Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Read on to life!

My first post in a long while. God bless all who read this!

I'm now located in Gibraltar with my new wife (our first anniversary is coming up a the end of this month) and we're enjoying settling into our first little place of our own, as we work and help to minister in the Cityline Church here.

One of the things we've started as a church is a daily Bible reading plan, two chapters a day, moving chronologically through the Bible, and doing related group studies weekly. (It should take us about a year and a half to finish).

It's a wonderful, though sometimes challenging, experience to be part of a very small but tight-knit group of believers. Having begun this process of Bible reading one lesson that must quickly be learned is that if we do not encourage one another and visit with one another (even telephonically - is that a word?) there is no Christian and no group that will not suffer. As such, I wrote this encouragement as I sent out the second, bi-monthly reading plan. If anyone wants to join in you're more than welcome, but whatever you're reading, I want to encourage you to keep on at it no matter what. Even right at the beginning of the Church, the apostles had to exhort the churches to be in the word and faithful to it. We have all learned from life that whenever we are physically tired or drained everything else gets so much harder, even emotionally and mentally. So too, if we do not nourish ourselves and exercise ourselves in the word, we get spiritually drained and then sin comes so much easier to us. Christ is always there to pick us up, but oh the frustration and discouragement we go through! Repeated failure has to be one of the most common and most powerful of spiritual discouragements and sources of depression. Many times, however, repeated failure comes from a lack of adherence to a discipline or correction we already know or have just learned. It's like being brought by the elevator of life to the top of a cliff and finding that the next step is a jump to a new cliff. Unable to move back and afraid or unwilling to move forward we fall down. Getting up again we are soon returned to the same point but, whether for the same reason or a different one, we fall again. We will continue falling until we either make the leap to new ground.

Move on Christian! Further on, further up! (To steal a phrase from CS Lewis). What does it matter if a man loses the whole world but gains his soul? Cut off whatever sins hold you back, throw away whatever hides in your pocket close to your heart, leave behind the burden, and leap forward. Choose Christ, obey, and grow in discipline and holiness and faith. As it says in His word, "For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do." (Hebrews 6:10)

Engage His word, fill yourself up with it. Reject whatever thing consumes your time with Him and offer your time to Him once again as a holy gift, preserved and heartfelt.

And now let me remind you of the sweet taste of the divine waters of the word, and its life giving, youth-restoring power!

Psalm 19 gives us some of the benefits experienced by those who diligently read God's word:
"7 The law of the LORD is perfect,

refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 119 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path."
Then again it says, " 111I have inherited Your testimonies forever,
For they are the joy of my heart.
112I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, even to the end."

The rewards of studying the words and teachings of the perfect, loving God, the Creator and Father are many. There is much reward to be found in seeking Him through them.
Jesus gave this parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." Matt 13:44
What would any man do after buying that field? Would he not return to it and work hard to dig out out the treasure and then put it somewhere safe, and treasure it always? Now compare that verse with this, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings." Prov. 25:2

God has called us kings and princes, and indeed, as co-heirs with Christ we are exactly that. Noble princes and princesses of God, sons and daughter, made noble by God. Now the Kingdom of Heaven is more than just the Bible, but the Bible - the words and teachings of God - are a part of God's Kingdom. As such, the task of digging into it, and also selling what we have that we may buy it, are a part of our relationship with God through His word.

It costs us to read. All of us. He set it up that way for a reason. The word of God is a great treasure, with more to be discovered than the greatest minds can perceive and yet with simple beauty that the simplest of us can enjoy and benefit from.

Yet, despite all of the great benefits which we receive from devoting ourselves to regular reading and study of God's word, the greatest treasure of pursued Bible reading and study is this:

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:10-12)

The first and most important worth of Scripture, (and without this everything else is worthless) is to introduce us to, and help us to know, God. What we will find is that all of the things we have found beautiful and loved were crafted in His hands and that He is the source of all life and love and beauty. At the end of it all, we will find that the greatest treasure of all is Him.
It is a mystery, a beautiful, wonderful mystery, and one upon which we embark every time we enter His word.

Will you choose to buy Him through His word and with our time, and with our pursuit of Him and obedience to His instruction?

I pray God's blessings on you as you continue to enter His word, and that He would reveal Himself, and deep truth, to you as continue deeper into it. It is an adventure many have taken before, and many are taking with you now, in these days. It begins now and it never ends, with Him.

