This book is full of surprises. I found Hidden Christmas both interesting, difficult, insightful and challenging.
It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but then that’s probabaly because there is a part of me thinking about nativity scenes and tinsel. Both of which are great by the way, but this book goes straight into the deep truths of what Christianity is about.
It especially reminds us of the lengths God has gone to in order to reclaim us, to bring us home into the place of his love.
To begin with I was uncertain who the book was aimed at, Christians or people wanting to consider Christianity and I am still not sure. However I don’t think I would give it to my non Christian friends.
I personally found Keller’s speaking style abrupt and at times aggressive in tone. I struggled with it and I know it would put my non Christian friends off. Also he uses language which while completely accessible to a church goer, would confuse many who have no experience of it.
There were times where he assumes who you the reader are and what motivates you, which I found annoying. But then he said this:
I have often heard people say that they had gone to such and such church and the preacher had droned on to long and was boring. I often counter, “Okay, but was the sermon wrong? Even though it was boringly communicated, was God’s truth being set before you?” We must be aware of our prejudices.
And he is right. Keller is in no way boring in this book but I did find myself prejudice against it because of his tone.
However, as I looked past that I found Hidden Christmas full of some very beautiful truths and profound insights.
There is much to be gained from reading this book as a Christian, both as an encouragement and as a challege to a deeper life with God.
So take a look for yourselves – I would love to hear your opinions on it.
My second attempt at YouTube poetry. I badly need a microphone and its on my Christmas list, but in the meantime subtitles will have to help.
Anyway, I tried something new with this, the first half of the poem i did on the fly as I recorded rather than writing it down. It was an interesting if slightly scary experience.
An interesting article on how codependancy works in relationships:
As I have mentioned here a few times before, I suffered badly with codependent issues. Even though I have largely overcome these, there are still some clear traces that I constantly work on (or have to work on). One of these and one that I see often with clients is hyper-vigilance, not in the sense of physical threat but mostly to do with observing a partner’s behavior for signs of change. For codependents who constantly live with insecurity, these signs could mean a lot.
Many clients who have noticed this element in themselves take any perceived change as a possible signal that they are about to be abandoned. In reality, there is usually nothing to be worried about or there is an issue that is not much to do with the relationship. What it does to a codependent is foster an attitude of “treading on eggshells”. They feel that the…
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So I have a new wheeze – my poetry on youtube. I’m not sure how many I will do, but for now, here is the first:
Some good thoughts on the natural capacity for mindfulness we have:
I have been staying at Clowance Estate in Cornwall, where there has been a mansion house since 1380. Some of the original features are still there like a silt trap.
This silt trap is a small pond into which a stream runs via a control gate and a control exit. The control gate is used to determine how strong a flow of water from the stream comes into the pond. Most of the particles coming into the pond, soil, sand and silt, settle in the silt trap.
That means much cleaner water flows out of the pond – in this case to stew ponds where fish for the kitchen table were reared. In the photo below you can see the stream, the control gate and the silt trap pond.
Seeing this in operation gave me an analogy for the way our minds can work. Attention is like a control gate…
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Nobody, NOBODY should be put through this…
I’m sat here broken and sobbing.
I just had one of the most humiliating experiences a person can have, and the worst part?
It won’t be the last time.
It’s a sunny Tuesday afternoon. I’ve just had my hair done for the first time in a year; my boyfriend arrives tomorrow and we are off on holiday with the family at the weekend. I’m smiling, and excited as I park my van near my daughters school, ready to collect my children. In the playground Mums and Nans tell me how great it is to see me, and how good I’m looking after a week or so off the radar, poorly. It’s quite lovely, and their kindness and words mean the world to me, when I have been feeling so low.
I collect my youngest two, and meander back to the car, noticing a traffic cone on the pavement blocking my…
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A lovely review: onto my wish list he book goes…
A link to my review of Brian Draper’s new book ‘Soulfulness: deepening the mindful life’, via the Baptist Times