Archive for April, 2009

Facing our Giants…

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Max Lucado wrote a book called Facing our Giants centering on the life of David.

In the current climate finances are our Giants. I feel if we, like David, focused on God and not on the size of our Giant we should overcome. Write a list of the effects of your Giant on your life then compare it to what God has done in your life. You will find that the Giant is not a major problem but an annoyance which, though still needing dealing with, will not control your life.

Go to the stream and select your five pebbles. God is on your side.

When worship becomes ritual….

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

It’s a really grotty day here. Very overcast. I was wondering why God couldn’t have made the morning like previous ones I’ve mentioned. Sunny and full of the signs of God’s hands. I really felt in the mood to worship then.

Then it hit me. Our God moved the door. The meeting point of the curtains isn’t where we expected it to be. We have to fumble around to find the opening. Are you following me?

God doesn’t want us to have the same experience again and again in the same way. This is when worship becomes ritual. God wants us to find new ways of reaching peace in worship, so he moves the door.

I’m sure you know what I mean. You’ve been in church worshiping to a particular song and you go higher than you have ever been. You feel you are having a personal audience with God. Its wonderful. Next week you sit in the same place, create the same environment around you and sing the same song, yet no meeting. He is there. But No one on one meeting. That is because he has moved the door. He wants us to find him, but doesn’t want us to get ritualistic about it.

I love this about God. Following him will Never be dull.

Easter Sunday….

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.

Do you keep lists of all wrongs done to you and all your gripes?

God wants your list. He inspired Paul to write ‘Love does not keep a record of wrongs’ 1 Corinthians 13:5

God wants us to leave our list at the foot of the cross. I know its not easy. ‘just look what they did to me’ you cry. ‘Just look what I did for you’ He replies.

Take your lists to the cross. You don’t really want to be looking at them anyway. Spend your time at the cross looking at the pieces of Christs passion.

Rub your thumb over the tip of the spear. feel the weight of the nail in the palm of your hand. Read the sign – its written in your language. Touch the dirt at the foot of the cross, still red from the blood of Christ.

Its the blood he bled for you and me.

The spear he took in the side for us.

The nails that bore him for us.

The sign left for us. He is King of Kings.

He did all of this for us. Knowing this and all he did for you. Think of all he will do for you. Give thanks He is risen. He is risen indeed.

Good Friday pt II….

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Good Friday service last night was moving.

We waited in the church foyer until the doors were opened. On entering the chairs were in a ‘U’ shape with a Cross suspended from the rigging at the open end.

The cross was spot lit with a mix of normal and red filtered lighting. Spiraling around the cross was barbed wire symbolising the crown of thorns. In front and at the base of the cross was a table draped with black cloth, the cloth spilled over the floor around the table and cross.

On the cloth were small candles. Suspended from the barbed wire and winding among the candles were red ribbon strips symbolising the spilt blood of christ pooling at the base of the cross.

Among the candles and ribbons were communion bread and wine which the congregation took.

How moving it felt. It was as if we were dipping our cup into the spilt blood.

1 Corinthians 11:24-26 (New International Version)

24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Good Friday….

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The village Church, St Peters, has just had their procession through the high street. The vicar and 60 members of the congregation following the large cross being carried at the front.

Not being a member of the congregation I wasn’t aware of the event until I saw them coming towards me whilst I was in the car.

I pulled over.

I cried.

The cross on this day. The day he saved me.

One of these days I may write something on the cross, and everything involved in the crucifixion.

The spit as a reflection of our sins. dirty and on christ.

Our sins being apparent in the crown of thorns. There were no thorn before man sinned.

The hands that opened for the nails. These are the same hands that opened the kingdom of heaven for me.

The sign over the cross. The first true Gospel leading to the first conversion. The thief next to Christ on the cross. The sign a message from God in three languages so ALL can read it and know the true King.

Two other crosses. Showing me that God has given me freewill. I have the choice. One thief converted the other mocked. Which one will you be?

The path to the cross. A long walk with our sins on his back. But I see in it how far God will go for us. NO path is too long.

