Pride comes before ‘I told you so’…

So my boss has been dumped (again). This time it IS over – she came into the office in floods of tears again today. Dark glasses on, hair swept up…

I really didn’t know whether to sympathise with her, which would be exactly what she wants – or to give her some tough love. This would mean reminding her of all the name calling and hurt feelings over the last year or so. It feels a little like a scene from Groundhog day around here!

The only tie she has with this man is his £1m house and long weekend lifestyle. I’m not judging… at least, I’m trying not to. But there’s more to life than hurt pride, isn’t there…?
I’d started Fellowship Group last night with a mixed bag of feelings.

1. Disappointment: New Hubby had been off work ill. I’m not unsupportive of him, or unsympathetic – but i sometimes find him somewhat ‘woosified’. I can only put this down to my dear old dad, who would get himself to work and graft a full day even if he had the flu, or a smashed up finger. I think the only time he took time off, and that had to be booked as holiday, was to bury his mum and dad when they passed.

2. Anxiousness: I was ‘cooking’ for the group yesterday evening – and had planned the meal, roasting a chicken to have cold with salad that evening. I grew more anxious as i bustled around the kitchen, calling on NH to carve up the chicken, and drafting in another to chop cucumber and spring onions while i prepared cous cous with avocados. I couldn’t get the Jesus’ story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42 ) out of my head. Even as I was invited to say the Grace before we ate, part of me felt that I needed to pull myself together and get in the right frame of ‘Peace’ to accept God in our evening.

3. Indignation: Now I didn’t feel fully indignant, and I should also add ‘part judgmental’ to this. We’ve had a new member start and she’s having an awful time of it. With work and personal life crossing into one another she’s seriously stressed. So, most of the evening was taken up by her story – and why is God not answering her when she’s asking him what to do about her situation?

I was sobered out of my selfishness by a couple I admire so much it hurts. He wouldn’t tell our new lady what to do, or give advice as such, but directed her to what God may be saying to her. He picked out passages from the bible (he knew them from memory) that seemed key in her situation; while his wife kept directing her back to not beating herself up about the situation, but to take note of what her husband was saying and be prayerful.

Will I ever learn to be as gracious?

Jesus did not die on the cross. Discuss.

I’ve just read an article from the Telegraph; ‘Jesus did not die on the cross, says scholar’ posted 23 June 2010.

Gunnar Samuelsson has investigated the language used to describe the death of Christ – and deduced that the word ‘Cross’ and ‘Crucifixion’ in the biblical terms as we know it, is wrong.
My first response to ‘newly graduated’ theologian Gunnar Samuelsson was that he was trying to get himself published to earn his grant moneys. Then, as I read more, the fact that he’s a committed Christian nearly made me fall off my chair.

Like an imperceptible tirade, I could hear it; those smug agnostics and atheists saying ‘I told you so’… more so if the Red Tops get hold of the story.

The atoning death and resurrection of Jesus are the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. If either failed to occur Christianity would be null and void. But then, Samuelsson is not actually saying it failed to occur, he’s questioning how it occurred. What then are the marked repercussions if such a claim proved truth?

The danger here is those people who will not think between the lines and take a headline at face value. It must have been a quiet day on the Religious desk at the Telegraph for the journo to stop and peruse this story.

Alcohol is a funny thing…

Too many of these are bad for marriage

Alcohol is a funny thing. It’s like an annoying friend. You know the type; you get on hilariously with them and have had some rib achingly good times together. But there’s that selfish streak about them that you’re not keen on. They always have to have their pennies worth, sometimes to the detriment of you.

Although hubby and i were home last night, we drank our way through three bottles of wine! Add to this the fact that i hadn’t much lunch, and dinner was a slimming salmon fishcake and salad, the result was emotionally messy.

