The latest bulletin for my local church in Ely has been updated here <–CLICK
We had a nice barbecue last week:
The latest bulletin for my local church in Ely has been updated here <–CLICK
We had a nice barbecue last week:
As it is the Rio Olympics at the moment, I thought that games and races might be a pleasent topic to explore. So let’s do a quest game that is a race!
Oft times people only remember the part “seek and ye shall find.” However what Matthew says is so important, it is in essence repeated in the very next sentence. Experienced bible readers will know that if something is important it is repeated, either in the same book, or elsewhere in the bible. “Seek and ye shall find” is initially given in a context – that of asking, being given, seeking, finding, knocking, and opening. Lest you be tempted to take any of these six elements out of context, Matthew repeats all six elements in the same order in the very next passage. I think it therefore safe to say that all six are essential to the concept Matthew is trying to convey and in that order.
So, when you need something – perhaps something you have lost, or maybe something you simply need – don’t just say to yourself in a “secular” way “seek and ye shall find” as if like some hopeful mantra this will simply aid your perseverance “acting in your own strength” and so lead to your finding whatever it is you seek. Matthew is telling you to ASK first, then you will be GIVEN something to help you in the seeking (the Holy Spirit) THEN SEEK and you will FIND. Sadly even then most people will stop. Hey-ho I got what I was seeking game over. No! Matthew has reiterated that there are still two elements to do. KNOCK and it shall be OPENED. But surely you have what you sought? How about some gratitude though? Maybe knock on God’s gate just to say thank you? God has all sorts of lovely surprises. If you were ever blessed, perhaps as a child, to have a relative who you would go visit to say thank you for a gift and at that meeting they would then give you something more, then you have already experienced what paying a grateful visit to your creator can be like.
There is a clue to the gift you will receive. Matthew does not say you what you knock on. People think usually in terms of a door, but Matthew only a little further on is letting you in on some further information you need on your quest – yes it IS like an questing adventure game – you do have to strive to achieve the ultimate prize in the race of life (Psalm 19:5, Ecclesiastes 9:11, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1).
It is not a door you are knocking on – well think about it – where in a naïf sense would you find God living? – Heaven. Never heard of Heaven’s gate? Think of the walled cities – gates. Jesus being a “good shepherd” and sheep pens with gates to keep them safe. Anyway Matthew has made it easy, he’s told you its a gate, that is narrow (strait) found on a narrow way, he has said where it leads (life – hint: God is the source of all life) and (big hint) that this is something for the seeker (few there be that find it). So its a GATE you need to KNOCK on. THEN it gets OPENED and you get your big surprise extra reward, that you did not expect. And even though you read all this stuff about God, and you read in the bible what heaven is like – you see through a glass darkly, you CANNOT imagine the things God has ready to give you in the eternal life to come. Not things you ask for, you are not capable of asking for what you cannot imagine, so God does not expect you to ask for what happens once the gate has been opened. God operates through a relationship of grace. Go get to know Him, for sure ask for your simple needs but when you are seeking, remember Matthew already gave you the information about WHAT you should REALLY BE SEEKING before you got to the bit about seek and ye shall find:
In summary, life is a race, but the swiftest runners are not doing it in their own strength – they get help from God. In Isaiah we have a whole section about gates in the description of the temple, but since Jesus made the new covenant we know the temple is now in us and the gate is the narrow one that Matthew describes, but the bible gives us clues on our quest, which is why we don’t just abandon the teachings God gave us before Jesus came and redeemed us with the new covenant. Close by Isaiah’s information about gates you will find:
You wanna run the race? Go seek God, see what He wants you to do, do it, and you’ll find Him directing your steps along that race, the shortest most direct route. The real universe is not just the three or four dimensions you can experience easily – there are many more (Paul talks about this and I have blogged about it extensively). We all know the quicker route is the straight one, this road is straight but it goes to other dimensions – heaven. You are SEEKING that ROAD because you are seeking the WAY to Kingdom of Heaven. It is not in a direction YOU can even see, let alone run along, in your own strength. You need to find the WAY. You have been told where to find the way. You need to go meet the WAY and when you do He will show you and help you to run it. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake… Psalm 23 – the clues are everywhere once you start reading the bible. Go knock on His gate – its right there, inside you, in your heart. Your heart beats knock knock knock – a clue. It has a double beat, boom-boom, a clue to the original two tablets of the law, which is now graven on your heart – your conscience. In Psalm 19:8 you can see these words set out literally written there for you right next to each other: “…the heart: the commandment…” just another clue for you there. And you need a strong heart to run a race… not in your earthly strength, but in that God-logic opposite sense – weak made strong in the Saviour’s Love as the hymn goes.
