Big World Small Boat

Private Diary of A Priest. OK, so we're not all angels...Everyone needs a place to get things off their chest! And yes, I do talk to God about it all! Even He has a sense of humour! Want proof? Well, he made me, didn't He? Oh, one last thought-If you don't like what I've written, please keep in mind - it's MY diary. Go write your own!

My Photo
Location: England, United Kingdom

I've been serving children in crisis for over twenty five years. My goals are not to raise money, but to find organisations and individuals who can help change lives! What may be outdated equipment for you could change the life of a child in Eastern Europe! To learn more please visit our site at:


Fruitcakes And Other Nutty Concoctions

I’ve had to again read over some of the emails that have bombarded me during the past two weeks. I’ve been tempted to simply block the writer, but truthfully, once I got over the initial shock, some of the mail has actually been quite entertaining.

In one of our blogs I have written about the hopes of young people in our Moldovan village. None of them want handouts; they want to learn skills so they can better their lives. One of those
skill opportunities is the possibility of starting a hairdressing school. I have always thought this to be an excellent idea. Well, at least until just recently.

Apparently, according to one series of emails I’ve received, I’m accused of inviting ‘the Seven Headed Beast’ into a village of the ‘already dammed.’ The emails are so verbose, I have to admit, I can only peruse them briefly, but this rant was to suggest that by my endorsing a hairdressing school, I’m promoting promiscuity and moral turpitude. I wish I were making this up, but for my further edification and reading pleasure, it came with hyperlinks as convincing evidence of the writer’s position.

The writer’s epistle offered me instructional advice as to how to speak with homeless, abandoned, and deserted children. And the writer went on to suggest that if I fail to follow her advice I will be perpetually damned. (Does that mean I will be forced to read her emails in perpetuity?)

My favourite part was a warning to me, regarding a lady named ‘Pinky’ who might be 'trying to offer her services in teaching line dancing at the children’s summer camp.' According to my venerable friend, I need to be aware of the slippery slope I could follow in allowing this woman to teach children the Macarena and dancing to the tune Kokomo by the Beach Boys.

It would be grand if this were the only person who has discovered the far-reaching fingers of the internet. If only! But it is my pleasure to offer some simple responses to a few of the questions I’ve received this week:

(1). No, there is no concern about being shot at from the Iraqi’s when in Moldova; you’re several thousand miles and a continent off there, mate.

(2). Bram Stoker was actually Irish and I’m not convinced that I need to ‘protect myself’ from the ‘blood sucking evils’ that wander the land at night, unless you are referring to some of the people I see in Waffle Houses in the middle of the night, whenever I visit America. But thank you for your concern.

(3). Sir, I will need to leave it to your own imagination as to where people go to the toilet in the dead of winter, when they have no indoor plumbing. But it left me wondering where do americans go to the toilet when the only options they are offered is a room to rest?

(4). Yes Madam, ‘London’ is a quaint little place. No, unfortunately, I haven’t seen The Queen recently, the tube stop in East Sussex seems to have been damaged during the war, but we’re all going to sit down over a cup of tea and scones to see how we can sort that problem out right now!

(5) I assure you Sir, there was no effrontery on my part when I offered a recipe for an English dish called Spotted Dick. You have my word that such a dish really does exist and is not some miss-guided attempt at crude levity! Spotted Dick is as popular as fags here in Britain!

Falling in Love at The Plaza Hotel

When We Need a Little Help

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Living in Sin. The Great Marriage Debate

There has always been great debate over the commitments made through the act of marriage. Some take offence to the idea of having clergy or government confirming the validity of their relationship. And in our modern-thinking society, sometimes it can be easy to understand why.

Some may not be aware, but marriages haven't always taken place in churches. Centuries ago, the couple used to make their marriage vows in the church porch, with family and friends gathered around to witness. The priest’s role was to be there to register their commitment and then lead the party into church to pray with them.

In the eighteenth century, the whole ceremony moved into the church. Even then, some clergy worried that it would look as though the priest was marrying the couple, where, in fact, the couple themselves are the ministers of their marriage. The role of the priest is to witness, register, pray with and bless them. For me, it’s a great privilege and honour to be part of a couple’s history.

I find weddings aren't just for the happy couple. We often find ourselves thinking about our own relationship, giving thanks or asking forgiveness, mending hurts and renewing vows.

One of the most beautiful life experiences I enjoy is in the celebration of a wedding. For young people, who have truly prepared themselves for this commitment, it is profoundly touching to hear them exchange their vows: They submit to one another; in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for the rest of our lives, until death do us part. Amen.

And as you celebrate with them, you hear their dreams; their hopes, and plans for how they will live out their lives, growing old together. They receive no guarantee of what may be around the corner, or exactly what ‘for better or worse’ may mean, as the weeks and months melt into years and decades. Yet they celebrate their ‘yes’ with joyful hearts. They give themselves to each other lovingly and for life.

For those who have been married for many years, you may feel it’s their sheer youthful ignorance or lack of life experiences that let them make such a commitment. You could be partly right. But I feel, in most cases, there is something much more.

It’s the conviction that makes our lives real and worth living. And it is that pure committed love that never counts the cost. Real love says ‘we’ll take the risk and pay the price, whatever it may be, because we want a real life and not just a performance or show.’ And that commitment flows over to foster greater trust, security and inner peace. And it extends beyond the couple – providing powerful foundations for children in seeing how commitment supports our lives.

Cohabitation may be just that -two individuals living their lives under one roof. Alternatively, it may be that those two individuals have chosen to make a poignant and indisputable commitment to one another.

I have heard the term ‘living in sin’ much of my adult life. Many would feel it is a sin to cruise through life, living on middle-ground, where commitment, honour, and loyalty are either irrelevant or unnecessary elements to living. Some might simply suggest it’s a fear of commitment, or a more simple thought that ‘yes, I’m committed to you until the going gets rough, or I tire of you, or you no longer become useful to my needs.’

Almost all of us have spoken our key ‘yesses,’ whether it’s at the birth of a child, at the time of a marriage or for any other pivotal moment in our lives. And now most of us stand somewhere in the middle of living out our ‘yesses.’

Doing so can at times be painful, distressing, or just simply boring, and sometimes our ‘Yesses’ can grow faint. That's when we need to remember exactly why we spoke our ‘Yes’ in the first place: because we loved and we knew what the power of that love brings us.

Commitment is demonstrable love. It’s an irresistible life-force and it endures all things, overflowing on us all.

‘Three things last for ever,’ said St Paul, ‘faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.’



Labels: , , , , , , ,

British Blogs