Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Friday, November 30

Making love...and marital conflict

This is not a comment on anyone I know particularly – just a general observation.

Men are aware that ‘making love’ is largely a matter of hormones. Their loins call to action, [or not] without necessarily having a correlation to the state of the relationship. On this level, they can understand if she ‘has a headache’.

However, much is in the phrase ‘making love’, which is a female phrase. Men are usually satisfied with earthier euphemisms. But women like to ‘make love’ and associate it very closely with romance and the state of the relationship.


But…. Women frequently have less animal hormonal drive than men do.

The men can understand this and can cope with it per se, but because the woman has gone to such lengths to stress that it is all about lurve and relationship, when the woman isn’t in the mood simply because her hormones are low, the man can only interpret her frigidity as a lack of love and a poor state of relationship.

The man then feels unloved, and goes off to find appreciation somewhere else.

The woman then also feels unloved and rejected, but does not realise that it is all because of the language that she insisted upon and the stress she put on the relational aspects of it at the expense of the biological aspect.

In summary, I encourage women everywhere to safeguard their marriages by less talk of love and a more honest discussion about earthy biological animal shagging. They will then find that in mutual biological pleasure, bonding hormones are released, from which grow real and honest love and commitment. The man and the woman will both feel appreciated and secure. Yes, making love is about lurve… but lets not forget it’s about the making of it as well as the expression of it.

Thursday, November 22


So tell me: Did the scriptures used by Jesus and the Apostle Peter in the synagogue include the apocrypha?

(I know that the people at Jamnia excluded it, but this was much later. Carthage seems to have included it, and Luther excluded it since he was selective about which 'scriptura' he wanted to be 'sola' about. But the real answer lies in what Jesus himself considers to be the scriptures)

Men's conference, Abundant Life Chruch, Bradford

I recently attended the Excel men’s conference at the Abundant Life Church in Bradford. Not the normal destination for a delegation of Anglicans!

Well, you need to see beyond the commercialism – each worship song preceded by an announcement that it is on the new DVD in the church shop, each sermon preceded by the announcement that it is in the preacher’s new book, which (you’ve guessed it) is for sale in the church shop, should you wish to read it all again.

Underneath all that, there was some really good stuff. The theme was “I am not my father”. Many men have had poor experiences of parenting by their Dads, but we were exhorted to break the cycle of generations and live as sons of God, and if we are parents ourselves to not repeat the errors of our forefathers. Great for those that need it, but actually my dad was very good, and my sons don’t seem to have any real complaints about me. Well OK, number 3 does, but we recognise it and are working on it.

Another theme was risk: be bold and all that stuff, don’t just follow the rut, but be prepared to make mistakes as you stretch beyond the rut.

Another theme was that of remaining masculine in a feminised church. It was suggested that one main reason many men ignore the faith is because the church is simply not manly enough. I know where they are coming from and they have a point, but also much of becoming a manly Christian is actually about taking on a metaphorically female role in relation to Christ – submissive, loving, etc. So I would treat their teaching with caution.

There were also a lot of frankly sexist jokes. Eg showing photos of a car breaker’s yard and suggesting it was the car park during the previous women’s conference. Fair enough, they were trying to be ‘blokey’, but I think this was out of order.

There was a lot of effort to ‘masculinise’ the church. There was a Ferrari on the stage. (for sale at £86,000). In the warm up to the evening sessions there were hairy chest competitions, a thai boxing demonstration, weightlifting, etc. In the adjacent building were scalectrix, Wii, strength tests, sumo wrestling, a laser shooting range, ropes to climb, etc. And of course shops. Again, much good, some probably crossed a line.

At one point while walking around in the dimmed rooms I nearly collided with a good looking young man coming the other way. We apologised simultaneously, dodged simultaneously, laughed together, and I found myself really liking him. It was of course, my own reflection in a mirror wall, much to the amusement of people that saw me!

Overall verdict – a good conference but with reservations, and in the end I personally didn’t feel I learned anything that I wasn’t already doing. Not sure I’ll feel the need to go next year.

Wednesday, November 14

True Freedom Trust


I am now a member of True Freedom Trust - an organisation that provides suport to gay Christians who choose to aim for celibacy. (see previous post here)

I am still inactive, though, through pressure of time. I need to meet up with them face to face soon, but can’t seem to find a slot.

I find TFT’s theology is very close to mine. Not absolutely spot on, but close. The main difference lies in the balance of environmental v congenital factors. I see the way we are born (as part of a fallen race) to be more significant than TFT suggest. They place more emphasis on homosexuality primarily as one of several possible outcomes of low self esteem issues arising from early childhood. Thus although they see attempting to 'cure' homosexuals as harmful, ie they are not an 'ex-gay' organisation, they do more in that direction than I would.

Also, I have several relatively minor points of divergence with their biblical exegesis.

They are also a bit more directive than I would wish.

However, since no two people will ever think exactly the same on these issues, TFT seems to be a the best place for me to sit and minister.

I feel confidant that this is the place to which God has brought me – to hold to the truth of scripture and yet provide realistic support for gay people in the church who choose celibacy. (I don’t feel I have a mandate to counsel those that do not choose celibacy. I don’t think I would be much help to them. All I could do is put them in contact with a liberal ‘Christian’ LGBT group and suggest they may feel more comfortable in a church with teaching closer to their own.)

Note that I have not joined up as a know-it-all God-squad heterosexual trying to boss people around or tell gay people how they should live their lives. TFT is set up by gays for gays: I can only provide assistance within their own programme, and help what they are already independantly doing. They will always have ownership and leadership, and I will only ever be a camp follower. [Did I really just say 'camp'?]

Please pray that my role will become clearer. Possibilities are:

  • Act as a voluntary worker for TFT
  • Act as a contact point for TFT in my church
  • Arrange for TFT to speak at my church and/or promote a generally more open atmosphere there
  • Promote “get-to-understand-each-other-and-develop-mutual-respect” contacts between my church and gay organisations in the town (fraught with pitfalls!)
  • Something else that I have not seen yet

I now feel that I have rebuilt my lego model. Similar to before, but more robust and practical.

My latest bad habit is eating the lead from my propelling pencil (AKA mechanical pencil, fineline pencil etc). Yes, I crunch it up and swallow. Can’t be good.

Wednesday, November 7


Went Karting on a works do yesterday.

Didn’t do so well this time. Normally I am middle-ranking, but this time I was in the bottom third.

The first two races went well: two 3rd places, with the second one being stolen literally on the finish line from a guy who slowed down too soon. But it all went wrong in the third race. My turn to start at the front of the grid – should have been 10 points virtually guaranteed. But those behind had clearly forgotten it is a non-contact sport and turned it into a game of motorised rugby and also completely disregarded the rules about giving way to the car on the race line, so I came in a battered 7th and demanding a stewards enquiry.

Race 4 was doing a bit better, but two cars in front of me collided and I smashed into the wreckage, pitching one of them 45o into the air and making my car stand on its nose. Ouch!

Then in the final race I spun on the same corner as my previous smash and found myself parked sideways across the track with cars bearing down on me. They’re only doing about 30mph at most, but close to the ground it feels faster. We exchanged looks of terror but could do nothing about the ensuing smash. Side-ways on it hurt 4 times as much as the previous bump. OUCH!! I limped on but lost it again a few corners further on, sliding hard into the wall on my already bruised side. Ouch! I knew it was over when I didn’t immediately want to get going again. I was way out of the championship, I was at the back of this race, and had nothing left to fight for, so I limped ignominiously back to the pits.

Today I am bruised and stiff, but at least the office has entertained itself with stories at my expense so we have all had fun.