Remember Psalm 19:5 – a race for a strong man is a joy? Read the rest of that Psalm and you will see the prophecy of the marriage – THE marriage of the Church and Christ. There is a prize worth running for!
As regular readers will know both my wife and I are smart car aficionados, although we do not yet own one. That however should soon be changing as I intend to get not one but two smart cars – one for each of us. All being well the first will be bought by Christmas 2016 for my wife, them mine should follow in the Spring of 2017. My wife wants something purple (yes that is basically the specification) and I like the white and grey one they have in our local showroom. Mainly I like the wheels (a bit of a girly way of choosing a car but… I like them). The pearlescent matt moon white also attracted me (OK I am quite a girly bloke when it comes to choosing cars – BHP and boom-box woofers are not my thing). It may seem odd that, given I now have enough budget to have any spec smart car I want, I haven’t gone for the most powerful Brabus, but I like the wheels on the Prime, and I can still add all the packages I want to the inside to get the toys I want. My new job means I will not generally be doing the long drives I had previously, and much of my driving will now be city driving, and I will no longer have hold-all bags full of equipment to cart around, so a two-seater smart car makes sense as well as being something I simply want because I love the design, specs and comfort levels. Provisionally I have opted for the 90 BHP engine with full auto transmission. I have had more than enough of 5-speed stick-shift thank you, I don’t want to be pulling levers and pressing pedals every two seconds in traffic tail-backs and I don’t need a stick-shift for cruising on the open road either. I used to have an automatic some years ago and they are my preference. I only had stick-shift because that was all I could afford, now I plan to have the transmission I prefer – fully auto (with cruise control and reset buttons on the steering wheel of course). The Brabus would give me 109 BHP but I really don’t need that extra power for anything and nor do I desire a Brabus badge just for others to see. The car I intend to have is about giving me the look and features I want, and I just love those chunky Prime wheels. I will be having the DAB radio, sat-nav, LED lights, adjustable seat and adjustable steering wheel of course. The reversing camera is a bit silly maybe but hey its in the package and who knows maybe I will find it useful.
Rio Olympics opening ceremony had images that resembled:
Projected evil eye with satanic “peace” sign (original crucifixion upside down teutonic rune of death) with added leaves (for pagan tree worship) appears centre of “iris” as fireworks make stadium appear as the eye.
Swastikas appear multiple times during the dance sequences video montage editing.
Single dancer also makes the sign of the swastika by placing his body in the position of a swastika crucifixion.
Cortina has sounded and a new tanda begins (Tango dancing reference).
I can finally reveal some of where I have been headed personally. In my last blog some two weeks ago, I had said I was not quite ready to share it but maybe in two more weeks, but suffice it to say that the Lord was being very good to me and hence to my family. Happily I can now tell some of what has been happening.
It was time to move on from my last job. The travel and hours were way too much, the prospects were limited and frankly the whole shebang had become way less than happy. The job had served an excellent purpose for a year giving me some skills I needed, as a stepping stone to something else, but change was due. The Lord however had timed the beginning of that job perfectly and now He timed its end and the jump to the next place perfectly also.
The Lord does things differently to how we humans might. We would usually agree with the sentiment “monkey doesn’t let go of one branch until he has hold of another.” God’s way however is that is we have to let go like a trapeze artist and trust that we will be caught and conveyed to the platform at the other side of the big top by another person. To do that though, you do need real faith in the person catching you eh?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
– Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Faith is a substance. It is like air. Take the Bible a little bit more literally and you will get some knowledge of physics that is beyond what the present mainstream understanding of the world is. It’s way ahead of the curve for most physicists and so won’t be widely accepted (and that’s all part of a wider spiritual war), but some clever folk like Chuck Missler for instance, do understand it. What you are (usually unknowingly) doing in “the spirit world” or as we should call it “The Kingdom of Heaven” – where part of you (your soul) is interacting in (real physical) dimensions one cannot (normally – but St Paul easily did and I have been shown the tiniest brief glimpse also) perceive, affects outcomes here in the earthly world (what some might call the “real” world) but I assure you the Kingdom world you do not see is just as real (God created heaven and earth, and there will be a new heaven and and a new earth as well). Air is something you can fly in. Faith is like air. Now read this:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
– Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
We are made in God’s image, and as He is a builder (of everything) – echoed in the work of His Son the carpenter, adopted son of a tekton (architect) – and so we humans also often have an interest in building things. I have been interested in architecture and design since I was a small boy I could say, and certainly since my early 20’s I have been making trips to different places including many different countries to see iconic buildings and structures – towers, bridges and the like. I have worked in construction for ten years now and in Health & Safety for thirteen. I found myself in Construction almost it seems by accident (ironic humour?) and surprisingly to me, I loved it. He timed that right (of course).
