Keeping up a blog is a great challenge. Having unsuccessfully applied for a job as a trainee reporter for the Oxford Mail when I was about eighteen or nineteen there is, I think, a frustrated journalist inside me. Knowing how to get the right balance and tone in the posts is the biggest problem. I don’t want to come across as over preachy but really want to avoid the “I’m on the train ..... “ approach as well. I’d like to think that what I write is either encouraging, thought provoking or brings a bit of light relief at different times.
Judi and I are speaking about our work in Kenya in our home church tomorrow morning. It’s a nice opportunity to give a lot of people who support us an update on what we've been up to. Preparing for tomorrow’s talk gave me an opportunity to reflect on the different scriptures that have been a source of strength and inspiration to me over the years since 2000 when Judi and I first committed ourselves to our Christian faith. I’d like to share five of them today. There is a sequence to them which goes with our first going to Kenya in 2002 up to this year. I offer these as an encouragement to anybody who is struggling with their own faith, thinking that something is missing from their day to day life or wondering what the God thing is all about. They've inspired me a lot over the years.
Isaiah 6:6-8 “One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, "This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty. After this, I heard the LORD ask, "Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?" "I'll go," I answered. "Send me!"
Ephesians 2:10 “God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
Micah 6:8 “The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands: "See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God."
Jeremiah 29:11 “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”
Joshua 1:9 “I've commanded you to be strong and brave. Don't ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the LORD your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”
Recognising the wide range of responses that people make to proclamations of faith and scripture I can only say that each one of these verses has been very real for me. Since Judi and I said “We’ll go” and set off for Kenya a plan has unfolded which vastly exceeds what Judi and I are capable of in our own strength. We make a mess of living the way God wants us to all the time but it won’t stop us from trying to.
Dave Allen, an Irish comedian, famously finished off his TV show each episode with the catchphrase “May your God go with you.” Imperfect as I am, I’m glad that God is still in the driving seat and we are making our journey with him.