Sunday, 21 September 2008

Doing Good, Part 2 -Desires

Taken from Smouldering Wick, reflections by Adam Pope

'do what the lord wants and he will give you your hearts desires.' Psalm 37 v4

'Your deepest desire seems unfulfilled and it consumes you, decisions you take, the places you go, the plans you make are all influenced by this longing to belong, to share your life with someone, pour yourself into them, to love and be loved.
The desire is natural but the consuming nature of it is not. While you continue to be preoccupied with striving toward this goal you can not find peace. Putting people or circumstances on a pedestal in that way only places unrealistic expectation on yourself and others and is destined to fail.
Only by valuing yourself as you are and excepting the situation God has placed you in, trusting that God is able to, and will, provide for all your needs when the time is right, can you truly be free. '

Friday, 19 September 2008

Choosing well makes us good?? Part 1

Hi... i shared this with someone in the prayer room here in Ibiza today because i thought he needed to hear it... I need to hear it... maybe you do to..

'Our capacity to choose changes constantly with our practice of life. The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions, the more our heart hardens, the more we make the right decision the more our heart softens- or better perhaps, comes alive.... Each step in life which increases my self-confidence, my integrity, my courage, my conviction also increases my capacity to choose the desirable alternative, until eventually it becomes more difficult for me to choose the undesirable rather than the desirable action.
On the other hand, each act of surrender and cowardice weakens me, opens the path for more acts of surrender and eventually freedom is lost. Between the extreme where i can no longer do a wrong act and the extreme when i have lost my freedom to right action, there are innumerable degrees of freedom of choice. In the practice of life, the degree of freedom is different at any given moment. If the degree of freedom to choose the good is great, it needs less effort to choose the good. If it is small, it takes great effort, help from others and favourable circumstances...

Most people fail at the art of living not because they are inherently bad or so without will that they cannot lead a better life, they fail because they do not wake up and see when they stand at a fork in the road and have to decide. They are not aware when life asks them a question, and when they still have alternative answers. Then each step along the wrong road it becomes increasingly difficult for them to admit they are on the wrong road, often only because they have to admit that they have to go back to the first wrong turn and must accept that fact that they have wasted time and energy.'
Te Heart of Man. It's Genius for Good and Evil. p173-178
Eric Fromm (secular Psychologist)

Thursday, 18 September 2008


In my experience the two top responses I am confronted with when I tell someone I am a Christian are…1. Do you believe in sex before marriage? And 2. What do you think about homosexuality?

I often wonder why this is?
Often Christians are seen as Hypocrites for not practicing what they preach, sometimes they are criticised for holding strong opinion or saying what they think.

I think some criticism of the modern Christian church is valid.
In his book ‘ exchanging the truth of God for a lie’ Jeremy Marks recounts many stories where the church has let down those who opt for ‘ Same sex’ relationships or even hint that they are struggling with same sex thoughts.
This book is a must read for anyone looking into this subject. In this book (which I would fail miserably to summarise if I tried) he overwhelmingly points out that actually the real important issue for Christians need not be “ what moral standpoint I take on this issue’ but actually pointing out that the core of the Christian faith is about Acceptance and Love.
He does not argue for a soft moral stance or that anything goes, just that there is more to this issue than quoting a couple of bible verses and saying that is all there is to it.

Now this does not really answer the question, ‘What do I think about homosexuality?’
In his book Jeremy states that ‘same sex partnerships should be seen as a gift from God’.

As a statement on its own, with my past biblical understanding and conditioned thoughts on homosexuality I found that a very hard statement to take.
However, after studying from his website and following a very compelling thought process through his book I have begun to see some light in this area.

1. If for example the church is to be’ Gods light for the nations’, how can we sit in judgement when the bible clearly tells us not to.

2. We can not reduce homosexuality to issues of lust and promiscuity, otherwise we need apply the same to all hetrosexual relationships. When i look at gay couple, I have often reduced it to a sexual repulsion picturing the sexual act as the focus for what I see. Jeremy asks why do we do that when ‘ I don’t picture hetrosexual couples I see having sex when i look at them?

