Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Number 10

I don’t often post on this blog anymore, but lastnight something fairly noteworthy happened. I became the 10th Elder of Everyday Church – a fairly sizeable group of people who gather across London, and who put their lives and hopes into the hands of Jesus.
What took place last night was humbling, exciting and overwhelming.

When I became a Christian, over a decade ago, with an air of laziness and the after-effects of a good night out still lingering, I had no idea just how far the plans God had for me would stretch. I was (and still very much am) a regular Joe – as ordinary and normal as anyone. And yet, when someone surrenders their life to God and give Him control of the steering wheel, so begins the most incredible journey. He never leaves us in the same place, as on the day we first found Him. He begins building, molding, refining. Some of the lessons along the way are utterly amazing and delightful. Some of them are confusing and easily misunderstood.

But as I stood in the middle of a crowd of people who were praying for me and my wife and saying ‘Amen!’ to this new position I’ve been called into, all I could feel was an awe-inspiring sense that God, my Father, really, really loves me, and has a huge plan to use my ordinary life to reveal more of His Kingdom to a broken world around me.

Putting my trust in the fact that Jesus lived and died for me, is the biggest, sturdiest platform I could live life on – and I will never fully fathom the grace that is at work in that. But that He would also put me in a place of great responsibility, where I get to shepherd people in their walk with their Shepherd, is quite overwhelming. A privilege that I am so thankful for. 

What a remarkable adventure this life really is, for all who put their hope in Him.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

'Twiglets' launches at Everyday Church Southfields!

'God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG)

For a long time now, I’ve had the image in my mind of a doll’s house. I’m sure it doesn't need explaining, but a doll’s house looks like an ordinary house from the outside, however you can open up the front, revealing all the rooms, furniture and little people inside.

When I look at the Everyday Church building in Southfields from the outside, I see a doll’s house. Some of us have been praying for some time that it would increasingly become a hub for the community – that we would open up the front of the building (figuratively speaking), and allow local people to see all the way inside. That they would begin to see all that God is at work doing behind those walls – the people that He is at work shaping, week in, week out.  

One way that we’ve sought to achieve this is to open up the whole building to local parents and carers on a Thursday morning. The toddler group that had been meeting on Thursday mornings in one of our halls, was closed for a few weeks, and we made some changes and developed the team somewhat. On Thursday 5th March, a new look ‘Twiglets’ group was relaunched! The soft play area was set up, the balloons were pumped and the queue of nearly 140 parents/carers/kids lined up eagerly outside.

“Why go to so much effort to put on a fantastic group for local babies and toddlers??” I hear you emphatically ask!

Because God loves Southfields. And He loves the people that live there – whether they’re parents, carers or little kids. We recognise that we have the space, resources and team in place to be able to serve such people and in doing so, we’re hoping to get the opportunity to reveal some of God’s goodness and love along the way. And we’re quite unashamed of our motives!

Every Sunday morning at church, we proclaim that God has a great plan to change and use everyday, ordinary people. We believe that He will be doing the same thing on a Thursday morning at our church venue. It might just happen through playing with toys…or a doll’s house perhaps!

If you're a parent or carer in the Southfields area, you’re very welcome to come and join in the fun – every Thursday from 10-11.30am (and it only costs £1 per adult and 0-3yrs olds are FREE!). Spaces are limited, so arrive early to avoid disappointment! 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

It's been some time since I posted on here. But a quick glance on my Facebook wall has prompted me again.  

Much of my Facebook wall in the last few days has been consumed with people making reference to the tragic reality of life and death. A young mother losing her fight with cancer; a comedian celebrated the world over commits suicide; and the genocide of innocent families in the Middle East. Three topics that my friends and loved ones have all been commenting on.

As I walked back home from work, weaving in and out of the crowds of people - young/old, white/black, able/less-able, collared/casually-dressed - I was reminded of just how important people are. 

People are SO important - whether that's people we know and love or the guy sitting next to us at the bus stop. People are so, so precious.  

It's easy to forget that, especially when you live in a place like London, where busyness and business are all-consuming. It's also easy to forget that when you have social media to hand - allowing us to remain 'connected' with people while actually having no input really into their life.  

But God loves life. His most precious of creations isn't the Blue Whale or the Rocky mountains. It's not the iPhone I'm writing on or the plane flying overhead. It's you and me. He is ALL about people. And He is all about giving real meaning to the lives of those people He invented. All 6-7 billion of them.  

