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

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


August 2017

#Moana, #Motonui, #Metanoeo, & #Baptiso

Our youngest child loves watching Moana, we have got a few of the catchy songs in our heads, when one person says “thank you” we break into “you’re welcome!”  When preparing to write a blog on saying “sorry, I discovered something that I thought was true, actually wasn’t!  The word “repent” doesn’t come from the Latin or Greek for “turn around” which I am sure I was told was a term that officers used in drills and directing their troops! The word “repent” wasn’t even used in the bible until the King James Version came about, the word “repent” is from the Latin meaning “regret“, which doesn’t really encapsulate what “repentance” is meant to mean!

Metanoeo” is the word that was used 34 times in the New Testament to tell followers of Christ to “stop sinning and change your ways” the word itself is a compound of two Greek words which mean “after” and “thought or understanding“, so you could say it is a “changing of your mind” but the whole word suggests that you have a total rethink of your actions!

In the film, the character Maui has really good intentions, all he wants is to be loved by humans, but in order to get their affection, he defeats monsters and makes “stuff happen” but he finally does something which condemns the islands to suffering and decay!  Like him we can sin and make mistakes even when we had good intentions!

As i have said before sometimes saying sorry is just not enough! we need to turn our lives around and actually make steps to reconcile or show your remorse!  Baptism is a step towards getting yourself right with God, it is a public declaration that you wish to leave your old self behind and live your life as if you are a child of God. (which you are!)

The act of Baptism cannot wash away our sin any more than having a shower can! You have to take more steps into a relationship with God and behaving like the new creation you have become (easier said than done sometimes). In my opinion you cannot do this until you are old enough to make that decision for yourself, the Greek word “Baptiso” means “full immersion“, like fabric being dyed, you full immerse yourself in the water, and rise up and become anew.

Motonui is the island where Moana lives, she is kept safe by her parents, by not allowing her to leave the island but in doing so they are hindering her from fulfilling her destiny! Her dad wants to protect her but as my kids have discovered from “the magic School bus“, we need to make mistakes to learn and grow in life, it is when we repeat them deliberately when we know that they are wrong that we find ourselves in big trouble.

Strangely enough there was a really bizarrely coloured sky this afternoon, it reminded me of the sky in Moana as she tries to restore “the heart” to an island goddess and make the decay of the sea and islands end.  As J. John points out in this video   :-

The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart

We are flawed people, many things can distract us from living the way we have been called to live and  from loving the way we have been called to love.  All have fallen short, all of us will be called to account for our actions and inactions.  

If you need to “metanoia” then do so, if you want to take the next step into baptism then speak to a church leader, but if you need forgiveness from someone who you have offended or hurt, don’t waste time, don’t hide away but go and apologise, then ask for forgiveness!


Creation According to Adam

I was gonna read a bedtime story to my children, when we decided to tell the Story of Joseph but telling it in the first person, so here is my attempt at retelling the story of Adam.

So my name is "Adam", according to my best and only friend, he created me! "how?" you ask?  From the soil and his breath! I know, sounds crazy, but I am here! So there I was, walking around this garden and my friend kept asking me, "what  shall we call this?" "What shall we call that?", I suggested ideas which he accepted, as I walked around the garden with him, I suddenly felt lonely and a little overwhelmed with the idea of having to look after all of these animals and plants on my own!

So my friend said "I think you need a companion who has a physical body similar to yours", I thought the idea was amazing right until he said "I will have to take one of your ribs to make her!" Thinking for a second, I suggested that I be put to sleep for this operation, so he put me to sleep and made her.  When I woke up she looked perfect, of course she would, my friend made her, she was the most beautiful woman in the world!

As I showed my new companion around, telling her about the animals, I pointed out a remarkable tree which looked amazing and its fruit looked so tempting, I informed her that it was the only fruit we were not allowed to eat. In response to her confused face, I explained that it was for our own benefit that we not eat any fruit off that tree, there are certain things that we don't need to know, and that tree would give us that knowledge!

As I was feeding some of the animals, I saw my companion chatting away to another animal, I didn't like the look of the creepy thing but she was in deep conversation with it, before I could stop Eve, she reached up and grabbed a piece of fruit off the tree, , she took a bitelooking pleased with herself she offered me some.  Apart from a distant look in her eyes, she was unchanged.

When my friend came back, he called out "Adam? Eve? where are you?" It was then that we both realised something, we were naked!  How did we not know this already?!  We felt ashamed of what we had done, but shame was a feeling new to both of us!

My friend asked us what had happened, I blamed Eve, she blamed the creature and the creature just tried to sliver away but he was seen! Calling us all back, we could hear our friend was upset with us, we had ruined the perfection of our environment, damaged the relationship we had with this creative loving person and had to take the consequences of our actions.

Firstly he spoke to the creature, condemning it to a life of torment and suffering,  I was told that I would be working hard to grow crops and look after my wife and any offspring, one day returning to the ground from where I came, as we brought death and decay into the world, Eve would be in pain during childbirth and all females who followed would want a husband, and would have to be ruled over by males.

My friend still loved us enough to make us clothing but then told us that we were banished from this perfect garden, never to return!  Although my friend was never far away, from then on he never felt as close to us as he did in the garden, we had caused this brokenness and we had no idea as yet how it would be fixed?

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