Once again the Lord has now provided an opportunity to me in a way that was timed beyond perfection. If you imagine some kind of Mario platform game where you have to jump because your platform is about to dissolve, but the platform you hope to land on won’t appear until your feet have left your present platform, that is how exquisitely He timed his intervention in my life and career. As always He asked me to trust Him and make that leap in faith. I do not use the nick “Leapingfish” for nothing!
I would have gone away on my vacation to Scotland very depressed and worried about my work life as the hours and travel had made the whole enterprise increasingly stressful, and I had been looking for a better opportunity. However the Lord had arranged it that I would need a doctor appointment a day before my vacation was due to start (the doctor is not usually something to celebrate but bear with me here, the Lord moves in mysterious ways). I had just reluctantly turned down an interview for an interesting job because the closing date for applications was two days before my vacation was to start and I could not get to it due to work commitments. However the doctor had to be fitted in before my vacation so I booked an extra day’s leave to go to that. The recruitment agency then phoned me and said could I get to the interview if they extended the closing date by a day! The Lord makes a way where there is none eh?! So I went to the doctor the next morning and the interview that afternoon. I could so easily complain about painful arthritis on my arm, but it meant I had time off for the doctor that meant the Lord had a space in my diary to fill with his plans. Arthritis is not from God, but God will take anything, even bad stuff, and turn it to His purpose.
The interview went very well, but one never can tell from that. Usually one doesn’t hear for days or weeks. However, that same afternoon, before close of business and before I want off to Scotland with my wife, I got a call offering me the job, which I accepted. So instead of going to Scotland worried about the future, I went with a heart full of the thrill of something new and great prospects, and a quickly penned Dear John for the old boss.
I have been doing the new job a week now. I’m working with Principal Designers, Architects and Constructors on a variety of projects including an interesting prestigious, and very unusual, high profile public building. I’m part of a huge team of really nice professionals in a very nice office, it’s nearby so not too much travel, and its more money and has many other benefits that will help me provide for my wife, which is always very much one of my foremost motivations.
The Lord, who solves problems three-dimensionally also fixed the issue of what to do about my old car and how to get my wife a car. The new job comes with a car allowance. So once settled in the new job I can sell my car, buy my wife the car she wants with the money (regular readers will know that will be a Smart Car), and have a company car to use for myself.
Oddly (but unsurprisingly given that the Lord had a hand in putting me where He has) I am also placed where I can quietly be His ambassador, simply by being nice, professional and loving towards all people. That may sound mysterious, as for now it has to be – there are some aspects of my new work I may not discuss and other aspects it is simply not prudent to yet discuss. However, in a few years I hope I may be able to tell you something very odd about one of the projects I am working on, that also has “echoes” of some construction work my (earthly biological) father once did.
God’s plans make patterns throughout history, as we see clearly in the Bible many times through types and prophecy, and these patterns are real “echoes” – ripples in the constructive and destructive interference patterns in the waves of probability back and forth through time and space that comprise the physical and temporal flow that are the events of our lives and universe.
God, I think delights in the tocsin (touch) of mirroring one event with another much later. “Like father like son” is a clever reference God has now put into the decades long narrative of events for me to recognise and delight in, and probably to learn from and grow by yet more like the person He want me to be. What I do now know for certain, as He has now done it enough times for me to have “got the gist,” is that the Lord wants me to blossom and fulfil all my potential, which is way beyond what I ever dare dream or imagine, and He will make that possible, provided I do it all by trusting, following, and serving Him.
The significance of the father-son simile is indeed not lost on me. He has already shown me that my dad ended his life at a place of victory (God had arranged unbeknownst to me that dad’s coffin would literally be marched out of the church to a victory march music that only dad and I ever had known had his secret words he sung to me as a boy). For all I know – for I know little of what my father did in his life as we were estranged for 40 years before the Lord brought reconciliation that was a wonderful blessing for both of us (oh how trusting you Jesus brings blessings) – the work dad did (that is in some ways oddly similar to one of the projects I am starting on) may even have played some part in my dad’s relationship with God. What I am sure of in my own life is that the project in my work that I have been talking around (being sadly for now needs must so coy) is there in some way as something the Lord would like me to use as an opportunity to serve Him and so grow and receive (not always obvious or immediate) blessings. The Lord may move in mysterious ways, but He is also infinitely elegant in His movement, and careful study and most importantly practical practice (“practica“) as with Tango dancing, teaches how to recognise that movement and move with it, creating something rewarding, exotic, and wonderful.
I’ll leave you with this delightful film –
There has been an awesome lot of stuff happening in my life. Good but difficult stuff that is still happening so I am not quite ready to share it – maybe in two more weeks. Suffice it to say for now that the Lord is being very good to me and hence to my family, so I praise the Lord for that.
