Monday, 16 January 2012

Sudden thoughts...

I haven't posted anything in aggggeeessssssssss!! But this suddenly came to me last night and I couldn't ignore it...

At church, Simon was talking about God's exceeding love and acceptance of us- beyond any acceptance we could ever gain from friends and family. This really stayed in my heart; the idea that I no longer have to prove anything to anyone. Because other's opinions will be lost in the years that go by but God always remains the loving, merciful same. 

I'd heard this as a fact so many times before, but I think this time God wanted me to accept it greater than ever. 

Even when I got into bed that night I was thinking, how can God rejoice over my weaknesses, my insecurities, those parts of me that are so messed up? 

And suddenly this vision came to me- it was as clear as if I was watching it on a TV or something. It was this yard sale like they have in America, where table after table or household items sprawl across the front lawn. And I saw this man come up to the woman standing behind the front table. He first pointed to a photo album, it was full of these old black and white photos and he asked- 'what is this?'. The woman explained that it was all photos of her and her husband, they had just got divorced. She knew noone would want it but she couldn't bare to have it in her house any more. Saying nothing, the man then turned to a jewelry box full of broken necklaces and bracelets, with used lipstick and makeup lying in front of it. Again he asked what it was. With tears in her eyes, she started to explain how it was all the things she'd used to try and make herself feel better about herself- make her prettier, as if she was worth more. Now in tears she said again that she couldn't imagine who would want it. 

Then the man just looked up at her with a smile and looked round at all the tables on the lawn. 'I'll take it all.' 
'I would pay millions or even billions for this but I think it's too precious- money can't pay for this'. Suddenly, he brought from behind him his son, only about 10 years old, and said 'How about you take my son?' 

And that's where it ended! I have no idea if it was a dream or a vision or what but it happened far quicker than it took to explain...a few seconds at the most = p It was just pretty cool and I hope that the message helps someone somewhere :) ... 

Friday, 4 November 2011

The original rebels...

At the moment, I'm reading through Acts which, no mater how many times I read it, continues to just astound and inspire me!

For example, 

AND WHILE they [Peter and John] were talking to the people, the high priests and the military commander of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them,
    Being vexed and indignant through and through because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in [the case of] Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
    So they laid hands on them (arrested them) and put them in prison until the following day, for it was already evening.
    But many of those who heard the message believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus as the Christ). And their number grew and came to about 5,000.

Reading this, it's so hard to ignore how bold, brave and strong Peter and John are being. But then that's nothing new. Time and time again, we are told in churches, in sermons, about the uniqueness of the followers in the first church. Of course their incredible and an example to us all. But sudduccees, temple, military commander?? It can become so difficult to find where you fit in all this. But the truth is we are the continuation of the Bible. There may not be people following us with notebooks writing down our every word and action. But God lives as much in us as He did in Peter and John. So what does this mean for us? It definitely doesn't mean we have to search out a temple with a vexed military commander! 

But here, and throughout Acts, the first followers of Jesus were speaking up against the norm. They were entering the temples and shouting words which completely contradicted what was being said by the most powerful people in the country. And they were doing this in front of these people. The same people who could arrest them, sentence them, kill them. 

The world they were in talked of rules, restrictions, right, wrong, good, bad. Peter and John spoke of love, care, grace, mercy. 

And not even by half. 

My favourite biblical person is Peter. He took words and phrases used in poetry and in worship of the old idols and 'Gods' and twisted them in front of the believers faces. Now this doesn't mean that I think you should openly offend others- but don't compromise your beliefs for the sake of those around you!

Today, as christains, we must rebel against a difficult society in order to see the revelation Peter and John saw every day. We must enter enter our schools, colleges, work where it is right to drink, take drugs, bitch, gossip and hate- and we must shine Gods love without fear, without insecurity and without compromise. We must stand and shout God's message regardless of those who will hate us for it, those who will persecute us and those who will condemn us.

Because I've read the end of the turns out God wins ;)...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Honoring a Stranger...

I have loads of plans for blog posts but I felt that I needed to write this first...
Yesterday, thanks to the lovely people at South West Trains, for the last few months I've been getting home from work using the rail replacement service. This time, as the bus arrived, a crowd formed round the closed doors and to my right was a man in a suit carrying both a rucksack and a massive suitcase who was speaking loudly and slowly to a man next to him- 'This train will get you to Wokingham so get on here'. The other man squinted at him as if in deep concentration to what was being said. Suddenly I realised, the man he was telling this to clearly doesnt speak much English and had no idea what to do when he found out his train was cancelled! How nice was that man to help him out??

But, beyond that, after the man in the suit had established that he had understood what to do, instead of getting on the bus as well to make his own way home, he went off in a different direction!

Despie carrying a tonne of suitcases and bags, this man had interrupted his own journey to help out someone else whom most people would ignore.

I don't know if he's a christian.
I don't know where he's from
I don't know where he was going.
I don't even know his name.

But I just want to honour him and recognise the good in the world.