My Disruptive Journey of Faith

Tipping-pointHave you ever been concerned about your faith? I have, it is a most unsettling experience. After pouring enormous amounts of energy and conviction into something only for it to be dislodged by rogue thoughts is scary. It’s scary because of the implications and the uncertainty of where it will all lead. What will my friends think? What if I am wrong? Even scarier; what if I am right? Continue reading

When You Realise Your Mother is a Great Leader

dsc_0167My mother’s name is Lynley Simpson-Nielsen. It is hard to know where to start when describing the woman she is. Tomorrow is her last day of working in a church as a leader for 43 years and then she retires. For her it just means she does more things she wants to – which ironically may mean she keeps pastoring in some capacity. Continue reading

Are We the Church Infatuated With Youthfulness?

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I always feel cautious about offering observations on church life. I continue to believe that despite the churches exposure to human vulnerability, it has the potential to be amazing. I myself have probably contributed to one misstep after another in the eyes of those who don’t share my personal belief in the life of Jesus. I think this most recent season of public anger towards the church may not be the for the reason we think it is. That is, have we the church interpreted the public angst as persecution for our moral stance  and see it as the cross we bear for choosing a noble pathway in Jesus name? Some of us Christians may even see the publics anger as a badge of honour.

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A Response to: When A Theologian Gets it So Wrong

I have a friend who is a theologian, author and lecturer at Alphacrucis College – Dr Shane Clifton. He is a unique soul and suffered an accident resulting in SCI. Shane lives perilously in a wheel chair and writes poignant stories that are bloody funny one moment and will take your breathe away the next.

Here is his response to my previous blog:

I think the term “theologian” gets a lot of bad press for the work of a very few of its membership. Continue reading

And Then There Was Paris

imageI am writing on the train travelling from Paris – destination Rome. I am wondering what words I can draw together that could ever do justice to such an amazing place. I’ll have to write several blogs but for now instead of trying to describe the suave stride of the confident Parisian, the flamboyant waiter or the gothic and elaborate decor that dresses every nook and cranny, I’ll keep to familiar territory – moi.

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Confessions of a Retired Worship Leader

Ever had an argument with your spouse then had to go on a platform with the task of focusing a couple of thousand people to sing how great God is? If you haven’t, trust me… it feels weird to say the least! My mind is pondering, “Should I just confess in front of the whole congregation that I had an argument so I don’t feel fake, or would that make for an awkward moment?” “Should I ever bring my personal life into work?” “Aren’t worship leaders supposed to be humble and lead people to a place of transparency and honest reflection?” “How can I do that if I just had a rotten argument and feel like crap?” Oh my tortured soul! Do you see how difficult it is to live with myself? Continue reading

Open Handed Faith (part B)

Ok…I know my last blog was a little like chewing cardboard for some. I am still spitting out the furry bits myself! Since starting my blog I have noticed an internal tension to start with a big idea and then feeling compelled to neatly tie it all up in 800 words so you can read it while you finish breakfast. It is bloody hard! I am an idealist at heart and recovering cynic! The two beat hard against each other at times hence my intensity. So if you can cope with my weirdness I will try and keep my funk in control. Continue reading

Open Handed Faith ‘part A’

Many of my friends attend church and many don’t. Some of you would never be caught dead in a church…except…when your dead? My experience with church has been on either end of the spectrum. If you have read my book ‘Growing Sideways’ you will know the church has been full of compassionate people that have stood beside me in the most difficult times and I will always be indebted. You will also know the church was the most destructive force I had ever faced, particularly in my early years. Continue reading