Monday, 30 April 2012

Increasingly Forgetful

As I get older I have started to become increasingly forgetful
With everyday objects
Those things we take for granted
The automatic, unconscious items of life

TV remote controls
You know the little device your family fights over
That when it goes missing
Life almost comes to a halt
How can you change the TV without leaving the armchair?

I was making the kids sandwiches
I packed away the lunches
Put the butter in the fridge
The crisps in the drawer
The biscuits in the cupboard
And I lost
The TV remote control
I had bought it into the kitchen to stop Dani from changing channels
And now they had disappeared
So i started to search
It started out as a
Thoughtful search
But rapidly deteriorated into
Blind Panic
What had I done with the TV remote?

My wife shouted “Have you looked in the fridge.”
I opened the fridge
And there
Hiding behind the butter
Was the remote
I felt
And amazement that I had just completely forgotten where I had put it.

Last week I lost my keys at work
I searched for ages trying to find them
I went home without them
The next day I found them
In a cupboard
I had left them there, when I picked up some tea towels,
In a hurry
Just forgotten where I had put them

I got to thinking that there are some things that are best forgotten, some things that should be left behind in a cupboard never to be opened.
Jesus by his death paid the price for all my sin
Past, present and all future sins
Every sin I have committed or will commit in the future was nailed to the cross and he paid the price for it.
Past sin is something I can forget and throw away the key.
And when it comes back to mind
I don’t go searching for it.
I look at the cross where it was dealt with once and for all.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Your Great Name

This week the song that has been echoing around our house is 
Your Great Name by Natalie Grant

My wife introduced me to this song
After watching the worship on-line from Charis Bible College

It’s a song that lifts your spirit
It focus on all that Christ has done for us
And all that grace has achieved.

Lost are saved; find their way; at the sound of Your Great Name
All condemned; feel no shame; at the sound of Your Great Name
Every fear; has no place; at the sound of Your Great Name
The enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of Your Great Name

Jesus, worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us
Son of God and man you are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise Your Great Name

Verse 2
All the weak; find their strength; at the sound of Your Great Name
Hungry souls; receive grace; at the sound of Your Great Name
The fatherless; they find their rest; at the sound of Your Great Name
Sick are healed, and the dead are raised. At the sound of Your Great Name

Jesus, worthy is the Lamb; that was slain for us
Son of God and man; you are high and lifted up
that all the world will praise Your Great Name.
Your Great Name.

Redeemer, my Healer; Lord Almighty
My Savior; Defender; you are my King
Redeemer; my Healer; Lord Almighty
My Savior; Defender; you are my King

Jesus, the Name of Jesus, you are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise your Great Name.
Savior, Son of God and man; you are high and lifted up; all the world will praise Your Great Name. Your Great Name. Your Great Name.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Slug Conquest

One of life’s little mysteries
Little conundrums
Horrible, slimy things

Walking to school with Dani this morning
It had been raining
This is England and it is April
The newly laid, tarmac cycle path was covered with Slugs
Slimming around
Our walk became a slalom event
Of massive proportions
As we tried to dodge these wonders of creation
As Dani so eloquently put it.

My wife loves Dahlia’s
In fact it is sort of a family tradition
Her Grandfather,
Was a champion Dahlia grower in the Weald,
His Dahlia’s were renowned.
So we thought we would follow in the family tradition and grow some of our own.
Well, not from seeds,
Just buy a few from the garden centre.
Little did we realise
That this wasn’t just a matter of planting them in garden border
It was a call to war!
The start of a full scale military campaign
Against a formidable enemy

It started with a few minor skirmishes
A leaf nibbled here
A flower tampered with there.
So we took the offensive
Brought in the artillery
The big guns
‘Slug Pellets’.
And for a few days we basked in the victory
A few more leaves were nibbled
And then
Our Crimson Red Dahlia was
Disposed off
Gulped down!
So in desperation we tried
Smashed egg shells
Placed like trench barbed wire around the base of each flower
It had no effect
The slugs continued their night manoeuvres
And with all the magnificence of well marshalled guerrilla campaign
Feasted on our lovely dahlia’s
We were beaten
The garden slugs had won.

They look harmless these little pests
Look as if they are helpless
Even pitiable
But given the right circumstances
In the right environment
They are deadly

We can be drawn into things in our life that seem harmless
But these things can end up consuming our time, resources and energy
Away from God and all he has provided for us.
In the bustle and busy pace of life
It is easy to get
And be put off course.
Like Peter as he walked across the lake on the water
The best action
Is to keep our eyes and focus on Jesus and his grace.
And in the words of the old hymn
“The things of the world will grow strangely dim.”

