Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Relationships

We don't half get worked up about life and death as if we really understand the concepts. We run about like little children obsessed with keeping our frail little bodies going at whatever the cost. Desperately seeking medical science to extend the biological mechanisms of the cursed world we live in. Even the most devout followers of Christ pray repeatedly for healing miracles when our bodies start to fail, determined to cling on the flickering flame of our brief existence in this reality. After all our bodies are our only connection to the temporal aspect of God’s beautiful creation.

While I was in America my Pastor there was constantly preaching to us that we should look at the eternal, not at the temporal. He clearly practiced what he preached. The harsh fact is, no matter what we do our bodies will fail eventually, it is part of the truth of our existence. Furthermore, our relationships, all of them here on earth are finite. They will all end. Of course that is not to say that they are not worth pursuing, and that they are not wonderful in the time that they exist, but they are all temporary. There is only one eternal relationship that any human spirit can have, and that is with God. He showed me in the harshest way possible that my biggest fear, that is the end of my marriage was something that was inevitable, indeed the vows made in marriage are just that, until death.

God in His infinite grace has taken her to be with Him. If my concern is making sure that she is cared for He is doing a much better job than I ever could. If my concern is making sure that her concern for me is invalid then I realistically have to pursue my own happiness without her.

God has granted me the miracle of another wonderful woman in my life. Gill has many similar qualities that my Fran had, but is also very different. She is kind hearted and loving. She is gentle and humble. She is quiet yet confident. She is funny and talented. Her love of animals exemplifies the state of her heart. I have never been more comfortable to be around anyone in my life. In the short time that we have been courting I have described her as my gem, not just because they are her initials but because she reminds me so much of Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31, written as a Hebrew acrostic poem, describes the character of the most desirable wife as being more precious than rubies. The fellowship that we share has made the time we share together all the more precious and seem significantly longer than it actually is. It feels like we have been together for many years instead of a few short months. It is difficult to be apart, and always exciting and wonderful to be together. In all of this however I completely trust God in whatever happens. I know that whatever happens in my relationship with Gill I have an eternal relationship with God because of Christ’s victory over sin for us and therefore hope to live once again in the reflection of the Godhead in marriage.

I am so thankful for God’s blessings in my life.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

The man behind the preacher.

Church exploring is an interesting adventure. In all the churches I’ve ever been to however, there’s always been one individual there.

Have you seen him?

He’s in every single service. He’s almost all of the time happy and overjoyed and excited to be there. In fact he’s almost always making such a racket that you can’t hear anything else.

Every time there is a sermon on trying harder he is laughing with glee.
Every time there is a sermon about showing your fruit as a Christian he is grinning from ear to ear.
Every time there is a sermon about tithing or being selfish with money he’s opening his wallet with excitement and waving it about.
Every time there is a sermon about feeling instead of living in righteousness he is getting drunk on the fumes of a watered down gospel.
Every time there is a sermon about making daily devotionals and getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to read your Bible he’s winding up his alarm clock with a loud click.
Every time there is a sermon where the Bible isn’t even opened he’s scribbling down notes with enthusiasm.
Every time there is a sermon where sin is put to the side he’s licking his lips with anticipation.

He is there for every sigh, every mumbled verse of worship, every dutiful shirt and tie, every sacrificial offering, every tear, every breath of despair, every defeated and downtrodden soul.

I want to be in a church where he is the one sighing. He is the one mumbling to himself. He is the one tutting. He is the one crying. He is the one living in despair. Unlike most of the services I go to where that appears to be the case for the majority of the congregation.

If you want to know the effectiveness of the edification of the church look at the man standing behind the preacher. He’ll show you what the church is really like.