prodigalmomma











{August 26, 2012}   Stand up, Stand out

[Please be aware this blog post discusses allegations of rape and sexual assault]

It seems that interesting things occur in the news while I’m on holiday and away from blogging facilities – last summer I sat in a cottage in the middle of the Sussex countryside watching parts of London be ravaged and burnt in summer riots.  Open-mouthed we watched scenes which seemed best placed in a blockbuster movie, or at least in another country viewed on the news. 

This summer in another rental cottage and watching the bizarre Mr Assange popping out of the window of the Ecuadorian embassy (described by one paper commentator as looking like the John Inman character from “Are you being Served?”

Image

Julian Assange is described (courtesy of Wikipedia) as is an Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist. He is best known as the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a media website which has published information from whistleblowers. The site acts as a conduit for worldwide news leaks, with a stated purpose of creating open governance.

While I support a person’s right to peaceful protest, I am somewhat bemused by those supporters who gathered outside the embassy to hear Mr Assange… he is accused of sexual assault and rape… sexual assault and rape… it needs to be said twice as it seems that many have forgotten this in light of charges he may face in the states relating to his Wikileaks site.  Yes, I realise his claim of asylum is related to his fears of extradition from Sweden (where he faces charges of sexual violence) to the USA.  I imagine that his fears are not without substance on this account, however the fact remains that these are very serious crimes he is accused of. 

Regardless of what may happen in the future, surely this man ought to stand trial for the things he is accused of?  If he is not tried on these accounts what does it say of the modern world’s attitude towards sexual crime?  We have heard what Galloway’s repugnant thoughts are, rape is poor sexual etiquette – after all the woman (allegedly) said yes the once, so that (according to Galloway) covers all subsequent times… so that would mean that rape within marriage is okay… but wait a minute  it isn’t, it’s illegal Mr Galloway.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/20/george-galloway-julian-assange-rape?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Since the initial comments, George Galloway has sought to ‘clarify’ his initial comments… but they seem to me to smell of the original intent, doubting the women’s accusations on the grounds that they had apparently previously had consensual sex with Assange… so that returns to the original argument about ‘yes’ the 1st time not meaning ‘yes’ for everytime.

These are accusations and allegations, they have not been proved and I I’m not declaring Assange either guilty of the crimes, or the women guilty as liars… but these are serious matters which require looking into.

As for the other allegations against him, they need answering too – for if he believes so much in what he has done through Wikileaks then surely he would want a chance to make his argument? 

That reminds me a little of those who lovingly counselled against my studying Theology at university as through doing so I would “lose my faith”… my argument at the time (as it continues to be) is that if something is right, and is the truth then it stands up against any amount of argument, criticism and opposing ideas.

What do you need to stand up for?  What arguments and ideas are you willing to put to the test?

Are you ready to challenge yourself and those around you?

Advertisements


{January 30, 2012}   Do something Beautiful…

In the same vein as it ‘never being too late’ this devotion also popped into my mailbox today (yes, I’m at home working on the M Ed. so generally clearing out my mailbox and doing deskbound stuff)

But instead of just surviving, of asking God “Please bless my plans today” (c’mon be honest, who hasn’t done that?!?!) Challenge yourself and go do something beautiful for God.

Do beautiful things for God.

Graham Kendrick sings “Do Something Beautiful”



{January 30, 2012}   Never too Late…

Matthew 20:1-16

So I’ve been doing the ‘usual thing’ for me and meandering off a little; kind of getting into the old way of thinking which – for me – is this life is short, so best get out there and live it!

Unfortunately for me (and for others who subscribe to this mode of thinking) this works out as being a selling of inheritance in order to gain a fast-food meal.  I KNOW this, so I don’t really know why I fall for the trick…

I’ve not really been following The Magicians on the BBC – but I’ve caught a couple of snatches of it; in some cases we know how the trick is done, but we’re still prepared to suspend belief and enjoy the ride.  If you watched any on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” you’ll see that even those times they were not fooled, they could still enjoy and buy into what was going on.

Now, you can get all caught up in the anti-magic “Harry Potter is evil” tirade (interesting how no one gets up in arms over Narnia, though a wardrobe you can walk into another universe through and a painting which floods a room cannot be construed as non-magical…) but I’m not doing that here today – but these shows I think we can enjoy without any terrible misfortune befalling us… but in real-life, falling for the trickery (even when wee know how it is done, and recognise the consequences) can inflict serious consequences.

