Tony Benn (1925-2014)

TonyBennTony Benn (1925-2014)

It’s a sad day for me – one of my true heroes has died!

Tony Benn epitomised for me what socialist politics should be about.  He was passionate; he was articulate; he cared for his fellow citizen – and he did something about it!

The UK is a weaker place with his passing!

Photo  from ‘The Third Estate’ website

Current reading list – March 2014

Mutiny_thumbnailI’ve had Kester Brewin’s ‘Mutiny!  Why We Love Pirates, and How They Can Save Us’ in my book pile for a while, well, since it was first published,but  I have finally got round to reading it.

Brilliant so far – giving the history of piracy and how it can be relevant to our spiritual lives as Christians in the twenty first century.  I will give a full review once I’ve finished the book.

I’ve also got a few more books over the last few days to add to my book pile – andI  am looking forward to reading all three of them – see cover photos below.

Mark Sayers and Neil Cole are both long standing favourite authors of mine – both inspiring and compelling writers who make me want to act rather than just think.  Their new books, ‘Facing Leviathan’ and ‘Primal Fire’ do not look like they are going to disappoint!

The third book, ‘A Letter to my Congregation’ by Ken Wilson looked interesting and I can’t wait to get my teeth into what he has to say.

Again, I will post reviews of all three once I’ve finished reading them 🙂

51znKERQODL._SY445_ Lettercongregation_thumbnail PrimalFire_thumbnail

Becoming immune to Facebook

I must admit, I am slowly but surely becoming more and more disallusioned with Facebook.  I love the community feel you can get from communicating with old friends, from being able to share things you like and are passionate about – but, for me, I always feel an underlying sense of conflict and competition, as if there is always someone in my friends list who is just waiting to pounce, ready to point out things that aren’t in line with their theological dogma, somehow wanting to prove that they know more, or are somehow more faithful to Scripture than me.

And, it really annoys me!

Not that I don’t think challenge is good – in fact, I truly believe that if we are not open to criticism or feedback then we will never grow – intellectually or spiritually.  But it does get me down to realise that some are just ‘friends’ in order to gain information so that they can point the finger and ‘tut-tut’  at, in their view, how unorthodox my theology has become.

If I’m such a stinking ‘liberal’ in their eyes – why don’t they just unfriend me and move on?

So I enjoyed seeing this cartoon by David Hayward today.


Not that I’m comparing myself to Jesus.  No, I’m not that arrogant.

I liked it because it reminded me that popularity is not the main purpose of my life – that, actually, searching for truth, justice, love and hope in Jesus should be my goal, and, sometimes, others won’t like what I say or do, for the sole reason that they are in a different place to me.

But that shouldn’t stop me searching,.

Even if it does mean losing ‘friends’ on Facebook.

David Harwards comment with his cartoon are worth repeating:

“It does often feel like Facebook is a popularity contest. It sometimes feels like high school all over again.

The gospel accounts, as diverse as they are, still communicate the radical focus of Jesus to something more than popularity, winning a crowd or gaining a following. He wasn’t interested in fans.

We can live the same liberated life… free from the scrutiny, judgement and even admiration of others.

It is not easy experiencing loss. It’s sometimes not easy experiencing gain.

If we can find that centered place that is immune to the ups and downs of the opinions of others, then we know what it means to be at peace.”

That is so true!

Come In, We’re Open


I can’t believe that it’s nearly two months since my last post.  The time has gone quickly, too quickly for my liking, and I’ve been too busy to even think about whether I should be writing for the blog or not.

But I think it’s time to start again.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I should blog about.  I think I lost my focus before, spending too much time trying to make sense and write things that I thought were worthy, weighty and had value.  But now I think I should just record what’s happening in my life, after all, the title of this blog is ‘The Deliberate Disciple’, so I’m going to simplify things and post more about being intentional in my walk with Jesus.  Maybe other stuff will get in as well, but who knows, let’s wait and see what happens.

So here goes…..come on in, we’re open for business.