On the afternoon of the day my emotions about being a dad caught up with my logic, I read these …
As I continue down the path that will eventually lead to ordination, or so God tells me, I learn and …
Our little boy has been with us a few nights now. It’s strange and unknown territory and there is so …
I really struggle with impossible goals. I am not talking about aiming high, but genuinely impossible targets. At secondary school …
In his sermon and book ‘The Freedom of Self-Forgetfullness’ Timothy Keller talks about getting to the place where the ego …
When I prioritise the relationship rather than the arrangement I find it easier to maintain both. I don’t hold myself to a legalistic schedule, I operate grace and somehow it has worked.
But more than the experience of seeing God in the night sky I also remember the sense of His presence as I acknowledged His craftsmanship. That sense of His presence was accompanied by God’s loving touch right there in the darkest portion of the night, in the middle of the ocean.
Despite my fear of falling great distances to a painful death amidst crumpled steel and shattered concrete, my job requires me to drive a large school bus across a 76-year-old death trap 4 times a day. The picture you see (hopefully) was taken from inside my bus at the very point where the bridge is the weakest (and most likely to kill me). But because I need extra money to take care of my family, and because I want to keep my job, the route I drive requires me to put my faith in this bridge. There is no other option.
My problem was how? How do I do life well? How can I live a life that pleases God? It must be possible, the bible talks about people who please Him. I found little success. I’d been taught that grace was only about being forgiven. Forgiveness is awesome, but on its own it can be a fresh start ready to be messed up again. My gratitude for God’s forgiveness didn’t seem to achieve much more than good intentions.
I don’t know about you but I want to contribute to life – I want a chance to give something of myself: to God, to my ‘neighbour’, to creation.
For over 30 years on this fine earth my teeth had done me proud. I literally bathed them in all manner of sugary goodness but they would not bend, break or snap. I followed up candy floss with full fat carbonated drinks morning, noon and night, but my faithful nashers remained solid.
Are we so different? We may not be match fixers but we all have our short cuts. Pornography can be a short cut for sex – it’s not as satisfying, or so I’m told! The lottery is a short cut to riches – if you’re lucky! Beer is a short cut to happiness and a good time. Facebook a short cut for friendship?! But do short cuts satisfy, or ultimately, do we just get lost?
God loves me. I know it. I know it in my bones, but more than that I see it. Demonstrated in a plethora of ways each and every day. Hang on. I just lied to you. I said I see it every day.
I said I know it.
One of the patients we visited was a small baby who was waiting for a liver transplant. The poor little lad was full of tubes, and a strange shade of yellow. As we walked into the room his parents jokingly asked what blood type I was – to see if I would share a piece of my liver! And this set me thinking… why not?
At the same stage in my life I was more focused on my career and saving the money I needed to get married and purchase a home.
In that moment I was a mix of anger and despair. Anger because despite following the instructions it still didn’t work, and despair at being reminded that here was another simple task I could not perform. While my friend, God bless him, who has just moved in down the road is building shelves from old drawers, painting the house from top to bottom, working shifts and looking after two kids under three, I was struggling to patch a hole the size of a pinprick. And if I couldn’t do that, in what other arenas would I fail to live up to my designation as a man? I have already failed to provide my wife with a child, she is the main breadwinner, my lack of DIY nous means I am relegated to performing even simpler chores such as hovering, ironing and emptying the dishwasher.
I was broken, and I was furious. How could this happen? How could he do that? How could society allow that? How could God allow that?
I make no claim to literary genius, I am just beginning to peel back the oppression of ‘adulthood’ to let my creativity loose!
Waves of Grace
As I swim my life matches the rise and fall of the waves…
The time came for questions from the floor and I, still seething, slowly raised my hand. ‘You say that faith is a crutch for the weak’ I aimed directly between his God denying eyes, ‘But you have a faith, you might not call it God, but you believe in something – does that make you weak?’ Revelling in my quick witted challenge I sat down, while all atheist boy could mutter was ‘Good one.’
The thing is churches often flip that around and expect people to behave long before they believe and certainly before they belong. Not only is it pious to the extreme but also it’s heresy. Yeah you heard me, I did just go there.