Remember, in the mid-1800's a great man named JC Ryle wrote this, "There is more Bible buying, Bible selling, Bible printing and Bible distributing than ever before in our nation. We see Bibles in every bookstore; Bibles of every size, price and style. There are Bibles in almost every house in the land. But all this time I fear we are in danger of forgetting that to HAVE the Bible is one thing, and to READ it quite another." ( Practical Religion, JC Ryle) The 1800's! The challenges we face in our lives now, today, in reading the Bible, in praying, and living the true Christian life, are exactly the same as those faced by those who have gone before us. Never believe the lie you are alone. You are not. You are one more, of many Christians, running the hard fought race, and earning the crown that will never be destroyed.

Fight on Christian soldiers! Fight on my brother! Live on! Love on! Believe on! Pray on! Persevere! The finish line is nearer than you think! And Christ, who gave and suffered all to have us and be with us, will not now fail to draw near to bear us forward. Only trust Him, lean upon Him, when weak or without sight or understanding, trust on! And He will bear you to the victory line just as sure as we are weak and heavy, He is strong, and He cannot deny Himself, for He has committed Himself to us and is faithful and true!

So press on through everything and persevere, and let His word enrich you and fill you fully - heart and mind and spiritual stomach. It is the nourishment we need to run the race. Read on! Fight on! Love on! Forgive on! And know that He is with you and preparing a place for you! For this is no our home. And without the Word, we might occasionally feel that it is not, but we would never know that one awaits us. Read on! Seek on! And I will see you there!

"Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Saviour.
Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Standing Still

Where are you heading...and are you leaving today or tomorrow?

Still facing some of the biggest decisions I've had to make in my life I've been lead to think a lot about the eternal purposes of God. The more and more my life has opened up and I've looked at options before me the more and more I find that the only things that matter are those thing that are going to last forever. The Kingdom of God - that which is coming and that which God is making at this very time in and through each and every day - seems be the thing with which we, who are seeking to follow God, should concern ourselves most. Certainly, as I look and seek to choose a path for myself I find that the bigger the question or possibility before me the more I must weigh it in the light of eternity and the service of the Kingdom.

It's been a difficult process and I hardly feel able to comment having not yet come to a final decision with all that is before me. I wanted to share something that has made itself very evident to me. God is on the move. This isn't some attempt at prophecy nor do I mean it as a cliche statement. It's nothing new. Yet it's something that I think sometimes we forget. Sometimes I think we look at our lives and all that's going on, we think about our plans and where we are going, we think maybe about the world, and we think of God as an observer watching us move along before Him and eager to get involved. Yet the truth is that whether our lives seem to be in a whirlwind or seem to be going nowhere, there is no-one who is moving or acting as much or as fast as God.

The first time we see God is in Genesis, hovering, brooding, preparing, right before He launches into creation, and He hasn't stopped acting or moving since. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 teaches us that the purpose of God on Earth has been our reconciliation to Him. It has been His purpose through history, is His purpose every day we live on Earth and will not be complete until we rest with Him in eternity beyond this Earth. God is moving, He has plans laid out and nothing can interfere with these, although He gives each of us the option to be involved with Him in them; to take part in His creation of eternity.

It's an amazing thought, and as I said, with my having been stood still in this one spot for such a long time the truth of living for the eternal has begun to glow brighter and brighter before me until it began to glare. As we stand and each day passes so the purposes of God roll on. He works in every life that exists upon this Earth, and no doubt also in governments and actions spanning generations, defying human memory and beyond any human mind. Each day we rise to greet a new morning and watch another day come and another day go. As Christians what are we doing with this time and what are the meditations of our hearts? Are we standing still, are we moving in circles. Are our hearts full of plans and desires so that whilst we acknowledge God and try to seek Him we do not consider the movement of His plans or our place in them? I have come to realise that my life may be still, but God's is not. I could vanish from this Earth tomorrow and God could erase every memory of me, and His purposes will stand - with or without me.

Often times I've imagined great things for my life, thought big ideas and dreamed great dreams, dreams of being woven into the plans of God but it occurs to me, and I've heard it before in Oswald Chambers, that we wait for the great things to come at the peril of today. Oswald's reading for September 10th speaks something to this. My whole life, all the ministry I will ever be able to do is that which is before me today. I can think of how I might encourage many in far away places or in the setting of some church or other, yet those are just possibilities that don't exist yet. They are fancies compared to the real people and opportunities I have around me today. Certainly God prepares things for us to do and will no doubt bring the future things to pass yet the only doorway I have to the future is today. I can and will never get to the plans of tomorrow if I am standing still today, or moving with consideration of Him.

