Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Pulley

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by—
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone, of all His treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.
For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to My breast.

George Herbert

Do not resent that tug of unhappiness, do not attempt to suppress it with disappointing pleasures, rather let it draw you home.

"In His presence is fullness of joy;
At His right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalms 16:11

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Eat Your Carrots

She's only two, she doesn't have many words, she only started putting them together into sentences a few weeks ago, but man can she argue! On Sunday she decided to take on the whole family to the fourth generation.
"Eat your carrots."
"Eat up your carrots; you know you like carrots."
"No like carrots, carrots yuckie."
"Carrots are good for you"
"I need ice cream."
"There'll be ice cream after you eat your carrots"
"Need ice cream now." You wouldn't want to make me cry would you? — She didn't actually say that but you could tell she was thinking it. Time to bring out the big gun. 
"If you don't eat your carrots there won't be any ice cream."
Slowly, with a tear in her eye and  gulping back the lump In her throat, she raises a piece of carrot to firmly closed lips, at which point great-grandmother caves in — "That's not fair, don't make her eat it" — and the battle is lost.
Do you know what's the really annoying thing? She actually does like carrots. She ate them on Saturday. She even asked for carrots on Monday.

Don't laugh. You have done it with God.
"I don't like what you are doing in my life."
"It's not fair."
"It's not good for me."
"No, I won't do what you say."
"Yuckie, I need ice cream."

Just eat your carrots.

Love you Lila, but more important, God loves you very very much.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Haud Yer Weesht

(whee·sht) Dialect, chiefly Scot. ~v.
1. a call for quiet or silence; used as an interjection Wheesht! to bring about or continue, the silence of others.
2. quiet, hushed [haud yer wheesht is to hold one's tongue].
You don't need to get far into the Bible to be stunned into silence. One verse will do.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Genesis 1:1
If that's true there is not a square inch anywhere that God didn't make. Where did He get the raw materials? He didn't, He made them too.
And if He made it all, it all belongs to Him so I guess He can do what He likes with it. And He can do what He likes because there's nothing He can't do. I mean, if He ever runs out of anything He can always make more. And if all the power in the universe were lumped together it would only be a fraction of the power He has because all the power in the universe came from Him in the first place.
And if He made it all, I guess He knows it all inside out and understands how it all works and knows everything that ever happened or ever will.
Kind of makes your average genius look... Well, how does it make your average genius look and come to think of it, where does it leave you?
Well then, haud yer weesht!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Is Your Heart Right?

Preparing for this week's sermon, I was reminded of this. It was written by John Wesley and comes from his book "Sermons on Several Occasions," also known as the Forty-Four Sermons. The language may be archaic but the book is well worth persevering with.
This comes from sermon number thirty-four, "Catholic Spirit." These days it might be better called a sermon on the unity of Christ's church. The quote is lengthy so I have taken the liberty of bringing the language a bit more up to date in the hope that you will read all of it.
"Is your heart right with God? Do you believe his being and his perfections? his eternity, immensity, wisdom, power? his justice, mercy, and truth? Do you believe that he now "upholds all things by the word of his power?" and that he governs even the most minute detail to his own glory, and the good of them that love him? Do you "walk by faith not by sight?" looking not at temporal things, but things eternal?
Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, "God over all, blessed for ever?" Do you know Jesus Christ and him crucified? Does he dwell in you, and you in him? Are you "found in him, not having your own righteousness, but the righteousness which is by faith?" And are you, through him, "fighting the good fight of faith, and laying hold of eternal life?"
Is your faith filled with the energy of love? Do you love God "with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength?" Do you seek all your happiness in him alone? And do you find what you seek? Does your soul continually "magnify the Lord, and your spirit rejoice in God your Saviour?" having learned "in everything to give thanks, do you find "it is a joyful and pleasant thing to be thankful?" Is God the centre of your soul, the sum of all your desires? Are you laying up your treasure in heaven, and counting everything else rubbish? Has the love of God cast the love of the world out of your soul? Then you are "crucified to the world;" you are dead to all below; and your "life is hid with Christ in God."
Are you employed in doing, "not your own will, but the will of him that sent you" — him that sent you down to sojourn here awhile, to spend a few days in a strange land, till, having finished the work he has given you to do, you return to your Father's house? Is it your meat and drink "to do the will of your Father which is in heaven?" Is your eye single in all things? always fixed on him? Do you point at him in in all your labour, your business, your conversation? aiming only at the glory of God in everything?"
Does the love of God constrain you to serve him with fear? Are you more afraid of displeasing God, than either of death or hell? Is nothing so terrible to you as the thought of offending the eyes of his glory? Do you "exercise yourself, to have a conscience free from offence toward God, and toward man?"
Is your heart right toward your neighbour? Do you love as yourself, all mankind, without exception? Do you "love your enemies?" Is your soul full of good-will, of tender affection, toward them? Do you love even the enemies of God, the unthankful and unholy? Do you "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you?"
Do you show your love by your works? While you have time as you have opportunity, do you in fact "do good to all men," neighbours or strangers, friends or enemies, good or bad? Do you do them all the good you can; endeavouring to supply all their wants; assisting them both in body and soul, to the uttermost of your power?
If you are thus minded, even if you just sincerely desire it, and are determined to work on till you attain, then "your heart is right, as my heart is with your heart."
"Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?”
“If it is, give me your hand.”
2 Kings 10:15
Oh and you can hear my sermon on the subject of the unity of Christ's church at on Its called "Big Church, Wee Church" Not such a catchy title as John Wesley's.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Jesus Is Enough

We were made to live for God and we'll never be totally happy, content, satisfied until we do. That's not a new idea; Augustine of Hippo said it 1600 years ago.
"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
I guess that means that if you are looking for happiness, contentment, satisfaction, rest you would be wasting your time looking elsewhere.
If only I had... then I would be content. If only I could... then I could be at peace. If only you would... then I would be satisfied. Doctor give me a pill, counsel me, hypnotise me, wipe out my past. You fill in the blanks and fill out the list. It's all pointless anyway, you'll never be totally satisfied until Jesus is everything and when Jesus is everything you will find that Jesus is enough — more than enough.
"Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy. Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare."
Isaiah 55:2

Augustine of Hippo