Jo Saxton: Be twice as good to survive as a black woman

In Premier Christianity magazine, leadership coach and popular speaker Jo Saxton explains how her passion for mentoring women was born out of a battle to discover her true identity.

Just looking at the list of what Jo Saxton is involved in makes my head spin – and the impression she makes when we chat is that she lives life to the full. The bubbly extrovert has Nigerian roots but grew up in London.

Explaining how her family and wider community had “scant resources”, Jo recalls how many of her friends were children of drug dealers and addicts.

Her own family life was not straightforward, as she spent time in foster care and only met her father three times. However, she does not see herself as a victim: “When people have shared my story, the angle has often been the poor black child living on the wrong side of the tracks until rescued by a kindly white lady. I’ve been presented as a wounded victim who somehow struggles through and becomes a tough strong woman! I think it might make great TV and ticks the boxes of a few cultural stereotypes, but life was and is way more nuanced than that.”   Continue reading “Jo Saxton: Be twice as good to survive as a black woman”

Tomorrow at Explore: Choosing To Believe The Truth

Last Sunday was great. Tomorrow at Explore we have the second part of our new series, Freedom In Christ.

Everyone lives by faith, even those who are not Christians. It’s who or what we put our faith in that determines whether or not it will be effective. As Christians, it’s essential that what we believe is in agreement with what God has revealed in the Bible which shows us how things really are.

Come along and join in as we start this series. 11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church. Colin leads us.

Austin Fischer: Nobody can lay any foundation, except the one which is laid


Church leader Austin Fischer writes:

“I had both grabbed and been grabbed by the conviction that the only foundation for theology was the revelation of God in Jesus Christ:  ‘Nobody can lay any foundation, you see, except the one which is laid, which is Jesus the Messiah!’  Not a theory about the Bible, not a set of presuppositions about how God was supposed to act, but a step of faith wherein I trusted in the revelation of God in Jesus.”

Austin Fischer, Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed: Black Holes, Love, and a Journey In and Out of Calvinism


Living Hope

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Here’s a line from a song we’ve been singing at Explore.

The full words are:

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness, Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Continue reading “Living Hope”

Tomorrow at Explore: Who Am I?

Sunday is the start of a new series at Explore, Freedom In Christ.

When Adam and Eve were created, they had life in all its fullness. They were perfectly accepted, secure, and significant. When Adam sinned, they lost their relationship with God. The result for us is that we were born physically alive but somehow spiritually dead and with a huge need for acceptance, security, and significance. Jesus came to restore the very same life, acceptance, security, and significance that Adam and Eve had originally, and those who receive His free gift of life become brand new creations in Christ. Knowing that we are now holy ones who can come boldly into God’s presence without condemnation changes everything.

Come along and join in the first of this series. 11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church. Colin leads us.

Jonathan McReynolds: Not Lucky, I’m Loved

“And I could thank my lucky stars
But that’s not where my blessings are
No they come from the Father’s heart
Not the sky, not chance, but truth is
I’m not lucky, I’m loved”

The video of singer songwriter Jonathan McReynolds‘ song ‘Not Lucky, I’m Loved‘:

Maybe I succeed a little
I jumped up from the floor to the middle
You think I want the credit I don’t
Cause the glory, ain’t made for me, no
I know who sits on the throne
Who makes the stage and writes the songs
And I know I couldn’t do this on my own
And as much as I complain
I’ve seen more sunshine than rain

And I could thank my lucky stars
But that’s not where my blessings are
No they come from the Father’s heart
Not the sky, not chance, but truth is
I’m not lucky, I’m loved
Continue reading “Jonathan McReynolds: Not Lucky, I’m Loved”

Staying healthy

Over the Christmas period, it’s a common time for family members to fall unwell; colds, coughs, temperatures, weak, even bedridden.


Jesus came as ‘Saviour’ and talked about ‘salvation’ as including healthy minds, bodies and healing from sicknesses.

How have you tackled it when you, or one of your family, have appeared to be going down with illness?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all!

It strikes me that what we do in Explore is worth sharing with a larger group of people.  The word’s going to spread!  Who do you know that you could bring along with you on a Sunday?  They could be any age.  If they might be nervous coming on a Sunday, would they enjoy interacting with some of the discussions here on this blog?

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We have an Explore ‘business card’.  Who could you give one to with a warm invitation?  Where could you leave one or pin one to a board?  Sometimes when someone sees or hears about something several times in different ways it encourages them to act!

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