There's more on this that I want to write but rather than open up another can of worms right now I think I want to keep the point simple. As Christians we cannot now ignore the reality which has been opened up to us. We cannot relegate the truth of eternity to the realm of future fantasy as though we will reach it eventually but we can forget about it because it has no bearing upon how things are now. Nor can we acknowledge the reality that eternity is in progress working and being created now, and continue to live according to the boundaries and values the rest of the world uses, leaving our life or actions unaltered, undevoted.

I want to encourage every Christian to truly consider the revelations and the lessons of the Gospel and the realisation that we can spend our lives doing many things but only God's Kingdom will remain. All other kingdoms, all other empires and establishments, lines and families will come to an end. It's a stunning truth but I believe it's a truth nevertheless, that the only thing worth devoting our lives to is God and His service, if we don't devote ourselves to that then we may as well not devote ourselves to anything at all - the time may pass quicker but the end result will be the same.

So it is I find that each day I come to the Lord and I find hope. Whatever the past, however blank the future appears to be, I know that my God is in the present and He is moving, moving fast and with great purpose, and each day He beckons me to join Him on His ride through time; to go with Him on this eternal adventure. I have to choose fast, because the day passes quickly and before I know it I could find another one wasted. If it does end up that way, at whatever point I come to my senses He is always everywhere and always ready to take me onboard, but I don't have to waste it. That first day might not be spectacular or all that I dreamed I might ever do but it is the doorway to the future, the first step into the great plans of God. Each morning I know that I have a choice, and having realised that and knowing that there is nothing else I step up and each day I make that choice, I ask Him, "Lord, on this day, whether tomorrow comes or not, weave me into Your plan." From then on I keep my ear to the ground, seek to live intentionally for the purposes of God and spend whatever time I can with Him or seeking Him.

My God is good, and I have decisions to make, as do we all. As for me, I will surrender my circling to the Lord and choose Him, what about you?

God bless,


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Roads and Red Tides

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

For almost two years now I've stood at a crossroads. Partly coming from circumstance and shifting situations, yet I know that God is there too. During this time my life has come to a halt. Working has ceased, my routine has crumbled down to the bottom line - leaving only what is necessary to move from day to day - and though sometimes others call me over to help them with something on their path, when I return to my own those here I am.

I’ve been here now for what feels like a very long time. For these two years all my journeying has been inward not outward. Who I am inside has been moving on or shuffling round but my feet have not budged. I see so much darkness inside, at times I feel as though I will never get anywhere I desired, that I am destined to be stuck in a cave away from everyone else. I wonder, “How far was Gollum before he couldn't come back?” I’m always wrestling though because I can't give up - even if I'm not sure I'll win. Always pondering too about that outward decision and which path to take. Sometimes it feels as if I'll never take either and will be stuck here forever. Is this how it was supposed to be?

I look at myself and wonder who I've become. Perhaps this is who I've always been only now the curtain is pushed back, the uniform is off, and here is what has always lied beneath, certainly I am not now where or who I thought I would be. So I look back to try to find myself, to try to find some anchoring truth to help me decide, to help me move on dependable ground, to make the right decision even if it isn't the easiest.

The story wouldn't be complete, however, if I didn't mention there wasn't hope. Though I see much darkness now and the curtain is removed yet is this not a necessary step? Better to have the curtain pulled back and begin the long road to restoration than wander around concealed, even to myself, and never know the truth or have integrity. That is one of my greatest desires, to be sound, to be integrity. I suppose it is a part of the Truth which I value so much, more than anything. Truth in reason, truth in knowing, truth in being, even my own being. I want to be true.

Therefore, seeing reality is a part of that, yet that reality now battles with the other desire within me - to be good. At times I want to be good so much that I am willing to sacrifice truth that I may have it - at least - the appearance of it. It can't last though because reality…is. What's more, my desire for truth will not let me rest like that.

Truth and goodness, they keep me moving on. Though sometimes reality dictates the pace and, oh, how slow it has often seemed, especially now, especially recently.

