Climate change... the turning of the tide?

Image climate change deniers must now get their heads out of the sand and face the facts? Even Trump's own administration is now siding with those shouting loud and long about human-induced climate change being a reality.See the above article which makes reference to a U.S. Federal Government report into climate change which says that, “Humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.”

We’ll Never Walk Alone!!

The #whereislamennais scarf, designed by our Brothers in Spain, has returned to its spiritual home (See the text on the scarf. Football fans worldwide should see the link with Liverpool FC). Unfortunately, my team the Saints (#saintsfc #southamptonfc) lost to Liverpool, but it was great seeing Keith and Shaun, Sarah and Matthew again. #lamennais #menejoven #TeamWin

From darkness into light - Switchfoot

The Switchfoot gig in Manchester last night was a truly wonderful experience of joy, of communion, of uplifting songs and so much more… They are one of those rare acts that are more than just writers and performers of songs. They have the tremendous gift of being able to write songs that you can adopt as your own and apply to your own life in a way that makes it feel as if it was especially written just for you.Jon Foreman, lead singer and principal songwriter, shared that he was once asked about how he writes songs… no easy answer, but on the spot he came up with something that he’d never thought before but summed it up well - he starts from a place of darkness and strives to take the song into the light. I LOVE this idea. I can really feel it in their songs and I suppose it’s one of the reasons that I have listened to their 10 (+ rising) albums so often over the years. Their songs really do help to lift the darkness.Here are three songs that do just that for me - darkness to light. …

Switchfoot live in Manchester

On my way in to see one of my all-time fave bands, Switchfoot (for the 2nd time / last time over 10 yrs. ago). Their music is uplifting, even when melancholic, while their lyrics cover the full range of human experience from the dark night of the soul and the search for meaning in the midst of suffering, to the joy and peace that comes from finding the love of God in those around us, in our friends and family. This song sums up very well what they are about. 

#switchfoot #jonforeman #timforeman

Pope John Paul II's feast day

On this day when we commemorate Pope St. John Paul II, here’s a quote of his that has stayed with me:

“Duc in altum. Put out into the deep. These words invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence.” #jpII

"The Death of Stalin"

Saw "The Death of Stalin" last night. Both laugh-out-loud hilarious and gasp-inducingly dark. The wonderful cast tear into their parts with gleeful relish, but special mention must go to Andrea Riseborough (always brilliant) who provides an essential and moving emotional anchor to the story and through whose eyes we observe the ridiculousness of the alpha (and not-so-alpha) male power struggles going on around her.  The attached interview with the director/writer Iannucci is very interesting. I love this line which I can most certainly related to:  "Everyone thinks they’re a child in a world of adults and then you realise, actually, it’s lots of big children.”

Sexual harassment, Hollywood, Weinstein + others

This man Terry Crews’ account absolutely nails what is at the heart of the whole question of sexual harassment + abuse and why the women who are coming forward now re Weinstein haven't done so before. It's all to do with power and control, establishing a power relationship that the victim is powerless to do anything about. The abuser knows this which it why they feel they can get away with it, even when, as is the case of this former-sportsman-turned-actor, it takes place at a very public function in full view of other people, including the victim's wife. The fact that the victim is also black gives it echoes of how black slaves were treated... "I own you, so I can do what I want with you... I will humiliate you in front of those you love so that you know your place and will stay in it."

Oh, and it wasn't Weinstein but someone else.

Here's a quote from the second article:

"But perhaps most glaringly, Crews' story shines a light on the myth that se…

“Chanter La Vie”, Brittany 2017

Last month, I took a Team Win...! (SFX Chaplaincy on tour) group of 5 Yr. 8 pupils on a 6 day "Chanter La Vie" adventure in Brittany, aided by Rolo (aka Andrew Rowan). The focal point of the trip was our performance of the song “Life Is Beautiful” by The Afters in a concert with our Canadian and French friends from Chanter La Vie/Villages Des Sources. Other activities included a visit to the Océanopolis Sea Park in Brest, a day out at Mont St. Michel and another at St. Malo, the latter two with the visiting Canadians. Congratulations to the 5 Yr. 8 pupils who came. Thank you for being such a pleasure to take away. You were a real credit to yourselves and to the school. Here's a link to an online album with photos and a few video clips. It looks like I’ll be taking a group to Canada in 2019!

“District 9” and the refugee crisis

The article that you will find here contains a very pertinent analysis of Neill Blomkamp’s wonderful film "District 9" in the light of the current refugee crisis. Here's the start of the article:

"Sometimes the best way to approach the horrors of the real world is indirectly, through fantasy. Allegory can make important points free from the journalistic burdens. On its release in 2009, Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 was acclaimed as a clever sci-fi/action movie that used a story about alien refugees to explore South Africa’s shameful apartheid past.

But today it’s imagery and ideologies have a new resonance. Eight years after its release, as Europe struggles to cope with the ongoing migration crisis - and as media and politicians seek to dehumanise the most vulnerable of people - District 9 is more relevant than ever."

Sharlto Copley as Wikus van de Merwe.

Sacred & Set Apart


Here's a DVO devotion from last year that seeks to explain the meaning of the words "holy" and "sacred" and I think does it rather well.
March 3, 2016He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace... 2 Tim 1:9 (NIV)
Vocation - Part 3
Holy means "sacred and set apart."

Isa 63 says, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory..."

God is holy.

1 Pet 1:15 says, "Now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy."

God wants us to be holy

1 Pet 1:2 "God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ."

God has made us holy.

To "sanctify" is the process of being made Holy. Which is what Jesus has done for us - sanctified us. The second part of 2 Tim 1:9 says (MSG), …