June 13, 2013
Its raining and grey. We had a week and half of glorious sun and its gone. I was looking forward to getting on a plane today to go to Finland. Its been sunny and 25 degrees there. I received an SMS that its 15 degrees and raining over the weekend. There goes my pleasure! “A threatening cloud hovers on the horizon of every sun filled day”
Family & friends are passing through some horrendous health, business, relational issues. I wake this morning with a heavy heart, having experienced myself that was “normal life ” one day changed for ever the next. I phone them and pray with them but I dont really know what to do or say. I want them to experience the overwhelming love and generosity that we did when we were smashed to pieces by an avalanche that would have consumed us had it not been for God’s love, grace and mercy.
“We cling to God” is one phrase that I hear. I personally find comfort in coming to God with no word’s, just tears and pain, no plans and prognosis, just worship and be in His presence. I find the “perfect peace” Isaiah talks about to be real. Pain and Peace coexisting in my soul, joy and grief becoming friends, laughter from my mouth and tears from my eyes simultaneously.
I dont have answers, I just thoughtfully walk with my friends and family on their journey and together know that God is with us.
June 12, 2013
Why do we associate light with life and darkness with death? As a young child I remember at primary school the teacher showing us a little experiment to illustrate the concept. We planted seeds in two containers. One container was placed in a dark cupboard and the other on the window ledge. Both were watered. The one grew well and the other hardly popped its head out of the soil. When God made us He put in our DNA the appreciation for light & warmth. How wonderful it has been the last week to have several days of sunshine. We are only 1 week away from the longest day, where the sun will rise at around 4:30am and set about 10pm. Many people have been out during these times and taking advantage of the longer light hours.
As a follower of Jesus and the hope that He brings of life after death, I wonder whether I could say “the light of life and the light of death”! 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. When Jesus died on the cross for us all, He broke the power of death. The human side of me sees darkness, the faith side of me sees light. I choose to walk in the light not darkness.
My buddy Mike is today in light like I have never seen!
June 4, 2013
You will see from previous blogs that I enjoy the whole topic of “narrative”. Whether it be an individual, family, community, city or nation, narrative is taking place. I ask the question “are we writing the narrative or readying it backwards”? i.e. post events. I enjoyed the section bellow in a book I am reading at present.
Narratives are stories. Purposeful stories retelling the historical events of the past that are intended to give meaning and direction for a given people in the present. This has always been so for all people’s in all cultures; and in this regard the biblical narratives are no different from other such stories. But there is a crucial difference between the biblical narratives and all others, because inspired by the Holy Spirit as they are, the story they tell is not so much our story as it is God’s story, and it becomes ours as he “writes” us into it. The biblical narratives tell the ultimate story, a story that even though often complex, is utterly true and crucially important. Indeed it is a magnificent story, grander than the greatest epic, richer in plot and more significant in its characters and descriptions than any humanly composed story could ever be. But to appreciate this story you will need to know some basic things about narratives, what they are and how they work.
At the basic level Bible narratives tell us about things that happened in the past. All narratives have three basic parts; characters, plot and plot resolution. That is, most narratives presuppose some kind of conflict or tension that needs resolving. In traditional literary terms, the characters are the “protagonist” (the primary person in the story), the “antagonist” (the person who brings about the conflict or tension) and sometimes the “agonist/s” (the other major characters in the story who get involved in the struggle). In the biblical story God is the protagonist, Satan (or evil people/powers) are the antagonists and Gods people are the agonists. The basic plot of the biblical story is that the Creator God has created a people in his name, in his own “image”, who as his image bearers were to be his stewards over the earth that he created for their benefit. But the enemy entered into the picture who persuaded the people to bear his “image” instead and thus to become God’s enemies. The plot resolution is the long story of “redemption”, how God rescues his people from the enemy’s clutches, restores them back into his image and finally will restore them into a new heaven and earth.