A very quick glance on social media reveals that we live a life that screams out for a purpose. Something by which we can get an explanation for the ups and downs connected with 'life'.

God knew we'd need that explanation. He also knew that we'd get caught up in trying to make an explanation happen by ourselves. That we'd fill this life with distractions and excuses, when all the while the answer is found in people. Or one person, more accurately.  


The Bible spells it out nice and plainly for us. It says in the book of John: 'In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.' (chapter 1 v4). 

We really care about people. When everything is stripped away, the 'stuff' we collect in life is of little value - people are the thing of infinite value. And God sent His son, to be an actual person, who would live in our shoes so that we'd have the opportunity to realise how much the Father loves us and has a plan for our lives - one that can be free from the the tremendous weight of our own sin.

He is completely for you and wants to show you what a life built on Him can look like.  

If you'd like to find out more, my church will be running an Alpha course in a few weeks time. It's a course that has helped change my life. 

Go to if you'd like details.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


It's amazing to hear the thoughts of somebody who has just saved a life ( In the last week my father-in-law received a new kidney from a very generous donor - one of his own brothers, no less. A big sacrifice to have made and one that we are all so thankful for. 

We've all been weighing that sacrifice and it's easy to see from the immediate effects just how much of a difference it might make to somebody who's health and lifestyle has been so impacted by kidney failure. It got me thinking about Jesus, as these scenarios habitually do. How often do I/we take for granted that huge sacrifice that He made on the cross? Because of this kidney transplant my father-in-law gets his life back. On the cross, Jesus surrendered His body to pay off the debt that my sins had accrued - I got/get a new life back too. Something of a cosmic blood transfusion took place when he gave up His all so that I could have access to my God forever. I got a new heart and a new mind when He did that. A truly spectacular display of selflessness and sacrifice. 

Not to detract from what the brother did, but my father-in-law deserved a new kidney. I didn't deserve the transplant that I receive from Jesus, at all, but He still chose to go ahead with it anyway - such is His commitment to my transformed life. 

You may find that sacrifice a tough thing to gauge - you may think it's too improbable or that it's grace that you're beyond receiving. It's not and you're not.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A decade later.

The weekend that has just been and gone, was probably like most other weekends for most, I suspect. The trip to the pub, the evening of watching X Factor, partying, running errands and trying to catch some downtime between the end of one week at work and the start of another. 

For me it marked the first anniversary of becoming a Dad (and therefore the first birthday of my son). But it also marked something that some (and I am one of that number) would consider far more significant. This weekend exactly a decade ago, I walked down into the waters of the baptism pool, in front of friends, family and various others, and declared publicly that I thought Jesus' message was totally legit and absolutely worth surrendering my life to. The single greatest decision I have ever made. 

At the end of the first Gospel, the book of Matthew, Jesus makes a very bold and clear statement: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)

I am eternally grateful to the people who had listened to this command before I had and who sought me out when I wasn't a believer - speaking to me, praying for me and loving me enough to help me realise that this message wasn't just some fairytale or unattainable riddle to go through life confused by. A decade later, I am totally and utterly convinced that it's still so, so true (even more so than I did on that first day of belief). It has been a decade of incredible grace and shaping by the Creator who made me in the first place. A decade of both hard lessons and complete awestruck wonder. But the further down the road I walk, the more I realise He was being honest when He assured us that He'd always be with us, to the very end.

It's the most amazing adventure to put your belief in Jesus, to get baptised and then to go out and tell others about this truth, so that they can put their belief in Jesus, get baptised and go out and tell others about this truth. Over and over and over and over again. I don't think there's a greater purpose in life. 

Here's to the next ten years.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The antidote

I absolutely love it when God speaks to me through the Bible. It's often when I'm least expecting it or when I need it the most.  

The other day, as I was scurrying to work, I thought about just how busy life was at the moment. Work is hectic and demanding, every day. Helping to start a new church demands much time. And having a small human at home, demanding food, clean nappies and access to everything he can possibly reach is amazing but relentless. And that's before we even touch on chores, family time, hobbies and socialising.  

People enjoy different things to try and escape the clutter and responsibility of busy, adult lives. Binge drinking at the weekends, playing video games, smoking weed in the evenings, 'getting away' from it all on as many holidays as their credit cards will allow - there could be all kinds of pursuits.  

