Friday, 27 March 2009
In a household, if the the father decides to become a christian, in 93% of cases the rest of the family follow suit, mum, kids all decide to make that commitment. I
f it is mum, in only 17% of cases the rest of the family make that decision, if it is one of the children, only 8%.
It is interesting that most outreach, initiatives, community service, advice or programmes usually have something to do with women and children and very rarely the man of the house.
It has got me thinking!?
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
I quite often get down being a househusband at the moment, for all sorts of reasons, which I have probably wrote about before, but right now, I feel challenged to be the best at what I am doing. This is a word which is helping me right now, I hope I keep it in my heart, but if I do, I know God will speak to me in a new way, He won't leave me, He will just pick me up again in a different way. Right now though, I feel like being the best at what I am doing, spotless house, time with the kids, good food and sorting clothes and finances, all the things I have been putting off or whingeing about ( the garage!!!!). It is about doing, even when it is easy not to.
On top of this I have been reading some new testament stuff and through a collection of verses that I have felt God speaking to me through, I feel that I have to learn not to get so involved in more things right now. I have constant ideas, and when I see a need I want to respond. Response though, needs to be sustainable, like my ideas, they are good, they need following up. My evenings are very busy, I have a family who want and deserve my time, I have to learn to pass things on to the relevant people, not carry things around, getting more and more involved.
Once again, still learning.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
- Dr. Karl Gustav Jung.
'It is an unbroken torture to me that I am so far from him, who as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am. I know that it is the evil passions within that keep me so far from him, and yet I cannot get away from them.'
- Mahatma Ghandi speaking about Jesus.
'Religion is man's way of searching for God, but Jesus is God's way of searching for man.'
- Floyd McClung
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
I have probably explained before that Mason is not over keen on Christians, or Christianity for that matter, we don't put him under pressure, he gets quite annoyed with us, praying, church, being all goody goody, in his words, in general he is not very enthusiastic about the whole set up and does not really get where we are coming from. All we can be is ourselves.
On Sunday night, I was out speaking ( I thought it went well), Mason was watching some tv with his mum, they watched a program called 'Debra 13' about a christian girl who has grown up in a big christian family and is right fired up for God. ( I find some of these types of programs a bit cringeworthy, I should probably feel challenged ) Half way through this program, Mason turns to his mum and asks, how do I become a Christian, They have a great discussion and Mason decides he wants to follow Jesus, how exciting, done. Quite emotional and brilliant. Once again seeing what God does, not what we do, or us worrying whether something is relevant or not, while someone is really being moved and challenged by God. Celebration time.
So, Mason has taken this step, Liverpool have annihilated Real Madrid and Man U in one week, Ireland are still on course for the grand slam and it is St Patrick's day, when we remember the guy who brought the Good news to Ireland.
In an interesting poem I was sent this morning, it says '....came, but to conquer their hearts, not to seek for his fame..' He got both.
Friday, 13 March 2009
I was reading recently about the lack of Amish theologians, or any anabaptist movement, they are too busy living the life. Putting what they read into practice, concentrating on the words of Jesus. Seems like a good idea.
I love reading, discussing, writing and studying the word of God, but I do think that people can get caught up in the studying of the word and forget to act on it.
Actually, I am more concerned about all the discussion that goes on about church and how church should be, and what should and shouldn't be in church. I do actually believe that in some circles, how we do church has become the priority discussion. Or actually the things I hear are, how do we do church and start being more active in social justice and our community?
I could do that as a title for the emergent church movement, or for missional communities;
HOW DO WE DO CHURCH AND START BEING MORE ACTIVE IN SOCIAL JUSTICE AND OUR COMMUNITY?
I suppose I get worried that people get things the wrong way round, the church needs to be His people living as closely and intimately together, because they want to, remember that bit in Acts where it says they held all things in common, they met together, sang together, ate together, put their money together, went to each others homes, listened to teaching. I think there are an awful lot of churches that do exactly that, they might not do it the way you like. You have to listen to what God is saying to you, work out your own salvation with the almighty and act on it.
Things may need to change, but as in an evangelistic life, keep writing, keep talking, keep stirring people up and you probably won't get too far, except, a good book deal and loads of churches doing your study guide, lots of people arguing over whether you are right or not and then not really getting anywhere.
Start showing, start living the life, be an example and a reality of what God is saying to you and people will follow, as should happen in the reality of the life of a Christian. Starting to act like we actually mean it, is the biggest testimony we can give, not a constant barrage of anything or a new church series aimed at relevancy. The more real you are, the more relevant you are.
I have been to some church meetings which I have cringed at and seen non christian visitors reduced to tears, or have actually given their lives at the strangest of times, when I have thought what are people getting out of this. I do not know how God has prepared a heart or what God is doing inside of someone, I do not save, I can be there to explain, listen and be me, the rest is between God and that person.
The point of social justice and the community should not even be a conversation. Because we are who we are and have who we have inside of us, there should be a compulsion to reach out, the conversation needs to be how and who, not why, we should be living the why.
