Sunday, 3 November 2013

You’ve heard the expression, “Love covers a multitude of sins”? Well, thinking about it literally, how true is it?! It’s the beauty of the Gospel!  
Often I’ll hear others say, “I wonder if people would still love me, if they knew the real me – knew my innermost thoughts and feelings.” And I’ve thought the same too. Honestly, I don’t know the answer; but can we take a moment to appreciate that God knows us BETTER than we know ourselves and not only does He love us more than anyone else – He loves us more than we love ourselves. That’s pretty awesome.  
Jesus didn’t just die for you, He rose again and He lives for you too! Choosing to be His follower isn’t a onetime deal, it’s an active loving relationship. Don’t forget that. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pondering

Sometimes I wonder what percentage of my beliefs used to be based on society's teachings and what percentage were based on the Bible’s. I’d like to compare those percentages to where my beliefs are now, if I could pin them down to a graph.
Somehow I can’t imagine being brought up in an uber-liberal Christian household, where homosexuality wasn’t considered an issue, adopting their view as my own and then ever being convinced otherwise.
Somehow I can’t imagine God holding that opinion against me, in those circumstances. But, I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong and that’s what worries me. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Guilt and Faith

I think what I've come to learn in the last few months (like, *really* learn) can be summed up as this: Religion is focusing on the letter of the law, while Faith is focusing on the spirit behind it. There is a big difference, and I'm happy with my choice. No-one (not even that little voice in the back of my head) is going to railroad me back into feeling guilty every single day of my life, just because I’m not perfect. I’m over it.
God is not a god of guilt. Guilt is purely a tool of the enemy. That’s not to say that God doesn’t make people feel convicted of sin, because he does, but again – there’s a big difference. Guilt is a never ending hole, whereas conviction is a tool to let you see your mistakes and turn around and change and make things right.
God doesn’t want you (or me) to not care about doing things wrong, but he doesn’t want us to dwell on it either. You must deal with it, but you must also move on. 



Thursday, 5 September 2013

Just so we know.

There are a lot of things in this world, which I’m unsure about; God is not one of them.
Sure, a lot of my beliefs are shaky, but not the ones all about Him.
The uncertainty lies in my lack of knowledge, not in His lack of anything.
I get things wrong; this is no reflection on my savior. They are about me, and me alone. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Challenging Children’s Ministry

I volunteer as a children’s helper at various Christian events, so I get to thinking about kid’s ministry fairly often. What I hadn’t thought about, though, was something that I now see as both fundamental and glaringly obvious, yet it can be - and so often is - completely overlooked by the church as a whole. It is this: If we believe that Children can be Christians and that teaching them about God and the Bible is important – as important as teaching adults – then why is it acceptable/normal to devote less time, energy, prayer, money and man power to enable the ‘Sunday School’?
Let me put it this way, if ‘regular’ preachers stayed in a church for only a few short months at a time, or if those preachers did very little preparation before the service, the church would be considered a sham. Everyone would see these things as major problems. But when kid’s leaders are on a conveyor belt, coming in and out of the ministry, this doesn’t cause an eyelid to be batted. Why is that? Why doesn’t lack of consistency in our children’s ministry bother us? Jesus cared (/cares) a great deal about Children, and their faith, so why don’t we pay as much attention?
I say these things as challenges, not as judgments, for I am as guilty as everyone else. If this had not been pointed out to me I don’t think I would have ever thought of it myself. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Quick Note About Churches

Today I felt God impress upon me, the importance of belonging to a church. It matters to God that we are in fellowship, and if it matters to God then we should take the decision about what church we attend seriously. Just felt God really wanted me to emphasize this:
You should never move church on a whim!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Friendships, Continued.

After posting THIS a couple of months ago I was talking about the same topic with my pastor and was reassured that it’s not just me who can’t get past surface deep friendships most of the time. The way he sees it, most people in our modern society have this problem but either aren’t aware of it, or don’t even consider it to be a problem. And that makes sense, I suppose, because if quite a lot of people genuinely aren’t bothered by shallow friendships it would explain why there are so many of them around. And the reverse is true too, in that, if everyone was just seeking deeply fulfilling friendships I don’t think there’d be many shallow ones around.
That’s not to say that the people content with just shallow friendships are wrong, and need to change necessarily, it’s just that I have a different set of values from such people.
Anyway, my pastor went on to say that he felt I should indeed be putting down roots here, so I’ve decided to give it a go and it *seems* to be going okay so far.
Almost as soon as I finished praying about getting more connected in fellowship with my church, whatever invisible barrier there was between me and the rest of the congregation, feeding my social awkwardness, appears to have been lifted and that’s really great. I am thankful to God for the closeness I now feel, we’ll just see how the rest of root development goes… 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Looking Back on 2012

As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I started 2012 being challenged about standing firm in my faith and, again, I’ve admitted elsewhere that I went on to stuff up quite spectacularly.
When I failed to stand firm I assumed that God’s efforts to teach me about being resolute had gone to waste but I really should have known better.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard about God’s ability to teach us more through weakness than strength, or about the joy He has in taking bad situations and bringing good from them, and yet I forgot about all this at the time, because I was so caught up in focusing on my mistakes that I lost sight of who God is, how He works, and how He loves. I am very thankful - so so so so thankful – that God has given me a second chance to refocus my [spiritual] eyes on these things.
It’s only recently that He has shown me that I did indeed learn a lot about standing firm last year, despite my sin, because God didn’t give up on teaching me.
His word says he teaches and corrects the ones he loves, and to that, all I can say is: Hallelujah.

God has not left me, and I continue to pray that I’ll never be so stupid as to leave Him again.