Tuesday, 12 July 2011

you idiot....

Yesterday I read a blog about Mark Driscoll, i had never heard of Mark Driscoll but realised i had seen him on Twiiter (pastormark) bashing Rob Bell and Donald miller. I struggle not to worship Donald Miller due to my absolute love of his writing so natural, my first impressions was he was an idiot. Then i read this blog and i was right. He is an idiot.

Now,this blogger was pretty brave to write this and i really admire her wanting to see change and getting the church to stand up and address what really does come across as bullying and totally awful interpretations of the bible.

Reading what he thinks about men, how he uses language that bullies and teases people, how anti gay he is and how when a male pastor admitted to having an affair with another man he blamed the wife 'for letting herself go and not being sexually available, and not that the pastor was gay' honestly just makes me think he really must be an idiot ( and thats my nice, blogging language!!) but i have never met him...

I don't know what he is really like

I don't know why he feels the need to swear in church or why he thinks Christian men should cage fight

I don't know why he thinks Rob Bell and Donald Miller's teaching is wrong

I don't know why he is the way he is.

And i certainly haven't been put in the position to judge him , or anyone...

I don't think any community i have been a part of is as bad as church at judging, especially other christians. Its like we put other christians up and above anyone else and expect them to reach and exceed our expectation. Its so hard to not to think my way of thinking and living is the best, that the way they 'do' church is wrong. And we all do it, and we do it a lot!

Having said that, we will meet (and probably have met) people and leaders in the church who we really struggle to agree with, people you really want to detach yourself from because their way of living out the story of God, and seeking the kingdom is so awful different from you. And there are bullies in the church. There are people who are horrifically anti Gay, and there will always be someone preaching things that really aren't biblical.

I am beginning to understand though that there is an alternative to bitching about it over the sunday roast. It has to be relational. When issues arise we need to deal with them, and not by marching up to them and ranting about what an idiot we think they are but by making effort to build bridges that are based on equal standing.

Being church isn't standing up in a church meeting and telling everyone what you want.

Its as simple as inviting them down from their tree and inviting yourself over for a cuppa.

And even though the issues themselves might not be simple, addressing them is so much more positive then gossiping about them.

But as always... the right thing to do isn't always the easiest :)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The mother

What if my child sacrificed their life for me?
Would i be able to stand and watch?
Would i not want to just take them down
and take them home
and hold them forever
and never let go

wouldn't i want to tell them to stop
that the world will not care
that they matter more
that the kingdom could wait
that someone else could do this

would i not want them just to stop being a son of God and just be my son
with no greater purpose
with no need to save
and no passion
if it meant they would not sacrifice their life
would i not want this?

To still live and breath the next day, no longer with my child
to wonder was it worth it, will it matter in the end
to know i had to let go, he was no more
to know my child was gone, sacrificed in innocence
killed in hate

the darkness surrounding, the family mourning
wouldn't a mother no longer know love?
passion is lost
hearts are broken
and for what? a greater kingdom?
As a mother, would you not just want your son?

A sun rises on the 3rd day
If you saw would you not believe it is him?
would you see the scars and still struggle to conceive
your touching your son, the son of God?
The son you watched die
the son you have mourned
the death you did not want
the heartbreak you have felt
the tears this mother has wept
Would I, a mother having wept and wept
now understand
now accept

the Son has risen
the kingdom has won
and sacrifice and love
will never be defeated

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Joining in..

Phoebe, currently being ignored by her mother who was catching up on the blogging world was playing happily on her mat... then she started complaining and her mother, being a bit engrossed in what she was doing tried to entertain but the child was not fooled, mother was not giving her her full attention. The complaining continued... then Daddy came in, took compassion on his little girl and crawled down on the floor and lay next to his child laughing and making silly noises till Phoebe started laughing and playing again. Mother stopped what she was doing and watched her two favourite people in the world blow raspberries on their play mat.

I think God has been trying to remind me of this for a while, but today i really get it.

Join in.

