Sunday, 30 December 2007

It is meaningless



I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas, sorry for not blogging, been busy, here I am.

I have been reading Ecclesiastes, different book, can come acroos as a bit depressing, endless talk of everything being meaningless.

But its not really depressing, it is very relevant, it is about searching through life, trying all that life has to offer, and Solomon was in a good position to try what he wanted, he was king, wealthy, women ( he had 700 wives and 300 concubines), he had power.

He reached out into the world and tried everything, spent time philosiphysing, dreaming, building, questioning, working. this was a man who had it all, a man who had lived a life O'Reilly, who had seen more than many of us will ever see, and dressed pretty well by all accounts as well.

What did he find, he found it was all meaningless, I like the picture above, now what. Once you have the job, now what, once you have the partner, now what, once you have the house, now what, once you have had the kids, grandkids, great grandkids, now what, once you have visited the places you want to see, now what, once you have enough money to see you through, now what. It all turns to dust, and what have you lived.

Through wealth, through politics, through the media, we in the western part of the world have become very insular and selfish, chasing securities that do not exist, the commodities to fill our lives, we have believed the lies, now what.

There is a desire in us all to belong, for community, for relationship, it is something that this world fails to offer, or only offers in a way that has a veneer, in other words, like the guy who devotedly follows his football team, thay are his tribe, he is one of them. How deep is this relationship, what is its meaning, or is there a now what? Online clubs and chat rooms where you can suddenly feel like you belong, but without really having a relationship, now what? I picked those two examples because I love Liverpool and I am a blogger, it is not the nature of these practices I am having a go at, I am only asking, is it enough, is it true, now what?

I believe that true community and relationship is found in God, as did Solomon, He is the meaning. His family should, trys, but often fails to deliver true community through Christians, but that should be there goal, and that should be where we belong.

Now what?

Putting that into practice, its a challenge, but I am not alone and it is not meaningless.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Driving Again


I have said it before I know, but I drive a lot, and hence ( cool word) I find myself using driving analogies quite often.
Well here goes;
I think that the way I drive and my reaction to others driving is a great example of how to live and how not to judge and condemn.
For example, if a driver is breaking the speed limit, or driving like an idiot, I can do nothing about it, I can drive the way I am meant to, but it is up to the authorities to inform, stop and prosecute those who drive dangerously, not for me, as I have done, rant and rage at the bad driver. The same in life, it is not for me to highlight what others are doing wrong, that is God's job. My job is to lead my life the best I can, and like driving, I will make mistakes, I hope others are as gracious on the road as God is to me in life.
Lastly, a bumper sticker I read, on a website,
If God is your co-pilot, move over.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Ranting mice

I have mice in my office, I am sitting here tapping my feet, so they know I am here and stay away, they are a nuisance, not scary, I just don't want them running over me as I work. I just feel like a bit of a rant, letting off steam, I have mice in my office, there is freezing fog outside, I am ok. I don't know where I am going with this post but I really wanted to write, so lets see................

I was listening on the radio the other day that there are going to be fuel protests this weekend because of the high price of fuel, but the protests cannot be like they were before because of laws now restricting the right to protest. I then listened to a debate on prisoners held in Gauntamano Bay, without trial, without charge, without rights. I read on the internet about a young man, a footballer for Watford, who was trafficked here as a child, running from the war and strife in Sierra leone, no family, abused as he entered this country, making something of himself, now he is to be deported back.

There are freedoms now, within these so called free countries that are being eroded, sneaked in, accepted. Freedom taken away in the name of protection. Scary.

How do I challenge these issues. I have to live a life of freedom, show that freedom, declare that freedom. Freedom can only come from one place. I am set free through Jesus, He has set me free. It was not that long ago, that I was bound by this world, I face challenges every day now, but if I look back to my life before, I see the victories, I see the fullness of my life now, even when I am tired and down and the world looks a dark place, I know where I have come from and where I am now. The world is a dark place, as I ranted above, but I know freedom, and now I can share and live in that and try to influence freedom being declared throughout the world.

There will always be challenges and injustice, I was once again listening to the radio the other day ( I drive alot), there was a preacher on, he was explaining that when you become a Christian, you don't become a millionaire, your family does not suddenly become perfect, you are not immune from disease, or accidents or failures, the guys in the bible went through all sorts of hardships, they had it tough, all the disciples except John had horrible deaths, John was exiled, but they were free, free in Jesus, He got them through, and they lived the life He wanted them to, showing and spreading His love. Be free.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

helter skelter

I like U2, I remember when I was younger my brother Evan had the Rattle and Hum video, U2 live, absolutely great, one of my favourite songs on the video, was not actually theirs, which they state quite clearly, was Helter Skelter, originally by the Beatles, a song gaining noteriety due to its use by the Manson clan, I am getting away from the point again, the first six lines are great, a wonderful expression of life:

When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top
Where I stop and turn
And I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sometimes I'm at a low, sometimes I feel on top of the world, sometimes I go and do things my way, sometimes I get confused and lost, but there is Jesus, yeah, yeah, yeah, and off we go again.

A small analogy, I liked it, enjoy.

The beatles original can be watched on the adjacent page.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Ton Up


This is my 100th blog post. As good a time as any to have a review of things. I have been at work a lot over the last couple of weeks, very busy, only got a chance to write the previous small post.
Over the last month or so, I have felt very at peace, there are the usual worries and struggles, and life keeps getting busier, but I have felt at peace. Typical of me, this started to worry me, I did not feel down, I just had a longing for more intimacy with God. A need deep inside to be closer to Him. I started to look at myself and how I have been in my family and work environments. I don't feel I have been going about things the right way in my attitude to those closest to me, as parent, husband, worker. Sometimes I am running about helping others, then come home and want to know where my dinner is, for example, or the first question to the kids is have you done your homework. Or at work I question whether when I am there, am I showing Jesus?
As I said, everything is good, but that is what the last post was about and in the last week I just feel like I am chasing God again, peace is nice, peace is good, what about risk and living the on fire dream, peace and passion that is the balance to get. I know I am babbling a bit, thats why this is a blog, I'm just very excitable.
On Friday, I really felt God tell me to attack hell, in terms I would use, He charged me to attack, how do you attack hell? You live His way, in love, showing love, breaking through with love, that was also another reason for my last post, all of my feelings and all of what God is saying to me right now, is to live a life of love.
That of course is easier said than done, but what a great challenge, I pray I am up to it. Love.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

love

A quick post..........love.

In any relationship you are in, with any person you know, when there is someone you see who you feel is going the wrong way, or maybe you like to criticise, maybe you feel by telling someone, with all good intentions, how they should be living, or acting, or not doing. I am sure that you have had people say to you things'in love.' or maybe you have said things 'in love.

I really feel this is not the way, show love, love people, put that love in your relationships. God has always loved us, but we see in the old testament that loving us and telling us what we had to do, we could not live up to Him, we failed. We are the kids who you tell no to, and still go and do it, as kids do. Jesus was sent to show us love, He loves us so much, that He died for us.

God loves and forgives continually, He changes us inside out by loving us, not condemning, not telling us what we have done wrong. When we come into a relationship with Him, we know what we have done and we continually change because we feel His love and grace. You will not change people or their ways by telling, condemning, advising even, but through that same love. Show love the way you have been shown, it obviously works.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Hmmm

Just to let you know, after I wrote the last post, I spoke to someone about the damage to the sign, very supportive, and everyone else has been as well, great eh?

