The Best Story of All

‘… the bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.’

from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

I love stories. I gobble them up. Lately I have even been writing my own stories. Writing makes me smile. I hope my creativity reflects the image of my Creator. How wonderful to be part of God’s great story.

How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
    How plainly it shows what he has done!
Each day announces it to the following day;
    each night repeats it to the next.
Psalm 19:1-2 (GNT)

Help Save Mohammad from Execution

Mohammad, an Edinburgh grandfather on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan, is in a critical condition. He was shot by a prison guard and remains at risk of further violence. Mohammad has a documented history of mental illness and has been charged with blasphemy after becoming delusional. It is a tragic case. Tomorrow, Jasmine, Mohammad’s daughter is taking a petition to Downing Street (please see the link below).

According to 38 Degrees (a non-party-aligned political action group), a Downing Street spokeswoman said yesterday that “the PM has been following the case closely.” More than 70,000 people have signed the petition to save Mohammad. Please would you consider signing it too?

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/bringmohammadhome

Please would you also pray for Mohammad and for his family here in the UK. They must be feeling desperate right now.

Reblog: Knowing When To Switch Sides

sandyfaithking:

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When I think I know who’s ‘in’ and who’s ‘out’ is when I have to question the mechanics of my faith. Jesus was always rather cagey on who exactly is ‘in’ and who’s ‘out’. He always refused to answer questions like that, always turning such questions back around to the questioner. He continually pointed out those assumed to be ‘out’ as being those whom He valued.

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

Did you hear about the Brandon High School quarterback who switched sides at halftime last week?

He’d led his team to 3 touchdowns in the first half, while the other team’s quarterback left the game injured. The opponents had no backup quarterback and struggled through offensive plays (really struggled, as you can see in the video linked above) as they finished the half scoreless.

Brandon’s coach asked his starting quarterback to play for the other team. In a show of great sportsmanship, both teams played hard in the second half and the game ended 46-14.

Quarterback Mason Mathieu said of the other team, “They’re a great group of guys, I mean I loved it. It was great.”

Barrier Breakdown

Being in God’s family is great too, and from what I’ve read in the Bible you’re either in or you’re out. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who falls into which category, though.

Jesus’ friends…

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There is No Other

I keep humming this beautiful hymn. I hope we can visit Holy Island one day (not that that has anything to do with this hymn, or St. Patrick).

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my vision, Lord. Be Thou my all.

Know, recognise, and understand therefore this day and turn your [mind and] heart to it that the Lord is God in the heavens above and upon the earth beneath; there is no other.

Deuteronomy 4:39 (AMP)

No More Page 3

Is it feminist to view women’s bodies as a commodity over which they have ultimate control, which they can sell if they so choose? Conversely, is it feminist to view the objectification of women as bad? I don’t know. Personally, I think feminism took a wrong turn somehow when it promoted the idea that motherhood and homemaking are ‘worth’ less than paid employment. I quite like the term ‘Jesus Feminist’, but it does sound a tad militant… and we don’t need to add anything to ‘Jesus’ in order to stand up for those who are oppressed. I am a Follower of Christ and I stand against oppression in all forms and that is enough. Anyway, feminist or not, what I know is this: I do not want my son or daughters growing up in a culture that says it is appropriate to objectify women while munching your morning cornflakes. The No More Page 3 campaign has been a long time coming.

You can add your name to the petition to remove Page 3 from The Sun newspaper by clicking here.

Reblog: The Obligation of Spiritual Childhood

sandyfaithking:

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Spiritual childhood – as I understand it – is what is meant by the letting go of all the things we have striven for and fought for and clung to as we grew up, all the things the world told us we had to do. It’s not that those things are unnecessary (some of them are, but not all) but that we must let go of self and self-determination in the same way as a tiny child relies on Mummy and Daddy for every part of life. It is a surrendering, but at the same time a sublimation, a transformation, into something new and unexpectedly beautiful.

But it does take time (a lifetime?) so instead of worrying about the times we don’t get it ‘right’, we can let go and humbly begin again. And, in time, the changes on the inside begin to show themselves on the outside, and we wonder how it happened, because we know we couldn’t do it without Him.

Originally posted on Contemplative in the Mud:

MagdeleineSpiritual childhood has become an obligation ever since our Lord took a little child by the hand, put him in the midst of the grown men who were arguing over who would have the first place and who were dreaming of an earthly kingdom, telling them, “If you do not become like little children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3).

Little Sister Magdeleine (1898–1989)

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From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

It’s that time of year again. You know, when all the Hallowe’en gear starts appearing in every shop. My children ask whether they can join in. I say no, and explain why. Again. Here in the UK Hallowe’en is a combination of an old, rather dark tradition with 21st century consumerism, as copied from the US.

When I was a child Hallowe’en was a bit of a nonentity. Bonfire Night on 5th November was the big, fun celebration. Hallowe’en was never really an issue one way or the other. There was certainly no expectation of trick or treating. It was something a very few, odd children did, only to be shooed away by a stern, “No thank you!” from my mother followed by an immediate shutting of the door (much the same as when the Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking). But it’s different now. Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are a kind of extended festival. I have no problem celebrating the prevention of an act of terrorism in 1605, though I do take issue with the burning of effigies resembling Guy Fawkes or anyone else. That’s all a bit too pagan for me, personally.

So where does the 21st century British Christian stand when it comes to Hallowe’en? Do we ban it with a single stroke? Or do we allow our children to join in because ‘it’s just a bit of fun’ and we don’t want them to be singled out at school? I have never felt comfortable with either of these responses. I do believe that, whatever its origins and circuitous routes through the ages and various belief systems, the modern celebration is a celebration of darkness and scary stuff. And that doesn’t sit right with me. There are so many more things in our culture and in our world for us to be afraid of than ghosts and witches! I do talk about those things quite candidly with my family, and we also discuss what our response should be to the horrors of the world, as followers of Christ. My children know that life is not easy, it is rarely fair and it takes courage to stand up for what is right.

Last year I had a bit of an epiphany when it came to Hallowe’en, after viewing this video:

We bought party bags and filled them with sweets, as well as some lovely little leaflets from The Good Book Company: (see below). We handed them out when the mini ghosts and ghouls came knocking, and we talked (among ourselves) about how, when we know Jesus, we celebrate every day the light that shatters the darkness.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.

John 1:5 (GNT)

“I am the light of the world,” Jesus said.

“Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.”

 John 8:12 (GNT)

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It turns out that, just like everything else, Christ turns our expectations and understandings on their head! It is not the darkness we celebrate, but the victory over darkness that has already been won. This is why, in just a few weeks time, Christians all over the world will begin the season known as ‘Advent’ – the quiet waiting for the birth of the Light, promised so long ago by the prophet:

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light.
They lived in a land of shadows,
    but now light is shining on them…

He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
    “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,”
    “Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:2,6 (GNT)