Friday, 31 December 2010

Walls of my heart

I was in Jerusalem and visited Bethlehem during the years when the wall was being built. The town where Christians believe Messiah was born and from where Jews still believe he will come, is now enclosed by this 30 foot barrier. Of course, it's intended for far more than physical security - it's a symbol. It says keep out, or keep in. It says we are in control. It speaks of prison, of sentence having been passed, of judgment being handed down. You are guilty, you cannot come in. It speaks of separation, of those who are in and those who are out, those who aree acceptable and those who are not. The irony of Israel trusting in concrete for 'peace' rather than their God is tragic.

Easy to condemn such a wall - and despite the provocation, I unequivocally do, but it made me ask myself 'what walls have I erected? Who am I excluding, who would not feel welcome?' At the same time, we were planning a New Year's Eve party, then Catherine sent me this poem.

New Year Party
Who's coming to the party?
the family with the car,
the people without screaming kids,
The Vicar and his wife?

The respectable family across the road,
the one with fame and friends...
are they coming to your party?
Would you let me in?

or am I just an outsider
with walls that can't be bridged,
am I in a different world
parallel to this?

For parallel lines don't cross
the worlds fail to meet,
the walls become stronger
so other worlds we won't see

The truth is that God has opened His home to us. Not at the point when we were cleaned up and acceptable, but whilst we were at our most messed up, when we were most likely to cause problems. In the light of such love, as the beneficiary of such grace, how could I do less? 

Let's make 2011 a year in which we tear down walls...

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Reality Check

I got lots of books for Christmas - several with a science / religion twist. Started with the latest Stephen Hawking one (Grand Design). Inspired me to write this blog...

Reality, Hawking (and others) suggest, is subjective and essentially a set of assumptions we make about the world. No 'reality' is 'better' or more 'true' than any other, except as defined by the assumptions of that reality. However, if the purpose of these assumptions is to help us thrive, then some versions of 'reality' are clearly more successful than others. That is not an indicator of truth, simply of greater utility. Is the 'Big Bang' theory of creation more true than a literal '6 Day Creation' one? The question simply makes no sense. The only meaningful question is 'Which view is more useful?' because we have no objective means of deciding between worldviews. I can argue from my theological view that the 'Big Bang' theory is inadequate. I can argue from my scientific worldview that 'Creationism' is just plain wrong. But there is no common ground between the two worldviews that would allow us to all agree which was true.

The question they both raise then is simple: 'Are there some worldviews, true or not (we can't tell) which are so unhelpful regarding the main purpose - to help us thrive, that actually, they should be discouraged?'

The logic is very compelling. Science explains so much and enables us to predict and therefore have the hope of control. Just look around you, the science that provides the 'Big Bang' theory gives mobile phones, the internet, medical care, food, warmth and cheap travel.Technology, the cousin of science, promises so much and has already delivered extraordinary achievement: we can control our temperature, our location. We can fix ourselves when we go wrong, as we discover new things, they enable more control.  Those aspects of life that we refer to as spiritual are simply illusory or due to complex interactions of known phenomenon that we simply haven't got round to describing scientifically yet. Love is a hormonal, chemical response to enable the population to continue. Free will does not exist, we simply respond to complex stimuli in ways that appear to be free. There is no spiritual dimension - it is neither necessary nor testable. There is nothing beyond this physical life - the fact that such a view makes our existence seem fragile and futile is not a good reason for introducing religion into the equation.

So, whilst the conclusion of Hawking and Dawkins thinking is that we have no way of knowing the truth about God, they see great danger in unecessarily invoking such belief, after all, what has that worldview delivered?

War, division, myth, dogma... 

Increasingly, this view is going to pervade. Let's start a debate - what answers are out there?

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Fawlty Christmas

Here's a newly discovered Fawlty Towers episode just in time for Christmas. Hope you enjoy it.

I don’t know. Government. Couldn’t organise a drinks party in a brewery. Coalition, demolition more like...
Are you alright Basil, muttering to yourself like that, you’ll frighten the guests.
Guests? I wouldn’t call them that. I mean, have you seen them? All these people here for this ridiculous census. And at Christmas time. I ask you. Where’s the sense in that? Whole country comes to a standstill at the merest hint of snow and the Government decides now is a good time to call a census. I mean...
Conscription. That’s what you need. Didn’t have problems with snow in my day. All these yobbo’s and foreigners. Soon clear the snow if we gave them all shovels.
What, Fawlty?
Well, quite Major. I’m not sure that’s exactly what...
Your wife.
Sorry, Major, my wife?
Yes, Fawlty your wife. Damn fine woman...
Oh, I wouldn’t say that....
Well, no, nor would I, but you could put her in charge of the conscripts. She’d sort them out alright.....
I wish she’d sort you out...
Sorry to interrupt your intellectual conversation, but you might have noticed that there is quite a queue forming – and I’m on the phone to Audrey. Her husband’s left her again, it always happens at Christmas. Typical man, no consideration at all, he hadn’t even put up the decorations....
Oh dear, poor Audrey – I know where I’d put the decorations up...
What did you say!!?
Nothing dear, just offering to go and help put the decorations up...
Mr Fawlty, Mr Fawlty... there’s this couple...
Yes, well, I am rather busy at the moment, can’t you see there’s a queue? We’re not good at much in this country any more, but at least we can do queues!
But Mr Fawlty, they’ve been travelling for days...
Well that’s the government for you isn’t it – pay all our taxes, income tax, VAT, fuel duty, death tax, inheritance tax. None of it gets spent on the roads does it. I mean, took me three days to get to the post office to pay my road tax last year. I mean, it’s not hard is it, it’s just a road. I’m not asking to get to the moon, just the local post office....
And she’s pregnant! She’s almost due!
Well, I can’t help that can I? What are they doing travelling all that way if she’s that pregnant?
Basil, at the rate you’re dealing with people, she probably wasn’t pregnant when they started queuing...
Alright, Alright. What’s your name?
Joseph Barjacob and this is Mary
Joseph & Mary Barjacob...
I’m sorry?
No. I’m not Mary Barjacob. We’re not married yet.
Oh, I see.  I see your game now. Well let me tell you something sonny. That sort of behaviour might be acceptable where you are from, but we’re a respectable British hotel. You think you can come here, take our jobs, flout our customs, use our NHS...
Give them a room Basil.
But they’re not married!
Give them a room
I’m dealing with it dear
Give them a room!!!
Oh, alright – ‘Manuel’
Take this couple to room 24
Room 24
But we no have room 24...
We do now, it’s what I’ve renamed the bike shed.
Off you go then, I do hope you enjoy your stay....
Have you given them a room yet?
Oh yes, all sorted dear. Who’s next?

