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I am just so very blessed by this!  I came home from hospital yesterday and checked my emails before falling into bed and staying there and found that Lulu – from As The Pendulum Swings blog – (a blog I really enjoy reading) has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I am so blessed by and so grateful for this.  I have often mentioned how grateful I am for all the support and encouragement that I receive via comments and emails and Skype etc. Additionally, I have to be honest and admit that I am often bemused by how many followers this blog has both here and on Twitter and at how many hits/views this blog receives. But to be nominated for an award now that just blesses and bemuses me ever further.  I am so very, very grateful and humbled by the nomination.  Thank you Lulu

And having received this award I understand that there are rules that I should follow.  Rules?  Rules I have to follow?  Do I do such a thing?  OK I guess I can LOL.

Apparently they are as follows…

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Hm, OK so that isn’t going to be so easy!

As for the first rule I have already done so and of course would have done so as a matter of basic courtesy.  I really do appreciate the award and the blog of the person who nominated me.

As for the second rule “Share 7 things about yourself.”

I have an ’About The Author’ page which I hope details some fun trivia-based facts about me but this I feel calls for more depth than that offers so here goes…

1.     I am a Christian…

I fully and totally believe in God and Christ and I have dedicated my life to Christ. BUT I am neither a fanatical nor a fundamental Christian.  I understand the arguments that others put forward against the concept of a deity and I fully respect other people’s right to a different or a non-belief just as I ask folk to accept my right to my belief.

2. I am a single guy who is coming up to being 50 years old, and yet am I?

In many ways (as I am often told) I am much older than my years – in experience, outlook, and presence.

[LOL this kind of statement always makes me think of myself as a figure of an old man sat in a high-backed chair in the corner of some room and all covered in cobwebs. Sitting there silently, only raising my weary head only now and then, in order to throw out some relevant or thought-provoking comments but just as likely to throw out a mischievous or cheeky observation. But I am sure that is not what is meant by that description.]

And yet in other ways I am but a boy. A small lost boy – uncertain of this world and this life and unsure of the path that I have to follow in this world – a world that seems so very alien to me.

3. I have been street homeless and am a recovering drug addict

Leaving my home and family and the girl I loved, I went to live – sleeping rough – on the streets of England doing so for several months.

Whilst living on those streets I got heavily into drugs and it all but killed me.  I am now some 26 years clean and although I still have the occasional craving when things get really bad I am so grateful that I am now free of it.

4. I spent many years in full-time Christian ministry

My young adulthood was spent in full-time Christian ministry within the Social Care sector working with; the homeless, teenage runaways, drug addicts, mental health clients and single parent families.  I have worked on the front line of this field at both the grass-roots level, lower middle and upper management levels and yet of all of them I much preferred the grass-roots level.

5. I am married but separated

I married the love of my life some 25 years ago now and whilst we separated some 6 years ago and have no plans or desire to reconcile I am fairly sure that I shall never marry again as I don’t feel this would be right.

I have never stopped loving my wife and don’t think I ever will.  I understand why she left and I hold no ill-will towards here whatsoever and get hurt when others criticize her for leaving as a) it demonstrates a total lack of understanding of who she is, how difficult it can be to live with me, and of the circumstances we were in and b) it demonstrates a complete disregard for my feelings and the love that I still have for my wife.

6. I am a father

I have one biological son from my marriage and I have many adopted children and grandchildren of various ages.  Some are ‘all-grown-up’ now and some are still growing but they are all so very precious to me and each ad every one of them special in their own individual way.

7.  And finally, I am an unorthodox passionate bundle of contradictions

[I love that little phrase!  It says so much and yet so little at the same time.  It invites further inquiry and has the potential to conjure up so many thoughts and questions.]

Well by using that label I simply mean that I am a passionate man but that my passions do not conform to modern-day society’s norms or expectations…

I am ‘asexual’.  By this I mean that I am not really very sexual at all.  I like sex but then I dislike it more than I like it and I can’t say that I actually enjoy it.  I hold spiritual, emotional and mental intimacy far more important than sex.

I consider physical tactility important and precious yet I dislike being hugged.

I love words and am passionate about writing and poetry and literature and yet I dislike so very much the way that words are used today – more in attack than attraction – more predominant in destruction than construction – vehicles of oppression and suppression much more than of liberty and aspiration.

I love art and really enjoy drawing and painting and sculpting but consider so very much of what has been called “art” nowadays to be nothing more than an undeniable revelation of how the secretly-unconfident, self-important and powerful few will so readily accept the untalented offerings of others just so as they don’t have their own

talents or uncertainty or insecurities brought into question and as a result of this be revealed as not being quite as expert as they make themselves out to be!  (Hm, what was that I was saying about disliking how words are often used to attack rather than attract?)

I love music but I dislike so very much of what is called music.  That is not to question whether it has any right to be called music or indeed to question anyone’s right to listen to it.  I simply find so much of it to simply be nothing more than a series of foul, offensive, or sexually suggestive even sexually explicit lyrics all often poorly weaved together with repetitive noise and synthetically generated outputs.  But then I am older and a parent and a Christian and a singer.  I love singing and I adore singing lyrics that love and welcome and inspire and invite towards beauty and furtherance and passion.


So there you have the required seven facts about the author (albeit that there are more than seven in that whole offering.  I hope you enjoyed them and that I didn’t offend too many folk in the process.

Which brings me to the third rule, – 15 blogs that I have recently discovered and that I enjoy reading.

And here I think I am going to struggle…

I read so many blogs – some infrequently and others frequently – and it is difficult to choose but 15 that I enjoy.

Additionally I wouldn’t necessarily want to suggest that by reading these blogs I endorse or agree with the views, persuasions or opinions put forward in or held by the authors of all of them.  I simply enjoy them and find so many of them challenging, thought provoking even inspirational in some cases.

And that having been said, here is my list and in no particular order other than alphabetically…

  1. 25Pillsaday/Fibromy Awesome
  2. An Imperfect Christian’s Blog
  3. As The Pendulum Swings
  4. bi[polar] curious
  5. Danii’s place
  6. I Was Just Thinking
  7. James Claims
  8. livingwithablackdog
  9. Lordemannuel’s Blog
  10. Manic Muses
  11. Mercy Me’s Blog
  12. Pick Me Ups
  13. Stephen Fry’s Blog
  14. The Birds and Bees and Me
  15. The Sandwich lady

And having now listed them I would like to congratulate and thank them all.  I am not easily impressed or entertained and each of you have done just that.

So that is the first three of the four rules that I should comply with having received this award. I am now off to comment to or email each of the authors of the blogs that I have listed and let then know that I have nominated them and thus they too have received the “Versatile Blogger Award”

To Lulu who gave me this award.  My heart-felt thanks.  I really enjoy reading your work and having a nomination from you really does mean a lot to me.