Wednesday, 31 December 2008
7Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."
9"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
10He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 12He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there."
13They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
You see Jesus already had it planned, He had already made provisions for what was ahead.
I believe He has already made provisions for what is ahead this year. He is the creator of all, He is my father in Heaven and He already has it planned and has made provisions for us all, there will be a room waiting or whatever it is that is ahead this year, is already in place.
Happy new year
Sunday, 28 December 2008
I have been a regular at many pubs over the years, walk in, your pint is already being poured, ' Everyone knows your name', as in 'cheers', sit, stand, share, everyone has an opinion, you are welcome, as long as you have money, it is always open, even Christmas day, something always happens.
More pubs are shutting, more people being locked back up in their homes, listening to the only friend they think they have left, the tv, which more and more now, panders to fear, encourages more and more, people to stay in, it is scary out there, it is dark out there, things aren't what they used to be, stay in and live off the memories we can provide.
And where is the church, shouldn't the church be open all the time, anytime someone wants to turn up, without any money and stand or sit or share or have an opinion. The lonely go to the pub, there is nowhere else to go, the pubs shut, the lonely stay at home, the church looks on and makes excuses?
Saturday, 27 December 2008
I have had a lovely time with some people over the last few days, my Dad and Daphne were here yesterday, it was really nice. There are also others I have been in contact with, who have been very negative, this is what is confusing.
Actually I don't feel that confused, more concerned. There are people close to me, who take deep offence at who I am. I don't know if it is because it is like shining a light on them, not that I feel that I have been in any way judgemental or condemning, just maybe because Tanya and I are who we are now, Christians, that others don't feel they can do some things that they used to in front of us, or can't speak a certain way, or that we are not on their wavelength anymore because we are on God's wavelength. Maybe we can no longer endorse beliefs or theories that others want us to, or be relyed upon to be the ally, because they no longer come first, God does.
I suppose this is what Jesus talked about, 'divisions'. I am different, and this is who I am now, a constantly changing individual, being changed by Jesus, who I have had an encounter with in my life, to the point that there is no going back. I did not just read a book or listen to a man and decided that it was a good deal. I have a relationship, feel and live and love and cry and try because I am aware of He who walks everyday with me. If others do not like it, I will still be here standing, waiting, not judging, not condemning, because I am not going to change, except the way that God is leading me, but I will be here, ready for the time when they can accept me or not, want to know more of me or not, want to talk or listen.
I am here. There are so many chips on shoulders, so much bitterness, so much blame. God didn't do it, neither did I. I can apologise for anyone else if anyone wants me to, I'm sorry for people, we aren't perfect, neither unfortunately is the church, it is full of people, neither is the world, it is full of people, there is sickness and accidents and natural disasters and terrorists and........ Love and hope and faith.
God, good, man, messy, Devil, bad.
'The blame and the shame caused the pain to reign,
the tree set us free so we could run with the Son.'
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
It says in proverbs that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Without hope we get sick.
It is hard to hope on a Wednesday afternoon with just me and the baby, it is hard to hope on a Monday morning when you have to go to the job you hate, it is hard to hope when there is sickness, death and tragedy around, it is hard to hope when relationships break down or finances are bad, or when the future is so uncertain and we don't know where we are going or what we are going to do.
But, hope is what gets all of us through all of these situations, it is hard to see, it is hard to distinguish between all the frustration and pain, but it is the looking to the future, the getting up again, the planning, the smile, when we don't feel like it, the struggling through, because we feel there is something more on the other side of the next hill, and when it is just another hill, it is hope again that keeps us going over that one.
I believe in the bringer of hope, that is what Jesus was and is and will always be, the bringer of hope, to all, that is a gift He brings, hope and the fact that whatever I am doing, He is with me, like the old footsteps in the sand poem. I am not immune to all of the above moments of struggle and pain, I just have the bringer of hope with me, every step of the way.
This is Christmas, when we remember that hope entered the world.
To Us a Child Is Born
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death [a]
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior's boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
[b] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Friday, 19 December 2008
At one point, we talked about councillors, which I have not got a lot of time for, though I am sure there are some that do good, but we were saying how, you will only talk if you want to, if you are forced to go to one, you will probably not open up. Then we were talking about who we open up to and why them, do we listen?? Or do we constantly try to fix it?
I was also reading some bits in the bible, namely John 14: 9-14 and 1 John 3:11-24.
Generally talking in the first bit is Jesus talking about seeing the Father in Him and in the second passage showing the truth by loving in action.
It has just led me to not panic about how I am with the youth at the YC, just love them and they will hopefully see God in what is happening, that is all I can do.
See, I do take things on board, I am just a slow learner.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Should I have a work hat, a social hat, a youth club hat, man on the street hat, Dad hat, husband hat or church hat?
Shouldn't I just be me wherever, but am I?
Or as Paul says
1 Corinthians 9:22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
Should I be all things, anything?
Or is it just a case of being me, but regulating the quantity of me, depending on the situation?
I personally think I should always be me, but I also think it is about being sensitive to others, yet as I write this I don't know if I believe that, is that just a kop out? What happens when somebody from one part of my life, enters into another part? Who or what do they see?
Random blogging questioning thoughts, I suppose? Or something deeper maybe?
