But how can I do anything?

The crisis in Iraq is beyond imagining, except that for millions of people it is all too real. The horror is reminiscent of the holocaust. But what’s it got to do with me, here in the UK? How can we do anything? Here, I humbly suggest, are two things you and I can do:

1. Give – organizations such as Open Doors and Tearfund are there on the ground, serving those whose need is immense.

2. Pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer. God gave prayer as a gift. With it we align our will to His. Pray always, in all circumstances.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Two Weeks In…

Originally posted on The Un-paving Paradise Project:

Well we’ve been in our new house a fortnight and we’re s l o w l y getting sorted. We’ve had a quote for a new roof that would make you choke on your dinner, but thankfully the plumbing issues were (relatively) minor, as are the electrical problems. What can I say? In an old house these things are part of the ‘character’. Two weeks in and, despite there having been flooding nearby, we now have central heating, hot water and, as of a half hour ago, a brand new cooker! I like camping, but it wears a little thin trying to live the camping life in your home o_O Having said that, we have made good use of the bread-maker, slow cooker, microwave and halogen oven, skills which I’m sure will come in handy as we endeavour to lessen our energy consumption. After all, it’s a journey, not a…

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Reblog: The Cunning Craftsman

sandyfaithking:

 

God takes the discarded, broken things of this world and makes them beautiful.
‘See! I make all things new.’ Rev. 21:5 :-)

Originally posted on A Pastor's Thoughts:

In her play, “The Zeal of Thy House,” Dorothy Sayers imagines a stonemason working on an intricate carving for the chancel of Canterbury Cathedral. He then drops his carving tool and ruins the stone. This devastates him because the valuable and custom-cut stone is ruined. The designer, however, takes the tool out of the stonemason’s hand and begins restoration. He brings forth out of the spoiled stone a new and different figure which has its own part to play in the Cathedral, and then permits the blundering mason to complete it in all its glory. “So works with us,” concludes Dorothy Sayers, “the cunning craftsman, God.”

stone masonAs I tell this story, I cannot shake the phrase from my mind: “The cunning craftsman, God.” In this situation, the word cunning does not mean some kind of craftiness or deceit. The word is taken in its purer sense indicating skill, wisdom and ability…

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Reblog: Clean Clothes On A Sweaty Body

sandyfaithking:

 

A very good metaphor. I think legalism is us trying to put the ‘right’ clothes on. The intent is good, laudable even, but it doesn’t change the inside. It can’t change the inside; this is only done by grace, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to bear good fruit.

 

‘Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit… Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me… If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.’ 

Excerpts from John 15:2-7 (Amplified)

Originally posted on Tim's Blog - Just One Train Wreck After Another:

A year ago we helped our daughter move into a new apartment. It was hotter and more humid than usual for the San Diego coast, but We couldn’t wait for better weather since her last year of university was about to start. Besides, this apartment was an answer to prayer.

A much newer place than our daughter's furniture was in (Wikipedia)

A much nicer place than our daughter’s furniture was in
( Wikipedia )

First thing we did was pick up the moving van from the rental place, then straight to the storage unit where her things had been kept while she was in South Africa. Her unit was inside a two story warehouse, upstairs and down a long hallway lined with plywood walls and padlocked doors, and no ventilation.

Our first trip to the unit (and there would be several as we loaded up the moving van and our mini van with her and her roommate’s beds, desks…

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Home Made and Made Home

 

Home made malt loaf from the bread-maker I bought for a tenner in the charity shop down the road (we still have no cooker), with home made red grapefruit marmalade (courtesy of my very lovely sister-in-law), eaten while sitting in our new back garden in the late summer sun. That was yesterday. Today, jacket potatoes are piled in the halogen oven and rice pudding burbles gently in the slow cooker. Little by little, one box, one ladle, one pan, one wooden cross, one picture, one book, one breath, one life-beat at a time, this higgledy house becomes ours. 

There’s not a lot of blogging to be had, now that I’m also nearing the end of my Open University module. I have my final assessment due in a fortnight and due to the move I’m slightly behind (that and a marvellously ill-timed accident involving my laptop – I’m currently using Frank’s tablet). Slow and steady wins the race, as FlyLady says. She’s right.

I talk to God as I empty boxes, making this place home, making His place home. I sing praises when flashbacks, still unrelenting, haunt me. The more the past leers up at me, trying to seize and tear down the present, the more I sing and worship my Creator, the One who Made All Things Good. They say our battles are not against things earthly, but spiritual. How true. Abba Anthony spent 20 years in the desert quelling the ‘demons’ that plagued him and as far as I know he hadn’t had a traumatic existence prior. We shouldn’t be surprised when we too have to fight these battles within ourselves over and over. But the victory is already won; this is why we sing.

I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose, that the flashbacks have intensified. Sometimes it takes being in a ‘safe’ place for your head to be able to process trauma. These traumas have been put on hold for years, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. Also, I am learning how to live step by step, day by day, breath by breath, surrendering everything to Christ. By some miracle I am still standing. I am functioning. This is grace.