Belaying….a walk down memory lane

October 25, 2013

Usually I play football with the kids at the Youth Zone on a Thursday evening. Last night I helped Nicole at the climbing wall get the kids strapped into their harness. She asked could I belay to which I replied “I have but let’s say I don’t!” After a while, I asked her to refresh me and I thoroughly enjoyed being that anchor person who takes up the slack in the rope to ensure the climbers safety.

Mike on the climbing wall

Mike on the climbing wall

Belay Device

Belay Device

Mike enjoyed climbing and it was through climbing, well should I say falling that it lead him to play the guitar. In fact after that fall at 16 I don’t remember him going again. He fell 20 feet and broke two vertebrae. I am always amazed how a clever little belay can be used to secure a rope to assist a climber and should they fall, it just locks them into position. Of course, the person allowing the rope or not allowing the rope to pass through the relay is key. Several times at different walls I belayed for Mike. I took a small 1/2 course that qualified me! Why did Mike fall? Typical, he had just turned 16 which aloud him to climb alone. That does not mean climbing up 20 feet without a rope attached and secured off! Why do we think we can go it alone? Why don’t we ask others for help? Why do we have an over confidence is self and our ability? Why does pride get in the way? One wall Mike climbed whilst I belayed for him was Edinburgh International, a wall of 28 meters or 90 feet. Whilst I have no head for heights, Mike was straight up a couple of times and he enjoyed the fast descent playing James Bond on the way down! As dad, I had great enjoyment knowing my boy was safe to be free on the wall, but that freedom he enjoyed was because he was attached to me via the rope and with that came his security and safety. mmm sounds familiar!

What do I consider treasure and what do I do with my treasure?

October 22, 2013

What do I consider treasure? Is this just in the physical or can it also be in the abstract? I realised that “Mike was my treasure and he has gone on ahead”. Over the past couple of years I have contemplated about life events that are “mile stones” and I ask myself the question whether they define me or ruin me, whether I can use them for a greater purpose or whether they paralyze me. Whether I see them as “bags of gold” and use them to invest or do I just bury them and neither see multiplication or addition.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

As a family we have decided to give our story, our pain, our weakness, our ordinary to Father God and ask Him to use it for His Kingdom. I wonder at times how God can use a simple ordinary family who live in a simple ordinary house in a simple ordinary road. But we have story after story how God has taken our little treasure and given us opportunity for multiplication and addition.

I want to encourage others with their stories and treasures to not be paralyzed by grief and pain but with tears and confusion see what Father God can do when we come to Him and ask Him to use our treasure for His Kingdom.  What gives me such a buzz is to see the way God uses what I consider treasure and use it to help others. What I consider gold, others consider to be worthless, I have seen God take the worthless and make it priceless! Go on get that treasure out!

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A covenant God to a covenant People

October 5, 2013

When God chose the children of Israel to be His people it meant they enjoyed His Presence, Promises, Protection and Provision. Today He still offers that to all who are in relationship with Him. Unfortunately the children of Israel chose to go their own way leaving His Presence, Promises, Protection and Provision! How dumb is humanity! Hold on, I choose my own way and sin against God experiencing a lack of His  Presence, Promises, Protection and Provision at the emotional and spiritual level. How good it is to know that Jesus died for me yet whilst I was a sinner!

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