Bubbles

I have created bubbles,
Domes of protection
Accessible to those I chose

I have created bubbles
Wherein I dwell safe secure
Not disturbed by those called other

I have created bubbles
Of middle class aspirations
Not troubled by those not like me

I have created bubbles
Of an ordered church
Where MY taste and fashion
Dictate my worship

I have created bubbles
Of comfortable residence
Untroubled by the homeless
Or sanctioned benefit

I have created bubbles
Which fit my snobbery
Which fit my prejudice

I have created bubbles
Of a coffee shop culture
Where barriers of price
Exclude the rif raf poor

I have created bubbles
Where such exclusion keeps me safe
And keeps me cocooned

However I have encountered a man
Some call him God
Whose only created bubble
Encompasses the earth

Whose only created bubble
Is emblazoned, for all to see
With the universal password
#comeandfollowme

Sent from my iPhone

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The Journey and Arrival 

The Journey and Arrival
When I first arrived at Faith I thought that it was my destination.

A place of acceptance by a community of loving people.

An antidote to a world of cynicism and harshness

A place of safe rest and peace.
No one told me about ‘the Journey’

No one told me that there even was ‘a Journey’

I had, I thought, arrived at the harbour called faith

I had come alongside and tied on to the mooring.

I had placed my belay on the bomb proof anchor of belief.

Safe and secure, protected from life’s falls.
So the metaphors of

Arrival and 

Journey and 

Tying onto a safe belay 

Became disturbed at the realisation that 

Arrival begat ‘a Journey’ and it was not yet complete.
So, on ‘the Journey’ I am accompanied by a Babel,

a cacophony of

Words,

Thoughts,

and philosophies.

I am lulled into the false belief that these

Words,

Thoughts,

and philosophies

are the destination itself.
But no, these

Words,

Thoughts,

and philosophies, 

and received wisdoms

compete to become ‘the Journey’ itself,

but are only idolatrous illusions of our superior intellect,

Seducing us to become gods 

made in ‘our’ own image.

If only I could filter the competing noises,

I might realise that my destination had been reached back at the beginning,

At the point of accepting the personal saviour, Christ.

He always knew me,

I was His creation and

in spite of all my sin,

He accepted me, always.

So ‘the Journey’ is in fact anchored in the destination,

and the destination is anchored in Him
So as we ask, as we seek,

as we travel on ‘the Journey’

The destination is, in fact,

that bomb proof belay of assurance in the shape of Christ.
#doyouknowHim?

Lay your head against his chest and listen to his beating heart


Scripture Reading: Luke 15: 20b–24

The Prodigal 
Devotional 

In the famous parable of the prodigal son, Jesus’ description of the father gives us a glimpse of what it looks like for us to be emotionally mature adults. The church is full of “younger sons” who wander from the love of God every time he does not meet their expectations. It is also full of “elder brothers” who are angry, bitter, and grumpy. I know them both well. I relate to both. Yet people are desperately looking for fathers and mothers in the faith who are able to embrace, love, empathize, be present, and forgive freely. It is a love without conditions, something the world knows very little about. To become this kind of person does not come naturally. 

As Henri Nouwen has written: 

I have to kneel before the Father, put my ear against his chest and listen, without interruption, to the heartbeat of God. Then, and only then, can I say carefully and very gently what I hear. I know now that I have to speak from eternity into time, from the lasting joy into the passing realities of our short existence in this world, from the house of love into the houses of fear, from God’s abode into the dwellings of human beings.
Prayer 

Father, help me to be still and listen to you, feel your embrace, and rest in your love—and then to speak to others from that place. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Getting down and dirty


Just a thought about prayer in extremis.

When we get into Gods presence at the end of our tether and stripped bare of all pretence, prayer is not fluffy and pretty.

It’s attritional bloody gut wrenchingly honest warfare against the powers and principalities. It’s about getting down and dirty and real.

#justsaying

Afflictions eclipsed by glory- How he loves us

The love story of God’s pursuit of us is wonderful. Our only natural reaction is for our hearts to turn violently inside our chests, an outpouring of deepest joy from the core. And when we get His love for us, it consumes us. There’s no time or need to dwell on our past sins or shortcomings because God’s love and grace cover all of time.
The prodigal son was dirty, smelly, and covered in filth. But when he was a long way off, his father ran to him, probably sweating along the way – adding even so to the mess of the ensuing embrace.
In light of this new perspective on love:
He loves us!

Oh, how He loves us!

Oh, how He loves us!

Oh, how He loves!

Hard pressed

  2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18 
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
Ponder

When we are hard pressed on every side, perplexed or struck down could we get down on our knees and go to Jesus?
Prayer 

Lord, everything in me kicks against going to the foot of the cross where you will root out of me all that is not of you. 

Help me not to fear the “deaths” it will take for me to be transformed into a free person who loves you and others well. 

Have mercy on me, O Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Seeds and Resurection

Tomorrow afternoon I’m due to take part in a Methodist church service of rememberance for those who have recently died. The central message of Christ is that suffering and death bring resurrection and transformation. Jesus himself said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12: 24 NIV1984).
Prayer 

Lord, after his loss, you gave Job prosperity, blessing him with twice as much as he had before, but that has not always felt like my experience. 

Grant me patience. 

Help me to trust and wait on you, especially in those areas of my life where I have no idea what you are doing, when my hardship will end, or where you are taking me. 

In Jesus’ name, amen.