The robe he wore. In my sermon on Mary, I said that we wear Christ.

The robe reminds me that I have wrapped myself in Christ and am now properly dressed to enter the kingdom of heaven. He did that for me.

I see Christ’s whipped, torn and lacerated body and see in it the veil of guilt I allowed to form over me to block the view from my Father. In christ the veil is torn and I am free to approach Him. The curtain is down the door is open.

In the drugged wine soaked sponge I see him accepting the pain because he knew we would feel it too. He went through that for me.

The spear lacerating his side spilling blood and water. The blood of christ spilt for me. It doesn’t conceal my sins, cover them, diminish or postpone them. My sins by the spilt blood are gone. He has taken them away for all time.

The Cross. The cross…..

I look upon the cross and see Christs hands spread to the east and west. I see the obvious bible verse but I see more. I see the width of the cross beam shouting out how wide Gods love reaches. He loved me enough to give his only son.

Then I look beyond the cross. It wasn’t the end.

I see the burial cloths of Christ. In these rags of death I see the power of life. They were empty. Christ was gone. Like the empty wine jugs at the wedding God used emptiness to show His power. These wrapping of death are my symbol of life.

Finally I can look at the empty tomb and see Gods promise. It is empty because he dwells within Me.

My apologies for the ramble , but as the site says I go where God takes me.

God in the rain…

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

As I stepped out this morning it was raining. As I peer out of my office window it hasn’t stopped.

  But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends water on the fields. Job 5:8-10

Even in the rain we can see God’s blessings, feel them rain down on you.

Without rain farmers would not be able to grow crops or water their livestock. You may say that the sea would provide. However look at Gods filter system it works better that mans reliance on himself. God lifts water from the sea, removes the salt content, takes it  on a 200 mile journey, suspends it in the heavens before letting it rain down.

I welcome the rain as scripture says I am his well watered garden and his watering will allow me to blossom for his provision.

God Bless

We are living waters…

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

READ: Genesis 1:9-13

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so (Genesis 1:9).

Dry ground appears forming continents. Can you picture God’s power forming the rocks then crashing down on them to weather them and thus producing soil for the coming of plant life?
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Religion: fact or fiction?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Another beautiful morning. Gods had the canvas out and been painting again.

News on the television was depressing – can’t they find some good news(no pun intended). The largest teachers unions have joined the parade to get Christianity removed from schools. Where will our children learn morals? the current way of teaching ‘life skills’ does not seem to be working if ten year olds in England can attempt to murder other ten year olds in society.

Also the plan to close faith schools will affect all religion.

The day will come when school children will only know about God from films and think of Him as a character like some Jedi Knight.

The Magnificat – Mary’s Song

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

This is a transcript of a sermon I gave on 29th March 2009 at Amblecote Christian Centre

Not long after leaving school my daughter became pregnant. Luckily she had parents who were there to support her and my grand-daughter.

There is still some stigma attached to young mothers today.

Can you picture what it was like years ago? In the life time of some of the congregation, women were locked up in mental institutions for having a child out of wedlock. If they were lucky it was a hastily arranged marriage.

Go further back. About 2010 years.

A girl of between 13 & 15 becomes pregnant. She’s engaged to be married, but it isn’t his. She faces Public humiliation, as would her parents. She faces being disowned, cast out. How would she survive? At worse she faces death in a public stoning.

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The Unmerciful Servant

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Matt 18 v. 21 – 35 – the unmerciful servant.

The Lord’s Prayer asks that God forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. To reinforce this in Matthew 6:15 Jesus says …if you do not forgive others then your father will not forgive your transgressions.

That’s not always easy. We’ve all been hurt by someone at sometime. Be it by a stranger cutting us up on the road or small hurts caused by family and friends. What varies is how we demand repayment. We may not ask the offenders to make us a literal payment but we do have other ways of settling score. Even as Christians.

Silence This is a popular technique….Ignore them when they speak.

Distance Walk away when they come near

and

Nagging….. A great one with parents.
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