Posts Tagged ‘Andy Lamberton’

Examining your Roots?

Trisha gave Debbie her very first appointment. This was quite by chance, Debbie wasn’t particularly in a rush to get her hair cut and she doesn’t need her ‘roots done’ as many others may. It did however start a conversation in our home, about people fretting over their exposed roots.  Examining them more keenly than before.

We live in a rootless society. The Celtic Lands perhaps more rooted than our western neighbours, but when a rootless world is told to stay at home the difficulty of the task exposes the reality of the global village, and perhaps our disconnection with the creation narrative. 

The average person in UK/Ireland will live in 4 different houses and have 8 jobs across 4 career paths and that trend was on the rise. But the world just hit reset, and, if we are wise, we need to let this moment reset us. 
Though it is necessary for some to move and some to change jobs etc. I hope – at least within the church – we can rekindle an appreciation for a more homely, vocational living.

The life of following Jesus involves constant reset moments, defaulting to Grace time and time again. After a while you learn to fall in God’s direction!  That’s part of what it is to be a Christian, we are held by God and walk with God. We are Rescued and Commissioned

However if we are to live full lives we must also recognise our Created identity. Each of these fundamentally shaping our lives as Christians.  

By God we have been:

  • Created – at a particular time in a specific place within a unique family.  Right from Genesis one we find out that we have a creator who creates us. This very act gives us an identity, a purpose and relationships of which we live our life from, within the time and place God has placed us. 
  • Rescued – by Jesus’ work on the Cross and in Resurrection and Ascension we have been saved from the Sin, Pain, Brokenness and Death that came because of our rebellion against God. And the Champion King Jesus now invites us through repentance and faith into His kingdom.
  • Commissioned – through Jesus’ church in the power of the Holy Spirit to go and make disciples of all nations and restore the brokenness of the world. Until He has called all His children home and establishes the new heaven and the new earth.  

My assumption would be that most Christians feel the freedom of living out their rescued identity and hear the invitation to live out their commissioned identity.
However, I wonder, and I now hope that these past few months have helped expose our roots as a created people. People who God has knitted together within a family. For this time. At this place. With these people.  

For a plane and free life, a life to the full (which is the Christian life) involves honouring the reality that Jesus has rescued you, that you are commissioned in the power of the Holy Spirit, Yes! But it also involves honouring the reality that God has created you. 
You are totally unique. One of a kind. No copy and paste with God! There has never been anyone like you from the dawn of time and there will never be anyone like you again. God has made you and only you at this time, in this place, with these people so you can bare His image and pronounce His name with clarity.  

So maybe as people in your house examine their roots to see if they need to go get their hair dyed, I pray that we will also examine our roots as uniquely created people whom God has rescued and commissioned.


Mums & Jesus

“Mum” is there a name that could mean more, and to so many?  There is hardly a higher compliment or ambition that could be sought, than to be call mum.

“Jesus” is there a name that could mean so many things, and to so many? This name that is misused, abused and honoured. It is called upon, blamed, praised, adored, cursed and feared. Yet there is no name higher than Jesus.

It’s not easy to become a mum, well, you have to give birth! To the unknowing eye the time of labour is not life giving. The sounds, smells and sights not to mention the pain are not the normal conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
I cannot grasp the depths of love between a mum and child at that point. When my wife held our children for the first time she uttered tenderly through the tears and exhaustion… “Hello there”. As I reflect on this moment I can think of no better summary for the mystery and love than a line from JJ Heller’s song ‘I get to be the one

“How does someone so small, hold my heart to tightly.
I Don’t even know you; I love you completely.”

Jesus looking lovingly at his disciples said words which echo in a mother’s love.
“This is my body broken for you”
The cross, and the events of the passion week are not the conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
The depths of love from God to man are incomprehensible to me, when I think of the new and eternal life God has birthed inside me, when I attempt to think of what it took so that the invite to have this new & eternal life could go out to all the world (inc me) I am left in speechless awe.  What love. I cannot comprehend, I can see a picture of this love as I see how my wife loves our children, it’s a strong love, a sacrificial love, a trusting love, an unconditional love.
God’s love for us is like that but stronger, purer, bigger, completely dependable and absolutely free yet cost the ultimate price.  And why? and how do I know? I can think of no better summary than the song my son was singing this morning.

“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

Happy Mothers Day!


Give us our Daily Bread (part-2)

“Give us today our daily bread,” is a prayer that acknowledges our need.
To live the life God gives means we need needs, we need to need. As it means not being in control of what goes on/in our lives. Intentionally needing.

