Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Mosquito

Picture it now
The perfect summers evening
Warm air,
Soft gentle breeze
Laughter with friends
The odd beer
Feeling, contented
Relaxed
Happy
After a wonderful day, just enjoying everything you love.

After all that I am ready for bed, as tiredness finally cascades over my weary soul.
Windows open
Warm air refreshes
I start to drift into another world,
Into sleeps dark and silent gate,

When I hear……….
Buzz
Buzz..
Buzz……
BUZZING




My heart sinks, I know what it is, and I have heard it a thousand times before
It is unmistakeable
There is only one thing that buzzes like that.
Mosquito
And I know there is only one thing to do,
Kill it before it bites me.

This is ‘High Noon’
It is either me or the Mosquito.
There is no other solution,

Why oh why you ask yourself didn’t you buy the ‘Plug –in Insect Zapper’ from the supermarket that is advertised on TV for £19.99?
You know the answer to that – I didn’t want part with the money, because I hoped that this year it would not be needed.

So I recall the age old remedy given to me by my grandfather in a moment of ancient wisdom.
“Insects boy, you take rolled-up newspaper and rush around bashing them as hard as you can.”
So at , dressed in modest attire, I follow his advice and chase the mosquito around the room with a rolled up newspaper.
Much to my wife’s amusement
As she hides under the quilt
Laughing her head off
In hysterics
At my pathetic display.

I spot it on the wall, in all its glory.
And with all the stealth of a Grizzly bear, tip-toeing through a field of nettles, I take a huge swing at the fella and miss.
Twenty minutes later and after numerous failed attempts.
The offending insect comes to rest on the wall and this time with the skill of a frustrated ninja.
I finally succeed with one enormous, lucky swipe.

Exhausted after my victorious exploits I collapse into bed.
As I lie there one word bounces round my very small mind
Camouflage
The offending creature would have been almost impossible to deal with if he had been camouflaged.
Unfortunately for him against our delicate lilac wall he stood out!
My mind switched to a nature program I had watched with my kids.
About a Rattlesnake
The presenter
Not David Attenborough in ill-fitting shorts that should have been donated to the nearest charity shop a long, long time ago.
This chap chased the poor snake as it hid for refuge in the sand and buried itself perfectly keeping cover from everything.
Out of sight
Concealed
Brilliantly camouflaged.

It occurred to me that my life is more often than not a perfect example of camouflage.
I am an expert of integrating my life into the world around me.
Keeping my head down
Immersed in the value system of the world.
No one would know!
A perfectly camouflaged Christian
Andrew Wommack once commented,
“If you were arrested on the suspicion of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
It is an interesting question
A challenging question
A sobering question.
A question I ask myself every day,
Regularly.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

It's Cup Final Saturday

Saturdays are special days
Saturdays are family days
Days of doing things together
Going to the park
Swimming
Going out for lunch
Having fun
With your family

When I was growing up in the 70’s
For my Dad and me there was one special Saturday
A magical day when we would be glued to the TV.
There was no moving us
My Mum would feed us with
Sandwiches
Crisps
Sausage rolls
Chocolate biscuits
All manner of tasty snacks
Because, it was
Cup Final Saturday.




My Dad and I would watch the entire coverage
There was:
Breakfast with the teams
The road to the final
Follow the coaches to Wembley
The pre-match build up
Meet the players
Abide with me
And then
The game
Everything you could have hoped for

My Dad supported Portsmouth and I supported Everton
Needless to say
Neither of us got to watch our teams play in the Final
Still there was plenty of excitement
Nail biting moments

Charlie George scoring in Extra Time for Arsenal
Jim Montgomery miraculously saving Sunderland singled handed
And of course
Bobby Stokes scoring the winner for Southampton as they beat Manchester United
David defeated Goliath
The greatest giant killing ever
Great things happen if you only have faith!

Neither of my two sons are remotely interested in football
They both see it as pointless
And as Chelsea take on Liverpool today
I will be watching it alone
With only the memories that my late Dad and I shared together
How times have changed!

I hope the game is entertaining and the best team wins

Winning is important

Christ won the greatest victory at the cross
Where he defeated sin and Satan
And satisfied the wrath of God for mankind’s sin and rebellion
Because of His perfect sacrifice I can be completely free
Free from guilt and condemnation
Free to live in the fullness of eternal life

And here’s a little secret
I will be quietly hoping that Chelsea wins
Well after all I am an Everton supporter
And I have had to endure years of Liverpool triumphs
But I know that no matter how exciting it all gets
The greatest excitement is that
Christ has won the victory for me.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Overflowing

I wrote this poem during a time of worship
I tried to capture my feelings as the Holy Spirit
Engulfed me
It was a few moments of pure passion
Exhilaration
Wonder
Joy
Overwhelming love



Overflowing

Heaven kisses
This aching frame
Arms wide open
Free from pain.

Floods of glory
His presence near
Touching my spirit
Grace is here.

Words can’t express
The full release
Spirit cascades
Overwhelming peace.

Filled with his power
Transforming my mind
Bringing hope
As assurance I find.

High expectation
Wanting more
Fill me up
Your presence explore.

Touched by love
Brand new start
Undeserved favour
Overflowing my heart.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Grace Notes - Recognizing The Debtors Ethic

The free gift of God through the finished work of the cross is eternal life, this eternal life starts right here and now, the moment we believe in Christ and are united into him.

We are free to live in complete liberty, without guilt, condemnation, or fear of death from punishment from sin and the judgment of God for sin.

We can accept this free gift and live in the fullness of all it has or we can drift back into works as we try to please God through our works and efforts. One of the subtle traps the Devil uses to ensnare us back under the law is the ‘Debtors Ethic’ 




Rob Rufus explains how it is used and how it traps us.-

“In the church world, there is what I call a "Debtors Ethic". People say that if Jesus did so much for you - then you owe Him so much. No my friends - that is a total, demonic lie. You do not owe Him a thing!

Before you were saved, you owed Him everything. You owed Him on the ledgers of your sin - the wages of your sin - had built up a huge debt before God.

At the Cross Christ wiped that side of the ledger totally clean of all your debts and obligations, and sin and judgment was wiped clean! On the other side of the ledger, He wrote; "The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus freely given by grace!” It takes the obligation and the pressure off you to say I have got to do things for God - I owe, I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go! No! The "Debtor's Ethic" will suck you back into dead works that are not in faith!

There are missionaries in all kinds of parts of the world because of guilt because they are trying to pay Jesus back. They are not there with faith and they are dying and no-one is getting saved. Because they are just there - zealous without revelation knowledge.

It won't get any blessing in heaven because my friends when you know it is freely given that I am the righteousness of God in Christ and I am not paying Him back. I am living by the Spirit and lead by the Spirit and He will never lead me into sinful things. He is leading me into predestined things co-ordinated before the beginning of time - I am being led by the Spirit as a son or daughter of God. The Spirit is leading me to come to church, He leads me to read the Bible, He leads me to pray, to love God, to forgive your enemies, to live in joy, to prosperity, to success - as you walk by faith that I am the righteousness of God!”

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