Archive for the ‘Journalling’ Category

This is the first ‘psweets’ re-cap and since it began on the well rounded day of Thursday just gone; there are only two to re-cap!

Psweet 1 (v1-2)

Well good’s the guy who doesn’t take moral advice from bad company.But who raves about quiet times &is all about gettin stuck into scripture

(Thought – This is just a great reminder of what our lifestyle should be like, Lord help us to be this guy…)

 

Psweet 2 (v2-5)

Whoever thinks they’re a matchup on God is a comedian.God laughs it off, puts them in their place, then shows them what he’s really made of.

(Thought – Let’s not let our image of God and the love he has for us be unbalanced with a fluffy bunny, gingham heart type love. Yes God ‘is’ love, but he’s also God who hates sin and demands that what we worship him solely. Let’s remember how magnificent he is, nobody’s on par with him and whoever thinks he is, is going to get humbled. I know, strong stuff…Lord, help us balance our image of you. To know the unfailing love you have for us, but yet be in awe of you and v 11;  serve you with fear and rejoice in trembling.

I came across this when Cath and I went back to our old home church at Ammanford, where we grew up and got majorly invested in. This video is a promo of Joshua Harris’ latest book ‘Dug down deep’. It really inspired me, and I love the mindset this guy has on theology. The fact is, that the core of theology is trying to understand the beauty of our living ‘Trinitarian God’; studying him like we study a sunset. Enjoy.

 

This is something scholars have argued over for centuries; Asda or Tesco.

 ‘Asda’; derived from the greek word ‘Asdai’ which literally translates to ‘good value for money’ is most certainly one of the biggest competitors in retail food over the past decade. 

Then there’s  ‘Tesco; which currently has no clear translation…however Tesco have stated they will invest 0.000001% of their net profit into researching the root-word translation…well it may not be much but then ‘every little helps’.

Of course there are other shops and stores on the super-market who contend for our loyalty and some of which succeed, such as…

Morrisons – fresh faces and celebrity food,

the slightly erotic flavours of M & S food

Oh and there’s the place Jamie Oliver buys his chopped tomatoes,

And waitrose of course, where security escort you from the premises and accuse you of stealing, if you’re shopping bill doesn’t exceed several hundred pound.

Heck, even Ikea’s swedish meatballs get a look in when we go flatpack on furniture.

But for some reason when I hear the words ‘quality food and shopping trolleys’ Asda and Tesco are the stores that immediately spring to mind. For me, I was always a Tesco man – what can I say? I enjoyed the thrill of swiping my very own clubcard, I felt like it gave me an incredible dose of power…it didn’t, just clubcard points. But every so often when I made that trip down to the postbox and spotted a tesco letter, it filled my heart with glee and my wallett with vouchers, NOT to be spent in store unless you favour redeeming a mere quarter of the full potential voucher.

Yes indeed, I was a Tesco veterin…they even gave me a medal of bravery for fighting off an elderly lady and her attempt to bag the last cabonara in the reduced items section, as she used her zimmerframe to an unfair advantage. Its an absolute honour having the medal, I’d love to keep it, though they tell me if I exchange it online I can get up to four times the value. For all these reasons, Tesco will carry a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart, one of which could only be topped by my wedding day.

Well, all until I wake up from my romanticed version of the story and smell the truth of life. You see, somewhere, somehow I suppressed all those feelings and emotions that broke my heart. I forget the times my budget got an absolute hammering, just because Cath wanted a couple extra satsumas, or when I put unleaded in a diesel van…every little helps? Not when its the wrong fuel it doesn’t TESCO!!

And it is then that I see Asda, the American superstore with a British face and it is here that my debit card feels truely happy. Yes, I can worry no more for fear of passing out at the checkout, as my body shuts down after one glance of the ‘total price’. I can order some fresh pizza and even choose the toppings of my choice AND I can tap my bum twice and hear the sweet melody of loose change rustle round inside my pocket and proclaim the modern day proverb…‘that’s Asda price.’

Today I’m reading Corinthians 13 in a friends wedding.  This is God’s perfect love; that he gives to us freely, willingly and lovingly. But this is also the love he calls us to live out…for him and fo others. The torah summed up in a sentence…

(Deut 6:5)’Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’

And Jesus when asked ‘alright en, what’s the greatest commandment?’ says…

( Mark 12:30-31) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”

So, lets try and love God and love others with the perfect love that God loves for us…

Corinth 13 NIV

1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.

 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Corinth 13 (My modern version of…)

the most excellent way…

If I am blessed with multi lingual speaking, if I reel off all dialects – even the heavenly language itself, but I’ve got no love. Then what am I? Mere noise pollution.

