I was struggling this week to come up with a topic that was blog worthy. I could have just left it till I received some inspiration, but instead I decided to open it up to my Facebook family to give me some guidance. I asked them to give me either a topic or a question, and I’d see what I could do. Here’s the results….
1) God saving people through both Jonah’s angry obedience and his escapist disobedience.
Some other thoughts on Jonah from Terry Virgo (thanks to his recent Tweets!)
- “Then Jonah prayed…” Sad he only arrived at prayer when hitting a crisis. Pity he didn’t start with prayer when God spoke to him.
- Jonah “The only way you can be saved is to throw me into the depths” Praise God for another who sank deep so we might be saved.
- Amazingly God didn’t say “Jonah has lost the plot, send for Amos”
2) Reforming illegal drug laws to help save lives rather than shame the addict.
Ummm, well. This is rather a big topic. And I’m not entirely certain I agree with it. I’m not certain I’m against it either. I think at the end of the day I’m not fully aware of research which outlines what advantages and disadvantages there are to drug laws. I’m not a big fan of the disease-model which sees addiction purely as a medical issue – there is a big difference between a disease such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinsons etc. and an addiction, in that addictions start with the will of a person. It’s a big complicated issue when you get into the mind and emotions, something no-one really understands. But I don’t think treating addictions as solely a disease which an addict is a victim of is helpful. Plus while legalising drugs may have the benefit that more addicts seek help, it could also have the result of more addicts – how many people even now are prevented from every trying drugs because of the laws?
I’m not saying I’m against reforming drug laws. But it’s a bigger issue that requires a lot more information than for me to just idly sign an on line petition without really engaging with it.
3) Valentines Day
Haha! It had to come up I suppose.
Valentines Day – I don’t want to sound like a scrooge, but on the whole I don’t like it.
That’s not true.
I don’t like the commercialisation of it.
I don’t like the guilt and emotional blackmail that surrounds it.
I don’t like the way it rides roughshod over the feelings of everyone who is not in a relationship, or in a healthy, working relationship.
I don’t like how it has been corrupted from its original celebration of marriage. St Valentine was “beaten, stoned, beheaded and buried on 14 Feb 269 AD for helping persecuted Christians and marrying Christian couples.” (Thanks Nicky Gumble!) Now we just think it’s about chocolates and pink hearts and expensive restaurants. There are still persecuted Christians around the world who are not allowed to openly follow their faith in Jesus Christ without fear of retribution, whether that’s a deduction in social status or full-blown death threats. It seems to me Valentines Day might be better celebrated as affirming freedom of religious expression, and highlighting the difficulties which Christians face to live out their faith.
4) The pursuit of purpose
Oh my, here’s a good one!
I think that could possibly be the title of my autobiography one day. I have spent a good proportion of my life in pursuit of purpose. Even the current adventure of moving to Canada is just a chapter in the pursuit of the purpose which God has for me.
I’ve tried searching for my purpose in a job; I tried looking for it in my skills and education; I wondered if I would find it in my relationships.
In the end the only place I find purpose is in my walk with God. He has promised He has a purpose for my life, giving me the well known verse Jeremiah 29:11 back in Porthcawl in 1994 when I was in the middle of recovering from chemotherapy and wondering if there was any point to my life at all. He told me then, and has told me frequently since, that He has a purpose and a plan for me, and the He is continually working those out.
He has to tell me quite often, because I am both dense and impatient. I keep trying to work out my purpose myself, instead of waiting for God. It doesn’t work. I should have learnt by now. Perhaps I will by the time I reach heaven.
I don’t know what my purpose is. But I know that it is God’s. I have given my life to Him, not just for my salvation, but for His Kingdom. So if you’re pursuing your purpose – that’s a good place to start! Where in the Kingdom does God most want to use you? Just ask, He’ll start to show you!
I like bunnies. I think, after a cat, a bunny would be my pet of choice. Third would be a tiger. Or maybe a bear.
I logged onto Facebook this morning, and read this status update from a friend of mine, which is possibly my favourite Valentine’s status this year. So I thought I would share it.
“It’s Bramble and Berry’s birthday!! I love Berry for her fun loving spirit and constant happiness and the fact that she is bossy when she wants to be! I love Bramble for the fact that he acts tough but really he’s a chicken, i love his fluffy hair and the fact that he is a really caring brother to Berry.
Happy birthday my Valentine bunnies :) “
Says it all really.
6) Love, love, love….
I’m going to fall back on a couple more Tweets for this one…. surprisingly there’s lots around at the moment!
- Max Lucado: You know your love is real when you weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. #ALoveWorthGiving
- Woman of Christ: I want a man who loves me as I am, but somehow still inspires me to be a better person.
- CS Lewis: Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good
- CS Lewis: Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness
- Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in this – while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
7) What are the five main things that turn a house into a home?
- the smell of home cooking
- a cat
- feeling completely free to make a mess
8) If you had to be either deaf or blind which would you choose and why?
Easy – blind. If I was deaf I wouldn’t be able to sing nor listen to music. While I would miss the beautiful sights all around, music stirs my soul in a deeper way, especially when I can participate in it.
A shameless plug for me to pick you, Laura Firth….
In fact, I think my opponent of choice would be Megan Firth. Or Bethany Dixon. Or any of my nieces and nephews. Being so far away, I love being able to connect over Skype and other internet media. I’m looking forward to the day when these beautiful children in my life can interact with me too (although Megan does try to pass me her pandas through the screen, so I guess that’s a start!!)
- cilantro (not coriander)
- zucchini (not courgette)
- half after (not half past – gets me every time…)
- letter (not A4)
- a line-up (not a queue)
11) Why we all need a bit of light-hearted fun every now and then…
Well, if we didn’t, my blogging days would be numbered!
I love that God has a sense of humour. I love reading the Gospels and hearing some of the things Jesus says, how can you not laugh! Sometimes I swear I can see his smirk!!
God did not make us as super serious, nose to the grindstone robots. He made us with the ability of enjoying the moment, making each other laugh. He invented word-play! He designed us with the tickle-instinct!
We need fun as much as we need oxygen – it’s part of our survival! It’s part of living. Life without it wouldn’t be life, it would be existence.