Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Starving Jesus

Sometimes books just come along at the right time. Dave Currie is like my local library as he is always giving me good books to read - so thanx Dave.

I'd seen this book about and heard about it, especially when Craig was over with in November, but don't know why I didn't read it then. You know when you read, and you're like, "I should read more, rather than sit and waste my time on Football Manager..."

Anyway I'm nearly finished the book so will blog later what really inspired me, but really want to encorage people to read this

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lay Witness

Wanted to commenton a 'Lay Witness' weekend that I experienced for the first time. Katrina and Cheryl had organised for 13 people to come to Newtownabbey Methodist and minister to the congregation there. Now me being a Baptist and all....

Seriously tho it was really interesting as an outsider to come in an witness, experience and observe people open up to one another. Interesting as well, cos most of the people who shared were feeling tired and weary.

What struck me was this expression of Church. On Sunday night there was a celebration service for the weekend. There wasn't a dry eye in the house! But it was amazing. Honesty, silence, love, compassion, thanksgiving, release, hurt, pain, healing, praise, encouragement, victory and freedom.

Why do we have order and ritual and formality? Why do we have an order of service? Why is there an agenda? And do people find freedom when we continually do this every Sunday? Is comfort good? Is tradition strangling us?

We need to wait on God. We should stop and be still. We should, but we don't. We could but we can't...

I love hearing testimonies. I love the fact that people get up and say, "Oh I'm not a speaker" or "I'm no good at this" and they are brilliant and normally far better than the ordained! Why cos they are honest, they are raw, they have passion and they have something real. I don' think you could have this format every week as it would be far too emotional and draining but maybe thats what the Church needs - a bit of emotion. Something that when you go into work on Monday morning, you look as rough as those people with hangovers but you have a lightness in your spirit and you can share with your workmates that Jesus is alive, that God is faithful and that you had an amazing weekend which you can remember!

So I pray for the Church in Newtownabbey as I feel this weekend coming is so important. I pray for those in leadership for wisdom. I pray that they rest, that they are revived and refreshed.
Some verses that came to me was from Luke 10 v38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Drawing out of a dry well

Well well well! Apparently today is the most depressing day of the year for everyone. Finance, credit cards, debt, waiting for next months wage packet, weather, cold, wet, floods....
"I'm wrecked" is what I normally say, apparently all the time, but its more than that. It's like tired and weary. Maybe it is the weather effecting me. Been thru so much with YFC over the past 6 months, I think its taking the toll on everyone. Steve is over in Canada and Gav is off on paternity, so missing the boys in work as well.
Was looking for a good picture to use and came across some really interesting and provacitive pics. Wanted a picture of a dried up well, or someome trying to draw water from a well and came across pictures of people in Africa, with smiles on their faces, drawing water from a dirty well. You think these people have something to be tired and weary about? I get to go home and crash on a really comfie sofa and watch TV. Probably feel so down cos I'm just looking inward. I dont feel down in my life, just maybe in work I feel down or tired and weary.
Looking out the window now, the Lagan is overflowing. What a picture that is!
Other pictures I came across was Jesus at the well. But why is it that even tho I know Jesus is living water and if I go to Jesus I wont thirst again - why is it that I do? Is Jesus not enough? Is the problem with me? How many Christians do I know who are satisfied and content and at peace???

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hudson Taylor

Katrina has passed on this book to me about Hudson Taylor - which we will probably name our children after as Katrina is in awe of this bloke and I'm beginning to see why!

Hudson went to China as a missionary and took on their customs, lifestyle, language to basically become Chinese in order to gain respect and credibility. An interesting read so far.

Want to encourage others to read about these guys: George Muller, Hudson Taylor, David Livingstone. Think we can learn a lot from them. Any other recommendations?


So probably like every good Christian I've started reading thru Genesis - new years resolution and all that. A couple of things on this before I go on:
  1. How come some Christians have never read thru the whole Bible?
  2. Why do we fog off new years resolutions as if they are bad and legalistic?

So I've probably managed to offend some or make others feel guilty but come on lets get serious! If we say we are Bible believing Christians (and who says that?!) then we need to know what is in there. Many and I mean loads of Christians do or don't do certain things cos of what the Bible says, yet when you (or I!) ask them where do you find that in the Bible they have no idea. Some Jews can recite the whole Bible. Jewish young people can recite the first 5 books of the OT, and these are the books we kinda leave out...I'll just leave this hanging....

"But the Pharisees knew all the Bible and didn't know God!" - true

"Some people worship the Bible more than they worship God!" - true

So is it good to read the Bible? Is it good to make people feel guilty about not reading the Bible? Should we include the Bible in our talks or read the Bible out more??