Please do adjust your set

sunrise-beach

Yes, I did get that right, for those who think it should have read “please do not adjust your set”.  Let me explain…..

This morning I did quite well, I even had time to take the dog for a walk before I needed to get to the office.  I am very blessed to be living beside the sea.  We did one of my favorite walks – Holland Haven.

There is a little spot, just down by the sea where I like to stand and pray.  As we got to the spot this morning, there was nobody else around, so I stood and looked out to the horizon.  What I saw was interesting.  As I looked straight ahead there was beautiful sunshine, I could see the horizon and the turbines stretching out for miles.  When I moved my head slightly to the left, the sky was dark and the visibility was poor, the view was “unseeable” (not a proper word I know but, I hope you know what I mean).

So, there I was moving my head backwards and forwards like I was watching a tennis match!  Good job there was nobody else there!  Same morning, same time, same sea, same place – two different views.  But, isn’t that always the case?  I know there are some people who are pessimists and there are some who are optimists but, I think this runs deeper than that.

When I look at the life of Jesus, I realize that He saw exactly the same people as the Pharisees  and yet He saw them differently.  Same people, same time, same place – different view.

I believe that Jesus calls us to “please adjust your set” and look at the world with God’s eyes.  To see potential where others see failure, to see hope where others see despair to see acceptance where others see rejection.  Surely, this is “pie in the sky” thinking you say (go on admit it!!!!).  I think not.

“Adjust your set”, dear reader, change your vision and it’s God that helps you to do that.  In  the words of Corrie Ten Boom;

Look at the world , you’ll be distressed.  If you look within you’ll be depressed.  If you look at God, you’ll be at rest”

Is it time for you to “adjust your set”

 

Prayer and Prejudice

10712-bacon-sandwich

It was the wonderful Adrian Plass who once wrote “God’s two greatest inventions are bacon sandwiches and salvation”.  I know what he means, I love a bacon sandwich (salvation’s great too!).  But, it was the humble bacon sandwich that has challenged me recently.

Some of the men that form part of our fellowship have wanted to set up a men’s prayer breakfast and, if I am honest, I was not too keen.  Why?  A couple of reasons.  Firstly, I have never been happy with ministries that exclude a proportion of a fellowship.  I suppose I have seen the damage that christian’s have done to each other by excluding women from fulfilling their God given calling.  Secondly, I had an image in my mind of what “men’s ministry” looked like and it wasn’t something that appealed.

Prejudice simply means that we have “pre-judged” something, whether that is a person, race, gender or even a ministry.  I believe that throughout His life and ministry Jesus challenged prejudices and through His Holy Spirit, He continues to do so.

So, I gave the men’s prayer breakfast a go.  I enjoyed the bacon sandwich, I enjoyed the fellowship, I enjoyed meeting and chatting with a really great bunch of friends.  I have, since then been to a curry night and, later this year, will be going to The Gathering (organized by Christian Vision For Men).

What also thrills me is that some of the ladies in our fellowship are now exploring the possibilities of their own gathering (although I understand no bacon will be involved!).

What I have learnt is that when we confront our prejudices, we can discover something that becomes really valuable to us.  So, go ahead, why not give something new a go, who knows what you may discover as you do.

 

 

 

Best laid plans…

mouse-on-cheese

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,

(Robert Burns To a Mouse 1786)

As Burns night is almost upon us, I thought I would begin by quoting the great Rabbie Burns!   But, strangely enough, these words seem to reflect my week.

I began my week with ideas and plans all in place and everyday, something went wrong and nothing I planned got done.  How do you manage when things don’t go as planned?  I have a tendency to get frustrated and i can find it very stressful.

I found myself reflecting that most of the most inspiring moments of Jesus ministry came from interruptions, His “best laid plans” were interrupted on many occasions and it’s from these His ministry flowed.

Perhaps, instead of getting upset at the interruptions, we need to learn to look for the opportunities in the interruption.