Happy Christmas from Catherine & David

Saturday, 11 December 2010


I was spending time with my fellow blogger, his wife, family and friends a few weeks ago, somehow we got onto the topic of juggling, and attempting to do it. Thankfully it just so happened that I had taken a bag of satsumas round, so armed with oranges, the juggling lesson began. You had to be there to fully grasp the beauty of watching the lesson. It began with some very tentative throwing, and just 2 satsumas each, and ended with the smell of juiced oranges, and some people juggling 3 oranges! It was fun, I recommend it for all your family gatherings over Christmas!

I've had a set of juggling balls for years. Every now and then I have picked them up to have another go, for which read, miserable attempt! Got very frustrating, I consider myself intelligent and competent (you are allowed to comment)  yet no matter how hard I tried, no matter how many times the technique was explained, I couldn't do it. Then Catherine saw them one day, grabbed them and casually started to juggle... gggrrrr.

Turns out that the key to learning to juggle is not about technique or an inherent ability to throw and catch. What you first have to learn to do is drop stuff. You have to get the rhythm of throwing and if you're concentrating on trying to catch as well, most people will never make it. In order to succeed in juggling you have to be willing to deliberately choose to fail!

'Drop  them' she said. Mad woman, I'm supposed to be juggling, that involves catching, what do you mean 'drop them'. But regular readers will know that I've come to trust Catherine's seemingly odd advice! I had to stop thinking 'I need to catch everything, I need to do it all at once, to do it perfectly'. I had to learn not to hold onto things tightly! The first step was getting the oranges in the air in a rhythm which would mean they could be caught. But in order to get that right, I had to consciously allow them to splat on the ground the first few times! Fortunately small children a) think it's funny and b) don't mind eating them later! 

Deliberately throwing them with no intent of catching them is the secret to getting the rhythm.  Guess we thought this was a bit of a life lesson. So often we seem to believe that God insists on immediate perfection. It limits risk taking, but more importantly it might just be like juggling. God knows that there are some things we will never get right unless we first let go, unless we step out, confident that some of it will go splat on the ground. By feeling the need to do it all perfectly, to get it all done in one step, people ended up being paralysed and not throwing some of the balls. They never risked dropping anything, but they never risked succeeding in juggling either.

Maybe the path to Kingdom building is strewn with splatted satsumas.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Tell the truth!

I'm fed up with lies. Not so much the ones people tell against or to you (though they can be pretty painful), no, the ones I'm really angry about are the one the enemy convinces people of.

Here's some we thought of earlier!

  • I am not significant
  • I am not loved
  • I have to acieve in order to have value
  • I am not valuable
  • This is just the way I am, nothing can change
  • I have to be really good so I am not rejected by God
  • I have to be perfect
  • I am too hard a case for God to work with
  • I don't really have any gifts
If we live out of these false beliefs, we are disempowered or paralysed and whilst we might be 'saved' we are neither free nor experiencing the abundant life that Jesus promised. So a word about belief...

Believing has nothing to do with being intellectually persuaded that something is true. Belief has everything to do with living your life as if it is true, irrespective of how persuaded your mind or heart are about it. It's called faith. Strangely, as we live our life directed by faith rather than by sight (what we see, what experience tells us, what our feelings say), what we find is that gradually our mind and feelings swing into alignment with what we have chosen to believe. It isn't enough to tick off statements on some creed, or to say 'the prayer'! Belief is not about a one off transaction, it's a lifelong process of choosing to act in a way that is consistent with believing that God is who He says He is. That's why James is so hot on hypocrisy and faith. Faith that doesn't outwork itself in a lifestyle that is lined up with the God in whom we have faith, is not faith at all! It's just an intellectual set of assertions. A lifestyle that is contrary to the character of God exposes the lie of our stated belief. Worse than that, people will either believe our actions and assume that the God whose name we bear behaves in the same way. Or they will believe our words only for them to be undermined by our actions.

Back to those lies. If we live out of them, we not only live a life less than God lovingly designed for us, but we risk making it more difficult for those around us to see that God as well! So how do we move away from the lies presented by the world, by our senses, by others who deliberately or inadvertantly speak lies? How do we live out of truth? Here's some remarkably simple steps for transforming our lives!

Step1. Confession. Old fashioned word that just means seeing it from God's point of view. What does he say about you - about everybody?

Step2. Declaration. Personalise and regularly speak out the truth you have now recognised

Step 3. Repentance. More old fashioned words - repentance just means to change your mind. Now you see it from God's perspective and you come to recognise that it is true for yourself. (This is a battle, so when the old thoughts sneak in we are encouraged to 'take every thought captive to Christ' - don't leave them in your brain to fester, give them to God to deal with!)

Step 4. Make choices based on the new perspective - even if it is still an act of faith rather than a felt or reasoned thing yet - heart and mind will swing in line over time!

Here's an example. Let's say you have been living your life as if the truth was that you are unloved. Confession would acknowledge that however you feel, whatever your past, God's view is that you are loved. In fact He would say that you are loved with an everlasting love, a love that knows no bounds. Declaration would turn that general statement into the personal. Something like 'I acknowledge that God loves me so much that he died for me'. And every time someone does or says something that seems to contradict that, or every time a contrary thought comes into our head, we repeat the declaration - no matter how we feel about it's truth. Finally, and crucially, we behave as if it is true - irrespective of whether we yet feel it is true or not. It's faith, we give it a chance to prove itself!

So when you feel intimidated by the room of strangers, you hold your head up high and have a renewed confidence - because after all, who are these people to be intimidated by, you are loved by the King of Kings! When someone says something hurtful and you are tempted to respond in kind or retreat into the pain, instead you choose to believe God's view and out of the security that comes from that, you are able to see past the hurt to the wounded heart of the person who offended you...