So here I am sat at that crossroads with my chest pulled apart and looking into my own heart. So much of it has been blacker than I imagined, and how surprisingly mysterious. Yet the truth is that it is not all black. The goodness wasn't all a veil. Some of it is red. Some deep red, and I think, just maybe, the black is in parts becoming red too. I think it's getting better.

Seeing that makes me think of something else that's true - it lifts my eyes to a truth that sometimes I've forgotten but when I remember it, I know there's hope and it gives me joy. The reason I know that there is red, there reason I know it has gotten redder, is because of the Blood.

In all my failings, in all my worthlessness and lack of direction I am truly pitiful and barely a man. I am a small tiny drop in an ocean of generations. Years go by, men live and die and are born. Nations and ages pass. Rules and rulers, customs and accomplishments, and I so small in all of this, in that perspective. Yet, that perspective which is true also shows something else, that over all of this, while I am small, yet it is great. As small as I am in the face of all these things, He and it, are great, even more so.

Jars of Clay wrote a song - Jesus' blood never failed me yet.

I search for truth and I am finding it. I search for goodness and I have found it lacking and I despair. Oh, but then I see the redness and I look and I see the blood, and I know that it is coming. More and more. Above and beyond all things I have given myself to it before and so now I am bound to it and I know that His crimson tide will wash over me, and just as nothing else can stand in its way, nor can I.

So I sit here still, not knowing how things will end up, still having to make a decision, still being who I am, but it all seems less now for in my heart there is a little light, a light of hope, and it wont go out.

God bless,


1 Corinthians 4:2-5

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Piece Of Me: Aged 26

Well, whilst normally I like to write things that might be uplifting, encouraging, challenging or perhaps instructive it occurs to me that life here on this black page can go from day to day and show you the things I'm thinking and what might be going on or coming from my heart but may not always give a sense of the routines and happenings that we all go through in life here on earth. So it is I thought I'd just jump in and say, it was my birthday on Saturday. July 8th.

That's one of those special days for me. One I look forward to. When I was in school a lot of my friends would miss my birthday because we'd be into the summer holidays. Still, that did mean that the friends who lived closest to me and I could be certain that we'd be free to do something that day - assuming they weren't away. We could go play out on the street maybe handball or football (soccer) or something, or perhaps go up to the park or something. Or of course there were those silly party games which are still a favourite! These days in Tucson July means the 'monsoons' which I always enjoy, but not so much the good old fun of having your friends around to a party for which you had sent out cool little invitations to which they might have had to reply.

So I'm now officially listed one year older than I was a few days ago. My last birthday was a big one because on a run shortly after I had this sense, for the first time in my life that I was really now a man. That might sound a bit cheesy but there's a distinct difference when you go from feeling like a boy or a 'young man' to a man in your own right, and that happened for me last year. This one just now seemed to cement that a in, one year deeper. More and more I look forward to things God has planned, and to getting to work for Him in whichever way He chooses. Reading the biographies of men like Chambers, Taylor and others, I see their lives put to good use and I long for mine to follow that path also. Truly it is our lives are what we do with them, and I recall a lesson from Chambers who pinpoints, "Will is the whole man active. I cannot give up my will, I must exercise it. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God's Spirit."

Here is a day oh Lord, here is my life oh Lord, but I'm not going to just sit on it, I'm going to choose to pursue you and your word, to fill myself and my time with them, and I look forward to see what becomes.

God bless.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Piece Of Me: Aged 10

Whilst updating my CD, book and website listings (check them out) and old paperback came to mind and brought with it some very pleasant memories.

Back when I was in the final year at Castercliff County Primary School, I had the best, most wonderful, idyllic teacher in the young, beautiful and caring Miss Rowley - Miss Honey anyone? :)

Anyway, along with all the care and time she took with me, and no doubt others, one of the memories that sticks out as significant was her institution of an end of day class reading time. She chose a book called 'The Saga of Erik the Viking' - which sounded wonderfully exciting and adventurous and had me in anticipation - and we all sat down as she would read some of it to us when she had time at the end of a day.

Those times I remember fondly and I feel as though it was one of those life shaping times. It strengthened in me the sense of adventure, but also the moral strength of leading characters making good, wise and clever choices. That classic traits of ability, wisdom and wits. The art work in the book was wonderful too. Oh for growing up as a boy with an imagination whisked away to far away lands, and feeling the call and the rush of nobility and greatness. All within oneself, the possibilities were endless. I'm still the same now, the deepest parts of my heart have not changed.

