Tag Archives: new life

Keeping God Busy!

It is not that God has nothing to do! What I mean is that sometimes in our lives we might, experience moments of God being especially active with us! This week has been one of those weeks.

For me I caricature God or the angels working hard to help me avoid mistakes and helping me through tricky spots. I find it’s a positive way of looking at life’s bumpy roads and it makes me smile and reminds me of the bigger picture. 

On to this week, God has been busy with me through the words of earthly saints this week. Bringing new awareness into my life, painful at times but honest, leading me towards healing, pointing me to Jesus. One saint in particular helped reveal hidden things buried inside my heart.

Two saints have helped me begin transitioning to a healthier life style, (hense the photo!) these same saints have just inspired my boots off, by their openness and upholding of a vision of christian community and a church that is real. It makes me want to worship God in thankfulness. 

Another saint stood in front of people, and reminded us of a church that is so real it goes beyond social pleasantries. Together (I paraphrase) get into the hot tub of deeper relationships and deeper connection with the Lord. The image of church community being in a hot tub is a little awkward, but there is a deeper message of connectedness, breaking down of barriers, acceptance and the sheer delight of being in a hot tub. 

I post this on the seventh day, when according to the book of Genesis God rested because seeing all that had been done and declared it was good. This week has been a bit of a journey but I arrive today and echo the lords sentiment, it is good.

On one level it would be lovely for me to tell you, who these people were that God used, but that would discolour the purpose of their words and encouragement, which is to draw near to God, to abide in God, to glorify God. Ultimately to be reminded, that Gods’ love is sufficient and I am approved off. Amen to that.

This posts top photo is of my lunch yesterday. Which would normally be a packet of crisps and some can of tinned soup or maybe something more unhealthy. I found that it took me ages to eat what I had made, not because cheese bread sticks, crackers, carrots and red pepper humous, didn’t taste good, but it really, really filled me up and lasted until dinner! Which was not what I was expecting!

I wonder which saints you will speak through this week! Go well my brothers and sisters in Christ, and go with God, keeping your eyes open and ears tuned to Gods voice.

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1 Step Towards a Healthier You

There is nothing quite like that first waft of chocolate hitting the nostrils when you open the Easter egg box. Each of us has our own rituals, I’m sure.  I like to take all of my eggs and break them up in a tub so that for the days to come I have a lucky dip of chocolate delights.

Let me explain the step we need to take to become healthier Whilst eating your easter egg. Easter, perhaps more than any other point in the year, offers us the opportunity for a fresh start, to take hold of our health in a new way.
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The Song Of Fresh Expressions

It’s become apparent in recent years that people engage with church in different ways and new forms of church have been around in different guises for many years.

The people of God have sought to engage with the community in relevant ways they have discovered that new ways and forms of being church are needed, as traditional forms have continued to decline or as people have a new vision of what church might look like.

We might ask ourselves, ‘What is a Fresh Expression?’  In some sences defining Fresh Expressions is akin to catching jelly!  In that it comes in many forms!  Fresh Expressions isn’t an entity in its own right but is simply two words that denote the type of Church that seeks to be defined by them.  I think that’s a good thing.

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Lent 3: The Cup of Sacrifice

In The Movie Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, our hero seeks the cup that Jesus drank out of at his last meal. The cup, as the legend goes, bestows eternal life on the one who drinks out of it. However the cup is hidden amongst many beautiful cups. Indi chooses the wooden drab looking one, and of course he is right.

We are reminded this week, of what that cup symbolises, for us and for Jesus. Two very different things, one salvation and eternal life, for the other sacrifice for all that separates humanity from knowing God, which we call sin.

A friend worded it so much more eloquently than I could, in a sermon I listened to many years ago, at Cliff Bible College.

'Jesus took the cup which has all the suffering pain and anguish of the world poured into it and he drank from it, becoming a sacrifice, and offering us freedom.'

May the horror and majesty of this simple history defining act, cause you to stop and consider what life might be like if Jesus hadn’t gone the extra mile for us.

 

For those  of you that want to see the video please click away and enjoy this classic clip.

 

The Invitation

you_are_invited_flowers_6140426 ‘They won’t come, we have tried that sort of thing before’. Came the all too familiar response from a church member in conversation with her pastor. The pastor concerned, considered for a moment, what indeed she was asking the church to invite people too? Eventually it occurred to her that she probably wouldn’t want to go to it either, let alone anyone else!

Think of the last time you were invited to something you enjoyed, how did it make you feel? What was good about it? Did you find a kindred spirit and perhaps even have some fun and laughter? Sadly in my experience this doesn’t sound like church nearly enough. But when it does, i find i am home, both spiritually and communally.

There is a story of a woman now retired who was invited to her local chapel, and she stayed and felt at home. She was invited to membership and happily accepted and now over twenty years later helps to lead a worship service and is now inviting others into the Lords loving embrace. All because her christian friend stepped over the line and knowing her friend well, knew what to invite her to, and when to ask her “to come.” The woman in the story discovered for herself the freedom Christ offers through the invitation of a friend, who invited her to a community who celebrated the fullness of life that Christ offers us all.

Part of the issue is perhaps that our image of God is serious, and that’s appropriate, to a point. The bible sadly doesn’t record Jesus and the disciples going out on the town, drinking in moderation of course. Nor does the bible record dialogue where Jesus is making a joke or witty retort. But I would like to think he might have at least once or twice laughed, or smiled at something rude!

We read that Jesus has many, many meals with people. I doubt these were all terribly religious or pious, after all he ate with the least religious or pious people. Not that they might be conformed to sensible religion. But instead know that there is another way, a fuller life, one where the burden of sin, or feelings of inadequacy are lifted upon the shoulders of a would be saviour of the world, so that they can be free.

We have seen the effect freedom has on people haven’t we. The celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the exuberance at the end of apartheid in South Africa, how communities celebrated as each world war ended. Freedom is heady joyousness, not reserved, not quiet, not always sensible. But sometimes on our knees we can in heartfelt thanks worship God, as well as jump around for joy.

As the pastor said good bye to the church member and drove home that evening. The Lord reminded her, of why she had ever come to church in the first place, and to begin with it was friendship with people followed by and enriched with friendship with God. It occurred to her that that was a good place to start.

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