I've just read a sentence in the book of Ecclesiastes which is a book that Solomon, one of the most wise and revered men to have ever lived, wrote in his old age. Near the end of a life filled with huge responsibility, success and favour, his antidote to 'life pressure' is this:   

'Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence.' (Ecc 8 v 3) 

If you're reading this and you know God, or you're reading this and wondering if God is real, try and spend time in His presence. Turn off the laptop, put the phone on silent, forget about that meeting you've got later or the programme you wanted to watch and spend time with God; open your heart, speak to Him about what's on your mind and then wait for a response.  

It's so easy to treat time with God like a chore for the day or a box ticked as something you ought to do. Time with Him is a vital antidote to seeing burdens, busyness and responsibilities handled correctly. His wisdom is phenomenal and His patience is constant.  

Solomon was right - make space for Him and don't be in a rush to leave.I just tried it and it really works. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Some blogs write themselves

When God intervenes, he always turns our mess into an amazing message - truth that tells of transformation. I could wax lyrical about God's grace, all day long. But sometimes it's helpful to hear what others have to say about him too. I received this email earlier:

"Hi mate,

Walking from the car park to work this morning I had the most unexpected picture. I saw a young man who, as a boy, had been without a proper father, his Dad being a drunk with whom he had had little meaningful contact over his formative years. The young man had struggled with life and had been in and out of trouble; his single Mum had not been able to cope with his mood swings and anger.

What an amazing God we have who cared enough about me and you that he kept on whispering in my ear that what I was doing was not His plan and that He had something far better for me to do – not least to help make sure that my older son grew into a fine Father himself.

Looking forward to seeing you later.

Dad xx"

Life could (and certainly would) have gone down a very different path, had God not stepped in. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Three years later

Exactly three years ago today I wrote my first ever blog. It included this quote: 'We'd much rather be included in something truly grand than to have to create the meaning of our lives.' A notion that I guess I was hoping was real truth at the time.

If you told me three years ago that I would now be a Dad and helping to lead a new church venue, I would not have believed you, despite wanting that quote to be true. If you told me that I would baptise well over a dozen people, start several Life Groups and see many people respond to Jesus' claims, I just simply would not have believed you either. 

This life throws up some amazing highs and some difficult lows - I'm sure we're all aware of that. But with the benefit of three years hindsight now, I can truly say that life with Jesus is the greatest of adventures. Through travel, unemployment, deaths, relaxation, witnessing childbirth, hectic schedules, countless weddings, quiet nights in on the sofa - you name it; it has been the most amazing adventure handing all glory over to Jesus and seeing what He does with it. 

I truly believe that Jesus takes the everyday bump and grind of Earthly living, even the boredom and the burdens and turns them into amazing blessings. He turns our mess into a powerful message. 

I pray the Lord's prayer over my son every bedtime, so the words are always playing through my mind these days. It's how Jesus taught us to pray,so I figure it's a great place to start, particularly as I'm not sure what a baby wants prayer for specifically. One line I particularly love is: 'For yours is the kingdom, the power and all the glory - forever and ever!'

It has been amazing to see some of His kingdom and power at work in these last three years, in so many different ways. But three years 'aint nothing like 'forever and ever' - and that sounds truly grand to me. 

With Jesus at the wheel, I can't even begin to wrap my mind around what things might look like in another three years time...

Thursday, 30 May 2013

John 19 - read it and weep

There's something about the murder of Jesus that will forever stop me in my tracks. 

In my daily Bible reading, I have just read John 19. A brutal and detailed depiction of what happened to God in the final moments of his human existence.  

There is one parallel that runs through the chapter - the actions of others and Jesus' response.  

As you read through the sequence of shocking events, you see the meek and mild baby Jesus from the nativity scene getting mocked, flogged, twisted, struck, crucified, pierced, murdered and eventually buried. Terrible, yet totally necessary to fulfil what he set out to accomplish in the first place. 

Yet throughout, Jesus maintains silence when He is mocked and flogged by the soldiers. He shows authority and wisdom when scrutinized by Pilate. He is enthroned prematurely on Pilate's judgement seat at Gabbatha without bringing judgement there and then, as he very easily could have done. He looks on as the people confess that they have no king other than Caesar, despite the fact that he assures and proves to them on many occasions that he is King. He carries his own cross to Golgotha, alongside two common criminals - associating with sinners right until the very end. After he has endured countless tortures, he is stripped naked and his his clothes are divided by casting lots. And despite the agony of the previous few hours he continues to reveal his compassion and humanity by caring for his mother and by requesting a drink to quench his thirst. 

He is in total control throughout the whole ordeal, to the point of giving the final word when stating 'It is finished.' It ends when he says, and not a moment before.  

