To Orlando – With Grace & Love

imagesWhat’s happened in Orlando has shaken us all. The worst mass shooting in US history. 49 dead, far more injured.  More violence. More death.

These tragedies seem to piling up in the States.  And from America, to here in the UK, and arguably all over the world, the shockwaves are being felt.

It was a human tragedy. We all feel it. Our hearts are all with the people of Orlando right now,. Our prayers, love and support are with the victims, their friends, families & the LGBT community as a whole.

There are barely words at a time like this. And I stand with all those in that place of grieving.

There’s a despair, a frustration, an anger, at this injustice. It wasn’t just wrong , this was evil. And it shouldn’t have happened. Read More

Grace. It Just Is. (Guest Post by Jules Middleton)

grace pebblesMy friend and fellow blogger Jules Middleton is guesting on the blog today. Jules is an award-winning blogger and minister-in-training in the Church Of England, and I know you’re going to love this post, on a topic close to my heart – grace.

I think we often talk a good game about God’s grace – we note how it is sufficient. Or abundant. Or amazing. But, what does it actually mean? Trying to suss out what grace is, is almost impossible, there are just too many answers, too many variations or possibilities. But we all have our own interpretations of grace, based on our own experiences of God, and that is so valuable.

I mean you can talk to someone all you like about God and they can put up objections and questions and arguments, but tell them your own story and it’s a different matter.

It’s much harder to dismiss someone’s personal experience, when you hear it from their own mouth. Read More

The Biggest Failure Of An Artist (& How To Avoid It)

Not too long ago I shared a blog post which was the most difficult I’ve ever had to share. Hitting the publish button for me isn’t usually an issue, but this one was different. This post covered arguably the two most divisive issues around – religion and politics.

And not only that, it’s title – “Why Jesus Would Welcome Refugees & Eat With Donald Trump” – had the potential to alienate both liberals and conservatives. Conservatives would disagree with me on refugees, and liberals on Donald Trump.

Above all though, it touched on a subject which many of my closest friends disagreed with me on – the idea we shouldn’t ban Donald Trump from the UK.

I admit, it was very tough to share this post. And out of sensitivity, I didn’t put it on my personal Facebook profile, because I’d already offended people with my response on a Facebook conversation a few weeks ago and didn’t want to stir this up again.

However, I didn’t hide the post. I still publicised and promoted it. On my writers page, on my Facebook group, on Twitter and elsewhere. Anyone could find it if they wanted.

Because if I didn’t do this, I’d have become a hypocrite.

Read More

How To Be Better, Not Bitter

imgres-1It’s time for me to make a confession. I’m James Prescott. I’m a writer. And although I love seeing others thrive, grow and find their calling, I have the occasional, fleeting moments where I’m jealous of others.

I have times when I feel envy and bitterness. A sense of injustice at seeing others who never asked for, or were even interested in success or writing, have instant and incredible success, when I’ve worked hard for years and never got as far.

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to feel a sense of injustice when people whose major talent clearly isn’t writing – though I’m sure they have serious talent elsewhere – sell 120 million copies of what most critics agree are some of the more poorly written books out there (I’m sure you know which shade of book I’m talking about).

In all seriousness though, it’s my dark side, and I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. It doesn’t represent me. I want nothing to do with it. But it’s real.

Read More

It’s Imagination Which Brings Transformation

imgresWe all know there are massive problems in the world. You don’t need to look very far to see violence, oppression, injustice, inequality, prejudice, corruption and above all fear.

Consumerism rules the world. And the problem with consumerism, is that it’s about certainty. To thrive, consumerism needs profit, and profit comes from taking as small a risk as possible. You find something which works and stick to the formula. Because the formula delivers results.

But the secret to solving the worlds problems, ironically, doesn’t come from certainty. It comes through risk.

It comes through pushing through fear and daring to imagine a new tomorrow. A different, better future, in any field of work and life, only comes through creativity.

Transformation comes, above all, through imagination. Read More