Online Teaching Resources

Hey all,

Some people have been asking about access to my preaching or teaching sessions. 

If you follow this link it will take you to my YouTube channel where you can access some live sermons and a mini-teaching series I filmed recently on the first few chapters of Genesis. 

Charlotte Curran YouTube Channel 
I hope to get a proper website up soon to make accessing all of these resources a little easier.

Much love

Charlotte 

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My Heart Tells A Story

My home tells a story. There’s a shadow of a splatter on my living room wall from that one time my eldest son had an incident with an exploding yoghurt. There’s a hole in the back door of the shed from that one time we owned a dog that liked to eat things that were not food. There’s a faint orange highlighter mark on a cupboard door from that one time my youngest son was a two-year-old criminal.  Continue reading

A letter from a Mum-of-Boys

Dear World,

I’m a mum of boys. My house tells their story. Chips of paint are missing from our stairs, battered relentlessly with a football. My garden is a pile of muck from wellies trailed through soft, wet, winter grass. My piano has numerous busted keys from tiny, over-enthusiastic fingers attempting their first concerto. And don’t get me started on dinner conversation… football, always football. I’m definitely outnumbered as the only female in a boy’s world. But if I’m honest I love it. I love being the girl of the house. I am fiercely protected on all sides by my three exceptional men. 

And yet, as a woman in the era in which I find myself, I feel it necessary to protect them too. 

There is a rising tide of girl-power in our day and generation. Don’t get me wrong, much of it I love. I love seeing girls young and old step with confidence into everything they were created to be. I have given many years of my life to ensure that this happens. But I am also afraid. There is a tendency in society to extremes. Sometimes when society has been out of balance, the pendulum swings violently in the opposite direction, rather than gently moving to the middle where it always should have been.

As a mother of boys I’m afraid. I’m afraid that they are growing up in a society that will make them pay for their gender, that will make them feel like they have to carry the shame of every mistake men before them in other generations made. I’m afraid when I hear people belittling all men as if they deserve it because of what women have endured. I’m afraid because I’m a mum of boys and I want them to grow up in a society where, yes, they are held accountable for their bad choices, but only theirs. Otherwise we have simply replaced the sin of degradation of women with the sin of degradation of men. Neither is acceptable. 

Every. Human. Has. Value.

That value is not gender specific. It is built upon the truth that they were created by and are deeply loved by God. 

So as a mum of boys I am determined that our boys, alongside every little girl their age, will step into everything they were made for, unashamed of who they are and free to become so much more. 

And I believe that starts with us girls. We need to ensure that the boys and men in our lives know they are loved, valuable, necessary. We need to celebrate them loud and proud and resist any temptation to make them feel less than precious. 

So let me get us started…

Today I celebrate every little boy. And I celebrate the many incredible men in our world. I pray over each one of your hearts and spirits.

Go be all you were created to be, men who carry value and purpose and men who intentionally call out value and purpose in every other human-being that you meet. 

Us girls are cheering you on. 

We are proud of you. 

We are for you. 

We love sharing this planet with you. 

Love from

A Mum-of-Boys

Xx

‘That Mum’

It all started with a three-hour foray into Lasagne Land. I’m not exaggerating. It took me three hours to make lasagne. I’m pretty sure that’s way over average. Why so long? Because I am inept in the kitchen. I have no other excuse. It takes me twice as long as it should to follow any recipe, afterwards my kitchen looks like someone has been paint-bombing in it and the results are usually poor to mediocre. I can’t cook… or bake for that matter. If you follow my Instagram stories you will have seen plenty of evidence to support this. Need I remind you Insta followers about the fidget spinner cookies? Enough said. Yet today I decided to make homemade lasagne from scratch. None of this buying the white sauce nonsense. Lots of mums I know do it every week. How hard could it be? Three hours later I realised it isn’t as easy as they make it look.

Arms deep in mince and white sauce I had an epiphany. I’m trying to be ‘that mum’. You know the one? The one who is a cross-breed between Nigella and Heston with a sprinkle of Mary Berry thrown in for good measure? I want to be her. Some day when my kids are teenagers I want them and their friends to congregate in my kitchen because Kaeden and Eli’s mum makes the best lasagne, or curry or hot fudge puddings. My fondest memory of childhood is waking up on a Sunday morning to my mum’s fresh baked scones. I can’t make scones. I don’t care if your recipe is fool-proof. I can’t make them. Truth is I can’t be my mum, or ‘that mum’. But it hasn’t stopped me trying. 

In June I did the 30-day shred, a ridiculous aerobic work out, because I want to be ‘that mum’, the one standing at the school gate looking incredible in head to toe Lycra. It didn’t take me long to realise I can’t be ‘that mum’. 