Is it because we don't live the way we ought, we miss the point. In any given church in the uk, you would get more people agreeing with comments against a current worship structure, than agreeing with somebody's decision to home educate. Yet which is more damaging, how many songs we sing on a Sunday or the secular based education structure that treats evolution as fact and so much of the worlds ways are forced on our children. People would be more likely to agree to a shortening of the time teaching than they would be to selling a precious item of their own and giving the money to the poor, or shortening of the service as a whole than giving up any more time during the week. After all, people have got lives, but there I was thinking we gave them to Jesus.
This must sound a bit preachy and judgemental, it is not meant to, I am thinking out loud, and thinking over things I have heard recently and throwing these things down on paper, that is how it is meant.
If we mean it, then a church service, on whatever day, is worth it, to worship, to sing, to learn, to have fellowship, if we mean it, then we will be living it in a community and standing up at the right time in the right ways.
Stuff to mull over anyway. I have too much time and don't sleep enough
Thursday, 12 March 2009
The other day, I included in our desires, to be able to be in a position at home, to help our youth. I do want to be able to be there for them and help in the ways I had stated, but actually, what is really important right now, is for the 3 children and 1 on the way that exist in our home now, they are the priority. They need to be strengthened, so that we can help others, as a family, so we all get the vision, we all have the desire and can go out in help together. So I suppose the important thing for us, is that we have the space and time together, to explore and learn and be together. We played twister last night, it was funny, we didn't really have enough room, but we did it anyway, that is important. Also Tanya, being pregnant, was the spinner, she told me after one of the games, that she had just been naming the place that it would be most difficult for me to touch every time it was my go. Not very nice.
I am also questioning, whether staying in town is the best option, are our children influenced in the right way by those around them in town, or could a village life bring back a bit of innocence.
I don't know if I would be thinking this way about our older boys, if we had been christians our whole lives and brought them up that way. I think then we may be coming from a point of strength anyway and be looking to go out into somewhere harder, tougher and real as a family, but we have shown our boys so much of the world that maybe they should not have seen, I feel like pulling them into somewhere safe for a while, allowing them to have a breather from the world, strengthening them, these are all ongoing thoughts, I am really not sure.....
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
One thing that somebody has said to us lately, as we have looked at the odd house, is ' Does it fit into your vision?'
This made Tanya and I stop and ask, 'What is our vision?' Well here are our basics;
More room and rooms. We all feel a bit squashed in at the moment and finding privacy or space to express ourselves, is a problem.
More room to eat together,
More room to play together,
Room to paint,
Room for Tanya to cut hair
A place that people can come to and chill out, without overcrowding,
A place of respite, if someone needs to get their head down for a few days,
Somewhere in Diss, so we are accessible and our children can continue educationally and socially to put down roots,
That is a start anyway, a start I am quite happy with actually.
This has all got me thinking about the nature of choices and how we/I make them. I was reading Acts 1 yesterday and the apostles needed to make their number back up to twelve, so they had two candidates, they prayed, then drew lots. I find this very interesting and this is a line of thought I will be exploring myself over the next few days, personally, probably not on this blog, I am also thinking of the Urim and Thummim, which were used by the priests to make decisions. It just occurs to me, that in the Bible, God was quite clear about decisions made, am I listening and able to see that clarity myself now, or is it, once again, biblically, a time when God withdraws and says, you decide, I want to know your heart?
I am thinking out loud, in written form, I suppose I am sharing how my brain is working right now, I have some reading to do and some resting.
Friday, 6 March 2009
A couple of weeks ago, we, as a family, went to Canterbury, somebody gave us some free nights in a hotel, we took advantage, although we did end up spending some money, we didn't have, which stressed me out and I did not really relax while we were there, although the cathederal is great, I thoroughly enjoyed that and having some great time as a family, eating and all having to sleep in the same room, also surprisingly stress free. So I got really stressed on the way home, which I hope has actually been a turning point in my moodiness, I do not want to take myself so seriously, we will see, I am trying. I know, that when I was working, I was a grump, I am at home now, I need to act with the freedom I have been given, easier said than done!!!
The week after Canterbury,once again as a family, we visited the boiler room in Thurrock, this was relaxing and great, a real time of family, a time of being welcomed and being made to feel at home, the children got to spend time with their grandparents and they took us out for a meal, the house itself had 2 communal meals, we once again met some new and great people and enjoyed some great time of fellowship, we saw some old friends as well while we were down and really enjoyed that time as well.
One of the biggest things that happened while we were down, was the welcome our oldest son Morgan got from the youth, which was great, this and some other instances over the last couple of weeks has really reinvigorated both Tanya and I with a bigger passion for our own youth, we will see where that goes......
There is a lot going on at the moment, some stuff with the youth, challenges! Some new christian messiness to help with, which I think is inevitable, there was a guy at the boiler room, we were talking to, who was saying that baby Christians are like babies, they pooh everywhere, they need to be weaned and parented, we should not be surprised or get on our high horses.
We need to move again, the house is too small, we don't want to make a mistake and move into the wrong place, we really feel this is a big decision, needs time and prayer, we like to rush in when we see something nice, thinking it has to be right, it is nice after all, we must learn to be patient, wait, weigh things up, we will see.
Consider yourself updated, except I now have a notebook, I am writing things down so I don't forget, it is helping, I am hoping to be a bit more focused, the book is not that important, it just helps at the moment.