I have read that chapter on dozens of occasions, but what stood out to me more than anything this morning is just how in control Jesus was. The obedience he maintained towards his Father's plan was totally unwavering. 

Submit your life to the God who has already fought your battles and has already won your freedom. You may feel tried, tested and desperately in need of a Saviour today and John 19 shows in glorious detail the extent the Saviour went to secure that relationship with God.  

Read it and weep.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

We are all carpenters.

I wonder who can lay claim to being the guy that made the cross that Jesus hung from? Which skilled tradesman got the woodwork contract from the Romans?

Somebody must be responsible for choosing the wood, measuring the two beams and meeting the deadline for the Nazarene's trial.

Considering who that bloke was is an interesting thought. I'm sure he wouldn't have imagined just how famous his work would become. Hundreds and hundreds of years later, his craftsmanship is still depicted on artwork, jewellery,  tattoos and t-shirts, the world over. Hard to imagine, considering he probably just fixed those two beams together in a dusty workshop somewhere in ancient Jerusalem.

The reason I prompt these thoughts is because I've had a portion of a verse going round in my head today. It's five words from Acts 2, during which Peter is addressing the large crowd at Pentecost:

"...this Jesus whom YOU crucified." (v36)

Despite the fact that the Pharisees caught him, Pilate didn't want to have anything to do with him, the Roman guards mocked, whipped and beat his limp body and a carpenter made the cross that this fellow tradesman would one day hang from, we're all implicated in the Messiah's murder.

Me and you - the skilled craftsmen who may as well have whittled that cross out of tree trunks ourselves.

It's difficult to imagine the brutality involved - it's almost harder to stomach the fact that it was my sin that caused such an almighty response from The Almighty. The extent that He went to shows just how much God hates sin, whether it's a 'big' sin or a 'small' one (if you're trying to justify such differences!?).

The crowd that heard Peter's words were 'cut right to the heart' when this truth sank in. He urged them to change their life by turning to this crucified Christ as THE only antidote for sin.

Put down the sandpaper and the nails for a moment and read Acts 2 in it's entirety - what is your response to the charges going to be?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

This seems too improbable to be possible. The notion that a Spirit so holy might indwell me. The concept that God would breathe a living power to reside within and enable me to see?! Please, you have to be joking me, this is surely a truth that must be too good to be true?!
So, can we take a step back, lets just be clear here - God's son, the Son of man, walks middle east dusty sands and is man-handled , broken and has nails driven into His bloody hands. Strung out on a tree, to bleed for me for what must have seemed like forever, so that I can see the good side of eternity? He knew such Father-intimacy yet cried a final breathe like 'Dad, why did you forsake me!?'. And then this Saviour's life that started in a virgin's womb culminates in a flesh-torn body being dumped in a tomb. There must have been a far bigger picture being outworked, I can only assume!?

This terrible tragedy might just be the build-up to a greater heavenly strategy. Whereby, God goes to the grave, exhumes Himself and like an encore returns to the stage, amidst disciple applause and Roman rage. They all thought He'd been defeated and gone home but the whole thing had just shown that when God faces the darkness and defeats sin and death, the Devil's cover is blown. Satan's ultimate weapon against us - stealing our life - will be overthrown. With the power of a nuclear drone, Jesus rolls away the ten-tonne tombstone and strides confidently back to His throne.

Heaven's greatest treat - His work now complete, blood-washed robes now replaced with a clean sheet and a new path that guarantees we can steer clear of Hell's heat. His life, death and then resurrection, reveals to us a new direction. No more laws, arks or man-made works - It's a life-changing offer for us lustful, greedy jerks. A redemptive deal-breaker so amazing, broken hearts no longer hurt!

He promises to walk before us, lead us, teach us, forgive us and introduce us to the Father. Some think He's mad, bad or just a liar, but I know which life I'd rather. On my own I'm ALWAYS weak - He's strong; He's right - I'm ALWAYS wrong. I know if I go alone I'll royally screw it up, so I'm gonna cling tightly to Royalty's loyalty and trust Him to bear this cup.

So back to this Spirit He sent. It'll teach us daily how to go where He went. It's an invisible but tangible force, so powerful it'll make the busiest doers pause for thought. It brings fuel to our Father-fire and passion to our Son-desire - allows us to see them more clearly and brings glue to the Trinity community. I need them far more than these three need me.

