Dear Friend, It’s been quite some time since I wrote to you as we journeyed together through the Easter season and I am delighted to be back in contact with you as Christmas and the season of Advent approaches. Since I last wrote my family and I have moved countries so it has been a... Continue Reading →
Walk On… So my son, these years ago, we gave him this Bible, an 'Action' Bible. And then throughout that Lent, as we read our Bible stories and hung our decorations daily on our Easter story tree, we all soaked together in the long story of grace, the story of God walking with His people.... Continue Reading →
Epilogue The Road Home... “In the Christian life, God’s love takes all his children on journeys they do not wish to go. He makes them travel by roads they do not wish to use. All so he can bring them to places they never wish to leave. With Jesus, pain, no matter how great, never has... Continue Reading →
From before all time began His grace was there waiting for us, because the cross was there waiting for Him. Waiting for the Creator of the Universe to die for the creatures He created....
Happy Happy Happy Easter! He is Risen! Time to celebrate! Well you have made it all the way to Easter Sunday! But this long story of grace isn't over yet! In many ways it's just getting started! But today is the day we've been anticipating all along. So take a moment to celebrate. To sit... Continue Reading →
It’s strange how loss can leave you so emptied out on the inside and so disconnected from the outside. The outside world right there, just above your skin. Like all that’s left is a brittle shell. Echoing. Distant.
The senses. They all collapse into this stormy sea of grief and the waves crash and roar and drown out all sound, drench out all touch, saturate all presence but the ever present dark. The presence of the hole. The gaping wound in reality where He once dwelt....
Sometimes the only way to discover who God really is, is a long dark fall to a forest floor. The aching thud of assumptions shattering, of a life in pieces, of hopes dashed. Hopes woven around even an idea of Christ must break in the face of who Christ really is. He is not who we have thought He was, we have not known Him. He is always more. Less of our illusions, and more than we ever dreamed possible.
Good Friday It wasn't supposed to be this way? “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work... Continue Reading →
Day 38 Night “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped... Continue Reading →
There were two gardens. Two gardens in this long tread of time. And God walked in them both. So did frail humanity, humanity forged in the image of God forgetting themselves and forsaking God. This is the story of the first garden, but only part of the story of the second.
This one brave heart. The one who wasn't wondering what others might think. She had thrown all caution (and all cultural propriety) to the wind and thrown herself at Jesus feet.
Hello Walking Companions, Palm Sunday and Holy Week blessings! Can you believe we are here already? We are on the homeward stretch now, with just over a week left in our journey. Every day this week brings us closer to the cross and deeper into this Easter story, this long story of grace. I hope this... Continue Reading →
Our lives are all part a story, folded into time, a longer story, a larger story. A story stretching from the beginning of time and reaching through to the end of it. The story of God’s long walk with human beings. The long story of His grace journeying to find us.
The story we human beings miss, miss-shape and misunderstand, most of the days of our lives.
Breath. How do you restore it when it's been strangled out of a soul? How do you help a breathless world catch its breath in wonder?
We say ‘sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you’, but nothing could be further from the truth. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our hearts. Slowly. Eroding our God-breathed-Imago Dei with the slow drip of rejection and the corrosive power of false narratives labelling us less; names short on grace, names short on hope, names that fall short of the name God breathed into us from the genesis of our existence.
Sometimes our brokenness is easy to see, like a broken leg, or an open wound, but broken hearts are less visible to the eye, unless of course that eye is God’s...
We learn fear.
Life teaches it to us blow by blow.
Sometimes by a trauma, sometimes by the slow drip of disappointment corroding courage, usurping hope. We tried. And failed. We got bitten. And bled. We got knocked down. And lived there.
We learn fear.
I have learned fear...
Jesus didn’t come to earth to entertain us with stories. He didn’t come to ensure that we had the theological story straight, He didn’t come to correct our doctrines. He didn’t come to answers all our questions.
He came to be the question, 'where are you?'
He came to be the Word, a seed planted deep into soil.
He came to be the seed, sewn into our lives and hearts producing new life.
He came to be our hope, restoring our breath when we have lost ourselves to the mud.
And He came to be the revolution, birthing a Kingdom come.
Why was Jesus sleeping? Who can sleep in a thunderstorm? Who can be anything but thrown about by a raging of emotion? Who is this that just doesn’t seem to feel it when the world is falling apart? Who?
Hello Walking Companions, How are you? I hope you’ve had a moment to trail along with us a little over the last week now that we’re walking with Jesus as our guide. Most of this next week we’ll be spending our time in and around the Sea of Galilee (so make sure you’ve got your... Continue Reading →
'This well is deep', the one to quench the thirst of cells, but not deep enough though to quench the thirst of a soul. Thirst has no boundaries, social or cultural. We all thirst. Our cells thirst for the water that floods them, restores them, renews their life. And our souls thirst too for a deeper water, hydration in a deeper place, from a deeper source, a spring deeper than deep space, vaster than a universe of light.
