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Examining your Roots?

Trisha gave Debbie her very first appointment. This was quite by chance, Debbie wasn’t particularly in a rush to get her hair cut and she doesn’t need her ‘roots done’ as many others may. It did however start a conversation in our home, about people fretting over their exposed roots.  Examining them more keenly than before.

We live in a rootless society. The Celtic Lands perhaps more rooted than our western neighbours, but when a rootless world is told to stay at home the difficulty of the task exposes the reality of the global village, and perhaps our disconnection with the creation narrative. 

The average person in UK/Ireland will live in 4 different houses and have 8 jobs across 4 career paths and that trend was on the rise. But the world just hit reset, and, if we are wise, we need to let this moment reset us. 
Though it is necessary for some to move and some to change jobs etc. I hope – at least within the church – we can rekindle an appreciation for a more homely, vocational living.

The life of following Jesus involves constant reset moments, defaulting to Grace time and time again. After a while you learn to fall in God’s direction!  That’s part of what it is to be a Christian, we are held by God and walk with God. We are Rescued and Commissioned

However if we are to live full lives we must also recognise our Created identity. Each of these fundamentally shaping our lives as Christians.  

By God we have been:

  • Created – at a particular time in a specific place within a unique family.  Right from Genesis one we find out that we have a creator who creates us. This very act gives us an identity, a purpose and relationships of which we live our life from, within the time and place God has placed us. 
  • Rescued – by Jesus’ work on the Cross and in Resurrection and Ascension we have been saved from the Sin, Pain, Brokenness and Death that came because of our rebellion against God. And the Champion King Jesus now invites us through repentance and faith into His kingdom.
  • Commissioned – through Jesus’ church in the power of the Holy Spirit to go and make disciples of all nations and restore the brokenness of the world. Until He has called all His children home and establishes the new heaven and the new earth.  

My assumption would be that most Christians feel the freedom of living out their rescued identity and hear the invitation to live out their commissioned identity.
However, I wonder, and I now hope that these past few months have helped expose our roots as a created people. People who God has knitted together within a family. For this time. At this place. With these people.  

For a plane and free life, a life to the full (which is the Christian life) involves honouring the reality that Jesus has rescued you, that you are commissioned in the power of the Holy Spirit, Yes! But it also involves honouring the reality that God has created you. 
You are totally unique. One of a kind. No copy and paste with God! There has never been anyone like you from the dawn of time and there will never be anyone like you again. God has made you and only you at this time, in this place, with these people so you can bare His image and pronounce His name with clarity.  

So maybe as people in your house examine their roots to see if they need to go get their hair dyed, I pray that we will also examine our roots as uniquely created people whom God has rescued and commissioned.


Mums & Jesus

“Mum” is there a name that could mean more, and to so many?  There is hardly a higher compliment or ambition that could be sought, than to be call mum.

“Jesus” is there a name that could mean so many things, and to so many? This name that is misused, abused and honoured. It is called upon, blamed, praised, adored, cursed and feared. Yet there is no name higher than Jesus.

It’s not easy to become a mum, well, you have to give birth! To the unknowing eye the time of labour is not life giving. The sounds, smells and sights not to mention the pain are not the normal conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
I cannot grasp the depths of love between a mum and child at that point. When my wife held our children for the first time she uttered tenderly through the tears and exhaustion… “Hello there”. As I reflect on this moment I can think of no better summary for the mystery and love than a line from JJ Heller’s song ‘I get to be the one

“How does someone so small, hold my heart to tightly.
I Don’t even know you; I love you completely.”

Jesus looking lovingly at his disciples said words which echo in a mother’s love.
“This is my body broken for you”
The cross, and the events of the passion week are not the conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
The depths of love from God to man are incomprehensible to me, when I think of the new and eternal life God has birthed inside me, when I attempt to think of what it took so that the invite to have this new & eternal life could go out to all the world (inc me) I am left in speechless awe.  What love. I cannot comprehend, I can see a picture of this love as I see how my wife loves our children, it’s a strong love, a sacrificial love, a trusting love, an unconditional love.
God’s love for us is like that but stronger, purer, bigger, completely dependable and absolutely free yet cost the ultimate price.  And why? and how do I know? I can think of no better summary than the song my son was singing this morning.

“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

Happy Mothers Day!


Defining Discipleship // Disciple-Makers Job Description

I’m ‘busy’ reflecting on the summer and my own summer ministry team this year.

In one session I asked the team in pairs to come up with a definition of discipleship and to write a job description for a disciple-maker.
Thought I’d share their insights with you.

What do you think?

What is Discipleship:

  • The uncontainable overflow of Gods initiating Love, changing lives from the inside out.. which cannot be contained; it has to be shared!
  • A life which is always pressing on following after Christ, captivated by Him in triumphant joy, and spreading the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him wherever it goes.
  • Transforming in increasing fruitfulness on the adventure of following Jesus.
  • An example of Christ’s example, living among the people as a reflection. In the world but not of it.