I just read on another blog, a comment made, I believe it is a quote of Shane Claiborne's, although I could be way out. 'Jesus said it, so He must have meant it, so I'm going to live it.' Can't argue with that really, it does remind me of a Neitzsche quote I may also have out of context, and i may be reading it differently to others, but, here it is ' In truth, there was only one christian, and He died on the cross.' Jesus was the only true real deal.

Some of my other favourite quotes;

'Hate the sin, love the sinner' Gandhi
'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' Also Gandhi
'Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last.' Martin Luther King
'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Shakespeare
' Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.' Dickens
'Its so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.' CS Lewis.

I could go on, I like quotes, the CS Lewis one is a new one for me, and there were some rude ones I like as well, but i won't publish them. Ho hum.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Last night


Youth cafe last night, went well, almost doubled last weeks numbers, must be doing something right, problem is, the church sign got broke, we are now Diss Christian Comnunity hu .


For me, accidents happen and we had well over 30 young people, about 20 of those having nothing to do with the church, as a church who has had no youth outreach for a long time, to be finally getting into the lives of young people in the town, is the point for me.


I am just a little worried about some peoples reaction and my planning, I was under staffed last night, and something of the church got damaged. I just find myself getting very defensive about this venture, nobody has said anything, I am doing what I usually do, letting things fester. I have noticed other people doing this lately.


I really feel this is one of the biggest dangers in churches, small groups, organisations, friendships and any ventures. Not dealing with issues, not being honest or big enough to speak up when you can and walking away, letting things fester, boil up inside, creating divides, bitterness, anger, hate and this is when people leave churches, etc....


Jesus talks about it, before coming to the altar, if you have a problem with your brother, go and deal with it. Jesus said it has to be done, understandable why.


Of course there are ways of doing this, assertively, honestly, with compassion, but do not let things fester.


Friday, 23 November 2007

Putting it down in black and white.

No picture today, sorry. Just wanted to put this down, throw this out there, tell a little story, of what is happening personally and with some people close to me at the moment. I feel this is being dragged out into the light right now, I need to start realising that God is doing something brilliant round here at the moment and there are some people being brought together in a real spirit driven way.

Let me explain myself more clearly, myself, my wife and several friends in our local church, have been really challenged as to how we are living our lives, there has been a couple of books doing the rounds, notably the irresistable revolution, our local church has just done a teaching series on the early church and very importantly, biblically we are finding Matthew 25: 31-46, the sheep and goats passage, the biggest challenge.

I suppose we are all asking how can we be there more for the needy, how can we live truer to His ways.

DC3 are taking this on as a church, we want to make this personal and real, as a group,( as I believe we are trying to do this as individuals anyway) so right now, we are looking at ways of throwing our lot in together, and approaching need and community, truly in non condemnational love, close to the early churches ways, being responsive to His ways as a community ourselves.

I don't exactly know what all that means right now, but I pray that God is in it, and He guides us in His ways.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Oh Well



Northern Ireland lost, thats ok, we did so much better than anyone ever anticipated, just as well as England in fact, and we had harder opposition.

Tanya asked me the other night if God likes football, I'm just wondering who He would support, I have come to the conclusion that if He does not support Northern Ireland, He does not support anyone, in all seriousness, He does not support anyone. The reason I write this, is because it opens up the whole issue of God supporting countries in other things they do, I mean generally war, does God support one country against another, do we ever have Gods support to kill, to wound, to hurt. No.

I read today that over 30million people in America last year did not have enough food at some point in that year, I know the president will be using his veto to stop the giving of free medical care to children to who cannot afford it, because it is against the principles of private health care. I wonder what God supports, war or the hungry, dispossessed, sick. You don't really have to wonder, do you.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Down


I have felt absolutely crap since Friday night, since the youth cafe kicked off, not physically, in the head, can't seem to get things right. Had a small group last night with some young people, went well, but I got really angry with them at one point, I mean they were really pushing it, but still, I recognise I am not in a great place, I've been a right gripe to live with as well.
I was speaking with Graham Blake on Monday night, He is the leader of DC3, I told him how I was feeling, he said that every time he speaks, and he feels it was a really good word, that got home, the next day, he feels really low. Just him telling me this, I felt a real burden being lifted, he said you are on a high, moving into enemy territory, making a difference for Jesus, the enemy does not like it.
So even though I got a bit angry last night, I am really starting to feel a lot better, I recognise how I have been, I am going to move forward in the name of Jesus, He is my strength, and I really thank him for the honesty of Graham and great friends, and the fact that I have the oppurtunity to work in His name and move into that territory.
Honesty and vulnerability really speak to people, knowing you are not the only one who struggles with an issue, knocks down strongholds, maybe I'll expand on this some other time.
Lastly, please pray for Northern Ireland tonight, if we beat Spain, and Latvia beat Sweden, please pray for Latvia too, Northern Ireland will qualify for euro2008.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

HIJACKED

I have been wanting to write this post, or something like it, for a while now, I kept forgetting, or not having the time, well here goes.

I do not like the way the world has hijacked words and ways of life which are pure and of God, and made them into something dirty, I also am upset at sayings in the world, which even christians believe, but are not of God. I am about to give examples so I may be clearly understood.

'Lover, Christ is my lover'. How the world would twist that, I am sitting here feeling very vulnerable about writing that line, and feeling the need to explain what I mean, I'm not going to, the world has corrupted, I am not playing its games. The bonds of friendship between men and boys has become something that has been tainted, I see this in youth work, lads struggling to communicate with their peers, their friends, due to barriers that have been put up by the world.

On the other side of things, there are those sayings or ways of the world, that a lot of us have followed, and believe, which just are not true. The example of this I notice the most is the belief that there is someone for everyone, that we should all be married and bring up great and strong Christian families. This is not true, its not biblically true, it is not right to lie to our children, and put that pressure on them. It is ok to be single, forever, to follow God, can even be easier sometimes, Paul did it, so have countless others throughout history.

I just want to claim words and ways back for God, I want the truth to be His truth, not the worlds truth, His ways not my ways.

In reference to the picture, I feel like sounding a horn.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Friday night

Started the youth cafe on Friday night. It went great, a really good atmosphere, plenty of young people, mainly from outside of the church, which to be perfectly honest, I feel, is the point.

Its good that as a church, we can offer something else for the church youth, I feel we need to be saying to our youth, here is this full life, come and live it. In DC3, right now, we are getting to a point where the youth in our church, have so many options of things they can be involved in, we need to keep on pushing.

Obviously, the natural next step of this, is to say, what about all those young people, who do not have a clue about Jesus, or the church, or love?
The youth cafe that has started, I am praying is the start of letting the young people in Diss know we are here, we care, we are not here to judge, or sell, or preach, or brainwash.
We are going to show who we are, and we are going to let people know about the other things we do as a church, we do have a prayer request box, we are going to listen, befriend, care, share and try to help where we can.

I really pray the focus stays on jesus, thanks for your prayers, its been a great start, the building on that starts now.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Today


Starting tonight in Diss, Norfolk, the DC3 Youth Cafe, welcome.
I'm excited, and I feel really blessed and grateful, come what may, it may be slow to start, but its great to say to this town, now, we are here for your youth, its great to say to the youth, there is no reason to hang out freezing your bums off, come in we are here for you.
I have felt a real peace this week within myself, God has just had His hand on me, calming any storms. I read this week in my daily reading about the Israelites, as they were taken off into captivity, as Jerusalem lay in ruins, they sang, as it says in lamentations, 'because his compassions fail not, they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness', that has stuck with me, whatever happens, He is faithful, and every day He is ready with more compassion and love and blessing. Thankyou God.
When I was reading that word, it reminded me of the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness , some great words, 'all I hath needed thy hand hath provided', 'strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow' I love it, in the words of a more secular song, 'its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life, for me, and i'm feeling good.'
I know a God who gives me peace, but also lights a fire inside me.