I also think of me as someone who is sensitve to others, so maybe being me in certain situations is being weak to the weak?? And me being louder in a lot of situations is me as well? All things to all people? Is that not us all?
Too many questions.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
I think it is a case of boundaries, the younger lot do not know theirs yet. By shutting for a couple of weeks, we want to remind them that their are boundaries.
The other thing we want to do, is regroup, work out how to put things in place so that boundaries are more apparent, so everyone can enjoy themselves safely.
I also really think we have to have something else, something that makes us more than just a youth club. Anyone can run a youth club, the youth service runs a youth club, our youth club is run by christians. Shouldn't it be different, or am I having an ulterior motive?
I suppose in part, it is an argument about what is missional? Talking about being Jesus' hands and feet, but also just doing what a hundred other charities are doing. Being more missional and more intimate? Is it just an excuse to be more inward looking as a group, so that the self is looked after, and then 'doing good works' so that we can show we are doing something and remove any guilt, that we are not really being 'churchy'.
Just some questions...I do know though, that I have to be out 'there' more, but in doing that, I have to be something more that just a do gooder. Jesus has to be in it, He has to be first in it and I have to really make sure that is what I am doing and how I am doing it. As to intimacy, I believe it is right to be built up and strengthened as a smaller group, I crave that, but it has to be , to have the strength to walk out.
Just some thoughts.
Friday, 12 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
I sometimes think I am getting harder, harder in my heart, because I don't carry things around with me as much as I used to. I was a bit worried about this, until I realised the things I used to carry around were guilt and shame.
My heart still breaks when I hear or see pain, I am in love and want to love more, I am just less troubled by myself I suppose. I have a line which I have used here a lot, and my family are really peeved with, I say I am trying, they say, that is not an emotion, that it is a loaded statement, all I mean by it is, I am not beating myself up about things, I know I screw up, but I am going to keep trying and to do that I cannot carry the burden of shame and guilt around with me, it is the old ' accept and move on' syndrome, I am forgiven, it is forgotten, try again.
I will continue to be changed by love, because love is inside of me, I will not be changed by condemnation or shame, or I will only be changed in a negative way by guilt and shame.
I worry about the things done in the name of love that are turned back into burdens, I mean in a way is love a burden, a different type of burden, one that that causes you to act or respond, maybe that was what Jesus was talking about when He said His burden was light, a burden that prompts us and fills us.
One of the reasons I am thinking about this, is this time of year, the time when we remember the greatest gift ever given by responding in the same way and giving, yet for some people, a lot of people, I suppose to some extent me included, it has become a burden. How many people this time of year are worrying or getting further into debt, or are mourning or are lonely. What started in love has become a burden to many.
I suppose the only way of attempting to break the burden again is responding in greater love, how? I don't know right now, but I am thinking.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
What we can do when we reach out and open up to others is amazing, it can be joyful, it can hurt, it can be tiresome, it can be fulfilling, it is where we are meant to be, in relationship with others, being vulnerable and open and honest.
Jesus spent so much time with people, talking with them, teaching them, eating and drinking with them, all sorts of people, young to old, rich to poor, the smelly and the clean.
The biggest problem I find, is the reaching out. I am quite insecure and shy, although you probably would not think it if you met me, to reach out, makes me feel vulnerable, it is hard for me to do, but I find when I battle against my natural urge to not bother and actually reach out to someone and allow my life to be interupted by someone elses, I like it, it feels good, it feels more natural than the not bothering. I am still learning, still trying, I want to reach out more.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
I have been busy over the weekend, which has been good,doing some family stuff, spending time with people. The problem I am having lately, is I don't have a lot to say.
I have a lot of thought going on, I am reading a lot of the bible and some great other books, I am just on my own with the baby most of the time now and I am not very good at suddenly having to communicate with adults, I can tell you what I have written in my blog, who I have emailed, what time 'in the night garden' is on and how I am feeling, then I am stuck.
It is hard to dream in this situation, it is difficult to suddenly start planning something, when I feel a bit stuck indoors.
I have such a luxury that I can spend so much time with my daughter, I do enjoy it, I love seeing my sons off in the morning, sorting them out, praying with them, being there when they get in.
I can't really pop round and have coffee with anyone, I am not a woman and I don't usually have the car. I am not all down and depressed, it is just hard sometimes to have an opinion or a voice when it has just been me and the baby all day. I have some nice routines to keep me busy, just sometimes I feel a bit empty headed.
There is so much I want to say and do, I am obviously still learning, I seem to be constantly learning lately, it can be hard and painful, but worth it.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
After different groups had shared, there was a time of prayer, in which I always feel confident, I feel articulate, ( if you actually can feel articulate), I can go on and on,( hopefully not in a boring way) and I do feel I am bringing others along with me. I don't mean that in anyway boastfully, it is just that when I am speaking to God, it is a lot easier for me, than when I have to speak to large groups of people I don't know. I feel comfortable in prayer. Yet most of my life I have wanted to be able to stand up and speak, I don't yet feel that comfortable doing it.
I am thinking that next time I speak, I will do it with my eyes shut.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
1 LORD, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever
In general, don't worry about the stuff that does not concern me, rest in God, hope in Him.
This week we were very skint, again.
This weekend we have had some envelopes through our door, we have had some gifts from others too. We have not advertised our skintness, I don't think we have, but God has provided, amazingly and abundantly. Don't worry, rest in Him.