You get chatting to someone new at church at the end of a service. To you she seems perfectly fine. She is smiley, she is polite and articulate. She is breezy. Her name is ‘any person’. Church gathered is over and you go home and quickly forget about meeting her. (more…)
Here are a series of stories of dear friends who have journeyed through their own valleys but who also have awesome testimonies of the faithfulness of Jesus constantly being with them. Thanks so much to Jo, Naomi, Andrew, Josh, Roger and Sheena who plucked up courage to go for it!
The video also explains a little about my deep desire to see our homes increasingly becoming our Head Quarters of radical prayer and worship where we retreat to be with Him together and from where we advance, filled with the Holy Spirit, full of faith and love, to reach those black and blue but who are without hope and without God in the world (what a terrible thought – see Ephesians 2:12)
Our stories shared from black and blue seasons in life can help us all stand on our bedrock foundation that “God Is With Us”. Why not share your own black and blue stories with others – when God has always been with you – they’re unique, powerful testimonies that will bring others much-needed sanity! (See: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5)
One of the Bible’s highlights for me is Psalm 27 – it contains some the most beautiful verses anywhere in its pages. I’m thinking of sweeping, lyrical crescendos like verse 4, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
Another verse that stuns me, particularly because of the brokenness I constantly see in society where families (more…)
I thought I’d write a quick post without much thought because it’s my brother’s 30th birthday today. I’ll turn 30 in a few years (I jest – I have already). Banter. But I remember at the time thinking, “wow…I’m really 30?”. It felt landmarkesque. That’s not even a word. It is now.
The seventeenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of Proverbs (it’d have been a lot quicker to write Prov.17:17) says that ‘Brothers are born for adversity”. This is an awesome truth that applies to Christian brothers but, uniquely, our blood siblings.
Proverbs 17:17 is an amazing verse. It doesn’t say Mothers or Fathers or even friends are born for adversity; it says that brothers are. Perhaps that’s because brothers and sisters are usually around for the larger span of one’s life whereas the others aren’t, normally at least – (parents because of age and friends often because of the changeable and nomadic nature of life).
It is true that spirit is thicker than blood, (because heaven is more real than earth and spirit more than flesh) but when you have kindred spirits with a blood brother (or sister)…it is amazing.
This is seen so powerfully in Genesis 42-44 as Jacob’s 11 sons travel to Egypt to see Joseph to buy grain in the midst of famine. They didn’t recognise Joseph but he did recognise them. The most striking part of this account is the way that Joseph struggles to maintain composure in the presence of Benjamin (the son of his own mother) such was the sense of connection with him as a brother. Joseph had to leave their presence to wash his face because he was weeping, and this is over a brother (so powerful is the connection) who had sold hm into slavery years before.
One of the main reasons that brothers and sisters can help in adversity in ways that others can’t is because of shared history. Yes, you can share history with a friend (perhaps more meaningfully) than a sibling, but the unique blood/dna/spiritual link with a family member means that the synergy in shared history will be more poignantly shared than with others. I think it’s this closely shared and interpreted history that is especially valuable in times of adversity – at least, this has been my experience.
Told you it’d be quick!