Monday, 12 November 2007

To do list


This Friday night the youth cafe starts at our church, I'm busy.
I really wanted this to happen, I have pushed for it, planned for it, prayed for it, I really think this is important. I really want to be reaching out to the young people in this town, to let them know we are here.
That is the biggest thing, being there, letting people know we are there, for them.
I am going to have a busy week, I really want everything to be all right , I have people in place, I have tv's and music to check out, I have tuck to buy. I want people to turn up, I need to give out more fliers.
I really need God in this, I need Him to be there now and on Friday night. I really need Him to be in this and for this to be about Him and His will. Thanks God for the oppurtunity to do this, thankyou for the trust of your family, I really need their continued support, anyone reading, I would really appreciate your prayer.

Monday, 5 November 2007

fellowship


Had a really good day yesterday, a real day of fellowship. I went to church and spoke to some people I haven't spoke to in a while, had a really good time of worship, a real sense of God's presence. I then had to speak to the church about the youth cafe I'm starting, asking for volunteers and prayer, I got a really good response and should be able to cover the Friday nights I'm going to be running this on.
After church I was asked to play football, just 6 a side on a local astro turf pitch, hence the picture. If you don't know me I'm overweight, supposedly, an ex smoker, ex very heavy drinker, now just a heavy drinker ( only joking ), and generally I don't exercise, except for the fact of having 3 kids, my job and my church things, anyway I am so unfit, and how that was highlighted yesterday, it was only a small pitch, just a muck about, I can hardly move today, I really ache, I have to start exercising somehow.
A really good time of fellowship, a real good laugh, I probably lost about a stone in sweat, God is good.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

need

I watched the motorcycle diaries the other week, good film, I loved the fact that a man, travelled that continent, coming from a privileged backround, met real people, real people in need, and was changed. Che Guevara

During Che's journey, he responded to needs, as he came to them, he gave free doctors advice, gave people money, he did not really have, when arriving at the lepor colony he was heading for, he tried to break down barriers in the contact with the lepors, and was importantly struck by the fact that the healthy and sick were seperated by a river, which according to the film upset him deeply, leading him to swim the gap on his birthday, to spend it with the lepors.

I know this was just a film, and also, I believe importantly, Che turned to violence to change the world. I believe coming into contact with real people with real problems, should change us all, that is where Jesus was when He was here, a real person, living, helping, loving all those He came into contact with, and those people were the sick, the dregs, the hated, the needy.

Jesus has and continues to change the world with love, not hate, love, not violence, love, not judgement. I know it is my word of the moment, but its challenging to face all with love, all, its challenging not to react with anger, or disgust, or hate, but with love, It is challenging not to judge, condemn or point the finger, but love. That is what Jesus calls us to do, it is what He did,

He loved, He showed love, His greatest act of love, was the greatest act of love, to give up His life for us, He did not fight , judge, condemn, He forgave and loved. Full Stop.

Monday, 29 October 2007

My body is giving up

I'm not old, I feel it, I've just phoned in to work sick for tomorrow, I never have time off sick, I'd love to go to work, but the body says no, if you have seen the film Me, Myself and Irene, there is a point in the film where the main character snaps, the drums start playing in his head. I'm not losing my head, I just feel the drums playing and I need to stop, I'm oh so tired, but feel like I am just whingeing, even though, for once, Tanya seems to think I am not well.

I want to write so much, I have loads to write, I have been thinking, reading , I have been inspired, by some films, some people and by God, and I want to get it all down, but I am tired, so this is hello, I am about, I will try to be more attentive, if I get any time, bear with me.

Monday, 22 October 2007

challenges

I have been very busy this weekend at work, which is very frustrating, because I have a lot to say, this was not it. I thought I would write a quick post to keep myself in habit, and I just wanted to talk about some feelings of mine at the moment, nothing specific, just about being challenged, and how frustrating that can be.

I'm not talking about challenged as a disability, like vertically challenged, I'm not talking about challenge from a struggling sort of sense, and even though I am challenged, its others reaction to them challenges that frustrate me.

I am feeling really challenged at the moment about how I live my life and am questioning my role in society and the world, I have a sincere belief that I should question how my life reflects that which Jesus wants me to live, in other words, is my job where God wants me to be, is it right to work for an oil company, is it right to buy cheap clothes that are made by slave labour, is it right to be caught up as much as I am in this worlds media and money driven life. what sort of message am I sending to my kids about that life???????????????????

There are more, my point is, that when I talk about this, and even talk about these subjects as my own challenge, and that I am being challenged personally, people seem to be taking offence, they seem to think I am challenging there way of life, or criticising the way they live, or that maybe I am getting confused.

I don't feel under pressure, I want my life to reflect who I follow, and I feel that is not necessarily the norm, it is how I am being challenged, I think I just wanted to get this down to clear my own head. Not to say, oh yea, I'm right, just to say its ok if Jesus wants me to question certain things in my life now, I want to listen and follow Him.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Humility

Yesterday, I, as is my way, got all self righteous and preachy about being ready to be persecuted and not always following authorities line. I then went and read my bible, and God, as his way, put me right, not that we should not be ready to be persecuted ( did I put that right), but in Romans 12, I am told to submit to authority, so even when I find it frustrating, I should submit to rightful authority.

Anyway, ( my favourite word.) Northern Ireland played football last night, and in a wonderful display, I was able to watch, thanks to the wonders of digital TV, a great 1-1 against Sweden.

Its great being the underdog, I always cheer for the underdog, I even, and this is hard to admit, but when England played rugby against Australia, I was behind England, you say why is that hard to admit, because England aren't usually the underdogs, and aren't very gracious with it.

Being humble is the key, so if Northern Ireland go on to win the European or world cup, I pray we stay humble.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Persecution

Had a really good youth alpha group last night, fantastic, loved it. I prayed that I would feel better, ( since I have been sick, if you have been keeping up) this morning, I felt great, I was surprised.
Did I think that prayer does not work, did I not expect it to work, am I just better, because I'm not ill anymore. God works, He's good, He answers prayer. Remember it. Thanks God.

Not actually what I wanted to write, just a sort of update.
Persecution. I just worry that sometimes we are to ready to do as we are told by the world, we make excuses for the world , we want to abide by the law of the land , because it is right, but what about if it affects us doing God's work. I am not talking about unfair taxes, or the no smoking ban, or speeding tickets, or many other perceived unfair laws, that I and other christians may break from time to time, or don't agree with, especially speed limits.

I am talking about the pc laws, the laws which tell us we have to insure, protect, be careful, about reaching out to the world.

Are we ready to be persecuted, as a person, as a church, are we ready to do what is right, before God, in spite of the law, or insurance companies, or organisations that do not agree with us, or other religions.

