30 May 2010

The Fear...

"I don't know what's right and what's real anymore
And I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore
And when do you think it will all become clear?
Cause I'm being taken over by The Fear..."
Lyrics from 'The Fear', written by Lily Allen and Greg Kurstin

I've been looking closely at the words to Lily Allen's 'The Fear' for something I am planning for this year's SAFE School of Music & Drama (more later), and it's become something of a challenge to me to constantly push back my own boundaries - these limits aren't often my own, but are often set by others, telling me what I can't do, what I shouldn't do... even how I should feel about things. No wonder so many people these days echo the words, "I don't know how I meant to feel any more..."

As a Christian I am quite aware of my own failings, but the words that I hear from my Saviour are not telling me what I can't do, but what I can do - or at least I could do with just a little more courage.

2 Timothy 1:7 (New Living Translation)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

28 May 2010

Faith is...

Hebrews 11:1 (New International Version)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Two blog entries in one day - but it is an exceptional day!

The words from Hebrews 11 have been swimming around in my mind all evening, following a particularly challenging day at work (actually, it was from the song by Doug Horley, proof that these worship songs do help you learn key bible verses). At last, pieces of the jigsaw of my life seem to be coming together!

What I received this evening was nothing less that a real revelation - an assurance that I have a way that I need to pursue. It's God's way and not man's way. In fact, some of the methods that have been used in previous years to 'distract' me from the right path have finally come to light. If what I'm considering doesn't follow logic, this has to be because I'm trusting Him. I believe that I have received the faith for which I have been praying for a LONG time.


John 14:2-3 (New International Version)
2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

24 May 2010

Pondering and Brooding

Long time followers of this blog will know that I frequently take time to mull over a particular situation before making a decision. Like Mary, I tend to 'ponder these things in my heart' (see Luke 2:19). I'd like to think this was one of my strengths, as I tend to check things out for myself rather than take someone's else's word for it...

It's when things get beyond the pondering stage and when I start brooding over things that things need to change. Brooding can be defined as 'persistent morbid meditation on a problem'. Bit too far, that.

It's time to take a stand.

19 May 2010

Suffer the little children...

definition of the verb 'to suffer':

  • to undergo (something painful or unpleasant, as injury, grief, a loss, etc.); be afflicted with
  • to undergo or experience (any process, esp. change)
  • to allow; permit; tolerate
  • to bear up under; endure: now chiefly in negative constructions, e.g., they could not suffer opposition
Meanings of words tend to evolve as the years roll by. Such are the benefits of a living language! A good case in point is the verb 'to suffer', which in our modern day world tends to denote pain or discomfort in some sense. One drawback to this is the way that it tends to distort some time-honoured phrases, clouding their meaning. One example is the words of Jesus that are recorded as 'suffer the little children' in the King James translation of Matthew's Gospel. A lot has happened to the English language since this translation was completed in 1611!

Ever keen on the obvious play on words, journalists often use this as a banner headline when it involves children suffering in some way, but this is of course not what was meant at the time the Greek words were translated. A quick look at a Greek Interlinear Bible makes things a bit clearer, or ideally a more modern translation ...

Matthew 19:14 (New International Version)
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

The words of Jesus are always worth studying - however, let's remember that we need to dig a little into what is being said... let's not let the passage of time keep us from hearing God's word to us today.

12 May 2010

Waiting Around

Matthew 25:1-13 (The Message)

1-5 "God's kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn't show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

6 "In the middle of the night someone yelled out, 'He's here! The bridegroom's here! Go out and greet him!'

7-8 "The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, 'Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.'

9 "They answered, 'There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.'

10 "They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

11 "Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, 'Master, we're here. Let us in.'

12 "He answered, 'Do I know you? I don't think I know you.'

13 "So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive."

9 May 2010


We've heard a lot this week about choices. The general election has dominated the news, encouraging us to exercise our democratic rights, and yet the individual choices that each of us has made has led us this country into a situation where further choices need to be made by political leaders in order for parliament to function. I'm sure there's plenty more that needs to be discussed before the final choice can be made!

The CO's message at the Hall today also touched on choices... each of us make decisions of what we will do each day - how much or how little we will do for God. Some decide to give Him their all.

In my own life I regularly encounter choices each day. Some will agree with the choices I make; they may sometimes take me to task for what I do, how much I do. I understand their concerns, I'm still trying to make the right choice. My recent studies on Martha and Mary reveal that each of them made a choice on that day, recorded for posterity in scripture. Both pastimes undertaken were worthwhile - who is to say which choice is the best?

More later...

4 May 2010

ROOTS 2010

Such a tremendous blessing being at The Salvation Army's ROOTS Convention this weekend. I'll be unpacking a lot of what has occurred over the next few weeks, but the main points for me have been as follows:
  • God is in charge of my life, however He still needs me to be involved. I obviously can't run it all myself and He is gracious enough to give me options. It's the balance I can't get right... what part of it is God's responsibility and what is mine - and that's something I need to work on. And the work he's given me to do starts today!
  • The 'absent-minded professor' within me needs to be dealt with. It's really time to crack down on that...
  • There's also the whole Mary-Martha issue which still needs addressing (Luke 10:39-42). More on that later...
  • Above all, God loves me so much. Why, He even gives me unexpected little treats, so uniquely crafted so even in a convention centre 200 miles from home, what was happening has particular meaning to me. Thanks!
  • O Joy that seekest me through pain,
    I cannot close my heart to thee;
    I trace the rainbow through the rain
    And feel the promise is not vain,
    That morn shall tearless be.
    (SASB 621, v3)