Sunday, 19 August 2012

Have a read of this:

...and then take a look at this:

*You may have read or seen these both before. But it helps to stop and wonder every now and again.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A story to shout about

Several months ago some very good friends of mine were given medical advise. The advise was to terminate their pregnancy. The doctors told them that the pregnancy had major complications and the baby was very unlikely to survive the 9 months.

With huge faith, and trusting God for an almighty miracle, they carried on. And prayed - along with many others. Even last week, at 9 months and nearing the due date, they kept believing - despite the probability of a still born baby.

Well, tonight I met someone for the first time.

Baby Micah.

5 days old. Now at home - crying, pooing, feeding. Doing everything a guy his age ought to be doing.

You may not be a believer in God. You may think that prayer is weird and fruitless - that God doesn't actually wonderfully create and sustain EVERYTHING.

Well, there's a little guy who's now living and breathing who you should definitely take a look at...he might make you think otherwise.

In the book of Isaiah (chapter 46), God makes this promise: 'Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.'

Whether you're 5 days old or 5 decades old, this fact remains.

Praise God, indeed!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Just one boast

Whether you like sport or not, it would have been difficult not to have been sucked into all the excitement and flare of the London 2012 Olympics. An absolutely phenomenal show that has captivated billions of people globally.
It gave us a great display of just how amazing humans can be when they focus and put their mind to something. We're incredibly impressed by speed, endurance, strength, back flips, techniques etc etc. Whether it's because of the showmanship and physical presence of Bolt or the humble yet unstoppable talent of Rudisha, most spectator's bums have found their way to the edge of a seat in the last two weeks. 
We marvel at what the created can achieve. 
Many personal bests or indeed World Record breaking bests have been achieved in the last two weeks as well. People going further or faster than has been ever done before. Limits pushed and bars raised - until next time. 
But do you know what? One day they will have achieved the best time/height/distance they possibly can. They won't be able to run that fast or throw that far or jump that high again. Every achievement, while it is totally amazing today, does have a limit or an expiration date - top of the table until the next person steps up. 
It's the same in every single area of life - we all have PB's that we will either strive to beat ourselves or will be beaten by the next guy. A new house will soon need to be upgraded; that car will need to be faster or bigger one day soon; the pay cheque won't satisfy; the TV won't be flat enough. Perhaps the wife won't be young enough or the holidays hot enough. Somewhere deep down, we always want to achieve/have more.  
Richards-Ross won the gold medal for her country in the 400m a few days back. Rather than just striking a pose, soaking up all the praise and agreeing that she is the best of the best, she gave glory to God for her achievement - she acknowledged her relationship with Christ as greater than anything else she could possible attain in this life (quite the statement considering she was just crowned as the champion in her chosen discipline!). 
When we do that - confessing that only a relationship with Christ as being the all-purpose giving, greatest lifetime-high - we acknowledge that ALL else pales in significance.
I've had these lyrics in my head for the last 24 hours: 'I will not boast in anything - no gifts, no power, no wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ - His death and resurrection.'
It's the only thing in this life that won't expire or reach a limit - no matter what the stage of life.
Marvel at what the Creator has done and will always continue to do. 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Awesome talent. Awesome truth

How will your's pan out?

"He told me everything I'd ever done."
Everybody has a story. That story is their life - what they've done (the good and the bad); what was done to them; what they think is true and what they think isn't; what they love and what they hate...etc etc.
For some reason, which will perhaps be uncovered in a moment, Christians in particular like to tell people about 'their story'. Not because they are necessarily more successful or scandalous, but because there is something quite remarkable that happened to them along the way - something that demands great exclamation from the rooftops.
Jesus stepped in.
Sometimes this moment came in the depths of addiction or depression. Other times it was in the depths of comfort, pride and satisfaction. But at somepoint in 'their story', He moved from being a Christmas fairytale in a manger, to being a real-life, eye-popping Saviour.
The opening quote is from the Bible. It was uttered by an adulterous outcast who had encountered Jesus when she needed Him the most. He explained to her that despite how much He knew of her sordid life, the love of God was there for her, if she just acknowledged Him and turned over her trust to Him.
She did. And then went running to tell anyone who would listen about this remarkable man and life-altering truth and freedom that she had just discovered. 
Much as I've tried to do on this blog from time to time I guess.
You see, I have a story as well. It was no more or less selfish or satisfied than yours or hers. I wasn't a drug-dealing murderer and I wasn't a clean-nosed Choir boy either. I was disobedient, lustful, drunk, lazy and too concerned about gaining popularity and credit.
But Jesus stepped in.
Some of those old things rear their ugly heads from time to time - but I CAN walk in total freedom from it all.
Try Him too - regardless of where you'd place yourself of the moral spectrum. We all need Him.
Later in the Bible the response of those she ran to tell reads like this: 'We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.' (John 4 verse 42)
What would your response be to my/His claims?