Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Disappointed in the World We Live In.

After seeing the rot that went on at the MTV Award show on the news last night I was left with quite a distasteful sense of the portrayal of life our world is giving to young people today.

This article sums up very well the emotions I felt when learning of the new low Miley has gone to in her misguided pursuit of individualism and fame.
"For the rest of the day, I wondered: 
What kind of people are we?
What kind of culture have we created?
What do we want our children to be? 
No more wondering. Tonight, I weep.
I weep for the little girl who gave us Hannah Montana and became a role model to millions of little girls across America.
I weep for the lostness of a girl who doesn't see herself stumbling around in the dark..."
The article continues, but it is that sense of weeping - just being totally bewildered to the extent of speechlessness - that I felt as I saw this story, and others coming from the show.  Entertainment services feed on this stuff, they dress it up as important news and feed it to our teenagers.  It gives such a warped sense of the world to teens who are trying to find their place in the world.  Life isn't about exposing your body to get attention, or about shedding off every ounce of childishness and innocence to be seen as an individual, or about bitterly belittling ex-boyfriends to show how much power you have.

I think Aston Kutcher said it pretty well at the recent Teen Choice awards (yeah Aston... who would have thought) when he questioned the focus of the lifestyle presented today.
"The sexiest thing in the whole world is being really smart. And being thoughtful, and being generousness. Everything else is crap! I promise you, it's just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don't buy it.  Be smart, be thoughtful, be generous..."

Friday, 9 August 2013

Is blogging more for me or you?

Hi reader.

I have had a tough week, with many things going on that have left thoughts playing in my mind and taking up much of my focus.  Many times I had thought to jump on here to vent, or share emotions or just to write out some of the thoughts in a hope that it would help clear out my mind.

Yet I began to wonder, is that the right thing to do? Writing has always helped me, and for many years this blog played a role almost as my diary.  Getting people's comments helped me process things so I welcomed communication.

As a pastor thought I am increasingly aware that this is a very public profile.  Many people comment in person on what they read here, and sometimes they convey an idea that a pastor should be careful the impression he gives to people.  Personally I haven't posted anything on here I am not happy for everyone to know - I don't want to be a robot programmed to gain people's affection, or programmed to act how people expect, because to be honest I am me, and am happy to be talked to about any of my ideas.

Over this past 12 months this blog has evolved, and is now a much more ministry focused place.  In that sense I feel the shift that the posts are now much more for the reader than they are for me.  I still get joy from writing, but this can no longer act as a diary of sorts.  That may mean blogs are less frequent, and more thought out instead of spontaneous thought processes, but hopefully they help you, the reader, to focus your faith and mission in this life IN CHRIST!

I'll just go back to the old hand written diary I can hide away in my desk draw :-)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Stuck yet Saved...

I heard this story a few weeks ago, and shared it in a sermon.

Two brothers were playing down by a river. They loved playing down there because of the giant sand embankment that had been built as flood protection years before.  However on this day, because of some rain, or drainage, or just a freak natural occurrence the boys found themselves in trouble when they fell into a pond of quick sand.

Late in the afternoon the boys parents realised their sons hadn't returned and a search party was gathered and sent out to find them.  After a while they came across the youngest brother standing knee deep in the sand.

"Are you alright?" one of the rescuers asked.

"Yes I am ok, but I am stuck" replied the little boy.

"Where's your brother?"

The little boy replied, "I am standing on his shoulders."

The older boy sacrificed his life to save his little brother.  Just like Jesus sacrificed Himself to save us.  Yet we have even more in common with that little boy.  Just like him we are still stuck in sin.  We might be saved from it, we might be standing on Jesus' shoulders, but just like the little brother there still seems to be no way to get ourselves unstuck.

Some days I feel like I am up to my neck in quicksand, not just my knees - the weight of sin just seems to suck me down sometimes.  I get drawn in, I fail, I indulge and then realise I shouldn't have, I lose grip and fall, so many different ways to sin, so many times I realise I am still stuck.

But because of Jesus I am still saved.  I realise I have a foundation that keeps my head from being sucked under. I can stand on Him and know I am safe.

Those rescuers didn't leave the boy in the sand, just because he was saved from drowning.  They found rope and they pulled him out so he was completely saved.  One day we can look forward to that as well. Jesus will return and all those in Christ will be given new bodies and live with Him forever, where sin will have no place.  So not only am I saved... one day I will be saved completely.  There is great hope in that, and a perspective of eternity to grasp when I realise how stuck I still am today.
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