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Worst Lie You Ever Told

What do you think the worst lie is that you've ever told?
What me? You reply
We've all told them
Not just the small 'white' lies
Yes darling the jeans really look good on you
No you bum doesn’t look big in it
The cheque is in the post
Sorry my boss is in a meeting
Every day
We bend the truth
We all do it
No one is better than anyone else

One of my best lies was to my parents
After a night of serious drinking
I came home very drunk
I mean very drunk
I had also stuffed my face with an extremely hot curry
Not the best mixture.
Needless to say
Before I made it to bed
I threw up the contents of my excessive evening
Over the lounge
And I left it there
My parents awoke the next morning to an unimaginable hell of my doing
When asked about it
I told them I was ill because of something I ate
I didn't mention the alcohol
And they believed me
My poor parents

It’s not easy to shake off the past
Not easy to put away things people have said
Hopes destroyed
Experiences relived
All manner of things and lies
Lies from the Master of Lies
Every day he is out to lie and destroy you
You know the lies: -
  • You are not lovable
  • You will never make it
  • God has put you to one side because of sin
  • You are dull
  • People will only ever use you
  • Happiness is a dream
  • Your life has no purpose
And we listen to them!
The ‘Father of Lies’, lies to us and we believe the lies

But God knows everything there is to know about us
Every fear
Everything little thing that clings to our soul and lies to us.

By his free, unmerited grace
He has provided the perfect solution
Jesus Christ
Through his death and resurrection we have every spiritual blessing poured down on us

The truth is that In Christ:
  • We are righteous
  • We are free from guilt
  • We are free from condemnation
  • We are loved with an unconditional, everlasting love
  • We are accepted
  • We are God's workmanship, made perfect and holy
  • Life has a purpose

Jesus invites us into a relationship,
Where effortless we can soak our minds in His truth so that when the lies come
We recognize them for what they are
And live in the truth
It has all been freely provided by his infinite grace

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Grace Flows Down

I've been playing Grace Flows Down by Christy Nockels for a few days now 
Every time I watch the song

It moves me
Just an amazing song set to clips from the Passion movie
Captures the amazing grace of God
To send his son as the answer

The more I understand and focus on grace
The more I am captivated by Jesus
The more I love him

Grace is Jesus – Gods riches at Christ’s expense.

Just take a look at the video and immerse yourself in everything Jesus did for you, so you can live free with the fullness of all God has provided.

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
Amazing Love
Now flowing down
From hands and feet
That were nailed to the tree
As Grace flows down and covers me

It covers me
It covers me
It covers me
And covers me

Rob Rufus when he spoke in being established in the gift of righteousness gave this excellent definition of the grace of God:

The grace of God simply means two things;

1. It means God through the New Covenant and through Christ accepts you and loves you and wants to bless you and wants to deal towards you with such kindness and such favour - not because of what you deserve and not because of what you merit but because of what Jesus deserved and merited for you. Grace means God’s riches to you at Christ’s expense. It means God will never stop loving you. He is always for you and He will never judge you or criticize you or disapprove of you. God is for you all the time!

2. Grace also means God’s empowering Presence in your life so that He can empower you by grace to do things you never thought you could do. With grace you can love people you never thought you could love. You can have attitudes that you never thought you could have and you can do signs and wonders - you can lay your hands on the sick and they can be healed and you can do things by grace that you never thought you could do. In grace!

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Elixir of Life

The elixir of life
The cure of all aliments known to man
A legendary potion
Liquid gold
The answer to all life’s problems
Instant health
Eternal life
If only such a concoction existed

I grew up in a home where we had found the answer
My father
Was convinced he had discovered the answer to all health problems
Liquid Gold
And as soon as a
Sore throat
Sniffing nose
Fevered brow
Outbreak of spots
Was discovered

He produced the
With its blue and yellow label
It drove fear into my heart
My sisters and I were instantly made to gargle this disgusting, medicated mixture
We gargled
And gargled
And gargled
Yuck !!
It was horrible
Liquid Hell
And the smell
The Medicated odour
That destroyed all senses
And killed all known bacteria
My dad swore by it
Believed in it
He would even drink it neat
Straight from the bottle
Swig it down

Needless to say
I am sure it has many beneficial qualities
And no doubt it has aided in the containment of disease
I have never bought a bottle
And never will!
Just the smell of it
Brings back
Painful memories
As I picture
The look on my sisters faces as they were made to partake of it

God has provided an elixir of life
By giving us his only son
The blood of Jesus
The crimson stream that flooded from his hands and side
Is eternal life
To all who believe

It’s a free gift
Offered once and in full
Complete payment for all our sins
Past, present and ones we will commit in the future
The blood of Jesus covers it all
And it is all we will ever need.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

It's Raining

It’s raining

It’s pouring

Throwing it down

Chucking it down

Raining so hard it’s bouncing of the pavement

Splashing off cars

A deluge

And there you are caught out in it, walking home

Picture: -

So what do you do?

Are you a dash for the umbrella, type?

Or head for the nearest doorway or alleyway to take shelter and wait for it to pass.

