Saturday, 28 April 2012

Stop That, It's Silly.

A couple of years ago, someone very kindly told me I reminded them of the Black Knight in the Monty Python film The Holy Grail! No, I hadn't been involved in a sword fight and lost all my limbs, but I was involved in a battle - a battle within myself in which I couldn't at that time accept I needed help.

It was quite obvious to those around me that I was struggling, but I was insisting to everyone "I'm alright" my close friends began to accept that as code for "I'm far from alright, but I can't possibly admit that, because it will reveal me to be an obvious failure and a worthless individual, so please, help me"
Anyway, I was reminded of this comparison this week because Hubby and I went to the Theatre, dahling, for his birthday to see 'Spamalot' the stage production of the Holy Grail, which I would highly recommend if you're a Python fan, if not you'll just find it 'silly'!
The poor old Black Knight has every limb chopped off and insists there's nothing wrong it's just a flesh wound, he's had worse, it'll heal etc. to the bemusement of King Arthur who can clearly see he is fatally injured and has in fact lost that particular battle.  He simply will not accept he's defeated.
God does not expect or want us to deal with life's struggles on our own, we simply aren't made that way, we need the companion and compassion of others in order to survive
Psalm 55:22 ESV
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Galations 6;2 ESV
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Whatever circumstances you find yourself in today, if you are telling yourself and others that you are 'alright, it's nothing, I can deal with it', be honest with yourself and with God and if you need the help of someone around you who loves you, accept it.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Things We Do For Charidee.......

So, as some of you know myself and a few chums are taking part in the Bristol 10k on 20th May in aid of the causes that Love Running are supporting.  
Well with not long to go and quite frankly very little ability of 'running' anywhere I thought I better take the opportunity to go out and do a bit of training.  I usually do this with my friend and it consists of fast walking and chatter with a bit of a token downhill sprint if the gradient obliges.
But today I decided to go out on my own and see if I could really push myself.  Well I did - onto all fours, but we'll get to that in a minute.

I am a little nervous of 'running' because my body doesn't seem to understand the concept of remaining upright at all times, on my first attempt I took a tumble and got 'baddies' on my knees. 
So today while out I was repeating the mantra in my head 'pick your feet up, pick your feet up'. I started off walking briskly, made sure no-one was looking and broke out into a run, I must've covered at least 15 yards before I had to stop and catch my breath. I was a little disappointed I hadn't gone  further, but not to worry; I picked my landmark, the start of a long straight road and started to run again. I ran for a minute and didn't need to stop so I carried on to the first junction, crossed the road, didn't need to stop, so I carried on.  I'd been running for about 2 1/2 minutes without stopping and didn't feel like I needed to 'I'm Forrest Gump' I thought, 'there's a chance I might actually be able to do this run' I started to feel really confident, thoughts of half marathons filled my mind and which charidee's I would like to raise money for.........the next junction came and went, I didn't need to stop, so I didn't.
Then into my vision came the incline 'don't panic' I told myself, 'you've done really well, just slow down and walk for a bit' so I fixed my sights on the landmark at the bottom of the hill 'if i can just make it to the dog poo bin........' then it happened.

The toes of my left foot stubbed into the pavement and down I went, resulting in baddies on my hands and very bruised pride.
It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that running and me aren't natural bed-fellows and there would be nothing for it but for me to humbly withdraw from the race. I started to compose my apologetic resignation in my mind and did some quick calculations as to how I could match the money already raised so as to soften the blow. 
Clearly the fact I have two left feet is a divine message from God Himself that He doesn't want me to run for the 'poor, oppressed and needy' who am I to ignore that sort of intervention...........or maybe it was a message from God telling me that things aren't straightforward, you are going to hit obstacles (in my case, usually the pavement) but the end goal is in sight and if you persevere you will reach that goal and your commitment to it will be rewarded.  
Fortunately I started to believe the latter, only this morning I had been looking at Exodus to Deuteronomy, where the Israelites faced many trials and wandered for years until finally reaching the promised land of Canaan, which goes to show that studying the Old Testament can be relevant to today! God had made a covenant with them that He would bless them with land and descendants and that covenant although it took time was realised. 
And our sponsors have made a covenant with us, that they will donate to the worthy causes we are supporting if we complete the race.  So I may stumble and trip my way through the whole thing but I will will reach the promised land on 20th May!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

What Is Wrong With The World?

