Missing the Point

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I am worried that I have completely missed the point.

Being more worried about how many people are following me… than the one I am called to follow.

Being more concerned with looking good… than doing good, than actually being good.

Putting more effort into the contents of my bank account… than the contents of my heart.

More interested in making people like me… than making disciples.

And, frankly, I am sick of it. I am sick of being so selfish. And what’s even more disturbing that I don’t seem to be alone. This idea of success has seeped into the whole culture of the church.

And no where is this more obvious than in the bizarre world of blogging.

A world of perfect hair and perfect teeth and selling your soul for an extra like; spending our days sat in comfortable homes writing words of “encouragement” instead of getting out there and helping the poor and needy.

Blogging is a nice thing, but maybe, for some of us, it’s the easy option. The safest option, that avoids any real connection, or any real risk.

Blogging is a good thing. It helps me organise my thoughts, and I know it helps other people on some level. But lets not let this, or anything else get in the way of the real Christian work.

The Christian life involves actually getting out there and getting your hands dirty and helping people in the worst kind of need. It involves real community and a shed load of the hard kind of love. It means you will often get hurt. It is not the easy road. But it is the road that we need to take.

When we take this steep and stony road, which probably involves a few dark valleys or, even worse, rickety rope bridges across those dark valleys; a lot of mud and dirt and hurt, but the road that has the most beautiful views. This is the place where we meet Jesus. This is the place where we find adventure.

For many people reading this there might be other good things getting in the way of great things. Maybe the pursuit of education and knowledge; a good career; the idea of the perfect family or the perfect marriage, no matter what the cost.

While, like blogging, these can all be great things, they can become a hinderance if we do not keep them in check. If we do not look beyond our own lives and towards the rugged cross. After all, Jesus didn’t die so we could have a nice comfortable life, he died so that we could have a relationship with him. He calls us to a life of risk and discomfort, but the only kind of life that is really worth living.

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Christian, You are allowed to feel sad

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No matter how often we read the bible, we cannot immunize ourselves against pain and suffering.

It gives us hope, yes. But that hope doesn’t mean that we will never feel sad, it means that we will have the strength to carry on, even when times become hard.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of people paining the Christian life as something which is easy.

It’s not always going to be. There will be times when all you want to do is break down and cry.

When prayers seem to remain unanswered. When those around us are suffering, when we face hardship in our lives.

And do you know what, when these things happen it is okay to break down and cry.

You do not need to put on a brave face. To fake it until you make it. Because God’s heart breaks for all these things as well.

You have permission to feel sad. I am so sorry if you have ever been made to feel as if you are not able If you have ever been made to feel as if you are less of a Christian. That you are only sad because you are not praying hard enough or reading the bible long enough.

Yes we can find hope in knowing that Jesus is near, and that he does hear. But that doesn’t mean that the pain will go away immediately. Yes we do have hope, but that doesn’t mean the pain will go away immediately. Sometimes that can be a really hard thing to cling on to.

Because although you may not be able to find any joy in today , you can hold on tight in the knowledge that this sorrow will one day pass.

So if you need to, let those tears fall. Let them fall for the brokenness around you and for the impossibility of the situations that you face.

Because you cannot do this on your own, the only way that you can get through this is by crying out to Jesus.. He will hold you in his arms. There is no one better to have by your side.

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance. (Ecclesiates 3: 1-4)

The Sorrow Before Joy

Finding Joy After Sorrow, we will all face sorrow and suffering at some point, but how can we find hope in that? Is it possible to know joy after sorrow?

Though the sorrow may last for the night:
The joy comes in the morning.

These are not just some nice song lyrics, they are a promise. Not just the second line, but the first as well!

When we look around us, it might seem as if some people get of lightly in the sorrow department, but the truth is, at some point we will all face sorrows. For a while life may run smoothly but then we come face to face with trials again. And those trials can be immense. Continue reading

If Not This, Then Something Better

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At the moment I am going through the rounds of applying for a new job. It is a tedious as it is time consuming. The thing is: every now and again, I see the job that I really like the look of. I can’t help but get my hopes up and pray, Lord is it this one? Is this the one that you have for me. Sometimes I think I pray that, just because I want to have a permanent job, and a little more certainty about the future, because working through agencies is a pretty unstable way to live. Continue reading

When Hope Feels Lost

 

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Do you ever feel like your life is just a mess. Like there are pieces of you spread all over the place. Like a smashed vase, there’s spilt water and shattered ceramic and shredded flowers. And you just don’t know where to begin to put it back together again. Let alone how to get into a place where you would be proud to show it off, or  give it as a gift.

You try to super glue it back together, but the cracks are still there, and the water pours back out. You try and gather back up the water and pour it into another container, but it’s impossible to pick back up, and the flowers are still a mess.

Trapped by broken relationships, or guilt from past you are stuck. In a place where you can’t move forward and you definitely can’t go back.

You know there is no way of sorting out this mess on your own. There is no hope of getting back what you once had, there is no chance left. It feels like you are too far gone.

When our lives are a mess, when it feels like there is no hope left and we have gone too far; even then God is still devising ways to bring us back to him.

Maybe he needed to push you over the edge so you would fall into his arms.

It doesn’t matter how broken you are; how far from him you have run, or what you have done. He’s running towards you as well. This is not the end of the story, it is just the end of a chapter.

Turn the page, run to him, and he will restore you.

Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him. (2 Samuel 14:14)