That's just one example. We know most of us struggle to some degree with the lies in our life. So why not gove these steps a go? Better still, tell us about it via the comments, or click here if you'd like some concrete help with the lie that affects you.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Motorway signs and mountain passes

How do you get from where you are to where you're meant to be? There are maps, satnav, human navigators, highway's agency warning signs and blind faith in your sense of direction...

Done 2,000 miles driving so far on this sabbatical - very grateful for the satnav on my phone. The woman on it is very patient, doesn't get upset when I deviate (mostly unwisely) from her suggested route. She's pretty gracious too - doesn't say 'How many times have you driven this and still you don't know that it's LEFT at the roundabout...'

Not so grateful for the Highway's Agency signs... You're driving along as you are told at 69.98 mph (on the motorway of course) - little traffic, good conditions. Then the stupid sign comes on '60'. You have no idea why they think it is a good idea, but some poor sucker ahead of you decides he'd better slow down. Which means you have to slow down as well, rippling back for miles, one car after another... Next sign says '40'. Now those in the inside lanes automatically move our a lane to avoid those who are slowing down to 40, causing those lanes to get full and slow down as well. Finally the sign says 'Queue Caution' and quickly everything grinds to a halt. Most of the time, after a mile of stop-start, you suddenly accelereate back up to the 69.98 mph and lo, the next sign says 'End' I want to scream at the signs 'YOU CAUSED THE QUEUE' There wouldn't have been one if you hadn't said there was one! The only problem was the sign saying there was a problem!! What we need is for the satnav to gently encourage us 'Don't worry, no need to slow down, there isn't really a problem'....

So, when we hit traffic problems, real or imaginary, I turn to Janet who is a very good map-navigator. Can always rely on her to plan a diversion to get us round the obstacle that requires a detour. I've simply had to learn to turn off my instincts, remain blind to the road signs and trust the voice beside me.

Catherine and the kids joined us for a week whilst we were in Carlisle a few weeks ago. Listening to her directions is a whole different ball-game. She isn't especially interested in the quickest or most direct route. Her directions are based more on fun and adventure than the more conventional criteria! So when we were headed back from Windermere to Carlisle, she suggests some interesting routes. There's Janet, me, Catherine and the kids in the car andshe is suggesting the craziest routes - and because we trust her we embark on a route through the mountains involving single track road and one in three hills. It wasn't the safest option, nor humanly the wisest. But it was exhiliarating, the views were spectacular and we had a ton of fun.

All of which makes me wonder which voice I am more prone to listen to in my faith journey? How often do I slow down or grind to a halt just because circumstances seem to be saying 'Congestion', 'Slow down', '60' when in fact God isn't saying any such thing? I wonder if I don't have the wrong satnav plugged in most of the time... The voice I listen to is too often that of convenience, that of the world and if I'm honest, that of the enemy. Then sometimes the very thing I feared seems to be the very thing that happens, reinforcing my fears. Yet I know from experience that had I carried on rather than slowing or turning aside, all would have been well...

I wonder too how often I use my intellect, my wisdom, my experience to try and navigate round the life-blocks when what I need to do is trust the one who can see the map, who has the up to the minute list of roadworks and other obstacles - who can see the best route from here to there...

And I wonder how often I miss out on the fun, the adventure, the crazy, life-affirming drives because I presume the voice that's telling me to go off-road can't be God's?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Church walls

I was chatting with Dionne who is teaching me to sing (click here to find out more! ) earlier in the week about how most of us in church have no clue how to help people who are suicidal, or have complex issues that might take years to work through - it is like an alien world, we mean well, but do not understand. And because we don't understand we don't get involved, and we withdraw, leaving people who have these issues feeling isolated and feeling like they have to hide them. In this way we build walls of protection around us in which we feel safe, but which exclude the very people we are called to serve. As somebody who has experienced some of those issues and has felt some of that isolation, I want to say its not as hard as we make it out to be. I am not a job or a project or a client, to be controlled, or be told by someone all that I should do. Nor am I incompetent needing everything done or solved! I am not a burden, I am a good friend. Its just about relationship, about being a friend, about walking with me. If you dare get to know me, dare look beyond the walls I have put up, dare to see the real me as God sees me, and see who he is shaping me to be.

Now about some of those walls:

Personal walls

I have a problem, the walls I have built over years, work in the wrong ways. Anger stays inside, exhausts me, tires me, saps my energy. Love on the other hand is kept out, stopped before it gets in, not allowed to penetrate and be felt. The problem with the anger is I now have years built up, not allowed release, which ironically makes it harder to release it, makes it feel unsafe to do so. It damages my health, both mental and physical. I have grown up learning its not right to be angry, you have to hold stuff in, and to some degree learning that showing anger gets you in more trouble, and needing to be in control of it. Things so wrong have then been piled on and not allowed to be expressed. But I have started to learn now that actually it is OK to be angry, OK to express it (in safe ways - punching a soft sofa etc...), that it is right to feel angry about stuff that is wrong, and express it. Keeping it trapped in really doesn't deal with it, its like radioactive waste, warping my insides, leaving me feeling unsafe, rather than safe, a chaotic mess instead of peaceful, hindering my relationships and my ability to express myself in them. So I am learning (there is years of unlearning to do) to reverse the walls for the anger bit, the walls letting anger out, and stopping stuff sinking deep within, and getting trapped.Love on the other hand is stopped by the wall before it penetrates. Because of the past (some of the other blogs help explain more) my body has assumed that love hurts and is a bad thing and needs keeping out, and works hard at doing that. It stops what is a good thing getting in. It affects my close relationships, leads to me feeling insecure, not peaceful etc. In effect I am in a state of fighting myself to override these walls, and to learn to live out of Gods truth. I don't think it only people with the kind of issues I have who face this battle. We all have different walls and have all bought different lies, we all need one another as we battle. Now I know the nature of some of my walls some of the bricks have been dislodged and there have already been many victories, and ultimately I am on the winning side.So who wants to climb over their walls and join me?

Walls of peace

I was one of those that Catherine describes above. Had / have my own walls of course, but had also built some to keep those I was not confident of at arms length. I was evangelically friendly towards them - those with mental-health issues, those from other faiths for example, but I was scared of them if I'm honest. I thought you had to be a professional, thought I might make things worse... Actually, what I really needed was some walls of peace. The sort Paul describes as keeping our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Walls that defend us from the enemy's lies, walls that keep the love of God at the heart of our identity and security. Suddenly I wasn't as anxious - after all, it wasn't me having to do it - it was Christ in me. Now I have lots of Arabic friends, now I have lots of great friendships with people who have mental-health issues. My life suddenly got a whole lot richer, a whole lot more real.

