Are you soon ready for our journey together? Just a few days now and the story begins, our Long Walk through the long story of grace, our strolling, rambling adventure with God on the trails He’s beaten back in search of His wandering children.
Welcome Friend. Whether you just stumbled in here or were invited by a friend, you are most welcome. Kick your shoes off, make yourself a cup of tea, and make yourself at home.
I can’t help feeling a little bit of joy right now…
Hello my Friend, I can’t help but feel a little bit of joy creeping into my heart right now as winter is beginning to loose its icy grip on our days (here in the northern hemisphere) and golden sunshine is pushing its way in, coaxing the tiny snowdrop flowers out of the sodden soil. Light... Continue Reading →
Angels Singing Somewhere
Angels Singing Somewhere Christmas Day There were angels, but Mary didn’t see them. There was singing, but Joseph didn’t hear it. There was dazzling light, but neither felt its blaze. In Nazareth, they had seen the shaming sideways glances, heard the disapproving whispers, and felt the glaring judgment as Mary’s belly swelled. And when they... Continue Reading →
Magnify: The Song of Mary
This song this teenage girl sings, this song inspired purely by seeing God’s heart and then seeing everything else through His eyes, this song Mary sings will so threaten the power structures of this world that throughout history it will be repeatedly banned from being sung in public.
Yes... What we say yes to forms us. One way or the other. Mary. She said yes. To God. She gave Him all she had. “I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 She held nothing back. And it would cost... Continue Reading →
Kingdom Revolution King. It’s a word with baggage. We have other words with baggage, like politician, ruler, president. All these words carry stories. Stories of human failings and fallen-ness. Stories of political ambition and corruption. Our world has learned the hard way that the truest measure of any human ruler, is not in their oratory... Continue Reading →
He didn’t just come to give us a lovely sentimental feeling and warming family holiday season each December...
Because the story we live in decides how we live...
Belief matters. Because our beliefs create the world we live in. And unbelief creates a world without God. A world of loneliness and despair. A world of hustling to survive. A world of anxiety and fear...
Absence and Presence
Silence can feel like an absence of God. But the truth is God is always present and wants us to see clearly that it is not circumstance or our own striving that gives us good gifts, but His hand alone. And His gifts are often seen most clearly after an absence, like a light lit on a dark night, like a long cool drink after a dehydrating wait, like a child finally born from an ageing barren womb...
In taking Mary home as his wife, Joseph was effectively taking on responsibility for her pregnancy, appearing to have broken the laws of betrothal. In sheltering her and the child she carried, Joseph took on Mary’s shame, making it his own...
What if God is outside of our field of vision? And what if He is calling us to join Him there? In a reality larger than our human plans laid down...
What if your calling put you at odds with your whole world? What if God's will in you seemed like a kick in the face of all you had been told, raised in and led to believe? If you knew His call would leave you alienated and alone, estranged from your community, friends and even your family, would you still say yes? Yes to God?
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah…
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah Like many great figures of the Bible, Jesus' story begins with a genealogy. A genealogy was a family tree that acted as a way of introducing a significant life. A way of saying, “take note- this is someone!”. “This is the genealogy of Jesus... Continue Reading →
He will come: A Carol To Light The Dark
This is not fairytale story. He didn't come into a perfect world. He came into ours.
In the dark.
To be the light.
If you run your finger across the a sawn-off tree stump, tracing the circular path of its rings, it will tell you a story. Each line has a tale to tell, a story-line revealing years of droughts, the story of rains, the story of bushfires, the story of years of abundance and years of lack. It will tell you how old it is, how long it has stood in place, and what each year was like. A stump is old and full of years, full of story. A long old story traced in rings...
Peace On Earth
She twists the wire around the green, around and around and around until all the unruly Christmas greenery finally yields and hangs submissive on the circular frame. There's an intensity to how she does it that most ten year olds don’t have. A determination.
God Is With Us
God Is With Us I love Christmas. The carols, the wonder, the traditions, the too-much-food-only-eaten-once-a-year. It is the time of year I most miss being with my family, the time when living over seas is most costly, not in money but in feeling, the feeling that comes when you are surrounded by those... Continue Reading →
The Living Branch…
The Living Branch The days were coming… but they were not there yet. And the aching pain of invasion and exile hung around Israel like the chains they lived, as they strained their eyes into the distance hoping for the promise of hope. Wondering if it was really possible. really true. And we... Continue Reading →
The Coming King
As we begin this season of Advent, let’s be clear on Who we’re waiting for...
A Gift For You This Christmas Season…
So, what if this Christmas we were to slow the story down, and live in it. And let it live in us? What if in all the Christmas rush we forge an island of quiet and sit in God’s long story of grace and let it become the story that breathes us back to life, lighting the dark, warming the cold? What if this Advent season could be a time we turn our hearts back to the heart of the real Christmas story and let it reshape us from the inside out, and in so doing become more real ourselves.
As Christmas Approaches…
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 →
The Road Home…
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....
He is Risen! Happy Easter!
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 →
Empires, Kingdoms and Truth on Trial
Who is the true King of this world? Who is it you want? As King?
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.
Drawing in the Dust
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...
How to Walk on Water in a Storm
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?
A New Tradition… Our Favourite!
You'll love this one... it's our favourite part of Easter!
Easter is Closing in…
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.
A Surprise… Can you guess?
So... I have a surprise...
But the opposite of fear isn’t courage. Neither is it fearlessness. The opposite of fear is seeing. God with you...