I’ve just come back from a fantastic holiday and am feeling more blessed and relaxed as a result. It was great to sit and read some books in the sunshine and practice my rusty Spanish a little. While sitting round the pool I noticed however just how many people have tattoos these days. It used to be that if you had a tattoo it made you unique. I joked with my kids that these days if you want to be unique, don't have a tattoo. I really did feel in the minority.
Queuing has been called a British pastime. It is something that I personally find irritating. In traffic if one lane seems to be going faster there is a temptation to queue hop to try and get ahead.
(What we are all here for)
Have you ever looked at the stars and lost yourself in questions such as “Who am I?”, “Why am I here”?, “What is the point of it all”? We feel so small when we see the vastness of the universe. It makes us ask the deepest questions. In Psalm 8, King David, inspired by God, and no doubt looking up at a clear night sky, also reflected on these deepest of questions…
When I was a younger, I wasn’t really keen on playing football, cricket etc. out on the streets in our area. I enjoyed cycling and was good at badminton, but where we lived – like a lot of places – if you were a boy you needed to be great at football to succeed.
When Huddersfield University's Christian Union moved from having a “mission” week to having an “events” week it was a game-changer. In that moment everyone got it. Mission is more than meetings. Mission is not something you roll out for a week and then pack up again.
There is a classic story of a man sailing on a transatlantic ocean liner. When he went on board, he found he was sharing his cabin with another passenger. After seeing his accommodation, he went to the ship’s purser and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe for security.
When someone becomes a Christian – putting their faith and trust in Jesus – the Bible says they are considered 'righteous' (Philippians 3:9; Romans 4:22; Romans 8:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21). What that means is that when God looks at us He doesn’t treat us with the judgement our sins deserves, but with the blessings that Christ deserves. Not only does Jesus take away our 'wrongness' but we get his 'rightness'. To say it’s a generous exchange is a huge understatement! It changes everything.
When you go to a library there are many sections to choose from: 'Children’s stories', 'Fiction', 'Biography', 'Factual', 'History' and many more. How you read a book depends on what section you found the book in. If it was in the ‘History’ section you would read it as reliable and factual, if it was in the ‘fiction’ section you would enjoy it for what it is – a good story, and if it was in the ‘Children’s’ section you would likely think “that’s just for kids”.
But who decides in what section a book belongs?
Just imagine what would happen to you when tragedy hits? When disaster strikes? What will your reaction be? Perhaps your initial thoughts and feelings could be very devastating, a sense of hopelessness.
What is church? Is it a place to be entertained, like a concert or a show – with worship leaders and preachers as the entertainment? But what happens if the preacher has an off day? Or the style of music doesn’t suit someone’s preference? At home, you’d just switch to a different channel. Is that all ‘Church is’?