workshop rambling

I can’t fault you, you know your Bible well. Sure you quote it to me when you tell me I’m wrong, when you tell me I’m defective. I know my Bible too, I just don’t make it into an arrow and quote it back at you, mate, I live it.

So as you rebuke me, I love you, as you correct me, I love you, as you kicked me out your sacred building, I still loved and love you.

All scripture is God breathed, I agree my friend, but not because you say so and not just the bits you find palatable, and believe it or not I am accepted, not by you obviously but by the true and living God.

I do love you, there is no bitterness or smarting in my words, I love you, my friend, I do.

This is part of a monologue that was presented at a Local Preacher seminar earlier this year. It’s voice is left to the imagination, maybe it is yours. As I wrote it out today I was thinking of Helen Blogs and how church can hurt people.

Jesus came and died so we all could have a personal relationship with the loving Father, so we could bring all our guilt & shame & sin, everything that we have done & everything that has been done to us and can bring it to the Cross and we can lay it down and we can repent of our straying ways and we can accept the beautiful forgiveness that is offered for free. Jesus didn’t come so some people can feel so excluded – look at who he hung around with, look at who he conversed with, look at who he loved.

We are invited to come, we are invited – not just a blanket junk mail invitation…

BUT

a very personal invitation, handcarved/handwritten with our very own names etched in the invite.

So how can we be so exclusive that some people are not only uncomfortable with our comfortableness but we hang necklaces of ‘not welcome’ around their necks. We give them letters of unwelcome. We hide our secret bits in suits of respectability.

If we are following Jesus then maybe we should take a leaf out of his address book and not just visit but sit in uncomfortable places so his gospel can be shared with our words and with our actions…

BUT

most of all with our love.

After all – John 3:16 -18

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

tidalwaves

tsunami hazard sign reads
go to high ground
get off the beach
what do you do when the tidalwave hits home
out of nowhere doubts and fear arise
resurfacing through counter waves of joy
confusion reigns in the land of Suke
focus, girl, focus
on the one who loves
focus, girl, focus
don’t move your eye off the path
the storm brews in silence
batten down the hatches
keep old nick from the door
let peace descend, fluttering into the chaos
order the thoughts, girl
renew the mind
let the heart fly untethered
all for the greater good.

My sincere thanks to three special ladies that intervened today, and of course the G who arrived just in time.

Father God, thank you for your love that infuses my being and thank you for the love shared today, physically by a hug and a hand on my face and in conversation with two others. Thank you Lord for all the special people in my life, the people you have placed here and I thank you that you take care of me when distracted by doubt. Amen

Sermon Eight ~~~ The First Fruits of the Spirit

Wesley wanted to bring many souls to the foot of the Cross, that is well known. He was also fastidious in his own devotions, spending time with the word of God, he journalled extensively (For today read “BLOG”), he preached tirelessly. His aim was to be Christ like and he was mocked for it. There were bits of his life that fell short of the mark, perhaps his personal life was not the greatest. He embodied:

‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;’ Col 3:23

And in his professional life, he did this. He was not working because as some say he was a workaholic. He worked because he was compelled by something, not of him, something from God. God called him and he followed, he chose to not only do life with Jesus but to go wherever he was sent, and bring many souls to the Lord.

But this sermon is more about the follow-up, a skillset often neglected by todays’ evangelists. This was a message for people about backsliding, about sinning and what to do about it when you are a follower of Jesus.

There are two broad subjects within Christian books right now, not the academic ones but the everyday books people read. The first is ‘becoming Christian’ and second is ‘how to grow in faith.’

There are few books that address the issue of falling short, or backsliding, or wondering about it, or being convicted by the Spirit of sin. Why is this? We preach often about how we are not perfect, how we are unworthy, how we are all sinners.

Is it possible that as we say “We are all sinners,” we don’t actually mean it, we don’t believe it, we think we are past that, that by standing in the pulpit we are exempt. What of the listeners, those who have sat in the pews for many years, is this just rhetoric with no substance. Is it a phrase we expect to hear and then tick it off the list along with ‘mercy’ ‘grace’ and ‘love.’

When we say “we are all sinners” what we should mean and possibly should be saying is “I am a sinner unworthy, you are a sinner unworthy,” This is not about communal guilt and shame, it is about reality. We sin, intentional, unintentional, due to circumstances, due to whatever. But we sin. And it is not about thinking of Adam & Eve and holding onto that sin that is within us. We really do things that are sins. We look where we shouldn’t, our minds have thoughts that should be banished, our actions are not always for the good.

This sermon addresses this head on, it does not shy away from the sins committed, but it is also a sermon infused with God’s love. Yes we are sinners, and, yes we are loved with a filial love. When we open up the communication, when we speak to the Lord and confess & repent of our sinful ways we are forgiven and this is not a one time deal. Yes there is the onus to live a changed life, and if we are born in the Spirit we have a changed life and the fruit of the Spirit should be evidenced in our lives but is this something we work at? or is this giftings of these fruit. I can remember being an angry, frustrated, violent person, now not even a guy from Vodafone accounts can make me frustrated. I sat yesterday as someone verbally abused me in public and I was patient. These thins are not of me, they are gifts. Beautiful, priceless gifts.

To backsliders everywhere, get back on track, there is life here, there is love and it is abundant.

UCB heaven horse and carriage

Star date 7th October in the year of our Lord 2013

United Cb are taking the Mick
Bliss is such a random word
The cats seek milk to lick
Not seeing the flitty bird
Poke a wasps nest with a stick
He’ll have more whey than curd
Planks are looking mighty thick
UCB do you think I hadn’t heard
Box with an X change to a tick
Cats satisfied and purred
Que sera, not time for Nick
Pose at window, demurred

Floodgates open deep and wide

Once you scratch beneath the surface
Terrible odours can prevail
Perfumed patisserie cannot hide
Mould wreaking havoc below

There’s that itch you can’t locate
A spot just out of reach
The source of irritation
Never soothed by milky balm

A nuclear attack by an unknown nation
The delicate veil is torn asunder
A thousand years of screams
Rise up on a tide of hatred

Above the air once cool
Is swarming with bloody clouds
The sun will never shine again
Winter hash settles home to roost

We warned you not to scratch
Your bubble burst
Spewing putrid waste
No more claps or haps

Turmoil reigns in hell
Floodgates of fear
Uncertainty and dread
Opening deep and wide

Once more