18 May 2007

Great Doddington - Well and bike

< 8th May 2007 | Index | 25th May 2007 >

Four of us met this evening - Jody, Pete, Rachael, and Chris. After discussing various things together we thought about the woman at the well and Jody read the passage from 'The Message', John 4:1-42. We need cleansing in living water, there is no other way! Jesus knew that the Samaritan woman was unclean. The Jews ritually washed in a Mikvah which contained living water, that is water from a natural, flowing source. Jesus was offering this sinful woman (not even a Jew) spiritual Living Water.

When the disciples got back from grocery shopping they were puzzled, and perhaps disappointed too. Their noses might well have been a little out of joint. 'He sends us off to the shops and instead of sharing his life with us, his chosen apprentices, he shares it with this woman, this sinful woman - and she's a Samaritan!' Yes, that's us! She's just like us. The simple truth is that Jesus knows us, he knows what is in our hearts and yet he still wants to give us life.

This reminded Chris of a sermon he and Donna heard recently while on holiday. The person speaking was a professional psychiatrist. He read John 1:43-51 where Nathanael is so astonished that Yahshua knows him. Apparently Nathanael was about the same age as Yahshua, born about the same time, and so he was born at the time when Herod murdered all the boys under the age of two. This was a marked generation, all the adults at that time would have been psychologically scarred, the grief would have been deep and the impact lasting. And there is a legend amongst the Jews that Nathanael survived the slaughter because his mother hid him under a fig tree! Yahshua knows what is in our heart, he knows all about us!

We considered that moral choices are very hard, but in the end everything is more straightforward than we dare to hope or expect because the only things necessary are to love Yahweh and to love one another. If we will just do those two things, all the difficult choices and decisions in life will resolve themselves. There's a cost of course, and that is giving up what we want in order to do what he wants.

Next we were treated to a whole stream of pictures. Jody saw a candle burning, and understood that a candle in the dark can shed a lot of light. Love is like a candle in the dark, it is all we need.

Rachael saw a man trying to ride a bike. He was not getting on very well and she realised that it was one of those trick bicycles, designed so that turning the handlebars one way causes the wheel to turn the opposite way. And the Lord said to her, 'You will never be able to ride that bike. Your brother is lying by the side of the road, dying. Get off the bike and go to be beside your brother.'

Jody considered that we have become anaesthetised to violence and the many dreadful things that happen in the world. We shrug our shoulders and say, 'Well, that's life', but the Lord says, 'No, it's not life.' She also had a word that the ocean is blue and the sky is an amazing blue too, the blades of grass are a fresh green, the colours on the feathers of a bird's wing are amazing, and they all go so well together. And in the same way we each have our own special colour - like the pieces of a mosaic. Broken little pieces of crockery can be assembled to make a beautiful mosaic that presents a wonderful picture. We are like that when he assembles us. Jody also had another picture, she saw a pair of hands holding a double-sided mirror that you could look through, but she didn't know what this picture meant.

Chris was shown that one side of the mirror represents the wobbly bike, the things in our lives that we struggle with, moral issues, the problems we face that seem too hard to deal with or too difficult to understand. The other side of the mirror is that we love the Lord and that we love one another. Our lives seem to have both aspects to them, but it's only where those two aspects meet that we begin to see clearly and the problems can be met. We have to apply his love to all those difficult situations, and then we will see clearly what to do in each of them.

< 8th May 2007 | Index | 25th May 2007 >

08 May 2007

Great Doddington - Canada and boats

< 2nd May 2007 | Index | 18th May 2007 >

We talked for a long time this evening, but it was more than just talk for talk's sake. We covered a lot of topics and considered how some of them related to the things we believe and hold true.

One of the things we discussed was the idea of giving up our lives for the Lord. It's not enough to do things for him and to work hard at being Christians, instead we need to really let go of everything else but him. Nothing in our lives should matter more than he does.

