Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


February 2012

Too much of a good thing!

We are in the “season” of Lent, where people possibly try again to “be good”, their new years resolutions may have been given up, but they will try (well for 40 days at least!) to give something up.  Why bother if you are going to go back and be the same after 40 days?

Its like fasting, for me I get really tired and grumpy if I miss meals and my blood sugar drops, but I am sure I am not the only one!  I always thought fasting was not eating, but then I heard it from a different perspective, if you intend on doing a fast so you can pray in earnest, then you may not need to give up your meals but actually give up something that is taking up most of your time which is not conducive to your relationship with God or other people!

A lot of people are giving up Facebook/twitter/social networking for lent, Vicky beeching has written a great blog on this. Which has inspired me to  write what I am going to say.  I have spent the last week watching episodes of Chuck, and I think I may have overdone it! (I know, I didn’t think it was possible either!)  A few nights ago I couldnt sleep, I was wide awake for hours, the next day I kept thinking about scenes from the last few episodes that I had seen!  It is something I have a habit of, when studying for a maths exam, I could not sleep because I kept thinking of numbers and they were flying around in my head, my brain would be trying to solve a level of Goldeneye because I had been playing it too much that day!

The problem is not that we use social networking/eat chocolate/cake/watch tv, but that we overdo it!  A lot of Christians will say “I really struggle to make time for God and read my bible!”  Well if you have a smart-phone there is no excuse as there are a lot of apps where u can read the bible, get it read to you & have bible reading plans and you can do this anywhere!  Since downloading one from youversion, I have been a lot better, I also need to be disciplined enough to get up early and read it!  If you are a Chuck fan and a Christian, rewatches may sound a good idea but don’t do it, if it will be detrimental to you spending time reading god’s word or praying/listening to God

I don’t normally do New Year’s resolutions or giving things up for lent but I have made a conscious effort a few times to not walk through a shopping centre which is distracting but walk a different route so I can pray and wait for god to speak.

So my challenge to you is to really think about what you spend your time on.

  • If twitter/facebook is taking up a lot ofyour time, how about using it to encourage, care and support others, offer to pray for them!
  • If you are a starbucks addict then maybe speak to people on their own who look lonely (Disclaimer: Do not do it in a creepy way and do not talk to people who you feel are creepy! I am not responsible for your actions)
  • If you are addicted to chat rooms, maybe take a caring approach and pray for people who are struggling.
  • If you like going to the “local” use it to be kind and listen to people, I bet there is at least one person who just needs someone to listen to their troubles.

Almost everything was created for our use, but when it is used in a way that is detrimental to others or even ourselves then that’s where we have addiction and problems!  Gluttony, greed, lust and envy are only sins because they are to do with over-indulgence and desire of things we do not actually need for a healthy existence!



Does God LOL, ROFL, does he have a GSOH?

My youngest has got to the stage of telling us “jokes“, they are only funny becaus after she says one she giggles so hysterically and cutely that you have no choice but laugh! “Daddy why did the poo-poo cross the road? because it was stuck to a poo-poo!

I keep having the thought that God has a great sense of humour too, my wife says “he created you so he must do!” (cheeky!) but seriously think about it (I know I said seriously when its a blog about humour), he puts people together as couples when everyone else thinks “how did that happen?“, a friend of mine told me that her brother is 6ft4 but his wife is 5ft, my wife is slightly over a decade older than me, even she wonders sometimes why he put us together!

Then you have nature, barmy cats who cannot decide whether to be in or out, the bizarre looking duck-billed platypus (although I would like a egg-laying mammal of action like Phineas & Ferb!)  Interestingly provocative shapes of fruit and flowers!  Some say he must have been having a laugh or being a poor civil engineer when he created us- “no one else would put a waste site right next to a recreation area!

I am sure he laughs at the stupid things we do, even the crazy japanese gameshows!  Although with that, he is probably thinking “why are they doing that!”  Kids do and say the funniest things, as we are God’s children he must find us funny in the same way.  Life in general has funny moments, but when people try and recreate it for entertainment, “Reality TV” is unfunny and ridiculously fake otherwise the producers think it will be boring, a candid camera show would be funnier but life isn’t a 24/7 comedy show!

In Frank Peretti’s book “Piercing the Darkness“, there are events in the novel which cause a minister and the editor of the local newspaper to be locked in a cell together in the local jail, they then discover that the minister is praying and battling against the “spiritual bad guys” and the editor is fighting against the police chief and other “flesh and blood bad guys”. When they get put together in a jail cell they are able to see what is truly going on in their town on a physical and supernatural level.

Does this happen in real life? I did some volunteer work a few years back, the place where I ended up working was named after St Mark, what I didnt know was that St Mark’s Day is my birthday! Well it was a confirmation for me anyway!

As I said a few weeks back, we have friends in South Africa, so in 2002 I was out there staying with them and there was a policeman visiting the local school, as he knew our friend, he agreed to give me and someone else a lift up to the main road, what I didn’t realise was that we were getting a lift inside the part of the car where the criminals get put whilst being taken to jail!  We were then in the right place at the right time to help someone change a tyre on their car on the side of the highway (I could swear there was 3 of us trying to lift the corner of the car with our bare hands for the amount of time needed to swap over the tires, which seems bizarre!)

The question is however, what sort of humour has God got?

  • in Matthew 21  -Jesus was quick-witted and turned the tables on the high priests who were trying to make him look bad
  • In 1 samuel 5-6 the philistines who had stolen the ark of the covenant and  put it in Dagon’s temple, were struck with haemorrhoids, and their golden statue “fell in awe” in front of the ark 2 days in a row as if bowing to it!

There are loads of funny moments in the bible, when you wonder why on earth it was recorded, like the bald man being taunted by the youths and then the bears eat them or the man who was so obese that the knife which was thrust into him was “consumed” by the rolls of fat and was not seen again, his servants thought he was on the toilet!

Because God created us with the ability to laugh and the fact that we are made in his image, I believe that it means that he does have a sense of humour, laughter helps you feel better and has been recommended for aiding the healing process for sick people! So a laugh a day keeps the Doc away!

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