Sunday, January 22, 2006

death - what a cheery subject

I've jsut got back from an old peoples home and I'm a bit shaken up (and there's no-one around to talk to and everyone I phone is either out or ignoring me so I'm gonna talk to my blog instead.... something quite wrong in that oh well). 14 old people have died in the home we visit in the last few weeks - 3 of them were regular punters to our services. So what - you say - surely its par for the course working with old people and yeh I spose it is... but there's still something in us that screams that death is wrong - this is not how it should be. And thats right, its not how it should be - check out Genesis 3 - death was not the original norm, but a punishment for our rebellion. Jesus came to deal with the enemy of death, and he conquered it, and we can conquer it too, if we're trusting in him we will have eternal life with im in heaven. But I supose I'm shaken coz I don't know how many of those 14 old people were ready for eterntiy. Ready for death in a n earthly sense, they definatley were, all very old and frail (the olderst was 97 - good old 'Granma' who would always shout at the noisier ones in our services telling them to 'be quiet'!!) but I have no idea if they were right before God, and I shoudn't dwell on it, for its not for me to know now. And there's nothing I can do about it now, no use praying for them now, they've already entered eternity, its too late. But there are so many more that its not too late for, and for those people I should be on my knees crying out to God for them, and proclaiming the gospel to them as clearly as I can. And its not just to old people - I have no idea how long the people around me have left... a morbid thought but an important one.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Prayer.... lovin it

Prayer's great! I love it!! What a privilege that we can approac the throne of grace with confidence! I went to a fab prayer meeting this morning - at 8.30 am on a saturday morning, there were about 20 of us crammed into Matthews living room, a real mix of age, background and culture, praising God and interceding for our nation and our city. It was so exciting. Lately I've been 'reading' (ie listening to!) a book called 'Seven Great Prayer Warriors' which looks at the lives of some amazing men and women of God, whose trust is God was so apparent in their prayer lives. Prayer changes things. I've been seriously challenged to look at my personal prayer life. If I believe God is good, and He answers prayer, why aren't I on my knees more interceding for my friends, family, city, nation, the nations? I really wanna be a pryaer warrior!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This time a year ago....

January. My favourite month. Not. January last year was one of the hardest months I've faced in recent times. I had lots of things going on, not least my health was really bad. This time lsat year was when my eyes first started to hurt ot a point where I couldn't see. This was a well scary experience (well a series of well scary experiences), I didn't know why my eyes were hurting so much, I didn't know why I was losing my sight, and at times I even wondered if I was going to get it back again. I distinctly remember lying on my bed in my darkened room, head buried in a pillow listening to 'When the tears fall' by Tim Hughes and praying its final line: 'when confusion is all around me and the darkness is my closest friend, still I will praise you, Jesus praise you.' I was confused and scared about what was happening, but I knew that God would still stay faithful to his promises. I knew that he would never leave me or forsake me, and I knew that although this life can be big pants at times, Jesus is coming back, and he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. And if that is true, then I have no reason not to praise him, no matter what earthly situation I'm in. A year on, the pains been diagnosed as hyper-dryness in my eyes, I've been using eyedrops reguarly and now although I still get pain in my eyes its nowhere near as intense as it was. God remains faithful, and I still need to remember to praise Him in every situation.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Randomness of Ministry

Christian ministry is hard work. Blatantly I'm no expert, I've only been in 'full time' Christian ministry (ie working for Christian organisations, obviously all Christians are in full time Christian ministry) for a year and a bit, but as another dull and dreary January roles around, I've again been struck by how hard this work is. Part of me longs to be back as a physics student (I know, that sonnds very weird, why would anyone want to do that?!) but as a physics student we were set weekly 'Problem Sheets' - things I didn't necessarily enjoy, but I'd work hard at them, struggle to do my best (well most of the time...... :o)) then hand it in and a week or so later I'd get it back with a mark on it - then I could see where I'd done well, and what I hadn't understand. It was easy to see how I needed to improve and what I should work on. Its not the same in Christian ministry. There is no end product, no mark out of ten, no ticks and crosses. I work with people, trying to work out how best to serve them, how best to encourage the Christian in their amazing journey with Christ and how best to explain to the non-Christian to their need of a Saviour, and point them to Jesus. I can't hand these people in to God to receive a mark out of ten for the work I've done with them, because its not my work anyway. Its His. And He graciously chooses to use me in it (becasue of his biazrre policy of delighting in using the weak the foolish). My selfish pride wants there to be outward results, so that I can point to them, to show people what a great church worker I am. But its not about me, and its not about outward results. Its about Him, and about being faithful to His Word. We've been doing services in old peoples homes every Sunday since September, its a tough work, partly because its very hard to see what God is doing. A lot of the old people can't really express themselves, so we don't know what (if anything) they've taken in. But is it for us to know? Should we not just keep proclaiming the good news and loving people the best we can? I suppose if I'm honest, I'm very glad that I don't receive a mark out of ten for my faithfulness to God, I know it wouldn't be very high. But thankfully God doesn't accept me on what I've done or haven't done - he accepts me becasue of what Jesus has done. And thats brillaint news. However hard Christian minsitry may be, it is blatantly such a privilege to have a job where I can spend my time telling people about this awesome God.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dublin baby

Well I've just returned from five days of fun in Dublin, which included discovering that Guinness actually isn't that bad (as long as its pulled correctly (we pulled our own don't you know!) (Zippy was a bit partial to it too!); rediscovering the grossness of meat and coffee; being amazing by awesome Irish scenery in Howeth (which could be the end of the world); discovering excatly how crazy random Australian girls can be; falling in love again with thebeautiful Irish accent; screaming about engagments; spending loooong times in coffee shops playing that card game with a rude name! ahhhh good times! And now I'm back in the rainyness of cambridge. Hohum such is life ;o)