Join in with me in what I am doing
Join in with your friends and talk about what they think
Join in with your community in what they are feeling
Join in with your neighbor no matter how different they are from you
Join in with my passions and follow where they are leading
Join in with your church, even if it gets frustrating
Join in with worship, even if its not your style
Join in with the Bible, its your awesome story
Join in with the sorrow, so you're there in the good and bad
Join in with my adventure...

... its the best choice you will ever make.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


I've been thinking about story and have recently been reminded of one of my favourite writers...Donald Miller...

I remember listening to a talk he gave about story, and one point I loved was when he asked the audience to think about their life as a movie, and if their life was made into a movie what would the tag line be... essentially the summary of your life...

Would it be along the lines of any of these...

' Will Ron ever get their (enter amazing car i have no idea about name here) ???'

' Will Penelope ever get that amazing, beauitful body shape she always dreamed of?'

' Will Steve ever beat all the rest, do whatever it takes to get to the top?'

' How will the Joneses ever afford to send little Jimmy to that amazing posh-o school?"

I know what your thinking... what absolute piles of crap those movies would be. And i guess that was the point of the talk, if you really thought about it, and were really honest what would your tag line be... and would it bore you to death or would it send you rushing for the popcorn again and again because you just couldn't get enough of it?

I have friends with amazing stories, and I mean amazing. I have friends in Canada who packed up themselves and their four kids, flew to Thaliand and worked for a whole year as a family, ministering in ways that were so exciting. I would totally watch that movie.

I have family and friends living on the worst housing estates in bristol living in community and transforming the community around them in ways that are so radical and so simple that it can only be God driven. They still live there even though kids have thrown fireworks at them. I would definitely watch that movie.

I have watched young people choose not to take drugs and not get drunk but still spend time at parties with friends who do. I would love that movie.

I have family who have spent unnumerable amounts of hours round cups of tea, glasses of wine, pints of beer and lots and lots of cake crying with, counselling and generally just listening to so many tens and hundreds of people. Imagine the wisdom they have. I would absolutely see that movie.

I listened to a man at the weekend who at 17 had a dream to get a huge ship and sail it round the world with other christians ministering in every country across the globe. He is 72 and operation mobilization is still going. That would be one epic movie

I have a friend who wanted to study in New York, and even though it didn't work the first time she didn't give up and tried again and did it. One day i am pretty convinced she will be recognised on a huge scale as an awesome film maker. Her story would be heart warming and i would totally watch the movie she would make of it ;)

Then i think about my tag line...my movie. I am only 24 its not like i feel there is much a movie in the making yet...but what if one day there was? Would there be an awesome story line, full of excitement, tradgey, love, heart break, challenge...any of those?!

I suppose we all can't live epic Lord of the Rings trilogy lives (though how awesome would that be!?) But when I think about the amazing story we are a part of, the one of creation born out of true, pure love...the one where He dies so we live... the one where we are asked to follow Him... where we are chosen to be set apart how can you not be inspired to fufill that story in amazing, exciting ways?

I phrase i heard last week was this.. ' Christians are suffering with a poverty of vision.'

I think that is so true, for so many of us... we are starving for a big, epic, all God ecompassing story... Not just one of those short lived, makes you feel all fuzzy Hugh Grant type movies...I am not really talking about those huge, multi billion coming right at your face Avatar flicks either... i am talking about your budget, no hype needed, understated films that don't need any of that big production value, don't need your 3D, HD blu-ray crap because purely and simply they tell an amazing story. That is what I think I am craving... I can't live in this poverty of vision... I unashamedly want more. I am starving.

So, what is your tag line?

What is your story?

And would sit there and watch it over and over and over again?

Food for thought my friends

Shalom x

Saturday, 13 November 2010

on being...

We have some new neighbors. They live sporadically on our front wall and are in the business of the trading of illegal substances. they seem pretty friendly.

And how exactly does one react to these new neighbors..?

firstly one does not refer to one selves as 'one' in front of them.

One is pretty sure that would get one's head kicked in.