Allow Him to work into your life today - the way He'll make you alive will leave you with everything and nothing to say - mouthfuls of speechless. He's totally unimpeachable, none of this is deceitful and if you doubt me, my God, He is constantly reachable. It's not about old hymns and dusty pews - take your cues from this culture-challenging Jew - each day with Him is new and fresh like morning's due. A radical so extraordinary He'll reshape your world view. 

From start to finish this journey will unveil a love victory that will never neglect, bore or diminish.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

When the Spirit takes the wheel.

I wouldn't say that I'm super macho - but I wouldn't say that I'm a sissy either. If you punched me in the face I wouldn't cry.  Give me a glimpse of Jesus and I will, almost every time

There's something remarkable at play when a grown man openly cries in a room full of people - most of whom are strangers. I've often struggled (and therefore not bothered, regrettably) with explaining who the Holy Spirit is to someone who is yet to believe in God. But one way of explaining who He is, is by saying that He takes me from standing there thinking God is pretty awesome, to being on my knees, crying at how spectacular He really is. From nonchalantly thinking that He's changed my life, to being totally floored by the fact that His grace is poured out over my life EVERYDAY and that His only Son's life was brutally handed over on the cross, so that I might regain my real purpose in God.  

Basically, the Holy Spirit is the game-changer. It's where freedom is found (2 Cor 3 v17). It's the difference between trundling along in the slow lane of casual belief and having your breath taken from you doing 0-60 in 3 seconds.  

I can't clearly see what Jesus did for me without the Holy Spirit. I can't thank the Father enough without the Holy Spirit's intercession.  

Often, people are scared of handing control over to the Holy Spirit, afraid of what might happen. It's not hocus pocus or mind-trickery. It's not over-the-top or awkward Christianity. You'll need the work of the Holy Spirit to give you that panoramic view of God's love. And that isn't meant to sound like a pithy bumper sticker phrase. Without the Holy Spirit, God's throne really can look like any other seat in culture today.  

Baffled by the thought of going it alone without Him, Jesus assures His followers in John 14: 'And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you....All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor  the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:16, 17, 25-27). 

Don't be troubled if you're struggling to see God for yourself - you never will do. It'll be like watching a 3D movie without the glasses. Ask Him for help. It may well floor you and make you feel vulnerable, but you'll see Him far more clearly. He's seriously spectacular!  

Do you believe? You're definitely going to need the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Marked apart.

This blog is going to be difficult for me to write. Not because it floors me emotionally, but because I'm typing with my left hand, while my phone balances precariously.

I'm sitting through a mammoth final sesh at the tattoo studio (appropriately named 'OhhMyGod' Tattoo Studio!). I don't want to specifically remark on tattoos - most either love them or hate them, and a blog won't likely change that. What I wanted to make an observation about is culture and more precisely, understanding how I've learnt (and struggled) to redeem parts of culture, while rejecting other parts of it.

As a Christian in 21st century London, there are so many quick judgements to make on a regular basis. Do I engage in that tricky conversation about a hot girl at work? Do I do that round of shots with mates at the bar? Do I watch the TV programme that everyone is banging on about? Is there a particular way I should dress or act? Is it wise to spend my money/time on such and such? Hours on Fifa/Poker/box set DVDs - you name it. Culture will pour itself into our lives at breakneck speed and discerning what is healthy to invest in and what we are to flee from, is vital.

In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul makes a helpful statement: 'For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.' (2 Corinthians 10:3&4 NIV)

As Christians, we wage war on a constant basis. Though we are part of God's Kingdom and living to shine amongst a culture riddled with defiance and sin (Philippians 2 15&16), our focus is on something completely different to most of those around us.

To reject outright all that culture breaths, would be stupid. To harness some of the good that culture breaths, would be helpful.

I love a few beers with mates. I love some of the amazing TV and films that are produced at the moment. I love art and music (in a variety of forms!). I love all kinds of international cuisine. I love social media. Being in the world but not of the world is tricky, but so important as we try to find ways of connecting the now (the world we live in) with the not yet (a future Kingdom).

Some Christians hate my tattoos, and would suggest that I have been a fool to get them. But they have opened up opportunities on numerous occasions for me to profess my faith, particularly in situations where it might have been harder to get that ball rolling. It's a huge part of culture these days that can be redeemed.

God is at work in the most ordinary of people. It takes discipline to reject the things that will blatantly bring Him no glory (such as drugs, greed, porn, selfishness - to name a few). But be on the look out for things that He can use - areas in your life or areas in culture that aren't necessarily sinful but that can be redeemed - your language, what you spend your cash on, even your Facebook status!