When we think of Eden or Heaven, we think of God giving, and women and men receiving gifts of life.  And we pray ‘Your kingdom come on earth (or if you like, ‘in our lives’)as it is in heaven,’ and then we live trying to supply all our own needs thus dulling, even killing our capacity of receiving.
We prefer to live without needs: 

  • So we buy (consumerism). Buy buy buy. This dulls our awareness of need. By buying what we need, we think we’re in control of our lives. ‘I bought this with my own money,’ is not the language of a daily bread recipient.
  • So we control. We control our health, diaries, other people. This dulls our awareness of need. By controlling our lives, future, health and organisations we replace any sense of need we have in our lives, with the satisfaction of being in control.  ‘I’ve got that sorted,’ is not the language of a daily bread recipient.

We will never have to pray for daily bread as long as our money and management skills hold out.  Yet this is a heavy price to pay, as to care (or pretend to care) for our own need is a refusal to receive life as a gift, and “will dull and finally destroy our capacity for living, feeling, loving, enjoying. And praying.”

Call me simple minded for thinking so much about daily bread, but to ask for bread is to acknowledge our place in creation. We are not in control. We are recipients from a life giving God, we receive from a provider. 
Needs are not limits that deaden or reduce our lives, needs introduce us to a life of receiving and giving, of free grace, to a life that cannot be bought or controlled but can only be received as a gift from God.

Do you want to live without needs?.. Then you want to live without God!
To live without the need of daily bread is to refuse God’s dusty, wholegrain, real life, everyday, basic, earthy and heavenly Grace which is ‘on tap’ through daily faith and trust in an everyday provider God. 

Our daily need for bread is a daily reminder that we are in need. We live in a Grace filled world, may we keep this prayer active on our lips and constant in how we view our lives… “Lord, give us…”

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11

Standing on Grace












1 – Eugene Peterson, The word made flesh, pg. 184

Belief vs Behaviour (thoughts on Titus)

What if my belief was my behavior.
What if my deeds were my doctrine.

Congregates can forgive a pastor if he is unattractive, if he is unacademic, if he is uncultured, if he is unfocused, even if he is unsympathetic. But one thing they cannot seem to forgive, is if he is untrustworthy, if his words don’t match his life, if he doesn’t walk the talk. Hypocrites soon get noticed in the Christian world.

Yet aren’t we all called to be God’s witness in this world, not just those in the so called ‘full-time’ ministry.
This is a thought that struck me as I was looking through Titus this week.
Listen to what Paul tells Titus when talking about such people.

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.  They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

You see more important than the passing out of tracts is the passing out of your life, the viewing of your days.
I believe this is part of what is meant by the phrase ‘living in the light.’ Having your life on show, don’t hide it in the darkness, let it shine.
A city on a hill, a lamp on a stand; so let your life shine to others.  

Jesus is calling us to a life where we are not embarrassed or shameful about any-part of our life. 
Because the mistakes we’ve made brings glory to Christ, in His death and forgiving sacrifice.
And the good we do glorifies Christ, in His resurrection and indwelling power. 

To do Jesus’ will Jesus’ way is to live a transparent life. 
Keep the curtains open, don’t delete your browsing history, tell people how your week has been, tell people how passionate you are about something, actually be honest, talk to your family the same way in public as in private, if God shows you something in His word tell your work mate not just your church mate, if your frustrated with God tell them too.  People need to see that we’re in a real relationship with a real God, that includes all the joys and frustrations, hopes and concerns, but one that’s the best and leading to heaven.
We really need to live transparently with people.
Then they’ll be able to taste and see that the Lord is good.  That our God gives real life and hope, real faith and love.   
We should tell people, ‘live with me for a while and you’ll see what I believe.’  This should be our outreach program. 
It’s not about the new way of telling the gospel using only 3 elastic bands and paper clip, it’s life on life, it’s relationship, a transparent one.  

If we live in that light, how much more important is it to do good, as Paul goes on to say in Titus 2…

“so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.”

God’s made it clear in Titus (as well as other books) that we must not and cannot, for Christ sake, preach and not live, the two go hand and hand, it’s the two wings of the plane.

I think this could be the main verse of Titus.

“This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.” 3:8

Behavior verifies Belief
Deeds confirm Doctrine

Hope this helps
Standing on Grace


God is good, right?

so I know that you know, and you know that I know, that we all know, that there’s places in our lives that we wont let God call the shots.  Some big places some small places but definitely places!

