Month: February 2010

The Knots Prayer

A brilliant prayer I came across asking God to untie the knots in our lives. It says so much about how we are often the ones holding ourselves back from being all God intends us to be

Dear God,

Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots, and
might nots that find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and should nots
that obstruct my life.

And most of all, dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind
my heart and my life all of the am nots
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.


I wish I knew who wrote this brilliant little prayer. It was forwarded by someone called Jo Bowman to a site that will send you out a ‘funny’ a ‘thought’ or a joke every day

Britain’s Most Powerful Women

I read with interest an article from my daughter’s Glamour magazine (February’s edition) referring to a compiled list of the most powerful women in our country relating to six groups ‘Fashion & Beauty’, ‘Entertainment & Media’,’Sport, Culture & Society’, ‘Science & Technology’, ‘Politics’ and ‘Business & Law’. Information was taken from news archives, music charts, best-seller lists, richlists, factoring in Google hits and column inches. A panel of judges were consulted including Piers Morgan, Amanda Platell, Emma Crosby, Jo Elvin and Marigay McKee.

I was interested in the results for the Sport, Culture and Society group:-

Fifth came Paula Radcliffe, the women’s world marathon record holder who will compete in her last Olympics in 2012 and who has become an ambassador for British Sport.

Fourth position went to Karen Brady, Sir Alan Sugar’s ‘new Margaret’ on The Apprentice. Karen is a non-executive director on the board of England’s 2018 bid and was the former boss of Birmingham City Football Club.

Third position was given to Dame Kelly Holmes, the double gold medal winning runner who retired in 2005. She is now President of Commonwealth Games England.

Second place went to JK Rowling, now the richest author in the world who came from humble beginnings as a single mother and who has become one of the most powerful women in book publishing.

And finally first place was awarded to Queen Elizabeth II, the Head of State, the Church, the Armed Forces and the Commonwealth. Her Majesty has been quoted as saying ‘The upward course of a nation’s history is due to the soundness of heart of its average men and women’. The judges declared her as Britain’s most famous and powerful woman who ‘never puts a foot wrong – a remarkable lady’.

An Element of Freedom

I’ve just heard the title track (all 12 seconds of it) from Alicia Keys latest album. I was so struck by it that I’ve added it to the growing number of quotes in my email signature.

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight and closed in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. This is the element of freedom.”

That’s it. Just 12 seconds of her speaking. But what powerful words!

Yesterday I was struck by a choice I often seem to have to make. My status on Facebook said ” Caroline is resisting the urge to take a long walk down Self Pity Avenue!” It was the first day back at work for me and school for my daughter, the alarm went off and the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed and face the challenges of this next term.

I often wonder how I can tell the difference between necessary times of being honest about my struggles and my pain and times where I begin to meander into self pity. I doubt there’s a definitive answer but today, I read a little something by Jeff Lucas that helped me understand a bit more:

“Heroes make hard choices: they cry but refuse to allow their tears to blind them. They refuse to stop loving, they don’t give up on giving and won’t let their lives be preoccupied by their own pain. And in giving grace they find an endless supply of it. The oil doesn’t run dry.”

So while I’m being honest about my struggles I think I need to remember to take the risk to open up and bloom instead of staying tightly closed in my bud (or bed!)

Fairtrade Fortnight – Get Involved!

When I first started buying Fairtrade products I did it because I knew it was the ethical thing to do and I rarely enjoyed the products – the coffee and chocolate tasted pretty grim! How things have changed in the last ten years! Buying fairly traded goods is a tasty and relatively easy option as more and more shops and manufacturers are going for the big ‘FT’ badge. I love Divine chocolate bars, I cheered loudly when Cadbury’s Dairy Milk joined the club and I have just heard that Ben and Jerry’s icecream and KitKats are about to go 100%.
Despite the products sometimes being a few pence more expensive, public loyalty to Fairtrade in 2009’s tough economic climate has lead to double digit growth as Fairtrade sales reach £800m.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 runs from 22nd February until 7th March. You can get some useful and up-to-date information on the FairTrade website –
Traidcraft are also asking supporters to make the most of this time and are focusing on tea. They are encouraging people to hold Big Brew events and serve Fairtrade tea and coffee and make donations to make a difference to tea producers’ lives. There are currently 200 Big Brews happening, where 19055 cups of Fairtrade tea and coffee will be served and £11603 is expected to be raised.
This might be the perfect opportunity to ask your neighbours round for an informal event. Or maybe send a quick text round the friends you have as contacts on your mobile and invite them for a cuppa next week, it doesn’t have to be in a perfect house with home bakes. Most people would be delighted with a hot drink, a flapjack or some chunks of chocolate and a warm welcome. For those with daytime work commitments an evening get together might be a better option – traidcraft make some good fairtrade wine before finishing off the evening with the Big Brew style cup of tea.
We have some exciting news about our favourite fairly traded jewellery supplier, Achkiy – they are almost ready to launch their new website. You can be sure that we will give you the details here as soon as we have them.


So says ‘RED’ magazine – and others who suggest that the female vote will be crucial in deciding which party wins the General Election. Yet increasing numbers of us don’t know which way to vote. The editor of ‘RED’ sums it up well when she writes, ‘I have never, ever not known how to vote. Until now. Disillusioned by one party, genetically/biologically / idealogically/instinctively opposed to another and not entirely convinced by a third – I thought it was just me, until I asked around. But everyone I spoke to said the same: in spite of their disillusionment with party politics in general and MP’s in particular, they want to vote but are undecided’. TV interviewers out on the streets of Britian are being told the same. So, if this is the case, what can we do?

CARE havelaunched their ELECTION WEBSITE

The website features a range of resources that will help equip Christians to actively participate in the forthcoming General Election. The website includes:

1. A hustings guide: This guide contains everything you need to know to organise a successful hustings in your local constituency.

2. My Manifesto project: Christian leaders and thinkers explain what policy issues they would like to see in a party manifesto.

3. Faith and Politics bible studies: An excellent resource for individuals or small groups.

4. Policy papers: Researched and written by CARE’s Public Affairs team, the documents provide an overview of key policy areas and help Christians think through the issues.

During the actual campaign the website will be updated daily by CARE’s election team with all the latest news, more policy papers, and further developments.

Nola Leach, CARE’s Chief Executive said, ‘The General Election presents the Church with a unique opportunity to play a part in shaping the kind of society we want to live in. At a time when voters seem disillusioned with politics we hope the church will be making the case that politics matters more than ever.’

Dr Dan Boucher, CARE’s Director of Parliamentary Affairs said, ‘One of the best ways for churches to get involved in the election is to organise and attend a hustings event. This provides voters with an opportunity to question the candidates standing in their constituencies and consider a broad range of issues.’

Is this something we AYL-ers could initiate in our area?

For further information, please contact:



Tel. 020 7233 0455

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