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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Dear Diary. Pt 568

This week has been an ‘interesting’ week. I’m not entirely sure I’m going to go into all the details here on this public space, but suffice to say our Landlord has been through a pretty shocking and horrible event in the last week. Grim enough to ensure a few journalists turned up on our doorstep last weekend. And horrible enough for him to phone on Wednesday morning and ask us to leave the house so he could have it back. You’ll understand how grim his week has been when we said, ok we’ll be out by the weekend. There is no legal reason for us to do that, we have a contract until December. But it’s the right thing to do.

Wednesday then turned into an interesting day. After the chat with our Landlord we headed straight to the pages of rightmove, and lo and behold found another house that met our needs, which is frankly bizarre as it took us about 3-4 months to find the house we are in, 4 bed places to rent in our area just don’t come up. So we phoned the letting agency, looked around the house and the wheels are in motion to move in at the end of the month. If you fancy praying that would happen please do.

Thursday involved many forms filled in, a trip to Guildford to ask my Dad to be the guarantor of my rent, the realisation that I’m now fairly jobless and homeless, packing up my life once more and attempting to fit the contents of our house into one room so that we can pick them up easily when we move to the new place.

Today I move back to Hove, Actually. So for another week or so this blog will be correct once more in it’s titles. Mostly we’re fine, we have places to stay, the advantage of this body of Christ thing again. We’re still loving each other in the stress and meh God’s pretty much given us a new house in a better location with 2 bathrooms 🙂 . I’m not sure my brain can cope with His goodness as it’s blowing my mind right now. I’ll keep you posted on any further developments.

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31/31

Pushing up my window to a sunny Saturday morning. Clearing, sorting, cleaning and stocking followed. Hearing of someone actually getting to do what they really wanted to and were so made to do, awakened again to a God who does work in our lives. Grin. Night in with housemate, amazing salad, wine and Saturday night TV. Happy sigh.

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18/31

Day OFF. Many smiles. The last services at my church, glad of all God has done through the place in the last four years. Very glad. In the midst of sadness at leaving, feeling oh so loved this evening by my Maker through his body, the church… The aw from Bob. The sense of stepping out having NO clue of the results, but glad that I know the One who does. The million cups of tea this afternoon and Kev’s ADHD.

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9/31

Winning the fight to get the Bible out of the bag. Glad of the results. This song on the way home.

“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen: Anthem)

Chatting about God in the sunshine. Reading over old e-mails from my Brother. Glad of his answer to an age old question of mine:

Qu: “What does God really think of me/us/the church?”- Answer: He loves you, He loves us. He loves the church. Christ died for you, he died for us, he died for the church so we would be his perfect bride.”

It’s as simple and as beautiful as that. Sitting on the back step tonight with a beer mulling on it all with the One who loves me most. Bliss.

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Here some advice I’m giving at an evangelism training day tomorrow.

Don’t pray.
Don’t talk about Jesus.
Don’t love people, have chats with them purely to win arguments and not cos you care for them.
Don’t enjoy it, it’s rubbish news.
Don’t live it out, get drunk down the bar each night so that people can see it doesn’t really make any difference to your life.
Give up
Hide away for the next two weeks
Feel guilty and rubbish, God doesn’t really love you and thinks you are a rubbish person, why would he want to use you anyway?
Think that it all depends on you.
Get fed up when everyone you talk to doesn’t get converted the second you start talking about Jesus.
Don’t listen to people, answer the questions you can answer, loudly, force your opinions on them.
Don’t bother inviting your mates to anything, they think you are weird as it is.
Don’t bother making friends with people you meet this week. They’re all a bit odd anyway.
Do things on your own, be a lone ranger, don’t encourage anyone, what use will that be?
Complain A LOT. About everything. Moan moan moan about the CU, about the committee, about how rubbish life is.
Complain some more, especially behind peoples backs.
Did I mention?, don’t pray, it doesn’t work anyway.
God doesn’t really want people to come to know him does he?
Be confident in yourself, you are great aren’t you? And certainly not weak and foolish, of course you can convert the world.
Think the message is stupid. Tell people something they want to hear. Tell them becoming a Christian will make them happy, healthy and rich.
Of course it’s not true for everyone, as long as people are happy, that’s what counts.
Stop praying, I thought I told you before. A waste of time in this random fate driven world.

