Kick London seeks to transform young people’s lives

butterflyThat’s what it’s all about for us. We wouldn’t be doing what we do if we weren’t aiming for this, all the time. Our vision is what keeps us going and it’s something we should keep in our minds at all times, even when we’re doing the mundane things like pumping up footballs, paying the bills or writing reports. All of what we do works together to achieve our main aim – it’s the reason we work and plan and develop and seek out new ways of making it happen.

Remembering this is difficult as it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and distractions of our daily lives. The traffic jam or the late train; the lost item of equipment; the child who has forgotten his PE kit; the other child who misbehaves. And then there’s the actual session to take. In all this, how do we keep our mission to transforms lives at the heart of all we do?

It’s our planning, our attitude and our heart which can go a long way to keep us focussed on our mission. The few minutes of quiet reflection before arriving at the school. In confronting bad behaviour, remembering every child is a person full of potential with the capacity to make a positive and worthwhile contribution…eventually. Remembering that God has changed us and given us a heart for these young people with which we seek that transformation in their lives.

Even in those mundane activities, we could be thinking how they could play a part in transforming a life. We could imagine how one thing we say, one thing we do, sets us apart and causes a young person to take a step closer to being transformed in to the person which God created them to be, free from anything in their past which may be holding them back and ready for a future where life can be lived in all its fulness.

There are many ways to the place where we want to be

crossroadThere are many ways to the place where we want to be, but choosing the right one and finding the best way is not easy.

I think what matters is that we are willing to make the journey and make the choice when there is a decision to be made. Do we want to go with the flow of the river or where the wind might blow us or are we willing to make a positive choice which influences the direction in which we are going? If we don’t, others will do it for us.

Sometimes we don’t know what is round the corner or over the hill, but we need to walk there and make the choice to take that path or to walk in that particular direction. When we encounter a crossroad, is it me who chooses where to go or do I let someone else make the decision for me?

We are more likely to end up where we want to be when we make a positive choice and show the initiative in determining the direction we ourselves are going. The journey can be as important as the destination and will sometimes even influence it.

The end of the (school) year has come

school's outAll things end and we have just finished another school term and also the school year. For some it means moving to new schools or new jobs or even a new place to live. Even if we will go back to the same place in September we can look back over the last year and think about all that’s happened in the 12 months which have past.

Like the runner who has run the course and is now at the end, having passed the finishing line, we can have a sense of pride for what we have accomplished. We can also look back and think about the progress we have made, the obstacles overcome, the people who have journeyed with us, the new things we have done, the old things we no longer do, the new people we have met and the person we have now become.

It’s these experiences which have formed us and helped us and will have prepared us for what is to come next. I hope we’ve made the most of the opportunities we’ve had and after a break to recover, I hope we will be ready for whatever we will be doing next.

Interruptions

focussed on readingRain stops play, our baby is crying, the other daughter wants something, the phone rings, someone pops over for a chat, we get distracted by something on the internet in one of its various forms.

We could get so much more done if we weren’t being interrupted all the time. Sometimes it’s outside our control and often it’s our own fault.

I’ve heard it said that one of the main things which prevents us from getting on with, and achieving things is a lack of discipline to stay focussed and being interrupted must be one of the main things which prevents us from focussing.

We need to increase our stamina for staying focussed. In our world of distractions, let’s remember to focus on the person we’re engaging with, the task we’re doing, the book we’re reading or simply the thought we are having.

A firm foundation

Over the last two weeks I’ve written about highs and lows and new beginnings in a world which is constantly changing. I need something to keep my feet on sold ground, I need a firm foundation.

I need something which doesn’t change, that’s constant and can provide a rock which won’t move, a foundation which keeps me strong when the storms come. I’m sure we can think of things which we have which do this for us. At the top of my list are my family and even more so, my faith in God.

Above all, God doesn’t change. The Bible asserts that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, our ever present help in good times and times of trouble. We can rely on God to be our rock, our firm foundation, someone on which to build our lives. That’s been people’s experience over the centuries and it can be ours today, if we put our trust in God, revealed to us in Jesus. I can think of no-one else and nothing else more life affirming, loving and solid on which to build my life.

