31 July 2012

A-Z: My iPod

It's time once again for my usual summer break from regular blogging. So what should I pick for my A-Z for this year?

After considering a number of possibilities, I thought I'd go back and pick some random tracks from my iPod. Music that inspires me. And I'm endeavouring to feature songs and melodies that I haven't mentioned before in this blog. Who knows, there may be something here that might be new to you! There's quite a strange and wonderful selection, all sorts of musical styles here!

Have a great summer, whatever you're doing.

19 July 2012

Walking

The Men's Fellowship Group from my Corps are off on a sponsored walk in September. Would you like to sponsor us? Proceeds from the walk will be split two ways: 

  • Half (up to a total of £1000) are to go towards the purchase of new chairs for the Corps (the current ones have come to the end of their useful life)
  • Half is to go towards the 'Living Water' project run by The Salvation Army.

We'll be walking a distance of just over 20km (12 1/2 miles) along the Viking Coastal Trail, which "winds its way past sandy beaches and bays, often against a backdrop of spectacular chalk cliffs..."

Interested? Just click on the link below for more information:

http://www.justgiving.com/DartfordSAMen

17 July 2012

Do not be afraid...

How often have you heard these words spoken? They are common in scripture, and usually spoken in times which are probably quite frightening... Exceptional circumstances.

But do some of us live in fear from day to day? That's a situation that simply isn't right. But it can be all too common. Fear of the unknown, fear of the consequences of our actions, of our inactions. Such fear can be a stronghold.

And, for reasons I won't go into here, it's something I need to turn and face today.

And so, in the powerful name of Jesus, I commit myself and my family once again to the Lord's service. I state that from now on, such earthly fear described above will not control, subdue or limit myself or any members of my household. Instead of being filled with such debilitating fear, I ask my Heavenly Father to empty out those negative feelings and to replace them with the perfect love that drives out such fear.

In Jesus' name
Amen

1 John 4:18 (NIV)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

13 July 2012

Small Talk

There's a particular episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation ("Starship Mine") where Data, keen to master all the different aspects of being human, has to try and learn the art of "small talk" - starting or maintaining a dialogue with someone with talk on various different topics. Or, as Data puts it himself:

"...I am attempting to fill a silent moment with non-relevant conversation."

Now, I'm particularly lousy at small talk. I'm reliably informed that a lot of us introverts are. We have to work hard at it! So I tried a little experiment recently. For an hour or so I simply turned off the small talk. If anyone asked me a direct question, I answered it (I wasn't rude). But I left the silences unfilled.

Boy, was it quiet! But it was an interesting exercise... and it got me thinking...

Matthew 12:36 (NIV)
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

8 July 2012

Running On Empty


It's been a terrific weekend. A busy day at Westminster Central Hall on Saturday at Commissioning; another busy day at my Corps with the visit of Romford Band for the day. Loved both of them. However, I'm now decidedly tired. in fact, I'm running on empty.

As an introvert, each of these events is a bit like a marathon to me. Social interactions in these sort of events are fine, but they take work. Introverts like myself are drained by social encounters and only get their energy back by having time to recover.


Time to recharge, to do something creative. I've another busy week ahead of me next week.

4 July 2012

First Things First

Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV)
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Something mentioned in our morning meeting on Sunday has led to this post. It also reminded me of the following song:

"When the music fades,
all is stripped away,
and I simply come..."

lyrics from 'Heart Of Worship' by Michael W. Smith

If you strip it all away - all the preconceived assumptions of discipleship; all the ties of duty; all those things you feel contractually or morally bound to do; all the glitz, all the glamour of (all and the not-so-glamorous things!) - what is left?

What is left?