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Lent.

Today marks the start of Lent. Which depending on your background might leave you feeling guilty that you haven’t even managed to give up chocolate for today let alone 40 days, for others it’s a general shrug of the shoulder at those Pharisaical Anglicans. At somepoint in the history of the church (if I cared more I’d look it up and tell you) it was deemed a Good Idea to create a Christian Calender to mark important occasions down each year so we’d remember Jesus a whole lot more than we do. Thus Easter, Christmas, Lent, Advent and a whole host of other days that are too numerous to put here.

Lent is one of those occasions in which the real meaning has been taken over others. Either by self help gurus to help us improve ourselves by being thinner (who decided thin was good and fat was bad in the moral code of life anyway?). Or it’s one of those things that smug people like to deride in a I’m so free I don’t need to be disciplined for 40 days kind of a way. Both approaches have little merit. Feel free to ignore Lent by all means, but try not to be smug about it. And feel free to observe Lent but please do more than give up chocolate. At least find a good reason for giving up chocolate. Maggi Dawn explains all this far more eloquently than I ever could.

“Lent is not about giving up luxuries, not about losing weight or gaining other benefits, not about food per se, not about de-cluttering or Feng Shui or about ay other kind of feel-good, de-toxifying exercise. In the end, it’s about denying yourself some of the essentials of everday life in order to focus on the reality that we depend upon God for life itself; about re-aligning ourselves with God and his purposes in our world; about reminding ourselves that all we have is a gift from God in any case.

And neither is Lent about achievement. We cannot earn God’s love, nor save ourselves. If our Lenten Fast is understood well, it will relieve us of the need to try harder, achieve more, feel worthy. It will ground us in the firm and unshakeable knowledge that we are human – we are but dust, and to dust we shall return – but that to be human is enough, under the loving gaze of God.”

So, if you give up chocolate do it because Jesus is sweeter and we need him in our lives. Find it hard and feel your need of God. But here’s 5 things that might be better than giving up chocolate this Lent and feeling fairly smug about it.

1. Turn off the TV for half an hour a day. Read through the gospels in that time.

2. Feast on chocolate each weekend and remember the Good Provider of it all.

3. Use your time in a different way, do something nobody sees or notices that really helps someone. Don’t tell anyone about it.

4. Actually fast for one day a week. Let it remind you of how much we need God.

5. Wake up each morning and remember that you are a dearly loved child of God. Enjoy that for a bit. Smile. Tell someone else who they are.

Really, do anything that reminds you that you are a creature in the hands of a quite brilliant creator.

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Hmm.

This week is Sussex CU’s mission week. For the uninitiated, that’s a week of events attempting to explain why it is that lots of people choose to follow this bloke called Jesus, how it is that we’ve stumbled across the answer to the question and whose earth we happen to be living on. There’s a whole load of good reasons why we do this and a whole load of reasons why it’s true Truth for all. Go here if you want to know them. It’s a good week, it’s a fun week, and it’s flipping hard week. Mainly because the scoffers come scoffing, as Peter points out they will. Today they did in force. It’s hard to convince anyone that this world was made by someone else. That He runs it and gets to make the rules. It’s hard to explain that the Makers ways are like waking up after a bad dream, like the brightness after a rainy day. I wonder if I believed that more it would be easier to explain. I want to sit down with people, explain that it’s different to what they think, I want to take all those people that scoffed today and help them get at what we are really saying, and not just what they think we are saying. But at the end of the day they still might laugh in my face and tell me I’m crazy.

I’m told that’s what to expect. But that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Believing something that the majority of people in the same culture and country as you don’t believe is hard. Living it out with integrity is harder. Noah must have had it so bad. But at the end of today I still believe. I’m stuck with the one who has the words of eternal life and I really believe that everyone needs to come to Jesus for real life. He is the author of reality and the only way to real knowledge. I’m starting to see why Jesus sighed a lot whilst he was down here in peoples faces and still facing unbelief. I’m starting to feel the heartbreak of the words of John. “Though he came to his own they didn’t know him”. At least there is hope for all that do come to the fountain of living water, we can drink and live.

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