The Purpose of Freedom

IMG_1097

The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.

This is the statement that appeared on a sign, just around the corner from where I live, about a week ago.

Hmm, I thought to myself, like any good theology graduate, the first time I read it, I’m not sure how that lines up with what I read in the bible. Then I promptly forgot all about it, until that Sunday evening at church, when we read this verse. Continue reading

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

A Question of Calling

IMG_1034

I’m going to start this blog with a confession: I don’t believe that God ever called me to blogging.

Sure, it’s something that he has used to help me to grow, and (hopefully) a few other people along the way. But I can’t honesty say that it was something that he told me to do. I guess that it was something that I stumbled into at a time when I needed a creative outlet, and two and a half years, and two blogs later, I just haven’t given up yet!

Why is it then, that in most other areas of my life, I am unwilling to take a risk without being one hundred percent certain that it is what God wants me to do.

I don’t know about you but I can spend hours and hours going around in circles, trying to work out what God wants me to do in the future. Questions like: Does God want me to stay here, or move there? What does he really want me to do? Should I take that risk, play over and over. Continue reading

If Not This, Then Something Better

IMG_1020

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

This Moment

IMG_1002Most of the time we spend most of the time worried about what we need to do, or worrying about what we didn’t do.

One foot in the past and one in the future and our head full of worry and confusion.

The sick thoughts of mistakes and what ifs, the questions for tomorrow and the fears for the future take over and we forget to actually live today.

Right now. This moment. You can take your mind of the worry and you can find peace. Continue reading

Emotions of Easter: Despair

field-601209_1280

To us this is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The day after Jesus died, but the day before he rose again.

To Jesus’ followers, this was only the day after Good Friday. They didn’t have the anticipation of waiting for Easter Sunday. All they had was the sorrow.

And imagine how deep that sorrow must have been. Not only had their leader died, (and one of their closest friends betrayed him, then killed himself) they had lost their whole purpose in life.

For years their life had been following Jesus. They had given up their jobs, and secure stable lives for him. Now that Jesus was dead, what did they have left to live for? Their lives had been totally turned upside down. They must have felt completely let down, as if they had no hope on that day.

As Christian, I think we are often living in that Saturday frame of mind. We can look around the world and see so much pain and suffering, and really at times it all feels too much.

Maybe, you personally feel like you are living in the despair and hopelessness of the Saturday. It feels like everything used to be so good. That you were walking closely with God, but somehow, things have happened, and it feels like he is distant that.

Even though naturally, we may be living in the Saturday. Super-naturally, we can live with the hope of Sunday.

We have the hope that one day God will make sense of the pain and suffering, and that one day it will be no more.

Emotions of Easter: Guilt

IMG_0597-0It’s almost impossible to put into words the greatness of what Jesus did for us on that first Good Friday. I know that I definitely am unable to do it justice. However I start to explain it, it somehow feels weak in comparison to the power of what Jesus has done for us.

As I was reading about Jesus crucifixion, one of the things that struck me were the actions of some of the disciples leading up to it. A lot of people had a lot to feel guilty that day, not only Judas, but the other disciples as well.

Peter had a lot to regret, not only had he denied knowing Jesus. He had also fallen asleep, along with James and John, when he was supposed to be watching over him.

Imagine how the three of them must have felt, when just a short while later, Judas approached to have Jesus arrested. This was the last chance they had to spend time with Jesus, before his death, and they had just blown it!

Imagine how they must have felt when he was sent to be crucified, knowing the suffering that he was going through, and realising they didn’t take their last opportunity to support him.

Imagine how they must have felt as he was dying, realising just how badly they had let him down.

Looking at the cross, it’s sometimes hard to remember that we share in that same guilt. That it’s our sin that put Jesus on the cross. Like the disciples, we have taken our eyes off Jesus, we have been selfish and we haven’t trusted him when we should have.

When we look at the cross this Good Friday it should convict us, we should feel guilty about the things that we have done. If we don’t feel this way, our faith must be very shallow indeed. After all Jesus took the punishment that we deserved to endure, and that is not fair.

But Jesus did it because he loves us.

We should take time to reflect on our guilt and shame, because without it, the cross is meaningless. Without it we would never be able to understand just how much Jesus loves us.

We shouldn’t stay in that place of guilt though. We have been forgiven from all the things we have done to put Jesus on the cross. We can open our hands and let go of them. The disciples were given another chance when Jesus came back to life again. And so are we.