4. I think it is important for us to be asking questions of ourselves, to weigh up with others the biblical application of certain scriptures we always take as clear… to be open to different perspectives and above all to be accepting and loving to all regardless of how we see their actions or lifestyle choices, else we will ALL be rejected from the church.

5. The way we as Gods church have on the whole dealt with this issue and deal with those who are gay has not worked very well and something needs to change.
Jeremy is very pro acceptance and support to those in same sex relationships because it works to bring them the fullness Jesus has for thier lives. he moves away from the model he used to adopt of an 'ex gay ministry'.

There are many single sex couples around today in committed loving relationships. Some with a deep connection and faith in Jesus, some with children. I have heard the idea that when mooted that if this in a single sex partnership (with children) were to become Christians then obviously something would have to change in the relationship?? Would it?
That is a good questionable thought, but definitely one that will be a reality in our day and could we honestly say that with our knowledge of Jesus love and care that he would break up a happy committed family unit for some moral high ground??

There are many single gay Christians feeling crippled by conditioned guilt from ideas and condemnation placed before them, who need love encouragement and acceptance.
It is possible than in this issue the whole ‘Hate the Sin Love the Sinner’ doesn’t really cut the mustard and we actually need to go deeper in the issue?

If so get the book, look at the website and lets talk openly and lovingly about it…

For me right now in this issue I like the phrase 'Love listens and doesn’t sit in judgment'.
Maybe my views will change again, but they are not the most important thing here, people are. This is an open dialogue for me and not something I have concluded or nearly begun to understand, but I want to journey with others of all persuasions, taste’s and behaviours and not be bound or bind them by my opinions…

Saturday, 13 September 2008

confronted by God-incidence

Manumission closing party 08

we were outlast night at the closing party of one of the biggest club nights on the island. This featured stilt walkers, digereedoo player,an opera singer, naked pole dancers, rocky horror style stage show, flemenco and african dance, spanish guitar, 20 foot paper mache cat and a lady pulling razer blades from her crotch region... sounds disturbing huh!!!
well there was lots of great music too... The previous night i had been struggling a little with being in ibiza, the pressures and temptations in this environment can be intense. i had prayed that morning and felt some peace with God. I had a fantastic conversation in the centre with a guy i have been getting to know. he had asked to chat on a more deeper level about spiritual and lifestyle issues.

Entering the Manumission environent was strange at first. In the midst of this environment the thoughts of the previous night etc..., the dj just played my favourate song of the year which i had not heard on a dancefloor before. I was going a little crazy with my glowsticks!! Just then a guy next to me was watching me and i kinda recognised him. so many people here one familiar face can blend to another. Anyway i asked him does he know me?? He said 'were you in Verbier last year?'

i was SHOCKED.. i had met this guy, Sully, on a crazy 3 day trip snowboarding in the swiss mountains last Februrary. We met in a little bar and got chatting about life, love and spiritual things. He was an extremely spiritual person and we connected deeply. He was from La Reunion, a French island off South Africa. I had visited friends there for one month previously which was an initial connecting point as not many English people go there.
We spent 3 hours chatting outside in the moonlit, snow covered mountains, just star gazing from a bench. I remember coming home after and explaining to friends that i had met this amazing guy who had not been a Christian believer but who had taught me more about connecting with God than any Christian i had previously known (how could this be i pondered?). He told me that i was too hurried and rushed and that i needed to enjoy the silence and just receive. So there in the mountains we stared at the sky not saying much and received.

We exchanged email and chatted on line for a time but then lost touch.