If I have the gift from God to communicate what he’s saying, or if I can grasp the universe and all the wonder that’s…ungrasp-able! If I’m the Einstein of life and have the faith that can make terrorism extinct, but I’ve got no love, who am I? I’m nothing.

If I auction off my house, sell my car on e-bay and pawn everything I own – flog it at a car boot sale and give every last penny to the homeless…but if there’s no love – what do I gain? Absolutely Jack all.

Love waits, love-love’s to give. It doesn’t want what it hasn’t got, mouth off, name drop, brag or get ‘me’ centered. It doesn’t throw a tantrum if things don’t go to plan, or need anger management sessions, but when you chalk up the tally of mess ‘n’ bad stuff – it just gets the duster out and wipes the board clean. Love doesn’t crave for what’s messed up but gets a ‘high’ off ‘truth’ and what’s right.

It looks after like a bodyguard, always trusts – even when stats prove that it shouldn’t, always counts on, never loses hope, never lets you down and It. Just. Keeps. On. Going.

Prophecies will grind to a halt, mouths will be zipped up and knowledge will be…………forgotten.

So, When we strip everything away, all that’s left is the triangle of faith, hope and love. Go on, Take a wild guess, which one’s the greatest!?!

The last hurdle

Posted: July 19, 2010 in Journalling

I don’t mean to be cliche and go for yet another christian running analogy here but it does seem to fit. In his letters Paul uses the running metaphor to tackle life and the journey of faith.

It makes sense, we’re all somewhere on the journey. I work for a charity called Going Public and every year we take on interns who are with us from September right the way through to July the following year. Me and Cath are very much involved in schools so we pretty much fit around the academic diary. So right now, it does feel like a last hurdle, it feels like the finishing sprint to complete the race of 09/10.

For me, I feel like I’m ready to stop running. I feel as if I’m ready to get to the end and warm down with some deep heat for aching muscles and some lucozade sport or blue powerade. I’ve just finished a one man show, I’ve loved the whole experience but there’s apart of me that’s relieved that it came to an end. I don’t think because I’m up on a platform most of the time I work particulary harder than anyone else, and I’m not knocking what I do because I love it, but I do feel ready for the re-coup. For the wind down. And I bet I’m not alone in this either.

For some reason there’s this stigma attached to us, that we have to be busy all the time, or we have to be on the go, we find it so satisfying to say ‘I feel really busy’ but when it gets round to taking the holiday you feel guilty of taking it. Maybe this is just linked to ministry, maybe it gets confusing to seperate ministry from personal faith and the lines just cross over.

But here it is…I’m going to say it. The seventh day God rested. He chilled out, he unwinded, he changed his status to ‘away’…

(Random thoughtwhat did God do when he rested? I’m assuming he could access the Lost saga or even 24? I mean I know back then they weren’t created but I don’t think time would be a restriction. Maybe, he’d have a lazy boy couch and just admire the universe with his feet up? Maybe he’d play hide and seek with the angels, though that’s probably not so fun for the angels giving that they’ll always lose!)

But, that’s what he did. He gave us a rythym, a pattern to life for us to follow. And take Jesus Messiah. He wasn’t always out healing the sick or giving sermons up a hill, he wasn’t always up for spelling out the stories to the disciples, sometimes – he just needed space, alone time with the Father.

Now, we all rest in different ways, I love a good boxset with the mrs. I love sitting on clifftops watching waves crash into the rocks. But rest encompasses so much more – its a time to relfect on the year, to re-align priorities and to get re-charged in the Father. So, if you’re like me and your running over the last hurdle, lets finish the race…and then, lets rest, and lets get restored.

Ok, here it is. My story of the tentmaker tour…its gonna be big, published and sold to waterstones with booksignings and security. Not just a pretentious title that screams…celeb autobiography, I’m thinking a posing picture of me next to a tent….there’s a storm but my face screams ‘vogue cover model’ as despite the wind and rain, my hair still looks magnificent!!

Then! An Action shot to show off my superhuman skill of oozing energy none stop!! How about…

hmm…perhaps not that one…yeah, I’ll try find something a little less, well sleepy.

Then, I’m thinking something that draws people in, something that gets people’s attention… ‘during the tentmaker tour, Cath got pregnant!‘…hmm – but something thats not a big phat lie.

How about Paul the apostle, myself and the storyteller got in a fight…or in one venue we forgot the connectors that held the set together!! (yeah, like we’d ever do that…..)

OR how about ten things I learnt from a show about ‘the tentmaker’ Yes…I’ll do that.

