Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gay Marriage

I don't know why it's called "gay marriage". Why don't people just call it "marriage" because that's what it is.

"Our strong advice to anyone who disagrees with same-sex marriage is not to get married to someone of the same sex" says  Ben Summerskill of Stonewall.

God gave us free-will so why is the church trying to curtail people's free will to marry as they wish?

What happened to live and let live? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Passionate about debt relief

I'm making a small departure from my usual format because I want to share an amazing organisation that I have had the honour of becoming involved with. CAP Money provides amazing resources that helps people sort out their finances.

Since watching a video and hearing a speaker at church a couple of years ago I became motivated to train to be a CAP Money Coach and now run courses in Jersey with two colleagues (one of whom is my inspirational vicar Rev. Martyn Shea).

Whatever your situation, whether you just want to do a financial health-check, or a financial spring-clean or perhaps you are ready to face up to the financial challenge of debt - then CAP is there to help. The beauty of this is that no one need to know or can guess why anyone else is on the course - confidentiality is guaranteed.

The course has three one-hour sessions which we run at times to suit people's needs. The first course we ran was in the early evening. The most recent one started at 12noon and we offered lunch, enabling workers to come during their lunch breaks. The format is simple - there's a short introduction, a stimulating video and then a workbook.

CAP operates a really simple cash based system using three bank accounts - regular payments, savings and cash. Even if those in debt we still encourage a small amount of saving.

In the UK there is CAP Money plus which is staffed by people highly experienced in dealing with the most serious end of debt e.g repossessions, mortgages, bank loans and worse. Any lawyers reading this, please can I encourage you to send clients with financial problems in the direction of your local CAP Money Centre.

One person who recently completed the course said that he had received help elsewhere but doing CAP was the first time that he felt hope.

Another person who has completed the course has been so emboldened by their success at organising their finances that they are now feeling confident enough to tackle other challenges in their life. 

I hope you will find time to click on the link above and watch some of the video clips. CAP is a most extraordinary organisation providing practical help to people in need.

Perhaps you will be inspired to do the course or train as a CAP Money Coach.

As an aside - 

I have spoken about God-Incidences in the past. One of the motivating factors in doing the training was a desire to do something practical in honour of my dear friend who committed suicide two years ago and died on 23rd February. The God-Incidence - when I signed up for the training it was on my friend's birthday. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More God-incidences

A twitter friend has sent me some bible verses. They feel like the most awesome gift. A gift from God? There's a recurring theme of God-incidences here. The timing is, as often, impeccable. At the precise moment last night that I was feeling really low - a combination of factors including a sick child throwing up all night and then a gift of bible verse. This, I imagine, is how the lady felt when the Milk Tray man delivered the chocolates.

Deuteronomy 1:29-33
New International Version (NIV)
29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

Revelation 3:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Luke 11:9-10
New International Version (NIV)
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 14:22-33
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.