I mean we’ve given Him our lives but not our… …
You fill in the blank,
because if I say an example and it’s not your example then you’ll probably think I don’t even know about that example, or that i’m not talking to you.  
You know what i’m saying?
Truth is the Holy Spirit is telling us each something, some area that we need to let God have control of. 

In light of this I want to ask a few questions.

  1. Do you believe God is a good God?
  2. Do you believe God is a fair God?
  3. Do you believe God wants what’s best for His children?
  4. Do you believe God has already defeated the power that is holding you back?

Then why don’t you just trust Him?

Take His hand and trust His lead. Surrender yours.

Standing on Grace

Sunset in Fahan, Donegal (Photos)

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.

some photo’s i’ve taken at sunset round the farm in Fahan.


‘A Phone-call with Death’ (post Easter Poem)

Well easter has happened, Praise God, just wrote this we ‘phonecall’ while celebrating and meditating on the resurrection using  1 Cor 15 where it quote Hosea 13 where it says:

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; 
   I will redeem them from death. 
Where, O death, are your victory? 
   Where, O death, is your sting?”

Ring Ring…

Hello death

I notice you’ve lost your sting
oh you’ve been looking for it… ..2000 years
Would that be the same time as… …?
Oh, you don’t mention His Name
Do you think maybe, he took, it?
…You don’t know?
You were loosing your power over life at the time.
Oh right… Unconscious!.. wow

Well, that’s good… you know, for me!
Like it means I’m not afraid of you anymore, just ashamed
Anyway look, I have to go here and get on with living a resurrected life
I’m sure you’ll interrupt my life someday
But it’ll just be a hiccup in eternity, far from victory.


Standing on Grace

POEM for EASTER SUNDAY (the future’s not what it used to be)

Easter Sunday 

Here’s a wee poem written in the celebration of the Resurrection!  Praise God, Sing It Loud. Christ Has Risen From The Grave.

The future’s not what it used to be

The future’s not what it used to be
Not what it used to be anymore
You’ve given us a sure hope
I can almost smell the promised shore

The curtain’s torn
Our shame’s been worn
The lost can come running home
The price is paid
He’s rose to say
I’ve saved you from sin, but not Rome

For we still live in this world
Be strangers in this land
But through faith now we can fully know
Our redemption’s fully planned

Sing and shout and dance for joy
Towards earths shores come salvation’s fleet
“All aboard all aboard” free but not cheep
Is the story out on the street

Christ has risen
Grace is given
The dead to life have been raised
Real life can be ours
In giving Him our hours
May the name of Yahweh be praised

For new life is now flooding our veins
Like streams after the snow of winter
Your grace we couldn’t survive without
Praise Christ. We’d be lost without Easter.


Standing on Grace


hey going to upload a few poems over Holy Week.  as we prepare for celebrating the rescue, redemption and resurrection 

Poem for Palm Sunday.

Written after meditating on Luke 19:41-42
Where amongst the party atmosphere of that palm branch waving, cloak laying, ‘hosanna to the son of David’ singing donkey ride it saids.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.

You Saw It

You saw it.

Mid the Joy filled celebration
The shouting and dancing became a backing track
As your eyes reminded your heart of your fate

You saw it.

Before time’s unchanging rhythm began
The stars finding their place in the sky, the first sunrise
Adam’s first breath, first sin, your fathers redemption promise

You saw it.

The city you knew would be destroyed
Your people who needed more than a fat ram’s blood
Who’s healing would flow from your own scars

You saw it.

The prophecy of all time would be fulfilled
When you could finally lead your people to your fathers judgement throne
Knowing it’s by you they have been rescued 

You saw it.


Standing on Grace


This is a study/talk a gave a couple of weeks ago. I havn’t included the Bible texts but you can open a tab in bible gateway and your flying!

Starting questions.
If you were to go into tesco now and asks ‘what’s love’. What would some of the answers be?
Can love ever be shallow?
What isn’t love but is called love?
What type or word is love… Why? Noun, verb, adjective.

Tonight’s theme is. ‘Living loved till love’s lived

I want to start by looking at God’s character. Who is He? So lets look at something or an overview from scripture, as to who God is and how he is revealed.  I’m not taking too much time here, I kind of just want to remind you of what you already know.

Genesis: we find out that, Creator and image giver, and promise giver: so this book begins by saying there’s someone coming who will be the fullness of God’s character and revelation. 

