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Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Love Your Rain

It is Saturday morning. I am normally sleeping but I had the luxury of a Friday night without driving a cab. This past month or so has been very stressful emotionally and spiritually and I have done a great deal of reflecting and seeking God in the midst of a prolonged storm.

A week or so ago I made a rare trip to the Christian bookstore and bought some reduced Vineyard CDs in order to help change the atmosphere of the house.

This morning I put on "You and You Alone by Vineyard Canada. I am not a rabid fan of much modern worship music but this is an exceptionally good CD and then I heard "Even Though" and God spoke to me in the midst of the rain and the Spirit touched me afresh with hope and grace.

Even though I can't see the sun
through these clouds
I know it still shines.

Even though I can't feel your love
through this pain
I know you're alive and

Even though I can't understand
Why this storm still blows and
even though I can't hear your voice
I love your rain.

What a beautiful song. Thank you God for meeting me today. Even though I can't understand why this storm still blows and even though I can't hear your voice I do love your rain.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nobody

"16For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life." (The Voice)

I often think I'm a nobody; not as an act of false humility although that sometimes happens but because I feel like a nobody but I have come to realize that Jesus came for the nobodies. The verse above says "so that whoever believes in Him..." or we can translate it as "He gave His only Son for the nobodies who would believe in Him."

In pubs, gay bars, taxi rides and other places you find people who think they're nobody. I often come across people who pretend they're somebody in order to hide the face that they're a nobody. And even in the grand scheme of life the real somebodies and really nobodies.

I have recently come across a wonderful blog called Divine Nobodies. It is written by Jim Palmer "a nobody, neighbour and friend of all people." I wish I'd thought of that description first although I might steal it anyhow.

You can read about Jim's books here.

It just got me thinking is all. I feel like a nobody and I'm trying to get this pub church thing going and today I feel flat and frustrated but then again I have been found by a loving God who sought me out and gave me hope so today I pick myself up again and walk forward into God's future and God's plans.

Monday, November 24, 2008

High Calling Blogs

I came across High Calling Blogs. It is a great hub for Christian blogs. It is more than a list of blogs in that it has great newsletters and links to resources.

If you are a Christian blogger I strongly encourage you to join up. They are a very responsive team of people and it is a wonderful community.

Chaos Theory

No, this isn't an erudite scientific treatise but a reflection on my home life. I thought the picture captured how things are at the moment except that it's a little too neat for our house.

My wife and I are on an interesting journey called parenting and sometimes it is wonderful and sometimes I crawl through the day and hope that tomorrow will be easier.

We have a 7 year old son on the autistic spectrum, a 9 year old who is growing daily and pushing the boundaries from time to time and a 2 year old who is lovely and busy. We love our kids dearly and I thank God for them every day but sometimes it is really tough.

I know that all parents go through tough times and I know plenty of families who have done it tougher than us so this isn't an advertisement for a pity party. It's simply a reflection. In the midst of this journey it has been interesting to observe how my faith has reacted and developed to our life.

I don't quite know where this post is going. It might well reflect my tiredness and confusion. I have been through chronic depression and am now on medication. My ministry came, went and I am now rediscovering my calling. My 7 year old has ups and downs on a daily basis but despite, or rather because, of all this my faith seems to be more rock solid and real.

I think my struggle with my faith, the literalness of the Bible and the nature of prayer is a reflection of finding how and where God is in the midst of the chaos of life. I think my attempt at developing spirituality in the pub is a reflection of finding God in the here and now of life. I'm not sure if this makes sense. I did say it wasn't an erudite treatise but God is here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

rethink Christmas


The following link contains a video from "The Advent Conspiracy"

It is a short but thought-provoking presentation about the getting of "stuff" over the Christmas period. Something Beautiful is a great site to explore.

Let me know your thoughts on the video. I am going to use it at pub church as part of provoking discussion about the festive season and values.

rethink Christmas

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

God at The Gateway

Mark the date in your diaries - Tuesday November 11th, 2008. "The Spirit Well" began upstairs in "The Gateway" in Islington. I am so relieved, excited, inspired, blessed and satisfied and God is so wonderfully awesome. I am also extremely blessed in having so many people from across the globe praying and sending messages of support and encouragement.

I hadn't promoted the first meeting too much because I wanted to put out my vision and see if it resonated with the initial gathering. There were 5 people including myself and five others were due to come but couldn't make it so all the initial signs of life and need are encouraging.

Here is the schedule for the rest of this year and some ideas and thoughts for the future. I value and request input so feel free to add your comments and tell others to check out the blog, email me or join the facebook prayer group.

We are going to meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm for a $5 meal in the bistro followed by the main meeting at 8pm.

Nov 25th - Short Film from Mosaic in LA followed by discussion

Dec 9th - The Advent Conspiracy - The Christmas story revisited

Dec 23rd - Christmas Party

One of the core group has extensive experience with liturgy and other ancient church practices and is keen to explore alt-worship events. I have been put in touch with a gay Christian in Sydney who is a top-class photographer and is putting together an exhibition of Christians who are seeking to bridge the gap between the church and the gay community. I am speaking to the pub about hosting a photographic exhibition in April or May next year. I am keen to get guest speakers in especially people who are prepared to explore spirituality and grace.

I am excited. God is definitely in control. For the first time in my ministry career I feel that I am where God wants me to be. Watch this space. I will try to be more diligent with blogging so thanks for your patience and love.