Oh what it is to be true to one's heart. The gift of God.

It is not always easy to be true to that call, to who you are, especially when the ideas and images of the world press upon you. Even harder when it feels as though few around you seem to understand that heart. Making decisions along those lines takes a lot of courage I have learned. It's exciting to consider who you will have proven yourself to be when you make that decision, but still, you have to make it.

Men and women we must be. True, and honest and courageous. What's more, oh the help that can be found in two eyes which when you look into them, you find that same belief and joy looking back.

God bless and check out the book some time.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Interview Game - Revisited

About a year ago I was introduced to this blogging game by way of Mr. Dave Rattigan's Grace Pages. Following his post and simple explanation I emailed him telling him I'd be interested to play and soon enough he gave me five questions to answer. I wrote an entry answering those questions, which were mainly about myself, and should any be interested, that entry can still be found as a link on the right side of this page. It turns out though that I never offered the opportunity for interview to anyone else. After some inspiration to introduce the game to some of my friends who blog on MySpace (and there being a lack of anything particularly qualitative on that site) I offered them the chance to play. And now I do the same for you, since this is where it started. The rules and everything else can be found below, as well as the names of the people already playing. I'll take three more interviews, so if you want me to send you five questions, email me ASAP, and they'll be on their way.

God bless,



The Interview Game

1. Leave me an email, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3. You'll update your blog with my five questions and your five answers.
4. You'll include this explanation.
5. You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.


Players so far:

Lilminnieperk -

1 - Politics - Within our group of friends you stand out on your own as someone 'from the other side'. I know this can be a bit of a pain at times, for various reasons. With regards to this whole world of politics what for you is the true significance of politics and what are the most important considerations to be made?

2 - Music, Movies or Literature - If you could only have one for the rest of your life which would it be and why? Also, which of these do you feel is the most significant in the world today?

3 - Christianity not being something you grew up with what, from your perspective, has been the most awakening revelation of faith and what's the one thing you'd most like to change about the way you see Christianity practised - either near or far.

4 - Do you ever dream about living in another time or another setting? If so, where, when or which?

5 - You've said a few times that you'd like to be able to get to know me a little more deeply. Thank you! What qualities or characteristics do you most appreciate in people, and in particular, in those whom you see, or are seen, as spiritual leaders?

Mandy - Alright Amanda, sorry for the long delay in getting these questions out to you, I
hope this is worth the wait. :)

1 - Okay, first question to get you warmed up. From where I'm standing two of the biggest aspects of your life are music and the desire to make a difference through politics/national action. Let's say those two things disappeared from your life, what then would be the biggest things left?

2 - Second question. Jon's a really great guy, I admire him a lot and I think it's safe to say that the same is true for you, so I figure here's a chance to brag about him - sorry Jon, but you're a great guy. What things do you admire most about Jon and for what are you most proud of him? Anything else you want to say?

3 - Continuing on to relationship them, since it seems natural. Jon being that great guy and you being you others have talked about your relationship as being exemplary - patient, natural and upright. I haven't heard you talk much about it though, so I'm curious to get your thoughts on the value of romantic relationships in general and what would you say are the most significant aspects to be considered by anyone thinking about relationships? Also, if it varies, what most
do you value in your own relationship?

4 - For the fourth question I want to turn the attention towards Tucson and the girls of Grace. In growing up (both in faith and life) there have been so many different personalities and characters among you, yet you seem to have come together and learned from one another. Who, for you, has been the biggest rolemodel - someone you've aspired after - and also, pick three other girls who have taught you something and explain their affect.

5 - As each of us grow our grace and empathy tend to expand as we learn about frailty and weakness, especially as we learn of, and about, our own. Which struggle would you say you empathise with most and how would you explain the struggle to others that they might also learn to have more understanding and grace for those who suffer with it?

Thanks Amanda, and thanks again for waiting.

God bless.

Samantha - I'm really glad you signed up to play. Truly.

1 - Only a short while ago you moved to Arlington, Virginia to be with your
wonderful army husband, the ever lovely Stefan. :) There with your new daughter Natalya life for the both of you seems to really have taken off. Your blogs, though an unexpected surprise, have been both encouraging and challenging and you just seem so wonderfully happy it actually makes me smile to see you doing so well. My first question then, is how have things changed for you personally? I think we can all see the some of the outer effects and signs, what we don't see is what is going on inside. So, what's the difference since making this big but undoubtedly good transition?

