Posts Tagged ‘Andy Lamberton’

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!

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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. 
Why? 
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?

ok.
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)

Ps113
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…

“Oh,
Hello death

I notice you’ve lost your sting
oh you’ve been looking for it… ..2000 years
Right
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.

Ok,
Toodles.”

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

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