Sunday, 14 November 2010


I like Steam Engines. I mean, I'm not one of these wierd guys whose life solely consists of such things - I'm not a steam train nerd. Honestly. It's years since I went train spotting. I've had ministry and everything.

Anyway, I like Steam Engines. So when we were having our holiday with Catherine and her kids up in Carlisle a couple of weeks ago, I thought the children would love to have a ride on a train pulled by a steam engine.

They were very enthusiastic. Well, one of us was anyway. And it was so close, would have been a shame not to have done it. A two hour drive with a two and four year old is nothing. You can see from the photo's how much they enjoyed themselves.

So, took lots of photo's 'cos it was such a nice day. I like photography (see what a well rounded, outgoing person I am?) when we got back I then spent hours editing them which was when I had my moment of revelation. (No, it wasn't "David you really need to get a life"). It was to do with cropping, or if you want the Biblical equivalent, pruning.

Here's another photo. It's of a steam engine. Knew you'd like it. I admit I spent a while adjusting lighting and contrast, balancing the colour. But I really thought the effort was worthwhile.

Nice picture. Posted to Facebook.

Came back to it a while later and with the benefit of distance, realised that I could improve it a lot. Not by adding new tricks, not by enlarging it, not by air-brushing bits. But by getting rid of clutter. By pruning. By focusing on what was really important and cropping the rest, no matter how interesting. Here's the result.

Now, if you look a the original, you will realise that you could crop it so you had a human interest photo - no steam engine, just people. In fact, as I went back through the photo's I realised that often where I had one really nice photograph, by careful cropping I could have two or three stunning scenes.

So, making the obvious point, there are lots of good things in my life. Areas of ministry, gifts, abilities, experience. The problem is not that there isn't good stuff - it makes an attractive picture! The question is my willingness to allow someone with a better eye, a bigger perspective to crop the photo. What bits, however nice in their own right, no matter how good or useful to others, are actually distracting from the picture God wants to focus on? Time and again as I looked at the photographs I struggled to crop. I found it hard to cut out parts that were of themselves attractive. But as I took the courage, I realised that the 'harsher' I was in the cropping, the better the result.

Jesus said 'I am the true vine, my Father is the gardener, he prunes the vine so that it can produce more fruit'

If I'm going to be as effective as I want to be, as fruitful as God longs for me to be, as impacting as my friends need me to be, I'm going to have to learn to trust God's eye and give Him permission to crop out the clutter.

Friday, 5 November 2010

It's time

Reuben's Story
The day had started like any of the other days he could remember. Wake up, pull on some clothes, go out of the tent and join the other children gathering enough Manna for the day. Then, after breakfast, help break down the tent, pack up and wait for Joshua to point the direction we were to wander in till dusk. Every day the same. It wasn't a bad life, but often we would annoy our parents by asking the age old question 'why'. Why, for as long as anyone alive could remember, had we been living this pointless, if pleasant life. We knew the answer of course, but winding up parents was about as interesting as it got most days.

Simeon's Story
He was getting old - it took longer each day to get out of bed and pull on a few clothes. So tempting just to lie there - after all, there was very little he had to do that had any point to it. Every day like the last, for as long as he could remember. Get up, get dressed, have a little bread and water for breakfast then go to the temple. The same routine, the same people, the same gentle jibes. 'Have you seen the Messiah yet?'. The drip, drip of their doubt so nearly found its way to his heart. How often, like today, had he almost not bothered to go. How arrogant that he should still believe that long-ago inner voice that he had taken to be God's: 'You won't die until you have seen the Lord's anointed - Yeshua - the Saviour'

Reuben's Story
But today was different. Just after breakfast the bugle had sounded, not as normal to indicate where we should go, but to call the tribal elders together. We all waited. Nothing like this had happened since Moses had died, and rarely before that. So we waited. Eventually the men came back. They looked different, taller, purposeful, resolute. And quickly the news spread. We were to break camp, not this time for more aimless wandering, but to enter the land of promise. A murmer spread like wild fire through the tribes, across our nation. It grew in intensity until 40 years of futile wandering erupted in a mighty roar. At last, God had spoken. We, my generation, me, my family - we were the ones who got to do what a lost generation had not done. After hundreds of years of waiting, we - and no others - had the joy of going forward to take the land. Of course we were anxious - the giants were still there. Of course we knew there would be a price to pay, battles to be fought. But we were the ones. God had chosen us. Our hearts soared. No more futility. Whatever it cost, we weren't going to lose the blessing. We were going home.

Simeon's Story
As he walked down the street the pain in his leg and the ache in his heart grew worse. Then old Isaac shouted across 'Seen the Messiah today Simeon?' and with a pitying laugh shook his head. The drip of doubt pierced his heart and he hobbled to a stop. Why did he bother, why did he think that after 400 years of silence, God had spoken to him? Go home something in his mind said, give it up. But something stirred in his heart, like a half remembered voice, and before he knew it, his feet were shuffling towards the temple again. So, just as he had every day for the last 60 years, he picked his way through the crowds and as a simple act of worship, obediently came one more time. And as took that step of faith, something broke in the heavenly realm and once again he heard that crystal clear inner voice. 'Today' it whispered. His heart pounded, he lifted his head, stood upright and walked with a younger step, a more purposeful gait. As the years of futility fell off him he walked through the outer courts, with renewed purpose, looking for a kingly man who might be the Messiah. 'There' the voice whispered. He looked but all he could see was a poor couple with a newborn to dedicate. 'Yeshua' the voice whispered. 'The child'. Suddenly the scriptures fell into place, the years of emptiness meant nothing. He ran with a roar in his heart and took the child from his poor bewildered parents. Holding him high the years of pain and doubt were given voice: 'Now let your servant depart in peace, for I have seen with my own eyes the salvation of my God!'.