Do we want to pander to others, do we dilute ourselves, are we, by trying to do right, in the eyes of the world, not following Jesus, not living as he would wish, not being open, when we should be, not giving when we have, because of regulations. Are we ready to break the rules, and as it says biblically, stand before the courts and say why.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is blog action day, all bloggers uniting to speak on one subject, which today, is the environment. Not my favourite subject, and personally I can think of other subjects I would like to join together to write about, rather than this, but here we go.

I am not an alarmist, I'm not going to jump on the first enviromental bandwagon that comes along, sprouting on about the end of the world, funny it used to be christians walking down the street with the sandwich boards telling everyone to stop, turn back to God, the end of the world is nigh. How times have changed.

I am not going to take that other view, that I have heard about, that of christians, wanting to abuse the planet as much as possible, to bring about the end of the world. Well that just has love written all over it.

I do want to say, I need to take responsibilities for my actions, you need to take responsibility for your actions. It is another one of those light in the darkness moments, stand at the sidelines moaning, or do our bit. God created this world, we are his, responsibility time.

I love the countryside, I do not want it to be one big waste bin, so I need to recycle more. I hate walking into town and breathing in loads of fumes, its horrible, I think about my baby daughter breathing that in. Smoking is banned in pubs and workplaces, but our kids now have to put up with more smoking at home, smoking on the pavements and nothing done about all the crap from cars that is pumped out.

I work in the oil industry, I do actually worry how I can continue to do so, and have a conscience. But even there, we know deisel cars can run on vegetable oil, we don't need to be abusing the world for oil.

We ( I mean I) need to really start to look at every decision we are making, is it based in goodness, light and love, or is there an implication to our environment or to someone on the other side of the planet, that we would rather not think about.

I am reading the irresistable revolution by Shane Claiborne at the moment, there are plenty of challenges in it, from the environment to community living, good book to read.

I suppose my end thought is......................THINK

Monday, 15 October 2007



I'm not well, typical really, I'm off work, I never get sick when I am at work, as soon as I have some time off though, bang. I think it is actually like a release, I always talk about relaxing, very rarely do it. I am not going to do alot at the moment, until I get better, well I'm gonna try. I really have to practice what I preach, rest in grace and love, but I just want to do so much. The trick is to be challenged, not ashamed or guilt ridden. That is so much of an answer to so many ways I and others lead our lives as Christians. I want to do so much for you Lord, I know you have done so much for me, teach me the way to live, in You, for You, walking the walk and talking the talk, in freedom and joy, wanting others to feel and know you, not out of shame or guilt, because You know all and have made everything clean and right. And help me to rest, because You need me fully fit. Thanks God.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Random


I have not got a lot to say today but I really wanted to blog today, so here I am. I like Monet, this is one of his pieces, good isn't it. If you want to do some art, but are no good at it, go to http://www.jacksonpollock.org
I really enjoyed myself, doing some Pollock, I'm no artist, but I love it, I wish I could , but all I do is try, as my dad would say, I'm very trying.
I try at a lot, but once again I have the problem, am I doing enough?
Of course I am not doing enough, I can never do enough, I have to accept this, allow myself to rest, go forward in love, accepting I am loved, and try to act in love.
Very basic but enough, work, rest and love.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Some of me

I have just added a few websites of organisations, I am part of on the side of my blog, I suppose it is just to show a bit of me, to show some of the things I am interested in, things I support, because they mean alot to me. I have included the DC3 website, the church of which I am a member, also there is the Burma campaign, obviously this has been in the news alot lately, because of current events, and on the CSW website you can see an invitation to go to parliament square on monday evenings between 6-9pm, to pray with burmese activists over the situation in that country. Also through the Burma campaign, CSW and other sites have great ways to get actively involved in pushing for change.
Tearfund does some great youth stuff, and is a great aid organisation and amnesty I was drawn to through its symbol of being a light in darkness, which I believe we are all called to be. Anyway have a look, get involved, don't stand on the sidelines, if not these, find organisations you feel passionate about, and make a change.

Monday, 8 October 2007

parenting

I wrote my last three posts on 1 night, but this is up to date. I have wrote about parenting before, but I want to come at this from a different angle.

This is very personal, so stick with me.

Tonight I had an argument with my oldest son, which very nearly turned physical, he is 11, he just wanted me to go away, he did not want to face up to his responsibilities, he would not allow me to be the parent, to tell him what he needed to do. I was told to leave his room, maybe I am old fashioned, but that is not acceptable, I am still the parent. But I got very angry, again.

Parenting is so hard, it can be heartbreaking, guilt ridden, scary, painful, frustrating and yet beautiful, fulfilling, loving, exciting, awesome.

As a parent, I believe, is the time when we are most aware of God's nature.

I read great books of great people, doing great things, single, childless, like Paul, and I can understand what he says about, not being married or having children, it allows so much more time and energy, such freedom, I don't know if I am looking at things the wrong way, but we need people like that, its biblical, yet we have swallowed the world view, that everyone needs a mate, etc......

We are so quick to tell our young, they need that relationship, that model family, I can't remember seeing that family once in the new testament. Parenting, partnership, family is hard, it takes devotion, hard work, patience and lots of love.

As a parent, I don't even know what to say sometimes, I am lost, trying, but lost.

I have been thinking tonight about the old testament and the new, and how this reflects my parenting. I try just to love my children, to guide and love them, to show them what is best for them, trying to teach them the best way in life, showing them the way to act, interacting with them, building a relationship, advising, admonishing, pulling them up.

God does that, always has, always will.

Guess what, my kids don't want to do it my way, they don't want to do it anyones way, they don't even know what way they want to do it, except, their way. They would rather not bother, rather not clean, work, have respect for themselves or me or my wife, plus so much more.

Guess what happens next, I come down like the wrath of God Himself, I come down, over the top, vicious and hard. I am dad, you will love me, respect me and do as I say. I know best, and honestly, I am looking after your best interests, all you have to do, is do as I say.

I don't think my son agrees. I look at the old testament and feel rather small.
God has been doing this for thousands of years, telling us the right way, loving us, blessing us, punishing us, looking after us. Generally as man, we said, we know best.

So, you did not give up. Can a parent give up. I hear about it, on trailer trash tv, but can a parent give up, can we get caught up in our own parental nightmares, we dismiss others because they can't be as bad as ours, we blame it on the other parent, we forget what it is like to be loved, we dwell on the sins of parents and people, and dismiss those closest to us, because it easy to forget, it must be, because parenting lasts a lifetime and beyond, when does the parent give up.

Its such a good job, God does not give up, we come into the new testament and understand, we did not make the grade, we are crap kids, we never get it right, all the bad things as God's child to do, I have done most of them.

My father in heaven says, I love you, accept me into your life, I sent my son, He died, your sin is gone, your paid for, all the crap that was there, I accept that I am not perfect, that I have ignored you, I want to live my life starting now. Jesus reigns and when I screw up , He will still reign.

I know my dad reads this blog, but, I love my Dad, plus I really like him too, and I bet if you speak to him, he will tell you how hard it has been, and about times he got it wrong, as we all do, but to receive the love back, he loves it, especially from his grandkids and knowing that on some level his children listened, got that love, got a bit of God.

You see that is the biggest point as a parent, as I come down like a ton of bricks on Morgan, my son, I will still be here today to love him. I will not give up on him, should I? what if he never takes my advice, never wants to know God, or His way of life, or even worse he wants to live his life the way I did and ignore God and me.

'Bruce Almighty' is a great film for illustrating how you cannot force anyone to love you or God, you cannot force them to follow your way, you cannot get them to forget the past, or anything you or others have done.