2 - The second question on my lips is about the future. I know in the past both you and Stefan have thought about missions, but also clerical work. Whilst the focus for both of you right now has been, and will continue to be, on Natlya and setting up life in Arlington, do you guys have any specific plans, hopes or visions for the future? If so...what? :)

3 - Getting back to your blogs and faith, your subjects so far have been 'Fearing the Lord', 'Welcome Affliction' and 'the Holy of Holies'. From where you are now, and having seen what you have of life and all its changes, what one or two things would you speak to those who continue to live life here in Tucson?

4 - Sometimes I feel as if I know you well, other times very little. So what I want to know is, what does it mean to be Samantha Johnson?

5 - Hmm, having just asked that one a similar one has come to mind. My final question is about 'reminders'. Since you've just said what it means to be Samantha Johnson, by way of reminder, what would you say to your family that it means to be a McElroy, what would you say to the other in Tucson that it means to be a 'Gracer', and what would you say to me and Reub that it means to be an Avellano?

Dave Rattigan -

1 - As soon as I'd written this question for Lilian you came to mind so I'm also going to ask it of you. Music, Movies or Literature - If you could only have one for the rest of your life which would it be and why? Also, which of these do you feel is the most significant in the world today?

2 - Since we left RTC five years ago some amazing developments have taken place in both our lives and I think it would have been hard to imagine that we would be where we are. My question is at the point of our leaving Regents where did you think you would be in the future, and also, where did you think I would be? :)

3 - A gifted and forthright writer, intelligent, informed and thoughtful. You're also funny, caring and dependable. (Not to embarrass you!) Yet what one characteristic do you most wish you had?

4 - I mentioned significant changes. Whilst it undoubtedly began during college you have since then run far off to a more liberal 'station' of beliefs. All of us struggle with pride in our life and faith, how did that struggle feature for you in this transition?

5 - A few years on as someone who has taken up residence in 'the other camp' :) What are some of your current thoughts and feelings on 'right and left', conservative Christianity and your experience? Where do you see the Church headed?

Lasairiona -

1 – Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

2 – What one thing do you quietly most hope for yourself?

3 – If you could have grown up to become someone different, who would that person be?

4 – What is the hope that Jesus Christ offers you?

5 – Read Hebrews 12 and give it some thought, then comment on it. :)


Jaclyn - Sorry for the long wait on these, I hope you enjoy them. If I may, I'd like to throw six at you.

1 – You’re a reader, and a writer. Your heart lies firmly surrounded by friends and family but foremost before the throne of the Lord. The love fostered there now spills out through the Spirit to the other people you meet and you desire to reach out to those around the world. These things I believe I know about you, but, since I don’t know all the details of your life, the little things that make up your world – if you’ll allow me the liberty, I’d like to pull you out from that world of yours right now and place you into another. Let’s say it’s completely unfamiliar territory.Describe the setting. Who might someone there learn Jaclyn to be? How might you be? How might you feel? Also, feeling free to bring them in on this one, how might your friends/family describe you in these circumstances? If at all, how do you think you would differ or surprise them?

2 – You love missions. Which well-known, missionary/Christian figure do you most closely compare yourself or aspire to and why?

3 – Family and marriage are two big things that are talked about, admired and exalted in Christian circles throughout the world. There are conferences, ministries and more books than anyone would care to count. However, a life of undivided devotion without marriage, though spoken of by both Christ and Paul, often seems little spoken of or understood in churches. How would you defend and describe that call to those who might not understand it?

4 – In bringing up this interview game, you have made mention of propriety in dealing with this whole thing. Such a thing isn’t too common but was a pleasant surprise. If you don’t mind I’m going to take the liberty of running with that subject and bring up the context of guy/girl behaviour. Give three things you hold in high regard when it comes to relating to the opposite sex. What two things do you think guys should be most careful of in relating to girls, and then what two things should girls most be careful of? Finally, what one thing has been the most useful tool for you in balancing your own behaviour in this regard?

5 – You mention you’re an avid reader, if you could have every person on the planet read one book that is not a specifically Christian book (or the Bible) what would it be and why?

6 – If you could ask me one question in return, what would it be?

Jaclyn has posted and her answers can be found here.


Dawn - After a long wait, here are your questions...finally! Thanks for waiting.