Exodus: God announces his name, and he reveals himself as the one who carries out salvation.  Ex3:14-15 (read) IAMWHOIAM ‘Yahweh’ Ex34 God proclaims ‘His name and so his character’ Ex34:5-7, v8 is interesting there ‘at once’ when we discover who God or even a little, worship just flows from us! Worship and obedience is the response to the revelation of who God is.

Leviticus: we’re introduced to things like high priest, atonement, sacrifice, the Passover is firmly established which Jesus changed into the lords super. We discover that God is accessible, through the man of God’s choice, and that purity is necessary in God’s kingdom.

Then through the prophets, psalms, we begin to see what this promised one will be the ultimate high priest, the ultimate sacrifice, he will be the King of kings, he will be the true shepherd, he will not only be able to speak what God has revealed to him but as one who has authority. 

Then the greatest revelation, God shows us, who he is, by sending Jesus, everything that we need to know about God and how to live as a Christian can be found in the recorded life of Jesus.  

So by this stage we’re beginning to get a pretty good picture as to who God is, what he’s like.  You can almost sense the excitement, you can almost see the angels gathering round looking over the shoulders of John, calling to their God, Yahweh, ‘our God our Lord they’ve got it they’ve finally got it‘ as St.. John pens these words for the first time. 

“God is love.” 

There it is in the nuttiest of nut shells. God is love.

Read 1 john 4

Anything (and I say this knowing the suffering life can throw at you) which you have experienced from God has been love.  Love. There is a picture of who God loves, you see it everyday… Your Mirror (Not the paper!). 

I cannot talk about God’s love without mentioning the cross, God’s love and justice on show.  God is holy and must punish sin. And yet out of his love for us, out of His love, though we messed up, He’s made a way back into a loving relationship. 
Let us wonder grace and justice
Who join and point to mercy’s store
When through faith in Christ our trust is
Justice smiles and asks no more.

You are loved! And we must live as people who are loved. All our callings which the Bible gives us to rejoice, worship, to love God and our neighbour, to live a life of devotion, prayer.  All of this stems from a root, from an ability to live loved.  We love because He first loved us. Any ministry that we do, is an overflow from the love we receive from God.  For everybody – Christian and non-christian – anything good we do is an overflow from the love we receive from God.  Our ministry is an over flow, we’re passing on the love.  Like the vine and the branches in Jn15 we cannot bear fruit unless we remain in his love. 15:9 or look at v5, we need to remain in His love, we need to live loved.

Good questions I think we need to consider.

How do we cultivate a lifestyle of living loved?
How do we become consistently and increasingly mindful that we are loved by God?
How do we fill our lives with God’s love, or how does God fill our lives with His love?
How has God loved us?

Why are we answering those questions? Because the more we realise we’re loved the more we’ll love others, the more we will get love lived. Can I encourage you to dive deep into God’s love, completely depend on, get your life to the stage where you realise you’d be lost without God’s love.  Get God’s love into your heart. Let it permeate through your life.

Before we look at getting this next bit just want to set the context
The great commandments.
Jesus was asked to summarise the law, He said love God and your neighbour. Then when he was leaving earth, He could of said anything to His followers but He said, ‘make disciples in my name’.  So our lives as Christians should look like this from the outside.  I mean if a alien who knows nothing about you came and lived in your house for a month, at the end of that, if they were asked what was that person like they should say they loved God, loved their neighbour and made disciples.  Ok. So it’s in that context that we’ll look at this next bit. 
read Luke 6:43-45,
What is in your heart will become the way you live, so if you have any resentment, any jealously, any revenge, any lust, any unworthy desire, get rid of it. Repent. Fill it with God’s love. Because what is in your heart will become the person you are… I can’t say it any clearer live loved and you will see love lived in your life. Do you open a banana to find corn in the cob, do you slice an apple to find an orange. No. Or like it says in James 3 does fresh water flow from a salt water spring, does a grapevine bear figs. No. Or like what we just read do you find figs on a thorn bush. No. So if we are to live as people who are to love God and our neighbour and make disciples, we need to fill our hearts with the love of God.  Welcome to the concept of ‘my cup runs over’ ps23.  

So we love because He loved us.
What is love? A choice? An emotion? An ability?
Yet again we find the truth in the Bible. 1 Cor 13 tells us.

After reading 1 Cor 13 I think these are some questions that are good for us to think through.
Concentrate on 1Cor13 v4-8a
Then for each trait, think through these 2 questions 

When is it hard not to be angered, impatient etc?
What practical step could I take to help me love in these situations?

hope this helps
standing on Grace 

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