Physically I have been a few hundred miles away from my usual abode, with my wife taking our usual annual anniversary vacation, which we often take in Scotland as that is where we honeymooned. Scotland is not like England either in landscape or culture. Scotland is a fabulous country, which of all the European countries other than my own England that I have thus far visited (some 30 or so), I would say I like the most. I love its slightly French, slightly German, slightly English, slightly Scandinavian landscape, culture and architecture. Of course whilst it is slightly like these places, what it really is, is Scottish – distinct and lovely.
So whilst it is not quite time for me to tell you about what has been happening in my life and how the Lord has been helping, here are some some pictures of lovely Scotland – a country I would urge you to visit for a vacation if you have never done so, and to do so again if you already have! The photography on this page is all my own (including the fish) and is copyright please, so if you wish to use any please contact me first.
Watching a small band of mist and rain move over the loch reminded us of the phrase in Genesis about God moving over the face of the waters…
If you take a room opposite the ferry port in Ullapool, the view is just sublime…
Sheep may safely graze…
While (some very good but difficult) things have been happening in my life, which I cannot just yet report, a couple of verses have been worth holding in mind, and so I’ll pass them on:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Mais dans ce cas…
As readers will know my head had been telling me to vote for the UK to remain in the EU. Well at the 11th hour that is not how I voted!
I asked the Lord how to vote.
He showed me Kings 2:8 (the waters parted). Then He showed me Mark 15:38 (the veil of the temple torn in two from top to bottom). What the Lord was showing me is division, parting, but it is division that leads to a victorious crossing in each case. Then the Lord showed me Revelation 13:10 (If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go).
It seemed clear that the Lord was warning me that a vote to stay in was a vote to stay in captivity.
My wise wife had been saying all along that she would vote leave because the Lord was leading her in that, and that she thought Europe was one of the large territories that the Earth will be divided up into in the end times, and so was not a good thing to be part of. I remembered 2 Timothy 1:7 (For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind) and although my head said remain, something was telling me to be bold and brave and vote leave, and not be afraid of doing something difficult, that Britain needed to be bold and unafraid of the hard times it would give itself by leaving because in the end it would be glad that it had.
Altogether it seemed obvious that the Lord wanted me to overrule my head and let my spirit vote, for leaving the EU. So despite what my head said, I let the Holy Spirit guide my hand and I voted to leave!
Today when I woke up I was amazed and shocked, we have actually voted to leave the EU. I think the whole of my country is stunned, and it is the biggest political earthquake I can remember. It is a GLOBAL effect change to politics in the UK, Europe, and I think the world as it plays out in politics trade and economics. This could spell the end of the EU as the effects start to actually gradually affect the political senses of others in Europe that are discontent with the status quo. The leave vote was 17,410,742 – the odd two was obviously my wife and me!🙂
The next line of that chapter in Revelation warns of death by the sword.
After I knew the result of the poll, the Lord showed me 4 signs about the referendum. He showed me that the Freemasons had been trying to influence the referendum.He showed me that Europe was an exhausted project. He showed me that despite the very rough ride my country will have as a result of leaving the EU, we can rely on His providence. He gave me a frightening sense of something very very bad that is going to happen in Europe, maybe a war or a genocide, a disease or some awful thing like backdoor involuntary euthanasia or abortions that will affect millions in Europe that as a result of leaving the UK will be spared from. I don’t know what it is or when, just that something awful is coming and the Lord has spared the UK from it by this tough and rather sad vote to part from the European political project. He said we had been set aside (The Lord has a great sense of words, as “set aside” is a European environmental scheme to save the environment). He said He has set us aside and saved us from this because there is work we have to do. I don’t know what that is, but it may be something to do with the fact that we are a defensible island and so also less susceptible to pandemics, something that has helped us many times over the centuries and Shakespeare, a great Briton (who also helped translate the Bible) knew and wrote of. Finally today the Lord gave me a sign of His covenant – a rainbow. When the Lord shows me signs they are literally signs. Please don’t think I am making like a big prophet – I don’t understand half this stuff and “I see though a glass darkly” as the Bible says – but I am just telling and showing you what He told and showed me, because I think He wants me to. Here are the signs He showed me:
Freedom always comes at a price, and there is little doubt that this price will be a high one, but the oddball, awkward, outsider, always brave, and the people of this island of very cool Britannia have decided it is one worth paying.
So I will end this post with the flag of my now rather more independent country, facing the world on its own two feet again for the first time in a very long time, like a person that has been in a semi-coma for the best part of 40 years, sleepwalking and becoming ever more dependant, suddenly having to learn to walk again. A new journey has begun.
We have a new section called “Who’s in the Pews.” This is where a list of connections to people who have popped into this church that have something interesting to say that others here might like to read will be found. Click the pic below to go straight there or select from our normal menu.