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

Faith, Youthwork and Family…

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March 2018

Have you ever tried sewing with camels?

I heard a talk one Sunday about “the rich man”, he was one of the only people ever to walk away from Jesus with a sad face! Why was that? Because he didn’t want to do as Jesus suggested and sell all he owned!  It has been said that “speakers have 3 main temptations- Money, Sex & Power

One famous preacher, I discovered not only “strikes” people on points of their body to cause temporary “blackouts” or “dizziness” which is mistaken for the Holy Spirit by their “victim”, but the amount of money he spends on luxury hotel rooms, unnecessary flights etc you could be confused about whether he is a preacher or a politician!

The bible says that you can tell what someone is about by their fruits, i.e. by what they do! So I get annoyed by preachers who say one thing and then you know for a fact that they are doing something totally different!

What amazes me is the extent of obsession with wealth, that the general “church” seem to have! The Anglican Church for example owns £1.6 billion of property and I wonder how much of that actually gets used for helping the community? The early church sold all they had and none of the group were in need, the problem is if I suggested that to a group of “church goers” now, most of them would think I was either on something or trying to start a cult!

If someone is “charismatic” enough and manages to quote the bible in such a way that people cannot argue with it, they may manage to get a large following like “David Koresh“, but they are called “false prophets” and we are called to “test the scriptures“.  If I said “I am the new “messiah” and quoted loads of the bible, but my life was unbiblical, i.e. husband to more than one wife (why I would want to do that, I don’t know, but it’s for illustration purposes), a drunkard, if my children were unruly (F.Y.I. I am proud to say they are not!) and if every week I prayed for the poor whilst sitting in a multi-million pound mansion!  You should come up to me and say “Oi, your life is not God-centred! You ask for money every week but it is only helping you!

The idea of a ministerial stipend is/was to enable ministers to be able to concentrate on ministry rather than having to work 5 days a week to provide for their family and then have to find time to be available to pastorally support their “flock”.  Surely the church wants the best out of their ministers, so they should provide for the needs of the minister, financially, emotionally and psychologically.  So should you give more financial support to a minister the more children they have? Or is that too similar to the UK benefits system?

The happiest Christians that I have met are the poorest financially! Why? Because they trust God in everything, they have to!  Got a car that starts when it wants? Pray for it and push! (I know someone who did this every time to get their car started!) Don’t know where your next meal is coming from? Pray, thank god for your past blessings, trust in him and he will provide for all your needs!

Remember everything under the sun, belongs to God! It is up to us to be kind to others, be less self-centred and have our eyes open to the needs of others. our lives in the west, have been blessed in so many ways and it is not just so that we can enjoy life, but we have been blessed so that we can bless others!

  • Do you have a talent for making money?- support those who need financial help, advise them/give to them!
  • Do you have  a degree/doctorate/life experience?- share your knowledge, blog/answer questions on forums, give free advice!
  • Have you been “blessed” with early retirement/temporary redundancy?- volunteer/offer to help those who need practical help!
  • Do you have a relatively fit and able body?- just be willing to help when asked/or even offer!

What do you have to offer the world?

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What’s it all about?!

ark I often wonder “what’s it all about? Why do we do what we do, what is the purpose of our existence?” A year ago, I was watching Sherlock with my wife and I thought “what reason could  there be for having programs like this?”  Surely there cannot be an evolutionary explanation for human beings having:-

  • The minds to make up elaborate storylines to entertain.
  • discovered and harnessed electricity?
  • the ability to broadcast images to antennae, satellite dishes or down cables into billions of homes?

My nan passed away a few years ago, hours before she passed I was talking to a friend about the Westboro Baptist Church and whether they were “Christ-like“, and if I was?! I replied –

I try to be but fail daily,
The Point of life is to find God and have a relationship with Jesus My nans death and others that I have blogged about, do make me wonder what’s it all about?

All our worries about debt, mistakes, and things we stress about are all insignificant once we die, those of us who are “laissez-faire” are happy to forget idiots and hurts that we face but others seem to either bear grudges or keep the “scars” as something to gain sympathy for.  Ecclesiastes says numerous times “everything is worthless under the sun“, we cannot take our riches when we die, so why are so many of us desperate to accrue them?

What is life not about?

  • It’s not about being a workaholic! – Many Christmas movies try to tell us that spending time with family is more important than working our butts off!
  • It’s not about Fear & Hatred – Star wars teaches us that “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” the bible says “we have not been given a spirit of fear but one of  power, love and a sound mind!”
  • It’s not about addiction and denial – Some of us fritter our lives away on addictions and things which seem to be a good idea at the time but rob us of moments we will never get back.
  • It’s not about having a long list of exes – each relationship we invest any time/money/effort or emotion into leaves a part of us with the other, if people have constant one night stands then they miss out on the best part of a relationship and that’s true intimacy and love!

I am a follower of Christ I said a good few months ago “I am giving up Christianity!” I started this post over a year ago but hadn’t really said much on it but, in the last year at least, I have become very disenchanted with “Christianity” Gandhi said “I like your christ but not his followers!” As fallen people we have tarnished what Jesus set out to be a “walk of love, acceptance and obedience“.

Sure life is hard, sometimes it sucks but however bad things appear, someone, somewhere, is worse off than you! It feels like no consolation, but we have to be grateful of what we do have!  I know that I am blessed, I know that my family are there for me and that I have a saviour who wants to have a daily relationship with me but not everyone has that! In the hardest times of my life, I have cried out for God’s help, he always hears me and always responds, he is always faithful even when we fail to be faithful to him!  I don’t know the intimate details about why babies get sick , children get hurt, people get cancers, although the human race, has to take some responsibility for this, as we create environments where this occurs and we put unnatural chemicals into our bodies, which is affecting us on a cellular level.  Stephen Fry said he “couldn’t believe in a God who could allow such a thing so “god doesn’t exist!”” but what is the alternative? “Bad luck and life sucks!

My parents met at an event for young people who believed in God, my dad instantly “knew” the first time he saw her that my mum was the one he was gonna marry, I got to know my wife through running a group together, God spoke to us both at the same time about each other, we were seated on opposite sides of a hall!  If we were not both followers of Jesus, and just were into short term relationships I don’t think we would have even dated! I didn’t have much going for me and at the time that we got married, i was earning £70 a fortnight as a volunteer!

I don’t understand the hand of God, his works are amazing and intricate, even my ability to do my current job was a culmination of all my previous experiences both in and out of the usual work environment.  As my nan’s mental health deteriorated, she got confused and delusional but somewhere deep down within her being, as she lay in her hospital bed, she still managed to say “Praise him!”  Her life wasn’t an easy one, she had hardships and struggles but throughout it all she had a  relationship with the Holy Trinity that no-one and nothing could take away! I don’t know what God has in store for me in the long term, but I will try as much as I can to stay close and listen to his daily guiding and prompting as without that I am doomed to fail and struggle more!

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