I’ve been thinking a lot about advent recently. Advent is defined as the arrival of a notable thing or person. The Jews were living in advent of the Messiah. We live in advent of our own selfish desires. We are desperate for them, they consume us. There is one other thing we are waiting for, but we are not as desperate for – Jesus return.
Contrast that to the move my second eldest son and his wife are making later this week. They are moving into a house built in 1907 that requires much more work than the house next door to me. They will live in the house and tackle the task bit-by-bit, room-by-room. It is going to take quite a while.
We convince ourselves that we have some how escaped the sphere of God’s vision, knowledge, influence, and reach, and rather than turn back towards the light we retreat further into the darkness. The film Nightwatch put it like this ‘It is easier for a man to destroy the light inside him than to fight the darkness all around him.’
The mate tipped me out of my bunk and onto the deck of my cabin. “The crew are on strike. Get your backside down into number five hold and get sweeping. The old man (captain) is down there. If the old man is sweeping, then so are you.” (Polite version.)
His life had become a daily grind of serving seafarers, helping them make phone calls home, taking new paperback books onto the ships, etc. The excuse for resigning? “I’m nothing more than a telephonist and a librarian.”
That Norwegian couple made a great impression on me and I have never forgotten their hospitality or their generosity. I wonder if other Christians criticised them for buying beer for seafarers. I wonder if members of their church worried about them and considered them strange.
Having just finished a two-week business trip to New Zealand and Australia in December 2000 I had one day free …
I am not sure how you measure friendship, but the best friend I have ever had is a man I …
I have just been challenged and moved by a blog featuring a 76-year old bridge that strikes fear into the …
Determined not to throw a good piece of furniture away I bought a furniture restoration kit on Amazon. I spent a quite bit of time working away on the unit and initially it looked good. But as the magic potions dried out the damage was just as evident as ever.
The Bible describes itself as a sword, in fact a double edged sword, yet many Christians use it like an umbrella rather than a sword. We cower under it, misusing and twisting it to protect ourselves from what God wants us to do, rather than letting it equip us to do what He wants us to do. The time we do actually unsheathe the sword we are so untrained with it we usually end up damaging ourselves or other Christians with our wild swipes and swings, and that’s not to mention the Christians who deliberately use it to engage in friendly fire incidents.
Sinking into quicksand is not a pleasant experience. As part of fieldwork while at university we used to play around …
The other night I worked a late shift at my other job. I got home at something like 1am. Now we have one of these PVC doors, which means that if you try and open it when there are keys in the other side you are not going to be met with the warmth of your home, and the sweet taste of unlocking success. That is exactly what happened on this early morn. I slid the key in but it would not budge. I contemplated falling to my knees, hands held aloft to the heavens, screaming ‘Anna why have you forsaken me’ but decided that, on this occasion, that would be overly dramatic.
And then at 2100, 15 minutes before the gig should end, the main act start their set. After a 12 hour journey where they have witnessed multiple accidents, phoned me so much that their batteries have died, got lost in Scarborough when they were only five minutes away from the church.
Even people who are insecure about themselves are self centred thinkers, they must be. It might not be the most positive thinking but it’s about themselves. When Jesus told us to love others as much as we love ourselves was it just a command or was it also a satirical observation on the state of humanity?
At those times I am a mess. A cacophony of desire and sadness, a mix of learning to let go while holding on. Then I remember that however much I try to protect myself, in the end my heart will out. I recently had a dream that I believe God spoke to me through, the dream was about taking satisfaction from the wrong source, and then being surprised about the cost of doing this.
Moses expected to live out a royal life, until he killed a man. Joseph expected to be a favoured son, superior to his entire family, until his big mouth landed him in a deep pit. Jonah expected carnage until God brought revival. These men’s expectations for their lives were smashed, and they all experienced times of doubt, times in the pit (quite literally for Joseph). But all of their stories end in redemption. How did they get there?
When you assume you can will yourself to reach any goal, you’re forgetting that you’re only human. When you feel aggravated that you can’t stop stressing or worrying or crying over your current circumstances, you’re forgetting that you’re only human. When you think you should have known life would unfold this way and planned the next move, you’re forgetting that you’re only human.
Sometimes massive stuff happens to us and knocks us right off our feet. Sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. Some things are just too big
I don’t understand a lot of things. I don’t understand why God would let this happen after everything went so well with the IVF, I don’t understand why Anna and I who could provide a safe loving environment are struggling to conceive, when there are people out there who have children to increase their benefits. I don’t understand in any way shape or form miscarriage or how it could befall anyone, including the aforementioned benefit grabbers.