Chris shared a thought from something he'd heard on a Colin Urquhart recording. We know from the Bible that it's more blessed to give than to receive and this is a spiritual truth. It applies to the Lord just as much as it does to us, so when we receive from Him He is blessed. We should never be reticent about accepting His gifts and favour, He enjoys giving us good things just like any good parent. This is an interesting point; we don't normally understand it this way. It's clear to us that we should be cheerful givers and that we benefit from that, but we don't usually consider how much the Lord loves to give and the benefit He receives. When we refuse to accept from him we take away the blessing he is due.

We also spoke about the ways in which we are all in a state of transition, with Jody and Peter considering moving to Canada, and Chris and Rachael's Mum and Dad's recent transition from this world to the next, the imminent transition of Rachael's daughter Rosie to motherhood, and overall the transition of priority from 'self' to 'his will' in each of us. This is truly the most important thing of all, that he should have his way in us, not that we should have our own way.

At the end of the evening Jody suggested we spend some time in prayer, and that turned out to be really useful.

Father told us we are like little boats bobbing in a stormy sea, but we are safe, the waves will not capsize us, the wind will not blow us over, he is with us in the boat.

We thought, not for the first time, that these meetings are all different and don't really follow a particular pattern. Yet the Lord graciously reaches into our lives and touches us - over and over and over again.

< 2nd May 2007 | Index | 18th May 2007 >

02 May 2007

Rugby - Baby food and public transport

< 27th April 2007 | Index | 8th May 2007 >

We talked for a while about a variety of things. One topic was houses, homes, and our parents. Chris said that he'd like to live in his father's house in Cirencester, but the house had to be sold and it wasn't possible to keep it. But that is according to the world - in Heavenly terms we do get to live in our Father's House! We have everything we need, what a privilege and joy, there's no need for any kind of 'prosperity gospel'.

If we are looking for Life we will find it in humbleness. The world doesn't value humility, instead it celebrates success and strength and money. But there is no life in those things, they are empty, hollow. Life is in humility.

Jody explained that we are like babies. Sometimes our Father wants us in the high chair so he can spoon feed us. But we need to grow beyond that, to grow up and thrive on solid, adult food.

We also talked about the Church and some of the problems that so many face, even in the very place where they should be comfortable and happy surrounded by people who love them. And although there are indeed places of peace in the Church, there are also places of turmoil. It seems that the simplicity of life together (the simplicity of loving, humble relationships) is sometimes replaced by complex and contentious matters of structure, leadership, and tradition.

One theme which appears to be a common thread in our recent meetings is our walk with God, the path we walk with Him and the direction in which He leads us. This direction is inevitably heavenward, a journey which He has trodden already, and one in which He walks closely with us, experiencing the potholes, cracks and unexpected events along the way. Rachael's analogy of the bus/bus driver and the journey ahead brought a funny memory to mind of one of many early journey's in London Jody experienced back in the '80's.

It seemed London bus drivers followed their own timetable and often their own logic. Jody jumped on a bus, (not sure if one is able to spring onto the back of a moving bus anymore!) intending to go from Victoria to Euston and then home to Watford. Instead of being driven to the destination advertised on the front of the bus she was taken completely in the opposite direction, along with 15 other passengers, to a little side street on the other side of the Thames. At the journey's end, the exiting busdriver, his shift now over, slung his bag over his shoulder, explained that the underground could be found around the corner, and briskly disappeared into the smoggy London sunset. To this day one could only speculate on the driver's intention and/or feelings towards his present passengers or even those of his employer. Was this common practice then?

Bus drivers let you down, even when the journey is within their control. Father on the other hand, gets us to where we are going, as long as we are prepared to let Him. Sometimes that route doesn't always appear to be as straight forward as we would expect! I believe we laughed at His sense of humour regarding that image. How often do we allow ourselves to be led in the wrong direction, sometimes unknowingly...However we still manage to get back on track despite the time 'seemingly' wasted or the path by human observation 'ridiculous'.

If all London Transport drivers decided to take whatever route they fancied on any given day, what a total shambles the city would be in. It stands to reason then, that the routes mapped out between points A and B are usually followed, passengers can get off at their desired destination and the city functions pretty well. Every now and then a 'rogue' london transport employee may just make a day in your life a little more interesting.

< 27th April 2007 | Index | 8th May 2007 >

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