If i already have a bee in my bonnet about something, i’m a hurtful drunk. I suddenly have a right to speak my mind; what’s the point of not being honest? All the niggles that i would usually just swallow and not say anything about, (i’m thinking sawdust and plank here..Matthew 7:3-5) come spilling out of my mouth like Chenin Blanc into stemmed Ikea.

So saying, i deserve my headache.

Liar, Liar…

My boss was reduced to tears today because she got caught lying by her (on and off again) boyfriend. He’s dumped her.

My mum always used to say a phrase if she ever suspected me of lying, “what a tangled web we weave when first we set out to deceive!” Come to think of it, this may account for my unreasonable fear of spiders…

My parents taught me to face the consequences of my actions – if you get caught, it will only make matters worse! But, its funny how the telling of ‘little white lies’ have a habit of being ‘ok’ – when really, a lie is a lie. And like my boss, in the end, liars are mainly lying to themselves.

The commandments set out by God in the bible are there to protect us; not just from others, but from ourselves.

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:16)

Something weird has happened to me over the last couple of years or so since becoming a committed Christian. When I’m tempted to lie it’s almost like I can feel someone standing behind me ‘witnessing’ it. I stop myself and just tell the truth. Unfortunately, the thing about this is – sometimes the truth isn’t very nice either.

Proverbs reads like poetry:

23 Like a coating of glaze over earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.

24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but in his heart he harbors deceit.

25 Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
for seven abominations fill his heart.

26 His malice may be concealed by deception,
but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27 If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it;
if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.

28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin. Proverbs 26:23-28

“The heart is deceitful above all things…” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

It’s almost two months since our wedding, and after the chaos of organising, booking and a depleted bank account, you’d think we’d settle back into a life more ordinary. Not so: one particular aspect which seems to be the arch nemesis of my perfect Christian Life just won’t crawl under a bench and go away – Alcohol.

So now it’s not just me I’m worrying about – but my new husband. We’re not long back from honeymoon when he goes out for a ‘quiet’ drink after work one Friday for a colleague’s leaving do. We have ASLAN early the next morning – and so i remind him not to ‘overdo’ it.

Even he’s not sure how this happens, but after texting me at 1am-ish to say he’s on the way home, he goes missing for 10hours, waking up in a police station in Greenwich on Saturday afternoon.

I’d gone to serve at the day centre on Webber Street that morning, thinking that he would join me there, but no sign. I had had to ring round hospitals before I could report him missing to the police. This left the ASLAN team two men down with 60 or so homeless men and women that could not have a shower that morning.

My team leader there had prayed for me before sending me home. And we both thanked God after, that he was picked up by the police, and that nothing awful had happened.

In my heart I know I’m only half listening to this lesson. If I’m totally honest with myself I’m one of ‘those’ Christians that says I can drink/do/wear what I want because I’m not under law. I’m under grace.

But how does that show my love and devotion to HIM?

I made the Midweek service at All Soul’s today, and Rico spoke on Mark 14:1 -11 – the woman with alabaster jar, who poured £20k worth of perfume over Jesus’ head. Those at the dinner table with him reprimanded her. But Jesus said of her, “8She did what she could.” Meaning, she lived for Christ. Shirking what people thought of her to show her devotion to JC.

Paul’s letter to Titus teaches: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” Titus 2: 11-12

I led a bible study for Fellowship Group for the first time the other week. It was on 2 Timothy 3: 10 – 17: Here Paul is teaching Timothy to lead by example. He’s telling Timothy to ignore the ways of the world, just as he had. “10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.”

I’ve an inkling that Paul never got home after one of these stressful occasions and cracked open a bottle of red wine with the words, “I’ve had SUCH a bad day! A glass or two should relax me a tad!”

Ephesians 5:18: ” Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit”.

In my heart I love God and, like my earthly father, I want him to be proud of me always. But I also know that that very same heart justifies a lot of the bad that I do. I fail ALL the time. EVERY day! I wonder sometimes if it’s worth me trying at all.

Jeremiah 17:9: “ 9The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”