Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life

The church and giving…

I had to chuckle to myself last night during the notices at church.
We seemed to be asking the people (congregation) for a lot of things:

Bring in things for our Harvest collection.
Bring in things for our Christmas shoe box collection.
Bring in your tithe… (How many sermons have people heard on that?)

September / October is going to be an expensive month for people!!

This got me thinking:

THOUGHT 1:

Sometimes there is this criticism by the people saying “the church is always asking for money.”

Well, yes! That is the case?

But look at your church… seeing what they’re doing with it?

If your pastor was getting a fancier car or an airline or something shady like that… then yes, get worked up about that!

However, if your church are ACTIVE in the local community, pouring out their resources to help others.
Bring light and love and kindness and care to a world that needs it.

Then celebrate with them.
And understand… a lot of those ministries need your money.

THOUGHT 2:

Maybe another way to look at GIVING is… that it’s not the “church is asking again” but rather it is part of YOUR LIFESTYLE…
Part of who you are!

It’s not just around Autumn (Harvest) and Christmas time…
But you give every month. Because you’have build it into your being. The way you live.

We don’t give out of religious duty (that 10% tithe)

BUT INSTEAD

We give, because it’s what we always do.

We give our money. Because we want to help others.
We give our time.
We give our skills.
We give our produce.
We count our blessings. And realise, we have so much!

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We live the Leviticus 23: 22 way:
“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”

And we live this, every month!

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Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

The Solution in your Hands

I see you there with that device in your hand.
With a look on your face, suggesting you don’t understand.
Your 57th share to your story.
But your life still feels boring.

You thought all of this would make you feel better.
But you’re still feeling like you’re just don’t get it.
Those adults ask you: what is the biggest issue among young people today?
And your most common reply: social media has led them astray.

Intriguingly, you know what is the remedy.
Yet, you still flirt with the enemy.
Not letting it go,
The solution is with you, didn’t you know?

No one else will stop this addiction.
Longing for likes and unnecessary attention.
What a catch 22.
The problem and the solution is with you.

Comparison is the thief of joy.
And yet you let it; continue to destroy…
Stop living online.
And step outside.

See them face to face.
Discover love, joy, beauty and grace.
Not from an online source.
Let it go, before the remorse.

Its in your hand.
Time to make a stand.
Do you own a phone?
Or does the phone owe you?

The world is yours, you could spread your wings
But you choose to settle for mediocre things
Allowing in the darkness of your mind
When light is inviting you, to find

Labels are for canned goods
Not for bad neighbourhoods
You are not your circumstances
So stop missing chances…

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Silent September

For the month of September, I decided to remain silent as best as possible… from social media. At the end of August, I sensed God whispering these two words to me: Silent September.

So I obeyed. No Instagram and no WordPress!
The break was refreshing. But…
It’s funny and ANNOYING… how I spent more time on Facebook… sigh! (Choose your poison…)
Also an Youtube presence. But to be fair, that’s only when I’m having a meal. I watch clips during.

However, I did capture some pictures that I wanted to share.
(Okay, #GooglePhotos edited these 2 a bit.) But I just like them:

20190919_193222-EFFECTS

Autumn is a great time here. One can feel the crisp coolness in the air, hear the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath your feet and then see the incredible colours of sunset – all of that adding to the charm of the season.

EFFECTS

I then liked capturing a part of this school. Swanbourne House. A few miles outside of Milton Keynes. I had the privilege of doing a chapel service there. I was awed by how the morning sun fell upon the wall and how the reddish creeper climbed it.
Non Edited:

Here are some other pics last month that I took… that I’d like to share with you:

Autumnal sunsets are stunning!

Delicate.

I like the light and shadows and busyness of this one.

Creativity needs to be shared. Ideas breed ideas.

I have always liked tables that are jotted outside coffee shops. Here, the morning sun invites the customers to stay…

This, in real life (photo doesn’t do justice) depicted a lot of life going on. Situated outside the Google Offices. What a great little green pocket with running water. A place to take a breather!

A meeting of seasons.

In their own way, all three look so pensive…

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Thank you Soul Survivor

Soul-Survivor-photo

I keep thinking about Mike Pilavachi and his team after this last week (week C) of Soul Survivor. After the event is done. People have gone home. Tents taken down, all the last admin sorted… they sit with a glass of wine at home. And can declare: “It is done.” and take a satisfactory sigh.

And even better still to hear God say to them: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

For 26 or 27 years (since 1993) every summer, Soul Survivor has reached many people. (Young people, young adults and adults.)

This past week, I got to experience Soul Survivor for the first and last time.
I was moved. I was thankful, how an event like SS has reached so many.

Here are some of my ramblings:

In the “tent of the meeting” (there is some scriptural about that term) – God really moved. It was incredible to feel a tangible hope and presence of His spirit hovering over and through the people.

(For non Christians, I get that that may be a weird paragraph to read. But hey.)

It was good to see so many young people engage and go forward for prayer.