I can emigrate to a bubble, it would be easier. Life is so much better if you can afford to live without people or relationships, its just not real.

I can make excuses for myself or others, but I would be a liar and a hypocrite, the only way I can parent, that is best, is to love my children. I love you all, I pray the best Dad going can continue to teach me. Thanks.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Money

Sometimes I worry about money. I actually worry about writing about money, it can be such a touchy subject. There are debates going in different places on whether christians should be rich, or poor, whether money is the root of all evil, well I just want to take it down to a personal level.



Now, as a family, probably like a lot of young families, we struggle with money, but actually I find the bigger problem I have with that, is worrying that we have no money. God always looks after me and my family, He is faithful, yet I worry, I really think that Satan enjoys us worrying, well the other day I woke up, and I thought about the little money we have, and realised it is God's. Not only is He creator of all, but I have given my life to Him. All of my life, all of my money, not just a tithe, I looked at the money in my wallet and said a prayer, God, what ever you want this money for, its yours.



I find great comfort in knowing my money belongs to God, but also challenged to do as I am told, if He wishes, to empty my wallet. I will have to do it. God is faithful. My brother Evan was talking about this to me the other day, and I felt really challenged to give more, we are His, everything we have is His, He told us not to worry, He is faithful. Good way to live if you ask me.

Rhythm




Interesting word rhythm, interesting spelling, interesting sound. Just a little thought about getting into Gods rhythm.




I suppose I am talking about prayer, of being constant in communication, of the constant thought in what I do, or what i say to anyone else. It can be so easy to ignore God. It can be so easy to put God aside for certain times of the day or week. I pray first thing in the morning, then I'll see you tomorrow God, that was a great bit of worshipping, see you next Sunday. Read my bible today job done, etc....


I think my point is that prayer is conversation and relationship, so God is with me always, so i should be discussing, listening, feeling Him as much as I can. In every conversation, decision and action, there should be God, and part of that too, is worshipping, knowing that God is with me, knowing He is in everything and will never leave me, and acknowledging Him and His greatness.


Lastly, I know you cannot walk about reading the bible constantly, but what is read needs to be put into practice, or meditated on, or prayed about, its all about listening to Gods rhythm.

splurge



I feel a bit inspired, I am writing a few posts now to add as the days go on, so that i can keep up to date. I enjoy writing these posts, and also I find when I am blogging I end up whizzing around looking at other peoples blogs, getting inspired, challenged, angry.


Lethargy is such a big weapon of the devils, it is so easy not to do. I have a stressful job, I have a young family, a baby, a house. All the stresses of finances, kids at school, cars to run.


What I notice is, when I feel lazy and lethargic, is what I do have time to do. Check my emails, check out youtube, the news, the sport. Watch utter crap on tv, because its on, because its the evening now and thats what people do in the evening. Go shopping is something I do constantly, I go to buy one thing, wander about checking out every special offer and reduced item in the supermarket and coming back with lots of things that will not get used, feeling I have done a great job, and explaining to Tanya how much money I have saved. I always have time to sleep more and Tanya deals with mornings so well ( patience of a saint) I'm moody in the mornings so it is easier if I stay in bed.


This is not a guilt trip, but it is a challenge. I have time, I could do more, I should do more. So I am going to splurge a bit with blogging, while I can, I am going to give this some time. There are other things I need to give more time. I'm going to work on them as well.

back to basics



Had a cell group a couple of weeks a go that really made an impact on me, and because I am finding things very busy at the moment and am feeling very tired and lethargic, I think it is important to remember the basics and focus in the right direction, which of course, is on God.

At my small group, we had communion, but before we did, we had a really good time of opening up and confessing to God. I really loved just asking God again to clean every part of me, to help me as I struggle with so many weaknesses, to be King in my life, every day in every way, and then as taking that bread and wine, remembering exactly what He has done for me. It all starts at that cross, whatever I am doing in my life, or wherever I'm going, saying or being, it has to start there.

I was just listening to a song by the Killers called 'all these things that I have done', good song, and I haven't forgotten that I am doing a series on music, just going to get back to that sometime, anyway , all these things that 'I' have done, are all made pure and right by one thing that Jesus did, so that is where my life goes forward from, the cross.

The next point I want to make is about the other basics and how important they are. This isn't some moan off, or list of things to be done or else, but the actions which build us up, make us stronger, they seriously help to protect, and help us to walk in Jesus, building that relationship, sharing our faith, being who we are meant to be.

I am talking about prayer, the word of God, worship and our daily walk in life, I will probably expand at a later date, but some good thought to be going on with.

Friday, 28 September 2007

How to help

I was driving home from work on Tuesday night, at the junction of the M25 and the A13, probably one of the busiest places to be at rush hour, there was a group of asian blokes trying to flag down traffic, so I stopped.

One of the guys came up to my car window, he said he needed money for 2 babies who were hungry, I didn't have any money, I asked if there was anything else I could do, he said he wanted 10 pounds, I repeated I did not have any money on me, could I help in any other way, he walked off. I drove home.

I don't know if these guys were legit, or if I could have done more, the feeling I had afterwards was that I wasn't very prepared to help. I don't know if I'm making myself very clear, I wanted to help, I stopped, felt compelled to stop, if I had had any money, I would have given it, legit blokes or not. I suppose I just felt very frustrated that I didn't help, and I don't know how to prepare myself to be available, to be open to others more, to help.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not beating myself up, I'm just working through some things right now, about being more proactive, really living Jesus, there is no point just talking the talk, it has to be real, it has to be living, Jesus is the life, then I am being challenged more right now to live that.

I know I am rambling a bit, but haven't blogged in a while and I'm spurting off, I'll probably write more later on being broken, we'll see..............

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Don't know

Didn't know what to have as a title, don't really know what I am writing, so no picture either. Just a sort of update. Things are good, busy, more challanging, and good.


Have had some real answers to prayer lately within the church, brilliant, and our youth is growing, tiring. The group that Tanya and I do has just about doubled, very hectic. At the end of last year, we started a once a month youth worship on a Sunday night, the last one we had has just gone to a new level, it really kicked off, loads of young people, really up for going mad for God, and being challenged as well, exciting. We also have loads of plans for the coming year, weekends away, soul survivor, youth events, its gonna be a real challenge to organise, we really need some more workers. But God problems are great, we can't have too many youth, so I'm sure God will supply us with help. Especially since in about 6 weeks time I will be setting up a youth cafe, thats really going to need prayer and people. I just give it to God.

My house is up for sale, I'd really like to sell it, its expensive, to buy , but also to own, I really believe selling it is part of a bigger journey my family and I are on at the moment, but it is also a weight, a weight I could do without. As it takes longer to sell, I am wondering what God is trying to teach me from this......................maybe its just, rely fully on Him.

Friday, 7 September 2007

What thelogioan am I?

You scored as Anselm, Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'

Charles Finney

80%

Friedrich Schleiermacher

80%

Anselm

80%

John Calvin

73%

Martin Luther

73%

Karl Barth

73%

J├╝rgen Moltmann

67%

Jonathan Edwards

67%

Paul Tillich

53%

Augustine

33%

Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
New quiz, I don't know if I agree, but a cool bit of fun.

Thankyou



The other day I wrote a post, about my windscreen wipers, I was on my way to work when I wrote that post, I have been at work alot over the last few weeks, and it being summer, have been away with my family, I really have been blessed, but I have really missed my church family, it means alot, and having a good church family is really strengthening, it also makes me aware of those who work away, or in missions, it is so hard to stay strong, I really pray for those.

