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

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


April 2012

Bounding like a chipmunk into boundaries

I was watching Alvin and the chipmunks: Chipwrecked a couple of days ago with my family.  In  the movie Dave was convinced by Simon to give Alvin some slack so he could show that he could act responsibly rather than be constantly told to follow rules and be made to be responsible. Chipmunks are wild animals, they did not start off in cages so it wasn’t natural for them to be confined, but they have been bred as pets and now are content in captivity as it is all they know! And at least six of them can sing!!

This got me thinking about boundaries, parents have to set them for their children from an early age, for their safety from physical boundaries like babygates and child-proof catches, to theoretical boundaries like “do not hit your brother/sister/me or there will be consequences!” The boundaries we set sometimes have to be flexible and evolve, a 6 month old cannot help you cook but a 3 year old can stir something in a saucepan under supervision.

There was a philosophy around child-rearing, that said giving a small child a small knife to “play with” was a good idea as it taught them to handle small items and the dangers of sharp objects! I don’t buy into that philosophy and the only thing we allow our youngest child to cut things with, is their little childs knife from their cutlery set or with playdough “knife”!

We all know that where there are no rules, anarchy reigns until someone takes a dominant role and then tries to instill order again!  There was once a reality show where they put a group of young boys in a house without parents (the boys’ parents were watching via hidden cameras) to see what they would do, the house was trashed, the boys got hungry a day or so into it as they couldn’t cook for themselves and there was a lot of upset and arguments! The girls didn’t fair much better if i remember correctly!

It says in Romans 5:20-21 that:-

“Law was introduced in order to increase wrongdoing; but where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more. So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God’s grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It wasn’t that making laws made people bad because

“There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins.”

I heard someone once try and expound the argument about the existence/non-existence of God and used the question, “If we are an accident (due to big bang & evolution) then there is no basis for us actually being responsible for anything we do, as it is a “fluke” that we even are here on this earth, there is no design, no sense of morality, no responsibility, no one who we are to give account to!”

What Judge in his right mind, will accept that as a reasonable argument for getting out of a prison sentence?

Sorry Guv, but it’s not my fault, it’s the combination of chemicals in my brain that made me shoot that bank clerk!

I have said it before and I am saying it again. God is a loving parent, like any good parent he says “don’t do that or you will get hurt!” Are we going to be obstinate and do it anyway or are we going to listen to his infinite wisdom and knowledge? But when we mess up he doesn’t say “I told you so!” He says “come here.. I love you! Please do as I say next time!?

What do you think?


Promises, promises…

I walked home a couple of days ago and saw a double rainbow, this does not happen often and I think that it is amazing!  Just the science that is behind refraction of light and the amazing colours that appear is incredible, this made remember the story of the first rainbow and God’s promise that he would never flood the entire earth again

I was watching “The Big Bang Theory” a week ago, two characters made a pinky swear that they wouldn’t do something and also promised their other friend that they wouldn’t and then one of them breaks the pact/promise!  Pinky swears/promises are very important to those that carry them out, even if it appears silly to people who are not part of the agreement.  Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins once said “No pie crust promises, easily made. easily broken!

Why do we make promises?

Parents are not great at keeping promises, they/we try to promise our children that they can do/have something and then situations change and then it isn’t possible.  I told my two children that if they were good and got dressed to go out of the door, we could see Spiderman and other superheroes in town (the “superheroes” were in a shopping centre promoting the new Avengers movie).  I also told my children that Spiderman was in town when we went in for a Good Friday church service, my son was so disappointed when he saw what I meant “that’s not Spiderman daddy! thats a Spiderman balloon!” (It was a giant inflatable one but they had fun trying to look for him!)  The problem was that even though I said that they could see Spiderman, they made no effort to get ready to go out of the door and when it was too late for us to get into town they thren wanted to see Spiderman, but we were too late!

God is the ultimate parent, he promises a lot to us and never fails to live up to them, one promise that I know of by heart is in this song I learnt at a childrens group at a christian conference (apologies for the cheese factor!)

The promise of the holy spirit is for you-hoo,

The promise of the holy spirit is for your children

The promise of the holy spirit is for all who are far off

Even as many as the lord your god shall call

Acts chapter 2 verse 39″

So what does the “promise of the holy spirit” mean to us? Well it could mean

  • the ability to speak languages we have never actually been taught
  • having a feeling that someone needs to hear a “word of encouragement” from god and telling them what it is as God has given you the words
  • God hearing the desires of our hearts and answering it without us actually uttering a word
  • the god-given power to ask for healing for someone and they get healed instantly/soon after
  • the ability to know whether something is godly or ungodly
  • the ability to unquestionably believe that something will occur

If you “boiled down” the jobs of the holy spirit and tried to convert them to jobs people have the holy spirit owuld have the following:-

  • Telephone exchange operative between God and us
  • Ship’s captain trying his best to guide us in the right direction
  • Librarian with all the knowledge of what God has said in his word and what he wants to say to us
  • Counsellor- helping us think through our actions and to work through our trials and tribulations
  • A muse, inspiring us to be creative, to attempt things that we may think are impossible

I know the holy spirit is at work in my life, he is at work in all who follow christ and we can ask for him to be at work in our friends and colleagues lives as I am sure most of you do, many a person has been converted to following christ for themselves after fervent prayer from those who care for and love them!

All I want to finish with is to remind you of the amazing power of the holy spirit, as the representative of God he is like the air, christians need to utilise the “air” to truly live. God is “Ice” solid and dependable, Jesus is the water, his actions “move us” But the promise of the “air” of the Holy spirit is what we need to survive as Christians right now!

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