Your Story
You have been chosen by God for greatness. Yes, you. The person reading these words. It's you, not someone else. Not someone younger, better qualified, more experienced. You. Not someone with more time, more resources, more training. You. There are things God has for you to do; people to lead to Him, the sick to heal, the poor to feed, the widows to visit, the orphans to house, the dead to raise, the lonely to befriend, the imprisoned to set free. You. Listen. The world is desperate for you to do the very things that God has planned for you to do. Can't you hear the lonely crying? The imprisoned shouting for justice, the young who have neen marginalised? You get to be the one who feeds them, heals them, befriends them, brings new life to them. You. Can you sense the stirring of excitement? The awe of the privilege? Is it dangerous, is it costly, might it hurt? Yep. But look, God is calling you. He knows you can do it. You get to be the one - not that other person. You.

Let the roar out. The pent up futility of the world's way, the grinding tedium of the enemy's agenda.Today is different from yesterday. Today is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it - because today we have the Saviour in our heart, and with Him, we are going to take new ground.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Don't settle for second best

Off to the Lakes, car saying it needs petrol, offer small prize to first person who spots a petrol station. (small prize is, you don't have to push the car...). One spotted on the right. Difficult to turn across the traffic, then hard to get back out again. No matter, car fuelled. Drive over brow of hill, petrol station on left, easier and cheaper. Rats, should have waited 30 seconds....

God told Abraham he would be the father of a great nation. Waited years, still no kids. Go have sex with your wife's servant, create a natiuon who will continue to oppose you till the present day. Or, we're an apostle short, God has said we should have 12, let's hold a lottery... Oh, God seemed to have it covered with this guy called Paul...

Jesus, my friend is really sick, please come and pray for him. Why aren't you coming, why aren't you healing him? Jesus, he's dead - why didn't you come, don't you love us? Oh. He's alive.

I wonder how often our impatience to see God fuflill His promises leads us to accept what is second best? We look for a healing when God wants to show us resurrection power. We look for the small miracle when God wants the big...

Years ago we visited a museum in London with our young daughter. It was a hot day and we were all quite tired at the end. 'Can I have an ice-cream please' Of course says loving, generous Father. Except there aren't any. Walk for ages, no ice-cream sellers. Finally find a newsagent - still no ice-creams, but at least a lolly (popsickle for our American readers!). But it isn't what she wanted, isn't what she asked for, isn't what I had offered. So she holds it at arms length, taking one lick every couple of minutes. It starts to melt, dripping down her hand, her arm, onto her T-Shirt a real mess... At which point a wasp appears and it is much more interested in the lolly... starts buzzing round trying to land on the sugary goodness. Daughter in fear and and annoyance starts to wave looly around like some demented sword fight, wasp gets angrier. Loving Father says 'Throw it away, you dodn't want it in the first place, if you don't throw it away, you will get stung'. Daughter fights all the harder; thaty which she didn't ask for, that which she didn't want has now become the most treaured of possessions. Loving Father tries again. 'Trust me, drop it, throw it away, you don't want it and you will get hurt'. Daughter pauses, reflects then makes the agonising decision. To trust Dad or hold on to the lolly. A the wasp moves in for the sting, she lets go of the lolly and it slides to the grouond, quickly followed by the wasp. Daughter now distraught and messy, but un-stung. We walk round the corner and there, right in front of us is an ice-cream seller. Daughter transformed into happy, messy girl with the biggest ice-cream in the known universe.

As I handed her the ice-cream I felt God say to me 'That's just like you David. I know the desires of your heart, I long to give you the things that will fulfill and bring joy and gladness. But too often you have grasped at what is second best. You cling on to that which you didn't really want and which in the end will kill you. And because your hands are full of the things that will kill, you cannot receive from me the things that will bring life'.

I looked at the ice-cream. I looked at the messy child. I looked at her beaming, happy face. She had trusted her Dad.

So, we got to the Lakes. As we approached, the scenery was stunning. I pulled into the side of the road to take some photo's. Surely it couldn't get better than this. I grabbed hold of it, took pictures of it. Then we drove round the corner. Turned out that once more I had almost settled for second best.

What about you? What are you clinging onto that will kill, that is second best, that is stopping you from receiving God's best? Have you stopped short, waiting for a too small miracle? Hear again the Father's voice: 'Press in to the best, let go of second best. I love you way more than that'.

Monday, 18 October 2010


I started having singing lessons a few weeks ago. Part of regaining my voice, learning how to sing (always avoided it before now, cos was told I couldn't sing) Great fun, been Yumming and Nging, and arring, eeeing, and oooing :) Wrote this song too this week`:

My voice
Silent and resting, till morning is there
my voice has been waiting for others to hear
its a lie that I have had nothing to say
and its crumbling and tumbling far far away

For I have a voice that has something to say
I have a voice that silent can't stay
My voice was just hidden till out it could fly
like an eagle with wings free in the sky

Truth it shall speak, with love in its tone,
honest enough to admit wrong and own
thankfullness flowing as it is set free
My voice is to be for my fathers glory

For I have a voice that has something to say
I have a voice that silent can't stay
My voice was just hidden till out it could fly
like an eagle with wings free in the sky

Injustice shall quake as the sound is released,
and chains shall be broken and prisoners released
The love of my father shall pour out in song
and he will heal in his power the broken so wronged

For I have a voice that has something to say
I have a voice that silent can't stay
My voice was just hidden till out it could fly
like an eagle with wings free in the sky

Isn't it easy for us to take peoples voices away, take their responsibility and choice away too, disempower them as people from being able to make choices. From the seemingly trivial ‘you can’t sing’ to the more obviously profound words from a mother ‘You are unwanted, you should never have been born’.

I think we Brits have built a culture of disempowerment. From ridiculous health & safety rules that cocoon and prevent risk taking, to the joy we take in running others down with our slightly pessimistic, underdog worldview. Time and again I hear people focus on the thing that didn't go so well rather than on the wonderful things that happened. The child gets a 'B' and is told “that's what happens when you don't work hard enough” instead of being praised for their achievement.

But it isn't just individuals who get disempowered so easily, As a leader, we go into a meeting looking at our watch. Later we say 'I really want to give time for you to give me feedback'. Then we wonder why no-one says anything, why later the group seems not to trust us...

Yeah, it can work in church too. Disempowerment seeps out when it seems only the best do stuff. Others feel they are not able to do it like that and withdraw. Then the body loses out: A few end up working their butts off (often resenting it) while the rest feel unable to do anything! God sees us as a body, each with a part to play, not competing, but spurring each other on, learning from each other, working together, sharpening each other up.

