Tag Archives: Gods

Heavens Life Lesson

Sometimes success is found by looking back, by looking at the footprints in the sand of life we might just glimpse the Lord at work in the detail, in the narrative of our existence. However this is not how society is wired as we travel in life.

As a child generally we desire to succeed at school, as a grown-up that same desire develops. Each of us finds, that there is always something more, something that is just out of reach, to earn, wether that’s in a relationship, work, or in general life. Sometimes we attain it, sometimes we don’t. For me when I miss my target, I get up and go again, or sometimes my walk with God takes me in a new direction.

The quest for more of everything, has blossomed many industries, such has the self help industry, you only have to walk into a book shop to see how popular that genre is. Furthermore on YouTube the most watched videos are online self help gaming tutorials. Earning the creators of these videos many thousands of pounds, and celebrity status in certain circles. In particular Google has become a worldwide database of self-help solutions. The only problem is there are so many solutions it’s hard to filter out, the good advice from the bad.

In all this striving to get ahead, to know more, to be better, we sometimes forget to look back, sometimes wisdom and personal growth is not found in a book, or youtube clip, but by reflecting on our own story. Sometimes its only when we look back as the poem footprints in the sand suggests, that we can see God at work.

Its these moments that are the subject of today’s post, in recent years I have attended the bedside of a few  people who have been close to crossing over into eternity, people of faith and not.

Of those whom could speak, they spoke of having lived a life of service for others, they didn’t want to tell me how much they had in their bank balance, how big their house was, or the name of their cat or dog. They wanted to tell me, the focus of their life had been outward not inward.

Moreover for those who could not speak, it was evidenced by the number and quality of friends and family they had around them, that they had invested in the important things of their lives, not a financial portfolio, but invested in the lives of others in the love and care they had shown them. 

If we looked back today rather than ahead, if today was our final day, what would we say to the minister who visited? How have we lived our lives? These moments with the dying, a poignant, difficult, and an incredible privilege.  

These brilliant people in their dying breaths, cause us to reflect on our own journeys through life, not that it will always be perfect, or that we will always make the right decisions.

However when all is said and done, I hope I  can say to the Minister at my bedside, that I lead the majority of my days outward looking, caring for others, investing in kindness, Love and forgiving quickly. Then as I cross over from this life into the eternity that Jesus prepares, I’ll count myself as having lived life well, as God intended.

Ultimately death causes us to look ahead, at how we are living our lives outward in the service of others, defined by how much God loves all people both those who have passed through the veil and those who exist around us.

God Bless And have a good week

Last weeks post: The Know It All

Similar Themes: Looking Back And Seeing Jesus

 

Saying Goodbye

Some people have a hard time saying goodbye, for some a big send off ticks the box, for others they just want to slip away quietly, with minimal fuss. But saying goodbye is hard, change is difficult. You hold onto the idea, and feeling that God goes with you. However letting go of what was and heading into the relative unknown remains tough. 

Peppered through the beginnings of the Gospels, are short verses about how the disciples left all they had and went with Jesus!

Let’s stop a moment and think about those words. They left all they had, that meant jobs, family, friends, identity, stability and safety. They went with someone who perhaps they had heard of, perhaps they knew something about, more scarily though, it could be that they didn’t know anything about him at all!

What motivates somebody to just go? Perhaps having some kind of breakdown! Perhaps there is more to it that is written in the gospel, maybe there had been several meetings and discussions about what might happen if they said yes to Jesus? Or maybe something stirred inside them, we might call that the spirit of God, and they were compelled, inspired, moved, to take an momentous leap of faith. Which they didn’t know for a number of them would lead to martyrdom, denial, betrayal. Yet they who were Jesus’s diciples would witness the incredible things that God can do, not least raising his son from the dead, seeing 9000 people fed across two ocassions, countless people healed, and demons exorcised.

Hindsight would say they probably made the right choice! However in that moment recorded in the Gospels, there was no time machine, or Doctor Who’s Tardis that they could jump into, and see what was to come. Each of them took one step of faith, followed by another, and another. The diciples as we know stayed. I’m convinced that they would not have done the journey, if they hadn’t realised that Jesus was the real deal, and was and is the promised messiah.

I can’t imagine anyone, or any sane person following a charlatan, someone pretending to be something they’re not for that length of time and in such close proximity with one another. Because surely over the course of time the fake messiah would be found out. Which leads me to consider that what the disciples saw in Jesus was real, tangible, powerful and life changing. 

So when we head out, live our lifes, do church, lets be sure it’s the lord beckoning us, and step out in faith. For we may just see people healed, the dead raised.


A word to the wize,  whether we stay or go, following God being in the place he wants us to be, is also costly. I wonder if Peter for example, had looked ahead through the gift of time travel and discovered that the would die upside down on a cross. Might have instead said following jesus was not for him. Because at the start of his walk with Jesus his faith waw new, untested, unseasoned by the passage of time. It is the journey with all its bumps, and resting places, where faith grows, is tested, affirmed and strengthened. for Peter, his faith gave him the strength of character to say to his executioner tun the cross upside down, I will not die like my saviour and friend.

“Shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

Philippians 2:15-16

Outing Myself

I don’t know if I was born this way, or if it was the environment. Either way people have looked at me as different. Others have perceived as less somehow, there was a word for what I am, but when I was a kid it wasn’t I widely used.

