Fear V Courage

Fear works like this.

Something is presented to us that is unknown. This can be a person, an activity, a place, an idea, a job, a community, a thought.

As long as it is unknown to us it can create fear.

Fear then turns into worry and stress and the perception of a threat to our way of living.

This can lead to anger, attacks, prejudice and avoidance.

This then becomes how we react to anything new and it becomes a condition we live in.

Then we stall.

Courage works like this. Continue reading

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Anger and Hope: How NI haass to embrace forgiveness.

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What is it about someone saying something we disagree that gets us all riled up? Is it bad to get angry or is it more important how we react to anger? Anger can lead to hate which can lead to violence. When there are individuals or groups of people who stand against everything we believe in, our initial reaction is to get angry.

Coming from Northern Ireland, a country that has been damaged by people who have hurt each other over and over in ways that have caused the deaths of thousands of people, I have seen first hand how anger can take over.

Not all anger is a bad thing though.

Continue reading

Why you’ll fail your New Years Resolutions.

If you’re planning on making a New Years resolution for 2014 then don’t.

You won’t keep it. I haven’t met anyone who wakes up on January 1st, begins working on their long list of resolutions and hasn’t completely given up in a few weeks.

Save yourself the time and the disappointment.

To quote Garth from the Office, “You will never win…could still be fun though”

Only it won’t be fun.

So here’s the thing. If you want to change and you want to start the fitness regime or read more or save money or eat more Chilis (not all resolutions have to be good for you do they?) then start now.

Don’t wait.

If you wait until January 1st you have already lost.

Why? Continue reading

An Easter message for Christmas: Flags and our identity

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There is a story in the Bible about the moment just before Jesus was taken captive by the Government. Jesus was about to experience unimaginable pain and torture. He was going to be humiliated and He was going to face death. His best friends had recently deserted him at the time when He needed them most. One of whom was responsible for turning Jesus in.

Up steps Peter, the same Peter who denied knowing Jesus three times. He had a chance to redeem himself so he takes out his sword and cuts off the ear of one of Jesus’ captors.

If there was a moment for the son of God to use all the powers He had at His disposal, this was it. This was the moment that they had all been waiting for. Jesus could now accomplish what he promised and there would be no chance for anyone who stood in His way. The violence that they had planned for Jesus would be no match for the revolution He could now unleash.

Except, that’s not exactly how the story went. Continue reading

Twitter wars.

Twitter-wars

I for one am glad that twitter is a thing.

I am able to publish posts on my blog and then share them with people. Sometimes they get read, sometimes not. But I have a place where I can share my ideas which will hopefully resonate with others who will be inspired. This is when social media is at its best. When people are moved and educated and inspired to act.

It is at it’s worst when people use it to demean, insult and ridicule people.

It’s easy to do this because we don’t have to actually face the person we are attacking. Rarely is dialogue fruitful in the sense that conversation can lead to thoughtful and open discussion. The manner in which it is played out is where the difference between the life giving discussion I have described and a bitter descent into name calling can be created.

So how do we dialogue on twitter in a way that is helpful and productive?

Here are a few ideas that I think could have aided various discussions I have been privy to on twitter recently. Continue reading

RECLAIMING CHRISTIAN CLICHES: DANCING AROUND GOD’S GLORY

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“People were dancing in a way that I haven’t seen them dance in a while. It was a very human feel and it was really nice. It wasn’t about us being the DJs and saying ‘hey look at us’, it was all about the speakers, the sound and the way that people interact and dance with each other”- James Murphy

Have you ever been to a show where you get so lost in the band, the music and the crowd that you almost forget where you are? Or have you ever had a conversation with someone with such raw honesty and vulnerability that you lost track of time and everyone had already left the pub? Or have you ever been at a sporting event where your team has overcome all the odds to beat the other team and everyone is jumping up and down and hugging each other and drinks are being spilt because you are all uniting around the one thing? Continue reading

Reclaiming Christian cliches: We’re all sinners!

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Romans 3v 23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Do you know what is the most horrible experience you go through when you are a kid?

Finding out that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist?

No.

Finding out that Mum and Dad have consistently lied to you for years every Christmas?

No. (Which by the way explains why they were always so keen on leaving treats out for Santa; I always doubted his ability to fly a sleigh after a glass of mulled wine or three) Continue reading