Thursday, 3 October 2013

Don't tell me - show me!

It's such a long time since I posted anything here, you'd think I'd abandoned it! Well, no - just that I've been busy of late and getting to grips with settling into a new church community. After moving to a new congregation I'm taking time to consider what God actually is moving me towards doing; it is all too easy to jump in and get over-involved, so I'm taking baby-steps and praying it over.

Something I came across recently concerned faith and action. It was a quote in a magazine: "Don't tell me about your god with your words. Show me about your god with your actions." (Steve Maraboli 'Life, Truth and Being Free.')

For a long time,  I've been feeling a 'call' towards practical Christianity - 'walking the walk' rather than just  doing the talking!  Now, at last, I'm hoping to start volunteering with a homeless project here in my home town. Having revisited my financial commitments to various charities here and abroad, earlier this year, I was challenged about actually 'getting my hands dirty' - something that was brought home to me at a bible-study group discussion last night. On the subject of the parable of the Good Samaritan, we were prompted to think about the costs of 'not walking  on by' (financial, personal time, safety-risk) and who exactly is our neighbour?

Last Sunday was our Harvest Service and we were encourage to bring produce to be distributed locally via the Foodbank. Not so many years ago, Harvest Festival produce was inevitably 'dumped' on the nearest old folks home, etc. (Believe me, having worked in such establishments, we were the recipients of crates of odd vegetables, left anonymously on the back doorstep; there comes a limit to how many pounds of stewed apples you can use!)

For a number of years at our previous church we were encouraged to join the 'Harvest for the Hungry' organisation and send food parcels to impoverished Eastern European communities. Later that morphed into simply giving financial aid to the project, to save expense on shipping/haulage and also to stimulate the local economy by purchasing food in situ.

Now, however, with the worldwide recession hitting the more well-off nations we find ourselves actively involved in supporting our immediate neighbours - this seems to me to be exactly what Jesus was getting at!

I've often thought about the old 'digging a well in Africa' hands-on approach to dealing with need in communities but assumed all I could realistically do was give financial support. Now, I realise that same  'hands-on' aspect is actually available right on my own doorstep - and I can no longer just 'walk on by'.

Let's hope we can all play our part in ensuring the necessities of life are shared out with everyone - and let us imitate Christ in His compassion for ALL people and of course, remember that what we do for others, we do it as if for Him:

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
 ‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?”
 ‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:35-40 NIV)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Why this Friday is Good

A short piece I wrote for a flash-fiction challenge a couple of years ago - but still pertinent to this particular date. I hope it still provokes thought and reflection.


I’m cold.

Despite the pain I’m in it’s strange, but I can feel the cold. Like when you sweat and feel that coolness on your skin as it evaporates.

I can feel that, now. But it’s not sweat. It’s blood.

There are so many puncture wounds and rips in my flesh that at times I can’t really tell exactly where the pain is coming from.

My muscles ache. I want to lie down and rest but they won’t let me. Just when I think they’ve finished they start all over again. But I know this is just the beginning.

What a difference a week makes. A few days ago I was in a very different place. Not geographically. In fact, I was just a few hundred yards from this building. But it was a world away from the present reality.

That was when people wanted to be with me. I had some very good friends, but this – this has driven most of them away. The fear of this happening to them has made them run.

It’s dark. There are still a few hours to go before daylight. More time to rip more flesh.

It could have been so different. But this is all part of the plan. I can’t change it. I can't back out now. I don’t want to, even with all this pain and terror. It is…..necessary.

It’s tempting knowing that I could clap my hands and have done with it. If it was just me, perhaps I would. But it isn’t just me. And so much depends on carrying this through, right to the bitter end.

I can hear them coming. What’s already gone is nothing to what’s coming up, I know that. But I have to look beyond it.

The pain will pass.


They only see the here and now. But I know the bigger picture. They think this will finish it. How wrong can they be.

It’s Friday.

But Sunday’s coming

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Times and Seasons

It's been some time since I last added anything to this blog, even though I've often meant to!

The last few months have been a little unsettled as I've been at odds with the church fellowship I've been attending for over a decade. Something about the direction the church was going didn't sit 'right' with me - or maybe it was just a 'times and seasons' thing - so Hubby (of the same mind as me!) and I decided that perhaps it was time to move on.

We made a list of local fellowships and started visiting them - it's always good to get out and meet the 'family'! I've always been surprised at how many people rarely (or never!) choose to meet with Christian brothers and sisters from differing denominations. It's a little sad, I think, that we stay in our 'holy huddles'; there is so much we can learn from each other and what a statement to the outside world! I seem to recall a verse of Scripture along the lines of '...see how they love each other!'

I think it's amazing that God created us so diverse - we're 'fearfully and wonderfully made'! We should be acting like mirrors, reflecting God's personality out into the world. (which, given that diversity, rather reminds me of one of those glittering disco-balls! Well, they say Heaven will be like a huge party! ;-p)

Anyway, after taking a break to explore other parts of the Christian 'family', we've settled into a new community and we're starting to put down roots. After the last few months of not really feeling as though we fitted in our last church we have been made so very welcome by this new fellowship.

So, we'll just take it slowly and see where God is taking us as we edge into a new stage of life - I've already given up work and hubby is eyeing- up retirement in the next few years, but we've still got some 'mileage' in us, so who knows what HE has in store............! ;-)