Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Bluebirds

"I want to see the sunshine after the rain
I want to see bluebirds flying over the mountains again
Oh, where is the silver lining shining at the rainbow's end?"
The words of this song were important to me over ten years ago, in a dance track (not the original) as I revised for a resit in Negligence Law. The words resurface occasionally in the soundtrack that plays in my head most of the time. They came back again recently:

The other morning I was sitting in the Edgehill Chapel with a couple of other people. We were sitting in silence, the sun was streaming through the windows, and the birds were singing in the trees outside. It was beautiful. It was peaceful.

Afterwards, someone commented on the birdsong. It brought to my mind a conversation many moons ago when a friend described their conversion. She said from that point she could hear the birds sing. She hadn't been deaf before she met Jesus, it's just that knowing him made birdsong sound different, better, in some way.

At the time I recall thinking, "I don't ever remember a time when I couldn't hear birds singing, when they didn't minister to my soul in some way." Of course, my friend's experience is not going to be the case for every person, but I believe Christianity should in some way make you feel more alive. The Way can stand its ground through logical reasoning, but the element of 'faith' brings an experiential side that we often miss, and can be the difference between guilt and delight in our attitude to mission.

Most mornings I am woken by my phone at some horrendous time by a noise that does not overly impress my beloved. The words are as follows:
Everyday is a new day
I'm thankful for
Every breath I take
I won't take you for granted (I won't take you for granted)
So I learn from my mistakes
It's beyond my control
Sometimes it's best to let go
Whatever happens
In this lifetime
So I trust in love (so I trust in love)
You have given me
Peace of mind

I feel so alive For the very first time I can't deny you I feel so alive I feel so alive For the very first time And I think I can fly (fly)

Sunshine upon my face (sunshine upon my face)
A new song for me to sing
Tell the world
How I feel inside (Tell the world how I feel inside)
Even though it might
Cost me everything
Now that I know this
So beyond, I can't hold this
I can never
Turn my back away
Now that I've seen you (Now that I've seen you)
I can never look away.
Music: New Atlantic feat Berri - The Sunshine After The Rain (original Elkie Brooks); P.O.D. - Alive
Photo: morguefile.com

Monday, 21 April 2008

The Hunger Site

Just in case you haven't encountered it before, I thought I'd mention the Hunger Site. Visit the website, click on the 'click here to give' button, and you've donated food to hungry people! No purchase necessary, it's all funded by the advertisers on the following page.

You can click the button once a day (successive clicks don't count). If you want to visit every day but keep forgetting, there's a Facebook app that helps remind you - click to give.

The site has other tabs that raise money for other causes - breast cancer, childrens' health, literacy, rainforest and animal rescue.

And a similar idea has been employed at the Bible Site - Open Doors providing bibles to persecuted Christians.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Somebody loves you

I was just reading about the tragic death of Mark Speight. And simply wanted to say that if your world is falling apart or you feel like a part of you has died, please know that somebody loves you. Somebody cares for you and wants you to live.

There's a wee song by Ian White that's playing in my head:
Somebody loves you, somebody loves you,
Somebody loves you, so don't be afraid.
Somebody loves you,
And He's watching above you,
Somebody loves you,
And He loves the way you're made.

And He'll never criticise the way some do,
And sure He sees deep inside and knows what's true,
But don't you know that in His eyes,
You're an absolute sweetheart.

Somebody loves you!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Thanks

Often we receive things as gifts and we say thank you immediately. But it is only with use or enjoyment of that gift that true thankfulness arises.

1 Thess 5:18 instructs us to give thanks in all circumstances...

So I'm starting a new label on this blog, to record my thanks for things given (including time, energy and encouragement).

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Escalator

Every day my iGoogle page gives me a quote of the day. Today's quote struck me, and I'm trying to work out why...
I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.
Mitch Hedberg, Comedy Central Presents
American comedian (1968 - 2005)
On a basic level, it amuses me - these sort of observations on objects and people make me smile. But I'm thinking there must be a deeper level to it, it's resonating with me for some reason. Is it to say that people who feel like they have broken down are still worthwhile members of society? Or from a Christian perspective, those who feel dry and weary can still bless God and his world?

What do you think?

Thursday, 3 April 2008

How reformed?

According to a facebook quiz, this is how reformed I am:

Truly Reformed
You truly are a throwback to the 1640s. You affirm all five solas of the reformation, emphasizing the gospel as of first importance. You zealously oppose Rome and labor to see the true church reformed according to Scripture alone in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government. Go out there and make a difference!

Um... Yeah. No.

The test results directly contradict some of the answers that I gave - for one thing, I don't zealously oppose anything or anyone; I'm a Methodist! But I do long for the Church to be restored to its Biblical roots, whatever denomination that may be. And seeing as the Church is people, I'm longing for me to be restored first.

Anyone up for a little reformation journey of our own?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

St. Pixels


I just had my first ever virtual worship experience, and it was good!

St. Pixels is an online church that has LIVE worship at various times every day. I attended today's 2.30pm worship and I have to say it's an interesting and helpful change to listening to podcasts or even viewing videos of worship. I remember someone emphasising that when in worship, we should 'participate, not anticipate'. Here I had an opportunity to participate in worship, offer prayers and thanksgiving, even sing along with music.

Kathryn has been enjoying using Scripture Union's WordLive recently, but I find it difficult to set aside the time to focus when on my own (though I still highly recommend it - the first good attempt at using the capabilities of broadband internet for daily devotions).

An interesting thing about St. Pixels is that it's a real community - which is the only thing that might put me off in a strange way... I'm not sure whether I'm ready for building new friendships with people I may never meet. But the model could prove very suitable for churches that want to encourage people who are stuck at home but still want to worship with other people.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!