Sunday, July 23, 2006

yay for the gospel.

So yesterday i had the strangest of days. i can't write what i was doing for the most part, will do at some point through, but at lunchtime i found myself in a cafe...

As I was sitting there eating some breadpudding and reading the guardian this guy approaches me and asks if he can sit with me as he doesnt like to eat alone. Obviously, a few alarm bells ring in the mind, but, I tend to get myself into these situations and good usually comes so...

he sits down and we get chatting. turns out hes quite a famous buisness man but now working as a charity worker. He tells me about his search for happiness that took him to tibet and back again and pushed him to study many religions and different mystical traditions.

I asked him if he'd read the Bible and what he thought of Jesus...

We talked for an hour about Jesus, who he said he feels the greatest affinity, and even love for... and some interesting pluralist ideas he has. What an awesome hour that was.

I took his number, after some deliberation, and explaining of my deliberation but did so in asking if he would be up for meeting up in a group with other friends of mine, or his who were interested in talking about JEsus and religion. He said he would.

My task now is to get that going when I am back in london and get some other people on board, some of my non Christian friends and a couple of Christians.

I am....excited!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

i think about it and what went wrong

Today i found some old tapes. One of them was an oldie of Bryan Adams'. On the way to kickboxing i cranked up the volume and reminisced.

I used to listen to this tape over and over and over again when I was about 14. For very specific reasons. Listening to the song 'Summer of '69' made me think about the summer of 98 and all it changed in me.

These are difficult memories for me. They werent the best days of my life, even though i kinda thought they were.

"I think about you and what went wrong." (summer of 69)

I've lived alot of my life in light of those days. Of the Bryan Adams days and the wishful ideologies of 'everything i do I do it for you.'

And yet despite the trauma God was birthing in me something new that year. A hunger for him and his word. I read Romans with a commentry and disovered the joy of theology and how learning things about God made me love him more and desire to serve him.

That's the nature of a year, and thats the nature of an album I guess. Bryan Adams has those passionate love songs that inspire confidence but also the searing, cutting ones.

I rarely talk about that year and i certainly have never blogged it. Even now, Ive not said much. But it's helped. thanks.

what would you say to Jesus.

Pardeep Bhogal says: i wish jesus were in the room with me now. dont you ever think that? What would you say to him?

Becci Brown says: i would fall down on my face and thank him for his grace

id proclaim how cool and awsome i think he is

and how nothing compares to him.

i would say sorry for selling out and putting other things before him and not being on fire for him

i would ask why i forget how much he loves me and would ask for a hug

i would ask if ill ever stop beng anxious and if he could help me a bit mroe with that

id ask him what he wants me to do with my life

and what the 'good works he has planned beforehand' for me are

and ask him to set my heart on fire for him, to be zealous for those good works and serve him in them wholeheartedly

i would ask him to bring my housemates and ure parents and my friends on my course to know him

and i would just keep telling him how awesome he is

and ask him to make me more like him

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yesterday I learnt that one of my youth leader's from my teens lost her fight with cancer. She leaves a husband and two daughters, aged 10 and 8. I am sad for their loss. I am grateful for the example and wonderful imput she gave to me in my early teens and for the fact she is now with Christ which is far better.

I long for the new heavens and new earth when all sorrow, sickness and sin will end.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

TASTE and SEE that the Lord is good.

"The Word became Flesh and dwelt amongst us." (John 1:14)

Betty Smackman ponders the link between words and images, the image as truth or protraying one side of truth, interpreted by the viewer and changed. The image as portraying the symbolic and how this impacts in religious iconography.

"Sometimes our vebal expression will not communicate and we must reach out with a touch or a kiss to get the point across. The problem is that even when we make a silent physical gesture we are often asked to explain ourselves in words, and the the words just dont work in the same way. God is merciful. He doesn't require that we always talk to him. He asks at times only that we 'taste and see' that he is good (Psalm 34:8). He wants to know that our desire is for him, and that our expereince of him is more lasting that the words we say about him or even to him."
(A profound weaknes-Christians and Kitsch)

'Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.'
(1 Peter 2:1-3)

Friday, July 07, 2006

this time last year...

Today is a year since the bombings in London. Fortunately, I was not in London that day, but in Copenhagen with some pals.

I guess today I've thinking, not so much about what the news has but where I was at this time last year. It's been a mad year.

Today I've been asking myself questions.

Am I more in love with Jesus than I was on 7/7 last year?
Do I understand grace more than I did on 7/7 last year?
Am I more transformed through the renewal of my mind?
Do I have the same confidence in the gospel, as was displayed with my sharing it with a random drug dealer last year?
Do I appreciate more the bigness of God, am I more prepared to be bold and corageous?

These questions have been uncomfortable for me to ask becuase the answers havent been as comfortable and easy for me to know, as I would hope.

However, what I do know is that, a year on, God still has me in his hand. He has not let me go. And Jesus is the one who is the same yesterday today and forever. Praise him for his faithfulness.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

"The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars."
Francis A Schaeffer

have your way...

"Jesus can we talk tonight
Like when we first met
I'm such a long way from the light
Why can't I see you yet?

Take me, have your way,
Though I don't feel you,
I will believe,
Take me, Lord I pray,
Just have your way in me

Lord I know it's time to go
Deeper waters call
I can't resist your Spirits flow
I'm not afraid at all"

(Tree 63)

Monday, July 03, 2006

good theology, good food, good family, good fun

Last night when I realised the weekend was done, I noticed just how quickly it had gone and just how good it had been.

I spent the weekend at Richard and Ruth Cunningham's coverted mill house just outside oxford for the first student council weekend.

The weekend was one big happy jumbled mix of good food, sunshine, bouncing on the trampline, hanging out with their 5 awesome kids, awesome fellowship and long l;ong discussions around Mike Reeves' paper on churches and the CU.

We discussed the main issues that are pressing upon CUs at the moment and we especially focused on the theology of church and therefore the CU in light of the fact it is not church, from what small groups might be or not be to whether UCCF is 'inter-denominational' or 'non-denominational'!

We prayed for our regions and we discussed some of our part in the organisation and running of this year's 'Forum'

We played volleyball, we watched the football in a local pub, we ate more good food.

I marvelled at how great it was to spend a weekend with gospel loving folk eager to help CU's be living and speaking for Jesus. we laughed and i was given the entire potted history of Mary Queen of Scots.

I marvelled at Richard and Ruth and the awesome thing they ahve done to open their home in the way they do-the example that is and the way they use it not juts for UCCF groups but in the way theyre so intnetional with the folk in the village and all their friendships. Their sacrifce. Their love of the gospel compelling them.

I marvelled at Richard Cunnigham's round house kick.

And I marvelled again at the gospel.