It seems to me that we have a built in bias towards being disempowered. A thousand positive statements are undermined by the one negative comment... Mature people in every other way, suddenly back off, give up become demotivated through a misspoken word... So easy for anyone who has been given the right to speak into our lives – parents, spouse, close friends, those in authority – to say a word that kills rather than lifts up.

Jesus by contrast spent his time empowering people. Zaccheus, the world may call you small and mean. I call you to generosity and hospitality. Mary, the world calls you a demonised prostitute. I call you holy, beloved. Peter, the world derides you as an uneducated fisherman. I say you have rock-like faith on which I will build church.

Yet Jesus did this in the midst of words and actions that could so easily have disempowered him. Far from being an empowerer, he could so easily have become a condemner. Call yourself a prophet, you’re just a bastard from nowhere. Think you’re the messiah, you can’t even save yourself. You’re going to build a kingdom – even your closest friends are running away. But even when he was reviled, betrayed, he kept on empowering others. On the cross he commissions John.

So how does Jesus do it? Because he himself has first been empowered. After years of faithful service, believing God for who he was, as he presents himself in faith for baptism, he hears the Father’s words ‘This is my son in whom I am well pleased’. Empowered by those words of affirmation, he goes to the desert, faces the onslaught from the enemy then comes back it says ‘empowered by the Holy Spirit’

What about us? Do we disempower others, accidentally, deliberately, as a result of our own insecurity, our own disempowerment? Or do we consciously look for ways to empower and build up others, because we to have heard the Father’s voice in our life, confirming who we are in Him, attesting to his love for us? Words that allow us to brush off the disempowerment of those who should know and do better. 

Catherine & David
So here’s a challenge for us all this week. How about every time we are about to say something that might disempower, we invert it and say something that brings life? The waitress may have spilt the coffee. Don’t tell her she’s clumsy, say how much you appreciate the fact that she has taken on the role! The child may have taken too long to do something. Sit down and explain it, teach it, reassure the child that it’s ok, that it is loved, then encourage it to take the risk of trying again.

And add comments to the blog with your stories of how the world changed, how the kingdom broke in.

Monday, 11 October 2010

How it ends

Ever been in the middle of something - a project, a problem and you can't see a way out? Of course, most of the time we work through it and get to the end. Afterwards we can look back and rejoice that it worked out well. Ever thought then that it would have been nice to know the outcome when you were in the middle of it all? How much peace we would have had, how much more confidence would we have had in the midst?

Some of you will be curious as to how the decorating turned out. Well, with the help of Catherine in the preparation and Roger in the paintng of the walls, I can now reveal that the project is complete and looks great! Thanks friends! To be honest, I wish I could have seen a photo of the finished job whilst we were picking millimetre size bits of paint off the doors - it would have encouraged me no end to know that soon there would be an end!

I've got lots of friends who are in the middle of some pretty difficult times. For some of you it feels like there is no way out;

Nehemiah was in such a crisis. The news he had received was devastating. As a senior court official he knew he had to hide his personal concerns to avoid them impacting the King. He couldn't. His job, his life, were on the line and he didn't care, the news was so bad. He went to look himself and realised everything everyone had said was true. It really was irredeemably bad. When he tried to claw his way out of the mess, individuals mocked him. When the project began to make some painfully slow progress, the number and strength of the opposition grew. Finally, even those who he might have expected to stand with him - family, friends, also turned against him.

Ever felt like Nehemiah? You've tried and tried but it seems to get harder not easier. The more you desperately seek to push through, the more it seems come and stand against you. Then comes the thing that defeats us so many times. The lack of support or even the outright opposition from those we love and trust.

What started out for Nehemiah as the opposition of one or two became armies ranged against him, whole people groups opposed to the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls. What began as a seemingly impossible task  had become derided and opposed in the end by even his own people. By the end of chapter 5 it has got so bad that the next part begins "So, finally". And as you read it your heart sinks. The only conclusion possible is: "So finally, they gave up" or "So finally they decided to put the project on hold till a more favourable time".

But chapter 6 starts like this. Despite the opposition, despite the seeming impossibility.

"And so, the wall was finished".

You know what? He just keeps going. One brick after another. He takes practical steps to protect himself and the work, but he just keeps going. It hurts like hell. Read the story. But one brick after another, trusting God, he keeps going - until, despite how it looked, the wall was finished.

I want to shout out loud - 'I know how it ends! Christ in you wins! You share in an overwhelming victory! Your enemies get to watch the King of Kings treat you to a victory banquet! There comes a day when in the light of the unending glory and joy that you are experiencing, that you look back and declare "it was worth it".

I know how it ends, therefore rejoice and be at peace even in the midst of the darkness!'

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit,
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labor night and day
To be a pilgrim.

Monday, 4 October 2010


Falling in love
It's a chemical, pheremone thing. It's designed to override the rational, reduce the need for food and to produce an overwhelming protection instinct. It lasts for up to two years to enable nurture through pregnancy, birth and weaning.

I know, I'm just a romantic at heart.

Love changes everything:
Hands and faces,
Earth and sky,
Love changes everything:
How you live and
How you die

Can make the summer fly,
Or a night
Seem like a lifetime.

Yes, Love,
Love changes everything:
Now I tremble
At your name.
Nothing in the
World will ever
Be the same.

Love changes everything:
Days are longer,
Words mean more.
Love changes everything:
Pain is deeper
Than before.

Will turn your world around,
And that world
Will last for ever.

Yes, Love,
Love changes everything,
Brings you glory,
Brings you shame.
Nothing in the
World will ever
Be the same.
Into the world we go,
Planning futures,
Shaping years.
Bursts in, and suddenly
All our wisdom

Makes fools of everyone:
All the rules
We make are broken.

Yes, Love,
Love changes everyone.
Live or perish
In its flame.
Love will never,
Never let you
Be the same.

It's great isn't it? Makes us feel alive in a way that perhaps nothing else does. It stirs all those noble feelings, self-sacrifice, wholehearted giving, loyalty, uncompromising hope. All very good things indeed. But based on chemistry not choice.

Seems to me that too often what people desire is the experience, the feeling of 'being in love' rather than the person who they are 'in love' with. Now of course the majority of people are wise enough to know that all this and manage to work through it to a healthier basis for a long-term relationship. But many don't. Time and again we read about people who say 'I just don't love them anymore' or 'we fell out of love'. By which I guess is meant 'I no longer have these overwhelmingly positive feelings'. 

