Don’t be surprised

There will be days in a disciple’s diary like this:

Dark.

Unable to see what the future holds.

Worried about losing your step.

You tentatively take a step forward as prescribed by the prophets.  You make your commitments to the Lord and faltering follow through on them.

Yet your present experience continues to be difficulty and brokenness; and the promises that you’re banking on seem painfully unfulfilled.

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.  I’ve promised it once, and I’ve promised it again: I will obey your righteous regulations.  I have suffered much O Lord; restore my life again as you have promised.”  Psalm 119:105-6

Disciples have driven this path since even before David.  Which of the Lord’s servants have avoided the desert?

Walk according to the light that you do have, and bring your lament to the Lord today.

On whether disciples may have personal property

“It is of the greatest importance that this vice should be totally eradicated from the monastery.  No one may take it upon himself to give or receive anything without the Abbot’s permission or to possess anything as their own, anything whatever, books of writing tablets or pen or anything at all; for they are not allowed to retain at their own disposition their own bodies or wills, but they must expect to receive all they need from the Father of the monastery.  And so it must not be allowed that anyone should have anything which the Abbot has not approved.  Everything should be common to all, as it is written, and no one should call anything his own or treat it as such.  But if anyone is found to be entertaining this wicked vice, he should be warned once, and a second time; if he does not amend, he should undergo punishment.”

Chapter 33 of The Rule of St Benedictst benedict

Sounds strange.  But who are the weird ones?  This bloke is still bearing fruit for Jesus 1500 years after his death.

 

002 – SHADOW ME

Leave what you’re currently doing and shadow me instead. Join my team. Be my apprentice. Live, work, travel with me. Watch and listen! Soak it all in. You’ve got front row seats if you want – more than that – you’ll be in the thick of the action. In the process you’ll be transformed. You’ll unlock potential more significant than you even knew was possible. In a way it will be like your life now – you’ll certainly still be you – but it will be truer, deeper, more colourful. We’ll be transforming the lives of others as we go.

Matthew 4:19 as part of the SAS Project

The Unforgettable Night

So this great guy has a crazy idea: one amazing night for everyone he loved – so he did the unthinkable and sold all he had to pay for this party. He and his mate prepared for this for months – he wanted to blow his friends away with the best night they’d ever experienced.  The venue was set, the food was being lavishly prepared, the DJ was pumped and primed.  It was good to go.

On the week of the party the texts and messages started to beep in on his phone.  One after the other, his guest list began to bail on him.  Friends and relatives dropped like flies.  “Sorry boss, can’t make Saturday – I’ve got football on Sunday and need to be in good shape.”  “Mate, I’m soooo sorry – we’re viewing some flats on Saturday the other side of town – we’ll come to the next one – promise.”  “Honey – I’ve got a date on Saturday night!!  He looks really hot! So sorry I can’t make your thing! X x” “Dang it – masters essay due in on Monday – need to cram – soz.”  “Mate – we managed to get tickets for that gig on Saturday – real shame it clashes!  We’ll go for a drink soon though yeah?”

Absolutely fuming, they guy said to his mate, “Let’s just go around the town – we’ll pick up anyone who’s free.  There’s no way this party isn’t happening – I’ve put everything I’ve got into it.  We’ll get those drunks from outside the station, the rough young guys who couldn’t get into the pub, those foreigners who aren’t sure where they are.  Those homeless blokes – don’t forget them.  Oh yeah, and the mad woman who waits for the 167 bus that’s never going to come!  Bring them all in – let’s go!”

8.30 or so, the party, this group of misfits, miscreants and so called migrants, were really starting to have a good time.  The host said – “mate, there’s still room!  More people need to get in on this!  Go out again – don’t miss out the scummy places – I want the heroin addicts and the hookers, the crack heads and the ex-cons, the weirdos and the freaks, the $%@! ups and the failures, those who’ve been kicked out of their house, people who shouldn’t be out at all – anyone and everyone!  Don’t take no for an answer – get them in!  I want this place crammed!

The only people I don’t want to see being served smoked salmon and throwing shapes are those who spurned us – I mean, were they ever really our friends in the first place?”

The Kingdom of God is like this.

Luke 14:15-23.

Gillett & Brims Podcast 02

Gillett and Brims podcast_02

Here’s episode two of our podcast.  Church, hospitality, food, justice, boundaries, helping people, driving questions and more!

Two verses we bounce off:

1 Thessalonians 2:8  “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”

1 John 1:3 “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”

Question of the episode:

“What have been helpful driving questions for your community?”

Comment below or email podcast@natgillett.co.uk

 

Missed the first episode? It’s here.

Emotionally Impossible

Living the life that Jesus calls his disciples to live is undoable if you don’t trust his take on what the future will bring.

It’s emotionally impossible.  You can’t act like Jesus acts if you don’t think He’s on his way to set things straight, to bring justice for both victim and perpetrator.

Without this belief – cheeks remain unturned, reputation management maintains first place, revenge is impossible to refrain from, cups of cold water stay in the cupboard.  The beatitudes are an embarrassment rather than a beauty.

You don’t even need to go, “hey – have you heard the secret code hidden in the book of Daniel” weird to get here.

From the Son of Man’s own mouth:

 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”  Matthew 16:27

He’ll return and repay.  Then make all things new.

Check yourself.  Make amends and adjustments where you need to.  Then cherish this “All-will-be-changed”.

Day 101

of 2016.

Today’s task – reflect on that which you do daily.  Refine as required.

magna est vis consuetudris – great is the power of habit (hey – it’s in Latin, it must be profound)

Not the only lense you can look at life through – you can’t knock off your car’s M.O.T bit by bit everyday – but a very helpful one.

Jesus had habits, “as was his custom“.  Soldiers, athletes and farmers are people of habits.

Here’s the list I’ve played with the last few months – up by my bed, and inside my diary – handpicked horrendous graphics for good measure:

IMG_0169

Tried to go for concrete doable actions rather than general themes e.g. eat five pieces of fruit per day instead of ‘eat healthy’.  Could tighten up on this.

Some I’d do anyway, some I’d do but helpful to have a positive push e.g. length of sleep.  Some currently subsumed by a higher goal – not working out daily but training for a long distance run.

More info on Bible In One Year here – I’m a fan.  Info on duolingo here – a language learning game that keeps my brain cells and Spanish ticking over.

Light the candle = pray.  Have found it helpful to have a concrete action that then compels me to engage.  If I go to the trouble of lighting a candle, I’ll tend to pray for at least a few minutes.

The magic has happened for me on the two that touch others.  Connect – have a meaningful interaction with someone everyday e.g. write a lengthyish email, go for a drink.  Publish – this blog is a fruit of this.  So helpful for me to move the question from “Will I blog today?” to “What will I blog today?”

Could I do JAD everyday?  Send a postcard?  Prayer ministry?  All sorts of possibilities.

Probably hit 8 or 9 on an average day.  My daughter likes to keep me accountable.  “7 out of 12, that’s not very good daddy.”  No nimzo, but it’s better than it would have been without an aim and a plan.

Seasons of life when this kind of thing feels impossible.  If you’ve got two kids under two, well congratulations on reading this far… having said that, my experience is that this kind of practice can provide a helpful anchor in crisis / survival times.

Not perfect, but helpful to think through.

Day 101 – where do you need to adjust?