1. Never trust a satsuma (Perhaps not the most relevant of points)

2. Always remember your set

3. Never trust a satsuma (I know I’ve said it before but its important)

4. Bring deodrant, anti persperent and any other ‘rant’ or ‘roll on’, as on stage for an hour with bright lights can get quite sweaty.

5. Eat less lasagne before the tour (as on tour you’ll have plenty!)

6. When driving a diesel van…don’t fill it with unleaded petrol (not that I did this mind, what you take me? An idiot!?…..awkward pause)

7. Take a camel on tour…suprisignly the more you strain your voice, the less voice you have left…I know, who would have thought? But still, if I had to do it again I’d hijack a camel for access to water…I’ll drink him dry and give him the hump.

8. Warn audience of disturbing images….one time I lifted my shirt up; perhaps advance warning for the more queezy of audience members would have been good.

9. Adlibbing is fun…but be prepared to be heckled by pantomime fanatics!

10. Last but most certainly not least…Paul the Apostle is a man of incredible faith, but a man noneoftheless. A man who has changed the way I see the Gospel and the new testament. A man who inspires me and challenges me, that if only I was half as souled out as he was for God’s message…how much more God could work through my life.

End Rant.

Then

Ok, I maybe on tour but maybe the tent bit is a little misleading. I don’t go and perform a show then build a campfire outside the venue and tell scary passages of scripture whilst shining a torch in my face. (And besides, that only happened once and when the police arrived they were very understanding). No, not whatsoever. I don’t hike from venue to venue, I have not got a mallet in my pocket and my tent erecting skills are ropey at best…heck, I don’t even have a compass, and if I did – what use is it to me? It doesn’t tell me how far it is to the next McDonalds and it doesn’t pull funny faces.

No, but you probably would have guessed by now, the tent bit of the title refers to my recent one man show; ‘the tentmaker’…and the ‘me made part’, being that I wrote it. Having said this, I most certainly can not take all the credit…a lot of hard work has been grafted by others, who’s help has been essential.

 

Name: Mr Steve Stickley

Tent Job: Director

Age: Classified information (I would not like to be beaten with rods)

Special skill: Great wit and Has surname ‘Stickley’ which provided great amusement with a set of cane sticks. 

Other notes: Steve came up with the ingenious idea of using a set of cane sticks to represent every scenario…who structured me and challenged me to write and be as good as I can be. Without this guy, the tentmaker would not have gone from page to stage!

 

Name: Paul Lewzey

Tent Job: Co techie; visuals

Age: 22, although has lived the life of ten 22 year olds!

Special skill: Can kill a boar from a mile away using only his upper lip

Other notes: Enjoys a pint of assum tea (I like to say assum as the americans say… ‘awesome!!’ I know, how wild is that!?) and can pretty much to anything he puts his mind to.

Paul Lewzey has got a knack (along with other techies at ignite) to make concepts in a creative persons head a reality. Everything I have thrown at him, he has taken as an opportunity to achieve and sees it as good experience for the CV. Bar some incredible art done by someone who for this moment in time shall remain nameless, Paul designed all the visuals; which are a big part of the show. This man is most certainly a pint of ‘assum!!’

 

Name: Steve Gardiner

Tent Job: Techie; audio

Age: A recent 34!

Special Skill: The man who makes Glenwood tick over. (In Colossians Paul talks about God ‘Only in him can all existence keep existing…although I don’t for a minute compare him to God; Steve, only with him can Glenwood and Going Public keep Going Public and Glenwood-ing!) On the road or in the office, a west country boy at heart very much appreciated for all he does.

Other notes: Give him a saw, a vice and some sticky back plastic and he can fix anything! (Last tuesday he made me a state of the art pair of night vision goggles using only bluetac…ok maybe he didn’t, but I bet he could if he wanted to!)

 

Name: Benny K

Tent Job: Music man

Special Skill: Looking good every minute of every day, oh and he’s bit of a dab hand at music too.

Other notes: Benny K (if anyone wants to know what K stands for…let me know, 10 or more requests and I’ll let you know!) is an incredible musciain (did I spell musciain right?) and he provided the music sound tracks for the show…again, an absolute beast for whom I am very grateful.

So, here’s a little shoutout as without these guys, the tentmaker won’t be currently touring. This along with the constant love and support from my dear Catherine, close friends and family, admin expertise of Ami Tatt, Figo Connector finder Gareth Knowles, Publicity design of David Potter esq and GP bosses Ali and Paul have been invaluable.

Anyway; three down and 6 more to go…this week we set sail over the borders to the Gentiles! Tonight Hereford, tomorrow night – Devon.

See you on the other side;

A gassing hairy welshman.