Or do you take your jacket, pull it awkwardly over your head and run like an ostrich.

Perhaps you find the nearest piece of paper and vainly attempt to protect your head

You may just zip up your jacket and keep walking

Put up your hood and carry on regardless

And if you’re like my son,

Just enjoy every minute of getting wet.

My daughter Dani and I were caught in the rain and we just kept on walking,

Knowing that the car was parked just around the corner.

We got wet

But not that much

Just enough to make us smile,

And laugh

Rain can be fun

But, it can be very irritating.

Different circumstance cause different reactions

For some it is the answer to prayer, for some it’s the reason to pray.

For others it’s a matter of life, for others a matter of survival

But for most of us

In the mundane, normality of every day life

It’s a matter of getting wet

Or staying dry.

Taking precautions if we know it’s going to rain

Take a look at the sky and see the clouds forming

Guarding ourselves against trouble

Everyday we can keep our hearts

By being drenched in a deluge of God’s word,

Mediating on all His grace has given us

And letting his Holy Spirit have free flow in our lives.

God has made it all available for us

Let’s go out in His rain and get soaked in His word.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

15 Reasons Why I Stayed in Church by Brad Mcmullen

A few days ago a work colleague shared with me an article from Rachel Held Evans website.
Out of interested curiosity
I decided to take a look.

Whilst reading through numerous ‘blog posts’ I came across this comment posted by Brad Mcmullen.
I must confess I don’t know who Brad is!
Whilst I may not wholly agree with all the reasons, I thought that they were all very good and showed a great open heart.
So here are Brads: -

15 Reasons I Stayed in Church

1. Because leaving the church is apparently trendy, and I’m not trendy. I’m actually kind of a dork (just ask my wife).

2. Because the church is God’s design for spreading the good news to the world, and I want to be on board with God’s design.

3. Because the church is like Noah’s Ark: it’s stinky a lot of the time, but it’s the only boat we’ve got.

4. Because although blogging is way more cool, worship is way more important.

5. Because my gay friends inside the church need me.

6. Because staying gives my disciple-making efforts a feel of authenticity.

7. Because Facebook “friends” are no substitute for the real thing.

8. Because it can be as bad as everyone says, so if I don’t reform it, who will?

9. Because it’s not usually as bad as everyone says – not a racist, sexist, anti-intellectual country club, but a community of believers struggling to do their best for God.

10. Because I’m selfish and prideful, and no one helps me with that like the church.

11. Because so many others are leaving and in my mind I hear echoes of my mother’s bridge-jump question (if everyone else jumped off a bridge…).

12. Because I considered replicating my church’s food pantry, but I can’t see feeding 130 families every Monday afternoon in my basement

13. Because no one outside my church prays for me like Jean, or reads Scripture like Trae, or shows me how to follow Jesus like Mr. Pat.

14. Because it’s where I’m most likely to encounter the living God.

15. Because I promised I would… “According to the grace given to you, will you remain a faithful member of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representative in the world?” With God’s help I will.

Thank you Brad

They are certainly thought provoking
As Brad points out in number 3 – “Because the church is like Noah’s Ark: it’s stinky a lot of the time, but it’s the only boat we’ve got.”
And as most of my family and friends can testify
I am stinkier than most others.

Have you any thoughts?

What make you excited about church?

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Fourth Emergency Service

Do you realise that there is a fourth emergency service?

I didn’t

Until yesterday

When I was put right by my eight year old daughter Dani.

Now Dani is obsessed with the sound of a siren

It only takes the distant echo of a police or ambulance alarm to get Dani rushing to the nearest window in the expectation of seeing a vehicle with flashing lights.

The other morning

Two ambulances thundered past our house

Setting the street ablaze with a tornado of sound and light.

She ran down the stairs

Opened the curtains

Then dashed out the front door

And watched them disappear into the distance

“Dad, come on let’s see what’s happened, I bet there’s an accident.”

Yesterday as I was driving us home she informed me,

“Dad, we should always let emergency cars out, if they want!”

“Okay,” I replied.

“We should let out,



Fire Engines,

And Taxis.”

I almost crashed, Taxis!!

“Taxis, why taxis”

She sighed

Obviously at my ignorance

“Well, taxis might be carrying a Pop Star and the Pop star might be late for a show. And there might be people waiting for the show to start and they might get upset. So we should always let them out so the Pop star isn’t late and the people aren’t upset.”

I looked at her

And smiled

“Okay Dad!”

“Okay darling.”

There you are the fourth emergency service is taxis taking Pop stars to shows.

When disaster strikes

And the sirens start

Where do I run?

Do I run to my own efforts?

My own strength

My fail safe methods for dealing with problems

My own ability

My knowledge

Or do I run to God

Listen to the Holy Spirit inside of me



Everything I need God has provided through Christ

I just have to learn to turn to him

And all he has made available

It’s a journey

A process

Little by little

Step by step.


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