A new beginning

babyAs I’m writing this we are waiting for our new baby to be born – the moment could be any time now. By the time this appears on the website, I’m sure she will have been born. What a wonderful time, to see a new life enter our world and I can’t help thinking what sort of life she will have. Our 3 year old daughter is growing up in a world so different to the one I grew up in, which was very different to that my parents grew up in. Our world changes so quickly.

Whenever we start anything new, we will always have expectations, hopes, dreams about the future. It’s impossible to predict how things will turn out and what will happen in the future. Those aspects of life which don’t change as quickly are our values. These values can be the same as those of our parents and our grandparents and are often influenced by just those people.

As we grow up in this world which is moving so fast, we need to have the right values which will guide us on the path we will take through life. That’s my hope for my children, that they grow up with the right values. The values which are life affirming, life enhancing and make the world a better place. Values which will help us to play our part in building communities whose hallmarks are love, mercy and justice.

The highs and lows

spain losers Spain winners

I wonder how you’re feeling at the moment. There are times in life when we feel we’re on a high (without the influence of narcotics) and others when we feel at a low point. If we like engaging with sport (as Kick London does), then playing in or following a team can take us to those high and low places. Did your team win the league or just miss out? How is your team doing  in the football world cup? For some, these are very important questions and have a big impact on their emotional state! We have to experience both the highs and lows, we can’t have one without the other – just think of Spain who have won 3 major international football tournaments and are out of the current world cup at the group stage!

I am not a passionate sports fan but I do follow the matches, without getting caught up in the emotion of it all. I’m sure I’m not alone. Everyone has something that they get passionate about and that’s important as it helps give our lives meaning and purpose. But some things are more important to get passionate about than others and it’s the important aspects of our lives which we should get passionate about. I’m thinking of the relationships we have with people and how we care for one another and our neighbours.

I want to be passionate about how people are treated, how we look after those who are neglected and marginalised by society and how I can promote justice, mercy and love in what I do and how I relate to others. That’s something worth getting passionate about.

Boundaries

41GmQAbITwL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX342_SY445_CR,0,0,342,445_SH20_OU02_Not the cricket type, which were (very) few in number in the fourth one day international between England and Sri Lanka, with the notable exception of Buttler. I mean the personal type. I’ve just bought a book about boundaries and I’m keen to read it, when I find be time. Perhaps setting some boundaries will help me find the time. Whenever we want to achieve something, especially things which are worthwhile and productive, it always comes down to having the discipline.

We can have good intentions and even the desire to do something but if we don’t have the discipline then it’s likely we won’t do it. I’m not sure how we become disciplined as I’m not very good at it, but I guess it’s the old story of taking one day at a time.

The urgent and the important

to doLast week I wrote about slowing down and having taken a week off and gone away on holiday I feel like I have slowed down. Although it was somewhat difficult chasing after a 3 year old and playing games with her all day everyday.

It also reminded me that what is urgent isn’t always important and we so easily get confused about this, albeit without thinking about it much. Slowing down helped me to realise what is important to me in life and when the pace is slow we notice things we miss when life is fast. It’s like we take in more of our surroundings when we walk rather than drive in the car. We have more time to be … ourselves.

I need to be reminded often about the need to slow down, reflect on what is important and try to focus on these aspects of my life, in between all the jobs I have to do! It’s always worth the effort.

Taking a break from it all

slowWe live in a busy world and it’s easy to get caught up in the flow and be pushed along at the speed of everything around us. I often feel like a piece of wood in a river, trapped in a strong current with no means to slow down.

So with this in mind I make sure there are times when I slow down and stop. In fact I’m writing this a week before it appears on the website and when it does appear I’ll be on holiday, by the seaside, away from the hustle and bustle of normal life.

It’s so important to take time to rest and recharge so we have energy to carry on and face the pressures of every day life. Simple things like going to bed earlier more often, resting our minds as well as our bodies and just trying to do less, saying no to things we might otherwise want to do.

I’m sure I will be a better person in so many different ways if I take time to slow down more often. It’s easiest said than done but we have to start with the intention and we’ll get there in the end, however slowly!

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