Secondly, I suggested opening up 'Rae's munchies stand' so we too can benefit from the prime drug dealing location that is our wall, others, namely the father in law suggested I bake cake, give it them for free and maybe just chat with them and in a nice way ask them to move before I feel the need to call the police. Little less lucrative than my suggestion but probably rather more spiritual minded.

So I am yet to bake them cake, or chat to them. But that is only because I'm a complete wuss.

But i keep talking about being in the community and doing something radical, and then an opportunity arises and i just shut my curtains and ignore the rather stale smell of weed calling me outdoors to the face the challenge. I mean what is the point in 'being' if it just becomes a passive reaction to the world around me?

I recently said in a post on here that I love living in Easton, that I am not here out of sense of calling, but just out of wanting to 'be' here, to invest here and that I really do feel comfortable.

Honestly, I am beginning to feel rather uncomfortable here... we have drug dealers outside our house, we have had a fatal stabbing round the corner and i am pretty sure the guy down the road is planning on stealing our dog.

I really could just close my curtains on it all, I could very easily call the community police officer and get him round, or even set up a neighborhood watch but then my husband turns round to me and says 'lets pray about it and then go and chat to them, get to know them if we can, but lets not be the people who call the police... lets find a different way.' oh, he is soooo his fathers son.

It challenges me to find that third way of being... not reacting humanly and not over spiritualizing things... but being radical and different, being immersed in this world but not entangled in it.

It excites me... this is where i live and this is what we are trying to do... be actively pursuing God's kingdom. Investing in people, whoever they are and no matter what drugs they deal...

A long time ago, and constantly ever since, I confessed to loving God, to believing in him and to having a longing to follow him, no matter what and no matter where it led me, I did secretly wish that it would be some nice suburb in Vancouver but I am here, in Easton, and now I am asking...

God... what does 'being' look like to you, here and now and with this community?

Does 'being' have to be an active thing or can it be both active and passive?

What does the kingdom of God look like on my front wall when some guy hands over a bag of pills in exchange for a huge stash of cash?

And please don't let the scary man steal my dog


Monday, 5 April 2010

On the verge of parenthood and many more things...

Over the past 8 months we have lived in three different houses, moved from Northumberland, to Knowle West, to Horfield and to Easton. We've viewed house after house to find our home and now we await our last move in Easton, our final stopping ground, our home for the next unnumbered years of our life...and we couldn't be more ready to settle down, have a baby, and make Easton our home.

When I really think about it, the last 8 months haven't been all that great, it's been hard on many different occasions trying to figure out what it is we should be doing, where we should be working, if we should be working at all. We know on some level we are called to be in Easton but mostly, we just love living here...the people are people we feel connected with, the area keeps us entertained and busy, and we can walk around feeling a sense of belonging because people have been so welcoming. We love our church and we love getting to know people in it. Most of the time we don't feel like we are following a sense of calling but more following our hearts, and ourselves...finding a home where we feel 100% ourselves. I've come to believe that your home and your choice of location for it is a pretty defining moment in your life, how it defines ours I'm excited to discover. Were going to be living a 5 minute walk from a road still known widely as the 'most dangerous road in Britain' and in an area that comes within the brackets of being in the lowest 1% of deprivation in the south west. As far as we can tell most of our neighbors don't speak English as there first language, if at all, and being white is pretty much being in the minority. Again, i don't feel like were called to be here in some mega spiritual way, or that in fact we are being 'mega-spiritual' by living here- As my very wise Canadian mentor once told me - there are dark places all over the world, all over Britain, as God's people we would have a purpose wherever we went.

In many ways, all i ever come back to, all i really want to express, wherever i am is that i love my community...not because it loves me, or understands me or I it, not because its accepted me or welcomed me and not because i feel God has told me or called me to love it but because "in My image i will make thee..."

... Purley by accepting who's image I am made in, who's spirit is with me, who's power is within me and who's forgiveness is renewing me I can begin to understand who I am and what my life should reflect...to be people in community with others, whether they are like us or the complete opposite, whether they worship our God or someone or something else, whether they accept us or not, whether they can talk our language or not is neither irrelevant or important...its just what it is and we hope we can learn to live a life that celebrates diversity as surely being in the Kingdom of God has to include the seeking of reconciliation and Hope that is building relationships and celebrating diversity? To struggle through it, to desperately seek to understand it, to be educated in it, to be accepting of it and to be so confident in who you are that it doesn't matter if your different, because your base is in an understanding of who God is and who he created you to be.