So, my first point would be that 'falling in love' is not a good indicator of anything! Pretty much any man and woman who like each other and progressively share more of themselves, gaining common experiences along the way can do that! In fact I'd go further. Under those circumstances, unless a deliberate effort is made to stop it, it is almost inevitable. Song of Solomon says 'Don't stir up love until it's ready'  This is what it means.

I'm not saying we shouldn't expect feelings, emotions to play a significant part, of course they should! I'm not saying we should avoid falling in love! I'm simply pointing out that if these become the basis of our decision making, it will end badly. At some point the feelings will change, we will stop 'being in love'. If these feelings have remained the only basis for the relationship, then it will founder.

Which of course leaves sex............

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Peter & The Wolf

The Intro
Did God create the universe in six physical days? Was there a world-wide flood? Were there actual giants? Are there such things as demons? Hasn't archaeology disproved the Biblical record of events? What, as Pilate asked, is truth?

Here's a well known story followed by a spoof debate by learned scholars on the text... all rounded off by some provocative thoughts from us both!
The Story
Once, a long time ago there was a boy called Peter. He lived with his family in a log cabin high in the forest. Every day before he went out to play his parents would say to him 'Now Peter, don't forget, if you see a wolf, don't go near it, don't run, just shout as loud as you can "WOLF" and we will come and save you'. Every day Peter played outside in a clearing around the cabin. He never saw a wolf, but he did like the idea of his parents giving him all the attention so one day when he was a little bored he shouted at the top of his voice "WOLF, WOLF". He loved watching his Father come running with his gun, loved the hug he got from his mum when they knew he was safe, loved the extra attention he received during the rest of the day. In fact, it was so good that the rest of the week seemed very ordinary. So on Saturday he did it again. Then on Monday. And Tuesday. And twice on Wednesday. By the end of the following week the attention he was getting wasn't at all what he wanted. Now he was being scolded, being accused of lying, of worrying his parents.

Miserable, Peter went out to play. He was so caught up in his own sorrow that he didn't notice the wolf at first. But there it was. Five foot long and three foot high it looked to Peter as if it could eat him in one bite. He tried to scream, but at first, no sound came. Then, terrified, as it moved in for the kill, he shouted his last words. "WOLF, WOLF".

The Analysis
If this were a biblical text you could imagine the experts poring over it. Here's a sample:

Dr P. Wolf: The use of the word gun dates the story not earlier than the 18th century, however, archaelogical evidnce suggest that log cabins had fallen into disuse by this point, calling into doubt the credilibity of this source. Further, the description of the wolf points to the 'Gray Wolf' which was not known in this region until the 19th century. Finally, the name 'Peter' points to a Russian influence quite contrary to any demographic evidence. All these taken together convince most scholars that the events described are not historically rooted, calling into question the 'truth' supposedly at the heart of this story.

Professor W. Peterson, Wolfsburg University: The story of Peter and the Wolf  is clearly about the journey from adolescence to sexual maturity. The wolf is a metaphor for the fear that the boy has of his emerging sexuality, made worse by his over-bearing parent's instructions to avoid sex (making the analogy of the wolf). They are transferring their own repressed sexuality onto their son who nonetheless experiments with increasing frequency 'on Saturday he did it again..' and finally 'and twice on Wednesday'. In the end he finds sexual liberation symbolised by being devoured by the wolf - and having found this freedom, leaves the shackles of home.

Ms C Blogwriter, It's about not getting eaten by wolves! If you learn from Peter's tragic mistake, you might not get eaten by a wolf! When the teeth sank into the poor boys throat, he wasn't thinking about metaphor, symbolism or historical accuracy. He wasn't even thinking about sex. If he had a last thought it was probably 'oh God, I wish I'd not lied'. I know I'm not a scholar and have no credibility saying such things, but aren't you MISSING THE POINT?

The Truth
Did Peter really exist? Was there a wolf - and did it kill Peter, or as in other versions of the story, merely scare him? Most ordinary people would rapidly conclude that the truth in the story is that dishonesty has consequences that lead to a lack of trust. Ultimately, lack of trust can be fatal.That truth does not depend in any way on the answers to those questions. Practically, it makes no difference to the point, the heart, the meaning, the purpose of the story, whether or not there was a real Peter or a real wolf. Whether this is made up or an historical event makes no difference. The truth remains the same. Lie and you will not be trusted, At some point that might make all the difference in the world.

The point
So here's a thought; people are being eaten by wolves spiritually. What they need is to hear and  heed the truth that is in Scripture. Not the science, not the history, not the originial Greek or Hebrew meanings of obscure words, but the plain, clear as day truth.

Catherine's thoughts: We so often get wound up in the detail, tied up by it, and lose the freedom that the Gospel truth brings, we gain facts and lose the relationship. The bible becomes like a science textbook where precision is everything rather than a living word. I have lived most of my church life like this, needing to try and learn each verse perfectly, rather than allowing the living word to work, to seep into my heart and transform me from the inside out. Reading the bible became like work, a job to do and I kind of missed the point. Like seeing a sunrise in grey instead of vibrant, alive, transforming, colour. It's the problem the Pharisees had: very good at reciting the scripture, very good at using words to argue their point, but hopeless at making a difference. Jesus described some of them as 'whitewashed tombs'.

David's thoughts: I like Catherine's take on this - let me give you a concrete example. The truth revealed in Genesis 1-3 includes: God is a loving relationship passionate about communicating with the significant creatures He has made. He loves them enough to give them the freedom to hurt themselves and Him. He gives then real and genuine authority, He makes male and female utterly equal before Him and both are culpable in rejecting God's love. Nonetheless he loves enough to plan a redemptive future in which we today can participate such that the original mandate to 'go, increase, bring the world into beautiful submission to my kingship' can be accomplished 'go into all the world and make disciples...' Which of these extraordinary, life giving, life changing truths is changed one iota whether the process of creation is a metaphor, a conveient device for sharing these truths, or a scientific treatise? Jesus said 'I am the way, the truth, the life...' Let's live it!

The True Word
Your word is like a sword not passive like a stone
It doesn't look for nit pickers or for some mistake to moan
It is there to build up love, and break in to people lives
to cut our calloused hearts and transform us as your bride
Its there to help reveal the heart of you my God,
the beauty and the purity of your unending love

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Interactive One!