The badge I wear, is not one I revel in or openly address. In the church, I have not always found acceptance, instead sadly the opposite has at times been true. I know God loves me, but for some reason, he has allowed me to be this way and wants me to serve him all the same!

My name is Andy and  I am dyslexic, the written word is  somewhat a challenge to me, I find it almost laughable that, despite a significant weakness I feel called to the written word, I would love to be an author some day. It is well documented that the dyslexic brain is wired differently apparently and there is nothing I can do, but live with it.

Interestingly we also say that the homosexual brain, is wired differently just as I am with dyslexia, yet my brain chemistry will not lead be to be dammed by others or God, or excluded from other places and churches.

My brain chemistry won’t lead me to be ridiculed, bullied, abused. My brain chemistry won’t mean I struggle with identity and theological opposing arguments, that tear my sense of self to shreds. None of those things will be my experience. Of course though some would say it’s the act of homosexuality not the homosexual that people have issue with.

To that I offer an illustration. I and we don’t have two brains, just one. What i mean is that when I write a sentence my non-dyslexic brain doesn’t assert itself, because its not there! In the action of writing  I can’t always write in perfect sentences with grammar and correct spelling, unless of course the computer helps me, and sometimes it even struggles with what I am trying to articulate. In those moments, I use google search and my dictation software. Putting it simply it is impossible for me to be dyslexic and not act dyslexic. How then can we ask our homosexual kin to change their ‘wiring,’ if that was even possible.

I believe God is bigger than all of this, that his grace is sufficient and his love brings justice, not reproach. Not for the few chosen ones who love him, but for all people that love him. I struggle with what Scripture says, and can’t unpick the cultural, moral bias, and human fallibility from what God is saying in and through scripture. It just isn’t all that clear to me.

However one thing is clear, the world is watching how we treat on another in Gods name, and on this issue to name one, what the world too often sees is shameful. It doesn’t come close to how jesus defines the christian, that definition being, ” They shall be known by their love for on another.” (John 13:35)

Last Post: Beautiful To Me

Similar Themes: The Invitation

Jack Bauer and Jesus- you’re not alone!

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The overarching narrative of Jack Bauer’s life could be summed up in the following phrase, doing whatever it takes at all costs to get the job done. Those costs for him include crossing moral and legal boundaries to achieve goals, which ultimately save lives and protect. It leaves Jack Bauer as ever isolated and alone, the cost to him personally is self-evident. Jack sees himself as an island, he has an overarching understanding, a vision, of how things should be.

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Like Jack Jesus understands the idea of doing whatever it takes to get the job done means, like Jack Jesus sacrifices himself for others, like Jack,  Jesus has a bigger and broader vision of how things should be. Of what justice should look like. Jesus and Jack of course go about things very differently indeed! But there is something hopeful in the message of jack and Jesus!

The hope is found in seeing yourself in the context, of something larger than your current situation. That you are valuable and worth something to someone, and indeed to God. For those of us for whom life is difficult, and harsh. Whether that is comments or actions of others all internal demons that we face. Having that overarching sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves is helpful. That we are both children of God and called by God to something bigger than ourselves. I can relate to the idea of doing whatever it takes, as long as what ever it takes honours God, and is in line with his calling upon our lives. A calling to love one another, even if they are our enemies!

So for the lonely, the lost, the broken, there is hope. Hope rooted in God who has gone the extra mile for you. Has literally done whatever it takes at all costs, so you know you are loved, a cherished child of God. That no matter what others say, or may do, or however they treat you, the Lord sees you, knows you and loves you.

Sometimes in ministry and indeed life, it is easy to think of ourselves as an island, always looking over your shoulder, always wondering what the meaning behind the words of others might be. I invite us to not think of ourselves as an island, but instead that we are on an island that does not belong to us, we are part on the family who live here where we call home. And the island owner will come again, to take us to himself. So that where he is, we will be also.

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Dear Reader, thanks for all your support, sorry for the delay in this post, I’m trying a new writing schedule as my day job is rather hectic at the moment, I will post minimum every two weeks instead of every week, thank you for reading. God Bless, Andy

Whose Signed Your Selfie?

Click, the camera takes the photo, the latest collection of selfies on mondays Selfie day were just like the millions of others taken recently, everyone had a smile and looked generally happy. We don’t know their back grounds, hopes or worries, but for that moment there is a smile, an inviting look. The photos themselves cause me to sometimes reciprocate with a smile, but that might just be me!

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When we post such photos on Facebook or stick it in an album we can tag ourselves in the photo in some way, so people know its us. Similarly artists sign there works as away of showing that they painted or drew it.

Before the beginning of all things there was probably a conversation that might have started a little like this:

God the Father: “Shall we make something together?”

So together they created worlds, stars, space, atmosphere, deep waters, rolling hills and snowy peaks and of course much more. Like the great artists God has signed his creation, a signature we see in selfies alongside our own names. A signature we see in our highest motivations and goals, our collective physiology, and in our welcoming smiles.

So today as you click that selfie, walk past a mirror or catch yourself looking back in a reflective surface, remember who you are a reflection of, and whose signature is also on your life and others. If you feel so inclined, thank God. Or perhaps make amends with the person you saw as less than having Gods signature upon their lives.

The Selfie tells a story, may it remind you that you are made in Gods Image, worthy of at least a smile a day, of being continually loved, respected and cherished, if not at least as much as God loves and cherishes you, the pinnacle, the cherry on the top, the bright star of all of Gods creation.

Have a great day 🙂

You might also like: If Jesus Took a Selfie

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