I loved getting the above p[assage from Matthew in my inbox today, it reaffirms the idea that – with God – it’s never too late.  This follows on from a weekend where my Church held a ‘covenant service’ where we shared the communion, heard passages from various parts of the scripture andexamined those promises which God has made to us – those fulfilled and those which will be fulfilled.  It shined some light on areas of my life where I don’t feel that I’ve held up my half of the promise.

There areas in all of us – where in relational terms – we betray that bond that we share with the divine…

BUT it is never too late to go back to Him, ‘to ‘fess up and to begin again

I’m re-joining the covenant… I don’t know quite where it’ll take me, but I’m sure it’s bound to be an exciting journey!



{October 19, 2011}   Role Model

Over the last week there’s been a reasonable amount in the press about Dr Fox MP –  I can agree with some of the sentiments expressed by him about the “hounding” of members of his family (the elderly and children allegedly) and I’m not entirely sure that the collected media has a right to sit in judgement over individuals (particularly since the phone hacking scandal) an interesting point is raised.  Those in the public eye ought to be seen as role models.

I don’t hold to the sentiment that those in politics or other ‘professionals’ are a different sort of people (it seems easy to lapse into a ‘them and us’ scenario), but precisely because they are no different to you or I they should demonstrate a kind of role model to which others might aspire.  I can’t (and I won’t) get into the details of the Dr. Fox situation, I don’t really know them, or him.  In a way though, despite being found to have broken ministerial code there is something redeemable in the character Dr Fox presents… he did something wrong, he ‘fessed up, he apologised and he took on board the consequences of his actions.

It’s hard to take the punishment or come to understand the consequences of our actions – harder still to see that sometimes those consequences stretch further than ourselves.

As part of my on-going study and training I’m undertaking an M Ed. the current module is all about becoming a ‘reflective practitioner’ (which is partly the inspiration for trying to get myself into some form of discipline over keeping a journal).  The module, from my initial readings, seems to be about personally examining events within your classroom to ask ‘why’ things happened as they did, and to discover differing possibilities of how things might roll in the future.  It also requires a degree of self-examination, asking of yourself why you responded in a certain way.  The readings (so far) suggest that we all bring our own values/attitudes/experiences/perspectives to the table when we enter the professional arena (and that’s not limited to just teaching) but just as we do the pupils/children/clients/customers/colleagues also do… some situations can result in ‘clashes’ just because we’re coming from differing perspectives.

So I’m trying to think (as part of all this) how I can learn to be a better role model in the way I express myself, explain things and respond to people (children and adults) in the workplace.

There’s been some interesting discussions of late where I work; surrounding behaviour of children and those attitudes / sentiments we unconsciously condone or support by tacitly accepting them as “well that’s real life”… I wonder if it’s ‘ok’ to use that line, to argue that point?  Hand on heart, I don’t feel that just because something ‘is’ we can always successfully argue that it ‘should be’ that way… the tough but is navigating those two frontiers – drawing from what we know, and what we are given and progressing / improving / challenging / extending into what things could be.  But all the while that striving needs to be tempered with what God says should be…  As Robbie Williams sings “I sit and talk to God, but he just laughs at my plans…”

But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.

[1 John 3.2]

Me, being me, I did a quick search for what the Bible may have to say about being a role model; there’s bits about being ‘models of goodness’ (Titus 2.1), we were made for ‘God-modeled love’ (1 Corinthians 6.16) and not trading God in for the latest model (2 Chronicles 13.10) but I thought 1 John just hit the nail on the head.  Again, as I read it can be challenging – we become like those we hang around with… you can sometimes see it in people who’ve been married a long time, or close friends, or even characteristics between parent and child which are not always genetics.  Makes me think, who do I choose to spend time with?  And, how much time do I make to actually ‘be’ with God?  If he’s what I say I am aiming at and for, then do I walk the talk?  The words of Steve Chalke from a Faithworks talk years ago when I was a teenager ring in my head at times like this “The words are easy… but the actions are hard.” 

I’m challenged as I read this and work on writing this, and understanding my thoughts on these matters… I need to make sure that I don’t allow these thoughts to be lost, I don’t want to run the risk of shooting these ideas into the vast emptiness of cyberspace and fail to let them fill me, fill my life and my actions.  But everything now is like a heavy beat, urging me on – and you may not believe it, but it’s a heavier beat than any I heard in my raving days…

But that, the raving days, is another story… and I should shower before The Fades comes on BBC3!



et cetera