I bought a bike once because some day I wanted to be ‘that mum’, you know the one that cycles past your house with four smiling, equally-athletic kids following behind her on their bikes, probably on their way to the lakes for a picnic. She probably baked scones for the occasion. So I bought a bike, or rather my bike-loving husband bought me a bike. I nearly died. Literally. I ended up in the middle of the road with cars swerving to miss me. Apparently balance is another deficit of mine. I haven’t been on a bike since. I can’t be ‘that mum’. 

So today in Lasagne Land I realised something; for nine years I have been exhausting myself trying (and failing) to be ‘that mum’, the mum I thought I’d be, the mum I want to be, the mum I admire from a distance at the school gate or across the pews at church. Today for the first time in those nine years I admitted defeat. I can’t be ‘that mum’. Sounds ridiculous but a wave of pain washed over me right there in Lasagne Land. I grieved the idea of the mother I would be. 

But then in that poignant moment I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, “Why don’t you be this mum instead of that mum?” I think that’s a good plan. I can’t be Mary-Berry-Mum, Lycra-Mum or Bike-Mum but I can be ‘this mum’. I can be the mum who instills kindness, courtesy and work ethic into her kids because that’s who I am. I can be the mum who teaches her kids how to think creatively and love generously, how to value every human being and respect the world around them, because that’s who I am. I can grow men who love God and believe they can change the world for the better because that’s who I am. Someday my boys and their teenage mates will congregate in my kitchen because they are made to feel welcome and loved by ‘this mum’ even if the lasagne was made by Tesco. Nope, I am not Mary-Berry-Mum, Lycra-Mum or Bike-Mum but I am ‘this Mum’ and today I’ve decided that she is enough. 

I don’t know the pressure you have placed yourself under to be ‘that mum’ or ‘that kid’ or ‘that employee’ or ‘that friend’ or ‘that spouse’ but maybe it’s time you stopped robbing the world of the person you are, by trying to be the person you are not. Imitation is exhausting. Being the best version of who you actually are is exhilarating. 

It was nearly 7pm by the time my kids had their dinner. Surprisingly it was delicious. Will I make it again? Probably not. I’m just not ‘that mum’. 

The Night

The shadows begin to creep over town and field                                                                                                                        

Blackening out the day

And my weary heart grows dark in their shade.

The clarity of the light

Now eclipsed by the night,

My mind becomes murky in the dusk.

Heart beating faster, racing harder

The corners of the room begin to move and dance

A twisted, threatening jig of uncertainty

Inciting fear

Promising pain

Causing me to forget the day just gone

And that one will come again.

The percussive rumble of the train

Right on time

Joins the night time melody

Clickety clack clickety clack

Circling round and round the tracks 

Of my mind

With its cargo of fear, doubt and despair

Chugging on wearing marks into my soul

Deep and sore.
Yes how quickly the clarity of the light is eclipsed by the night.
But then a flicker, a glow

Somewhere in the corner of my mind

Pulsing out truth

“God is sovereign, God is good.”

The flames catch some flax close by and begin to rise

Burning up the darkness of doubt

“All things are working for your good child

Even in the night

For Abba does not slumber

Nor leave his little ones unattended.”
The room is bright now

With truth the darkness cannot hide

“More than a conqueror – that’s your name

Established in love – that’s your position.”

The shade clings on to the edges it still possesses

But it’s powerless against the name now falling from my lips,

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”
Now it is the night that trembles

For, though arrogant and gaudy,

Even the dark knows its limits 

And the name of Jesus builds a boundary line around me

The shadows dare not cross.
Now I lay me down to sleep

Sweet, secure sleep

For the deep dark night 

Holds no terror for those who know the truth –

The darkness does not dictate our destiny

It merely serves to show off the light. 

Committed To Kindness

Life is hard sometimes. There are seasons of the soul that are characterised by ardent struggle not blessed rest. There are moments when winds whip hard and the furious squall of the sea surrounding us threatens to take us under once and for all. Yes. Life is hard sometimes, and there is not one realm of humanity left untouched. Tragedy strikes multimillion dollar penthouses and it strikes slums, pain threatens to make an end to both the wise and the foolish, fear knocks on the door of the entitled and the forgotten. One of the universal truths that holds us all together is every human heart knows what it is to be in pain. 
And yet the wind, the squall, the furious gale do something a little topsy turvy with this universal truth, in fact it turns it on its head and declares, “You’re all alone in this. NO ONE understands.” Sounds plausible, but it couldn’t be further from the truth, because if we think about it we know there is no such thing as a human being who doesn’t understand pain. If we sit back and look long enough it is obvious that every person we will ever meet has experienced betrayal, loss, disappointment, failure, hardship. Sure their brand of pain might be different, wrapped in another company’s logo, but inside it is still pain. The one thing you can be sure of is that people understand. 

