Monday, 18 July 2011

Sid and his socks

Saw this video last night. Very moving. Thought it worth sharing.

Friday, 15 July 2011



imagine a world
where all the people
are the same

imagine a world
where all the people
love the same

imagine a world
where everyone has
the same thoughts

needs the same
sees the same
wants the same

as you

you wouldn’t find me there

s0upy – March 2009

Friday, 8 July 2011

Celibacy: a gift given or a choice made?

Celibacy is both a gift and a choice.

The gift of celibacy is given by God, but the choice is made by the individual.

This is a bit of a paradox in some ways: it seems strange to speak of choosing something of your own free will if God has also chosen to give it.

Who's in control, God or the person?

Well, both.

Check out what Jesus said about being celibate:
Only those people who have been given the gift of staying single can accept this teaching.
Some people are unable to marry because of birth defects or because of what someone has done to their bodies. Others stay single for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who can accept this teaching should do so.
(Matthew 19:9-12)
This makes it clear that celibacy is indeed both a gift and a free will choice: we are given the gift by God and we choose to stay single. I thought I would go into some of my experience from the journey toward celibacy in order to shed some light on this seeming contradiction. There's a lot more to the story, but this gives the general flavour of how things travelled.

When I found Jesus and received the Holy Spirit, I found a great love was born in my heart for God, and for people. This love was a spiritual love, derived from the very heart of God. The love of God was poured out in my heart by the Holy Spirit and I found myself longing to be with people who'd had the same experience in order to express this love together. I was so affected by this love, so struck by what I had found, that I began to want little else. I found that there had been a change in my deepest desires – I now longed for God and his kingdom in a way that caused me to ache – and I saw that it was possible for these deep desires to be satisfied amongst God’s people.

This, I'm sure, was the beginning of celibacy for me. God, in placing His longings in my heart, was offering his great gift of celibacy and I found that my desire to be celibate grew, even if at first I didn't think the gift was for me.

I looked at the lives of one or two celibates I'd met and found them deeply inspiring. I guess I longed to be like them in some way, perceiving rightly that the source of their fulfilment was in their gifting.

I longed to be fulfilled only in God and his purposes, and, as time went on, I found myself less and less fulfilled by anything else. I remember one time laying on my bed and whispering a prayer: “God, please give me a celibate heart…” God had carefully drawn me and, as the author and fulfilment of my prayer, he was faithful to answer.

And, of course, Jesus said anyone who can accept it should. I couldn't really pass up a challenge like that!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

My git of a bloomin' bath


My life over the last week.

The smallest, simplest of jobs can turn out to be a bit of a nightmare. Last Saturday morning, I thought I'd quickly strip off the old sealant and reseal around our bath upstairs. It'd gone mouldy over the years and I thought I'd be able to finish the job before the morning was out. How wrong I was.

To cut a very long story short, I'm still deeply engrossed in the saga, having had to take out the entire bath in order to get in there and do the job properly, and then re-plumb it back in again. Life seems to have been dominated by this task ever since Saturday morning, with what has seemed like every spare moment going towards it, including the all important 10pm to midnight slot every night. Not good.

You can't imagine how pleased I was, having managed to get the taps off and on again without tap spanners (a miraculous achievement), having scraped off all the old sealant with a Stanley blade (no mean feat), hacksawed off the old bath trim from the wall, which had been tiled in under the tiles, with only the blade of a hacksaw, as the whole saw would never have got close enough to the wall to do the sawing (a pig of a job), bleached down everything (nasty), scrubbed with White Spirit to get the last bits of sealant off (smelly), re-grouted the tiles while I had the chance (yeah, smooth), to get the bath back in on Monday, ready to fill with water and apply new sealant.

The length of that last sentence may give you some idea of how long this has taken, which when squeezed into the spare moments in life, takes no small amount of effort.

Anyway, the bath was in. Here we go. Having done all the usual checks for plumbing leaks, and found none, I was well happy. So I got the bath filling up, ready to do the final sealing, and thought I'd just have one last quick look underneath to check all was well. It wasn't.

There was a crack in the bath itself.

Poodles! That meant I couldn't reseal the bath yet because it ought to be filled with water whilst the sealant is applied and dries (it's a weight thing).

It was an old crack, the kind that has been repaired years ago and has never caused any problems since (Superglue did the trick). The kind you just get used to and make friends with over the years by rubbing your right big toe on it whilst having a shower. The kind you never expect to leak again. It was a friendly leak. But it chose now - yes, now of all moments - to rear it's ugly git-shaped head again. Now, I tell you.

Right, I'll make a patch, I thought (my dad's idea, actually - the same person who told me Superglue perishes in water over time ...). Some plastic membrane, shed loads of Stixall (wonderful stuff, Stixall). Slap it over the crack from underneath, whilst reaching impossibly under the bath (yes, the crack was on the far side - had to be, didn't it). Check it Tuesday. Still leaking. Patch on too far to the right. Make another patch. Slap it on. Check it Wednesday. Still leaking. Second patch too far to the left. Poodles! Make a third patch. Slap it on, bang in the middle of the first two. Check it Thursday ...

And so it's now Thursday and I dread checking it tonight.

Currently, everything in life feels a bit like this git of a bath. A bit uphill, shall we say.

But then again, I wouldn't want to 'absolutize the present' or anything.

It'll get done. But it's still a git of a bath.