Friday, 15 April 2011

Why did the Londoner not cross the road?

London is very 'unexpected' city to live in. You must be prepared to be taken by surprise, it's generally not the done thing to adopt the aghast open-mouthed stare at anything unusual. That's an error I've made on some occasions. But this little cyclic demonstration was one of those 'WOW' moments on my arrival in Waterloo last week, yes, my mouth might have been slightly agape, in eagerness to join in... and partly in my realisation that quite clearly I have been wearing the incorrect attire in my daily commute to work.

The Tweed Run has been supporting Bikes4Africa, to provide refurbished bikes to children in Africa, to help them get to school on time. A very worthwhile project. I hope you enjoy the short clip which I took before diving into the oncoming traffic.

Monday, 4 April 2011

What's your story?

You've probably seen this before. But it's never more moving that when you see it with your own eyes. In your own church. With the young people you've helped nurture and lead. I love coming back to my home church, a little visit to the homeland is always very restorative (not good for the GI diet though). On sunday my youth group did a fab job of leading the service, with their own cardboard testimonies. The clip below isn't of my church or the young people, unfortunately they weren't filmed. But I think you'll agree, this is pretty moving.

I love this message of transformation. We are broken, we grieve, we are anxious about things we cannot change. Often we try to fit God into that framework and try tell him what he needs to do to make our lives better. It doesn't work like that. In the last few days, a family in Northern Ireland has been greiving. And people in this nation have been outraged over a young police officer who was killed in a bomb explosion in his own car. It's just one story in Omagh's painful past. When will it be enough? My own story of loss is familiar at this time of year, as it approaches the anniversary of my dad's death. [ED: I recognise that my experience of loss is a fairly narrow one and that many others have been through much greater pain than this]. I'd lost my gran a few months earlier; and one of my closest friends: an amazing woman who had prayed with me through my gran's passing and my dad's illness. I don't think I functioned properly as a human being, or even vaguely ressembled one, for many months. But hurt - slowly changed into healing. And bizarrely... joy. How it happened, I will never know. But it's a bit like this: letting go of pain, writing it on a piece of cardboard, and turning it over, and finding this: peace. comfort. joy. Finding out that the sun didn't stop coming up every morning. So which side of your piece of cardboard are you holding? Are you holding onto pain? Rejection or hurt? Are you grieving? Let go. And let God write on the other side of that piece of card as he shows you, he gives healing. Restoration. Yes, even joy. He is constantly at work in our lives. Working on a little miracle in every detail.

Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2 (the message)