40 Fun Freebies

By October 15, 2011 Blog

Great things to do for free… 1. go to the library and read their newspapers 2. Check out sites like FilmFirst.com which offer free film screenings (in your area) if you register 3. fly a kite 4. jigsaws, cards, board games 5. make a scrapbook for a friend 6. put together a collage of old photos 7. look at your community website/notice-board for events 8. download some podcasts (I’m a sucker for Radio 4 – Rock n’Roll, eh?) 9. have …Read More

Best Heckles

By October 14, 2011 Uncategorized

As someone who regularly invents brilliant one-liners (- three months after the original conversation), I’m always impressed by those with a more immediate response. This selection of heckler put-downs comes courtesy of today’s Independent – but they are beauts.  And it is a Friday.. Mark Steel Two years ago I appeared at the Andersonstown Leisure Centre in Belfast. There was 1,000 people there of which about 250 were fans. The rest were drunk. I was introduced as “this British idiot” which didn’t …Read More

Quick Fix

By October 13, 2011 Blog

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’. Sound words from Philippians 4:8.  And I agree with them – to an extent. But isn’t the idea of dwelling on the good a little bit – er, boring? Trite? I’d much rather find out what’s going down in the Big Brother house thanks. No, can’t say that.   Perhaps I’m uncomfortable because  it’s a little vague. Is this just …Read More

Born To Shop?

By October 11, 2011 Blog

‘It was in the sales’. ‘I needed a treat’. ‘It was too good to turn down’ ‘It’s my patriotic duty’. Have you ever used one of these phrases to justify a ridiculous purchase? That lime-green jumpsuit that looked so good on the rail.  The half-price coat that was two sizes too small. Buy one get fourteen guavas free. The new TV that your even your  grandkids will be repaying. In bad economic times you’d expect us to shop less and not more.  Yet …Read More

Only Connect

By October 10, 2011 Blog

We humans love a bit of structure, don’t we?  Yesterday I was reading about  lottery winners whose lives have stayed exactly the same, despite their new-found wealth.  One still works stacking shelves at the supermarket, whilst another lives with his mum in the same house . The interviewer seemed shocked, but I can understand it.   Change, both good and bad, can be very threatening. There’s so much out there that’s frightening or doesn’t make sense – so we search out routines to bookend our …Read More

Trial and Error

By October 9, 2011 Blog

Never judge a book by its cover.  My granny taught me that when I was small.  But Jesus takes it even further.  Jesus says, ‘don’t judge’.  Period. Well, luckily for me, this isn’t one of my struggles. I’m not a judgemental person.  Seriously – it’s another one of those sins that’s passed me by.  I would never dismiss someone based on how they looked. That would be like,  totally wrong.   Just as well  I’m such an  excellent guage of character.   I’m telling you – just a few minutes with …Read More

Living The Letter

By October 7, 2011 Blog, identity

What does it mean to be a woman? And how about a Christian one at that? An encyclopedic knowledge of traybakes? A scarlet wardrobe? A gentle and quiet spirit? A love of rom-coms? Or something else? Starting last October, one woman began a fascinating experiment to consider just this. Rachel Held Evans, a Christian feminist from Tennessee, decided to follow the Bible’s instructions for women. Well, nothing strange about that – right? But we’re not just talking about general principles.  We’re talking …Read More

A Legacy That Lasts

By October 6, 2011 Blog

‘No-one wants to die…time is limited, so don’t waste it’.  Those were the words of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who died yesterday at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. But what does this mean in practice? Born in San Francisco, Jobs spent just one term at college, before dropping out to go on a retreat to India.  It was to fund this trip that he took his first computer job.  In 1976, he founded Apple with Steve Wozniak. He left in …Read More

Banking with Jesus

By October 5, 2011 Blog

Been challenged about money recently.  Urg.  I don’t like challenges.  Challenging situations tend to be painful ones.  Challenging sermons (especially about money) always make me shuffle guiltily in my seat. As soon as I hear the words, ‘gift day’, a little bit of me crawls into a hole and Feels Bad – too often without actually doing anything about it. Why is this? For one thing, I’ve always had a fear of not having enough.  Not enough tinned tuna or …Read More

Holding Out For A Hero

By October 3, 2011 Blog, identity

What makes a hero? Ranulph Fiennes tries to answer this question in an interview in today’s Times.    Fiennes,  the oldest Briton to climb Everest and a man who hacked off own fingers after suffering frostbite, has just written a book on those who showing  bravery in the field of combat.  It’s hard to think of someone better qualified to do so – but he dismisses the epigram.  Instead, he argues that heroism is as much about motivation as it is …Read More