And surely this understanding should do something to humanity. Surely this understanding should make us more… well, understanding. Surely this common currency of pain should bind us together… But there’s a problem with that glorious dream and the problem is this; pain makes us look inward not outward. When our souls throb and our hearts ache we forget to look up and look out. Our own individual pain consumes our entire focus. And in those moments we lose the power pain can bring us, the power to connect with a broken world in the midst of our common brokenness. Instead we end up isolated victims of pain, angered not empowered by our wounds. As the anger grows other people get swallowed up in our pain. We make them the source, the cause of our pain and we begin to believe the lie that you can’t trust anyone, everyone must fend for themselves and community isn’t worth the hassle.

Listen, I get it. I write this because I feel it. I write this because I am fighting these same battles with pain. And yet a voice deep within me calls me. It calls me to look up and look out. To remind myself that, while my pain may be very real, I am not the only one who hurts. It calls me to face the terrible truth that even those who have hurt me are hurting too. They carry pain as I do. And while we want to believe the worst about people, the truth is we are all victims of a broken world. We are all in pain.

So God whispers to my spirit, moves me to remember, that in a world this broken, I must be COMMITTED TO KINDNESS. That means that kindness can’t be something I only do when life is easy and community is gracious. I must be committed to kindness because commitment is what it will take. It will take commitment to be kind to others when I am struggling. It will take commitment to be kind when the world is not. It will take commitment to look someone who has caused me pain in the eye and return it with kindness.

Kindness is not an easy path, not a road for the faint hearted, but I believe in it so deeply. I trust kindness to guide me when anger would destroy me, to chart a road forward I won’t regret taking. I trust kindness. It won’t always lead me down a path I want to walk but it will always take me to a destination I want to arrive at. So today, for better for worse, for richer and for poorer, I commit myself again to kindness.

This world needs your kindness, for there is nothing more beautiful than eyes still filled with kindness when the heart is filled with pain. This pain you feel right now may threaten to destroy you, but know this, your pain becomes powerful when you use it to connect with a world in pain. Your pain is a tool in your hand because compassion cannot be forged without it. You cannot sit well with the broken until you yourself have been crushed.

If for one brief moment we could take our understanding of pain, look our enemy straight in the eye, and see they too carry this burden, maybe we would discover they aren’t our enemy at all, but just another injured soldier in the battle of life, fighting just like we are to survive.

Yes today, though it takes all of the strength within me and the strength of my Abba behind me, I choose kindness. In spite of the pain, no BECAUSE of the pain, I choose kindness. For my enemy is not my enemy, just another injured soldier.

Timing Is Everything 

Honestly I’m not a massive fan of fruit, (apart from watermelon, because I mean come on who doesn’t like watermelon?!) I think my dislike for the stuff is largely due to my experiences of eating it before it’s ripe. There’s nothing worse than biting into a pear and realising it’s not ready. (Insert gagging sounds here.) In that moment what should be a pleasure becomes a highly unpleasant experience. And you know it’s not the fruit that’s bad, it’s the timing that’s bad. 

Timing really is everything. Not just in fruit consumption, but also in life. I don’t know about you but I have a little tendency to rush things. I don’t know whether it’s being a busy working mum or whether it is just a personality defect of mine, but I’m always thinking a step ahead of where I am. On one hand this can be a useful skill, but on the other it is a subtle thief stealing the joy of the present with the constant push towards the promise of what’s next.

Personally I find this most dangerous in my walk with God. God plants dreams and purpose in our hearts, so something of the future always calls out from within us. This is an essential part of who we are. But sometimes we can get a little bit impatient waiting for that promised future to become a present reality. In those moments we are at very real risk of making bad choices in an attempt to speed up God’s sovereign hand. If you ever find yourself tempted to bypass God’s timing, to shortcut the divine schedule, STOP FOR A MOMENT AND THINK. 

God is a God of order. HE DOESNT DO SHORTCUTS. With him, timing is everything. And when we try to skip ahead, fast forward through a season of life to the next, we end up journeying to a place where there is no provision to sustain us.

I was thinking about the creation story today, and how man and woman were the last thing God made. I think if I had been God I would have wanted to get right to the pinnacle of my creation first, but he doesn’t do it that way. No, lovingly he crafts the environment, the food, the provision for his people BEFORE they arrive. In that moment God gives us a glimpse into how he works. He is always up ahead setting up the scene for his children, so that when they arrive at that point in their journey, everything they require is already there waiting. In God’s world it is first provision and then possession. When we attempt to skip God’s process we wind up in a place where his provision hasn’t preceded us. That is indeed a scary place to be. Short cutting God’s plan is, quite simply, a recipe for failure. 

The season you are in, whether mundane or extremely challenging, is packed full of purpose. And while we wait on God’s provision up ahead, we are also assured he has already been right where we find ourselves today, before we ever got there, setting us up to win.

So maybe for a moment just breathe in where you are. Remind yourself that today is packed with purpose, even if you can’t yet see it. Don’t rush to get to tomorrow. It will all come when it is ready. 

Because you know with God timing really is everything.