Monday, 10 May 2010

Social Networking Assimilates Me

"Resistance is futile!" they said to Jean-Luc Picard all those episodes ago.

That's how I feel currently. Social networking appears to have taken another gulp out of my planet.

I've just been assimilated by Twitter.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Never trust a cow even if she's licking your face

Take my advice. I know what cows are like.

I had a chat over lunch with a friend of mine yesterday at our national leaders event.

And he told me a great story about a time a few years ago when he was wrestling through whether or not God was calling him to celibacy.

He was living at New Creation Farm at the time, one of our community houses in Northamptonshire (which is also a fully operational farm site - hence the name, clearly...). He was asking God whether he should be celibate or not and decides he wants to really get to grips with the issue, so he takes a walk out into one of the Farm's fields and plonks himself down with a book to read.

The book was Seven Silver Rings, which outlines the stories of seven celibates, and he decides that if God is really gonna speak to him it'll be through this book.

So there he is, reading intently on the grass, pondering deeply before God. A quiet moment. The sun breathing warmly on his face, the wind licking over the fields. When a herd of cows approaches.

If you know anything about cows, you'll know full well that they always try to look innocent but are usually up to something (like I say, trust me, I've been there - and more than once, too).

Anyway, they swan right up to him and start sizing him up, sniffing him, bumping up against him, flicking him with their tails, like any normal, self-respecting bunch of cows would do, with someone else on their territory. At first he's liking it (don't worry, he's a Londoner-type) but after not very long at all he's starting to wonder.

"They're big old things, cows," were his words, thick with the London accent that clearly knows what it's talking about, and I found myself unable to argue with him on this point, especially considering the resolute, gangster-like expression on his face when he was telling me - and not to mention, well, the size of cows.

He's just wondering whether to make a run for it or not when one of the more assertive ones starts to lick his face with its bovine tongue. Not generally a pleasant experience, I'd say, but he didn't seem too fazed by it (like I say, he's a Londoner). But then she goes a step further, the cow that she is, and grabs hold of the book he's reading (not with her hoof, may I add, although that would make a great story in itself), yanks it out of his hand and starts to unashamedly munch on it with her bullish, grass-stained, merciless teeth:
"Okay, God, I get the point," he said. "And I never thought about celibacy again after that."
Needless to say, he's now a happily married man with kids, who can tell a story like this with a twinkle in his eye.

Oh, and in case you're worrying, he got away from the cows as well - he's a Londoner - although his book was never seen again.

Not in the same form, anyway.

Saturday, 1 May 2010



Once upon a summer time there lived a girl called Charis.
One day, she picked a leaf up in the garden.
She took a breath
And counted two,
And when she blew the leaf began to harden.

She wondered what on Earth could be the matter,
So she sat down on the grass and had a think,
But as she looked upon the leaf
She saw it change beyond belief
For suddenly its colour turned to pink.

‘What’s going on?’ she said out loud;
She held it up and had to stand,
For when she blinked the leaf grew eyes
And suddenly it shrunk in size
And winked at her and wiggled in her hand.

‘This cannot be!’ she said to it,
‘For surely you were just a leaf,’
But then the leaf began to smile
And asked her if she’d chat a while
And showed her all its beautiful white teeth.

She smiled back and showed her own,
And chatted with the friend she’d made
Until it sprouted six short legs
And grew pink feelers on its head
And tried to fly away from where it laid.

Then Charis knew what she must do
To help her friend to fly away.
She closed one eye,
And said goodbye,
And wished her friend a fine and lovely day.

And when she closed her other eye,
She blew her friend up to the sky
And gave it wings
And all the things
That friendship brings and money cannot buy.

And sometimes Charis goes outside
And if she looks up very high
She sees her smiling friend fly by –
‘Hello,’ she calls, ‘my beautiful pink butterfly!’


s0upy - 2 March 2009 – For Charis' 6th birthday