Friday five favourite: ways to research your vote this election

17 04 2015

With all the leaders debates now over, and the news thoroughly drenched in all the manifestos, statements, spats, all sorts that’s going on, I’ve been trying to find good sources of unbiased information to inform and help me to decide who to vote for next month. I wanted to look beyond all the leaflets that just tell me why I shouldn’t vote for the other parties, or tell me that only 2 parties have a chance in my constituency and to avoid the others, and I wanted to start from scratch in looking at what parties actually stand for.

Here are five of the resources that I have found most useful in doing this!

  • Verto[Quiz] – A great little app from The Independent which they’ve apparently designed to work like Tinder. You swipe left or right to indicate whether you like or dislike policies, and then put the categories you care about nearer the top, from that it will show you for yourself, your region and countrywide, on a pie chart style thing, which way you are inclined – I found it really helpful!
  • Vote For Policies[Quiz] – A slightly more long winded version of the above. I loved this website for the European elections a couple of years ago as it was more concise. Now it’s quite long paragraphs, but again for each category you pick the paragraph you most agree with and it spits out a political party at the end for you.
  • BBC[Info] – The BBC have produced a really helpful breakdown of each parties main policies in each area, so whereas above you’re trying to look at policies anonymously, here it lists all parties policies on education, or economy, or you could look like party, and see a list of all their policies. A nice clear, concise summary of those long manifestos.
  • Evangelical Alliance[Info] – Similar to the above, put together by a Christian magazine. The EA asked five parties for their responses to a few key areas, and so again, just have a nice, light summary of all that info that’s out there.
  • Votewise 2015[Book] – This book is written by a Christian, looking at some of the major issues from a biblical perspective, which takes up the majority of the 100 page book, as well as reminding us why it’s important for Christians to be involved in politics. The book ends with members from the five major parties, some of which are also MPs, explaining why, as Christians, they have chosen to be members of the party they have.

  • **EDIT**

  • I Side With[Quiz] – I found this one last night too, haven’t had a chance to do it yet, but it’s a lot of statements that you can select yes, no, or a variation on them, and say whether or not it’s a statement that matters more or less to you

  • **EDIT 2**

  • Christianity Magazine[Interviews] – Premier have published interviews with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg

  • **EDIT 3**

  • How to vote[Quiz] – another policy quiz, quite a simple and short one, just looks at four major policy areas, and asks your opinion on a load of bits, let’s you select which you care more about, and always offers a “no opinion” option, which is quite nice

Of course, it’s also important to look at what your local candidates are saying, while a lot of it may sound like bravado, they are the ones that will be representing you in government.

And don’t forget, there’s local council elections on 7th May too, this is where those who make decisions about the place you live get elected, and so it’s still really important to vote knowledgeably there too!

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Joy

31 03 2014

I’ve posted the first definition of Joy below on here before among a longer article, but it’s come up so many times in the last couple of weeks I just wanted to share it in it’s own space.

Joy is an interesting concept. We so often think of joyful as just being happy, but it really isn’t.

In the bible it says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!” – Philippians 4v4. “always” would imply even when you aren’t happy.

Joy = “Unnatural reaction of deep and steady thankful trust in God”

Joy is not about how we should feel, but how we should think.

It’s almost a head vs heart thing.

When I was little my Grandma taught me the Acrostic below:

Jesus first
Others second
Yourself last


update 1st April: I’ve just added below 2 of the songs I love that focus on Joy 🙂





Wisdom from a post-it

21 11 2013

This post-it has been floating round my room for ages now, I can’t even remember where or who I got these nuggets from, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth sharing!

  • “To finish something, is not the same as finishing it well.”
  • “Integrity = aligning words with actions”
  • “Culture = the way we do things around here”
  • “God has not equipped me so much that I don’t still depend on Him daily”




Postman Pat

16 09 2013

I had a bit of a revelation about Postman Pat last week, he’s come up in conversation a lot (I even found out it was my bosses favourite childhood TV show – even more respect to him!), and I’ve been realising what an incredible person Patrick Clifton is!

This was actually from the episode where he needs to somehow deliver a bouncy castle to a party!

I’ve always loved Pat, my Grandma gave me my toy cat when I was 2 years old for Christmas and even though she’s a she, and looks nothing like Postman Pat’s cat, she was named Jess, and I still have her in my bed!

I’ve even mentioned him in my blog before!
Here’s a classic episode, enjoy 🙂





Wisdom from the Jones ladies on Worship

16 07 2013

Just before I went to uni I had drinks with my friend Kim and her mum Shona. All of the ladies in this family have the most beautiful voices, and we had the immense privilege of having Shona leading worship in church on Sunday’s with that beautiful Scottish lilt we miss so much.

The beauty of their voices came up in conversation, and I joked how obviously I’d never match up to them, and they shared this wonderful concept with me, which I now share with you if you’ve never had much confidence in your own ‘worship’ voice.

They told me how God has this worship filter. Where we hear the quality of the voice, that’s all sifted out. What He hears is the pureness of heart, the meaning and sincerity behind what is being sung. That which is sung in all honesty and passion is what sounds most beautiful to Him. You could have the most beautiful voice in the world, but if you didn’t mean a word you sang, it’d sound tone deaf to Him.

What a lovely thought!





Wisdom from Angie on Worship

13 07 2013

I was chatting with a wonderful friend of mine this week when I realised what wise things I’ve been told over the years. Time to share them wider! There’ll be at least one more of these anecdotes coming soon…

I grew up in a lovely Baptist church which while not a traditional or formal church, is not overly charismatic. On a Sunday you’d see a handful of hands up in the air, always the same few. It wasn’t un-normal, but not something I ever did.

When I was 17 I went to Spring Harvest, and in the youth venue, arms were up everywhere, I wasn’t quite used to it! I found myself wanting to too, but I was worried. As a 17 year old I was still really quite concerned about what the people around me, my friends, people I’d known my whole life, thought of me.

I freaked out a bit.

The wonderful thing about going to Spring Harvest with a big church group though, is there’s all sorts of people you can sit down and talk with, and fortunately, Angie, my Sunday School teacher from when I was 10, who was also my Saturday job boss at Oasis Christian Centre was hanging around the Skyline watching a stall during the session, and I went to find her.

She was fantastic. Here’s what she shared with me: Worship isn’t about other people, it’s about you and God. Who care’s what’s going on around you. When she sings, she shuts her eyes, because then she doesn’t see what others are doing, doesn’t worry about what others are seeing her doing, and it’s just about her and God, whether her arms are up, down, other, or whatever she does!

And so that’s what I do so often now. I’m so easily distracted, not just by other people’s worship styles (we all worship differently, that’s a great thing!), but by toddlers running around, all sorts! If I shut my eyes, then it’s just me worshipping my Creator, Saviour and Sustainer, it’s personal 🙂





Two things I learnt today!

11 04 2013

Firstly, a group of beavers is called a colony.

Secondly, if you have blue eyes, this is very similar to having fair skin when concerned with the sunshine! If you have fair skin you’re more likely to burn easily and should be careful to wear sun cream etc. If you have blue eyes, my optician told me today, then your eyes are more susceptible to damage from the sun, and you should make sure that you wear sunglasses when necessary.

You really do learn something new every day!