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Archive for April, 2006

I’m never ever going to get over the ridiculousness of the love of my Father. Who doesn’t delight in my outward show of faithfulness (which masks my inward rebellion) but who delights in me coming back to him with my sin, shame and darkness and letting him take it away and fill my hands with Good Things. Amazing. He delights in those who hope in his love, and when I’ve got nothing else and nowhere else to go, that’s something I can do, I can cry out help to the one who loves me most, and that’s all he wants. Crazy. But very wonderful.

“We need to be reminded that we really are a new creation, that underneath the failure and the wrecked meringue nest of our own security or self confidence, lies the love of God…It can be an immense relief to learn that though we sin, God’s grace abounds. However far we fall God has done a work which goes deeper. Even though we go right to the very bottom of the slimiest pit of sin, we find that our Lord has already been there, has taken the sin, has redeemed the humanity that lurked there, has provided righteousness for us in himself, has provided a rightness of relating to the Father that includes love. When you sink to the darkest and vilest depths of your own soul, what do you find? You find Jesus the Proper Man, with a perfect love from his Father. You actually are redeemed from the depths, for you are a partner with him in loving the Father.” (Dominic Smart- When we get it wrong)

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but i can’t be these things i say
i wish i could but there’s no way

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Amuse yourself. Go on.

This is genius. Finally someone has done something cool with the excellent Cake song- Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell. (ht Sarah Brown)

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Ramblings

So anyway, I was chatting my aforementioned (I do like that word) brother last night about certainty. We were musing on some people who think that to be certain is to be naive. That as we go in in our Christian lives we get over our little certain phase and move onto some plain of less naive uncertainty where nothing is black and white anymore but many shades of grey. I have some sympathy with this view. The more I go on in being a Christian, the more I see that not everything is as simple as I might have thought a few years ago. Some questions just don’t have any answers. Some darkness will not leave. Sometimes knowing the truth isn’t enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been a particularly ‘hit people over the head with lots of definite answers’ person, but the more I go on, the more I want to treasure the questions, feel the uncertainty and sit in the darkness with friends who can’t see anyway out.

But, and in the Bible there is always a But. (snigger) It’s not as simple as chucking out all certainty and swimming in a big fog for the rest of my life. If nothing is certain I might as well pack my bags and leave. I might as well head off into self indulgence and giving into all my temptations. If there is no certain resurrection, if there is no guarantee of what is to come, if there is no certainty that Christ died for sins, once for all, then I’m out of here. That’s not naive. That’s a reason to jump up and down for joy. There is hope, purpose and meaning, not because I have wish fulfillment and want life to be rosy, but because one man lived, died, and then did what no-one else has ever done. Rose again. Sent his Spirit on his church and promised to come back. At the core of our lives, in the mire of fog, blackness,fun and joy is a certain and sure hope. The rest of life is up for grabs, I don’t understand how God works most of the time, there is SO much I cannot tell. But there at least is hope in the line “but this I know”.

So don’t hit people over the head for not getting every Truth you want to hit them with. Don’t create fences of black and white things that you must all have in common to be able talk to each other. Allow that people might doubt, question and not get the thing you think is so obvious. Love as Jesus did. Live out the Body of Christ and be his certainty in action. But, equally, don’t call certainty naivete. If we can be certain of nothing what’s the point? Where’s the joy coming from? Where’s the sure and certain hope of there being more to this world? Or maybe that’s my naivete shining out again. Confusion and certainty can live side by side. (or maybe that’s just my desire to have my cake and eat it…but then again what are the Psalms and Gethsemane all about?)

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Good to hear the sound of a man having lots of fun with a cool band and singing the songs of a folk genius. It must be great to get to this point in your career and be so at ease with your audience and music loves that you can get away with having lots of fun with something you are passionate about. Whatever your expectations of the Boss man, blow them away, he still has the best voice, sings the songs of the oppressed and carries off the old American folk tradition in style.

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A song for the Journey

Amidst the sorrows of the way
Lord Jesus, teach my soul to pray
Let me taste Thy special grace
And run to Christ, my hiding place

You know the vileness of my heart
So prone to act the rebel’s part
And when You veil Your lovely face
How can I find a hiding place

How unstable is my heart
Sometimes I take the tempter’s part
And slight the tokens of Thy grace
And seem to want no hiding place

Lord, guide my wandering feet
Draw me to Thy mercy seat
I’ve nought to trust but sovereign grace
Thou only art my hiding place

Hiding place, hiding place

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