Thursday, March 22, 2007

criss-cross and non-violence

I'm so happy! After so long, it seems God is bringing me into a time of fresh blessings and its one of the most exciting things I've experienced in recent times. I'm so full of hope and anticipation and after much prayer and thought and conversation, it seems that this is just the beginning!

God sends us people to criss-cross into our lives, who have an impact on us, who shake us up from long slumbers. I praise you LORD!

I also wanted to stick up a poem I'd written last month regarding my thoughts after a lecture on non-violence. Its my musings on the point that Jesus calls us to love our enemies, but the tension with doing something so different in a world chock full of it.

What do we do about a world where killings are the norm?
Where 'animals' rage and media storm?
The powers that be are out of this hand,
There's too too many through the land.
We're getting pulled under,
We're rock bottom,
We're twisted apart,
I wonder
Can YOU make a difference in this place?
Will the world heal from stretched out grace?
I must believe you hear us.
I must believe.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Alive and Kicking!





Ok! Updated!

I'll be posting the same stuff on the other blog so my fans on either won't have to switch ;)

I feel so alive today! Infact I feel shattered, but also alive!

I've just come back from our 24/2 prayer weekend, which has been so tiring, but its been such an amazing time to sit before God. I'm really inspired by young people giving their all to God, and its been fab to see it in action. Emma, you particularly have impressed me with your drive and enthusiasm for 'Stop the Traffick'!

Emily and Bailey, you totally rock for getting all the stuff visualised and pieced together. This is God working through the both of you!

Today is a great day to be me! So blessed in many ways. It's times like this that I was alluding to a few posts back :)

Craig

(13 Mar) 9th blog



Ok, I guess I thought this was a little interesting. In the bible, when Jesus talks about what we refer to as 'hell', the proper translation is generally 'gehenna'. This was a firey rubbish tip in a valley called the Valley of Hinnom where, in the Old Testament, Israelites would often throw children as sacrifices. God said this was detestable (which is interesting considering many christians think he will do the same to the 'unsaved').

This is a recent picture of the place, which shows it is now a garden. I'd love to go there some time. I heard it gets quite hot.

(12 Mar) 8th blog

I love God, I love the idea of the Kingdom of God (what little I understand of it anyway).
I just get so frustrated that I miss the point though... all the time!

I'm missing out on so much at the moment because I can't let go of destructive things.
Is there more to life than wanting to be a particular way but never getting there? Is it pointless to think I'll ever get there? (this side of heaven at least).

God is good, right? God's done so much in my life these past few weeks. I got to do what I like best, and that was to preach. Nothing like preaching in front of your peers! (scary). And its moments like that, that I know were genuinely drenched in prayer and I want more of them. God also spoke to someone through seeing me read the bible on the train that evening too. Those are the times when I know that God is real, that he does want to connect us all up somehow.

I'm so concerned that I'm going to end up alone. Silly to think that at 23, and I really should move on. I guess love and companionship is a big part of who I am and want to be, so its hard to move on from that. I've never felt true (romantic) love for someone else, merely shadows, whispers of what might be. I wonder what its like. I wonder why some people stopping loving their partners also. I always thought that love was the most powerful emotion we had, but its still fragile despite that. Its beautiful, but it withers if not tended to. I want mine to take root and blossom.

Lol, where is she? Does 'she' even exist?

(14 February) 7th blog

onight I'm sharing a really fascinating quote that I've paraphrased from Phil Wall (Director of Signify), which particularly talks to my Salvation Army Jargoned life:

"I'm not 'Saved' to 'Serve', but 'Saved' to 'Love'. Duty has no place in christianity, we are far too bound by it, along with programme. This does not mean we have no responsibilities as disciples. Rather it means that we should be loving others, helping the poor, freeing the bound up because of the joy it gives us. Because of the love and grace we have been given, we delight in pouring it out on others."

Good stuff eh?

Following Jesus does something to you. The utter love and fulness that he splatters onto us is one that should cause us to keep on splattering!

I think much of the time in my own life, the desire is there, but either the motivation or infact courage, is missing. I'm now challenged that a lot of this stems from the fact that I've often seen ministry, serving others as the long hard slog, the thing we 'have to do to get brownie points' and not really allowed myself to be immersed in God's love so that it effectively spills out to those around me. At least in later times...

