Thursday, 23 January 2014

A larger place

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. 
(Psalm 18:19 NIVUK)

This scripture has always found an easy place in my heart and imagination, ever since I heard Wiley Beveridge sing his song 'A Larger Place' based on Psalm 18.

For me it evokes a whole range of possibilities, opportunities and a great sense of belonging.

I suppose if your are agoraphobic the image may not be quite as helpful, although, even then, once we make the leap from the awful literal and 'fact' based view of a text that so often stifles to the richness of the imagery and the truth it contains we can perhaps see how it is particularly applicable.

I am sometimes dismayed at how often I find myself locked into a small, constraining and often dark place, a prison, usually of my own making. However, when by his grace I turn to His word I see His intent is to throw open the gates, to lead me to a place that is open and free, a place that fills me with hope and vision and beauty, then I hunger for the larger place.

Whenever I struggle to see beyond the immediate, struggle to think further than the short term challenges and simply cannot see beyond the limited horizons of my own shortcomings or my  inadequate ability and gifting, the larger place is where God allows and enables me to see a broad, deep and compelling vista. I see the view that becomes a destination,a vision that instills passion and a space that gives opportunities and options. 

God takes me by the hand and guides me around the next corner, or up the next incline or through the arid stretch of desert and presents me with a place of awesome beauty, where His presence is once again the very substance of everything I am aware of. There, in a larger place, I am once again renewed. A renewed commitment to faithfulness, a renewed direction of travel, a renewed and revitalised heart, mind and Spirit. I am refocused to move forward, towards and beyond the horizon, to step into His plan for me.

Rescued from the place of limited vision, of lacklustre expectation and from spiritual myopia. 

And why does God do all of this, so regularly, for one who so consistently let's Him down?

Because, the Psalmist says, "He delights in me". 

Now why on earth would He do that?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

On postmodern architecture

Ravi Zacharias on Postmodern Architecture at Ohio State

wexnerFrom an address by Ravi Zacharias:

I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.

He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”

I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”

He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”

I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”

He said, “That is correct.”

I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”

All of a sudden there was silence.

You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Truths to fuel change

Acts 10: 1-8
Pastor Brian Brookins

Conversion is the way that the church grows; but it is also a way that we continue to grow in our walk with Christ. 

Romans 9: 21-22

7 Truths that we see worked out in this scripture: 

1. Someone has to be first. Sometimes that will be me. I won't enter into heaven and say "well, everybody else was doing that, that way". 

2. Repentance is the LIFESTYLE of the Christian. There are aspects of my life that need to change. I just don't know what they are yet

3. The gospel plus the Holy Spirt brings change. 

4. You probably need to change your thinking about good works. God has called me to a life of good works. 

5. Good works are avenues to experience and know God. (Ephesians 2: 10)

6. Good works are fueled by prayer. 

7. Good works are a way that we let the light of God shine in our lives.