Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I got a bit busy and didn't record anything this week.  The station played a repeat - I'm now off to write and create so there will be something next week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday 20 March

I was talking to a friend about travelling to Dubai when she told me that I wouldn’t be able to take my Bible.   My first thought was that I was being told they were going to take away my faith at the passport counter – I was a little horrified and not sure if I could consider going after all.  But the more I thought about it the more I realised that carrying a Bible in my travel-on is not the sum of all my faith.

In fact, there have probably been many more Christians in the world who have been a Christian without a Bible than with it.  Think of the vast history before the printing press, English translations and general literacy.  Think of many in the developing world today without a Bible in their language, without the money to buy one or the skills to read it.  Or think of the early Christians, faithful before all the letters and gospels were even written.

I am blessed to have a Bible, several in fact, in different translations and available in different media - from book form to online to spoken.  But the Bible is only one way that God speaks into our lives.  As Christians we also believe that his Spirit guides our conscience, gives us ideas when we need them, helps us change to be more like Jesus and even intervenes in events at times to help us in our lives.  And no country can make us leave the Holy Spirit in a bin before going through the arrival gates, no fire can burn it, no person steal it. 

Jesus called the Holy Spirit the comforter.  In John he tells his followers, people like you and I,

“…I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforter who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
- John 14 v 16 and 17

God’s Spirit is a great comfort to me.  He leads me when I’m unsure.  He lives in me.  What a joy!  What a faith.  What a God – to give us so much of himself; his words; his son; his Spirit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday 13 March

My mum loves this book called ‘Messy Spirituality’.  And ‘messy!’ is the word that I thought of when reading Numbers 14 recently.  God had led His chosen people out of slavery, to freedom, but they hit a snag, the journey ahead was looking too hard and they were giving up.  The Bible records that the people  ‘plotted among themselves, [saying] “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”’ (v 4).  Back to everything God had rescued them from.

No wonder then that God was getting a bit sick of their lack of trust and faith in Him.  Moses was there trying to keep everyone happy and eventually a compromise was reached – the people could stay as God’s people but, that generation at least, wouldn’t receive God’s promises. 

Perhaps the mess could have been contained there, but the Bible tells us that -

‘…When Moses reported the LORD’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the LORD has promised us.” But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the LORD’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work.  Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the LORD is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The LORD will abandon you because you have abandoned the LORD.”
-       Number 14 v 39 – 43

Sure enough they ignored him, off they went and crushed they were.

It’s just a big mess, don’t you think?  A mess full of lack of trust and faithlessness; not listening; thinking they could make it right on their own; changing from day to day; thinking the certainty of slavery was better then the gift of freedom.

But you know what?  As I say these words I don’t know who I’m talking about any more – the Israelites or me.  My story of faith is full of lack of trust in God.  Of believing in myself above Him.  Of not listening and making as much of a mess of trying to put things right as I did in putting things wrong in the first place.  I am in a state of messy spirituality.  Yet it doesn’t matter.  Because the Bible says we are made right with God through Jesus.  And ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ (Hebrews 13 v 8).  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday 6 March

I have this morbid habit of hearing a good song and then loudly proclaiming to my husband, ‘you can play that at my funeral!’  A song can says something about the way I am, how I love, what life is to me, which makes me want it to be used to define and remember me.  Maybe it’s this reaction to music that made me decide to have a birth song for our daughter – one we’ll always play on her birthday.  For her we chose ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beetles (because she broke our literal and figurative long, cold, lonely winter).

In 2 Chronicles 7 we see the birth of the temple – it’s completion and the celebration of the people.  And we see a song being sung to record the moment in verse 3, it reads –

“When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the LORD filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying,
   “He is good!
      His faithful love endures forever!””
- 2 Chronicles 7 v 3

What kind of God is our God?  For in this moment it’s his love, his faithfulness and goodness that the people sing of.  It is not the whole story of our God – He goes on in this chapter to tell Solomon that He is holy, requiring holiness.  That He is faithful, requiring loyalty.  That He is King, requiring obedience.  But it isn’t this that seems to define him to the Israelites. In this moment it’s his love, his faithfulness and goodness that the people sing of.

In Exodus 34, God passes before Moses and tells him his name, Yahweh, and says He is,

“The God of compassion and mercy!
   I am slow to anger
      and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” (v 6).

Again, I know this isn’t the whole story but this is the first thing he tells Moses! And it is what, despite a history of being disciplined, the people remember. 

I wonder, is this my God?  Are these the words I would sing to Him?  Or have I lost sight (through religion or past church hurts or even bad teaching) of His great love for me?  For as Romans 5 v 8 tells us:

“…God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”