I am so thrilled to put into your hands a few more fun encouragements for your journey this week. I hope they bless you in any small way they can.
There are stormy days when the sky weeps. And days when God is grieving with it. Days when the darkness in humankind overcomes the light that once was us...
Freedom and Choice
So we have eight year olds smashing the faces of twelve year olds here, girls no taller than my shoulder posturing gangster hostility, here on this earth where people formed from dust forget their breath and treat each other like dirt. And this one little girl who fires up like a Don, she cocks her hip and shakes her head and waves her finger and taunts the other children with violent glares and hostile words… and she is eight.
The world has its ink and we are a page, and every stroke creates in us the script lines of our selves, a biography constructed by the words and actions of others: I am loved. I am unloved. I am capable. I’m a quitter. I am smart. I am dumb. I am beautiful. I am nothing… I am, I am, I am, I am. I am the result of a thousand words, ten thousand messages, twenty thousand looks, telling me who I am. But who am I really?
Dust and Breath
There was a silence when we began. The quiet rise and fall of lungs filling with air, the whispered hush of a breath drawn in and a breath exhaled.
Just a Few Days To Go (And A Few Gifts..)
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.
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 →
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?
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.
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.
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...
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!
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...
The Doorway to Freedom
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.
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.
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...
A New Tradition: New Adventures in Fasting
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 →
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...
You made it through the first leg! (And your gifts are here)
You made it! Time for a rest and to open some gifts to celebrate your first week of the journey completed...
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 know this looks like a website, but actually it could also be called a road of sorts. Well, a journey really.... Continue Reading →