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Faith, Youthwork and Family…



#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!


#WhatIf…? #AlongCamePolly

One of the films I have never forgotten scenes from is “Along came polly” partly because he got to a point where he destroyed all the stupid throw pillows that had to be taken off and put back on the bed depending on what part of the day it was!  I like functionality rather than aesthetics but that’s another story!

The main character in the film is a risk analyst for an insurance company, he is constantly thinking “what if...” it is his job and has leaked into his personal life, he gets to a point that he runs a risk analysis on whether or not he should be with a woman he is falling in love with!  Obviously, she finds out and he has to apologise and explain it all, but it has made me think “Am I too cautious?

Being a dad, I take more risks than my wife, the usual spinning my children around, throwing them up in the air, encouraging them to try new things on apparatus in the park etc. However, when it comes to me doing things, I get an overwhelming apprehension, doubt and even fear of failure!

One of the verses I shared with my little sister when she was sitting in her bed scared because of some horror movie she watched was from 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear can be crippling, it can prevent us from doing so much!  Jesus told off his disciples for preventing the children from coming to him, he said

“I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child.

Most children are fearless, when I was younger, I would climb trees, I climbed on someones shed and jumped off! Jesus knew that if we become like children, we would be obedient, we would not allow past experiences to affect our present and future actions.  When my family went on holiday, we regularly went to the countryside, my parents would say “please pray that we have a clear drive and don’t have to reverse up too many tight country lanes”, whenever I prayed, it happened, it was clear and we had a good journey! That wasn’t me however, that was God hearing my complete unaffected faith in him answering me.  Years later, life has knocked me about a bit and I still have faith but my prayer life isn’t what it was.

It is far too easy to sit in one place, not having to step out of your comfort zone, I am sure that i have said before, what kind of life we gonna have when we “sit in the trenches” and never put our “heads above the parapet”, no one will find God, or have a glimpse of Jesus love, unless we go out of our churches and homes and do something! There is nothing like doing God’s will and seeing him work through your obedience to his calling! That’ where you will find life in abundance!


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