Sunday, 29 July 2007

My identity in God.

Mara has discovered that the more she lets herself be used as a channel of God's love, the less likely she is to be anxious about her own personal concerns. She can lose herself because she is secure in her identity. What did it matter that she was born to a Brazilian medium, married to a South African, the mother of children born in Turkey and now living in Britain?'Home' lies in the epicentre of God's will.
Mara urges other women who question their identity to find it through the one who made them. She would also challenge them to open their eyes to the world at their doorstep. And to discover that missions is not crossing the seas but seeing the cross.
True Grit: Women taking on the World, for God's sake. by Deborah Meroff

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Inspiration from God's workers

I am reading a book called 'True Grit' and every week I have a list of prayer items to pray for Christians in countries where they are persecuted. In the book the ladies went to countries where sometimes they didn't even have proper heating or running water. Many of them through the hardships that they lived through suffered from ill health or different kinds. Some of them gave up great things in their home countries. The persecuted Christians suffer many different indignities and torture. These people trust God for their help and strength. They feel the pain and hurt of being rejected. I am sure that they feel the pain of the torture etc.

I am inspired by them as they live for Christ and they know that as the bible says, 'all things work together for the good of those who love Him'. Praise God that there are Christians today who serve Him no matter what befalls them. They know that it isn't about them and their feelings etc but about the awesome power of God. They have grasped the fact that if Christ suffered death on the cross then His followers may be called upon to suffer for Him. They know that this life is only a temporary home and that in heaven they will receive the wholeness of Christ. May I truly desire that.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Faith and decisions

Sometimes certainty is possible because Scripture leaves no options about a decision (should I steal that car?). But most decisions are more complex and we cannot be sure of being on ‘the right path’. Often there is an element of uncertainty and that is healthy if it causes a genuine trust in God. It is somewhat misleading to translate the text as ‘He will direct your path’ ... As if God is like an officer directing traffic exactly where to turn, where to stop, and where to go.

To understand what Proverbs 3:6 means, the New Testament has a very helpful definition of faith: ‘Now faith is being sure of what ... We do not see (Hebrews 11:1). What is it that we cannot see (concerning this topic of guidance)? We cannot see how God is guiding ‘behind the scenes’! We cannot see the secret will of God. But we believe it implicitly! Faith is utterly convinced that God will rule and overrule in all our decisions. Genuine obedience to God will not ultimately bring us to grief. The assurance that God makes our paths ‘straight’ obviously implies that they need straightening! There are some crooked bits, some twists and turns. If they are not straightened out they will harm us. Faith know that God will re-move all ultimate harm by straightening our paths. Our best decisions are imperfect, but God will use them to His glory and for our sanctification.
From What the Bible teaches about ..... Guidance. By Peter Bloomfield

Tuesday, 17 July 2007


I have just finished reading the book 'Rabbit Proof Fence' - the story of 3 mixed race Aborigine girls who were forcibly removed from their home and moved across Australia. It also tells the amazing story of their walk back home using the Rabbit Proof Fence as their guide. This happened in the 1930s and was done for the good of the children; or so the authorities said! When I read books like this I am ashamed to be white and admit that people of my colour did these things. Oh yes, the intentions were supposedly good as they were going to give these children an education but I just don't understand why they had to put them in inhumane conditions and treat them like animals.

We like to say in the enlightened 21st Century that would never happen on our watch but how much have we really learnt? This week in the news there has been a call for more ethnic adopters. I understand some of the thinking behind this; that the children need to be kept in their cultural background etc. Some of the children in the care system in the UK are there purely because of their colour not a lack of adopters. The authorities in Australia were taking children for what they saw as their own good; is our policy of same colour adoption much different? Why is colour of skin still so important? Thank God that He looks at the heart and in one of the books in the bible it says; There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

History should teach us but alas it often doesn't speak loud enough. The lessons are there if only we open our eyes and listen to the teacher!

Monday, 16 July 2007

The Silver Ring Thing 2.

Unfortunately, the courts have ruled that Lydia Playfoot was not discriminated against when she was told not to wear her ring as it isn't a requirement of being a Christian. It is a sad thing to think that this young girl was trying to make a stand for what is right and appears to be the one who is being judged. May God bless her stand and keep her safe.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

You in your small corner ....

I am reading a variety of books at the moment. One of them I am reading is purely about women around the world. Here is a quote from the Introduction.

The women 'on God's search and rescue team' chosen for this book are not superstars. They were chosen because they have the same ordinary fears and failings we all experience. And while none of these women felt they could take on the world, each one has been willing, by God's grace, to tackle one small corner of it. Take encouragement, as I have, to see what can happen when, as Mother Teresa put it, they simply allowed themselves to become 'pencils in the hand of a writing God, who was sending love letters to the world.'

Just a word of warning. Passionate prayers not only change the world, they have a way of transforming the people who pray them. As God channels His concerns for the world through you, you may find yourself moving out in unexpected ways. This should not come as a surprise. God's goal is to recruit every one of us for His search and rescue team!
True Grit: Women taking on the World, for God's sake. by Deborah Meroff

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Stolen Ministry

American Pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Congregations still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationary and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays. But they are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn't the remotest connection with what the church's pastors have done for most of twenty centuries.

A few of us are angry about it. We are angry because we have been deserted. Most of my colleagues who defined ministry for me, examined, ordained, and then installed me as a pastor in a congregation, a short while later walked off and left me, having, they said, more urgent things to do. The people I thought I would be working with disappeared when the work started. Being a pastor is difficult work; we want the companionship and counsel of allies. It is bitterly disappointing to enter a room full of people whom you have every reason to expect share the quest and commitments of pastoral work and find within ten minutes that they most definitely do not. They talk of images and statistics. They drop names. They discuss influence and status. Matters of God and the soul and Scripture are not grist for their mills.

The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper's concerns - how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money.
The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does His work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor's responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.

"Hot indignation seizes me ..." (Psalm 119:53). I don't know how many share my anger. I know a few names. Altogether there can't be very many of us. Are there yet seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal? Are there enough to be identifiable as a minority? I think so. We recognize each other from time to time. And much has been accomplished by minorities. and there must be any number of shopkeepers who by now are finding the pottage that they acquired in exchange for their ordination birthright pretty tasteless stuff and are growing wistful for a restoration to their calling. It is the wistfulness an ember strong enough to blaze into a fierce repudiation of their defection, allowing the word of God again to become fire in their mouths? Can my anger apply a bellows to those coals?
"Working the Angles. The Shape of Pastoral Integrity". by Eugene H. Peterson. pg 1-3

Sunday, 1 July 2007

The Silver Ring Thing.

So a young girl wants to wear a ring to publically declare her intentions of waiting for sex until she gets married. Her head teacher doesn't want her to because it breaks school uniform codes. Britain has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe, growing incidents of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and abortion amongst that age-group as well. Surely Lydia Playfoot should be praised for her desire to stay pure. Instead, she is having to take the school to court to argue her right to wear the ring. (I can't believe she is the only girl to want to wear a ring to that particular school.)

May God bless this girl for her stand and may the UK government stop and think about the so-called sex education programme here and think of alternatives that may work more effectively. God designed sex for marriage for a very good reason not just to be a spoil-sport.

I say 'Let the revolution begin' - the one that says 'NO, God had the right idea. I am going to wait.' The rates of teenage pregnancy, abortions and STI would drop dramatically. As a Christian I feel that we have a message of hope in Jesus and that is the education that needs to be promoted in the UK.