I digress, I was at my small group last night, and have been told about a whole bunch of blessings that have been happening at church, one of the young people from my group is moving and was trying to get into the local school, it wasn't looking great, yesterday she got a place, the church was trying to invest in community work, it emptied the accounts, acting on faith, they have received a cheque covering the whole amount. Tanya and myself were helped financially. There is so much happening, I am trying to start a youth cafe, as a form of outreach, Me and Tanya are starting youth Alpha this coming week, the youth worship is really stepping up, we have more volunteers, God is so good and so big. Thanks. Listen to this though......

There is a child at our church who has cancer, cancer in the kidneys, one has been removed, so many people have been praying, now I haven't got the full story, but basically, he went to have the other one removed, a specialist doctor there visiting, suggested giving treatment one last try, which they did, scanned his kidney, no cancer. He was going to have it removed, he no longer has cancer. God is so good and so big. Thankyou.

And through all that He still fixes my windscreen wipers.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Music 3 Soul




' As soon as I wake up, put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you' Aretha Franklin
Good bit of advice really, the first thought in the morning, get in touch with God, although I don't wear make up. I'm on my next musical journey, SOUL, says it all really, but seriously, the best thing about soul, is there is a lot of love going on, and it is very easy to see God, when you are talking love songs, take Gladys Knight's You're the best thing 'you'll be there between each line of pain and glory/Cause you're the best thing that ever happened to me' or Marvin Gaye's Ain't nothing like the real thing 'I need the shelter of your arms to comfort me/ No other sound is quite the same as your name.'
There is a real calling out for love in these songs, the longing of the soul, which is why it links true to our relationship with God, just in the titles of songs by Sam Cooke, A Change is Gonna Come, and the whole of the Otis Reading song Thats How Strong My Love Is, you can see and hear God.
A bit of Stevie Wonder to finish, from I Believe, 'God surely answered my prayer/ God surely answered my prayer/You know God surely answered my prayer/ You know God surely answered my prayer/God always will answer your prayers/Belive in One who will answer my prayer.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

windscreen wipers

Last Wednesday, on my way home from work, my windscreen wipers stopped working, quite a big problem in the rain I was driving in, they just gave up. I was doing a social with the lads from my group that night and dropped the guy who was helping me off afterwards, and i could hardly see where I was going. I had a go at fixing them Friday, was back at work Saturday and Sunday, went from work to my mother in laws for a few days, came home Tuesday, kept trying these windscreen wipers to no avail. Haven't got time or money for these wipers, so am at a loss. Anyway going to work Tuesday afternoon, I see the rain clouds coming, and I start to pray, please God, help it not to rain on me. It starts to rain. So I said very simply to God, 'Well you can at least make the windscreen wipers work' and I tried them, and they worked.

I am sure there are those that have a practical solution to this, well so do I, God fixed my windscreen wipers, and I phoned Tanya straight away, to tell her just that.

For me, this is one of those wonderful demonstrations of God's love, He created everything, everything, He knows all, He can do anything and is in charge of all things, He still wants to fix my windscreen wipers.

God is so big, so infinitely bigger than what my mind can even start to imagine of Him, He has quite a bit on His plate.

I am small, not that clever, undeserving, silly, disobedient, lazy...............

He cares about me, God loves me. He sent His Son for me, and even through all I am and do, He still loves me and cares that my windscreen wipers were not working, He fixed them for me and He continues to fix me, but thats gonna take a lifetime.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Perception





I have a new photo on my profile, this for me is a big thing, mostly because as you can see from the top photos, I am one of the least photogenic people in the world. So yesterday Tanya, who has been moaning about my profile pic, for ages, spent some time trying to take an alright photo of me. Directly above is the result, about as good as it gets for me, so I'm quite pleased. I am fortunate though, Tanya and the kids look great in photos, so I just have to remember to be the one taking them.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Victory



I knew I would have to interupt music. I need time to write those blogs, plus a bit of research. Then somethng happens in my life and I want to share it. I actually thought this the other day when I saw a billboard, advertising that whoever it is 'works while you sleep', just like God.
Anyway, had a chance yesterday to speak about Jesus to one of the guys at work. It occurred to me, what Paul said about only boasting about Jesus.
I can talk about me all day, but one chance to talk about Jesus, its like winning the pools, or the lottery. I got to speak about Him, I feel victorious, to promote Jesus. That is what I live for. I am never going to walk away from a conversation and say, I told him about me and it changed that persons life. But one chance to tell anyone about Jesus, may mean eternal life for someone who was lost.
I pray for more oppurtunities.


Monday, 13 August 2007

Music 2 Rock and Roll





Hopefully you'll get where I am going with this a bit more with this post. I think words are important, music is important, and they can touch and inspire me, and help me in my walk.


Chuck Berry is not a man known for his closeness to God, known more nowadays for his putting video cameras in ladies toilets, unfortunately. But he was one of the first real rock and rollers, and he wrote the song Downbound Train, a story of a drunk falling asleep in a bar, and having a dream of being on a train driven by satan on its way to hell, it ends with these lines as the drunk awakes ' He fell on his knees on the bar room floor/ and prayed a prayer like never before/ And the prayers and vows were not in vain/ for he never rode that downbound train.' This is very obvious lyrics, almost in parable form, most of the time it is one liners that can just grab your attention, like in Buddy Holly's Word of Love, ' Words of Love/You whisper soft and true, or Elvis with 'Take my hand/ Take my whole life too.' from I can't help falling in love with you. I know Elvis did not write his songs, I am just looking at the well known lyrics, the music, and putting God in it, or maybe Getting something of God from it, I mean you could use The Wonder of You as a hymn, or take a lot of the lines from Love Me Tender ( 'You have made my life complete, Take me to your heart/For its there that I belong) and really praise God.


I have to mention the Beatles, after all, All we Need is Love and we should be coming together over Him!!!!!! I love Eleanor Rigby, it, to me is like a question, a challenge. 'All the lonely people/ Where do they all come from? All the lonely people/ Where do they all belong.' I actually used this while speaking, challenging the youth to reach out, knowing Jesus knows where they are from and where they belong.


I'm moving on to soul, I'll finish with a line from the Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue 'I'll be your Saviour, steadfast and true.'

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Music 1


I am now going to start at least, my little musical foray. This is not a history of music, just a chance for me to look and see God in different places, and His spirit moving through history in a different light.
A lot of our popular music today has its origins from music that was born out of slavery, in fact both jazz and blues originated with the call and response shouts of emotion that slaves would express while working in the fields, this mixed with a european harmonic structure, led to the beginnings of these musical genres, while gospel music, is born from the African American churches themselves.
Blues had many famous christian singers, such as Blind Willy Johnson and the Rev. Gary Davies, but as with Gospel, I know their music was intended to be about or for God, I find it more interesting to see God at work, right in the middle of where you don't expect Him, for instance, one of the most famous blues songs ever, is the Crossroad Blues , which many believe is about Robert Johnson ( the writer of the song), selling his soul to the devil. But the song starts, ' I went to the crossroads/fell down on my knees/ asked the Lord above, have mercy/now save poor Bob if you please.'
That is what I am talking about looking at, those lyrics, from the soul, from God, to God, written in a place, where you did not expect it.
2 last points, before I start looking at stuff about rock and roll and soul.
first, Jazz, the word is said to come from an old slang word, jasm, meaning, spirit, energy and vigor.
And second, as I head for rock and roll and try to dwell more on lyrics, than origins, the first time rock and roll was used in a song together, was in 1912, in camp meeting jubilee, the lyrics 'Rocking and rolling in your arms/Rocking and rolling in your arms/in the arms of Moses.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Toilet

I had my birthday yesterday, I drank alot, I think I can drink loads, I am stupid. This morning my body reminded me that I am stupid. I wanted to throw up.

