Thursday, 23 February 2012

Small hills don't get close to the clouds, only the big faith mountains experience the thick mist.

So, it's been another interesting/intense few days....

It's tough when you try and build and nurture faith for something, whilst all the while trying to kick those negative, doubting thoughts into touch. I'm several months into a period where God obviously wants me to learn more and more about that balance, as yet another job passes me by unfortunately; despite feeling very hopeful and trusting that this would be THE one!

So, while it feels like I'm chugging along back to square one and everybody else continues at 100mph around me, I still cling to one truth:

That He REALLY does love me and He REALLY does have my back on this. It sucks and this journey of faith for a job continues to twist and turn. But just as the mountain of prayer and lessons in faith carries on getting larger and larger, I can take comfort in knowing that only the really big mountains rise above the clouds. Even though it feels misty/crappy/uncertain at the moment, it's because the peak of this 'mountain' has yet to be reached.

The view will be staggering once I get to the top, I'm sure.

Monday, 20 February 2012

If you've never been before. If you decided to stop going when you became an adult. If you fell out with a previous church. If you're divorced. If you have been in prison. If you make money illegally. If you're practising another religion. If you're gay. If you're straight. If you are into porn. If you think you hate God. If you think He doesn't exist. If you're addicted to drink and drugs. If you can't be bothered. If you think you don't need it. If you've been put off by some of the whacky spiritual preacher-people on the Internet. If you've got lots of money. If you're hard-up and out of work. If you don't want to change your routine. 

Just give it a shot.

Whatever your past or present situation/excuse - you shouldn't EVER disqualify yourself from visiting a church. There is a God who died to get to know you and a community nearby dying to introduce you to Him. 

It 'aint weird, it's wonderful.

The timing will be perfect when it happens.

I recently got a text from my brother telling me that a good mate of his was coming to church with him for the first time *cue fanfare*.

I know the happy feeling that comes when someone you're close to finally makes the potentially life-altering decision to give church a chance. If only he/she really knew the truth that would come crashing down before them during that hour and a half (or so). If they knew the impact it'd have on their lives, they'd camp out overnight waiting for the doors to open.

But sometimes it takes a little more background work and foundation laying before that opening visit. And that was the case this weekend. So after a very long chat in the park en route to church and a whole range of questions and issues tossed back and forth, here's hoping that this one lad is a few steps closer to encountering the Saviour who will totally and utterly blow his mind and rewrite his entire future. 

It's not just a slight change to a Sunday morning routine; it won't be a warm fuzzy feeling at Christmas and Easter; it isn't some weird set of rules and rituals that will make him want to live differently.

It's a new horizon; a new body; a new future entirely. And a God to worship that will be far greater and more exciting than any of the other gods he's chosen to bow down to so far.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Life with and life without...

Life with lots of money equals prosperity. Life with friends and family around you equals love. Life with a powerful job equals...well, 'power'. Life on the red carpet, in the spotlight, on the big screen, equals total success and fame. Life on the weekend equals freedom. Life on holiday equals total relaxation. Life in a big house equals security and comfort. Life with health equals a sound nights sleep. Life with all the time in the world equals less stress and deadlines. Life going up 'the ladder' equals direction. Life with all the clothes, technology, parties, pampering, entertainment, women and any other desire you can conceive of - equals...?

But life without Jesus? I couldn't do it. 

And death without Jesus is too scary to even bear thinking about.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

"What do you think about that, you're religious?"

That's what I seem to get quite often, when people ask me for my opinion.

I really hope I'm not though. 

By religious, they refer to the fact that I go to church on occassion other than Christmas and Christenings. But strangley enough, unbeknown to them, being called religious is a bit of an insult really. 

Jesus viewed the 'religious' of his day as tight-knitted, narrow-minded, closed-fisted, opinionated rule-keepers; who arrogantly kept laws that suited them, while ruling with an iron rod over everyone else who couldn't jump through the million and one faith-hoops that they enforced. They were the people that he spent most of his life debating with, and who would ultimately murder him on a cross. Their grasp of grace was small; their hope for healing was distant. When the Saviour stood right in front of them, they were too caught up in time-lines, rules and habits to even recognise him.

I really, really hope I'm not 'religious'.  

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

It’s easy to go through the day without being amazed by life. Stood on a drafty and very early tube ride up to work this morning, it was nice to be caught by one of those ‘moments’. Disgruntled by the obese tradesman who was taking up the only two remaining seats on the train, it did me some good to read the quote below, in the book I’m currently reading. Because once I had read it, and been amazed/confronted by it, it made me look around the carriage with a new wonder. Not just a fat bloke taking up too many seats; not just a couple of Spanish tourists out for the day; not just a wealthy business woman, out to leave her mark on ‘The City’.

Take a moment to look around you at the people that surround you now. Nevermind waterfalls, rainbows, butterflies and Oak trees – marvel at these creations. They might smell, they might swear, they might ignore you – but don’t go through the day being incredibly unimpressed and unmoved by them.

‘But now, for the first time, there burst upon me the idea that there might be real marvels all about us, that the visible world might be only a curtain to conceal huge realms uncharted by my very simple theology.’ – C.S Lewis, ‘Surprised by Joy’.