Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

It's Fibromyalgia awareness day.

As my lovely hubby said: "I think you're aware of it every day!"

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Just Call Me Kay

I have come across folk with disabilities who have scared me witless.

This is not because of their disability, but their attitude to those around them.

When I’m doing disability consultancy I fear being summoned by them. It’s terrifying waiting for them to access what I have put in place because I know I will get a tirade if I have got something wrong - even a small thing. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Talk to me... Sensibly

Having said yesterday about the ‘arm strokers’, there are some folk who are the exact opposite.

Some people won’t come near me, or my other disabled friends. They will give a wide berth, look away quickly and avoid any eye contact.

Some will stare from a distance

Monday, 13 April 2015

Arm Stroking Christians

I tend to view my body as my own.

I don't think I'm unusual in that.

Only those with permission or those who I count as friends and trust are allowed to touch, even if it’s only a hand on my shoulder.

This is for many reasons….. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

“People In Wheelchairs are Weird”

“People In Wheelchairs are Weird”

Yes, somebody actually said this. Horrendous isn’t it?

Let me add some context to the comment.

A young friend of mine uses a wheelchair. He’s a bright kid with a wicked sense of humour and was attending one of the children’s programmes last week. In his team was a little girl who asked a few questions about him and then announced, in surprised fashion, that he was actually quite ‘normal’. One of the leaders in the team gently asked why she was surprised by this. Her answer was worrying: “My mum says people in wheelchairs are weird. But he isn’t”.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Thankyou Spring Harvest

I love the way Spring Harvest have embedded disability awareness into the centre of their being. They do what they can to be inclusive within the constraints all organisations have, whether Christian or secular. It is standard practice for health and safety to ‘trump’ inclusion when it comes to large events, and I believe Spring Harvest balance all these things really well. They do the best they can with the resources they have at their disposal.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Worship As A Mighty Flood of Justice

Now for a weird verse to start a blog post:

Amos 5: 21 - 24 (NLT)
“I hate all your show and pretense - the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.

It doesn’t make comfortable reading does it? And it certainly would not make it onto the fridge, held in place with a ‘footprints’ fridge magnet!!

But it’s a passage that keeps coming back to haunt me.

I remember it being preached on when I was in my 20’s - quite a brave move on the part of our then minister.

It haunted me then too, but not as much as it does now.

It’s got nothing to do with any of the festivals/conferences I go to or work with, and nothing to do with my enjoyment of worship. I love worship and hearing a huge congregation singing God's praises - it can be spine tingling! It's not got anything to do with the worship leaders I work with either - they are wonderful people.

What I am about to comment on is a trend - not any specific individuals.

What bothers me is that ‘Sung Worship’ is becoming the ‘be all and end all’ of worship when actually - justice and care is also a large and vital part of our worship. As is living a righteous life.

It bothers me that more and more folk are going to conferences on worship, and less and less are going to conferences about reaching out to our communities.

It bothers me that our young people are being conditioned into thinking worship only means singing and having a good boogie to Christian music. 
It also bothers me that more people want to be worship leaders than Sunday school leaders, preachers and coffee servers.
I have found that the aspiration of most Christian young people today is to be a worship leader.

And yet, conversely, having stood at the back of a youth worship event, where the leaders felt the young people wanted the worship loud, with mainly darkness and sweeping lights - not many of the young people seemed engaged with this worship experience, that was supposedly designed around them. 

It bothers me that many, MANY reams of writing and blogs are given over to how we do our worship better and with more glitz, and stuff written on how to feed hungry children goes mostly unread.

It bothers me that often, the need for some church based worship leaders to do things their way, in the name of “enhancing the worship experience” (Yes, I've heard that said) often means the vulnerable in our churches are excluded and unable to worship, because “the mood” is more important than making sure ALL can worship - inclusively. It also bothers me that this lack of inclusive worship is often blamed on the Holy Spirit’s ‘leading’….. 

I must admit that I often see big worship events on TV, watch the trendy light displays, the darkened room with people jumping up and down…… and I feel sick - both physically and emotionally.

This is because I believe with all the concentration on worship, we are selling our children and teenagers short.

We are not teaching them that living a righteous life is worship

We are not teaching them that Justice is worship

We are not teaching them to care.

We are not leading by example in other types of practical worship in the form of Justice. And by that I don’t mean the trendy things that we jump on the band wagon with - the ones that will be forgotten in a couple of months, but rather, a long term passion for justice in our world and righteousness in our own lives.

Last night I visited a youth group who asked for a consultancy appointment. The adults and some of the young people who run this group feel God is leading them to reach out to other young people with additional needs. They already have a few, and as a team they want to reach out to the vulnerable in their community. They are a small and unknown group. They don’t sing - but God LOVES their worship.