Bananas May Contain Children.

When I imagine a drive in movie, I think big American, cars rock n roll, poodle skirts and the movie Greece.

I don’t really think much past that image . Until I saw a shared post on Facebook . Cardboard box cars all lined up containing children watching a film. This allowed me to not only reimagine it but when shared it become a reality . On Saturday our community had its very own drive in movie night.

Its such a simple idea, children make cars out of cardboard banana boxes adding embellishments. With plenty of imagination the boxes were transformed. After making the cars and parking them up a tea was provided . The children soon settled into their cars and enjoyed the film.

It has made me think how we label and stereotype often not being prepared to see past what we already know.
The children sat in boxes clearly labeled bananas. To everyone in that room they sat in cars.
The boxes had been beautifully crafted by the children. Adding paper wheels, some even had cup holders. Cars were unroad worthy some even multi occupancy but they were obviously cars.
Sitting enjoying the film my mind started to wonder. It made me think how Jesus does not label us, and how much we label .
On the outside boxes are clearly labeled bananas . So we should expect to find bananas on the inside.
Why would we find anything else? Its obvious why we have to label boxes.
But why are we so keen to label people ?
No one wants their identity boiled down to one thing, even if the label is a strength, a talent, or a gift. Even positive labelling restricts us . Puts us in a box that’s hard to get out of.
The way we label people is something I have always felt strongly about even in my teenage years it frustrated me . Caring for a little person with additional needs and finding my faith has strengthened my feeling about the way we judge and label people without much thought or consideration to them.
We can make decisions so quickly. Putting people into categories because of their jobs, looks, religion or race. It’s easily to do, we have all done it. It’s only by getting to know people and genuinely wanting to be with them understand them do we remove those unwanted labels.

Labels can really hurt, keep you from being who you really are.
I need to live my life by what I feel inside. Not the labels that others give me, or even the labels I give myself.
The labels I have carried and given myself are no longer significant, they no longer limit me in the way they used to . I am learning to see and live beyond my labels.
Jesus set me free from my labels allowed me to peel them back.
I am so much more than a label. I am a child of God and that’s all I am and who I am.

We could have described our drive in movie afternoon afternoon as “A fresh expression of church lead by an evangelical team ” it could equally be “Community family drive in movie night” .
Its was all those things but it was just simply to me one thing God at work .
Its being involved in lives of the families in our community.  It’s The conversations we have, love we have for them, the love of Christ that we want to share with them. Jesus loves us and that’s the message I want to share. “ you are loved “ . Loved without labels, loved on your good days and bad days . It’s good to loose the long words that not everyone understands and think just about what’s at the heart of what we do.

Psalm 139:14Good News Translation
I praise you because you are to be feared;
all you do is strange and wonderful.
I know it with all my heart.

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Thy Kingdom Come.

Holiest places: pray for all those making a difference to the lives of our most vulnerable children.
“Save The Children” helped 22.1 million children in 2016

I pledge to pray for families; children in the care system and those involved in adoption.
When I first read on the “Thy Kingdom Come” website find some extreme places to pray and film yourselves doing it. I thought of all the beautiful places I could pray: high on a mountain, in a darkest cave, under water in the depth of the sea, riding my bike through the countryside.
When I read it again I realised that I can see God’s beauty and creation in all of these places.
But to others these are not places of beauty but are the extremes of their lives.
The forgotten families and children of our society, often out of sight and unnoticed.

Dear Father God.

I Pray for the charities; churches that support foster and adoptive children.
Wrap struggling families and churches together to offer support where it’s most needed.
Bless those who put ideas into action to make a positive difference in lives of our children.
Shine your light of love so brightly in me that others can see it to.

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Amen.

 

Pray to close the gap

Day thirteen –  lent challenge – hunger
We live in a area of mass expansion , the village I grew up in has become a town , a place where Strangers live , a place where I no longer say hello and know many of the person I meet and it’s somewhat lost it’s community as it gets divided up further and further.
The schools are over subscribed and our infrastructure is buckling under the strain of mass development many local people live in poverty .
Some of the congregation of our church where born in a village and find themselves living in a ever growing town almost oblivious to the expansion and the way lives have changed for the people living and working around them.
Yet in our town people will be hungry , mums will be going without food to feed their children , the food bank becomes a vital support for families without enough money to buy basics.
People we pass in the street are anonymous to us, we are blind to them often refusing to believe that in our town people are hungry and living in poverty.IMG_5554
Just because we live a good life in a beautiful location we need to keep our eyes open and help those in need on our doorsteps.
We need to build stronger communities, stop hiding in our church buildings and loose the fear of meeting ordinary local people , listen to people around us, serve them as Jesus did , understand the reality of their stories and believe that as individuals we can make a difference .

Romans 12 “11-13 – The Message  Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.”

Please have a look at to find out what you can do – http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/