Many years ago there was a festival in Jerusalem, called the 'Festival of Tabernacles'. In the evening they had a lighting ceremony called the 'night of illumination'. Everyone crowded into the courtyard of the temple; they all carried candles with them and 4 giant candles were lit. Some said that there was enough light to fill every courtyard in Jerusalem!
It was a Thursday morning. Mark was in Romania, the washing machine has just made a huge clunking sound and stopped spinning, my kids went to school grumpy and I was sat ready to plan the session for Day 4 of Powerkids for Elim Festival.
The day's title was from Matthew 16 when Jesus asks his disciples "Who do you say I am?”
Is there a topic that you naturally find yourself talking about?
I’ve just come back from a fantastic holiday and am feeling more blessed and relaxed as a result. It was great to sit and read some books in the sunshine and practice my rusty Spanish a little. While sitting round the pool I noticed however just how many people have tattoos these days. It used to be that if you had a tattoo it made you unique. I joked with my kids that these days if you want to be unique, don't have a tattoo. I really did feel in the minority.
Queuing has been called a British pastime. It is something that I personally find irritating. In traffic if one lane seems to be going faster there is a temptation to queue hop to try and get ahead.
(What we are all here for)
Have you ever looked at the stars and lost yourself in questions such as “Who am I?”, “Why am I here”?, “What is the point of it all”? We feel so small when we see the vastness of the universe. It makes us ask the deepest questions. In Psalm 8, King David, inspired by God, and no doubt looking up at a clear night sky, also reflected on these deepest of questions…
When I was a younger, I wasn’t really keen on playing football, cricket etc. out on the streets in our area. I enjoyed cycling and was good at badminton, but where we lived – like a lot of places – if you were a boy you needed to be great at football to succeed.
When Huddersfield University's Christian Union moved from having a “mission” week to having an “events” week it was a game-changer. In that moment everyone got it. Mission is more than meetings. Mission is not something you roll out for a week and then pack up again.
There is a classic story of a man sailing on a transatlantic ocean liner. When he went on board, he found he was sharing his cabin with another passenger. After seeing his accommodation, he went to the ship’s purser and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe for security.
When someone becomes a Christian – putting their faith and trust in Jesus – the Bible says they are considered 'righteous' (Philippians 3:9; Romans 4:22; Romans 8:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21). What that means is that when God looks at us He doesn’t treat us with the judgement our sins deserves, but with the blessings that Christ deserves. Not only does Jesus take away our 'wrongness' but we get his 'rightness'. To say it’s a generous exchange is a huge understatement! It changes everything.