Cycling down to work today, sun shining, past a lumious green Preston Park, winding through the North Lanes, past intriguing shops and many cafes I’ve yet to try. Past Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror (go Brighton Festival) and then onto the seafront. Crusing along with the green and blue sea to the left, both Piers looking their shabby best in the bright light. To the right the vast array of diveristy of beauty and ugly that make up Brighton seafront, the grim concrete Centre contrasted with the white flowing flats of Hove. Green Hove lawns, string of people going to a conference, runners on the front and Jack Johnson in my ears. I love this city, I love my home. I love Fridays.


Ok, ok second link to this blog in a very short space of time, but I cannot really express the hope that this brings. Or the emotions that a brother standing up for his sisters stirs in me, a male voice that isn’t crushing but seeking to be life giving and affirmative. I’m grateful that I know a few men like this in reality but oh for a more redeemed way of men and women relating to each other generally. I really really can’t stand the constant putting down of womens thoughts and ideas in some church cultures, generally done with humour so if you get annoyed you are seen as having no sense of humour.

I really really can’t stand the reverse as well, women belittling men, again with humour, laughing at incompetence and generally taking the superior line. This is SUCH an issue in our lives. We need to be SO counter cultural in the way we love and respect each other as brothers and sisters. We all (men and women) need to get a whole lot better at the stuff Glen touches on in his post, the listening, the understanding, the self sacrifice of MY point of view. The battle of the sexes is the oldest kind, we fight for power and position, seemingly forgetting that Jesus sought neither. But we fear that kind of vulnerability, we might have tried it in the past and been stamped upon, I know that’s what stops me being vulnerable, what fuels my fear of opening up to brothers in my life. There are many issues to work through. But we must, not just because Jesus taught us how real forgiveness was possible, but so we really do reflect Him to the world around us.

It seems so obvious to start with Jesus, He gives me hope, he related to women in the most loving counter-cultural way ever. He is the lead to follow in bring out the beauty in the women around him, of loving their tenderness and compassion and loving them in their brokenness. Good men do this, they help us unfurl into the beautiful women we were made to be.  And you don’t need a husband or boyfriend for that to happen, good men are those brothers who know how to listen, to relate well to and love, I’m so grateful to the guys God has put into my path over the years who have been friends, who haven’t been afraid I’m going to jump them, who haven’t feared that we’re going to enter into some kind of competition, who haven’t put me down but have valued my input and nurtured me as a sister.

(just realised this a whole new line in blog posts for me, it’s not about tea, not about heaven, not about struggling and not about the Lake District. Interesting…)


Sarah says I should start blogging again, I’m not really convinced of the merits of blogging whilst very spaced out due to being poorly sick. But there you go. What may follow who can tell because my brain seems to be made of wobbly jelly at the moment. Anyways, you should look at this. It’s our church blog. Yey. I’m still not sure I should be calling this blog hoveactually anymore, it’s been nearly a year since I lived in Hove, but I can’t be faffed changing it.

I’ve been in the Lakes for the last week with the aforementioned (love that word) Sarah having a lovely time of reading books, walking up hills and visiting an inordinate amount of tea shops. Good times. Some pretty photos for you:
View over Keswick from Walla Crag

a tree

We did rate all the tea shops on a complex scale of 1-5 including ratings for tea, coffee, cake and general ambiance. This one was my favourite, mainly because it sold tea in pint mugs, also it was just what we needed on a rainy walk in the Lakes, sausage sandwich and a pint of tea. Did I mention that the tea came in pints?


Moment of the holiday was provided by the lovely Liz (on our annual meet up in the Lakes cos she lives too far North to see any other time). We were in a old country house with a new fangled approach to visitors, no National Trust evil red ropes blocking you from going anywhere or stupid signs instructing you not to sit anywhere or breathe near the precious old things. No no. This one had a sign asking you to touch and play the piano. Weird. Liz played some beautiful pretty music and became totally oblivious to everyone else in the house stopping, entranced, to listen. We had a sense she’d made their holiday. They duly applauded when Liz stopped and for the rest of our time there came up to us to thank her and generally gush about her playing. Very entertaining and strangely moving.


One girl to join a missional community household in Brighton. (see here for some explanation of that slightly jargon filled sentance…)

We’re a friendly bunch of people who are living in community together to bless the community around us.  We’re under no illusions that we are easy to live with but we do have a pretty strong basis for being able to love each other and forgive each other, Jesus. Due to unforseen circumstances of a brillant and generally overly exciting nature one of our housemates has had to move out. We need someone. Pretty soon.

So, if you know anyone who is up for it, wants to live in community, find a job in Brighton and get stuck into a church which will be family for them and they can be family to, get in touch.

Seriously. Think about it. Talk about it. Dream about it.  Are there any ex Relays who don’t know what to do next, any people you know who are up for some big challenges, risks and crazy surfing of God’s sovereignty…?


Yes. Yes. Yes.

(I know, lazy ass blogging, but there’s a lot going on right now)


“Thine be the glory,
Risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory 
Thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
For her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.

No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life;
Life is nought without Thee: aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conquerors, through Thy deathless love;
Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.”

Genius words that say it all really. Today is resurrection day. The day that brings hope and meaning to everything in this world. To everything in this crazy life. We have hope. In the pain, in the frustration, in the dark, in death, in sorrow. We feel these deeply and rightly so, this world is not as it was meant to be. But this world is going to be transformed. Death has been conquered. Defeated. Jesus rose and therefore we will be raised. Therefore new life is coming, new creation is around the corner. The trail ahead has been blazed clear and we live knowing that there is more than this. There is more to this world. In the darkest of all dark there is still a faint glimmer of light. There is nothing unredeemable. There is no change too hard for the one who broke the power of death once and for all. And so we cry, come Lord Jesus. Come.

Today at church (that’s seven of us in our living room) we reflected on the cross, heartbroken we realised again the enormity of what Jesus has done for us. We felt the darkness of that moment. At the end we pondered that it was right to feel the weight of the darkness but also taste some of the hope we have. This video is a little cheesy but makes the point very clearly. It is Friday. But Sunday is coming. We do know the end of the story. We lament today. But we do so knowing that a glimmer of light is flickering on the horizon. It’s Friday. But Sunday is coming..