Now this is going to sound a bit weird, but as I got back into bed after my visit to the toilet, I was thinking of my experience in very spiritual terms, bear with me.

Now think how you feel when you want to throw up, especially when it is just about to happen, you are in bed, the toilet is miles away, and you run, and you panic and you have to get there, and you manage to get there, and you cling to that bog, desperately, you may still not have been sick, you are at the toilet, its safe at the toilet, if anything is going to happen now, its ok, you are in the safe place, you stare into a place where only bad stuff goes, where your face should not be, and it is ok, and you hold on, burp, saliva, burp, and you empty yourself, via mouth and nose, into the toilet, and its not fun, and you can't breath, and it burns, and its in your hair, and the taste, is well....sick, and your eyes are wet, and we feel so much better, relieved, the room is not spinning, free, to sleep, to dream, to live and do it again tomorrow. Thanks toilet.

I am not trying to be funny or rude. I just felt a certain way this morning ( I wasn't actually sick for a start, just had a few burps, a bit of indigestion), I was not at home, but I felt safe in the loo, and I started thinking about all of the above.

I feel safe with Jesus, when I had reached out for Him, in my desperation, He was there, to take all the bad stuff, and sometimes it has been bad going through all the rubbish, but He is there with me, and He will be there when I screw up again.

It may be a naff analogy, but I am not apologising for it, because anything that keeps me focusing on Him, is cool.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Tired

I'm tired. Tanya (my wife) has a Polish friend who says ti red, now she says it all the time, anyway, music.....

I'm not going to start that today, I had expectations of me on this little break with my family, popping off for a couple of hours, doing some research, chilling about things, then writing this cool post. My family has other ideas. I'm writing this at 8:15, haven't stopped, still got things to do. Had a good day though.

I can get back to being random then, and as I am sitting here, I am thinking of expectations, how many times we expect things to turn out a certain way, they don't, and I(or we) react, I might be disappointed, I might be surprised or angry, sad,.......

I do this quite often, I react badly when my expectations are not met, I feel disappointed when people let me down or do not reach the pedestal, I have put them on, I have high hopes, and low points.

At the moment in my life, I have felt God in what I am doing, and then it gets confusing, this way or that, open doors, shut doors, and then I'm left unsure, I don't feel let down, more of I don't know. I have to put it all into Gods hands, He will never let me down, he is higher than my hopes, beyond expectation. People and situations will never truly live up to everthing we feel they should be, God will always be so far beyond that.

I really need to listen clearly to God, discernment, I really pray for the gift of discernment. I'll get back to working on my music series now.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Music

I can't do photos at the moment, so I am going to be impressive with words, haha. I am going to do a series, which is quite a big thing for me, as what I put down here is usually how I feel, and I just let it flow, now I want to write some stuff on music, I'm going to do research and try over the next week to be daily!!!!

The reason I want to write about music, is about seeing or in this case hearing God in everything, I love all sorts of music, and it strikes me more and more, God is there, it does not seem to matter what genre, love songs that can be sung to God, dance tracks that sound like worship, the who does not seem to matter ( not the band), God is in the one liners, or epic masterpieces.

I can see that alot of popular music was born out of blues/jazz/soul/gospel, and there is a lot to be said of this musics birth being closely linked to the freedom gained from slavery and a people ready to express openly their feelings for God, and popular music has borrowed from these genres so often, that maybe God has stuck to these new interpretations. I am going to have a look.

I also want to talk about the dark side to this, TV has things on that should not be watched, the internet has so much good, and yet so much not so good. Is music the same, I think so, maybe it is more personal with music, am I being paranid or over critical. We will see.

I have some work to do.

Friday, 3 August 2007

new people

Didn't know what to have as a pic, so I didn't have one. I was out last night at a youth cafe in town. This is a town based project to try and provide something for the young people in town.

This started last week, but the only people that went were children of those that were organising it, last night there were young people there that had no need for a youth cafe, the point was meant to be to get the young people who are hanging around in town, those that may be the cause of so called anti social behaviour, those who have nothing to do, those whose parents tell them to get out of the house and stay out till x time. I went in to town and got some, but there is so much more to do.

The point of this post is not actually the youth project, there are loads of people involved, lots of encouragement and I think it can move forward.

I was just standing outside waiting to lock up, and I started thinking about churches that are full, or even are getting fuller, and do we ever ask the question who are we getting in, is it just people from other churches, is it christians moving into the area, is it old christians coming back.

These are all nice ways of saying things are going well, I mean it looks good, it has to be great to have a full church, and there must be some great things going on if christians from other churches want to come along, but...........

Are the right people being reached. Its not enough to have a full church, the church needs to be reaching out, or don't we end up like the 99 sheep, its great we have 99 sheep, but if I remember correctly, the Shepherd was more worried about the lost 1.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Mission


I've used this picture before, writing about missionary work. Now I want to write about the film. I rewatched it last night. Love it, how many posts could be written. The wonderful examples of forgiveness, the release of the burden, stepping out there for God, showing God's love in a real way, to a real world, without judgement or condemnation, how man corrupts, etc...
I was most struck by the realisation that a lot of new ideas, books, projects and interpretations of God's word that I see today, are not new. I believe some people think, that these things happened in the bible, and we are rediscovering them today for the first time.
There is an arrogance in this generation, presuming we are the first to have to deal with so much. What utter rubbish.
The Holy Spirit has been forever leading, guiding, and there have been people listening and obeying. Men who climbed waterfalls and mountains, crossed seas, went into jungles and deserts, God said do it, so they did, thats a challenge on its own.
When they got to these places, without language, they showed God's love, without judgement or condemnation.
So much has been twisted by time and man, God is still guiding, people are still listening.
There are so many still out there ready to condemn and judge and act on behalf of God without ever listening to God, or even slightly following his will.
There is a great line in the above film where an indian says to a priest, 'I don't believe you speak for God, you speak for the Portugeuse.' I want to be led by God, not man. I pray that I will obey.

Monday, 30 July 2007

simpsonized

I have had myself simpsonized, certain people have always compared me to Homer, well here we now are at work together.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Theft

I have just caught this bloke doing something silly on my site. I believe he was stealing. I have confiscated what he had, and asked him to go away and prove that it is his, that's as much as I can say, I tried to be as sensitive as possible, but I know that tomorrow there will be loads of people jumping about trying to prove he has done wrong. It has thrown up some things in my mind.

Bear with me here, this has just happened, my thoughts really are raw.

I feel sorry for him, if he has done wrong, he will now lose his job, he will probably be prosecuted by the police, over something not worth a lot, he will have to face his family and friends, with this hanging over him, his family will suffer. He has so much to explain, and he will have to do it again and again.

I realise now I could not be a policeman, or a lawyer, or a judge, although I admire what they do and their jobs are so necessary, its the after effects I can't deal with, the why did they do it, what is going to happen to them now, what is going to happen to those close to them.