Jesus, really is a solution. A saviour.
The world is broken in many ways.
In the words of Blink 182 “earth is dying, help me Jesus”

It needs fixing.
Jesus can do that.
Listen to His words and teachings and ways. I promise if you lived as He suggested… you would see a world of difference…


As Mike said, perhaps the cynics would say, “well out of all the people… who came up… how many are still Christian a few weeks or months later?”

Yes, some will fall away.
But as Mike said, how he has met many people over the years who have said to him that they gave their lives to Jesus at Soul Survivor. Count the victories, not the losses. 😉

What sort of person are you? The one that sees the glass half full or half empty?


During some of the evening sessions, after all the noise and singing… Mike would encourage us… to listen in silence. What is God saying?
I liked that. Well done SS team!
God speaks in the silence too. Not just all the hype!


I realised… too that with all the hype.
A lot of young people make a response out of their emotions.
But duh?
Humans are emotional.
We make decisions out of emotions. Is that always a bad thing?

Our hearts are stirred.
Our hearts are moved.
That’s being human.


With that in mind. My challenge to “festival junkies.”
Find God in the ordinary life.
Festivals are “mountain top experiences.” but I promise God is all in the valleys.
He is everywhere.
Psalm 24: 1 The earth is the Lords and everything in it.
Open your eyes to that truth and possibility.


Back to the festival.
The one night Rend Collective Experiment led worship.
It was so joyful!

I LOVED IT.
(Yes, i HAD TO CAPITALISE THAT)

Because we NEED MORE JOY.

During that night of praise and joy…
There was still ministry time
People could respond and be prayed for.
But as they were prayed for the band rocked on.
It was a great jam session! Full of joy!

Made me think:
Christians… not everything has to be sooooo gloomy and heavy!!!!

Meet Jesus in the joy.

Nehemiah 8: 10 The joy of the Lord is my strength.


To the Soul Survivor team,
Thanks for all your service over the 26 years.
God has touched many lives through that festival.
A very well done event!
Coolest coffee shops
and entertainment.
Good singing.
Good teaching.

Rest well now,

God will continue the work through the other festivals around.

Again, May you hear His words “Well done good and faithful servants.”

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

The fireworks in 2019

I like to pay attention and notice certain things in my life. 2019 has been a year of fireworks.

Berlin

At the start of 2019 – New Year’s Eve, my friend Bob and I were on a third story balcony with some newly acquired German friends welcoming the new year in. We watched the fireworks of Berlin city grace the city’s skyline. Remarkable! For about 40 minutes the colours pierced the night time sky.
One could scan the interior horizon… About 180 degrees… and drink it the incredible view. A magical display of fireworks. We, all just stood their taking in the breath taking sight. Hardly any words exchanged.

Mauritius
Fast Forward to Flic en Flac in June.
Chane’, my bro and I with Emily and Seth sitting on the beach watching the little fireworks we bought from a local supermarket.
Nothing too spectacular. But the wonder and joy of the kids was quite contagious.
And we were in friggen Mauritius. Amazing!

Soul Survivor 2019

Then on the last night of Soul Survivor 2019. As a sort of send off… and thank you and farewell… the last night… we were treated to a 15 minute display of fireworks…

I remember standing with my leaders and youth. Words remained quiet.
We just took in the view.
Something so amazing about fireworks.

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And of course there is a song fitting for it:

Thank you Jimmy Eat World – Just watch the fireworks.

Posted in Poetry and Prose

I sleep I tread

I sleep on the floor
I sleep on a stretcher
I sleep on a foam mattress
I sleep on the grass
I sleep on the sofa
I sleep on my own bed
I like sleep
I sleep
I

I
I tread
I tread on various grounds
I wear different shoes
If those shoes could speak
What would them Vans and Converse and Toms speak about it?
The time they stood on snow
The time they walked for miles
The time they ran 18km in Germany, unplanned
Oh the lands they have stood upon
The ground beneath my feet
I tread
I stand
I walk
I

Posted in Poetry and Prose

11pm

This city just doesn’t seem to sleep
Onboard a train heading home
The heat of the day hovers in the carriage
The hoards of people sit there too

Where are they all going?
What has their day / evening been filled with?

Some sit bothered by the heat.
Others chant as their boozed confidence and the heat allows them to take off their shirts.

Some have just finished work?
Some are saying goodbye to a loved one?
Some have been partying?
Some have been on a date?
Some have gone to just get out.
To feel connected.

This big city.
London.
Can swallow you up or invite you in.

How do you choose?

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, Wonder and Beauty

Notice the patterns…

Yesterday’s Our Daily Bread reading was entitled “Living in colour.”

Was about a person who was colourblind – being able to see colour…
(Go read it for yourself.)

Often, I like to ask God, how that daily reading, can be applied in my life for that day.

Then later yesterday, my mom and I visited Waddesdon Manor:

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And I was super appreciative that I could see all the colour. It was incredible! 🙂

Notice the patterns, in your life. Signs of God 🙂