Friday, 18 February 2011

Guest Blog from Tim Ross
My name is Tim Ross, I've just had my 50th birthday.
I do art (mostly digital), some installation art and the odd commission for one or two churches. I love seeing shows - just seen Cirque du Soleil's incredible new show Totem - breathtaking!
I came to Worthing when I had to retire from Methodist ministry due to a long term illness Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
The best thing about living in Worthing is probably the sea. Wherever we live, we have to have the ever-changing beauty and majesty of the sea close by.
The worst thing has got to be the ridiculous cost of parking, which continually drives us out of town to do our shopping where parking is free.
I go to the Methodist church because that is where God called me to.
The way I became a Christian is a loooong story, but the short version is that I used to be an ardent atheist; Christians were wasting perfectly good Sundays, as far as I was concerned. However, God's a crafty so-and-so. He planted a Christian family in a house opposite us when I was 18. They had two attractive girls, and I was quite interested in girls. They tried their hardest to convert me, whilst I tried equally hard to un-convert them. One day, in desperation I guess, they handed me a Bible. My first thought was, "Great, now I can show them how ridiculous it all is." But when I touched the Bible, it was as if Jesus was standing in front of me. A presence so real I couldn't possibly deny it. All I felt was the deepest love and acceptance washing over me. I couldn't speak, or even stand for a few minutes. I think they thought I was fainting. They asked what was wrong. All I could mumble was, "It's Jesus".
Something you don't know about me - mmm. You probably don't know that I was arrested at school for burglary. A friend and I used to do for the excitement. Needless to say, I've found the adventure of following Jesus far more exciting!
I'm reading "Dissolution" by C.J.Sansom. He writes murder mysteries set in the time of Henry VIII.
Twitter has been an eye opener for me. It's been a way for me to express my service to God within the confines of my illness. I tweet Celtic-style prayers on a regular basis. I got into trouble a while back with Methodist church authorities for attempting to host a world-wide communion service on the internet using Twitter. The whole point of social networking is that it connects people, what greater connection is there than the one we share in Christ. It seems only natural to celebrate that connection through communion. I'm sure it will happen one day. If not on Twitter, then on Facebook or somewhere else.
It is hugely important that the Church not only recognises but also has a significant presence in the online community, and is an essential part of that mission.
My first book The Nearest will be published a few months time. It's a fresh look at how we express our devotion to God. I tackle the taboo question of whether having a daily quiet time is the only way to have a close relationship with God. I offer and alternative approach to spirituality for Christians who find daily devotions either unfulfilling or plain impossible because of the demands of modern living.I haven't got a publishing date yet, but it should be available from about Easter.
Peace with you, Tim.


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