For those of you who weren't at SBC on Sunday, a word of explanation: The following are sermon notes from the message preached on the 25th. Half way through the service, this blog was displayed live on screen and people were invited to add their comments. Great fun - another first for Thinking Allowed!

Balance is a word that should be banned in Christian circles. It too often translates as inertia, compromise, lowest common denominator, lack of zeal, half-heartedness, double-mindedness. Away with it!

Replace 'balance' with 'Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul, all of your strength'

Excuses you won't want to deliver on the day of account: 'I took a balanced approach to life', 'There were too many obstacles to whole-heartedness', 'I didn't know', 'It made me uncomfortable', 'I wasn't qualified'

Just Do It! Pray for healing, cast out demons, bring new life. Be good news. Love your neighbour. Today, right now. Let's see God smash through our false ceilings. I don't want him to live up to my expectations, I want him to drive a coach through my expectations!

Friday, 24 September 2010


Catherine says -  I have just read Davids latest blog draft and said to him YOU REALLY CAN'T PUBLISH THAT!!

so here, instead is a tongue-in-cheek excerpt from Luke 25

The funny bit
There was a long queue of people waiting for Jesus and his disciples, the sick, the paralysed, those overcome by paint fumes (like the authors as they write- will the decorating ever be finished!).  But because church has now been established there are one or two procedures to adhere to along the way...

Jesus: 'let the little children come to me'
Leader: 'er, can we just see your full disclosure CRB first'
Jesus: 'My what? I only want to have them come and sit on my knee and talk to them'
Leader: 'Ooh, we can't have any of that even if you have got your CRB - no affection to be shown whatever!'
Jesus: 'Alright - anyone here with long-term issues from the past?'
Mary: 'Well, I've always had problems with...'
Leader: 'Sorry to interupt, but as a single man, we really don't advise you to deal with this young woman..'
Jesus: 'But all I need to do is pray for her and she will be free..'
Mary: 'Just pray? Oh I don't think so, I've already been in counselling for two years, there's no way you're going to fob me off with a quick prayer'
Leader: 'Well, if you're going to get into counselling people I will have to see your accreditation'
Jesus: 'Accreditation, thought doing the fathers will was all that was needed'
Leader:  'You are a joker, trying to do something without the correct qualifications, do you realise the trouble you could be in! You can't do a job like that, we need the certificate before you can do anything - just because your father did it isn't enough!!'
Jesus to the disciples: 'look guys you're going to have to do stuff too, the queue is getting longer because of these rules and regulations'
Peter:  'right I will go and set up a Bible school, so that we can all be properly trained away from all these difficulties - do you reckon 3 or 4 years should do it?'
John:  'great I could run the church planting conference with you'
Nicodemus:  'well I am a professional, reckon I could do a bit of business planning for you'
Joanna:  'For goodness sake there are all these people here now, we have God with us, why can't we just get on with things'
Crowd:  'Don't be so unwise', 'I don't know how to talk to people', 'it could be dangerous', 'we can't just go round praying for people, might do more harm than good', 'we are not professionals', 'my diary is full till easter'

Jesus: Exit stage right, head in hands, weeping...

David says - Catherine's getting Josh to sleep whilst Becky watches 'Little Mermaid', so here's a slightly edited version of the forbidden blog - don't tell her...

The forbidden bit...
Ok, so let’s be clear from the outset, when you’re taking big risks, you need to be careful. The risk itself is, well, risky. You don’t want to add unnecessarily to the risk by being stupid. So I’m all for being wise, all for thinking ahead, all for avoiding pitfalls and the enemy’s traps.

But, and I say this with all due respect, TAKE SOME ******* RISKS. Let's stop sitting on our backsides shouting words of caution from the sidelines! There are people dying out there – some literally of course, but many more who are dying inside. Lots of them look ok - just like you on the outside - but if you look into their eyes, if you spend a few minutes really asking, you’ll find out that they are dying inside.

Janet & I used to work in Relief  & Development. Classic dilemma; young child dying of dehydration, all you have to hand is unclean, contaminated water. What do you do? YOU GIVE THE CHILD THE WATER!!!! If you don’t it will die. If you do it might die from water-borne diseases, but if you don’t IT WILL DIE.

The person in front of you is dying inside. If you invite them into your life it might be messy - who knows where it will end? You’ve never handled this kind of thing before, there are probably others more competent. You’re frightened of screwing up, of making it worse. You don’t really have the time, the resources.

Jesus reinforced the command – ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. So to avoid it they asked ‘Who is my neighbour?’ I mean, if it’s the nice, same culture, same class, same point-of-view person from my church / club / work / neighbourhood then great! If it’s a person I believe I can help – that would actually make me feel good and valued – it would hardly feel like helping at all.... But Jesus doesn't let them get away with that! Instead he tells a story of the religious bigot from the feared part of town. He makes the point that your neighbour is whoever God brings across your path with a need. But they deflect it again by arguing they don't have what it takes to fill the need. So the gospel tells of the time the disciples are surrounded by an impossible need – around 10,000 men, women and children without food. He makes it clear – 'Right now, these are your neighbours, get on and sort it'. They moan ‘We don’t have the resources’. But if God has defined someone as your neighbour. He has the resources, you need to trust Him for them. The little boy did.

The person in front of you is dying inside. You feel grossly uncomfortable, getting involved might wreck your plans. Worse, it seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Shouldn’t you wait to get other people involved, until you’ve had the training, until the kids have grown up, until we have the resources? What if it goes wrong and you end up hurting them, what if you don’t have what it takes? WAKE UP, THEY’RE DYING, THEY ARE YOUR NEIGHBOUR.

Please, don’t have a prayer meeting about it, don’t email everyone saying how worried you are about those who are actually getting their hands dirty, don’t write a policy on it. DO SOMETHING, THEY ARE DYING.

Of course, as you are rescuing, seek advice, be accountable, follow or write the policy, pray like crazy. BUT ACT, DO IT, DO IT NOW. THEY ARE DYING. Tomorrow may be too late.

Jesus showed them time and again.  Ultimately He showed us all.

Sorry for the shouting, for the graphic  language. Truth is, the cross was ******* inconvenient. But God thought that we as neighbours were worth it.

Let’s prove Him right.