Joy

Inspiration: Luke 15:11-32 and Prodigal God, by Timothy Keller

I think I’m missing something; seriously.

My Facebook post yesterday was “Has lost ‘Joy’ somewhere between duvet and workplace?? If you see him…please redirect to me, here 🙂 Thanks x”

And, reading back my post from this afternoon has made me realise that the joy is seeping between the cracks in my faith.

It may just be a spot of PMT, impacted by the fact that we’re embarrassingly broke after the wedding. All the planning and spending – looking back makes me feel a little like the ‘second son’ in Timothy Keller’s book. Whattafake.

Me, that is.

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“work at it with all your heart”

Colossians 3:20-24 – “23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”
With an effort that really shouldn’t have to be juggernaut sized, I’m knuckling down on this ‘Glory’ thing for work.

So, my prayer this morning was along the lines of, ‘Please Lord, send your Holy Spirit to be with me so that I might bring everything I do today at your feet and for your glory. I pray Lord that my colleagues and especially my boss would see my good mood, and wonder what’s making me smile.’

I’m not sure if it’s because I also had the advantage of being able to attend the mid-week service this afternoon – but it’s been a pretty good day. Although i’ve half finished a proposal, i’ve also been given a project to take ownership of. I’m trying not to be keep the positivitiy around this. As, what normally happens is i do the research and put it in powerpoint presentation for the Boss to sign off; then she usually changes it around a little and sends it off herself, so the client actually has no idea i’ve done it.

Problem? Noooo…all for the Glory of God!

Ahem..

“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?”

Love Thy Neighbour

With Christmas over I’m thinking of the people i should have contacted, but have not over the festive period. Guiltily, those few are probably most in need of a friendly phone call; and I’ve purposely not called as i know the conversation will be stilted and leaning towards them venting their unlucky lot in life. That’s not very ‘Christian’ is it?

I’m torn between the ‘worldly’ view of surrounding myself with ‘good people’ who will in turn give me good vibes; and my fundamental need to give, and so finding myself gripping moulded plastic to my ear wishing i was anywhere but listening to the depressed monotone at the other end. If it were family it would not be a problem. (i would give my right arm to help my family) But with some people it’s not so much the ‘being there’ as a friendly ear, but knowing that they take advantage of me, using me knowing that i will try my best to help where i can.

And so, in berating myself – and quite possibly being given a hearty ‘push’ from my new friend the Holy Spirit, I’m exploring what does God say about helping the needy. Not just the physically needy, but those in emotional turmoil as well. In looking at the Cross – and all that God has done, and given to me…who the heck am i to moan about emotional baggage?

  • Galations 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ”.
  • Proverbs 11:25 says, ” A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
  • Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us..if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously..
  • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

S
x

Why Can’t I Pray?

So..Fellowship Groups started again this Tuesday for the Autumn/Winter season. We’re reading 1 Samuel – and so far so good! I’m trying to understand Hannah, and what sort of belief/faith it takes for you to continuously ask God for something for half your life, and still love God – even when you don’t receive. And then when you do receive..to love him enough to give it back to him?!

You would think a story like that would move me to Prayer, right?! I’m telling you…my words don’t even catch in my throat…they hang about hotly around my ears somewhere.

I’m not taking this lightly..and i have to find some sort of cure. I mean..I’ve taken exams; i studied at University..i WRITE POETRY!?? And i can’t pray?

There were five of us last night….and at the end of the study we all voiced our prayer requests. R wrote them into an email which would later be mailed to each of us – and then we bowed our heads.

R is so eloquent, but it may have been easier for him as he had just written the prayer requests down. S has only been a committed Christian for about 2 years – but even within a year she’d thrown herself into working with ASLAN and other All Souls related things. She prays with her heart….an articulate keening expression of faith.

B is a quiet soul, and this reflects in her prayers. She’s thoughtful, and will pick a strand that touches each of us, to lift us infront of God our Father. M is clear-cut, and his uncomplicated and confident prayers were short and sharp.

Why can’t i?

fellowship group