They can be very powerful weapons when wielded well.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

It's easy to downplay Jesus, especially when you look at some of the bare facts and ignore the insane number of miracles and prophecies that came to pass through his life, death and resurrection. The focus on fame and fortune today in our culture is at polar opposites with such an ordinary 'man of the past'. 

Reading Mark 6, we see the people question this 'ordinary' Jesus that stands before them. 'Where did this man get these gifts? Isn't this the carpenter?' 

And they took offence at him (v3). 

Without a glimpse of his majesty and splendour, it's easy to think this historical do-gooder is just a character in folklore or nursery rhymes. Wasn't he just born in a stable? Wasn't he just the adopted son of a tradesman? Wasn't he just born to a teenage mum? Wasn't he just a carpenter? Wasn't he just a poorly-travelled guy from the outskirts? Wasn't he just some random figure in history?  

It seems so easy to replace the very powerful with the very plain. 

It's easy to think of Jesus as so ordinary that he must (surely) be make believe - and it's easy to take offence at him today as well. Why does such a man have the right to speak into our lives and offer such a radical solution?! Surely someone so distant in the past, who was captured, tortured and buried, cannot impact my life in 21st century London? Surely a story so far-fetched is closer in connection to Santa or the Tooth Fairy than being a genuinely life changing option? 

If you fail to investigate this Jesus further yourself, and just rely on the snippets of opinion about him circulating modern culture, then you'll likely take offence at him too, just as they did in the days prior to his crucifixion

There is a beautiful, ordinary and very very unassuming quality to Jesus. One thing I always find so fascinating is that God, the Saviour of mankind, walked dusty roads to get to work. He ate, slept, sneezed, laughed, learnt and yawned. It's through the seemingly incredibly ordinary that the extremely extraordinary happened.  

Don't let the everyday, 'ordinary' details, stop you from delighting in a far more grand picture.

He was a carpenter. But He was also far far more.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Where the paths get even more narrow

There's a place that people are often led to. It has rougher terrain than the usual green pastures and it's climate isn't always bright and sunny. The paths are incredibly narrow and the guide doesn't normally use a light to illuminate the necessary steps - he takes his visitors by the hand instead - such is the care they will need when treading along it's pathways.  

Some get held up in this environment for quite some time. They are used to demanding that their guide takes them from A-B at their speed; revealing truth, direction and results as quickly as he can, like it's an on-the-go fast-food snack. He's into more long-term nourishment though and will often slow things down from time to time. He will often show them milestones on the journey on more than one occasion and when he continues the journey down a familiar path or sends the itinerary round and round in circles, they are likely to get angry, hot under the collar and start doubting that he even knows what he's doing. It's hard for them to see the beauty of the surroundings when it has all become so seemingly commonplace or not what they were expecting/hoping for. 

But, you see, he does know what he's doing. He has been guiding people down this path time and time again. Generation after generation. As each person finds themselves in this difficult of places to navigate through, they always want a quick-fix solution to get them back to their familiar track - to the landscape where they think they know the route better. Where a guide isn't so obviously necessary. Where his hand-led direction isn't so vital. Those places are usually called Comfort and Control.  

This tougher terrain is called Patience.  

The guide is more than happy for you to be there every now and again, even if it's not where you'd hope to be at that precise time. He knows that if you always got what you wanted at the exact time you wanted it, he'd probably never get quality time with you - so he doesn't mind Patience because it's where you speak to him the most. For it is there that he can teach you best about the grander schemes waiting in the forthcoming chapters. It's in the frustration of being there that he can reveal just how intimately he guides you; just how carefully he has chartered those most narrow of paths.  

Walking the pathways of Patience are so important. Your time spent on those tracks are best dictated by the guide - stray from his grasp and it's so easy to get lost and infuriated with your surroundings. But stick close to him and it becomes a season of great training. He'll explain to you that your frustration being there can breathe fuel into your dreams. 

He doesn't promise never to lead you to Patience (he almost certainly will in fact) - but he does promise never to leave you while you're there. The outlook can sometimes look bleaker and the pathways more treacherous - but it's a place where you will get to know your guide much more intimately as he helps you navigate through. Don't lose heart if you're in Patience at the moment - God, your guide, is still right in front of you and he knows precisely where he's taking you. He knows that time in Patience feels like it moves a lot slower than in other places and that really is OK!

Pathways out of Patience are often linked to places such as Breakthrough, Maturity and Responsibility.  

Keep trusting, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of the time frame involved.