Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shock report: cuts to have a 'catastrophic' effect on child poverty

From The Independent:

Shock report: cuts to have a 'catastrophic' effect on child poverty
Andrew Grice

The Government's spending cuts will have a "catastrophic" effect on British children, a UN agency has warned, endangering their future health, education and employment.

Click HERE to view graphic

Labour's success in cutting the number of children growing up in poverty could be reversed, according to Unicef. Britain did better than many other rich countries in protecting children from deprivation after the financial crisis erupted in 2008, Unicef said in its annual "report card" on 35 developed nations. But it warned that the Coalition's cuts to tax credits and freeze on child benefit will reverse this progress.

"We know that the number of children living in poverty in the UK is set to increase due to spending cuts," said David Bull, the executive director of Unicef UK. "This will be a catastrophic blow to the futures of thousands of children, putting at risk their future health, education and chances of employment.

"One thing is clear: government policies to tackle the deficit must not harm children. There is only one chance at childhood – we cannot see a generation, growing up in austerity, denied the chance to fulfil their potential."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dominoes with Dave...

You got to love playing dominoes with Dave. A faithful at Faith House's drop in at Chalk Farm Salvation Army. His hands are black with life on the street as he carefully shields his stack of dominoes. His toothless smile and utter joy of winning is infectious. We play for half an hour and pretty much spend all our time laughing together. Nothing profound is shared only laughter and the deepened of shared experience. It is great to share together in laughter!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What if anything have you or I done to do battle against the great darkness of things? Writes Buechner.

What if anything have you or I done to do battle against the great darkness of things? Writes Buechner.

What have we sacrificed of our own sweet selves to help and heal? Put on light like a garment, like a uniform. That is the place to stop and think - think back, think ahead, think deep. It is the place to start and be. (Clown in the Belfry p. 126)

Fitting words for waiting to go to the Salvation Army 'I'll Fight' conference to do some thinking.

Sent from my iPod

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mother Teresa's Missional Prayer...

"The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God..."  Oswald Chamber

With that in mind Mother Teresa's prayer is missional dynamite!

Dear Jesus, 

Help us to spread Your fragrance everywhere we go. 
Flood our souls with your spirit and life. 
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of Yours 
Shine through us, and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our souls. 
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus! 
Stay with us, and then we shall shine as you shine;so to shine as to be a light to others. 
The light, O Jesus will be all from you, none of it will be ours; 
it will be You shining on others through us. 
Let us preach You without preaching, not by words but by our example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do, the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Living beyond blame or praise...

I'm loving the thoughts, stimulated by Nouwen, of living not influenced by human blame or praise to reflect the compassion of Jesus.

Jesus is called Emmanuel which means "God-with-us" (see Matthew 1: 22-23). The great paradox of Jesus' life is that he, whose words and actions are in no way influenced by human blame or praise but are completely dependent on God's will, is more "with" us than any other human being. Jesus' compassion, his deep feeling-with us, is possible because his life is guided not by human respect but only by the love of his heavenly Father. Indeed, Jesus is free to love us because he is not dependent on our love.
Mission and formation shaped by this fullness of life would be an amazing reflection of John 10:10

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lost Lyrics - Dear Lord, I Do Surrender

We sang the first and last verse of this song last week and the relationship between mission and spiritual formation jumped out at me from between the antiquated prose!

Dear Lord, I do surrender

Myself, my all, to thee;
My time, my store, my talents,
So long withheld by me.
I've heard the call for workers.
The world's great need I see,
O send me to the rescue,
I'm here, my Lord, send me!


Here am I, my Lord, send me,
Here am I, my Lord, send me,
I surrender all to obey thy call,
Here am I, my Lord, send me.

O hear, thou God of Heaven,
The vows that now I make!
To thee my life is given,
'Tis for the lost world's sake.
To serve thee I am ready,
Though friends and foes despise,
I now present my body
A living sacrifice.

W. Walker