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Posts Tagged ‘maker’

I think officially autumn is my favorite season, if not purely for the brilliant splashes of colour around the place, then for the dark nights and the chance to curl up on sofas with cups of tea and read books under blankets, for the crisp blue sky days full of possibility and the ever closeness of the Christmas season. To quote Mr Plass once more:

“When I’m in heaven, tell me there’ll be seasons when the colours fly,

Poppies splashing flame, through dying yellow, living green

And autumns burning sadness that has always made me cry, for things that have to end.

For winter fires that blaze like captive suns, but look so cold when the morning comes,

I love the way the seasons change.”

Here are pretty autumn pictures:

In other news, tomorrow we move into our new house, I’m looking forward to not being a nomad anymore, although something has just clicked in my brain to warn me from ever getting too settled here on this earth. Eternity seems so out of reach for much of the time but these times of having no fixed abode remind me that this world is not my home. As beautiful and wonderful as it is, it is still messed up, it is still in rebellion against it’s Maker, there is still so much more to come. There will be a day when our tears will be wiped away once and for all time.

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Early morning beach trip. Sitting talking to the Maker. Mum, Dad, the feeling of contentment that only family can bring, not having to say anything, saying anything that comes into my head, walking the  downs, reciting the old familiar Arnold silliness at each other. Parent hugs. The best kind.  At nine in the evening- “I think I’ll go to bed now”. Fresh clean sheets await me.

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Thursday

Today I sat at a table with my Relay Workers. We chatted, we read this, and we talked about the immensity of the Thursday that Jesus faced 2000 years ago. The Thursday where he took the Passover meal and made it about so much more. The Thursday where he told his disciples of a body broken and blood poured out. The Thursday where he wept, prayed and sweat blood in a garden whilst his friends fell asleep, oblivious to the pain going on near them. We remembered the Lord’s death, until he comes again, and we ate bread and drank wine.

Tonight I sat in the pub with my Drum group talking about a variety of random things, religion included. Sad to hear Christianity associated with just a strict moral code and the restrictions of a patriarchal society. The greatest truth of all is the one we seem to find it so hard to communicate. That we are not about trying to be good, but freely, openly admitting we are broken, alienated from this world, each other and our Maker, and that the way back is through one mans sacrifice. That I am accepted as I am, transformed to be what I was meant to be all along, and that I no longer have to try to be anything anymore. I am my Makers, I am in His family and I am free. That’s what we remember today and all this weekend. The immensity of God stepping in to love and bring his enemies home.

The questions ring around in my ears, do I live this freedom? Do I love this freedom? Do I embrace the freedom on offer and live a dangerous, risky life of love utterly secure in who I really am? And am I joyfully
thanking the one who bought this freedom with his life? Am I displaying this freedom to the world around?

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One of the things to swirl around my brain at the weekend was the genius nature of actual gospel friendship. That sounds like a very jargonified thing. But, what I mean by that is friendship that is based on the fundamental unvarnished truth about each other. Friendship that allows for each other to mess up in the most unbelieveably stupid and sinful ways and still says, I’m for you, and I believe in the power of God to bring good and redeem even this mess of a situation.

This is friendship that goes beyond our illusions of perfect lives that we like to try and maintain, and even goes beyond our acceptable sins, right down to the core of the stinking mess that we like to hide from everyone, including ourselves. For someone to see this mess, and then to not turn away horrified but to continue to love and hold out the message of hope is what the reality of the gospel brings in our lives. We have a God who called us when we were his enemies, and who knows the real state of our hearts, and yet still lavishes his love on us. Our friendships need to reflect this.

Too often I live to impress and think that if I impress enough people with my growth and improvement I’ll have made it. The truth is that I am still a sinner. I still get it wrong, and I seem to find ever more twisted ways of rejecting my Maker. The way of living that lives to impress only serves to keep me living in illusion, I then must do all I can do maintain that illusion and so my soul shrivels. The kind of friendship that sees the flaws, the pride, the mess within and carries on loving and is committed to real change is so breath takingly freeing. We can then be free to be our messed up selves with no illusions, and free to face the reality of grace committed to us whatever. I count myself honoured to have seen that kind of friendship on display through the Relay programe, in the lives of Andy Shudall, Nigel Pollock, Marcus Honeysett and more. Hearing them talk about times when they’ve rebuked each other, and been rebuked by others and seeing that wasn’t the end of the friendship or their story in life and ministry is brilliantly encouraging.

This kind of friendship involves trust, exposure, reality and awareness that we are works in progress, sadly it’s always more surprising to me than others when I discover my sin, but to have people around who know the truth and still offer grace, mercy and love is the best way to reflect the character of our most loving Father.

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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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