Following on from listening to the Unbelievable podcast and then Justin Brierly asking the question on the facebook page, I thought I would expand my thoughts here, after all that is what a blog is for, right?

This was my short answer:

"Definitely a lack of love. If we all truly loved the way Jesus taught us to love, there would be an immediate improvement. Actually, even if just Christians started to actually love the way Jesus taught, there would be an immediate improvement!"

This started to really challenge me, how can we expect non-believers to show the love that Jesus taught about, when a lot of people who say they are Christians can't even achieve that.

Most of the atheists go with the opinion 'Religion' is what is wrong with the world and if we weren't so hooked up on living in fear of a God that doesn't exist and imposing His rules on people, everyone would get along just fine.

I stand by love, and this is somewhere I fail big time, but I am trying all the time to love more of the difficult people I come across and remember that they are equal in God's eyes.

Romans 13:8-10 ESV
"Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

We would all agree the commandments are a good moral grounding by which to live. Well as the Bible says, if we all loved, we would fulfil those commandments and therefore the world would be without murder, theft, jealousy etc and how could that not make the world a better place?

And if you're not a believer in God or don't think what the Bible says about love is relevant to the world today, that's fine - but you can't argue with The Beatles!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Some People Are Gay. God Loves Them

Oh dear, silly Christians, who think the best form of defence is attack.

This is the proposed slogan The Core Issues Trust want to put on London buses in response to gay rights group Stonewall who's advert said "Some people are gay. Get over it".

I'm a Christian, not sure if that's clear enough on this blog, but there you have it. I do believe homosexuality is a sin, as is sex before marriage, as is nicking paperclips from work, and there is suitable counselling out there for Christians who are struggling with these issues.  Although you may have to disassemble your paperclip model of Stone Henge and return the paperclips.

For as much as I do not want to know if you are Gay and 'get over it', what you do in your private life is up to you and what I do in mine is up to me; I believe we will both have to answer to God for it eventually. I do not think it is in any way correct for a counselling group to advertise their services via an obvious attack back!  It just confirms what a lot of people already think, that Christians are homophobic, intolerant and above all stupid!

I'm pretty sure The Core Issues Trust aren't homophobic, it'd be pretty difficult to counsel someone you're scared of.

I hope that they're actually, albeit a little misguidedly, trying to show God's love which covers mankind no matter what their gender or sexuality or stationary fetish. 

God loves you and if you're Gay and that's a problem for YOU, then God wants you to seek help with that.  If that is a problem for someone else, carry on as you are but don't tell us about it on buses.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Chocolate's Not Just For Easter........Or Something Like That.

Chocolate Eggs and Easter Bunny’s
Jesus died and I’m not being funny,
but what does that mean to you today?
What do you make of them taking Him away?
An innocent man, sentenced to death.
An innocent man’s final breath.
Can you accept that? Is that ok?
Would you allow that to happen today?
“No way” you say, “that’s just not right”.
“An innocent man? I’d put up a fight”.
Well go on then, fight for Him now
be on His side, make your vow.
He died for me, He died for you
And if we die with Him, we can live with Him too!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter, A New Start

Easter is more about 'new' beginnings for me than New Year is. I actually think it's my favourite celebratory season.  It hasn't quite yet hit the commercialism of Christmas (although it's getting there!)

However tenuous the links are between the Easter eggs, bunny's and chick's and the like and Jesus' death and Resurrection, there is more of a link there than tree's inside houses and gaudy tinsel and Jesus' birth!

I love the hope Easter brings of the restoration God can bring about in our lives, whatever is broken and hopeless, He is there and is able to say to us "I will make it new, you can start again with my help".

And just in case there is any doubt about that, I think someone that is able to make a dead person alive again is quite able to equip us to resolve our puny problems!

Luke 1:37 ESV
"For nothing will be impossible with God.”