Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ten of One Thousand

It was my intention to begin this on Sunday - Harvest Sunday for us, which seemed a good day to stop and to remember.
But stuff crowded in and yesterday was crazy.
So here I am, better late than never - the first ten of one thousand intentional thangsgivings - because "every good and perfect gift is from above".
May it become not only my habit but my orientation for each moment of every day...

1. For life and breath
2. For food
3. For soul food
4. For family
5. For friends who become family
6. For the means to support ourselves
7. For four walls and a comfy bed
8. For learning to read and write for free!
9. For grace
10. For the inspiration in the first place

holy experience

Monday, 20 September 2010

The great paradox

"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom."

(The Bible, MSG)

Our world has alot to say about "freedom" but never this: that the true freedom Jesus gives is not about setting me free to live as I please, but rather setting me free from the inward compulsion to live selfishly and so enabling me to live for the benefit of others.
Much is also said in Hollywood about "love" but rarely this: that true love is service - a laying aside of my needs or wants for the benefit of the other.

To a world of many words but little wisdom, Jesus said, "There is no greater love than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Friday, 10 September 2010

When I am weak...

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." ... That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(The Bible, 2 Cor 12:9-10)

What are the weaknesses I face today?
Physical ailment? Lack of patience? Loss of temper? Habitual patterns of behaviour? Circumstances beyond my control?
Will I embrace them rather bury my head in the sand?
Will I face them with the power He gives?

Jesus said, "Ask and you will receive".

Thursday, 9 September 2010

What am I reaping this harvest?

"My beloved had a vineyard
on a rich and fertile hill.
He ploughed the land, cleared it's stones
and planted it with the best vines...
Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes
but the grapes that grew were bitter...
He expected a crop of justice,
but instead he found oppression.
He expected to find righteousness,
but instead he found cries of violence."

The Bible, Isaiah 5
What kind of a crop am I reaping today?
Bitter or sweet?
What part am I playing in bringing about justice for the oppressed?
Where is the violence in my own heart?
Jesus said, "By their fruit you will recognise them".

Get some ideas here and here.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Inside Out

For those who take an interest in personality profiling I am, apparently, an introvert.

This does not mean, as one might assume, that I dislike being around other people but simply that, after spending time with others, I appreciate time alone to recharge my batteries. This may explain why I find social networking sites a little overwhelming so there is a strange irony in the fact that a blog should appeal to me as providing an opportunity for some quiet space.

The other apparent trait of my particular "profile" (INFJ- for those familiar with Jung/Myers Briggs Testing) is that my internal thought world is big or, at least, constantly on the go. In fact, apart from being asleep, there aren’t many moments in the day when I am not thinking about something. To some this may sound silly because surely we must all be thinking about something in order to do anything? But, in my case, I am often thinking about something completely different to the activity in which I am engaged.

This could account for my tendency to be easily distracted.

Some would call it “away with the fairies”... but I prefer the term “musing” (for obvious reasons).

The trouble with all that extra thinking going on is that there isn’t always an outlet for it. What I need is somewhere to put it all. Hence another reason for Museum of Life – museum being a place to store stuff - things of interest, at least to me.

CS Lewis once suggested that a thought or sentiment was never really complete until it had been expressed to another. I guess I find myself writing in order to express, or complete what is going on inside. It also completes the process for me because I often find that it's only when I write something down that the thoughts become fully formed. In short, I need to write to think. Maybe I don’t need a blog for that. Maybe my notebook journal should be enough. But I think there is also something about the way we have been made which means that, even for introverts, we need to live in community. Paul Simon was wrong - none of us is truly an island. To share thoughts, emotions, even the most simple of daily experiences is what being human is all about. In this we reflect the character of the One who made us. When my 2 year old son comes bouncing in from the front room window shouting, “vworry, vworry!” (lorry, lorry) he is doing just that. He has seen something which brings him joy and he wants to share it with me.

We love to share our feelings and discoveries with others because we are made to be like God. How often do I stop to think or remember that every tiny detail in our crazy world is a message from Him about Him? So here I am to do just that - to pause a while and to ponder what He might be saying...