This is a picture of my curtain... It should really be covering the door between my living room and my porch but it's not because I broke it.
New technology goes through a cycle in my mind, something like this...
- It's talked about conceptually and I don't believe it will happen.
- It actually happens and I don't really like it.
- I reluctantly start to use it.
- I can't easily live without it
I don't think I'm alone in this. I bet many people felt it with mobile phones, and with personal computers and it's probably happening today with some technology that I'm not far-sighted enough to predict will become the next big thing.
Certainly, this process happened with the internet. It became part of our lives over time. I communicate through the internet, I store things on it... I need it.
But I worry that when I look online - I don't see beauty of the church. There are some brilliant, inspiring counter examples... but mostly there's just silence.
This internet thing is a massive part of my life but to be honest I mostly use it passively - watching, reading, learning but rarely doing or sharing anything of value.
I think we all know deep down that we can use this platform to create, to communicate, to reach people we couldn't otherwise. But I'm not sure we know what to do about that.
Why did we stop building when the internet came along?
I don't believe it's because we don't care.
With God in Real Life, we want to build a new place - where people can go and catch a glimpse of God.
Like when you walk into a cathedral and you just sense something divine about the place. I want that to happen to people on the internet.
It's ambitious, maybe, but I think it's fair to say that more miraculous things have happened than that.
If you want to be part of this, even in just a tiny way, an excellent first step is to sign up to our email list...
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For weeks I've had this poem in my head... it talks about hope as this little bird that perches in our souls.
I've learnt it off by heart - not deliberately but just because I've read it so much. It's strange because I don't even really like poetry.
I just like the thought, that hope is like a little bird that's always somewhere nearby. So we just had to make a video about it.
And that opportunity came when we took a trip to Skomer Island in South Wales... during puffin season. I hope you enjoy this one. My advice would be to watch it a few times over to really get it.
The verse it makes me think of is from Psalm 62 (verse 5)
Yes my soul find rest in God
My hope comes from him.
I like to think that hope, the little bird, is sent to us by God - a beautiful little gift. I hope you find it today.
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Sarah from God in real life tells us why the table flipping that Jesus did in the temple wasn't the most important thing that happened that day.
What comes after is where the true meaning of the story comes out.
Watch it yourself above and if you haven't already, join our mailing list below.
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It's pretty clear from watching the above video that we don't exactly know what love is...
When we asked people to define love, some talk about the love they share with their wife, others go big and talk about world unity. If there was a simple definition, everyone would have said roughly the same thing.
The question it really asks is how do we love people well when we're not even sure exactly what the definition of love is.
And that's the question we want to leave with you - maybe it's one to ask your friend, or your church small group or even a whole congregation.
The video ends with this verse from 1 John...
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God." (1 John 4:7)
And so I hope that as you try and work out what love is, you also catch a glimpse of God.
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Today Jon steps into the God in real life confession booth to talk about the weird stuff he believes in...
And that's all we really want to say about this one. You'll have to play it to really get to grips with it.
Next time we'll invite Sarah, the God in Real Life trustee, into the confession booth to see what she has to say.
Add your thoughts in the comments...
I'm not big into the nativity story. The wise men leave me a bit cold and I've got no time for that little Donkey which is just not mentioned in the Bible by the way.
Sometimes it feels like Christmas is just something we've extrapolated from a small amount of events.
But I only think that when my head is turned away from the birth of Jesus. Because that event was truly seismic. It has set ripples through history that we still feel in full force today. It's God becoming man and walking around among us - that's why Christmas matters.
So this is a video about Jesus - and therefore a video about Christmas.
You might be the sort of person that breezes through Christmas like it's no big deal. Your presents are wrapped two weeks before the big day, your Christmas dinner is always perfect and you never fall out without your family.
But for everyone else... this video is for you.
It was an absolute joy to get up before dawn to chase a sunrise with Andy Carlisle - a pretty excellent landscape photographer.
Fortunately, the sun came out in full force and the sky lit up in every shade of pink and orange you can imagine.
It was one of those moments where you just stand and watch and feel some sense of peace.
Afterwards, we sat down and asked Andy to read a passage from the Bible - he picked Lamentations 3: 22-26 - a beautiful verse that captures some of what he experiences on those early morning shoots.
Anyway, all that has been put together for you on the video above.
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If you had the chance to ask a question to the God, the creator of everything, I imagine the problem would be choosing onlyone.
But in the busyness of life, we rarely get the chance to question anything at all.
This is a video that will help you get into that spirit of asking questions - it would be great for the start of a bible study or church service where you want to people to think deeply.
For us it was a brilliant excuse to share Elijah's prayer from 1 Kings - a bible passage that inspired God in Real Life in the first place...
"Answer me Lord! Answer me so these people will know that you Lord are God and you have brought them back to yourself." 1 Kings 18:37
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