Collage of our lives

September 24, 2012

In Mike’s room hangs a collage of items in his life; a Kutless beanie hat, a tie with guitars on it, photos, notes he had written, official id’s etc.

Yesterday I put together another collage of moments or items to capture Mysterious?, and event that had huge significance for us as a family. I wonder if I was to take my 52 years and create a collage, 1 item for every year what would it look like! It’s good to look back. When I do, so often I

Mysterious? Collage

see the richness of my life not the current emotion which may be pain, apathy, depressed, frustration etc. We go through life so fast and so often miss the opportunity to squeeze goodness and meaning out of events in our lives. It’s good to debrief on what just happened, the good and the bad and ask questions.

In the technological world we live, its now so easy to capture moments and then reflect. The collage reminds me of the richness in life.


Mysterious? Collage

Looks good on the outside, Lives bad on the inside

September 23, 2012

I have walked down this path to town many times over the years, admiring the large trees and their strength and ability to exist on a hill side. But

It Crashed!

this time one had fallen across the path. We have had a lot of rain but little wind, so I wondered why this apparent strong tree was down. On closer inspection I could see that the whole center part near the base of the tree was hollow. Wow here was a tree that appeared on the outside to be one thing, but on the inside, something was eating away until one day, when conditions were right, it just crashed.

Straight away we think of the parallel in our own lives. So often we turn to look at others, as we hear news of others crashing and blowing up their lives, but what about me. What is going on in my life, out of public view, that can eat away at the very core and create conditions for me to crash? I am so happy for a wife and friends that know most of my rubbish! Yeap that’s right,  not all! That tree did not just fall, something had been eating away for a long time. We too, do not just fall. Some behavior just quietly in the background eats away. Often its in the mind before it manifests its behavior.

Hollow on the inside!

Marketing & Mysterious?

September 21, 2012

This news article ended up being broadcast to the whole of North England. The publicity around Mysterious? was fantastic. We ended up being in the county newspapers 6 times, on BBC Radio Cumbria once and ITV 3 times. I had a phone call from one person in Birmingham representing the National Newspapers asking whether the photo I took of Stephen in the hospital could be used in other papers as it made such a good story.

“God, its completed, you kept your end of the bargin!”

September 17, 2012

“The issue is closed”

 On Monday this week I went up to the grave side to see Mike and chat to God. I needed to say to God and tell Mike “The issue is closed”.

When the paramedics were in with Mike, I stood on the landing outside his room holding the rail, stamping my feet and saying “God I will be pissed off is something eternal does not come out of this”. Who am I to talk like that to God? But in His loving kindness He just likes it when we communicate with Him. I know He understood my emotion and confusion at that time.

Of course we have seen some wonderful evidence of eternal fruit over the past 3 years. There are several stories I could tell, but Mysterious? just blew us all out of the water. Every day we hear of more people who have now started walking with Father God or who are stepping closer to Him. I don’t measure spiritual issues as its impossible to quantify what God does. I like a phrase Eugene Peterson uses in The Message, “arithmetic is not God’s focus”, but the stories numerous.

I needed to draw a line and say “It’s finished”. Not that more fruit will not come over the months and years, but that little rant on August 1st 2009 I had at God is over. He has “kept His end of the bargain”, even though He never entered into it! The issue is over and I am so grateful that Mike’s death has produced “life”.

God’s Greatness, God’s Goodness

September 16, 2012

As I was driving Richard to a meeting he was telling Kathy and I a bit of his spiritual journey. He talked about God’s FITness program. What God had done For him, In him and Through him. When it came to the For him part he talked about experiencing God’s Greatness, seeing the power of God’s arm.

Colourful friends, George and Richard at Mysterious?

Since Mike’s death, I have read Job several times and it is becoming one of my favorite books. For 37 chapters we have the depressive dialogue with Job’s three friends. All pontificating about why “bad things happen to good people”. They have all the answers! Then in chapter 38, God steps into the scene and tells Job and his friends all about his creation, in other words we see God’s greatness and he questions how mere mortals can have all the answers.

Richard asked the question to God, ” I know you are great and I know you are good, but when have you been good to me?”. Richard had seen the strong arm of God but he wanted to experience the loving heart of God.  What I like about scripture is that it demonstrates God is not afraid of our waffle and babbling! He just like’s honest chat, even if we are wrong! But then we see God’s goodness to Job, its says “God bless Job’s later life more than his earlier life”.  Job says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you”.

We as a family can say that in the eye of the storm, we have seen both the greatness and goodness of God. Mysterious? was a beautiful example of that. I like Job have been blessed with beautiful daughters. I am a millionaire on a lemonade budget!

Telling my brother I love him…..Laura’s story

September 14, 2012

Laura’s could not be with us at “Mysterious? expect the unexpected” as she was already in South Africa but her powerful story was captured on screen.

What a lesson to us all. As Nike would say “Just do it”. Feel free to write to Laura and either encourage her or ask a question. Leave your comments and I will forward them to her.

Stephen Baldwin, God and me!

September 8, 2012

When radio 1 had their big weekend here a couple of years ago, I listened with intregue as dj’s interviwed locals. He common comment was ” this is so awesome to happen to carlisle. No one comes to carlisle”

As we have been visiting schools and connecting with local people this weekend, people have said ” why carlisle, we dont believe that stephen baldwin came here just for us”

Carlisle let Steve, God and  I shout something so loud at you….God loves you and me so much, He sent His son, Jesus Christ to die for you and me, so we could know the Father. Carlisle and the people who live here are significant and God has a plan for good for us all here.

Do events rule me or do the serve me?

September 5, 2012

Some years ago I woke up to the fact that I was not running my life. I had allowed circumstances, work, others to “take over” my schedule and I was not in control of my time and subsequently my priorities in life.

In the past three years, I have stepped back and created a lot of space for contemplation, hence my blog. One key thought running through these past years is whether I let events run over me like a large truck or whether I can use the event to serve a higher purpose. Can I master the way I handle daily events in my life that are so often outside my control? Can they serve me to knock off more of those rough edges in my character? Can I leverage them for the pursuit of my life’s goals? Is it possible to learn from them and understand others circumstances? Joseph teaches us this principle in the  scriptures when he says “What satan intended for evil, God intended for good” and Paul writes “All things work together for good……”

So can I keep a good pace on life to have time to step out of the traffic and look at daily events that come my way, both good and bad and see how they can serve me? I suppose the collorary of that is that events overcome and consume I become hard, bitter, apathetic, shallow, and so on.

She leaves a trail!

September 3, 2012

I wake this morning with lots of emotion. Laura leaving brings up feelings not too distant from when Mike died. The house is quiet, her room is left as she walked out the door and there are lots of little reminders around the place that make me smile.

Laura leaves a trail!

I find bobby pins and these elastic hair bands on the floor, down the side of seats, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the vacuum cleaner, the cats playing with them and on and on! Laura packed most of her room but there is still more to pack and clean. I look in there and so dont want to finish it off. I know we have guests coming and I intend to paint it over the coming months but it removes Laura from that room. I did that to Mike’s room. I hate this change and moving on. I managed it once and it needed to be done for our emotional health, why should I do it again? It sounds dramatic but emotion is emotion and you cannot reason with it, it is what it is! She actually left several weeks ago for Europe but was back for 24 hours before this long absence to South Africa. I suppose I knew she would be back but this one feels like the first step out the door. Who knows what she will do when she comes back. There is a certain young man working in Chile, who lives in USA that may have some influence on her next steps. And so life moves on. Its painful and happy all in the one breath. So again I say to myself, “suck the life out of each day with family and friends”. Love you Laura and miss you heaps.

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