I remember that when I was still working (2-3 years ago) there were those choice times when this happened, when I was able to meet with and impact total stranger's lives because of the grace and love I had been given. Its ironic that since becoming a 'professional christian' my resonance to/with the Holy Spirit, that I believe leads me to such things, has diminished.

Right now as I type these words, I am awakening to the truth that I need the pungent, raw, down-and-dirty presence of the Spirit of God to inhabit my life once more.

I think I'm going to go pray now.

(on a side note, after talking about love, I've just become aware of what day it is today!)

Craig

(13 February 2007) 6th blog

Ok so its 1.37am and I'm still up. Do you really want to know why? (because I sure do!).
This is the first serious blog I've written and it comes as the culmination of months of wrestling with God. Like Jacob, I'm in a very sore way and I'm leaving the battle ground a different person...

This is the first part of my musings and I hope I conclude them (because I'm half asleep right now and could fall anytime).

I'm convinced:

That God speaks
That God loves us
That God is desperate to make these two things known to us.

I've actually had to ask the these questions myself and painstakingly experience some sort of an answer.

I hope the following blogs that I write regarding this issue can engage with some of you out there in 'myspaceland', as the question of Jesus' relevance in your life may be one that is plagueing you right now. Or maybe it should be.

A big shout out to all those who prayed for me.

Prayer works - I'm convinced of this too.

Stay tuned

(07 February 2006) 5th blog

Just two days left as a 22 year old and I'm not sure that I want to go through with it. I'm not suicidal but I don't particularly feel ready to be 23. I think its because its taken me a whole year to get used to the idea of being 22 and now I have to upset that routine and focus on the next one up from that.. erm 23.

I think life would be much easier if we didn't celebrate birthdays. We'd have more money, and it would mean that there weren't age limits on things, so I could still jump around in that McDonald's ball pool instead of being hauled away like a maniac, because apparently I was 'too old' and might 'upset the other children'... Uh this is hypothetical of course..

(04 December 2006) 4th blog

Christmas is coming fast. I'm not a fan. I won't have to buy any cards this year though, because I still have 5 packs of cards that I've had from the last 2 years of forgetting to write them.

(20 November 2006) 3rd blog

By the way, does anyone know why we have to take Omega 3? I thought it was for 93 year olds, but I've been told that teenagers should have it. If that's the case then I'm going to hide it in the squash and biscuits at the next youth group I have. Why would anyone want to take fish oils anyway? I'd have it if it made me swim better or breathe underwater, you know, like carrots are meant to give good eyesight or something.

Maybe this is really some kind of pill that tracks your movements, like in The Matrix, where they know what people are up to by watching it on the computer. I suppose it comes out when you're on the loo, so they have to wait until you take the next one. Good point though isn't it?

(17 November 2006) 2nd myspace blog

Why does the Cillit Bang man always shout? I would understand if it was for the benefit of hard of hearing people, but we've got subtitles on most TV's now haven't we?

(06 June 2006) 1st myspace blog

Hmm well whats going on in the surreal world of CSG? Hmm, I'm finally coming to the end of the first year at uni... too be honest will be a relief to get past this coz it means I'm half way to being qualified! Huzzah! I'm also looking forward to missioning it up in Germany on wednesday, will be fabulous to have a change of scenery and spend some time actually working in the sun instead of working inside, being blasted by the sun into the hot room of our uni.

I've been so awful with my chatting to God, and even acknowledging him these past months, so I'm hoping Germany will help kick start that again.

Excited about carrying on the Spiritual gifts stuff with U.N.Y Allstars... will be great to tackle more of that.

Roll on Sunday :)

'Not quite tomorrow'

Ok ok now, it seems that my last post, claiming that I would address a talking point 'tomorrow' is a little bit overdue! I'm kinda blaming the greatness of Myspace for this, I got introduced and never looked back!

I guess there may still be life in this old blog yet though. In fact the main reason for starting this is because of a prompting from a certain special person but we will name no names!

I'm actually going to be a bit cheeky for a start and simply add the (erm 5 or 6) blogs that I posted on Myspace, as they're all part of this rickety, rollercoaster journey that I find myself on. So if you haven't read them, please feel free (there's a bit of silliness mixed in with the more profound stuff, I think I was drinking too much Dr. Pepper at the time!).

If you get through that then you're qualified to read the new material! As for that last post. I'm going to think about what I currently feel on the subject (come on its been a year!) and probably finish it off! What a cliffhanger!

Stay tuned :)

Craig