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… 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. Continue Reading »

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Conspiracy Theory

The world outside and within me have an uncanny knack of conspiring against my best intentions; at least that’s my excuse (or rather one of a vast arsenal) and I’m sticking to it. The current deployment of this excuse is in relation to two seemingly innocuous commands: “Be still!” and “Wait patiently!” In fact “command” seems like to harsh or serious a label for them, perhaps they should be filed under “good advice” or “helpful suggestions”.

But the impact of ignoring these imperatives has been graciously pointed out to me by an unexpected ally. Continue Reading »

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. Continue Reading »

Naked Truth

“It is better to live naked in the truth than clothed in fantasy.”

Brennan Manning.

Rich Pickings

“I’d rather fight you for something I don’t really want, than take what you give that I need.”

Rich Mullins, Hold Me Jesus (from the album “Songs”).

” How glorious the splendour of a human heart which trusts that it is loved!”

Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust.

Glorious

“The glory of God is the human being fully alive and the life of the human consists in beholding God.”

Iraneus, Against the Heresy of Gnosticism.

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