What is a Disciple-makers Job Description:

  • Introducing people to the goodness, mercy and grace of God. Keeping the cross central; everything else flows from it.
  • Someone willing to share their passion of living for Jesus, who models a life of self-sacrifice and devotion to their personal Saviour and who will encourage and support others on their journey of faith with utmost care and brotherly affection.
  • Modelling to and journeying with someone, as one who believes in both God’s and their ability of Christ-life transformation.
  • A role model who is a guide, teacher, friend and companion who through grace, love and persistence will encourage and support.
  • To Guide their searching.
  • A role model who is a guide, teacher, friend and companion who through grace, love and persistence will encourage and support.
    To Guide their searching.

Norman Lynas : Why Mentoring Matters

Disciple Making Together

Maybe it’s just an Irish idea, but if someone helps you and so makes it possible for you to take the next step up the ladder in any area of life, whether that be in education, business or the Christian journey, it seems the most natural thing in the world to do the same for others. And so I guess that was how I started encouraging others and spending time with them helping to grow and mature their faith. Part of the problem in my case was very simple – the fact that, having been brought up in a fairly strict church and Sunday school, my faith began as a way of escaping hell.

normanLater on I discovered that this way of thinking leaves out a vital part of the message: that Christ not only died to save me but chose to live His life through me. Having come to this realisation, I greatly appreciated having someone…

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John 15 and three dimensional discipleship

this is a great wee blog from Alan Wilson.
i’ve been looking at John 15 carefully for around a year now, these are good thoughts.

How [not] to be a church mission committee 1

Great thoughts here from John, I’ll re-post part 2 also…

John 20:21

sphere-1406-cover“Local churches need to be at the centre of supporting, encouraging and helping mission partners in the day-to-day life of living and ministering in another culture.”       Sphere magazine June 2014

In my local church in Belfast, N. Ireland, a young man called John has recently been accepted as a long term missionary with OMF in Japan. He still has a year to go at Bible college and we have been supporting him in his studies. But we are facing a challenge. John will not be getting an OMF salary. John is the first member of our church to join a faith mission since the church sent my family with Wycliffe Bible Translators 25 years ago – and have faithfully supported us ever since.

How will our church cope? Will we pray regularly and faithfully? Will we give generously and sufficiently? I am trusting that God’s Holy Spirit will enable us…

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Debbie’s diary entry 2013

A lot happened in 2013..
What a start to the year as we found out I was expecting and Andrew made the big announcement! We celebrated birthdays, hen parties, baby showers, anniversaries, holidays, the city of culture, engagements and weddings. The joy of new arrivals, the loss of loved ones. New friendships formed, new roles in life for many of us. 
We lived in four different houses and finally settled in our new home! We watched the seasons change and enjoyed the weather of a real summer! We became parents, as Andrew and I were blessed with our little boy and have shared together, with our family, friends and church so many of Peter’s ‘first moments’ and our First Christmas together as a family (great being on maternity leave!).
As one year ends and another begins, we have a lot to give thanks for and a lot to look forward to in the year ahead! Many memories have been made, alot of laughter had and shared, many a tear shed, lessons learned and much still to learn..
Personally I have learned that you can’t ‘do’ life on your own strength. In particular I was reminded of this after Peter was born and I was quite unwell. The care, attention, love and dependance I had on God, Andrew, my family, friends, and hospital staff was felt most at this time. I am constantly reminded of that every day when I look at Peter.
Sharing life with Andrew, has been a real joy and a real journey. Each day may we continue to Stand on God’s grace and strive to walk in His ways. To live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
With full hearts and ready hands, Andrew and I step into 2014 and pray that God would pour into it, as we will..

Eph 3:19

Reblog from Gregg Stewart

great post by gregg!
it’s not our mission it’s Christ’s, but wait a minute… …didn’t i die and now Christ live in me? it’s mine now! and not because i’m special but because the one I handed my life over to is special!

the year of the Lord’s favour, it’s now and will be until the return of our King.
I with Gregg call believers in Ireland to: Eat the Bible, Live like Christ, daily ask for filling of the Holy Spirit and intentionally and collectively seek God and His Kingdom come!
And Christ will be with you always!


I am just back home from being away in Romania for two weeks on a missions team. While I was out there my friend found a few verses that he felt were speaking to him very strongly. Since I have been back home I have also had these verses on my heart, so I want to explore them and see what God wants to teach us from them. The verses are from Luke 4:18-19.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

The context of these verses is that Jesus is in the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath and he quotes the above verses which are found…

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Sunset in Fahan, Donegal (Photos)

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.

some photo’s i’ve taken at sunset round the farm in Fahan.


Dawn in Donegal (Photos)

more faithful than the daw at morning time, is Your grace that gives me strength to face the day.
some photos i’ve taken of the dawn around my home… Fahan, Donegal.

i’ll have some of the sunset next week.

Standing on Grace.

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