1 – How has being a mother and a wife affected your perspective on your faith, what do you see now about life and faith and God that you did not before you were married and before you were a mother?

2 – Name one thing you believe your husband deserves more of from the world around him. Now name one thing he deserves more of from you.

3 – What one aspect of your husband do you find that you mostly silently admire, and what aspect of him do you think others miss that you would most like to loudly proclaim in a public setting?

4 – You have a baby son. By the time he is a man in his own right how do you imagine you would like the Church/church to be (assuming the Lord has not made His return!)?

5 - Also considering your baby son. If you could, how would you get the world to change to make things better for him?

6 – It seems that less men are attending church and women are more comfortable there. Some are talking of the feminisation of worship. What's your take on all this and how do you see the roles of men and women in church – what is right, what is wrong, where do you see things going (or needing to go)? Also, what things do you think might need to be done to bring things to where they need to be - what do you think women should expect/prepare themselves to do, and men?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Here Is A Day

“Here is a day oh Lord….what will you do with it?”

Well it’s been a while again but I’m here and it is good to be able to post. I'm still working on a few longer things and still there are some big things going on but after revisiting this which I transcribed to the computer a bit ago I thought I'd it. God bless.


This morning was just wonderful. Having taken the dogs out for their morning walk I sat down to get in some time with the Lord and His word and heeded His prompting to go get my notebook. It’s so easy for me to just open my Bible read through a few passages and just leave it at that, without having anything really stick. However, if I grab a pen and a notebook my times in the word take on a whole new atmosphere and aspect. So just as a quickie I highly recommend that when you go to spend some time with God, even if it’s just prayer, take a pen and a notebook and be prepared to write. Now, if I may, I’d like to share a little something from my pen this morning.

“Sitting at the table this morning with the freshness of the morning – the air, the light, the singing of the birds beyond the house – all is bright. I sit here with an open notebook before me and I could write anything. Ah, but not anything will do! … Perhaps even writing will not do!

For I sit here with an open book but also an open day - indeed even an open life. I have no sense about tomorrow or where my life will lead. So open! It is open, I am open – and oh, there is a feeling of joy here with me too. There seems to be a joy intertwined with this business of being at the beginning of something open. Look! Look around. Nothing can be predicted! Anything could happen, anything could be done – yet, it is true; not just anything will do. No, because as I sit here at this table, this morning, the joy in my openness comes from the fact that I am here…waiting. I am waiting for His arrival; waiting for the knock at the door, His stepping into my house.

Hmm…Openness is good because it means that one can be filled. Yet, if one does not have any expectation of being filled, openness can be daunting since it brings a realisation of emptiness. Considering a box, a box is not meant to be always empty. It is a container, designed to contain, to be filled. A box that goes its whole life empty is, literally, unfulfilled. It is a box that missed its calling. Still, it is necessary that there is a time when the box is open and empty, for if it were not – if it were always closed or if it were already full with dust or junk – it could not be filled, it would have to be emptied first. No, there is a proper time for openness and emptiness but that openness must also come with one more thing – expectation, the promise of being filled.

And so, here I am at this table. I have joy and I have expectation – because my life is open and I know it will be filled – for God does not despise an open box. He will have a purpose for it, He will fill it and the excitement is that I know not with what He will fill this day, this life. Perhaps He will fill this notebook, perhaps not. Perhaps He will have me serve a friend or a neighbour or even a stranger. Perhaps He will have me clean or perhaps when He comes He will lead me on to some adventure. Truly, I do not know how He will fill this day, I do not know how He will fill this life but I may have joy because I know when it comes it will be good - I will be satisfied and He will not waste an inch of space but will fill me to the brim.

I am, this day, open, and I am this day, empty. I have emptied out what is inside - some of it is junk and some are my own treasures – that I may be the best box that I can. What’s more, though I do not know when He will come, I will be ready. I will take care of this day and this life so that I will be open. I will not fill it with junk, with meaningless things, for I am a box – and I am open – and though I could be filled with anything, not just anything will do. He is coming, He has many purposes on which He is working, and I do not doubt that in some way or other He will be able to include me - include me in some eternal creation of God!

So here I am at this morning table. The birds are still singing, all things are still bright, the day is open and so am I. I will go now, and listen for His voice and rejoice in my day. When next we meet perhaps we may share the story of how we were filled.”


God bless.