, let me describe to you, the Seventh Circle of Hell that was The Pokemon Movie.) we have now left most of them behind. Anyway, found this on TV and thought we would have a go. I thought it was great. Maybe just a teeeensy weeeensy bit overhyped? No? Just me then. If you want to go all feminist with me for a few minutes, there is lots of good stuff here. It makes fun of the Disney staple of marrying a man/prince/frog that you have only known for one day. It is one of the first Disney movies to pass the Bechdel Test where two women are allowed to talk to each other about something other than a man. Also one of the female leads manages to go through the whole thing without a love interest. So lots to Hurrah about. Then there is that storming song. Though I prefer this version myself.

To go quite to the other side of things. I was trying (unsuccessfully) to download Lie To Me on Netflix and sort of accidentally watched "Capote" (Long story and quite boring too.) As I think I have said before, I think there is a lot of flim-flam talked about actors but this is a performance and a half by Hoffman. You never quite get to the bottom of Capote and what he was like, which I think is the whole idea. It's a great story, disturbingly told with a terrible crime and a terrible vengeance at its heart. Left me quite depressed but in a good way - if that is possible. Highly recommended.

And , a third thing while I am at it. Why did no-one tell me Endeavour was back? Can't believe I missed the first one. Flippin eck it's not as if we are assaulted every five seconds with decent telly is it and I manage to miss it. Blah

Thursday, 3 April 2014


I think I may have mentioned Head of House's obsession with Motown and Northern Soul before. Anyway, we found this which is a girl dancing to Pharrell Williams' Happy and an old Northern Soul tune.

If I were deep and spiritual, I would write a post about how the old and the new can work together well, in harmony and things. But I am shallow and tired so I will just leave with you with the lovely music and dancing. I think it's better that way.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Blog Stuff

You could call this needy but I call it good housekeeping. If you like this blog and would like to subscribe...would you think about doing it on Bloglovin..?

The link is on the side. Ignore the Manchester City Blue.

No pressure obvs 

Just helps me with the counting stuff.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Cheek Turning

A person to whom, I am related (No names mentioned but she is of the slightly older persuasion) is very big on being attacked. Not by an axe murderer or anything but by "The Enemy" mainly through other people. Mostly, I tend to be a bit take it or leave it with this approach to life as I am quite sure that I can behave horribly enough to make people think that I am a one woman version of the Screwtape Letters. However, sometimes, just sometimes, people are mean and I haven't always done anything to deserve it.
The temptation, when people have a go and you don't think it's merited, is to have a go back. It can be very satisfying to stand in the shower making speeches telling people what you think of them or plotting a terrible revenge. 

My default position in conflict is that it is generally "my fault" but that isn't always true. When I am feeling generally naffed off with people, I like Psalm 35 which is written with a really full on miserable crow vibe.

But when I was down
    they threw a party!
All the nameless riffraff of the town came
    chanting insults about me.
Like barbarians desecrating a shrine,
    they destroyed my reputation.

The challenge for me is to step back from a Rambo like revenge spree and to take my defenses down. Do I trust God enough to fight my battles for me? What if people think me weak? I don't want everyone walking all over me do I? Yet the challenge is there - in the Bible.

‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. (Matthew 5)

Flippin hard that. Yet, there is a sort of release and even a power in letting go. In thinking, nah, I'm not weighing into this. This is God's. I'm going to be kind - nicer than I feel and let it be. Not saying I have it sorted. Just think it is the better way.

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