Friday, December 31, 2004

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


In the throes of essay writing I stumbled across this quote read on a video about advertising. It excited me. Maybe more so becuase it was read over some great images and music. But I think it expresses something that we aren't aware of enough. That alternative life that is promised but never delivered but so often we spend our time pursuing:

“In our urban world, in the streets we walk, in the buses we take, in magazines we read, on walls, on screens we are surrounded by images of an alternative life. We may remember or forget these images but briefly we take them in and briefly they stimulate our imagination either by way of memory or anticipation. But where is this other way of life? It’s a language of words and images that calls out to us wherever we go, whatever we read, wherever we are. Where do they exist these fabulous rewards and objects and people? Where do they belong to, here, there or nowhere? They come with us everywhere, we take them away in our minds we see them in our dreams.”

(John Berger)

be gentle

A very thoughful comment was posted on my blog: 'depraved' by Mr. Annoymous:

Paul said, "For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Rm 7:22-24

Paul was a Christ-like man and yet he still felt depraved. As we grow we become more aware of how bad we really are. Sinners think they are generally good, but when we first meet Jesus we see we are sinners. This grows. Perhaps we are like sunflowers; the more we see of the sun the closer to it we grow, but the distance between the two remains enormous. We too become more like Jesus, but we remain so sinful, so short of his glory.

Paul went on "Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Rm 7:24-25. Jesus Christ will deliver. This is another "now and not yet" experience. We are saved. He has delivered us from sin. Yet we are not completely free from its influence. That day has yet to come when we go to live with him.

As regards whether non-christians are looking for something, perhaps the question should be turned around. Instead, can it be said that non-christians are content?

Thank you Mr. Annoymous. However I am still bemused. I can generally see at times it is lke I'm moving toward a light and seeing myself more for who I am, as Christ strips away my layers and make me mroe like him. But yet, at the same time there are times when I genuinely think I am more sinful than what I was at 10 years old. Partly becuase I have more freedom and capability to do things now than when I was 10. So am I more on a journey being a 'young convert'. Is this the difference between Paul and I? Maybe this is totally another subject. What cna be said of those of us who feel like we've been in a process rather than can pinpoint an actual time and day?

As for the question about whether my friends are content.Who knows. One of them would probably say she is and I would probably believe her. And really, if I'm honest I'm not content like I should be as a child of christ.

Is it more to do with peace and certainty for the future. Or somewhere to run when the going gets tough. My friend is conetent becuase things are good for her. But what if tomorrow her mother dies? What then...will she find the same peace and comfort I would find if mine died?

And I never have to question my purpose for being on this earth. I know. I have certainity.

Thank you Mr. Annoymous. you are correct. As Paul I will always do what I do not want to do. But here is another question I wish to ask...when you're posed with a responsibiltiy...say for example being president of your CU and yet you feel you haven't been living totaly as you should but desperately, like Paul, want to, should you take the responsibility?

I'm baring my soul. Please be gentle.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Maybe it's just that I'm too tired from all that's been going on the last few weeks but somehow I feel I've come to a point of confusion. it's not that I'm having a crisis so please don't arrange emergency prayer meetings but right now I'm having trouble seeing certain things.

For example. I thought that as I grew i would become more christ like and yet i am more depraved now than i was before i was a christian. granted i was only 10-14 or something but still. and no, it's not about getting closer to God and seeing myself more as i am, compared with his holiness. it is just that i am depraved. My actions display it.

The conservative tradition of which I encounter, tell me that to get closer to God and more like him I should pray more, read more, be more obedient. be more basically. That when I do these things i will be living by the spirit.

The charasmatic tradition of which i encounter, tell me to just be in his presence, to gain a deeper more awareness of grace. That when I live by the spirit, obedience will flow.

And although I agree more readily with the later. Recently I discover that no matter what, I am still depraved.

And then this flows into envangelism. I've spent my 6th weekend on an evangliesm training weekend and come away believing where God is sending me and fired for reaching people. But as I see my depravity I look to the people I am supposed to be reaching. And sure, their morals aren't always what I'd agree with but they are far kinder, compassionate, gentle, patient, gracious than I am. Half of them are even more secure than me at times, and mos definetley than what I was a year ago. And then, those that teach us how to evangelise tell us that the 'people out there' (always depersonalised as 'non Christians') are searching for something. noone is satisfied. all their want is becuase they are missing Jesus. But as far as half my friends are concerned they're not dissatisfied, they don't feel like they're missing anything. They're happy And they aren't striving for much. other than occasionally sex. so what have I to offer them?

what is God and my faith to me these days? Recently, I've been told and come to believe that the kingdom of God is a 'now and not yet.' I look forward to heaven (so at least I can offer them that) but the 'now' bit gives me freedom now and security and changes me to be more like him. And yet I'm still depraved and my 'non-christian' friends are better than me. At least they don't try and cover up what they do. So what really do I have to offer? My faith seems like something i'm pursuing becuase i should. that somehow i believe it'll change me, it'll make a difference. and it does. it has. but it doesn't make me any better than my friends. I know i live for God becasue he commands it but he's not an evil dictator. And i still end up living like a 'non christian' and preaching a gospel that seems somewhat shabby around the edges. not becuase it is, but becuase I've made it so. becuase i am depraved

Somehow i feel like im missing the point. or the vital link right now. somehow i think this term has got to me more than i realised. maybe im just tired and need to sleep. or maybe i am just depraved.

(i say this with no intention to be blasphemous or make God smaller than he is)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


'Everythings changing and I don't feel the same...'

I returned to Belfast as weekend 5 in 6 weekend extravaganza. And I discovered with amazing clairty just how much I've changed since I left. This is of course a really good thing. I left unhappy, broken and confused. And so it was a weekend of thanking God for what he's done. The changes extend far and wide and it was encouraging to see changes in my friends. Other changes psychlogically alarmed me simply becuase somewhere in the naive recesses of my being I expected things to be the same as I left them. But things never stay still for long. And that's why it's all good. very good.

Everythings changing and and I don't feel the same