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Archive for the ‘codology’ Category

Apathy for the Devil

I’ve known for quite some time that the Bible says “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” But I am only just realising that I live as if it says “Ignore the Devil and he will leave you alone.”

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“Now then, now then, I have a nice letter from a young man named Colin in Coleraine and it says: ‘Dear God, please could you fix it for me to…'”
Methinks it’s a good thing God is not like Jim’ll Fix It. I doubt I would be able to move for “God fixed it for me” badges.

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Patience or pursuit?

Something’s been bothering me for ages, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Or maybe I just avoided it because I thought it was a stupid question. But now, with help from an honest and wonderful friend (not the kind you can have hundreds of on farcebook – no offence to all you wonderful friends on facebook, of course!), it’s staring me in the face and refusing to politely disappear so I can go on my merry way (as I do, you know). And this disconcerting dilemma is … (more…)

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Remains of the day

My mind and eyes have been returning frequently over the last couple of weeks to some things Jesus said during his last night with his disciples before being crucified. John tells us more than the other gospel writers about this important “things you should know before I die” conversation. One part of it has resonated with me in particular and it has this phrase like a heartbeat running through it: “remain in me”… “remain in me”… (more…)

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Are you being served?

… or am I just doing my job?

Two verses less than a chapter apart in John’s gospel have got me thinking a bit about why and how I use my gifts/abilities (for want of more self-effacing terms) in my work.

The thought has occurred to me before that when I “serve” others , particularly in the context of work, my mixed motives include high doses of “self-‘s”, chief among which are probably self-esteem (from the approval of others) and self-gratification (from the enjoyment of wrestling with a challenging problem). I doubt my motives will ever by anything other than mixed, but I wonder if serving others should feature a little more prominently in that mix?

As usual it’s tempting to leave it there and go off and feel guilty  for a while (and make a few other Christians feel guilty for good measure) about not doing everything out of a pure desire to serve others, but that’s not a very satisfactory, effective or maybe even Jesus-like result. (more…)

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Love in a place of worship?

I recently stumbled upon the following line whilst pottering among some Psalms:

“Within your temple O God we meditate on your unfailing love.” (Psalm 48 v9)

It doesn’t appear to be an especially remarkable line for a Psalm, not like ” Within your temple we play poker on a Friday” would. But before I could potter on two thoughts jumped out and grabbed me. The first assailing thought was that this is such a beautifully simple description of what the church gathers together to do. (And if we fail to do this when we get together, how much poorer are we for the oversight?)

The second thought which assaulted me was that the Psalmist was writing about this heart of worship without ever seeing the extent of God’s love revealed in Jesus. (more…)

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Knowing (about) God

I know a lot about God. I have devoted considerable time, effort and even money to learning about God. I have read the Bible, numerous books, listened to talks, attended conferences and more for over twenty-five years. I think there may have been a time early on where I was on the right track, but now I think I’m missing the point (and have been for a while).

You see I have been seeking to know and understand all about God, to know how to be a good Christian. It’s really useful, it helps me to make wise choices and live well (up to a point) and most of all it props up my self-image and self-esteem through the approval of the Christians I have surrounded  myself with in almost every aspect of life.

But when was the last time I came to God’s Word seeking to know Him? How often have I read the Bible and associated daily notes or comments and not taken one minute to actually talk to or meet with God Himself? (more…)

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