Mind the gap

I hate it when I don’t blog for a while.  I really enjoy writing but it’s almost been two months – without checking that’s probably the longest I have been without posting since I first started in 2007.

I have had lots of things I wanted to write about – a wonderful and intriguing trip to Montenegro, girls lost in Nigeria, stuff I’ve read in the Bible, books I’ve read, UKIP, the Premier League run in……

……but I just haven’t had the mental energy to sit down and get something down.  So I’m just getting one post out there this morning in the hope that it smooths the way for my brain to get psyched up for another post in a day or two.

Gutted about not being raptured

I’m sorry…but how did anybody with ANY sense actually believe this guy?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13489641

How did he trick them all?  Have they not read the Bible for themselves?  Jesus himself said he did not know the hour that he would return?

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)

It is just so sad that ‘Christian’ leaders will be so manipulative/mad and that people will be so gullible.  There’s actually people out there who spent their life savings on him.

I think apocalyptic writings in the New Testament are fascinating but I honestly think it is foolish to try and read anything into historical or current events relating to these writings.  Instead, let’s focus on studying the character of God….the living God who can change us into better people and save us from ourselves.

Anya knows about barley cakes

Once again I have been spiritually humbled by my daughter.  As a family we’ve been working our way through studying the book of Judges in the Bible.  We got to a part where Gideon, one of the judges, overhears a dream from the camp of his enemies in which he is represented as a barley cake rolling into the enemy camp and flattening the tent.

I never really understood it and asked the family, ‘What do you make of the dream then?’  Anya immediately replied, ‘The barley cake would have been really small compared to a huge tent so it shows that Gideon’s small army would have no problem defeating the enemies.’  I had never got it before, I had always imagined some massive bread cake rolling in cartoon style and flattening the enemy tent.  But the Bible doesn’t say it was a huge oversized butty.  It just says a barley cake.  It is a privilege sharing this journey with Anya she explains things so well.

I asked what lesson we can learn from this and Anya said, ‘When we have a problem, no matter how big it is, God will always helps us.’

The best job spec ever

When Jesus lived on earth he had a bunch of followers.  He taught them how to live as God would want them to live.  Just before Jesus left earth he gathered his closest 11 followers together and gave them a task:

The task was to devote their lives to teaching people all over the world how to follow him – how to live lives that worship God.

This commission has been passed down from generation to generation.  Jesus looks each of us in the eye today and says ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey my commands…’  What a responsibility!  What a privilege!

Last night I accompanied some of the guys from church to the student dorms and we had a Bible study with a few of the students.  It was pretty cool, 8 of us squashed into a small dormitory discussing the Bible.  Loads of other students kept popping their heads in to see what was going on.  And the best thing about it was that we were doing what Jesus was asking of us – teaching people how to follow him – plus learning ourselves along the way!

Let loose

Last night was Stan’s last preach and now he and the family have flown off to America leaving me with the pastoral and teaching responsibility in the church.  Stan preached from Acts and loosely compared Paul’s emotional departure from the church in Ephesus with how our departure might look in three months time!  I feel very at home already and have enjoyed spending time with some of the church members already.  Our first task will be to get around visiting and encouraging everyone.  We want to have fun and get to know people, pray with people and learn from the Bible with people – all things that Paul did with the Ephesians.  I am sure that would be a recipe for a good foundation in church leadership.

Yesterday morning I took advantage of the extra hours sleep to get up at 6am and take a walk from Rada’s folks’ to look over the town.  A couple of the pictures are below but I’m not sure how well they’ll come out of the blog.  Despite Niksic being an industrial town it is still beautiful with incredible character and the people are warm and welcoming.  It has a lot of problems though and needs a lot of investment and empowering.

Chattering fool

Sometimes me and Anya read a Proverb at breakfast time.  This is great because Anya gets to practice reading, she comes out with some hilarious and profound points and, it is certainly of use to get an early morning dose of the Word of God.

Yesterday we read:

 “The wise in heart accept commands,
       but a chattering fool comes to ruin.”  Proverbs 10:8

I asked Anya, Who gives commands?” and the genius came up with God through Moses, parents, teachers and governments.  We had a chat about when you talk in class you sometimes miss what the teacher asks you to do and it led me to the very simple, obvious but life changing conclusion that if we spend too much time distracted by other things, the ‘chatter’ of life, then we will miss out on the words of God for today.

Our God is a living God who interacts and relates with the beings he has created.  Spend time each day listening, pause to think, look around you.  I sometimes feel like I constantly need background noise – tv, work, conversation, MP3, newspapers, internet….none bad in themselves, yet all these things sometimes lead this fool to ruin.

The start of the day

Yesterday at work was alright.  I made it about a tenth of the way through my to-do list and a few annoying things came at me but it was ok.  A friend really encouraged me sending me a Bible verse, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  I felt quite peaceful during the day although it was hard work.  Didn’t particularly anticipate returning today.

Now it’s 7am.  I’ve got some chilled music on and enjoying surfing through some blogs and looking forward to a nibble of breakfast.  I could stay here all day…….

 

………good job I wasn’t designed with comfort in mind!  Bring it on life!