Saturday, 17 April 2010


I like to hug people, and be close to people. I've even been told that my hugs are part of my ministry. It is good to show love to people when they need it. However, I've been challenged recently that a lot of the time, when I do hug people, It's me that wants the hug. I hate to admit it, but I didn't really stop to think much about whether they wanted it or not. So... I'm not actually giving a hug. I'm taking a hug.

C.S. Lewis said "Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less" and this is part of it. Not what I need. Not what I want. I have to admit, I didn't think it was possible. After all. I can't live without the things I need. That's the definition of need isn't it?

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain : John 12v24

This is an encouragement to let go. To fall to the ground and die. Someone read this verse out at church a few weeks ago, and it really spoke to me. I imagined myself, a grain of wheat. Clinging to the stalk. Clinging to my comforts. If I don't have what I need then I'll die! But what happens to a grain of what when it falls to the ground and dies? IT GROWS!

Falling to the ground is a passive act. Let go of the comforts. Let go of your needs. You'll find that you can live without them. If you let go, you will be cut off from the sun, the air and the light. (I'm speaking mataphorically. Please don't go and bury yourself alive) I can promise you that you won't like it. That's ok. Don't give up. Let yourself fall all the way to the ground. And die. Don't worry about your needs. If we don't give up our attachment, we remain dependant, small, weak and useless. And alone.

When a seed dies, that only means that it's life as a seed is over. God breathes new life into broken seeds. New as in different. New as in better. God sends rain to refresh and fulfill, and the seed will grow into an entirely new shape. It will break out into the sun, which will warm and nourish it. A seed cannot refresh itself, but can only let the sun and the rain do their work. New shape means new purpose, and new seeds.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


What does this picture make you think of?

I've asked a few friends, and had a few different answers. Some about old memories and friends. Some about light and dark and life and death. Some wanting to know the story of the Tree. Everyone can see the tree is leaning, but no-one is sure why.

When I saw this picture, my immediate thought was that the tree had grown up in strong wind all it's life. Whether that's true or not I don't know but that's what I thought.

Do you ever feel like that? Like your whole life you've been pushed in one direction? Not just suggested, but not quite forced to think, act and make decisions in certain ways?

When we're 'born again' (accepted God and have recieved a new life from him) we inherit some excellent promises. For example...

"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corin 6:9-11

Society/culture/the media tells us that we can't live without certain things. It tells us that we need to worship idols (stuff, people etc) It tells us that sex is the grand aim of life. It tells us that we're dissatisfied with what we have, and need more. Or that everyone else has more than us, so we're fully entitled to do whatever it takes to get what we're missing out on. It tells us that how God feels about relationships and sex doesn't matter.

The Bible however tells us that we're washed, sanctified and justified. In other words our past is washed away, and we're fresh and new. We're a new 'sanctified' person who doesn't worship idols, who is content with what they have, who doesn't feel like they're missing out, and have to cheat to get what they need. Sex is no longer the whole point of our existence, but can be put in it's rightful place, as God intended. Sanctified means set apart for God. It means we have purpose, and we are pure. Also, we're justified. We have a new relationship with God where we are part of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit community.

All of these things are in the past tense. They have all happened. They are all already true, but many times I find that my life doesn't look like the promises. I feel like a tree, rooted in promises that I'm not enjoying. Blown over by the wind, which constantly pushes and pushes. I've grown up in the wind and come to accept it as truth. It isn't the truth, it's a big lie.

God, help us to recognise our roots from our leaves. Help us to remember what you've done for us. Help us to grow straight, and strong and tall.