So we may have no idea what the next 8 months hold, what being a mum and dad really feels like and how exhausted it will make us. How Andy is going to find going back to university studying theology and working in the local area as a community worker. How we will continue to live as community with those around us and what it is like unpacking boxes and not needing to pack them up again 3 months later but God does, and if there is anything i believe in its this - that with God we have an amazing story to tell... Knowing our starting place as being created in the image of God, loved by Him as our creator and knowing in the end we will stand before Him and He will say; " well done my good and faithful servant..." and how we discover, plan and partake in what comes inbetween will be the making of us, the bringing of the kingdom here on earth and best story we could ever hope to tell...

So as story tellers we hope via this blog and our newsletters we will be able to reflect on our journey, involve you in our story and hopefully be challenged and supported by people who love us and want to walk side by side with us in this journey.

Our newsletter will come out every few months via email - please email me at raepears@googlemail.com if you wish to receive it :)

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Back in Bristol

As always it has been a while - we have been a bit rubbish at staying in contact and we now have the consequence of updating you with a blog that hopefully wont take you a whole day to read! So here we go…

We are now back in Bristol for good, which has been a strange transition. The last few weeks have been filled with flights to jersey, friends weddings, family get-togethers and moving all our boxes around between various houses and garages. As a result we haven’t really stopped to think through the last 8 months.

Leaving Wooler was a lot harder than we thought it would be…our relationships at the pub had grown very strong over the last few months, before we left some of our regular customers brought us gifts and our work friend threw such a good leaving party for us we realized how blessed we were with friends whilst being up north. Its amazing to think really how God worked in that time; how we even ended up in a job that we loved so much, that taught us about ourselves, our hopes for the future and our gifts then we ever thought possible. What really excites us though is realizing that through this experience we have stated to figure out what it is we are passionate about doing - and that is working together, serving others and being deeply involved in the life of the community that we live in. Our experiences have kindled a growing desire to open our own cafe together and run it with a community focus. In Northumberland we were amazed at the ways in which God worked in the people around us, we ended up developing many profound relationships with people that we worked with as well as some of our regular customers – it was a real lesson in how just being genuinely open and available to people, and engaging fully with the community around you, is a powerful thing. We are still very excited about being in Easton and we believe it is the area God is leading us to live and work in. So you could say things have become pretty clear for us and where we feel God is leading us as a couple.

Whilst we were serving Fosters and providing for the never ending Bingo habits of the residents of the caravan park, St Marks church in Easton was opening a coffee shop for the local community and continuing to develop ideas and desires for that local area; now that we are back we are really excited about being a part of that vision. Basically we are looking to start attending St Marks church and begin to develop relationships with people in Easton and hopefully begin to get involved in the work there…the challenge is how we do this, we don’t have a house, we don’t have a job and its not really a good time to be looking at the moment. We want to give our all to this and trust that God will provide for us but we can’t do this by ourselves. We hope to come to Cairns Road for a few more weeks and have the chance to share some more about our hopes for our future in Easton but we would really appreciate your prayers as we find courage and strength to make a decision that really seems a bit mental! We believe in what we are passionate about, being in the pub showed us how naturally we build relationships, how we long to be a part of peoples lives and show compassion towards those that don’t often see it. That’s why we want to be in Easton and why we long do this through the powers that are coffee shops and of course, the love of God!!

Well now that we are back in the land of internet connection we do hope to keep you more updated- we are currently looking for some part time work in Easton and somewhere to live that we can afford on part time work and/or benefits and hope that soon we will be settled in Easton. If you could keep this in your prayers that would be so wonderful, thank you for all your support, we really do appreciate it and have certainly seen the hand of God over us as we take these slightly nutter-like steps in life.

With love
Andy and Rae