Tuesday, 23 December 2008

My Birth Mother

I met with my birth mother last night.  Her and her son came round for the evening.

We had a really nice evening.

It is a strange thing meeting up with your birth mother!  It's difficult to get my head round how I feel about her.  I really like her and have no feelings whatsoever of bitterness or anything like that. I know that her decision to give me and Tom up for adoption was the best one.  The thing I struggle with is what do I feel about her?

Last night she was chatting about how she had spoken to my birth father recently (they split up when she fell pregnant with me and Tom) and  how they had a really good conversation and time of healing over giving me and Tom up for adoption.  When she was talking about it I felt like she was talking about some other twins.  There was times last night that I forgot she had given birth to me.

The thing is, I have an amazing mum and dad.  I had a wonderful childhood.  My mum is a star. So when I meet with my birth mother I have no desire to make a mum, because I already have a mum.  Yet I want to have a good relationship with my birth mother.  I think we do.  It was a really nice evening last night.

Its fascinating discovering about nature and nurture too.  Sarah was saying when we went to bed how I'm so like my mum (stubborn and a thinker) in some ways (nurture) but then she can see things in me that remind her of my birth mother (artistic and deep) in other ways (nature).

I know this post is a bit muddled but I'm just writing as I'm thinking.  I will go into more depth another day about my adoption and my birth family.  It is quite complicated and very interesting!  My birth family have a fascinating history.

Shalom

Monday, 15 December 2008

The Voice of God

On Friday evening Mersea had their annual 'Lights Up' service where there is a short Christian service outside after the Christmas lights have been switched on outside the local community centre.  It was well attended with some of the local community coming along.  

I was asked to do a short talk at it, so below is a rough idea of what I said.  It's not exactly what I said as I never speak from notes, but I think it's more or less what  I said on the night:

Have you ever wondered what the voice of God might sound like?

Maybe you’ve never imagined what the voice of God might sound like.

Maybe you’ve imagined it to be like thunder bellowing from the heavens?

Maybe you thought it to be like a whisper that glides past your ears and then in a moment it’s gone?

I wonder though, if God spoke to you this Christmas, if you heard his voice, what might He say and how would you respond?

We remember once again this Christmas the birth of a baby.

Yet this baby is God Himself.  And so God comes into our world, into the mess and uncertainty, to bring healing and hope.  And what did the voice of God sound like on that first Christmas?  It was the cry of a baby, God Himself, in the mess and cold of a stable, and with His cry, hope was birthed.

33 years later the voice of God was the cry of Jesus calling out forgiveness from the Cross.  3 days later it was the voice of celebration and victory as Jesus rose from the dead.  And it is this Jesus, this God, that calls out healing and hope to us all this Christmas time.

In a world of mess and uncertainty God calls out to us through Jesus to follow Him and find hope in Him.

We will hold many presents this Christmas, but I wonder, will you seek to be held by the presence of God this Christmas time?

Maybe, just maybe, God is calling out to you this Christmas?  Maybe he is seeking to fill your life with hope and peace in a time where we can easily be overwhelmed with hopelessness and unrest.

Yet what might His voice sound like and what might He say?

As you hear the cry of a newborn baby or the laughter of a toddler, remember that first Christmas and maybe God is calling out to you through them to find hope in Him?

As the hustle and bustle of Christmas time continues all around you, maybe He is calling you to take a moment, stop and be still and listen to his whisper telling you that peace can be found in Him?

Maybe, just maybe, God wants to speak to you this Christmas through the incoherent ramblings of a man standing on a stage out side the MICA on a cold December night?  Maybe God is calling you to follow Jesus?

And how will you respond to His voice?

Maybe, just maybe, you will accept His invitation to journey with Him.  And as you accept the invitation to follow this Jesus, I pray that hope will be born in your heart this Christmas and will grow so that you may be able to tell others about this hope that you have.

Happy Christmas.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Who said it?

'But the sad truth of all this is that if Jesus lived today, whether you believe him to be man or god, his message of tolerance and love would STILL be ahead of his time.'

Who said it?

Atheist?
Agnostic?
Christian?
Buddhist?
Muslim?
Hindu?
Other?

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Job Seeker

Sarah and I were just chatting about my job and about the future.

I will be ordained in 2010. It is at this time I will *probably* move from Mersea and begin working in another place as a evangelist. The question is where will it be and what will it look like?

*I believe God is calling us to move from Mersea in 2010. Now that may change and I may stay. We will have to wait and see!*

Sarah asked the question about whether it would be good for me to get a job outside of the church and work for the church. A bit like what I was doing until a year or so ago when I worked part time for my dad and part time for the church. She said how easy it is for Ministers to get sucked into church so much that we loose touch with people who don't go to church.

This is true for so many Christians. We spend so much time doing church stuff that we actually hardly ever spend time with people who aren't involved in our church activities. Christmas time highlights this point sharply!

Maybe this is the way forward for church planting too? I could spend time working in the community and spend time seeking to establish a faith community within that community.

Hmmmmm....

Friday, 5 December 2008

Grace and grace

My daughter is so wonderful.  She makes me and Sarah laugh so much and smile all the time. She's never any trouble and is always full of joy and cheekiness.  

I'm intrigued with her journey of faith.

In our home we talk about Jesus and pray together a lot.  I understand that this is the culture Grace is growing up in and will undoubtedly influence her.  I try never to push faith down her throat but will always seek to allow her to take whatever journey she desires.  I hope throughout her life she continues to discover the peace and fullness of life that Jesus brings, but want it to be something she discovers and never feels pushed into.

The thing is, I think she has real faith.

She is always asking to pray.  In the car, shops, home or wherever.  'Daddy pray?'

Then there was today.  We were in the lounge playing with her toys.  I had just put our Christmas tree up.  She pointed at the tree and said 'Jesus!'.  I said, 'Yeah, Christmas is about Jesus.' to which she affirmed with a nod.  I then picked her up to take her to bed and she said, 'Bye bye Jesus.  Love you Jesus.'  Apart from the fact my heart nearly burst, I found it really fascinating hearing her say that.

Like I said, she has grown up hearing about Jesus, so this will obviously influence her.  But the way she prays and talks about Jesus seems to go beyond anything I have spoken to her about.

Who knows how her faith journey will develop.  I'm sure though that the Holy Spirit is deeply at work in her life.  

I know I will always love her regardless of what path she chooses in life.  I simply love her.  And more importantly, I know God loves her.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho...peless


The dreaded Christmas season is upon us!!

Now I might sound like a grumpy old man with that opening comment, but I really do dislike the first 3 weeks of December.
I love Christmas once all the church stuff is out of the way and I can spend time with my beautiful girls and chillax. Let me explain what I mean by that.

See the problem is that churches do so much stuff at Christmas that the ministers and some of the congregation get completely worn out. We go in to overdrive with carol services, christingle services, outreach events, family services etc etc. The thing is, this is on top of everything we do already. So we are SO SO BUSY! We don't need to be so busy, doing so much stuff. We don't need to do so many services.
Why do we do all this stuff? Why is it so hectic? It truly robs me of peace at a time when the Prince of Peace came among us...

I can't be the only one who feels like this...?

Why can't all the churches in an area come together and do ONE carol service together? ONE christingle service together? In my community we have 5 carol services at the different churches. FIVE! Why can't we all come together and have just the one? It could be a churches together carol service. It would take the pressure off everyone. It would speak to the community about church unity. Let's scrap our own denominations doing services and let all the denominations come together at Christmas and do one service for the community.

I just feel so tired at the moment, all the time. I feel like this every December and I hate it.

'Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest'. Please Lord!