Archive for December, 2014

‘Tis the season…ho,ho,ho…

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hello all, how are you all coping with this crazed, commercialised, manufactured, hysteria inducing festive time right now?

Right here in my little part of the UK, things are wet, dark and rainy and have been most of this week. Next week of course is actually Christmas week…oh how really look forward to stepping into various local shops purchasing a few nice last minutes things, some lovely fruit and veg and food for Christmas (yes, this is serious irony here.)

I have sort of slipped up on advent things and church lately, maybe a good or bad thing. I do though feel that I might want to experience midnight mass again this year-I am not Catholic but I did go to one a couple of years ago, and it was a strange, unusual and nice experience. I have a feeling that I also would like to give to various charities again, possibly get involved in some charity help over the festive days of Christmas.

All that I am hearing and seeing on television and on news media (mainstream news media-yes there is a difference…) is concern about the present not being delivered on time from those huge tax-avoiding online retailers, possible postal strikes…oh hold on, there’s a nice Salvation Army advert on tv…

And then those stupendously over-the-top sugary, Americanized tv adverts from the supermarket chainstores. Hand me the sick bag please…

Honestly, I really am not a Grinch at all…)

What do you hope for this Christmas? And I am not talking about presents from the big fat man dressed in the colours of a well-known sugar filled soft drink.

What would you like to be different about this Christmas, your Christmas? How could this Christmas be a fantastic one that might make you proud to be a Christian, follower of Jesus at this time of year and all year and celebrating his birth?

Just maybe think about those things over the next few days. I will too, and have a nice Christmas time, godbless you all.

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Who knows that you are a Christian?

Who does not know it? Why not?

Who found out, and who did you choose to tell?

You don’t have to give me answers here, these are just some thoughts. It might be very different for many kinds of Christians, in all different parts of the world. I am here in the UK, many of you might be in the USA. Generally there is probably not too much danger in revealing your faith in these countries of increasing multiculturalism, If I lived in other parts of the world, I really might have to seriously keep my faith hidden for fear of extreme danger, abuse, or worse.

Here though, revealing my faith can just be a social problem. You may think ‘Why is a problem to be proud of your faith, share it with others and embrace it?’

You live in a different part of the country (or another country). You may be a different age, you might have a different social background, known other kinds of people. We all have our own challenges in life.

The UK/England is a fairly tolerant, liberated, open-minded and progressive nation. We do now in 2014 have so many kinds of different cultures, faiths, people of no faith, people of various genders, working class, upper class, squeezed middle class and more. There are many social groups for all ages across the country-golf club folk, football fans, video gamers, skaters, wine party people, music and band people, people who spend most night at the pub with mates, people who gather and hang out watching box sets and movies, gym people, sport addicts and more.

There are the people that you work with, every day of the week or just some days-do they know the faith you have, and should they know? If they do, is work life easy? If they don’t know, do you want to tell them but just don’t know how? Is it more that you fear the social stereotype?

Christian faith is or has declined in this country-yes, that will depend on where you live, how rich you are (sorry, but yes), and other things. I am a fairly positive person actually. Do I wish that many more people were spiritual and Christian-of course I do. Do I think that will genuinely happen very soon? Well…

There are some who say that the Christians in the UK are being ‘persecuted’ while the increase and attention on other faiths a concern. As a level-headed guy, the answer is no, we are not persecuted, or just not on any serious level as those in some eastern countries where a Christian may be beaten, attacked or more. Here in the UK, especially if you are a Christian say, under fifty you will probably just be mocked, ridiculed and laughed at a little at times.

Some of you may not believe this, some may think ‘well I am a Christian under 30, and a have great understanding friends, and a great life’ -well fantastic, well done, but…you are a minority in reality.

Historically, this is a proud Christian country, but in 2014 the population is a fascinating mix up of atheists, agnostics, those not interested, those who hold strong faith in science, those who worship another God or Gods, those who just want to do some drugs, chat about celebrities and pop culture, play video-games, watch sport and go shopping.

Some people around me-most of my close, long-time friends, some at work-they do know that I am some sort of Christian, but also hopefully that I am much of a regular kind of guy, who knows a bit about movies, sport, I have a laugh like others about everyday things, I can talk about everyday stuff like others.

Some may think I am weird, dumb, ignorant, stupid, confused, or more. They may not understand, may think I am playing a joke on them if I tell them, or having a laugh, a wind-up. Then there are people under 30 or 50 in some churches but do they cut-off from mainstream regular pop-culture, try to keep clear of the immoral dangers of modern life just a little too much? So much that they can’t relate to the majority of people about regular, everyday things in the world and only related easily to their own safe Christian club of pals?

Like Johnny Cash, I try to ‘walk the line’ on a regular basis.

Do I wish more people knew that I have faith? Yes. Do I wish I could easily tell anyone, at any time? Yes.

But…other cultures and other faiths which have entered and arrived at this country are a little more interesting, fascinating, or simply culturally ‘hip’, just a bit trendy or cool in some ways. Christianity mostly is not.

But then, should I worry if my faith or church is not cool? Of course I probably shouldn’t. Well I do wish that more people, of many ages would or could go to a church, be honesty interesting or curious in going to one. It could be that churches have a bad reputation-in various different ways-in the UK, but also that the image has become very out-dated and old (in most places, not all I know that.)

I try to have an honest faith, be honest about it, and go with what feels right. Some of you may think ‘well no, go with what the Bible says is right’. That might be true, but I am also thinking culturally, and socially here.

Well I suppose I will end this post by saying, how about we tell others when it feels right, and don’t worry about others finding out too much. I have a faith in God, I know my life is better that way than before.