Tag Archives: faith

Doubt isn’t fatal

I’ve been thinking about doubt. I’ve been thinking about the limitations of our faith and what does that mean. If I can’t imagine God’s ability to do something, to act in a particular way or change what appears to be unchangeable, does that mean I doubt?

I think it is interesting that one of the disciples doubted. He wasn’t there when the risen Lord showed up and so he spoke out his doubt. It wasn’t his words that made him a doubter, it was the gap between what he knew and what others were saying. The fact that the other disciples said they had seen the risen Jesus only caused Thomas to say I want to see it to believe it.

I suspect most of us have had our own version of such a saying.

When I was in my 20’s I was wondering if we were making the right decision and it was a big decision. I had my doubts and they flew in the face of what was a very strong “word from the Lord”. I had no reason to doubt but my fear meant I was faced with increasing my faith. So I was worried and I think worry can be seen by some as doubt.

Then one day I ended up meeting a man. I had never seen or met him before I never met or saw him again. But he knew what I was wrestling with and spoke to me in a way that, well I can’t explain, except to say he squashed my doubt and encouraged me to believe and then he was gone. Yup, gone.

He walked into a crowd of people and “disappeared”. I can’t even remember his name.

He challenged me to believe, though. In a sense, he challenged my worry, my doubt. I didn’t give him any details yet he knew them all.

Thomas was invited to put his finger in the very marks of Christ’s crucifixion and beliScreenshot_20170216-211731eve.Sometimes we preach on Thomas like he’s the one who doesn’t measure up to Peter, James, and John
Yet in many ways, we are more like Thomas than Peter, James or John. We hesitate to believe, we await the personal revelation rather than grab on to the testimony of others and we let our fears play with our hearts.

The Centurion who believed that Jesus healed his servant though he had not seen brought the reaction from Jesus – “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”

Let it be true of us.

Matthew 8:5-13

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

 

 

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Help I need somebody…

This morning’s chapel was focused on how we help others – it highlighted the communication of William Booth who in his final days sent a communication to be read to a Congress meeting – it simply read “others”.60f02-58-at-a-press-conference-in-a-hard-day-s-night-1964-a-reporter-asks-beatle-ringo-starr-if-he-s-a-mod-or-a-rocker-i-m-a-mocker-ringo-replies_imagelarge

Our very talented Simon put together a wonderful montage of photos, at my request, to the music of The Beatles’ HELP.  I’m not sure who else liked it, though I’ve heard a few people today humming it in the hallways, but I thought it was a catchy idea.  Of course we couldn’t leave off Psalm 121 “where does my help come from? It comes from the maker of heaven and earth”.

Speaking of heaven, I’ve been listening to a number of You Tube videos featuring N.T. Wright. What a tremendous scholar and I’ve been very taken by his teaching on heaven and hell. I will be reading more of his books this year.

Welcome to Autumn 2015

I can’t remember when I’ve had a busier autumn – and when I have loved my work more.  This is turning into an interesting yet challenging time in my life.

I have been working on a personal mission statement, one that captures the essence of who I am and who I want to be, one that relates to my family and friends from the over arching principles of Scripture. I had taken as my life verse Micah 6:8 which reads:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

    And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-22657A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>

 and to love mercy

    and to walk humbly with your God.

I am working on being submissive to the Word of God in a new way, to see who I am in light of this verse instead of measuring what I do.  I know that might seem subtle but I think that’s the point. Subtle is how we shift our values –  just a few degrees at a time – but anyone who knows anything about navigation knows that a one degree shift in destination might be small at the beginning but the further you travel out the further the deviation is.

So I have taken that verse and put my mission statement as a reflection of it.

Here’s my mission statement:

Personal Mission Statement

What does the Lord require of me?
To act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly.

Micah 6:8

As a child of God I joyfully acknowledge the grace of God poured into my life and desire to fully embrace that grace as I live out of my life and answer God’s calling to ministry.
I gratefully give myself to Him in my relationships.

First and foremost is my relationship with Jesus. I acknowledge my need for, and dependence upon, the Holy Spirit to convict and convince my spirit in thought, intention, habits and behaviours. I acknowledge my ongoing development of faith and promise to embrace the full promise of Romans 8:38,39. 

“38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Secondly, in my relationship with Wendy I joyfully embrace what God has given us within each other. As my partner in life I desire to guard our relationship through the guarding of our hearts and the cherishing of our common growth. It is my intention to encourage her growth and development, to protect her, honour and to (pray for her). 

As a father I will pray daily for Jason and Philip, the first two gifts given to Wendy and I by our Heavenly Father. I will express to them clearly my love, joy and pride in them for who they are and the gifts God has granted to them. I will be an encourager to them and stand in the gap whenever possible.  I will continue to model for them, as a father, the role they now exercise and speak to them as adults who are also working to role model for their children.

As a father-in-law it was my privilege to welcome in to our family Susan and Amanda. I will be prayerful and a practical supporter expressing my belief that they are gifts to our family from the hand of God. 

I will be to them an encourager. In every way I will honour their place in our family and make every effort to establish their full place in our family. I will treat them with respect and express my appreciation for the gifts they bring in to our family.

As a grandfather I will by God`s grace be an example of love and tender care to Rachel, Carlyle, Ted & Beth. I will provide them with love, encouragement and prayerful support ever protecting their innocence and spiritual well-being. I will engage in prayer for their physical well-being and their salvation. I will pray for their parents. 

I gratefully give myself to God in my ministry.

As a Christian leader I will daily seek to follow God’s leading, use my God-given abilities and (organizational) influence towards the work of the Kingdom of God encouraging men and women to live in faith and find their full purpose in developing their own spiritual leadership. 

As a follower of The Way I will find opportunity as God provides to share how God`s story is reflected in my story seeking to be faithful to the truth expressed in Scripture and experienced in my own faith walk.

As a manager of people I will lead in the example of Jesus being gracious and loving while making every effort to lead in a manner that provides progress in our work and support to those on the front lines. I will make the work of the Kingdom of God priority. I will use words to honour my fellow workers and build them up.

It is the desire of my heart in all ways “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God”

2015