Putting on a brave face

The recent riots in England have been quite alarming, even just watching them on the TV. It must have been terrifying for those living nearby and especially for those who have been affected by them. One of the saddest parts for me was the furniture store which was burnt down. It was a quite unique building, housing a family firm with a history over 150 years. The photos of the building before the fire showed that the outside was really lovely, a building with real style. I have no idea what the inside was like, but I imagine that it was like most old shops – not quite right for today’s businesses.

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Light relief

Today there were more riots in Athens, with a lot of very angry people getting even angrier, at police who will also get angry.

Tomorrow there will be strikes in the UK as public sector workers protest about changes to their pensions. Many of them are angry. Many people think they are wrong in what they say, and that they are wrong to strike. No doubt, many of them will get angry too.

Whatever the cause, people often get angry for it.

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Heel yourself!

I’m a cat person, mainly because Libby and I have a cat. Actually, that isn’t quite accurate. The cat has Libby and me. We are here to serve.

I haven’t always been a cat person though. I had a dog as a kid, and then a few years ago, Libby and I went to a dog rescue place and found the perfect dog to take home. We selected it especially for two reasons. Firstly, it had huge, soulful eyes. Secondly, the girl told us that it had had a broken leg, and so it wasn’t very active – that was ideal as we thought it would be a good way to get me some gentle exercise.

So, a few days after we got home, I took this slightly lame dog with the big eyes out for a walk. I seem to be getting a bit inaccurate quite a lot in this post. The correct way of telling the story is to say that this slightly lame dog had big eyes that wanted to see the whole world. That day! To achieve that purpose, the slightly lame dog dragged me round for two hours, rendering me exhausted and with one arm longer than the other!

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No forgiveness, not this time!

I just love what Judah says! “Joseph is family, so let’s not kill him – it will only make us feel bad. Instead, let’s do the decent thing and sell him.” Some families really know how to look after each other, eh? Caring just comes naturally! The best thing is that Joseph wouldn’t have been able to phone home, or go on Facebook to tell them that he was missing them, because that would have made them feel bad too, perhaps!

I’m sure that none of us has been sold into slavery, but I’m also sure that we have all had a dirty done to us. Some of us will have suffered at the hands of brothers, sisters or parents; some at the hands of husband, wife or partner, some by friends, some by strangers. We carry the scars and the pain. Often that pain is so great that it changes us, changes our lives, changes our whole direction. We often become slaves to the consequences, perhaps just in the way we behave, the way we relate to others. Sometimes we become slaves to drugs or drink, just to hide the pain, or to hide from it.

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If it’s broke, don’t fix it?

Last week at Celebrate Recovery, one of the guys said something which was interesting, alarming and funny, all at the one time, but I think “alarming” is the right description.

For the sake of confidentiality, I shall call him Dave, but his real name is Steve. No it’s not, that was a joke – his real name is Charlie. No it’s not!

We are getting to the stage in the programme where we start making a moral inventory. We look at the things in our lives that have had a major impact on us: things that we have done, things that have been done to us. They are the stuff that have built our hurts, hang-ups and habits. As we deal with them one at a time, we reduce the influence they have or have had in our lives. As we reduce their influence, we reduce their impact on us and their control over us.

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