Truth for a Monday morning

Do you ever feel that no matter how hard you try you just can’t get things right?  You try your best but things keep going wrong?  That pretty much describes a lot of my attempts at life!  I usually have good intentions but before I know it I’ve got lazy or selfish and messed something up!

But not to worry – here are a few truths to help us through the week:

  1. God’s love is enough for us – no matter how hard things get, God’s love and grace will see us through.
  2. God’s power is made perfect in weakness – whatever flawed offering you give to God this week he will make it a perfect offering by combining it with his power.
  3. God removes all wrongdoing from us – however much bad things others have done to you, or whatever you have done to others or to yourself, God removes it so far away from us that it has no hold on us any more.  Put the past behind you and walk with God into whatever circumstances this week has to offer!

Fried food, beer and cheese…one of the keys to good preparation

Much of my time here is taken up with sermon prep.  There are endless distractions.  As can be seen.

No love lost here

Last week I took myself away to a restaurant by a lake and had a really productive (and tasty) few hours.  As can be seen.

I can't complain

I find that the key to getting on with a good sermon is applying the grace of God to self-discipline.  If I try and just get on with it in my own strength then I lose every time.  But God is strong in my own weakness.

Real Life

Today I found myself tired and stressed.  I guess on one hand it is no big deal but on the other its not pleasant and does somewhat disable your productivity.  There are reasons for being tired – staying up to0 late talking with Goca & Rada, getting up t0o early to drive to back to Niksic for language lessons, finally going running yesterday.  There are reasons for being stressed – I couldn’t find my way round the kitchen, dinner got ruined, I’m living in a new country, I didn’t have time to go running today, I’m a human being.  But I’d rather I wasn’t tired or stressed.

Ah well.  Here’s to another day.  A prayer and a decision to rely on God’s love for me in all situations (even kitchen mishaps) and I should be ok.

Less than an hour to go

We’re less than an hour away from embarking on our little adventure to Montenegro for the winter but, to be honest, I’m struggling to get my head round what we are doing.  Part of me feels like we’re visiting family for a couple of weeks and part of me feels like we’re not going anywhere at all!  I think the last few weeks have been some of the more stressful of my life.  There has been so much to get ready (at work, in the house, to pack etc) that I haven’t had chance to enjoy the fact we now have the opportunity to do something I thought I could only dream of.

We’re spreading the journey over four days so that should give us a bit of a buffer and space to reflect I hope.  I also hope for great family time and fun on the journey (which I guess is a small holiday in itself!)  I’m so knackered though, that my prayer is that God will give me enough grace and good attitude to be a positive part of the family – he’s been with us so far in all our preparations and I know, if I’m open to him, he’ll help me say and do the right things and we’ll have a great time – not just for the journey but for the whole adventure once we get there too!

Puddleglum

I am feeling a little low.  Rada is going to Italy early tomorrow morning.  We just got back from dropping Anya off with the ‘rents in Sheffield.  I feel subdued and Rada keeps calling me Puddleglum.  I feel soooo tired as well.  I have been knackered for weeks and I can’t concentrate on the things I want to.

BUT…

“No-one who’s hope is in you will ever be put to shame.  That’s why my eyes are on you, Oh Lord.  Surround me, defend me, oh how I need you.  To you I lift up my soul.”

God’s love is enough for Nathan.

Malo po malo, little by little, step by step

You’re stood at the bottom of a mountain that needs climbing.  What is one thing you must do to get to the top?

Sometimes the day just seems too daunting to do anything.  Sometimes I feel the gap is too huge to be able to focus on anything.

Take the first step.

We are only small human beings with big weaknesses.  The tasks and problems that fall our way day to day can seem disproportionately difficult.  Nevertheless, we have a huge capacity to achieve.  However, we never will achieve anything if we never take the first step.

Take the first step.

Murderer on Songs of Praise

Shock horror – a murderer has appeared on Songs of Praise!  How can this be? 

Let’s put this in perspective.  Songs of Praise is a Christian television program.  So they interviewed a very interesting man who had committed murder but then found faith in God and repented of all his wrong doings, turning his life around.  Why the uproar?  Why is this newspaper article so incredibly disgusted that this should be allowed to happen?

I will tell you why.

It is because the love of God is scandalous.  He loves us so much that, if we have faith in him and are repentent, he will forgive ANYTHING we do. That is great news for you and me.  EVERYTHING you have ever done can be forgiven.  You can be free from pain, guilt, shame, worthlessness…

It is also good news for those who have done things abominable in the eyes of others.  Those ‘sins’ that are unforgivable if you are the victim…

It is good news for the murderer, the drug dealer, the father who left his family, the drink driver, the rapist, the corrupt politician, the slanderous journalist, the evil dictator and even the most hated creature in today’s society – the paedophile.  God loves paedophiles.  What a scandal.