So back to Manumission Ibiza. this guy who i had this deep connection with is staring at me amongst thousands of people. He told me it was amazing to see me and t
thanks for 20 euros i had given to help him out back then. I think we were both shocked. We exchanged numbers and said we will meet up again to talk more deeply. Over the evening we smiled rememered bits of conversation and i had a real sense that it was indeed a Divine appointment. Not just a random coincidence. Toward the end of the night i saw him sitting alone with his eyes shut on the staging in front of the DJ booth. I joined him and we sat there for a while. He leaned across and said isn't it wierd that a year and a half ago we sat under the stars in Verbier and now we are sitting here.
In the noise of Amnesia nightclub we sat in silence gazing on a thousand dancers... i looked up and stared at the ceiling and remembered the night and thoughts of receiving. Just then the lazers of the club came on shining on 4 large mirror balls. This created a beautiful effect of STARS on the ceiling. I sat there in silence, in the midst of the Mayhem and received.

'Maybe if you can be still long enough and face the pain and brokenness of silence, in the midst of Chaos, maybe you too can receive'...


Thursday, 11 September 2008


so they have all gone and heres the evidence!!! some say there is little difference others are shocked... but whatever your response... my main reason for shedding the dreads was to get used to not being affirmed by what others think about my appearance and to be more me... so it is what it is... a mop of curls like my mums :)

footnote... the last dread was shed at 7.30 in the dark of a quiet room with a little prayer and a tear... please remember me and my dreads in your thoughts and prayers and my future hair stlyes

'God knows every hair on my head... and the ones in a box in my room'

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

shedding the dreads

firstly again, apology for not posting sooner. from now i will endeavor to post once a week at least.

i am currently in the process of removing my dreads. i have had them for 19 years. i have had mixed response to this proposal. some have said why they look good, others say yeah about time. i agree with both, which makes this a hard moment in my personal development.
i feel that coming to ibiza was a real journey for me of becoming more 'myself'.
i like the concept that God created me to be free and be me. I think people often look at me a certain way due to my hairstyle. indeed i have often hidden behind this style and demeana.
i feel that in order to fully see myself as God see's me i need to remove the dreads. there is a real me under here that i want others to see. So in due course a couple of photo's will be posted. i have currently removed about 30 dreads and have 10 left!!! it is a process because the thought of just shaving it off would i think give me a coronary.
Whilst this seems to be about a hairstyle and possibly further vanity.. it is not. it is actually not something i am that comfortable doing and i am actually finding it hard to adjust. i am somehow feeling it me me growing up a little, even turning into a man :)
It goes back to some of an earlier blog regarding the affirmation we need from others. i love the India Arie song 'i am not my hair'. my hope is that i am accepted for me and not a persona that i portray.

Thought for the day.

i have some thoughts i am formulating, partially about Christian views on morality ( namley same sex relationships) i have also just started reading a book on human evil, by M Scott Peck.

At the outset of this book it has a quote about what being a true Christian is. The whole concept of being open to ones own downfalls is a crucial part of self discovery and human development.
The quote is from a letter written by Saint Theresa of Lysieux
If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter'

M Scott Peck's tentative definition of a true Christian is anyone who 'for Jesus a pleasent place of shelter'. He goes on to say that there are some in churches not willing to be displeasing to themselves and yet are many Hindu's, Buddhists, muslims, Jews, Atheists and agnostics that are willing to bear that trial.

It is not for some to be offended by this but to take on the challenge.
The concept of purging society of evil begins in our own hearts and journeys. In the film/book/ play of the Crucible the extreme religious strived to rid their towns of evil. In the process inviting and producing great evil.

it may be a while before i formulate ideas on this subject as the book warns it is an area known littel about and needs to be handled with great care and gentleness.
One thing i do know is that ' i will look at the plank in my own eye, before taking the splinter out of my brothers' .
speak soon... Michael :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

boat parties and no sleep...

partying hard again so no time for inspirational blogs just yet.. let just say all work and play and no sleep makes jack a crazy boy!!!

i have had 20 hours sleep in the last 120 hours.. and most have been hour here 2 hours there.. many people have asked how i keep going.. many workers think i must use drugs as they do.. sweets is the answer.. plenty of sugar and water.... i have seen two sunrises in the past couple of days... there is something very special about being up all night and experiencing the break of a new day.. especially if you are out at sea with 200 mad partiers , blaring music and beautiful little islands to gaze at.
will endeavor to bring wisdom next time.. for now bare with me and keep reading :)