In a way, I think it is because I am aware I am stupid, and I do stupid things, but knowing that through all of that I have been forgiven. Yes by God, but also by my wife and friends, my crimes have never been punished too harshly, yet most of the time the world does not see them as crimes, I'm talking about the lies, yes the stealing and so much more, and then we are so ready to condemn those who have comitted illegal acts. He who is without sin and all that. I also know there will be guys tomorrow enjoying going through video footage, enjoying catching and punishing. That is not right.

I'm just going to give this to God, pray for that bloke, but I want to dwell on some of this theme a bit more, maybe I'll add more later.

a good word


There has been a few talks lately in the church I attend about using scripture to break down strongholds within us. Like rereading a relevant piece of the Bible over a period of time, I suppose until it goes in. I am personally finding this really helpful, but I wasn't.


I don't know if I am explaining this properly ( it is late, I am at work), but I suppose the idea is, you are a person with anger issues ( like me), so you find a nice bit in the Bible about controlling your anger, and reading it over a few weeks, anger issue solved.


No, I think there is more to it than this.


I have to say, that when the people were speaking about this, there were was alot more to it than what I have just said. But ( my favourite word).


I feel that there is a word in the bible for you, for me personally, and that is important, sometimes we go off doing things to make us right within ourselves or with God, without God.


The most important thing is our relationship with Him, and it is only through that relationship, we start to move forward, through prayer, through contemplation and reading His word, through the life we lead with God.


I don't know if I am just talking personally, but it wasn't till I had a word that hit home for me, something that I could get my teeth into, wrestle with and walk with, that working through something with scripture really started to impact me. I have a personal reltionship with God, so the words are personal to me, impact me, change me and help to build and fortify that relationship and that walk.


I suppose its like hearing a good sermon/talk/teaching, and talking to others after, and finding that you all got something different from it. Something personal to you. God speaking to you.

Anyway, my bit of scripture 1 Corinthians chapter 13.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Gippos


The picture didn't come out to good, ho hum, just wanted to write about gypsies. When I was 20, I spent some time working for Irish gypsies in Germany. A very strange and eye opening experience, which I say honestly scarred me for many years.
I had loads of what you could call adventures while with these people, alot of which involved doing things their way, by their laws, maybe I will write them down here some time, or write a book about my experiences.
The last thing that happened to me while I was with the gypsies involved me getting drunk, and trying to stop them beating up a Polish guy whom I shared a caravan. The gypies tried to kill me , chased me, ran me over at one point, chased me around some place in Germany, through fields in the dead of night, I was scared, more scared that I have ever been in my life. I remember the next morning finding a telephone and phoning my wife, and just crying, sneaking on to a train to Berlin, hiding at the airport until I could get a flight. I could go into so much more detail but its not important right now.
I escaped back to England, but I was scared for a while after, that they would come for me.
since then I have referred to gypsies as scum, I put them all in the same box, and have had no compassion for them at all. A bit of a challenge in my life now.
I forgive them. I liked some of those guys I met, The ones I didn't, well I understand that they have been brought up a certain way, not an excuse for them, just me trying to understand.
They caused me pain and fear. I am sure I have scared people in the past, I have acted cruelly, there are probably people out there who hold a grudge against me, for wrongs I have committed, well I'm sorry. and to those who have hurt me, I'm trying to understand, I am not holding onto the pain or fear anymore.
Forgiveness can be very hard to do, it can feel like letting go of justice, letting go of revenge, letting go of someone getting their just desserts. But really it is freedom, it is saying that how you have treated me, has no control over me, your pain, fear, bitterness, anger, hatred does not control me, I am free of it all.
Most importantly it is what Jesus tells us to do, and as with everthing else I find, the stuff God tells us to do is not just for his sake, but for ours as well, as we are set free, kept safe or taught the best way to live.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

workaholic


I like my sleep, I can lay in, I'd rather not do alot, but I do, and even though I say I'd rather not, if I don't do anything, I feel like crap.
Tanya asked me to take some time off work this week, to be there just to help a bit with our 3 kids and the 2 foreign students, so I did. Now according to Tanya, she wishes I had stayed at work.
You see I'm not doing anything, it frustrates me, I get moody, argumentative, angry.
What I am doing is measuring my day, asking what have I achieved? If I don't think that is enough, woe betide everyone round me, So then what I'm actually doing is judging myself and not coming up to par.
I have been thinking, praying and talking alot lately about not judging, not condemning and accepting God's love.
I have been attempting to do this outwardly more and more in my life, being accepting and showing love, yet I can't relax for one day knowing I have not done enough. What is enough, I'm still doing loads, as taxi driver, chef, washer upper, babysitter, etc, and then I start getting moody because no one is doing as much as me, everyone else is being lazy.
What I am doing is first judging myself pointlessly, then tuning my self judgement into judging others.
Tanya said, she just wanted me to be here, to support her, to love her, she got a moody annoyance.
Jesus wants us to love Him, don't be a moody self judging, world judging annoyance.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

new template


Just giving this new template a go , I don't know if I like it, I've lost my video bit and all my links to sites and other blogs, so I have to either sort that out or revert back in a couple of days, I think I will resort back and just change some colours.

I watched Friends the other night, it was the episode where a cheesecake gets delivered accidently to Chandler, He and Rachel then eat it, its great, they get another one. Then at the third one they argue over it, it ends up on the floor.

They start to eat it up off of the floor. At this moment Joey arrives, Rachel and Chandler look up ashamedly, Joey pulls out a fork and sits down with them.

What a Jesus moment, think about it.

Friday, 13 July 2007

love




I was going to write about the pouring out of love anyway, but then look at the cool picture I found.


I have just really felt Gods love more and more lately, and it is really great to realise that God actually wants to love us, He wants to pour (hence the pic) his love out to us.


Just seriously think about that, The Creator of everything freely wants to love you, loads.


At our small group last night I was reminded that God sent His Son, so that He could reach us, save us, come into a relattionship with us , love us,

You can't earn anymore, there is nothing you can or can't do to deserve it, it is there to be accepted as soon as we accept His Son.

Do we sometimes forget 1 john 4;19, we love because he first loved us, or I love what it says in the message, in Ephesians chapter 1'long,long ago he decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ ( What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift giving by the hand of His beloved Son.'
God wants to love us, He wants to pour out His love on us, let Him

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

home



I'm going home in the morning, yeah.

For anyone who wants to know, I have to work away quite regularly, I stay down in Thurrock, which is where me and Tanya moved from, to where we are now, my wonderful home of Diss. Which is interesting, because I have spent the majority of my life in Thurrock, I can drive around with my eyes shut ( probably not the best of ideas ), my friends are there, my Dad is there, yet when I get back to Diss, it feels great. Not just the fact of coming home to Tanya and the children, and my niece, and my foreign students ( busy house, Tanya has a lot to do, especially on her own, what a woman, of course I know she is going to read this ), I love being in that town, it feels like home. I have great support, a brilliant church family, great friends and 2 of my brothers live here.

At some point I will have to leave Diss, I really pray, where I go then, will feel like home.

I am heartened by the time I now spend in Thurrock. I use to stay with a friend. I now stay at my Dads, and we have some great chats and get to spend time together ( I know my Dad reads this too), also the ELBR (see other posts ), I can go and pray, and the other week me and the family were able to go TCF at Corringham, and got a great welcome.

I really hope there is a bit of home everywhere, wherever we end up.

Anyway, I'm going home in the morning.