Are being called?

Where are all the books for new Christians? Asked a young believer in a huge church bookshop. There isn’t such a section! – he was told.

So where do we start when the Spirit rears her beautiful head in our lives?

Good question and I hope to try out a few answers.

Actually, I have already started. Since the desire to find Christ comes from us becoming aware that we are spiritual beings. Moreover, the truth is that we are being constantly called by God; a bit like those automated systems that ring our phones repeatedly. So, let start with that ‘sense of call’.

Now people make a real meal of the term being called. So much so, we are shy of using it for what it is – our creator checking in with his creation. In fact, just as when we answer our cellphone, we don’t require to be in a holy place, reading a holy book or switching to a holy mode, we just need to stop and say ‘hi’. All we need do is be in and listening.

So today let’s switch on, be still and listen.

What to do this Sunday – 27 April 2014

Not able to go to church this Sunday – don’t worry. Here is a short act of worship.


Firstly still your minds, concentrate on breathing slowly and letting go of the future.


Focussing on the ‘now’  by relaxing into the music clip below.


Read the story of Christ appearing to disciples articularly Thomas who doubted that Jesus had risen.


If you don’t have a Bible hand, please click here.


Imagine yourself as being in the story.


Remember how quickly you bolted the doors

against the authorities

that were roaming the streets outside.


Feel the fearful anxiety of all

that seems to oppress you

at the moment.


Now see Jesus just standing there.


Do you believe?

Do you believe he is real?

Do you believe that he can help?


Tell him what you need help with in your life.


Then think yourself into being Doubting Thomas.


Bring to the surface all your doubts

about the risen Jesus

and his ability to help you.


Tell him about them

and give him time to reassure and to promise.


Hear him say ‘stop doubting and believe’!


When you are ready – whisper

‘My Lord and my God’


Slowly return to the world that waits you

but keep in your heart the thought – I believe.


Please now pray:


I lay my head to rest
and in doing so
lay at your feet
the faces I have seen
the voices I have heard
the words I have spoken
the hands I have shaken
the service I have given
the joys I have shared
the sorrows revealed
I lay them at your feet
and in doing so
lay my head to rest

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Prayer is like Sport

cross at durham cathedral

Prayer is like sport – it is more talked about than done! The problem is like any conversation in a relationship, it requirements commitment. After all, if we want to keep a friendship going we need to give time and effort to make that phone call, meet up or send a text. And so it is with prayer, for then you are talking directly with Jesus.


Of course, there are plenty of people bursting to tell you what to say. That’s great for them but is it right for you? The answer is – you will most easily pray about those things that are important to yourself, your circle and the world you inhabit. Trying to pray for things that don’t inspire you or people who don’t touch your heart needs hard work and best left until the Spirit urges.


Similarly, if you regret saying or doing something – admit it. But there will be occasions, when before you get there, you feel God saying ‘OK – let’s move on’. So too when we have a beef, be open with God and he will open your heart to a greater truth.For praying is never a one way channel instead it’s like using ‘walkie talkies’ – we need to transmit and then listen. Finally, forget the ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ vocabulary. Jesus when he walked the earth spoke the Palestinian language of Aramaic and possibly some Greek and has no attachment to 17th Century English. I am sure he is quite happy conversing in whatever tongue you speak. He can also deal with you giving him just your emotions and even your tiredness. Remember, he has been there and done it himself.


Yet no matter how disciplined we are in our prayer intentions, there will be periods when we feel dry, empty or we have nothing much to say. Here a few aids come into their own.


Take for example, other believers prayers. The Psalms in themselves often speak when we feel unable to do so. I particularly get much from the work of modern prayer authors such as Frank Adams


In fact a whole-day set of prayers are available from a number of Christian traditions. Examples are:

  • Universalis is the daily prayer book of the Roman Catholic Church (Daily Office)
  • Daily Prayer is a set of prayers from the Church of England (Anglican) and is available in various styles of English (
  • Northumbrian Prayers – This is my particular favourite as it is offers prayers with a Celtic flavour

Finally, if you commute for any distance and want to use the time spiritually, the superb audio meditative prayers from ‘Pray As You Go’ are great of finding inner peace in that world of constant motion.


Wherever you are then, getting in touch is a possibility even a necessity. Since God in Jesus Christ is waiting and listening for you to call in – to call home.

water foot prints


Start by doing nothing

Where is the book section for New Christians asked Gene Edwards when he walked into a huge Christian bookshop filled to the rafters with volumes. He got the reply – there wasn’t one! He goes on got say that the few books he did eventually find were inane, useless, shallow or cursed by scholarship!


Maybe you have had the same experience. Certainly starting out on your personal journey with Jesus can seem daunting. However, it need not be – certainly, he doesn’t want it to be that way.


In fact, the first step is the easiest – and that is to do nothing. By that I mean the best way to encounter God is to be still and quiet and let him speak to you.


For whether we’re sitting at our desks, relaxing at home or waiting in queue, we all have the opportunity from time to time to pause and adjust our perspective even for a few moments.


Specifically,  Barbara Ann Kipfer advises we need to take a break occasionally so as to be kinder — both to ourselves and others. That also means being kinder to Christ who is chasing you round your diary.

She advises:

  •  Just “become a human still life.” Don’t do anything. Just breathe.
  • Focus solely on the experience of living at peace.
  • Listen for the quietest sound.

Maybe then we will hear something else – the voice of a searching God. If so, you have been found.

Worshipper worshipping in the light of Christ

Finding in the light of Christ