Day 27 Calling 'So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.' Luke 5:11 Found in Luke 5:1-11 Matthew 4:18-22 and Matthew 9:9-13 The thing is, underneath it all, so often we’re not sure. Not sure who we are, not sure that we’re valuable, not sure where to place our feet... Continue Reading →
God has all the power Satan tempted Jesus with and more. He could dominate, He could take the world by force as Satan offered it. But He doesn't. Instead of coming with an army to control us, He came as a vulnerable human being to woo us, to walk with us, to win us. With love.
And here, echoing down through time is one of the greatest stumbling blocks humankind has when it gazes into the possibility of the existence of God. How can a good God allow human suffering? How can struggle and pain and suffering be God's will?
The greatest weapon used against us is ourselves, and the greatest weapon we have in our defence is...
He didn’t come to be with us in our ducks-in-a-row existence. He didn't come to be with us in our comfortable and convenient answers. He didn't come to be with us in our neat and tidy church buildings. He didn't come to be with us in our lives on the 'right' side of town. He didn't come to be with us in our righteousness and wealth. He came into our poverty, our want, our pain, our fear, our brokenness. Our need.
But the opposite of fear isn’t courage. Neither is it fearlessness. The opposite of fear is seeing. God with you...
There is never really an argument between the light and the dark. Only a defeat. The dark may be tangible, but the light is unquenchable.
God sees us. He sees who we truly are long before we do. He sees the authentic shape of our beating heart and strengthens us to be… ourselves.
All real power belongs to God. And He chooses to use it in very different ways to human beings. Real change in this world is brought about not by might and strength. Real change comes by small people who’s hearts are beating in time with God’s, stepping out courageously with Him into the dark, armed only with the conviction that giants will fall before them because God and them are strong.
Forgiveness is a battle cry into the expansive whirling universe soundlessly shouting, ‘there is a bigger story, a bigger reality than all my aching anguish, a larger will at work than the perpetrators of all my pain, a stronger heartbeat than my beaten human heart. There is a God of love. With me. So, even in the dark, tomorrow is always new and I am always free!’
In this world there will be trouble, and pain and dark threads knotting and tearing. But there will also always be God; God with us, re-weaving and redeeming.
Hello Long Walkers! How are you? Well it's about time to put your feet up and take a break, because you've earned it! Three weeks of walking. Wow! And what an eventful journey this last week has been! We’ve left poor Joseph hanging, so we’ll get back to where he’s at early next week. After... Continue Reading →
Hate may look strong and successful in the short term. But it never wins in the long run of things. Malice may win some battles, but it’s love who wins the war. Eventually. Always. Because God is on His throne, even when all we can see is the dark.
Only God can bless us, lead us and release us from the scripting cords strangling our lives into the chords of the song planted deep in our hearts, our Imago Dei song-lines breathed into us before time was written down.
Grace doesn’t wait for us to grow up and earn it. It plants itself like a seed in our hearts, a seed woven into the sinews of our souls before our time begins, before all time began, and it whispers into our brokenness this lingering ancient song, a song half remembered but almost forgotten. A song first breathed over us in a garden long ago...
Day 13 Fight “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and... Continue Reading →
God wants to walk with us, partner with us, bless us and care for us, threading together the tapestry of all the thousand ways He loves us, a tapestry woven in gold and goodness, grace and givenness, justice and righteousness. All the patterns of grace in a life.
God sees and hears the pain we live in, in the womb of this unravelling world, and He weaves His grace around us to restore us to ourselves. This God sees. This God hears.
A New Tradition Celebrating The Old Story New Adventures in Fasting (Giving Instead of Giving up) Our long walk through the long story of grace is well under way. But I don’t want you to be mistaken. This story is no fairy tale, no pep talk, no entertaining distraction. This is a story to live... Continue Reading →
It’s time to Celebrate! Hello walking companions! And a special welcome everyone who joined us during the week, it’s lovely to have you along. Its time to party because you have just made it through the most arduous week of our Long Walk…so many downhills, sharp turns, ups and downs, you must be feeling it!... Continue Reading →
God is faithful to all His intentions for humankind and His intention right from the beginning of all things has always been to bless us. He wants us to be fully alive, fully flourishing in our Imago Dei humanity....
The significance they craved was their true beating heart, the image of God within them, but the way they were reaching for it was tearing them apart...
If you look between the words of this long story, like light streaming between fence posts, you will see the face of God shining behind the lines, in His words, through His actions, in His grief, His grace, His promises, His justice, His faithfulness. His long memory of His love for humankind. He is a God who remembers us, when we forget ourselves. And His memory is long.
God is always faithful. He cannot be otherwise. It is who He is. He is faithful to His word, faithful to His blessing, faithful to His purposes. Faithful to us. Faithful to storyline He created for us to flourish in, faithful to the song He planted deep within our hearts....
The footprints of history are deep, trailing lines in the dusty earth. Lines to live repeatedly without thinking by. Life gives us this script and we learn these lines by heart, habituating them, breathing them in through our lungs, drawing them into our veins, running them straight to our heart. And our heart beats in time to these lines laid out, weaving the future with the threads of the past. We've learned the lines by heart, the human family-lines, lines running back through time, lines first spoken outside a garden long ago....
This is not the world that any of us were dreamt for. This is not the world our fragile human hearts were formed for. It is now our lived reality, but it was not our breath's beginning. The beginning that was planned for us in a garden long ago....