A letter to my best friend

Letter

Dear Best Friend, Thank you for being my friend.

I’m unsure if I could ever thank you enough for being there during the hardest years of my life. With your help, I am now in a place of positive mental well-being, I like myself and I feel valued.

I know that it was hard to be my friend.

I was not only sad and unhappy, but I often got angry at you and made you feel bad.

I know that it was hard listening to me talk about things so negatively… and that you didn’t always know how to respond. But let me tell you now – you made such an impact.

Long ago, I wrote a song and some of the lyrics went like this… “they say it’s easier to calm a crying man, more than a man who is down”, because more often than not, that was my experience. However, this never stopped you from trying. No words can explain how much that meant to me, despite maybe not showing it at the time.

I appreciate that you always listened to me and made me feel valued.

I appreciate that you cared about me and made me feel needed.

I appreciate that you tried to make me smile, even when I wasn’t responding.

I appreciate all of the time and effort you placed into our friendship.

I also really appreciate that you made me handle things on my own sometimes. It was tough at the time, but in the long run, it helped.

You always let me know you were there for me, but that you also weren’t always able to put your own life on hold in order to comfort me. Although it sometimes felt harsh, it helped me begin to develop my own coping mechanisms and has greatly contributed to my ability to have a healthy and positive mentality. You made sure that I was loved, valued and just that little bit less lonely.

To me, Best Friend, you are a legend.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

 

Anonymous.

 

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Prayer Tools and Guides

candle-prayer-magick

Where to from here? That’s what many of us might be thinking after our event last week on Common Prayer. So we at the Grace Collective thought it would be helpful to share some tools with you to begin with as you delve deeper into different ways of enriching your prayer life. It’s by no means comprehensive. In fact it’s rather a small list. But our prayer is that it would be the beginning of a journey for you into different ways of praying alone or together which will enliven and strengthen your relationship with God. We hope you find them helpful. Continue reading

Common Prayer

Common Prayer BlogPrayer is a beautiful thing. When we pray we are participating in Jesus’ relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit. We enter the Triune dance between Father, Son, and Spirit of God through Jesus who is our Great High Priest, sitting at the right hand of the Father and making a way for humanity to come back to a relationship with God. There is so much going on in a conversation with God that we don’t always have the capacity to acknowledge all at once, but in this short piece I want to remind us of two elements in this transcendent and yet very grounded practice at the heart of our faith. Spirituality and mission are intrinsically connected, and for today’s cold, anxious, groaning world, the slowness, silence, and solitude of the contemplative spiritual practices of the monastics is good news. Continue reading

ONE SMALL THING

prayerOne small thing,

At the same time,

Every day,

With gratitude in your hearts.

A dear friend of mine once shared with me this mantra. A friend who carries with her sixty years of discovering what it means to engage with a God who cares deeply for his people. She often spoke to me about the franticness of life and how the “glorification of busy” robs us of the deep fulfilment God longs to soak us in. For her, praying is constant, simple, and sincere. But I think she’d say it’s much more about listening, than telling God what she wants. This friend lives in a closeness to Jesus that is infectious. Not that she is never worried, or tired, or annoyed, but that she somehow walks through these human experiences evidently close to God. It intrigued me. So I asked her once, What’s the trick? How do you spend time with God? I kind of expected her to give some vague answer which was really just a question back at me, in that mysterious way that intriguing people like to answer curious questions. But this time she didn’t. Continue reading

The Sex Talk

Picture it with me for a moment.

A Youth summer camp at an awesome space, with incredible speakers, too much sun, Hillsong worship (pre-oceans but post the brass band stage). There was a buzz about the camp when Saturday morning approached.
We were having a conversation at 9am that day about sex and relationships. Starting together, but splitting into guys and girls. The classic set up. You probably know the drill. Continue reading

Community of Trinity

This guest blog is by The Rev’d Brenda Rockell, who is currently based at St Luke’s in Mt Albert. Before that, she was the pastor of Cityside Baptist Church. She is one of the leaders of a new Anglican Diocesan initiative for young adults, called the Community of Trinity, that will begin its life in November this year.

community-of-trinity-promo

I was converted and baptised into the Christian faith as a teenager, but it wasn’t until I was nearly 20 years old that I had any idea of the monastic tradition within the faith. I was aware of the stereotypes – old men in habits, chanting, and praying the day away – and I assumed, if I thought about it at all, that the monastic way was an escape from the demands of ‘real life.’ Continue reading

Grace Collective Presents: FOMO

FOMO St Aidans hi res

I remember when I attended the 21st of a good friend of mine from school about 2 years ago. I turned up and laughed during the speeches, danced during the music, and ate heaps during dinner. It was an awesome time. But I’m haunted by it. My friend, the one whose birthday it was, said “Jeremy. You made it! I’m so glad you are here, because you are a hard man to get hold of!”

I was horrified. What did he mean? Am I really? Being too busy for my friends is not what I want to be known for. But he was right. Continue reading